Recently, lawyers are deserting the staid, tradition-bound world of law to build fast-growing, tech-enabled companies, driven by the need to fix problems and deep-rooted inefficiencies in the legal world. The traditional view of lawyers is as the enemies of entrepreneurs. This risk-averse attitude of lawyers frustrates business leaders complaining about over-lawyering and objections raised during consultancy advice from counsels. This lack of entrepreneurial sensitivity among lawyers arises as the U.S legal system is guided by previous case -laws, focussing on precedents and risk-spotting, instead of path-breaking stuff and disruptive innovations associated with fast-growth companies. It can be blamed on legal genes. A study found that 90% lawyers were sceptics with the lowest resilience of dealing with setbacks among all professions. These traits are good for poring over documents, but useless for leading fast-growth businesses. Lawyers are details-oriented, so use that to your advantage.
Noory Bechor – LawGeex
Bechor was working for a top Israeli law firm as an advocate and experienced reviewing and creating everyday contracts manually, which was very time consuming. Convinced about automated processes, he founded LawGeex, an AI-powered contract review platform in 2014 and raised around $9.5 million in funding with clients in finance, retail, and insurance. A shift in mind-set for lawyers is a must as every risk is essential to be mitigated, but for an entrepreneur, taking calculated risks is almost second nature. Lawyers treat everything as confidential, but this mind set does not hold true for the entrepreneur as the the more you share, the more sound advice you get, and the better your project becomes.
Ned Gannon – eBrevia
eBrevia assists with lease abstraction and contract due diligence based on technology developed in partnership with Columbia University. Gannon graduated from Harvard and worked with a law firm, before establishing eBrevia in 2014. The company raised over $4 million in funding and reports a 30- 90 per cent increase in speed compared to ancient manual review. Allocating time is the biggest challenge as things to do on many different fronts remain. This is challenging, but makes the process fun and interesting.
Michael Mills – Neota Logic Inc.
Mills, from University of Chicago, worked as a law clerk to a US district judge before becoming partner at a global law firm. Mills founded Neota Logic, the AI-driven platform for automating documents, expertise, and processes. It has major clients, including Littler, the world’s largest employment and labor law practice. He advises entrepreneurs to focus on a sound product/market fit which is what every start-up does. Buyers win, visions don’t. You must try, fail, shift and try again. Stamina counts as legal tech serves the legal industry, remembering antecedents from the 11th century.
Noah Waisberg – Kira Systems
Kira Systems helps in extracting, identify and analyze business information from unstructured contracts. Before establishing Kira Systems, Waisberg practiced at a law firm in New York; he advises lawyers not to be afraid to quit without having secured another job or knowing what to do next until you have time and headspace to think things through. He quit without a job in hand and if he hadn’t taken a break, he would have been working as hard, as long, on less interesting problems with low opportunity for impact.