Law Scribbler

Evolve Law hopes to foster a collaborative community for legal tech

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Victor Li

Photo of Victor Li by Saverio Truglia.

Evolution of a concept into a reality can take some time.

Legal tech entrepreneurs Mary Juetten and Jules Miller were both in the audience at the 2014 ReInvent Law event in New York City. They remember feeling inspired by the many legal entrepreneurs and industry thought leaders that got on stage and talked about the need for lawyers to innovate and embrace technology.

“We wanted to kind of take [Reinvent Law] to the next level, and do demonstrations for lawyers as opposed to talking about technology,” says Juetten, CEO of Traklight, a Phoenix-based software company that uses cloud computing and automation to help companies track and protect intellectual property.

Juetten had previously met Miller, co-founder of legal-staffing company Hire an Esquire, in 2014. The two hit it off over lunch, where they tried to brainstorm ways to get their products in front of attorneys.

Inspired by both ReInvent Law and their own serendipitous meeting, the two started holding events around the country under the “Evolve Law” banner. The goal of Evolve Law was to educate lawyers about the benefits of legal technology, and to facilitate cooperation and collaboration among innovative tech entrepreneurs.

“We were doing all these events and soon, it evolved into partnering up with law firms and law schools,” says Juetten. “People kept asking us, when were we going to turn Evolve Law into a real thing?”

Juetten and Miller decided to indeed turn Evolve Law into a thing. On September 21, Evolve Law officially launched itself as an online community and website with 20 founding partners, including Avvo, Clio and Davis Wright Tremaine.

“We want to bring together lawyers who aren’t quite sure about technology with those that are,” says Juetten. “The hope is that, together, we can be a catalyst for innovation.”

Evolve Law will also offer a legal technology toolkit that lawyers can access as part of their paid membership to Evolve Law. The toolkit is a one-stop shop for lawyers, containing products from 27 legal service providers including Alt Legal, Docket Alarm and eBrevia. It covers a wide range of tools designed to help lawyers work more efficiently, including automated documents, contract analytics, predictive litigation tools, crowdfunding, marketing and even educational resources.

“We’re looking to facilitate the conversation through collaboration,” says Miller. “There are enough tools in the toolkit so that attorneys can pretty much find a solution for anything.”

To help launch Evolve Law, Juetten and Miller held events in New York and Boston. The theme for the Boston event, held September 29 at Suffolk University Law School, was “Investment in Legal Technology,” while the New York event, held October 1 at Cardozo School of Law, dealt with big data.

In the coming months, Evolve Law hopes to release e-books, white papers, podcasts and other resources devoted to increasing legal tech awareness.

“Our main priority is to build the community,” says Juetten. “We must shine a light on need to accelerate the pace of innovation.”

Evolve Law is talking to other big law firms to come aboard as partners.

“We can’t really put pressure on firms to join us or adopt technology if they don’t want to,” says Miller. “Evolve Law is more about raising awareness and shaking things up.

“Lawyers are busy people, so we need to offer incentives to those early adopting lawyers who wish to partner with us and also make it exciting for lawyers to want to be using tech.”

Victor Li writes the LawScribbler column for the ABA Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at @VictorLi_ABA.

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