We ran across an interesting article published by Law Fuel editors in early January (2019). The article dealt with seven trends the legaltech industry should be watching in 2019. The second trend on that list, the ‘platform-ization’ of legaltech, is something we believe deserves more attention.
What did the article’s authors mean by ‘platform-ization’ of legaltech? They were referring to the fact that case management software in the modern era is based on a platform model. In other words, software developers are no longer looking at individual applications with limited function. Instead, they are building all-in-one solutions combining all necessary function using the same underlying structure and data.
NuLaw is an example of a case management software built as a platform. It is built on the popular Salesforce CRM platform. We chose Salesforce as our foundation because it offers a tremendous level of power, productivity, and forward-thinking technologies that we believe will be critical to powering case management software for years to come.
Why did we build NuLaw as a platform? For the same reasons so many others are doing the same. Here are three of those reasons:
1. Greater Efficiency in the Office
Law firms still operating with legacy software find themselves in a familiar trap: they have one piece of software for billing, another for calendaring and scheduling, another for tracking time, and yet another package for managing cases. All four software packages are functional, but they are also inherently limited.
This creates a tremendous amount of inefficiency due to the fact that individual software packages cannot communicate with one another. There are also issues with updates, cross compatibility, and so forth. A platform solves the inherent problems of legacy systems by pulling everything together. This increases efficiency in the office.
2. Collaboration Outside the Office
Building case management software as a platform extends that same efficiency to the outside world. This encourages collaboration. How so? First, it invites clients and their attorneys to work together through online means as a case progresses. Next, it allows for connection between law firms and local courts for the purposes of electronically filing documents.
Third, the collaborative nature of the platform model allows attorneys to communicate with others, share documents, work on research and discovery together, and so forth. It allows like-minded attorneys to collaborate on cases even if they aren’t located in the same town.
3. Leveraging the Latest Technologies
Finally, modern case management software goes way beyond managing individual cases from initial consultation to conclusion. By building software as a platform rather than a series of individual applications, we are able to combine basic case management function with the latest technologies leveraged to improve everything from performance to customer satisfaction.
For example, NuLaw makes use of artificial intelligence and deep learning to improve case acquisition. It utilizes unstructured data to predict case outcomes. It utilizes deep learning to analyze court decisions and digital evidence. All of this data can be interconnected to serve the needs of every individual in the law office.
The long and short of it is that the platform model allows for so much more function. It allows for tremendous innovation as well, keeping NuLaw and other similar products at the cutting edge of legal practice and case management. We could have developed NuLaw as a series of individual apps plugged into a single solution as modules. However, we chose to go with the platform model. It is a superior model that provides the foundation for what we believe is the best case management software in the industry.