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Discovery: The DISCO Blog

The Legal Revolution (and $18.575M to Make It Happen)

Posted by Kiwi Camara on Aug 9, 2016 4:50:36 PM


The legal industry is facing the kind of pressure and undergoing the kind of consolidation that other services industries, like accounting and consulting, went through decades ago. Clients are not satisfied with the results they get when law firms do everything manually, solving problems by hurling bodies at them. Clients deserve, and now are demanding, high-quality legal services, delivered in a predictable and repeatable way and at a cost that reflects both the value delivered and all efficiencies available.

Legal services today are delivered 95% manually and 5% using process and technology. That 5% will become 10%, 15%, and 20% over the next 15 years. This is the coming legal revolution. Law firms and corporate legal departments that fail to embrace the revolution are, to put it bluntly, not long for this world. The race is on to win the future.

What do I mean by process and technology?

  • By process, I mean systems for organizing large groups of people to deliver legal services of reliable quality at predictable cost using repeatable, scalable methods. The best managed review firms are an example of using process to change the way legal services are delivered in the space of finding evidence.
  • By technology, I mean systems that automate the parts of legal services delivery that can be automated, freeing great lawyers to focus on doing the things that only they can do. Westlaw and Lexis are examples of this kind of automation in the space of finding primary law.

Both process and technology function as levers, or force multipliers, for great lawyers. They enable the same number of great lawyers to accomplish much more for their clients, or much more for more clients, relative to a world with less process and technology.

We see DISCO as uniquely poised to be the partner that great lawyers trust to deliver the technology that powers the legal revolution.

As we grow, our goal is to sit down with law firm leaders and discover ways we can use technology to enable them to offer legal services of higher quality with predictable cost at scale, offerings that will make them 10× more competitive in the market for legal services. And it is our goal to sit down with general counsel at corporate legal departments and discover with them ways we can use technology to inform and optimize their consumption and delivery of legal services, ultimately helping them solve business problems and execute legal strategies in a way that is 10× more impactful for the businesses they are part of.

A prime example of this is ediscovery, where great technology can enable small, core teams of patent lawyers or securities lawyers or environmental lawyers to find evidence more efficiently than they could manually, that is, by having armies of reviewers page through millions of documents. And when eyes on documents are necessary, great process can make using that army of reviewers much more effective, much more predictable, and much less expensive. The success of our existing customers with the DISCO ediscovery platform demonstrates how the smart application of process and technology can improve the quality, reliability, and value of legal services. And ediscovery is just the beginning.

There’s a reason great lawyers didn’t go to business school instead. The law is ultimately not a business, but a profession. The work great lawyers do is important not just to their clients, but to society. Great technology companies are working on sending humanity to Mars, moving the planet from fossil fuels to solar and electricity, and improving the way we diagnose and treat life-ending illnesses. I like to think we can make a similar impact helping the law lord deliver on his promise of reasoned rule, one link in the chain that pulls the human race toward good and effective government.

* * *

Well, there you have it — DISCO’s vision for a legal revolution.

I am delighted to announce our decision to partner with The Stephens Group LLC, a private-equity firm, in pursuing this vision aggressively, beginning with a Series C investment of $18,575,000. Read the full press release here.

Thank you to our customers, our partners, and all the team members at DISCO who have made it possible for us to get to this point.

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Topics: ediscovery, Legal Industry, legal revolution