At our last Bricks & Breakfast session hosted at Simmons & Simmons in London, we discussed the adoption of legal technology and the development of digital legal products.
At the second edition of BRYTER Bricks & Breakfast series – this time hosted at Simmons & Simmons in London – we dived into the best practices to adopt technology and the challenges and opportunities when developing digital legal products.
We were delighted to be joined by our panelists April Brousseau and Jordan Pope of Simmons & Simmons who shared their insights into embedding legal technology at the firm and how to successfully deliver value for clients with technologies, such as, BRYTER.
Draw your own adventure when adopting legal technology.April Brousseau, Head of Innovation and New Business at Simmons & Simmons.
April opened the session by walking us through the legal technology adoption process. “Draw your own adventure” when adopting technology. As every organization has different drivers as well as processes, it is first important to understand who has what pain points in your or your client’s organization before considering a solution.
Many in the audience agreed with April’s summary of legal innovation as the art of driving change within relatively traditional and highly complex organizations whilst, at the same time, having one’s finger on the pulse of a sector filled with rapid tech development. Responding to a number of questions on how to identify these pain points, it was noted that technology companies can also support the ideation process and that BRYTER approach to offering workshops focused on specific use cases had really helped kick-start the development process by getting new users with ideas for applications familiar with how to build solutions.
Everyone thinks I’m a coder now!Senior Associate, one of the attendees, using BRYTER.
At the stage when you are ready to develop a solution to a specific client problem, it was agreed that overall ease of use of the underlying technology was essential to the adoption process. User-friendly technology and, in particular, no-code tech like BRYTER meant that lawyers were able to get involved in the development process at an early stage as well as use the tech to facilitate the development of solutions for their clients.
One lawyer attending the session went so far as to proclaim, “with BRYTER, everyone thinks I’m a coder now!”. We discussed specific examples demonstrating how this user-first approach had reaped significant rewards in accelerating the development of digital legal products that delivered real value for clients. Added to this, April and Jordan highlighted the role that multi-disciplinary teams can play in helping the adoption process along.
The role of legal engineer, for instance, was noted as being well-positioned to understand both sides of the equation: they have the technical know-how and understanding of the legal process to incorporate domain-specific legal expertise in a creative solution.
Ultimately, the success of a legal tech product will be determined by the three R’s: revenue, reputation, and referrals.April Brousseau, Head of Innovation and New Business at Simmons & Simmons.
Before deploying a solution to a client problem, April explained the importance of understanding the value that such a solution will bring to the firm as well as your client. This helps organizations decide (a) whether to build a product and (b) if so, how to go about pricing it. As an example, April referred to the monetization of self-service tools – deploying these on a fixed cost basis can help reduce variable costs for lawyers. Self-service tools, for instance, can drive the optimization of processes while improving clients’ experience, especially those that involve high-volume, low-risk tasks that take-up a lot of time. This had already translated into significant revenue for Simmons & Simmons. Ultimately, as April noted, the success of every legal technology product in the firm was determined by the three R’s: to generate revenue, improve reputation and increase referrals.
It was agreed that setting realistic Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) was equally important in ascertaining the success of and return on investment from, the products you build. A metrics-driven approach to legal technology implementation can ensure that an organization keeps a close eye on the performance of a solution as well as its overall return of investment. April went on to say that by using a specific set of KPIs as “guiding stars,” a firm can measure the impact and improvement of tech implementation which builds momentum and support for future business cases. Echoing this point, Jordan noted that because BRYTER was so easy to use, more products could be realized as the initial time and costs involved in product development were significantly reduced.
It should be part of every innovation strategy to upskill lawyers to sell legal tech products.April Brousseau, Head of Innovation and New Business at Simmons & Simmons.
To be competitive in the digital age, individuals and corporations require a learning-for-life mindset and an openness to collaborate. Everyone agreed that part of the adoption of new technology is as much about acquiring new competencies as it is about having technical skills. “It should be part of every innovation strategy to upskill lawyers to sell legal tech products”, April highlighted.
We certainly had an insightful and thought-provoking morning and are looking forward to our next discussion!
About Simmons & Simmons:
We have built our practice around local lawyers who understand their country’s culture, business and language. Our integrated international teams provide the right balance of local knowledge and seamless global service.
Simmons & Simmons’ clients benefit from our focus on key industry sectors and legal service areas and the commercially astute expertise we deliver across the globe.
Simmons & Simmons is an international legal practice carried on by Simmons & Simmons LLP and its affiliated practices. Further information is available on the firm’s website.
BRYTER is the leading no-code platform to automate expert knowledge. Its intuitive toolbox enables professionals to build, manage and sell interactive applications without programming skills. BRYTER is especially geared towards experts in law, finance, tax and compliance working with complex, conditional and scenario-based content who want to automate recurring and standardizable decision-making processes. BRYTER operates offices in Berlin, Frankfurt, and London and supports professionals in over 50 international law and consulting firms, corporates and public bodies with the automation of professional decision-making.