May/June 2020

Tech From the Trenches

Ignore the Shiny New Object—Focus on What’s in Front of You

Barron K. Henley

There’s always a lot of discussion about the future of legal technology, innovation and what will be the next big thing. I read a constant stream of articles and posts about artificial intelligence, chatbots, blockchain, cloud migration, marketing and client intake automation, data analytics, document assembly and the like. I recently read an excellent article by Zach Warren from Legaltech News titled “A Future Focus: The Success of Legal Tech Depends on Transformation, Not Automation.” The title alone sounds scary, particularly if you’re still struggling with automation, much less transformation. If you’re paying attention to all the predictions about what’s coming and what you should already be doing, it can be pretty stressful. If you already have enough stress in your life, then I suggest shifting your focus to a bigger problem over which you have more control. While failure to adapt, invest in one’s practice or innovate are certainly big problems facing practitioners, I believe a more significant issue is the underutilization of technology already owned.

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