Legaltech is in the air! At the moment, it seems rather obvious that the application of technology to the provision and commercialisation of legal services is not a flash in the pan.
In relation to Spain and just during the last year, we have mapped and categorised more than a hundred Legaltech projects. We also co-organised the first Congress about it and recently we opened a specialised area (in Spanish) to talk about it thoroughly and to help those interested in it.
But Legaltech in Spain also means accelerators, competitions, hackathons, associations and dozens of projects on the move. If we look beyond Spain, Legaltech is an enormous trend in the legal sector.
Therefore, it’s crystal clear that something is moving in the subject of legal technology.
Why Open Legaltech makes sense
However, something still not so obvious is just starting to happen. For a lawyer or a small law firm the access to Legaltech is going to have at least two important barriers: the level of knowledge and the cost of the technology.
On one hand, right now the usual legal professional is still unaware of all the Legaltech tools and services appearing everyday, more even about their features or usefulness. Something that can create a significant knowledge barrier in the medium-long term. On the other hand, the cost to access these tools or services is usually too high for a normal lawyer or someone who is just starting in the profession. Going beyond, all of that can create some significant digital fractures in the legal sector.
Additionally, when we talk about technology on other fields or areas of expertise, there are plenty of examples of proprietary software as well as open one. On the Legaltech field it also makes sense. After all, open source Legaltech could facilitate the access to technology to plenty of legal professionals, at the same time that reduces the knowledge barrier or improves the security of legal tools.
Nevertheless, open source Legaltech is nowadays almost none existent beyond some data sets or individual initiatives such as ContraxSuite from Lex Predict (we love it!).
That’s why we think that open source Legaltech, that we also call “Open Legaltech”, is an interesting area where it makes sense to spend time and effort, especially now that everything is just beginning.