COVID-19 Resources for Lawyers
Featured Guest
Tom Martin

Tom Martin is a legal bot advocate, lawyer, author, and speaker. He is CEO and founder of LawDroid Ltd.,...

Your Host
Christopher T. Anderson

Christopher T. Anderson has authored numerous articles and speaks on a wide range of topics, including law firm management,...

Episode Notes

Many lawyers were so busy making fun of the robot lawyer, laughing at the thought of bot making a Perry Mason-like court appearance, that they missed a significant development. Online dispute resolution bypassed the court process and showed that lawyers aren’t always needed to help resolve disputes.

The joke was on us, Tom Martin tells host Christopher Anderson during a discussion about how the pandemic accelerated lawyers’ use and adoption of automation, and how consumer expectations are fast being applied to legal services and lawyer/client relationships.

The two also discuss how tech adoption may open up the legal marketplace and the impetus behind Martin’s co-founding of the American Legal Technology Awards.

Tom Martin is the founder and CEO of LawDroid.

Note: Since the recording of this episode, the American Legal Technology Awards were announced. Learn about the inaugural honorees at americanlegaltechnology.com.

Special thanks to our sponsors,  ScorpionLawclerk, and Alert Communications.

Transcript

The Un-Billable Hour

What Clients Want Bringing AI to Your Business

09/23/2020

 

[Music]

 

Intro: Managing your law practice can be challenging, marketing, time management, attracting clients and all the things besides the cases that you need to do that aren’t billable. Welcome to this edition of The Un-Billable Hour, the law practice advisory podcast. This is where you’ll get the information you need from expert guests and host Christopher Anderson, here on Legal Talk Network.

 

[Music]

 

Christopher Anderson: Welcome to the unbillable hour. I am your host Christopher Anderson and today’s episode is about physical plant kind of, because today’s episode is about marketing and sales and retention and production, but what touches all of these things individually are systems and the systems they are changing. They are cue some Bob Dylan music, if we will. I don’t think we actually are allowed to play that Bob Dylan music, but that’s what I’m thinking and so, the title of today’s show is, “What Clients Want Bringing AI to Your Business” and my guest is Tom Martin. He is the CEO and founder of LawDroid Limited and so much more, but before we get started, it’s time to do a little business and I want to say thank you to our sponsors that make everything we do here possible on The Un-Billable Hour. Alert Communications, Scorpion and Law Clerk, thank you to each of them for giving us the opportunity to spend this time together.

 

Alert Communications, if any law firm is looking for call, intake or retainer services available 24/7 by 365 just call (866) 827-5568. And Scorpion is the leading provider of marketing solutions for the legal industry with nearly 20 years of experience serving attorneys, Scorpion can help grow your practice, learn more at scorpionlegal.com and Law Clerk where attorneys go to hire freelance lawyers, visit lawclerk.legal to learn how to increase your productivity and your profits by working with talented freelance lawyers. And again, today’s episode of The Un-Billable Hour is, “What Clients Want Bringing AI to Your Business” and I am absolutely pleased to introduce my guest Tom Martin. As I mentioned before, Tom is the CEO and founder of LawDroid, but he is also a legal bot advocate and he’s a lawyer, an author, a speaker and also the co-founder of Vancouver Legal Hackers and advisor to the ATJ Tech Fellows Program, which is going to be really relevant to our conversation today. He’s born in L.A., lives in Vancouver with his wife and two daughters and by the way, LawDroid is an AI company dedicated to helping lawyers automate their law practice. So, without further ado, Tom, welcome to The Un-Billable Hour.

 

Tom Martin: Hi Chris. Thank you so much for having me.

 

Christopher Anderson: You are absolutely welcome. It’s a thrill to have you because I think this is — it’s so funny like, everything these days seems topical. I keep thinking, I’ve recorded the COVID show, but the relevance keeps on being there in so many different aspects, but I think this one is particularly relevant. But before we get all into artificial intelligence and the law and access to justice and all the stuff you’ve done, let’s let the audience know a little bit more about you. First of all, I mentioned, you’re a lawyer, which is great. I think it gives you some street cred with the listeners here, but what have you done as a lawyer? What were your roles in the legal gig?

 

Tom Martin: Yeah. I’ve been practicing lawyer for just over 20 years, went to UCLA Law and since then, I practiced in many different practice areas, so kind of a non-traditional path for lawyers. I’ve worked in everything from class actions to toxic toward personal injury cases, to employment, to family law, probate, state planning like a whole swath of different practice areas.

 

Christopher Anderson: Cool and you kind of like lawyer too as the audience knows, but we seem to both have gotten bitten by a bug outside the practice of law.  What particularly brought you to become involve more in legal technology and be interested in legal technology as part of your hustle?

 

Tom Martin: I think the origin of it is going back to my childhood. I mean, I grew up with computers and Apple II was sourced of inspiration for me when I was like five or something. Playing video games on an Atari to date myself quite a bit there and so, I’ve always loved computers and so incorporating it into law just made law more interesting for me.

 

Christopher Anderson: Right. Fair to say kind of like me probably, like even while you were practicing. When you started practicing law or whatever. You probably incorporated technology early on and learned a lot about how to make the practice of law better even from your perspective just by leveraging technology?

 

Tom Martin: Yeah, definitely. I mean, if you turn on the technology, you look at the law and your mind immediately starts generating all of these different opportunities for making things easier and so, that’s kind of what I’ve been focusing on ever since I started practicing.

 

Christopher Anderson: Cool, but then you’ve gone out and you’ve become LawDroid or founded LawDroid, which as we said an AI company dedicated to helping lawyers automate their law practice, but that’s a kind of nippy little sound, but what does your company actually do? What does Lawdroid do for lawyers?

 

(00:05:14)

 

Tom Martin: I like to call what we do useful bots, useful automation for lawyers. What we really do, is we make their job easier. That’s what we do and as you know come to it from being a lawyer, so I could really translate what lawyers can use help on into technology and then make their life easier and during this time, you know when things have to be done remotely, it really helps to rely on automation for that additional help.

 

Christopher Anderson: All right and by the way, we are playing a game during today’s show and you have just won one point by not saying, “These unprecedented times”.

 

Tom Martin: Yeah or crazy times.

 

Christopher Anderson: Yeah. Okay, so you help automate things, but let me ask you a question just then about — I want to get more into that, but I have a really more deep question regarding kind of that concept. But before we go there, I just want to — since we did mention the COVID-19 epidemic and this show is being recorded during that epidemic and looks like we’re going back to an up curve right now, but you know a lot of what people are talking about is that the epidemic and the government’s responses to the epidemic are changing many, many things about the business of law and how law firms are doing business. I wanted just kind of ask you, do you see most of the changes that are going like remote and teleconferencing, depositions, tele-hearings and the ways we’re dealing with our business clients. Do you see most of these changes as responsive to this situation or is some of it or a lot of an acceleration of trends that were already happening?

 

Tom Martin: I think it’s acceleration of trends that were already happening and I think what we’ve essentially done is we’ve jumped forward.  We’ve like skip the record forward by about 10 years because most of the need for change is political and psychological. I mean, we already have the technology and we’ve already have this technology for decades you know, if we’re being honest with each other about it and so, it’s really about people making that switch in their mind that this is acceptable you know that this is an okay way of doing business and clearly that’s been opened and unlocked.  So, I think that we’ve jumped ahead 10 years, will this stuff stay intact afterwards? I definitely think so, but it’s all for the better I think. Especially for lawyers although, it feels uncomfortable right now with this amount of change in such a short amount of time. I think that it’s going to open doors for people to do transactional work, being able to practice from wherever they want to. Why’d be tied down to one location and saving a lot of money too.

 

Christopher Anderson: You’re kind of in there in the thick of it in the technology and legal technology how lawyers are using it and I think it’s fair to say that traditionally up until March of 2020, the general wisdom was that for the most part lawyers lagged. They were late adopters of technology. Do you see any areas where lawyers are now actually pushing the envelope and actually causing innovations and new technologies because this 10-year jump has actually reached the forefront and the leading edge of technology?

 

Tom Martin: I wouldn’t say that I’ve seen that. I mean, what I have seen is that there’s been greater adoption of existing technology. I think Richard Susskind makes a distinction between automating the problem and actually transforming the way you do business.

 

Christopher Anderson: Right.

 

Tom Martin: The second part, you know the latter part about transformative technology or transformative innovation is where we need to go next because right now we’re automating the traditional processes that we’ve already done and that’s good, but it’s not better.

 

Christopher Anderson: Yeah and I think that’s the distinction there. If you just take the way you do business and automate it that’s certainly good and nice, but what you’re talking about is actually saying, “Let’s take this whole system apart.” We’re still going to drive towards the result, the output that the clients want needs to be the output that the clients want, but maybe there’s a whole another way to get there, which brings me to — I think a subject that you’re interested in. So, let me actually ask you about that. It seems I read as part of your background, which was provided to me by you, but the ATJ Tech Fellows Program. I imagine ATJ stands for “Access to Justice”, is that right?

 

Tom Martin: Yup.

 

Christopher Anderson: So, that’s something that you’re — so, tell me first all about your work with ATJ Tech Fellows and just talk to me a little bit about what access to justice means to you?

 

Tom Martin: Sure. I don’t want to overstate my involvement. I’m an advisor to ATJ Tech Fellows and Miguel Willis is the driving force behind that. He is a force of nature and he is amazing in what he’s accomplished with the Fellows Program, so as an advisor I have in the past you know taught a course on automation for the fellows that he has.

 

(00:10:02)

 

Right now, I was lucky enough to get selected as a mentor for one of the fellows, so that’s something I’m really excited to do, but his whole program is to get these fellows to work with different legal aid organizations where they can walk the walk. They could really contribute to increasing access to justice.

 

Christopher Anderson: Yeah and that means — what I wanted the thing that intrigued me just by the way you were mentioning before, the difference between automating a problem and actually transforming the approach of the problem. I wanted to kind of like and then I saw this ATJ thing, I wanted to — just think with you and like do a little thought experiment. Automating things — the access to justice gap is huge right and automating things and even the stuff you’re doing help bringing people to help legal aid organizations. If all they do is automate, we’re not going to really reduce that gap by a whole lot. What do you see like in your work in technology as key impediments to making legal services more accessible to people? What’s the real block?

 

Tom Martin: The real block is psychology. The real block is feeling that you could do it and then it’s acceptable and okay and like I said with what’s happened, I think that’s really blown that open. Usually, the barrier you have is — all right to get people to accept this you have to do educational marketing that’s probably one of the most expensive types of marketing and is far removed from the sale cycle, so it gets really, really expensive to get people to adopt. But given this particular window that we have, that’s become more acceptable. I think that’s really it. It’s not so much about the technology or making it fancier. It’s more about getting buy-in from the community.

 

Christopher Anderson: And then is there some aspect of actually changing the way we did, instead of automating the way we do things changing or innovating the way we do things using technology to do them differently that’ll help to bring that gap closed a little bit better?

 

Tom Martin: Yeah. I think an example that is not that sexy, but it’s a fairly good example of how do you do transformation. I’ve said before that there’s three pillars to what lawyers do as lawyers. We prepare legal documents. We provide legal advice and we provide court advocacy and the last one court advocacy, when lawyers have thought about, “Oh, how am I going to be challenged by AI or a bot or automation?” They would laugh about it and say, “Oh yeah.” When a robot could go into court and argue its case, you know like Perry Mason then, I have to worry about that. But the problem and I guess the joke that’s kind of on us is that, the way that’s been accomplished is by transforming that whole way of approaching it in court advocacy to actually bypassing it with online dispute resolution, so with ODR, you don’t have to go to court and argue in court and all that. You basically have a separate venue where you are directly dealing with the person that you have a dispute with and you could resolve it without even having to go to court, so it’s kind of like, a sneak attack, surprise there that lawyers aren’t needed.

 

Christopher Anderson: I guess that’s how disruption just tends to happen. Tom, we’re going to take a moment here to hear from our sponsors for whom we’re extremely grateful and when we come back, I want to sort of shift the conversation to how — because what we’ve been talking about so far is how this epidemic, how the COVID thing has been affecting the legal industry and the lawyers and how we do business, but I want to talk a little bit about what you’re seeing about how consumers of legal services are changing their expectations during this time, but first we’ll hear from our sponsors.

 

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Christopher Anderson: And we’re back with Tom Martin here on The Un-Billable Hour. Tom is the CEO and founder of LawDroid Limited and we’ve been talking about how the COVID epidemic and the response to it has been accelerating. Changes that were already underway in the legal industry and really has finally kind of cracked open the opportunity for disruptive change for innovative change.

 

(00:15:08)

 

I think Tom referred to it as transformative change. So, I wanted to after the break, we want to come in and talk about what you’re seeing Tom as — let’s shift the script a little bit to how consumers of legal services are changing their expectations, so that these transformations that we do in the legal industry actually speaks to where consumers are. What are you seeing there?

 

Tom Martin: What I’m seeing there is that consumers they’re coming much more in line with how they treat and what expectations they have of other businesses.

 

Christopher Anderson: Right.

 

Tom Martin: So, like when a consumer deals with a regular business, they want their customer service to be immediate. They want to be able to jump on to the website for the company and have a conversation, get their issues dealt with. For the most part, that’s kind of lagged in terms of their expectations for lawyers, but I think now that’s where we’re going. They expect immediate communication, follow-up, responding in a very short amount of time and providing much higher level of service I think is where consumers where at.

 

Christopher Anderson: Yeah. So that in other words what I think I’m hearing you say is consumers have been evolving for a while. They’ve come to expect that if they want a toner cartridge, I just did this today, so I said of you don’t mind you know that jump on toner world wherever I bought mine and two days later, there’s a toner cartridge in my office or if I want pizza you know I jumped on Grubhub and 20 minutes later there’s a pizza in my office. And even like, if I want my taxes done like there’s so much that used to be go into someone’s office, endure a weight, deal with a professional service model then, meet with the esteemed professional then, get the work done and return to you in days or weeks of time and then pay a large bill. And law, the consumer expectations have been changing all around in other professions too, in medicine and others and these needs have been changing, but now, what is it about the current epidemic that’s like made it, just push over the barrier and come and make lawyers respond to it. Is it the impossibility like, you just aren’t allowed to meet people in your office, so now we had to change? What is it?

 

Tom Martin: Yeah, definitely. I mean, the mother of invention has necessity and in this case, it’s been impossible to meet with people directly, so you seemed pop-up on lawyer websites, video consults, all different ways of reaching out to clients and clients reaching out to lawyers that doesn’t require meeting in person, so it is that necessity. Another part though, I think is when you look at the ethics of lawyers providing competent service to their clients is that clients, their expectations of what lawyers can provide and for how much and how quickly has really increased and so an analogy that I look at is pilots. So, when pilots are in the air you know they’re not doing everything bespoke by hand flying the plane every second of the time that they have you in the air. They put autopilot on and it’s not them shirking their responsibility. In fact, autopilot is much more reliable for the length of the trip and it allows them to focus on a lot of details that they as pilots can really contribute to that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to because their attention would be focused entirely on just flying the plane minutes and minute. So, if you take that to lawyers, I think that’s how lawyers can really learn and gain from this automation and that’s certainly how clients have come to expect more from their lawyers.

 

Christopher Anderson: Because you’re saying there’s a large aspect of what goes on in a law firm and even in the interactions between the law firm and their clients that can be put on autopilot?

 

Tom Martin: Yeah, so that make it a little more concrete when you have an AI tool that’s available let’s say like Ross. Okay and so you run let’s say a brief through it and it identifies different issues, shows you the latest research on it. You know that’s the kind of autopilot automation is where it makes you aware of the latest case law and different analysis negative or positive along the lines of a newfangled in Westlaw, but it does make you aware of these things, so that if you weren’t listening to that and you were just relying upon your experience knowledge and notes, you might be committing malpractice if you don’t refer to their information.

 

Christopher Anderson: Sure and like to kind of segue this kind of give me really great segue, we were talking about how consumers or expectations have changed. Now we’re talking about a little bit of autopilot, but like one of the things I see that’s changed is that clients are able to interact with our law firms in a lot more ways than they used to be able to, right? Usually, they send us a letter or maybe call and leave a message, but now they can interact with us by directly by email or text. They can interact on our Facebook page, on our LinkedIn page, on our Google my business section, on reviews on Yelp and 100 Avvo and 100 other places.

 

(00:20:04)

 

When clients have these ways of interacting with us, and like you said, we can’t pay attention all the details. How can automation help? What is autopilot in that circumstance?

 

Tom Martin: So, I think autopilot from like a communications standpoint is that you want to have a single inbox for all those different channels of communication. You don’t want to have your attention split between all of the different channels.

 

Christopher Anderson: Yeah. Checking a 100 places, right?

 

Tom Martin: Right. You know, so you want to bring that together. There are different tools out there to bring it together. One other method of communication that we actually employ for our clients is having a chatbots, so that you could communicate that way with your client, but I think trying to keep it organized is probably the biggest challenge for lawyers right now.

 

Christopher Anderson: Now, is that is a chatbot because I’m a little bit confused by it. There’s a chatbot, so then it’s like, does it get on your iMessage or is it on a chat box on your website? Like what are you talking about when you talk about a chatbot?

 

Tom Martin: So, chatbot is a conversational interface where you could put it on your website. You could actually have it connected to your Facebook company account. You could have it on various channels, so that’s one of the upsides of using that type of technology. You could have it connected to WhatsApp, different ways that you would communicate with your clients. It all filters into one inbox and you can automate the messaging that you send back and forth with your clients and you could also automate some basic responses like for frequently asked questions. If you’re getting bombarded with a lot of the same questions like, “Are you open during COVID?” you know you could build in an auto response to that. That’ll provide them with the information they need quickly.

 

Christopher Anderson: And if it’s not an FAQ like how does a bot handle a one-off question?

 

Tom Martin: So, the way we do that is, if there’s something that doesn’t fit within the box of keyword recognition or natural language processing recognition of a particular FAQ then, we do an ad hoc capture of that message. We email it to the lawyer. We also can integrate with, not only sending it by email, but by text. Integrating it to Slack or Clio as a CRM. You know like various different ways of communicating it to the lawyer.

 

Christopher Anderson: Excellent. Does the consumer know they’re dealing with a bot? What’s the customer experience like?

 

Tom Martin: Yeah. So, everything that we’ve done from the very beginning and we launched about four years ago with LawDroid. It’s always been transparent about the fact that you’re interacting with the bot, but I think it’s important to be transparent, but also to set expectations that you’re not getting some kind of human level interaction with a bot. It’s also the law by the way in California that you now need to — I think a year ago disclosed that it’s a bot.

 

Christopher Anderson: Okay, but do you find that consumers are still happier to get some information from the bot and have that immediate interaction rather than know that a lawyer will respond later?

 

Tom Martin: Definitely. In fact, it is not only my word, but data to support that. There is a survey done of consumers as to whether or not they would prefer to get information from a bot and immediacy was rated at I think 69 % of consumers wanting the immediacy of a response and not really caring how they got it, but that they got it.

 

Christopher Anderson: Very cool. I guess that makes sense. Let’s face we’re decades now into the internet, but that’s what we do. We look for information on the internet and the internet whether it be WebMD or Google or Yelp or whatever. We know that it’s not a human behind they’re sending us back the best Greek restaurant in town. We know that that’s the algorithm and it’s an automation, so I guess that that fits with expectation and that immediacy is filling a gap. I guess law firms weren’t providing before, but now can through this chatbot technology. I know we didn’t talk about this ahead of time, so this might be putting you on the spot, but let me just ask it anyway. How does that chatbot technology and thinking about that automated response fit into smart speakers? Are smart speakers going to become a part of this kind of ecosystem of instant responses?

 

Tom Martin: Yes and they already have. You know one product that we have is called LawDroid voice and it allows you to interact with a voice assistant that could schedule appointments for you. It could build time for you. Take notes. You could dictate to it, so yeah all of this is coming together. Smart speakers are just yet another channel for chatbots to be able to communicate with people and I like to call it intelligent automation rather than chatbots or AI because that’s really what it’s about is automating things in an intelligent way to make it more useful and practical to help you.

 

Christopher Anderson: IA instead of AI, I love it. We are talking with Tom Martin. He is the CEO and founder of LawDroid Limited and we’ve been talking about automation and transformation of law firms bringing technology to bare in like this accelerated way during the transformative time that is this COVID-19 epidemic. We’re going to take a moment to hear from our sponsors one more time. And then Tom, when we come back, I want to shift gears one more time and talk about — first of all I want to ask you just a little bit about the American Legal Technology Awards and then, like I want to kind of finish this up by talking about — because you mentioned Richard Susskind earlier.

 

(00:25:12)

 

This buzz that AI is coming for lawyers jobs, their businesses and their livelihoods, I want to get your perspective on that, but first, we’ll get a perspective on our sponsors businesses because they help us do this show. A word from them.

 

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Christopher Anderson: And we’re back with Tom Martin with LawDroid Limited and we’ve been talking about automation transformation and the legal business, the law firm business by technology and artificial intelligence or as Tom just coined and I love it innovative automation that’s what you said, right?

 

Tom Martin: Intelligent automation.

 

Christopher Anderson: Intelligent automation. IA instead of AI, I love it, so what I wanted — before I jump into my big question, I did want to just touch base on these American Legal Technology Awards. I think that you’ve just founded this or co-founded this? Tell us a little bit about it.

 

Tom Martin: Yeah, thank you for asking. So, the American Legal Technology Awards in its first year, founded by myself, Patrick Palace and Caitlin Moon, you know its purpose really is to hold up examples of not only new technology, but creative innovation to help others and make a difference in the world.

 

Christopher Anderson: Super. Is there like a red carpet show, do I get to buy the latest and greatest in evening gowns to go to it? What’s it going to be?

 

Tom Martin: You know I wish and perhaps next year that was the original plan is to have a nice party. There’s so many legal tech conferences, so we thought that having a party would be a nice departure, but this year at last it’s going to be online. We’re looking forward to that. The actual awards are going to be distributed in early to mid-September.

 

Christopher Anderson: Okay, Cool, so I got to save my little black dress until 2021?

 

Tom Martin: Yup.

 

Christopher Anderson: All right, we’ll do. We’ll put it back on the hangers and how does — like just as the last time before I let that go, if someone thinks that they should get this award, how do they self-nominate or ask someone else to nominate them to be a part of this process and the awards that might be given out?

 

Tom Martin: Yeah definitely. So, go to americanlegaltechnology.com and it is open for nominations and self-nominations for lawyers, law firms, law departments of course you got legal tech companies and individuals in there, but anyone that you think is deserving, please nominate them. We look forward to getting your nominations and considering them.

 

Christopher Anderson: Great and that’s americanlegaltechnology.com?

 

Tom Martin: Yup.

 

Christopher Anderson: Awesome. All right, so let me get to the big question. You step into it, you mentioned Susskind, I just saw Jack Newton’s conversation with Susskind and Susskind’s son.

 

Tom Martin: Daniel?

 

Christopher Anderson: Daniel, thank you, on some of these topics, but you know there is and has been ever since he wrote, I think three books ago, “The End of Lawyers.” There’s been this buzz that artificial intelligence that AI is coming sooner or later and you made the joke like, as soon as they can argue like Perry Mason that the short sidedness of it all that like, when AI comes for our jobs it’s not going to come the way we do them. It’s going to solve the problems better, but that they’re coming for lawyers jobs businesses and livelihoods. It’s like what’s your perspective about it? Is AI the end of lawyers or is it a huge opportunity? What do you see?

 

Tom Martin: AI is not the end of lawyers. I think I match Richard Susskind in saying that, which by the way, huge fan of him. Actually, I got to meet him in person at the British Legal Technology Forum a couple years ago, but it’s not the end of lawyers like you know the analogy that used before about airline pilots and autopilot. It’s something that adds value to the pilot’s job. For doctors now, you have AI that’s able to complement doctors in terms of like searching through x-rays and finding whether or not there’s any cancerous tumors.

 

Christopher Anderson: And doing a better job of it, right?

 

Tom Martin: Yeah. So, this is not to discount the doctors and say, “Okay, thank you for your service. You’re out of here.” It’s actually to improve the level of service they could provide, make it the most cutting edge. The best for — let’s keep in mind who this is for. In their case, it’s for the patient. In our case, it’s for the client. It’s to provide the best service for them and as a byproduct, it makes our life easier. You know doctors don’t have to stay up as long going through every single x-ray or they can have this additional help from AI. It’s the same thing for lawyers.

 

(00:30:01)

 

Christopher Anderson: Yeah and I mean it’s just that I don’t want to beat the analogy to death, but I actually am a pilot and I’ve got some interest in aviation history, but like, you talk about and it was coming to my mind is that, you know 40, 50 years ago, more like 50 years ago, but 40 or 50 years ago, most airplanes that flew any distance at all required three pilots on board and for some longer distances even more. They needed a pilot, a co-pilot and an engineer to run all the systems. Like you would think automation and stuff that autopilot — most airplanes now, only require two pilots, so half the pilots supposedly weren’t required anymore, one-third of them, so one-third of the pilots weren’t required anymore and was that the end of pilots? Hell no because what that did it made flying less expensive. It made flying more accessible to more people and we’re right now in a pilot shortage, not a pilot glut. Even like before COVID, right now, I don’t know, but like before COVID, we’re in a pilot shortage. If we make access to justice, if we make justice more accessible to more people, lawyers may be doing a lot less of the drudgework that you were just talking about that can be automated, but they get to do the lawyer stuff and there’ll be more of a demand for them. Is that mean is that part of how you see it?

 

Tom Martin: Definitely. I see the same trend throughout all different industries. You look at banking you know ATMs were not the death of tellers. It grows the pie. It grows the pie is what it does just like you pointed out and we know that there’s this complete disconnect in the legal industry in terms of services being able to be provided affordably to most people. And so, that’s an untapped need and the more that we make and grow the pie by making law accessible, the greater the business opportunity is for everyone involved and I think that lawyers — you know the future is that there might be a legal engineer and what they’re involved in is designing different logic trees and ways of providing services that we don’t currently have as a main source or main profession for lawyers.

 

Christopher Anderson: Great. All right. My last question put on your future goggles. When you said that what you see mostly here is an acceleration of trends that were already in place, so now take us to 2025 supposing that COVID didn’t eliminate humans and we’re all back to some new normal. What does the business of law look like five years from now from what you’re seeing in trends?

 

Tom Martin: Well, funny that 2025 sounds like so far in the future, but it’s only five years from now.

 

Christopher Anderson: Yeah.

 

Tom Martin: You know I don’t see that it’s going to be that different. We’ve actually, like I said leaped ahead about 10 years just from having this necessity that has caused this leap forward and the usage of technology. I think what I see is there’s going to be a lot of unification across these different technologies that we’re starting to use now. You know, so like where you might have machine learning in one box. You might have classical AI, which is like logic trees and things like that in a different box and you have different tools, CRMs that lawyers have been using. I think coming up with some kind of intelligent way to access all of these different tools within one platform. I think that platformization of legal technology is going to be the future and it’s going to make things a lot easier for lawyers. They won’t have to have as many silos for their information, but that’s what I see.

 

Christopher Anderson: I think that’s a huge call, so let’s look for that to happen. I think that will make lawyers jobs easier and serve the purpose of really bringing justice, bringing the access to legal services to more people. All right, we’ve covered a lot in a short amount of time, Tom. Once our listener’s head stop spinning, what’s a good way if they want to learn more about some of the stuff you’ve said or call you out to put some money where your mouth is on this call on platformization, which I’m on your end to this bet, so I’ll take their bets too because I think you’re right. Where can they reach you? How can people reach out to you if they want to learn more about you or about LawDroid or about the technology awards? Where can they reach you?

 

Tom Martin: Well, thanks Chris. I think the best way for them to reach out to me and by the way, if they have any questions or any interest in bringing intelligent automation to their law firm, they could reach me at [email protected], that’s my direct email or they could just check out lawdroid.com, which is the website. My twitter account is [email protected] and I’d love to answer any questions they have, give them some information about intelligent automation and how it can help them.

 

Christopher Anderson: Well, fantastic. Thank you Tom and that unfortunately wraps up this edition of The Un-billable Hour. Thank you all for listening. Our guest today one more time has been Tom Martin. He’s the CEO and the founder of LawDroud Limited. My name of course is Christopher Anderson and I look forward to seeing you next month with another great guest as we learn more about topics that help us build the law firm business that works for you and remember you can subscribe to all the editions of this podcast at legaltalknetwork.com or on iTunes. Thanks for joining us. We’ll speak again soon.

 

[Music]

 

Outro: 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. Thanks for listening to The Un-Billable Hour, the law practice advisory podcast. Join us again for the next edition right here with Legal Talk Network.

 

[Music]

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Episode Details
Published: September 22, 2020
Podcast: Un-Billable Hour
Category: Practice Management
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Un-Billable Hour
Un-Billable Hour

Best practices regarding your marketing, time management, and all the things outside of your client responsibilities.

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