New York City - legal start-up centerNew York City is starting to rock as a venue for legal start-ups – new ventures targeted at the legal industry. The big event this week will be ReinventLawNYC, sponsored by Michigan State University College of Lawthe Kauffman Foundation, and the ABA Journal,  at Cooper Union. Richard Susskind  will be giving the end note presentation. The event is free, but you need to reserve your ticket in advance. Many members of the NY Legal Hackers Group will be in attendance. LegalTech New York is also happening new week so it will be a busy week for the legal industry.

Below is a list of  legal start-ups in the New York metropolitan area.

Here is what is trending:

  • legal document generation on mobile devices.
  • virtual lawyer consultation as a lead generation mechanism.
  • social networking for lawyers.
     

Legal Document Generation and Document Management Companies

ShakeLaw – document automation on smart phones.
Docracy – crowd-sourced legal documents with signing and execution functions
EverPlans– organize estate planning information, legal document storage, and automated estate planning documents. (disclosure: I work with this company).
CaseRails – Another web-based document automation solution.
Legitimo – Another document automation solution for smart phones, but in English or Spanish. Limited to contracts.
Paperlex – contract management platform.
Clearpath Immigration – Automated immigration filings. Consumer facing.
WhichDraft- legal document automaton platform
 

Lead Generation Web Sites/Companies

LawDingo – Online consultations with lawyers.Video consultations. Q & A platform.
LawVisors– online consultations by smartphone. Q & A platform. Company thinks it offers a form of virtual lawyering, but its really just a lead generation Web Site.
WireLawyer – social networking site for lawyers and crowd-sourced legal documents, Reminds me of the old CounselConnect.
EsqSocial – another networking site for lawyers with lead generation possibilities.
PrioriLegal – another lead generation site connecting New York lawyers to business clients. Similar, and sounds like LawPal, which is based in San Francisco. {Disclosure: I have advised LawPal}.
LawTrades– Another lead generation site promising to connect clients with the "best" lawyers.

Servicing Lawyers: B to B Models
Lawfty – Bringing big data marketing concepts to law firms.
DocketAlarm– API for the U.S. Court System.
AllegoryLaw – web-based litigation support system.

Legal Education and Career Development

Quimbee – online legal education platform for law students, lawyers, and lay persons. (worth watching).
J.D.Stop – social networking site for law students.
ResumeLaunchPad  – apply to law firm jobs across the country in minutes.

On-Line Dispute Settlement

JusticeBox – online dispute settlement platform focused on legal. Competes with Modria which is better financed but not focused solely on legal.

Consumer Legal
PayMyTrustee– simplifies making payments to Chapter 13 bankruptcy trustees by consumers.

 

Reinvent Law silicon Valley 2013ReinventLawSiliconValley is happening next Friday, March 8 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. The brain child of Professors Daniel Martin Katz and Renee Knake, co-founders and co-directors of the Reinvent Law Laboratory at Michigan State University Law School, the event promises to be quite a bash. The event is free, but attendance is limited to 400 participants and you have to register to get in. Over 40 innovators, founders, policymakers, venture capitalist and other change agents interested in reforming the legal services industry will be speaking in 6 – 10 minute presentations.

Think of this as a TED Talks event about innovation and change in the legal industry– a crash course about disruption in the legal profession.

Here is the full detailed schedule with the speakers and the titles of their presentations.

Some of the speakers I am especially looking forward to listening to are:

This is just a sampling of the range of talks at ReinventLawSiliconValley – 2013.

Private Investment in Law FirmsYours truly is giving a talk on Private Investment in US Legal Services: New Business Models.  I am interested in how to get private capital into law firms, given the restrictions of ABA Professional Rule 5.4 which prohibits non-lawyers from taking an equity interest in a law firm. Are there ways of getting around this rule? What kind of law firm structures can be created that enable private equity investment? Is it wise to enable private investment in law firms? Will it ever happen in the United States given the present position of the ABA and  state bar associations? What can small and medium size law firms do to access capital to make them more competitive? Are Clearspire and AxiomLaw ethically compliant models that can be replicated?

The ABA Journal Blawg 100We are pleased to announce that the Editors of the ABA Journal have selected the eLawyering Blog as one of the top 100 best blogs for a legal audience.

In addition, the magazine has introduced the inaugural Blawg 100 Hall of Fame,
featuring 10 of the very best law blogs, known for crafting high-quality, engaging posts
day in and day out.

The  ABA Journal is asking readers to weigh in and vote on their favorites in each of the 6th Annual Blawg 100’s 15 categories. Go to http://www.abajournal.com/blawg100 to register and vote. Voting ends at close of business on Dec. 21, 2012.

The ABA Journal, in announcing this year’s selection, said:

"Each year, our choices become tougher. Blogging has become such a staple of
professional communication that keeping up with our own directory of more than 3,500 blogs by lawyers, judges, law professors or even law students is more formidable than it’s ever been," said ABA Journal Editor and Publisher Allen Pusey. "Some of them have become such permanent, even required, fixtures in our everyday reading that we’re introducing the ABA Journal Blawg 100 Hall of Fame to recognize those blogs and bloggers that have set the standards for this vast, vibrant network for legal news and commentary."

The ABA Journal is the flagship magazine of the American Bar Association, and it is read
by half of the nation’s 1.1 million lawyers every month. It covers the trends, people and
finances of the legal profession from Wall Street to Main Street to Pennsylvania Avenue.

ABAJournal.com features breaking legal news updated as it happens by staff reporters
throughout every business day, a directory of more than 3,500 lawyer blogs, and the full
contents of the magazine.

 

The American Bar Association Journal has started a new Legal Rebels project to get lawyers thinking about how to change the legal profession. The Journal recognizes that the legal profession is undergoing structural change accelerated by the current recession, and that as the economy emerges from this recession, the landscape of the legal profession will be very different from the one that we have now know. 

Searching for new ways of practicing law, the Journal will profile 50 or so lawyers who are demonstrating new ways of serving clients by expanding their markets, delivering legal services in a different ways, or creating new styles of legal practice. The plan is to tell the stories of these lawyers through a variety of social media channels using text, pictures, audio and video.

A colleague of mine,  Jeffrey Hughes, was named today in the first group of profiles for his innovative and ground-breaking work in combining a law practice within the context of a coffee house under the Legal Grind brand, serving "legal counsel" and good coffee in a community setting. Legal Grind is an excellent example of delivering "unbundled" or "limited legal services" at prices that people can afford.

By the way, I was honored to also be included in this first group of profiles.