Legal Tech Directories: Your guide to the technology your firm needs
I’ve been writing this legal technology column for the ABA Journal for over four years. Every month, I cover a different category of legal software. I explain why lawyers should use it, what to know when choosing it and provide an overview of the options available in the legal tech marketplace.
My column is simply a starting point. From there, lawyers often do their own research, which typically includes asking fellow lawyers about the software tools they use, attending trade shows and conducting internet searches, which often lead to an assortment of software directories.
It is those directories that are the focus of this article. My goal in writing this column has always been to help lawyers choose legal technology, and there are some online software directories that advance this purpose. Others, however, provide very little relevant information.
If you’ve recently searched for legal software, you know what I’m referring to. Many of the less-helpful sites tend to dominate in search results, regardless of the type of software you’re researching. A visit to the site will quickly unearth the fact that whoever maintains the software lists knows very little about the legal industry or the software tools included. You’ll often find software groupings that are seemingly random. Sometimes you’ll be able to locate tools that are appropriately listed within a category, but many times you won’t.
When you’re seeking information about legal-specific software tools, the inconvenience of sifting through inaccurate generalist software directory sites can be a painstakingly tedious process at best and an inefficient waste of time at worst.
That’s why lawyers should focus their efforts on software directories limited to legal technology products. These sites are focused on the legal industry and provide knowledgeable insight, accurate information and appropriately categorized listings of legal software products.
Take a look at each one listed below, investigate the site and its features, then check out one or two of the categories listed. Some directories may be a better fit for your needs or preferences than others, but you’ll undoubtedly find that at least one of the sites will assist in guiding and informing your decision-making process as you embark on your legal technology software-purchasing journey.
Who made the list?
So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the top online legal software directories.
LawNext Legal Tech Directory
The LawNext Legal Tech Directory was co-founded by Bob Ambrogi, a longtime veteran of the legal technology space who has worked for decades as a journalist covering legal technology. As a result of his experience, he has in-depth knowledge of legal technology software tools and the companies that produce them. His feature-packed directory is a good resource for legal technology buyers.
The directory provides information in a clear-cut format that is easily navigable. Each software listing includes information about the company that owns the software, including when it was founded, the name of its president or CEO, links to its social media profiles and a description of the software. Product features are appropriately categorized and listed. Also provided is access to product reviews, press coverage about the company and pricing information. Product resources, including videos, whitepapers, e-books and screenshots of the product are also available.
Legal IT Professionals legal tech directory
This directory doesn’t offer a lot of bells and whistles from a feature perspective but does provide listings covering many different categories of legal software. The listings consist of short descriptions of each software program. The directory has a larger-firm focus and includes both cloud and premises-based software products.
If you’re a lawyer from a solo or small law firm seeking legal software guidance, this may not be the directory for you, and you’ll find some software tools that you’d expect to be listed that are often used in smaller law firms will be missing from this directory. However, if you’re seeking legal technology guidance related to software for larger firms, you’re in luck and this is a very helpful resource.
Above the Law Legal Tech Directory
The legal blog Above the Law also has a basic legal technology directory that includes listings for many software products that appeal to law firms of all sizes. The products are listed alphabetically and aren’t categorized. For that reason, I would consider this site to be a secondary resource that will provide you with additional information about a specific software tool you’re interested in learning more about.
It includes 59 products, and once you click on a product, you’ll be taken to a page that provides a link to the company website along with a description of the software. The listing also indicates the size of firm that the product is typically used in and provides links to recent blog posts about the software company.
Last but not least, there’s the Legaltech Hub. This legal technology directory covers a wide range of products, and like many of the others, requires vendors to submit their software for inclusion. It covers a broad array of software categories for firms of all sizes. Each listing includes a description, applicable practice areas, target users, videos and screenshots of the product in use, and pricing information.
If you’re in the market for new legal software, you’ve got a number of legal software directory sites to choose from. Some are more robust than others and provide varying levels of coverage and functionality. Even so, they generally provide useful information that informs your technology-purchasing process that far exceeds the coverage found on the more generic software review sites.
The next time your firm is ready to invest in new software, you’ll know where to start that process. You’re sure to find a match for your firm’s needs on one of these sites.
Nicole Black is a Rochester, New York-based attorney, author and journalist, and she is the legal technology evangelist at MyCase, a company that offers legal practice management software for small firms. She is the nationally recognized author of Cloud Computing for Lawyers and is co-author of Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier, both published by the American Bar Association. She also is co-author of Criminal Law in New York, a Thomson Reuters treatise. She writes regular columns for ABAJournal.com and Above the Law; has authored hundreds of articles for other publications; and regularly speaks at conferences regarding the intersection of law and emerging technologies. Follow her on Twitter @nikiblack, or she can be reached at [email protected].
This column reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily the views of the ABA Journal—or the American Bar Association.