Among other compelling points, Brown offered data showing how law firm prices have risen faster than other costs of running a business over the same period:
Brown also took issue with law firm reluctance to take advantage of the cloud simply because they don't understand it:
Noting that lawyers within the profession are starting to feel the pressure, Brown quoted Eduardo C. Leite, Chairman of Baker & McKenzie's Executive Committee:
"Change does not come easily to the legal profession. We are trained to be skeptical, cautious, anchored in precedents and tradition. Yet, disruptive change is here. And that change is growing and accelerating, persistent and threatening."
(Leite provides the foreword to Remaking Law Firms: Why & How, highly recommended by Brown.)
The growing pressure on law firms to change is naturally opening up opportunities for innovation in BigLaw:
If you don't use technology, you're putting you AND your clients at a disadvantage in relation to the other side, who will. #LexTechWEST— ⓐ (@aronsolomon) September 26, 2016
Brown noted that some law firms and corporate counsel are already innovating, including by partnering with Legal Tech companies like Toronto-based Kira Systems. He pointed to winners of the ACC Value Challenge as examples for others to follow.
Brown's opening remarks set the stage for the first panel of the conference titled, "Legal Entrepreneurship: Evolving Market Needs," which Brown moderated. The panelists included:
- Alma Asay, Founder & CEO of Allegory
- Jack Newton, Founder & CEO of practice management software company Clio
- Adam LaFrance, Co-Founder & CEO of collaborative legal research and knowledge sharing platform Knomos
- Jeff Musson, Founder of The ICT Centre of Dispute Management
Some of the topics and responses (recapped by Twitter) covered by the panel included:
What challenges keep you up at night?
How do you get customers to use your product?
Who are the investors in your business?
How do you attract and keep talented people to legal tech?
Subsequent panels offered the perspectives of corporate counsel and alternative legal service providers, creating a full range of valuable insights into the ways in which change is coming to the legal profession. Ralph Baxter, Chairman of the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute and former Chairman of Orrick, closed out the day with his remarks, including how the industry already has changed and what we can expect to see in the future.
For more insights from all of the panelists at this fantastic event, check out #LexTechWest on Twitter.