Wasim Quadir spent seven years working at Arnold & Porter in both the M&A and tech-transaction practices. His time...
Jared D. Correia, Esq. is the CEO of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting, which offers subscription-based law firm business...
It can be daunting for a law practice to adopt new technologies: there is inevitably a learning curve, and change can introduce new risks for making mistakes. However, every day the old ways of doing things become more and more out of date and inefficient, and clients won’t stand for it. Wasim Quadir, co-founder of DraftLens, a contract drafting platform, joins Legal Toolkit host, Jared Correia, to discuss how he left the practice of law to fix not only the inefficiencies in contract drafting, but to reduce risk for clients by helping firms create better products. They also discuss the impediments to tech adoption in the legal industry, the tools lawyers should be looking at, and how lawyers shouldn’t see new tech as a threat.
Wasim Quadir is the founder of DraftLens.
The Legal Toolkit
The Future of Transactional Law Practice
Intro: Welcome to Legal Toolkit, bringing you the latest legal trends and business initiatives to help you manage your law firm, with your host Jared Correia. You are listening to Legal Talk Network.
Jared Correia: Welcome to another episode of the award-winning Legal Toolkit podcast, here on the Legal Talk Network. If you were looking for the Rob Gronkowski retirement party, so is he probably.
If you are a returning listener, welcome back. If you are a first-time listener, hopefully you will become a longtime listener. And if you are David Dahl, Colorado Rockies outfielder who I spent maybe too much money on in my fantasy baseball draft auction, now is the time to perform and to meet your potential.
As always, I am your show host Jared Correia, and in addition to casting this pod, I am the CEO of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting, which offers subscription-based law practice management consulting services for law firms, bar associations and legal vendors. Check us out at redcavelegal.com.
I’m also the COO of Gideon Software, Inc., which offers chatbots, a first to market Chatbot Builder and predictive analytics created specifically for law firms. Find out more about that at www.gideon.legal.
You can also listen to my other, other podcast, The Lobby List, which is a family travel show I host with my wife Jessica on iTunes. Subscribe rate and comment. We travel everywhere.
But here on The Legal Toolkit, which is what you are listening to right now, we provide you twice each month with a new tool to add to your own legal toolkit, so that your practices will become more and more like best practices.
In this episode, we are going to talk about The Future of Transactional Law Practice, exciting I know, but we will make it exciting I promise. Before I introduce today’s guest, let’s take a moment to thank our sponsors.
Answer 1 is a leading virtual receptionist and answering services provider for lawyers. You can find out more by giving them a call at 800-Answer-1 or online at www.answer1.com. That’s www.answer1.com.
Scorpion crushes the standard for law firm online marketing with proven campaign strategies to get attorneys better cases from the Internet. Partner with Scorpion to get an award-winning website and ROI positive marketing programs today. Visit scorpionlegal.com/podcast.
We would like to thank our sponsor, Thomson Reuters Firm Central, cloud-based legal practice management that streamlines your day and automates non-billable administrative tasks, so you can accomplish more with less.
TimeSolv is the number one web-based time and billing software for lawyers. Providing solutions since 1999, TimeSolv provides the most comprehensive billing features for law firms, big and small, www.timesolv.com.
My guest today is Wasim Quadir, who is the co-founder and CEO of DraftLens, an AI powered contract drafting platform built by lawyers for lawyers, this currently being used by several Am Law 200 firms as well small to midsized firms.
Prior to starting DraftLens in 2017 Wasim was an associated at Arnold & Porter where he worked on mergers and acquisitions in general corporate contracting with the specialty in biotech and other IP-intensive industries, sounds like a lot of stuff I don’t understand.
He also graduated from Harvard College and went on to attend the University of Michigan Law School where he was an Associate Editor of the Michigan Law Review. Pretty good credentials my friend, and welcome to the big show Wasim.
Wasim Quadir: Hey thanks for having me, Jared. It’s great to be here.
Jared Correia: Excellent, we love having new people on the show and you are first time guest. All right, so let’s get into it. We are recording this just before the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament 2019, just so everybody knows, this will be released after probably the finals are done.
So now you are this pod and people will be able to check your accuracy Wasim, but you are Big Blue guy right, you went to Michigan. So where does Michigan end up this year in the tournament?
Wasim Quadir: Thanks for putting me on this pod, I think we —
Jared Correia: No pressure, but everybody is going to know whether or not you are right.
Wasim Quadir: I know. Let’s see I think we go another around, get knocked. I think we make it past Texas Tech this coming Thursday, ended up getting knocked out by Gonzaga in the Elite Eight. Unfortunately, I would like this go all the way but I think I will end up being Duke or UNC.
Jared Correia: That’s a conservative prediction, that’s fair. Who you have winning in the bracket, Duke you said?
Wasim Quadir: Yeah.
Jared Correia: Good call, I am a Duke fan actually. People don’t know that about me. I don’t think because I don’t broadcast that but I really like Duke Basketball, always have. Not frontrunner, I was there when they sucked. I guess they would never really sucked.
All right, and follow up on this question, like how much do you hate Chris Webber?
Wasim Quadir: That was a little bit before my time. I wasn’t a Wolverine then.
Jared Correia: Oh God, I am so old.
Wasim Quadir: No, but I’ve heard the myth; are you referring to the timeout presumably?
Jared Correia: Yes, yes. No, has Chris Webber done something to you in your personal life that I should know about?
Wasim Quadir: He put my parking spot, that was it. No, yeah, I just heard about it through Laura, I’ve seen the clips, surprised that it still reverberates what like 30 years, 35 years after the fact that people have strong feelings, but I think probably because he never like came clean and owned it that to this day.
Jared Correia: Yeah, yeah, enough of Michigan talks, should we talk about law practice, what do you think?
Wasim Quadir: Let’s do it. Yeah, let’s do that.
Jared Correia: All right. All right, so I’m interested to know like you’re at a big firm, you had a nice practice going, it sounds like why did you decide to leave and then focus on reforming what transactional law practice is and means, because that’s a small job, right, and it’s probably because transactional law practice is a pain, right?
Wasim Quadir: Yeah, I mean, I think that’s correct, despite being a pain I will say for the record that I did enjoy it quite a bit, but I walked away because I just saw an opportunity to remedy those pain points that were plaguing my practice that even I’m at a big firm. I mean there’s just a lack of innovation in the space.
I think the last big improvement was the transition from typewriters to MS Word and then the technology stack that lawyers have been using, it’s been largely stagnant since. I mean the way we draft agreements is pretty much been the same for many, many years. It starts with finding the right sample document, precedent document to start from, invariably that’s going to not match the parameters of the deal that’s in front of you.
So you’ve got to renegotiate that against yourself, you’ve got that this might entail hunting and pecking for clauses and other deals that you’ve done, which is another tedious process because these are scattered throughout your firm’s file management system.
And then, once you’ve assembled the terms, if you’re particularly diligent, you’ll find five or so versions of the same clause that you’re looking for. So that you can read them against each other and get a sense of what the moving parts are and you have to stitch it all together make the define terms line up, not to mention all the secretarial type administrative work that goes into making sure unused defined terms don’t appear in the index or defined terms, and so on managing signature pages.
It’s just a very, very efficient process that just is begging for some sort of automated intelligent 21st century solution.
Jared Correia: Reminds me of why I left law practice.
Wasim Quadir: Yeah.
Jared Correia: And you did too, so you saw an opportunity?
Wasim Quadir: Yes exactly.
Jared Correia: All right. So but now most businesses I think, most non-legal businesses will like seek to root out inefficiencies, right, but lawyers love inefficiencies, like if they can do something less efficiently for the most part, they’re into it, like paper, cash, like bring it on. But I think that’s changing a little bit, and more modern law firms are focusing on being more efficient, they want to reduce their overhead, they want to make more money.
So why then do inefficiencies related to transactional law practice continue to persist, including the fact that like lawyer just seem to wallow in inefficiency?
Wasim Quadir: Yeah I mean it’s a hard question to wrap your head around. I mean legal services, it’s a very competitive industry. There are a lot of law firms out there, a lot of kinds have told me that they largely see them as fairly fungible with each other, yet yeah, why are they not investing in improving their operational processes.
A mentor once told me that a company like Apple makes phones that that’s their product among other things. The lawyers are at least the transactional lawyers unit of production is of the documents.
Yet, while Apple invests billions in maximizing supply chain efficiency and production processes, you don’t see that with law firms. And I think there’s a couple of reasons for that. I mean for starters lawyers are just very conservative by their nature. I think a lot of lawyers see their primary responsibility as they are minimizing their risk and exposure for their clients.
And that mentality doesn’t translate very well into the taking a leap of faith on a new technology or completely appending the way you do business, it’s just not in our blood as a profession.
Secondly, I think a big reason behind the lack of innovation in the legal operation space is what I call the perverse incentive problem. This is basically lawyers charging by the hour and when you’re — that basically incentivizes lawyers to take as much time as the client is willing to permit on a given project.
So the incentives simply aren’t in there for lawyers to try and turn things around as quickly as possible, but like you said, that, that is starting to change and I’m fairly optimistic going forward, and like you said, some firms tend to get it, while other firms still trying to note their hours.
Jared Correia: I like the perverse incentive, that sounds like the name of a gentlemen’s club in Providence. Did you just come up with that?
Wasim Quadir: I’ve used the phrase before, but I think it actually comes from the economics literature.
Jared Correia: Maybe I should be reading more economic texts. I won’t tell you what else I’m doing in my free time. All right, we’re going to take a break, street lights just came on, my mom’s telling me to come home. Here are some things you should buy.
Imagine billing day being the happiest day of the month instead of the day you dread. Nobody went to law school because they love drafting invoices for clients. At TimeSolv, our attorneys save on average over eight hours a month in billing work. That means more billable time and turning billing day into happy day. Learn more about how to get to your time and billing happy place at timesolv.com. That’s www.timesolv.com. Remember, that’s timesolv.com.
Is your firm experiencing missed calls, empty voicemail boxes, and potential clients you will never hear from again? Enter Answer 1 Virtual Receptionists. They are more than just an answering service. Answer 1 is available 24/7. They can even schedule appointments, respond to emails, integrate with Clio, and much more. Answer 1 helps make sure your clients have the experience they deserve. Give them a call yourself at 800-Answer-1 or visit them at answer1.com/podcast for a special offer.
Jared Correia: Thanks for staying with us. I was on walkabout but I’m back now. I’m here talking with Wasim Quadir of DraftLens. We’re here podcasting about the way that law firms can reformat transactional practice.
So Wasim, there’s been a lot of legal tech innovation in the contract space in recent years. I’ve seen softwares like contract drafting, contract automation proliferating. So you’re in the space as well, so what do you think is driving that?
Wasim Quadir: A couple of things. We were just talking about the perverse incentives that was created by the Billable Hour Model. So first and foremost that model of charging for client services is falling by the wayside, it’s starting to at least. We’re seeing an uptick in requests from clients for Alternative Fee Arrangements, AFAs, these may come in the form of fixed fees for a given deal or it may come in the form of budget caps.
I’ve even seen something it’s called a value-based pricing where firms just sort of make up a price for a given product after the fact. So after they have put the work into it, they will just say this feels like it was maybe worth X thousand dollars to the client and clients are finally comfortable with that.
So in a non-billable hour’s world, the incentives are totally different in that universe. Every hour you save accrues directly to your bottom line as an offer.
Secondly, the technology is maturing, we’ve seen tremendous advancements in AI and Natural Language Processing, primarily driven by other fields. We’re all familiar with Amazon’s Alexa and Siri, those sorts of technologies are finding their way into legal tech primarily pioneered by venture capital.
I think last year in 2018, saw about a $1 billion inflow into legal tech startups from venture firms, about a third of that was directed towards AI based illegal startups and that’s just creating a whole new wave of technology, that clients are also pressuring their law firms to adopt.
I’ve even heard stories of RFPs, Requests for Proposals in which clients will ask their firms. So what are you doing on the technological front to make sure that you’re going to deliver services to us as efficiently as possible.
And for their part off, firms are getting increasingly comfortable migrating to the cloud and once you’re in the cloud and comfortable with that from a security concern, this just opens up a world of possibilities for you in terms of adopting different cloud-based legal tech providers.
So there is a lot of reasons why I’m optimistic about the future in this space.
Jared Correia: Yeah pricing technology will drive a lot of this I think and it’s finally starting to do so and then you’ve also got like a lot of Millennial attorneys jumping into the space now and there’s going to be a massive wave of that coming up soon.
Wasim Quadir: Yeah, I know that’s a very great point. And I think for these firms to retain those Millennials, instead of having them walk away after two years, which is just a tremendous loss of investment for these firms as they’re going to be forced to adapt these technologies that make life and the practice of law a lot easier and more pleasurable for attorneys.
Jared Correia: Yeah. All right, so we just talked about like the things that make this innovation possible, like law firms are kind of changing their attitudes slowly but surely, a lot of investment money is coming into legal tech. So now let’s talk about the themes that are emerging with companies in this space, this contract automation space. Who are the big players? What’s driving? What they’re doing?
Wasim Quadir: So I think there’s a lot going on in this space specifically within the contract transactional legal area, not just legal tech in general. I think you can bifurcate this space into two broad categories. There’s pre-signature contract work and post-signature, so pre-sig is everything leading up to the signature from drafting to negotiation and post-sig is mainly contract management software, which is mainly the purview of in-house attorneys.
So I won’t go into that in very much detail, I will rather focus more on the pre-sig aspects of innovation.
For starters, we’re seeing a lot of innovation in contract analytics. For me as a deal lawyer, this has shown up primarily in that diligence tools that are out there. You might have heard of Kira and Luminance are some of the big players in this space, and what they do is they use NLP, Natural Language Processing technology to do the work formerly done by junior associates, which is a leading all contract of a target company before you buy it to look out for any poison pills that might end up boiling up the deal or things that a potential acquirer might need to be concerned about.
And so, they’ve got algorithms now that can look out for a non-conventional anti-assignment clause or something like that or a termination right for a big customer that usually acquire might want to know, and the idea is that by algorithmizing it, you can greatly reduce error rates instead of trusting a first-year associate working at 3 a.m. in the morning. I mean who knows what they will miss, and what’s great about it is that we’ve seen a lot of penetration by those two players within the upper echelons of M&A practice, which is a testament to their willingness of lawyers to accept technology, to take over some of the roles that previously they would have trusted only a highly skilled lawyer to do.
From a non-M&A perspective, this kind of contract analytic software in the first category, has also found its way into file management services, most notably a company called iManage, which is I think one of the leaders in doc storage for law firms purchased another company called RAVN. And this has assisted lawyers generally, but also transactional lawyers specifically to ferret out the right document for the right transaction, uses NLP technology to basically look at the guts of a document, not just like instances of certain words, but more like concepts.
So if you want to find a deal in the biotech space with the public company, you can just sort of type those general concepts into your file management system, even though those words might not appear in a document. The RAVN system should be able to surface that. So that’s gone a long way towards helping lawyers sift through these enormous data troves of documents that they’ve amalgamated over their careers.
The second bucket is the bucket that we play in at DraftLens, and this is contract automation. And I want to distinguish what’s happening these days from the contract automation of 30 years ago, pioneered by such companies as HotDocs and more recently Contract Express.
The idea here in broad strokes is to use technology to automate your contracts. Basically and this happens by coding out your contracts in a pseudo computer science language, you can download a Word plugin for example and then add brackets around the parts of a contract that tend to move such as a party name. So that way going forward, you can simply type in a party name once and it will populate through the entire document.
That’s a fairly straightforward example and that’s kind of thing that – let’s call it Contract Automation 1.0 has been good for. It’s been a fairly complex which is why I don’t think it’s taken off too much within law, basically you need almost a computer science degree to make a really powerful use of that.
And so we’ve seen a cottage industry of coders specializing these contract automations who do it for law firms on an hourly basis, because lawyers just don’t have the tools to learn a whole new coding language themselves.
The next generation of contract automation, which is where we’re playing in, uses AI to make the automation of contracts fairly idiot-proof, so that even a lawyer can do it. I can say that because I used to do it. And there is no way I wouldn’t have been able to learn a whole new computer science skill just to automate my document.
So we’re basically allowing the lawyers to do is just a point-and-click using a very graphical intuitive system in order to automate their contracts, not just party names and alike, but also more complex conditional logic and we’re automatically automating a lot of the things that you don’t even have to do manually, such as a defined terms indices, going from singular to plural on certain verb tenses, that’s all baked to write into the system and doesn’t even require any sort of a coding out on the lawyers we have.
Jared Correia: All right. So let’s pause there because I think you just called lawyers idiots, am I right on that? No, yes?
Wasim Quadir: Yes, but I did testify to that. I used to be a lawyer, but only in the contracting space, I am sorry only in the coding space.
Jared Correia: That’s good. That’s good. I used to be a lawyer as well. Sometimes I consider myself an idiot also. All right, so, I want to address these other three places you think that changes are happening in this field and we’ll do that after the break.
While I look for my dog-eared copy of Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure, which may be the most oppressing book ever written if you’re looking for a Sunday afternoon read. Listen to these words from our sponsors.
Firm Central, cloud-based legal practice management software for solo and small firms, provides a single online location for all of the tools you need to manage client files and perform client work, and offers unrivaled integration with Westlaw. With Firm Central, you can securely store and organize documents and case files, manage time-tracking and billables, and collaborate with clients through a secure client portal from anywhere there is an Internet connection.
Do you feel like your marketing efforts aren’t getting you the high value cases your firm deserves? For over 15 years, Scorpion has helped thousands of law firms, just like yours, to attract new cases and to grow their practices. As a Google Premier Partner and winner of Google’s Platform Innovator Award, Scorpion has the right resources and technology to aggressively market your law firm and to generate better cases from the Internet. For more information, visit scorpionlegal.com/podcast today.
Jared Correia: All right, thanks for coming back once again. I hope you are enjoying your vague notions of our place in the universe. Let’s get back to our conversation with Wasim Quadir of DraftLens, who was talking to be about how law firms can revamp transactional law practice. Let’s find out more.
So when we left off, Wasim was talking to us about some of the innovations that are taking place in the contract space and he’s got a few more things to tell us, so I am going to let him continue.
Wasim Quadir: Yeah. Thanks Jared. So another big area of innovation is around contract review. So in addition to drafting contracts from scratch at the beginning of a deal, one thing that lawyers do on the transactional side is review documents they may have received from a counterparty to a deal that their clients is trying to sign and as you might imagine, there’s a whole host of new technology geared towards making that process easier.
There’s the first generation of technology which I’ll call contract hygiene, this includes players such as a Westlaw, they have got a product called Drafting Assistant that helps out with this. Like Kira Systems also has a contract companion product that helps out with this, and this basically checks all the things that first year corporate associate might have to do manually, like all your defined terms in the proper alphabetical order, are there unused defined terms in this document, is there an inconsistency between the use of will or shall, really sort of low-level stuff like that the first-year associates loves to do.
The other bucket of more advanced contract review is pioneered by firms such as LawGeex.
Wasim Quadir: There’s another company out there called AIMACTEK doing this as well, AIMACTEK and the basic idea here is that they do a more legally advanced level of contract hygiene. For example, you can upload your contract to LawGeex and they will — let’s say this an NDA, they will compare that NDA to its whole archive of NDAs that it’s conducted, it’s machine learning algorithms on, in order to issue spots for you.
So for example, if your counterparties serve you up a clause that’s maybe like at the term of the NDA, that’s the Survival Clause on how long you need to keep records confidential. If your counterparty serves you up a term that’s way long, way out of market, if you’re a new lawyer, if you don’t do too many NDAs, you might not know what’s sort of customary for that off the top of your head, this kind of software can compare what the counterparty is sending over against its archive and flag issues for you, like that. So that — that’s a fairly advanced deployment of AI that’s helping transactional lawyers with the nitty-gritty of negotiation and markup.
The other bucket beyond contract review and negotiation is centered around Process Management. Again, this is a formally the purview of junior associates, you might imagine during a big deal, a big merger or whatever, there’s a lot of pieces of paper floating around it. It can often be hundreds of different documents, you got your main merger agreement and then a whole litany of other ancillary documents, Bills of Sale et cetera; you could have one for any shareholder in the deal.
And managing that process of keeping track which party is currently responsible for which documents and then keeping track of the hundreds of signature pages floating around, it’s a very time-consuming process, but the stakes are so high that you can’t simply throw a legal secretary or a paralegal at it, it’s often a first or second year lawyer charging hundreds of dollars per hour for this very administrative function.
And that pinpoint has given rise to a lot of process automation companies, Doxly is a big one in this space, as was ClosingRoom, I think singular, they were recently acquired by NetDocuments, and the idea here is to bring automation and transparency to that closing process. So it’s all conducted online, so you can — both sides can have a window as to the status of any given document, same pages are generated automatically. So it’s really trying to alleviate the inefficiencies caused by having junior lawyers do that manually.
Jared Correia: That’s pretty good 00:28:13.
Wasim Quadir: Yeah, yeah.
Jared Correia: Isn’t that, wait, we have got one more, don’t we, sorry, a miscomment, go.
Wasim Quadir: Yeah, one tiny — one tiny bucket.
Jared Correia: I never said I was good at math.
Wasim Quadir: Justifying my comment earlier by the way.
Jared Correia: Exactly.
Wasim Quadir: Yeah but the tiny, the last bucket is the fairly small one, and this is just the rise of e-signatures within law. So we’ve seen this adopted pretty widely within industry, big player in this space is called DocuSign, but we’re also seeing lawyers start adopting that as well and that’s basically allows individuals to sign digitally their documents instead of pen and paper and lawyers are growing increasingly comfortable with that. In fact, DocuSign has integrated with Doxly and a number of other players. So as to make the process management portion of it, that’s the former bucket, that had pretty seamlessly integrated with the signature page management which is this final piece.
Jared Correia: That’s pretty good, that’s a nice rundown, I have to say I’m impressed. Well, I can’t imagine like most — like you said first-year associates like doing like determining like whether will or shall is being used. I’m sure they wake up in the morning being like oh, yes let’s review contracts today.
All right, now that we’ve talked this all over, let’s scare the living hell out of everybody, are you ready? So here’s the question that people always get jumpy about in the legal industry, what’s the potential for AI like this to replace the work of transactional attorneys because that’s a big fear?
Wasim Quadir: Yeah, no, I agree with the premise of the question. It very much is a big fear. I do think it’s unjustified as I’ll get to you but I tell you a little bit —
Jared Correia: We are not going to scare anybody, aren’t we? Go ahead.
Wasim Quadir: I will tell you a story about how this fear shows up. So we were doing a demo for DraftLens live in person and so I think the partner liked what he saw and he volunteered one of the associates in the room. He says do you want to take this software for a test drive during like a free trial period? And he goes so sure I’ll gladly take for a test drive the car that is about to run us over. So —
Jared Correia: Oh nice, that should be on your website.
Wasim Quadir: That’s right the car that will run you over. But like you said, I think this fear is overblown, I don’t see AI replacing lawyers at least in that transactional drafting space any time soon. Well, we will instead see largely is the migration of the kinds of things lawyers do up the value chain. So I think like you would like to say in your podcast, I think it’s called practicing at the highest levels of your legal degree, am I getting that right?
Jared Correia: Oh man, you and my mom listen to my podcast, that’s really exciting. Thank you.
Wasim Quadir: No I am a big fan and that’s a great phrase and I think that’s very much —
Jared Correia: I stole it; I stole it from John Mayer of CALI, which I always say when somebody mentions this.
Wasim Quadir: Well that’s very much the belief that DraftLens was founded on that lawyers should not be struggling over like alphabetization of defined terms. So you want to practice for the very reasons that you went to law school, not to be a glorified secretary.
So like when we saw typewriters being replaced by Microsoft Word, it didn’t put legal secretaries out of a job, what it enabled them to do is be a lot more effective in the types of assistance that they’d be able to provide the firm. I think we are going to be see the same thing with AI making associates and lawyers across the board all the more efficient.
For that reason, I don’t even think lawyers, even if AI were capable with it, neither lawyers nor clients would even want a system where you could just like describe your problem to a machine maybe in plain English and then it would spit out a 70 page contract summarizing. I think there’s just too much nuance and strategy involved in the negotiation of documents, too many judgment calls on a clause by clause basis that even if the technology were there, that’s just — that wouldn’t satisfying any profound market need.
So I think you’re always going to need human elements to take care of the one-to-one aspects of negotiating and the fine level decision making that goes into being a transactional lawyer.
Jared Correia: All right that’s fair. So everybody can just chill, all right. So finally on the legal stuff, how does AI figure into the future of contract drafting, your brief thoughts kind of a 30,000 foot overview?
Wasim Quadir: Yeah I think we’re seeing it on the ground already, this is something that we’re trying to pioneer here at DraftLens. I think you’re going to see a lot of integration with market data; for example, you might see the ability to upload your entire history of documents and then you could have some software intelligently develop a new agreement for you from that sample data set you’ve uploaded. But instead of doing it in an un-intermediated way, it would sort of walk you through the different variations of like say a confidentiality clause in a merger agreement.
These are the different forms it can take, these are where we include that materiality qualifiers, do you want to include them here sort of a step-by-step fashion, coupling it with data on what’s market or industry standard for a given clause or what tends to be your preferred formulation for a given clause, given that history of documents that you have fed into the system.
I think we’re also going to see a lot of integration across the five different buckets of innovation that we outlined for you earlier. I think the industry is very young and as is typical for most new industries that there’s a lot of fragmentation with a lot of small players, most of which is doing a very discrete function. So I think you’re going to see a lot of larger players gobble up the smaller ones in order to offer integrated packages. So you can see a drafting suite being integrated with a process management suite and a signature management suite.
So you can sort of go from top to bottom of a transaction in one place that’s assisting you with AI in every step of the way.
Finally, I think one potentially interesting development which we’re starting to see a little of it but I anticipate will be much more common in the future is the productization of the law.
So you might imagine, these contract suites and the automated documents being generated by law firms and maintained by law firms, but the law firm in turn selling access to it to their clients on a subscription basis.
So let’s say, a firm specializes in employment agreements, they could maintain the central repository of super flexible dynamically adapting agreements, which they can make available to their clients and then the clients could click through the various granular options for given contract and then at the end of it, this dynamic system spits out a contract that’s suited for whatever employee the client is trying to hire.
But actions would be done on the subscription basis with the firm itself collecting those revenue and technology providers such as us, just providing the backbone for a white label contract system like that.
We’re seeing the seeds of all these sorts of innovations already. And I think in the future, we are just going to see an expansion of that.
Jared Correia: Yeah, that’s good stuff and a lot of that stuff is starting to happen finally. All right, last question. I want to introduce a new segment on the show. What I want to do is read tweets of my guests write and ask them about them. As a software guy, you’ll appreciate the fact that we’re beta testing this right now. Are you game?
Wasim Quadir: Yeah, I’m done.
Jared Correia: All right. So I think I found what’s your Twitter account, and even if not, you can just comment on this, because I thought it was interesting.
So here’s your tweet my friend, from Valentine’s Day 2012. I don’t know maybe you should have been doing other stuff on Valentine’s Day like going out somewhere. The tweet is ‘Have you ever had a bout of claustrophobia while getting your head stuck in your own sweater? I haven’t.’ I don’t know if I’m believing that. It sounds like probably it did happen. So would you like to address any of this now on the show?
Wasim Quadir: No, I think that that’s totally happened. You did find the right Twitter account and I don’t actually remember the incident, but no, that totally sounds like something I would say and the fact that I’m saying — I haven’t had that happen, it’s just like a clear indication that it totally did happen.
Yeah, I think I probably gotten my head caught in the sweater and had a momentary bout of claustrophobia. Has that happened to you? No?
Jared Correia: We have all been there.
Wasim Quadir: Just, just –
Jared Correia: It’s all right.
Wasim Quadir: Yeah, you can trust me, okay.
Jared Correia: The Internet is forever. Seven years later we’re talking about this.
Wasim Quadir: I am going to dig up some of your old tweets and spit them back at you now Jared.
Jared Correia: That would be — I would love that. We could do a whole podcast on that. I am ready to roll.
Wasim Quadir: That’s good.
Jared Correia: Sadly, we’ve reached the end of yet another episode of Legal Toolkit podcast, but I think we ended on I know.
This was the podcast about re-centering transactional law practice and we’ve been talking with Wasim Quadir of DraftLens.
Now, I will be back on future shows with further insights into My Soul, the Soul of America and the Legal Market.
If you’re feeling nostalgic for my dulcet tones, however you can check out our entire show archive anytime you want at legaltalknetwork.com.
So thanks again to Wasim Quadir of DraftLens for making an appearance as my guest today.
All right Wasim, can you tell everybody how they can find out more about you and more specifically about DraftLens.
Wasim Quadir: Yeah, draftlens.com is our website, feel free to visit it. One word, no space, draftlens.
Jared Correia: Awesome, that was easy.
Jared Correia: So thanks once more to Wasim Quadir of DraftLens, who was our guest today. And finally thanks to all of you out there for listening. This has been The Legal Toolkit Podcast, where it’s always with.
Outro: Thanks for listening to Legal Toolkit, produced by the broadcast professionals at Legal Talk Network. Join host Jared Correia for his next podcast covering the current business trends for law firms.
If you would like more information about today’s show, please visit legaltalknetwork.com. Subscribe via iTunes and RSS. Find Legal Talk Network on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn or download the free app from Legal Talk Network in Google Play and iTunes.
The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of nor are they endorsed by Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders, and subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer.
Legal Toolkit highlights services, ideas, and programs that will improve lawyers' practices and workflow.
Felix Shipkevich explains cryptocurrency and its potential impacts on small law firms.
Jeff Pfeifer offers insight into the importance of data literacy for modern lawyers.
Jake Sanders and Paul Julius share strategies for effective digital marketing campaigns for law firms.
Sam Glover discusses his new book and tells firms how to position themselves for success.
Dan Hauck, chief product officer at NetDocuments, shares best practices for creating an effective virtual workspace for your law firm.
Jane Oxley, president of Smokeball, gives step-by-step guidance for small firms on how to choose and utilize tools for greater productivity.