Discover Legal Tech In The Startup Nation 2019
I interviewed Adv. Zohar Fisher. Zohar Fisher is the founder of Tech&Law – Israel, Israel’s leading legal tech department, and part of the Robus Consulting Group – Israel’s largest consulting and legal marketing company.
Legal Tech in the Startup Nation – opportunity filled skies / Adv. Zohar Fisher
Legal Tech is no longer a foreign concept in the current legal market. Most, if not all lawyers have become familiar with the idea of using technology and software to provide legal services.
The technological boom that occurred over the last few decades has reshaped many industries that have become pillars in today’s economy – accountants, bankers, biologists and other professionals have seen how their work has changed and improved after implementing technological tools in their services.
New terms have developed such as Fintech, Biotech and Agritech, and lawyers are no different.
What is Tech&Law’s vision for the Israeli Legal Tech Sector?
Israel is often referred to as the ‘Start-up Nation’. Companies such as Waze, Wix, Fiverr, Mobileye and Moovit all originated in Israel. Bill Gates has even called Israel “a tech superpower”, which demonstrates how the international market perceives Israel. In order to understand how a country as small as Israel has managed to gain the reputation as the “Start Up Nation”, it is important to address several unique factors that are all key components of Israel’s technological success.
Many Israelis credit military service with being a driving force behind their country’s high-tech success.
The first and most important factor, is the compulsory military service of all Israeli men and women reaching the age of 18. Men serve up to three years in the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) and women serve two years. Others who are not drafted may serve a form of National Service for one to two years.
Rather than seeing military service as a burden, many Israelis credit military service with being a driving force behind their country’s high-tech success. Many of Israel’s successful tech specialists have come through the ranks of military intelligence units, including the worldwide famed cyber unit of ‘8200’.
Many countries view the military as a place of submission of rank and file. However, the Israeli army encourages original thinking and open discussions between commander and his unit, thus, encouraging an entrepreneurial way of thinking and solving problems.
Immigration is another contributing factor. Most Israelis are born to immigrant parents (or grandparents) or themselves have immigrated to Israel.
By definition, immigrants are risk-takers, leaving their familiar surroundings in search of a better life. Therefore, a nation of immigrants is conducive to building a nation of entrepreneurs.
We must also not forget to mention ‘Israeli Chutzpah’ – being blunt and straightforward in a self- confident and audacious way. In Israel, you can walk down the street and bump into the CEO of a large corporation and you can approach him or her and say – ‘Hey, I have a company, can we sit together and talk?’ – and many times the CEO will respond, ‘sure let’s talk’.
Israel is a small country and even if this person’s idea or company doesn’t work out – he/she may know someone else who might and vice versa, the CEO will make a connection for the initiator.
In most countries, where the social hierarchies are very clear, acting in such a way would be unacceptable and somewhat embarrassing, but in Israel there are no boundaries. This ‘chutzpah’ also means that Israelis don’t see failure as a big deal. You can fail three times with different start-ups, and when you pitch your fourth start up to investors, you would sell your experience with multiple failed start-ups as an advantage.
Israel has the highest number of lawyers-per-capita in the world.
Along with Israel’s innovative and creative personality, as we have just revealed, Israel also has the highest number of lawyers-per-capita in the world, ahead of countries such as the U.S., Canada and Germany with a figure of almost 700 (!) lawyers per 100,000 people – a younger generation of lawyers, who are more attuned to technology and who are entering the legal workforce in Israel.
In fact, there are more and more tech-enthusiastic lawyers who demand tech solutions that will give them the competitive edge and make their practice better and working lives easier.
Some of these young lawyers are even leaving their legal practice’s to become legal tech entrepreneurs.
This comes to show how innovative and creative the legal Israeli market has become.
Israelis – and by extension Israeli lawyers – are typically less risk-averse than other cultures and are straightforward, informal and aggressive. When these younger Israeli lawyers are unhappy with the way law is practiced today and demand increased use of legal tech, they will voice their opinions and either effect change within their law firms, start their own innovative practice or become legal tech entrepreneurs.
Despite the rising demand for legal tech solutions, Israeli law firms have been slow and struggling to accept and implement legal tech solutions. We believe that the struggle is due to a number of challenges that Israeli lawyers and firms face such as language, costs and resources that firms are not keen or able to invest.
As hard as these challenges may seem, these are difficulties that the Israeli legal market can overcome. More and more law firms are now realizing that in order to work more efficiently, and to meet clients’ continuously increasing expectations, they will need to implement legal technologies in their daily operations. In a fierce market of the Israeli legal sector, Israeli lawyers must find ways to stay competitive via new technologies.
With Israeli law firms’ growing interest in legal tech solutions and the growth of Israeli Legal Tech companies, it is clear that the Startup Nation has a promising future on the global Legal Tech stage.
Legal Tech solutions in Israel.
With Israeli law firms increased interest in legal tech solutions, and the challenges that the Legal Tech industry faces, it is intriguing to see which Israeli startups have emerged and what they have to offer in the Legal Tech sector.
During Israel’s previous three legal tech conferences hosted in Tel- Aviv by Tech&Law (Israel), Legal Tech startups were invited to present their companies, the solutions they offer, and some took to the stage as speakers to present their services. Let’s have a glance at some of the legal tech solutions that exist in Israel and how relevant they are to law firms.
AI Legal Tech startup provides a contract analysis tool using AI and machine learning, and is widely considered to be one of the world’s leading companies in the field of AI legal tech. Lawgeex automates contract review with AI. When the tool was tested against 20 of some of the best lawyers in the U.S, the AI got the highest accuracy over all lawyers. The Lawgeex founders point out that AI does not do your legal work for you, rather it helps remove workload, it raises red lights in contracts enabling you to work more efficiently.
It offers litigation support by seizure of digital evidence and their storage, review of data seized in hard copy and extracting the text using an OCR engine, full support in digital document discovery proceedings (E-discovery), performing searches and smart cuts and use of analytic tools, providing expert witness testimony if necessary and more.
The first online legal services platform in Israel which aims to save attorneys and clients time and money, and to alleviate all the painful bureaucracy they face. The company has already partnered up with some of the largest and most prominent law firms in Israel.
Currently, there are approximately 23 legal tech companies in Israel.
The tech solutions currently available on the market, and those we are expected to see in coming years, simply make a lawyer’s work more efficient. Currently, there are approximately 23 legal tech companies in Israel, offering various and different legal solutions.
Israeli Legal Tech startups also have an advantage as they are supported by the Israel Innovation Authority. Mrs. Karina Rubinstein, Senior Director of Business Development, Start-Up Division at Israel’s Innovation Authority took the stage at the 3rd legal tech conference and invited Israeli entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to the authority, even at the company’s pilot stages.
How Tech&Law (Israel) can help Law Firms and General Counsels.
Tech&Law offers a wide range of services to law firms and general counsels such as,
- Holistic consulting for Israeli and international legal tech companies – The department provides strategic consulting services for legal tech companies seeking to penetrate different legal markets by means of, among other things, product promotion via newsletters, social media, website, introductions and enhancing their market exposure and business relationships.
- Providing technological solutions consulting – The department provides leading Israeli law firms with the most efficient and on point solutions for their firm’s ongoing operations.
- Fund Raising – The department assists local and international Legal Tech companies in fund raising for their ongoing needs: R&D, strategy implementation, general expansion and more.
- Events – The department hosts legal tech events and lectures for law firms and legal departments.
The Tech&Law department also hosts a variety of networking events, conventions, professional seminars and lectures in the field of legal tech, in order to spread the latest legal tech news across the startup nation.
Thousands from Israel and abroad have already participated in the department’s events, which have hosted keynote speakers from Israel and abroad. We keep lawyers and law firms in the loop of everything that has to do with Legal Tech.
The department also hosts an annual Legal Tech convention, the recent of which included over 400 participants.
In addition, Tech&Law will always accommodate law firms and general counsels to their specific needs.
What makes Tech&Law Israel different from other Legal Tech platforms.
Tech&Law is Israel’s first and leading legal tech platform operated by Robus Legal Marketing. The department is the market leader in the legal tech field in Israel and is considered the ‘gateway’ to Israel in this fascinating new sector. The Tech&Law department is also the exclusive Israeli Ambassador of the European Legal Tech Organization (ELTA).
The Tech&Law department constitutes as a source of knowledge in the legal-tech sector, delivering professional content such as updates, spotting new trends and in-depth analysis of the Legal Tech field in Israel and around the world. Nevertheless, the department’s core business activity remains the fostering of collaborations and the integration of services, products and technologies into the legal sector. The department is also very active in social media, attracting thousands of followers from Israel and beyond.
The department is proud to be behind Israel’s first-ever Legal Tech Convention.
The activities of the department come into play, among others, through hosting and providing assistance in the organization of legal tech events and conventions. The department is proud to be behind Israel’s first-ever Legal Tech Convention; the National Annual Legal Tech Convention; the first ever Hackathon event in the field of legal tech, and many more exciting events.
Thousands of participants from Israel and abroad have already benefitted from the department’s events, which in turn have become yet another stepping stone for the progress and development of this important field.
Legal-tech solutions are no novelty in the ‘Start-up Nation’. Both small and major law firms are publicizing their legal-tech systems as part of their competitive added value, and in parallel, legal-tech companies are enjoying a growing reputation, raising capital and even seeking international markets in which they can expand.
The trend is promising, yet there is much room for growth, as many ‘old school’ lawyers’ recoil from adopting new technologies – and this is precisely where we step in.
How to get in contact with Tech&Law?
You can keep in contact with Tech&Law by its Website: https://techlaw.co.il/en/
By email to Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org (Adv. Zohar Fisher)
Or by its Social Networks:
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Javier Nieto León
Founder at Startupstips.com