Recently a discussion arose among the legal technology crowd on Twitter about the challenges of communicating online with each other, as well as with other lawyers interested in making the best use of technology in their practice. The problem, it seems, is that the groups interested in legal technology tend to hang out in very balkanized groups—big firms, solo and small firms, legal technology vendors, academics and those interested in access to justice, to name a few.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. There are some great groups in each of these areas that provide excellent information to their constituents, and the communication and collaboration tend to be significant. The ABA’s SoloSez is one example, as is TechnoLawyer. But is it possible that the big-firm groups could learn something from the solo and small firms? Or that the vendors could learn something from the academics? The idea of creating a single, centralized community where everyone interested in legal technology could participate is very appealing to me, so I thought I would use this issue’s column as something of an op-ed on how such a community might be constructed.
Is an Online Legal Community Possible?
Recently, Dennis Kennedy and I devoted an episode of our podcast, The Kennedy-Mighell Report (on the Legal Talk Network), to this very topic. We posed the question: Would it be possible to create an online legal tech community that could serve lawyers in all areas—and meet all their needs?