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Creating Actual Transparency Between Law Firms and Clients – Litify’s Ari Treuhaft and Pam Wickersham (TGIR Ep. 182)

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We give you the true “3 Geeks” experience on this week’s show as we are joined by an OG (original geek) Toby Brown. Toby, Marlene, and Greg talk with Litify’s President and COO, Ari Treuhaft, and Pam Wickersham, the VP of Product and Engineer there at Litify. One of the taglines at Litify is that they #BreakLegalSilos. Treuhaft and Wickersham explain what that means, and how they focus on providing an operating system, built on Salesforce, that creates transparency between Corporate Counsel and their law firms.

Both Ari and Pam got their start in Financial and Professional services, so they come at these business problems with a different approach. With Pam’s engineering background, and experiences at Google, she brings in a unique perspective on how to build the technology through the lens of the customer. Ari’s experiences with the Financial Services industry going to the cloud over a decade ago also positions him to better understand the naysayers in the legal industry who are still resistant to placing data in the cloud.

It’s a great conversation. We want to thank the great folks at City Acre Brewery in Houston, Texas for letting us record this episode there. And, for not laughing too hard as Greg destroyed his laptop by spilling an entire Maple Porter into his brand-new laptop. We hope this is a semi-regular event! (Recording at City Acre… not pouring a beer into laptops!!)

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Crystal Ball Question

Toby Brown takes on our question this week by talking about the fact that attorneys are resistant to changing behaviors, not because they are unwilling to adapt to new technology, but because this is an industry that is very reputational based.

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Contact Us:

Twitter: @gebauerm@glambert, or @gnawledge
Voicemail: 713-487-7821
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Music: Jerry David DeCicca

Transcript

Marlene Gebauer 0:17
Welcome to The Geek in Review, the podcast focused on innovative and creative ideas in the legal industry. I’m Marlene Gebauer,

Greg Lambert 0:24
And I’m Greg Lambert. Well, this week, we are at…

Marlene Gebauer 0:27
Special! We have a special special episode.

Greg Lambert 0:30
So we are at City Acre brewery here in North, it’s kind of on the north side of downtown Houston. And I want to thank Jimmy here for letting us come in. I’m on laptop number two because I spilled a beer into my personal laptop. So you know have we’re kicking it off. We’re doing it right here. We are joined by our good friend and fellow geek Toby Brown, Toby.

Toby Brown 0:57
Hi, this is Toby. I’m also known as a number two.

Greg Lambert 1:00
Yeah, he’s he’s getting number two. So this is you’re getting the true three geeks treatment here today.

Toby Brown 1:07
It’s been a long time since I’ve dipped my toe in the geek pool.

Marlene Gebauer 1:12
Well, we’re glad to have you, Toby.

Greg Lambert 1:14
So we’re going to have Toby answer our crystal ball question. And then we’re going to jump right into our conversation. And this week is really exciting. We have Ari Treuhaft and Pam Wickersham, from Litify. And had great conversation. So Toby will kick it to you first and then we’ll go right into the interview.

So Toby, we ask everybody, our crystal ball question, which is, what changes or challenges do you see in the legal market, the legal industry over the next three to five years?

Toby Brown 1:53
Pretty much the same one that I’ve always seen, and it’s getting lawyers to change the way they practice law.

Greg Lambert 1:59
How so?

Toby Brown 2:00
Well, if you look at most of the innovation that’s going on, either it’s really trying to push work to cheaper sources, or it’s trying to get lawyers to change the way they actually do the work. And those ones tend to fail. Because lawyers basically say you don’t understand what I do. And I have to do it this way. In fact, I was chatting with somebody recently about this, there’s a product. I’m blanking on the name, and I’m sorry for whoever has this product. But it can reduce the amount of time it takes to draft an initial patent application by 50 to 60%.

Greg Lambert 2:37
Right.

Toby Brown 2:38
Lawyers look at that go yeah, that no. That’s not the way you do it.

Greg Lambert 2:42
And is it the reason? Is it because it cuts time, it cuts billing?

Toby Brown 2:46
I don’t think so I just think lawyers do things the way they do things. And if you tell them to do it differently, then quality will suffer. And so they’re not going to, for them that’s I see our industry is very reputation based. And if they’re going to make a change, and they’re putting their reputation at risk that the quality might go down. It’s that’s a non starter fact that there’s still people who argue about technology assisted review and discovery because they’re like, oh, it’s not a human that good. Can’t be 100%. Yeah.

Greg Lambert 3:22
Well, Have you have you seen an area that there actually has been some some change in how they do it that made it more efficient?

Toby Brown 3:32
Yeah, but it’s typically pockets. It’ll be one partner to firm or maybe a small group at a firm. And it’ll also be a client situation that almost demands it. But then there’s also the client side of it. Same thing, their lawyers don’t want to change either. So it’s one of my sort of core lessons. It’s like, that’s why you should bring clients and law firms together to innovate. Because unless everybody’s on the same page and willing to do that, someone is gonna kill it.

Greg Lambert 4:00
All right, Toby. Thank you.

Toby Brown 4:01
Thank you.

Greg Lambert 4:09
We’d like to welcome Ari Treuhaft, President and CEO of Litify, and Pamela Wickersham, VP of product and engineering of Litify, to The Geek in Review, Ari and Pam, it’s great to have you both on the show.

Ari Treuhaft 4:22
Great to be here.

Pam Wickersham 4:23
Great to be here.

Marlene Gebauer 4:24
So we have a lot of questions about your work at Litify. But Ari, I want to start with you. How on earth do you have the capacity to run a legal practice management company deal with the issues of working in the legal industry, raising funding for the company, all while being a father of five children including a newborn? Do you sleep?

Ari Treuhaft 4:44
Yeah, it’s funny I think if you ask each, you know, party, impartial to the different, like facets and avenues of my life, they’ll they’ll ask, well, you must be doing the other one really well.

Greg Lambert 4:59
Been there.

Ari Treuhaft 4:59
What’s going on with this one. So it’s, it’s exciting. You know, the last couple of years at Litify have been really, really amazing watching the company grow. And you know, and home watching my family grow. I’m one to five. So it’s not like a crazy, crazy idea. My wife is one of six. So this is kind of like, I think the plan from the very beginning, I tell my wife, we’re halfway there. But it’s the last couple years have been really, really exciting.

Greg Lambert 5:28
Yeah, fielding either a baseball team or a football team, right?

Ari Treuhaft 5:33
So we’re a basketball family. That’s my son, my Sundays, I have three boys and two girls, the three older children are boys. So I’m like back to back to back basketball. Every Sunday, I coach a little bit, I coach from the sidelines on the other side of the sidelines from a little bit. So it’s a little bit of all that.

Greg Lambert 5:54
Man sounds busy. So so when you’re not trying to do all of that, and squeezing some some sleep, you know, what does your day look like there at Litify? And how is it did you would describe how you how you run the company?

Ari Treuhaft 6:08
Yeah, I mean, I, I’m blessed to work with a lot of really amazing leaders across the different disciplines at the company. So you know, Pam, she runs our product and engineering group, we have a great sales and marketing leader, our customer success and support functions, our finance functions, I kind of find myself bouncing between all the different disciplines that Litify And really trying to keep the team as one cohesive unit. That’s probably 50% of my time. And the other 50% of my time is focused on growth and focusing on the growth of the business focusing on, you know, potential customers, existing customers and continuing to grow our footprint within the legal technology industry and helping our customers grow their businesses.

Greg Lambert 6:53
Yeah, you mind just given us the elevator pitch on on exactly what Litify does?

Ari Treuhaft 6:59
Yeah, I mean, Litify is, it’s an operating system for enterprise law firms that are providing service to either consumer or corporate clients, as well as a operating system for legal operators, folks that are running legal departments within large corporations, providing services to their internal clients, and also helping coordinate the procurement of legal outside legal services from outside counsel and all the complexities, workflow, and kind of the soft spots and relationships that are kind of bundled up and all of that.

Marlene Gebauer 7:35
Pam, you’ve been a developer and engineer in both legal and professional services for almost 15 years. Tell us a bit about your role at Litify as the VP of product and how your previous experiences compare to what you’re doing now.

Pam Wickersham 7:48
Yeah, absolutely. It feels crazy. That it’s been that long. Starting as someone who wrote code, I don’t know if I imagined this as my career path. But I’m ecstatic that it happened. So at Litify, I started as they basically said, we might want to build a document solution. And so they knew I was the documents girl before that. That’s how I met them when I worked at Spring CM previously. And so I came over, not exactly knowing what I was going to do. And we spent the first 14 months building that platform, from the ground up to what it is today. And then I am slowly from there inherited the rest of the product lines and developed three other new products. So it’s been a wild ride, when I had really no idea what I was getting myself into, but I wouldn’t really have it any other way.

Greg Lambert 8:35
So if you figured it out along the way?

Pam Wickersham 8:38
Aabsolutely. It’s been a I mean, having a background in engineering, I think is such a benefit of being able to really get in there with the engineers, work alongside them and grow those products from the ground up. We now have a very talented team. And I no longer do that. But it’s it’s really been amazing to go from, you know, being one of them to now being able and having the privilege to lead the team. And still being able to, you know, flex on being able to write some code here and there.

Marlene Gebauer 9:06
Like what is what is your day to day look like?

Pam Wickersham 9:08
I’m in meetings a lot. And then fielding calls from Ari on the side on mute, here and there. I think that’s what our relationship looks like. But really just making sure that all the the product teams and the engineers know exactly what we’re building, exactly what the customer needs to be successful, and making sure that it’s not just we need this feature, but this is why this is how it will be used. This is how it will be extended and this is who’s going to be integrating with it. So really making sure that they have that deep product knowledge and really understand our customer.

Greg Lambert 9:40
Well, one of the things that as I was perusing the the website that really stuck out to me on the description of Litify is that you have a hashtag right up front that says #BreakLegalSilos, which I loved. What’s the message behind that phrase and what is it exactly that you’re wanting to convey to the legal one market with it.

Ari Treuhaft 10:01
Yeah, I think if you if you think about the outsider’s perspective of an attorney or legal service, like, I’m not a lawyer, I don’t know who else, Greg, Marlene and Toby, have, you know, you guys, I don’t know if your lawyers work with lawyers, lawyer. Okay, I won’t hold you…

Greg Lambert 10:18
All the above.

Ari Treuhaft 10:20
Exactly. So me not being a lawyer and not coming from legal. In fact, I, my, you know, most of my history working in technologies and financial services, my perspective of lawyers or legal work before being intimately involved in it, is I had no idea like what happens once you hire a lawyer? Like, what are they doing and like, there’s very little transparency for the outside world into what’s going on. And that kind of manifests itself, not just if you’re hiring a lawyer, but if you’re working in a company, and you need legal help with something, and maybe you pull them in, you need help with a matter or you need help with a contract. And there’s very little transparency into what’s actually happening. And when anybody hires a lawyer needs help, that’s kind of a theme that you kind of hear. And it’s reinforced by technology. You know, the decisions that have been made over the last probably 10 to 15 years, you know, how legal technology has been built, and how platforms and applications connect with one another that reinforced this siloed approach to legal service. And what we’re trying to do, and working with both law firms, and corporate legal departments, as well as the consumers of the legal service, is trying to break down those, those kind of walls that exist between all the different stakeholders, and introduce a layer of transparency and, frankly, improved service quality that I think the legal industry is begging for.

Toby Brown 11:52
Picking up on that theme of breaking down the walls. something we’d like to talk about is how and why Litify serves both law firms and corporate legal teams on the one hand, and I’d even be interested in what you see the percentage on each side of that. Litify, on one hand is a practice management platform. And on the other its enterprise legal management. So in what ways does Litify bridge those two legal worlds? How does it all come together for one end to end operating platform?

Ari Treuhaft 12:19
Yeah, I mean, if you think about where legals headed, especially like if we just talk about corporate, the legal ops movement, that’s kind of taken a foothold over the last five years. If you think about it, it’s not really a legal specific movement, it’s more of an operational movement. And you’re seeing a very similar approach happening within larger law firms that are now hiring COOs and CTOs from outside of legal from other industries. And I think more and more lawyers and legal operators are thinking of their practice lines as actual businesses. And having a system that facilitates that whether you’re running a law firm, or whether you’re running a corporate legal department, like the functionality that’s required, the transparency and automation that’s required, is very, very similar. So from a product delivery perspective, and Pam, could probably touch more on this. And you know, there’s a lot of features that Pam and her team have built that are applicable on both sides of the fence. And that’s that’s kind of one I think, answers one part of your question. But the the other part of your question is like, how are we addressing that is really focusing on the workflow where the corporate client and outside counsel are collaborating, not just, you know, sending bills and approving or writing down bills, but like really working together on a litigation or on a specific matter. Where are the touch points? Where are the areas where if there were more transparency, either from the client or from from counsel, it would lead to a better legal outcome for the actual end client. That’s where I think Litify really stands out and can add a tremendous amount of value.

Toby Brown 14:00
So if I understood that correctly, you’re looking at workflows that go back and forth between clients and and law firms?

Ari Treuhaft 14:08
Yeah, I mean, we have a lot of like, just the categories an example. You have insurance companies that are sending high volume of their litigation to outside counsel. And they might have specific practices, specific strategies that they want outside counsel to adhere to, they might want transparency into not just the, again, the financial components, but the actual progress of matters, and maybe they can help shift strategy where they need to, and that that’s, you know, one of the tools that we provide, we provide a portal that allows, you know, matters to be assigned and collaborated on in real time between outside counsel and internal legal teams. So that’s just like one kind of example of that.

Greg Lambert 14:53
Pam, I want to pick up on something that Ari had mentioned before in that both of you did not Come in the typical way, which is usually it’s a couple of lawyers that work together that find a process that they hate. And then they spin off a company and create something to fix that one problem. It sounds like you, you both were much more on the business and engineering front of it and tackling the problems that way. Do you think that in the long run has kind of helped you focus on how to grow, you know, what processes you need to take on next, rather than what a lawyer would do, which, you know, single in on the on the one or two things that drove them crazy?

Pam Wickersham 15:36
Yeah, actually, credit, my background and professional services, sort of having the best of both worlds are coming at it from a technology standpoint, but understanding what the limitations of the platform were, where people needed to expand it. And when I started working with Litify, they didn’t have any traditional use cases, everything was 50 terabytes of data and 1000 merges in an hour. And it was just scale at every single moment. And so understanding the limitations of most document management platforms, and then how the legal industry was trying to use that was, was such an advantage of being able to, to go in and make sure that we weren’t building another document management platform that we were building one for the legal industry, which has a lot of different problems. I think that anything that we try to use as generic, in vertical, falls over for the legal industry, just because of the volume and the ways that they need to extend and use the system. And so that’s been kind of a great angle. And then just listening is always, you know, we can solve problems, Ari and I love coming up with solutions. But making sure that it fits with the customer. And having that background and working heavily with customers has really been beneficial.

Ari Treuhaft 16:41
I think Pam’s also like selling herself short, a little bit. Like Pam worked at Google. And she got to digest what a large scale successful technology organization like how it operates, how it builds technology, how it delivers technology to the end users, and then how they provide feedback and can help, you know, build better product better process. So I think that’s us having that experience here has been incredibly valuable. And then, you know, I, like I mentioned, I worked in financial services. Financial services went through the same kind of digital transformation that legal is going through right now 10-15 years ago, and having lived through that experience that like, dealt with the naysayers and said, Oh, you’re never gonna get this data in the cloud, like it’s not safe in the cloud, what are you talking about? And just going through that kind of cycle, I think has also been very helpful.

Pam Wickersham 17:37
Yeah, that’s true. We didn’t just rebuild old software. And we were able to build it better knowing where it didn’t work in the first place. And I think that’s the true benefit of having a lot of lawyers that we’ve worked with to build that they knew what they loved, and they knew what they hated. And we focused on having what they loved and improving what they hated.

Marlene Gebauer 17:54
So I want to I want to focus on the sort of naysayer and dealing with the naysayers point. Because Salesforce and Legal Operations platforms have had difficulty getting a foothold in the legal market. And so let’s start by talking about the appetite for these Legal Operations platforms. How do you describe Litify to a potential law firm or legal department customer to communicate the value props? You know, particularly since we have this culture of No, I guess, that you’re up against?

Ari Treuhaft 18:30
Yeah. So I think I would challenge the culture of no to the setting the perspective, if you want to have the culture of No, like you’re competing against the culture of I don’t know, and the law firm side, kind of our pitch. And in practice, what what Litify allows them to do is actually know what their attorneys are doing, and what kind of service are they providing. So we work with a lot of large firms that are scaling their efforts, they’re hiring a lot of attorneys there, they might be buying law firms. And what’s so important to them is making sure that the service levels are, you know, the same service levels that would be provided if they were handling the legal work. And how do you do that if you’re building a business, you do that by establishing what the best practices are, and then setting those as standard operating procedures across your entire organization. And what Litify allows you to do is exactly that within a law firm and allows you to do that within a within a corporate legal department as well. So there’s a little bit of education and like, why do you need an operating system? Like what does it do for your, for your business, for your service organization? And then, you know, that kind of clicks usually, and again, a lot of there have been a lot of platforms or point solutions that have been used in the past on the law firm side and specific practice areas. So it might be going to other practices and really explaining the need and the benefits of that on the kind of corporate side, I think there has been technology that’s been making inroads over the last 15-20 years, a lot of it is on premise. So there’s a lot of cloud education that’s happening. I think the industry is picking up on it. What you’re also seeing is a lot of businesses that have been founded in the last five to 10 years that are tech forward businesses that are looking for new cloud based slick technology that integrates with the rest of their business. So it’s interesting that they’re actually gravitating more towards technology that the other departments within their business are using, leveraging similar resources, tech teams, operational teams across other lines of business. So while there are naysayers, there also, it’s been interesting to see how things have evolved.

Pam Wickersham 20:47
New and cloud based just made me laugh a little. But I think the also the culture of going more towards remote work has been a great influence and the adoption of the cloud technologies as well, and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

Toby Brown 21:02
So I’ll bring a finer point to this. So I’ve, well, first of all, say I’m a fan of the concept. In fact, I tried to get someone to build something like this about 12 years ago, and probably too early. But so I’ve just been through a cycle to have the firm really look at this and see the value of it. But I had to set three or four different meetings, one with the practice management team, one with the pricing team, one with the legal project management team. Because the value propositions were different to each portion of the firm, which again, I’m a fan, because I’d rather have one system that that serves all of those needs than three or four, or five, or six, or however many we have now, that meets that. So I personally see a challenge internal to affirm to how I can affirm I’m in how I pitch that up so that everybody can get on the same page. So I’m kind of curious of how you’re navigating that.

Ari Treuhaft 22:00
Yeah, I mean, for me, it’s always been, when engaging with the stakeholders, like the practice group leaders, or if it’s a CIO, is not actually focusing on the technology, it’s focusing on the business value. So if I’m talking to a firm, that, I don’t know, let’s say 75% of their revenue is coming from their employment practice. Like we’re talking about the business drivers, both on the top line and the bottom line for that specific practice is like, how are you providing better service to your to your clients? What type of data are they interested in seeing that’s going to move the needle in their both their perspective on how you’re doing and also drive better results for them? Where are you guys wasting the most time that you’re not billing for in those specific practice areas? And what could you do to improve that? And how can we help? Like, those are the conversations, it’s really coming from a business value perspective, and not necessarily from a technology perspective, I think once you engage folks and demonstrate how technology can solve their business challenges, they start to become advocates, and they start to like, really get it and then they can kind of push that internally. And that’s that’s kind of what’s worked for us is really focusing on the practice areas, focusing on the business processes where we can add the most value and not trying to come in and say, Hey, guys, you need an operating system. Why? Because you just do like it’s more about the business value.

Greg Lambert 23:28
I think it’s pretty well known that when it comes to Salesforce, the legal industry is is such a tiny part of their overall market. So first of all, let me ask you, why do you think that is sorry?

Ari Treuhaft 23:44
Yeah, I think I think people are scared of lawyers.

Greg Lambert 23:50
Lawyers are scared of Salesforce, maybe

Marlene Gebauer 23:51
that’s what I was thinking.

Ari Treuhaft 23:53
I think lawyers, so lawyers that work at law firms don’t a lot of them don’t know what Salesforce is, and they hear sales. And they think, Oh, well, it’s a CRM, like, what do we need a CRM and CRM is more than just a sales tool, CRM. CRM is a customer relationship management tool, and law firms have customers, those customers have, you know, specific wants needs. You know, at the end of the day, lawyers are service providers, much like any other type of service provider, and you need to really do a really good job of keeping track of what’s important to your customer how you’re doing. And I think Salesforce hasn’t focused on it, because they’re kind of just not clear on what what lawyers actually do and what lawyers actually need. I think we’ve been able to bridge that gap. I think lawyers now are more familiar with Salesforce than they ever have, then, thanks to our marketing team. And thanks to you know, a lot of education that’s been pushed also by we partner with Salesforce as sales teams and marketing teams, like we’ve done a lot of education on our own. And I think that there’s a lot that You’ll start to see happening in the next couple of years on Salesforce is both penetration and education of the market.

Greg Lambert 25:07
Well, what made you decide that Salesforce was the platform you were the operating system that you were going to build on? And how do you relay that core benefit to the customers who don’t know what that platform is?

Ari Treuhaft 25:22
Right? So I guess it was, there were a couple of core principles that that Salesforce is founded on that, both from a technology and from a go to market perspective, it just like made a ton of sense for us. We get to leverage best in class security, which, again, lawyers are very risk averse. You know, if you go to any CTO or CIO, In an AmLaw firm, the first question that they’re going to ask you is like, so how do you deal with our clients InfoSec policies, like we’re moving data to the cloud, like, you know, and the answer that we have is the data that you’re going to be moving to the cloud is going to sit on the same cloud as the Department of Homeland Security, American Express and Delta Airlines. Depending on how you feel about those organizations, you know, you’ll you’ll either be comforted or not comforted. But the bottom line is, that’s what we’re dealing with. And then we also get to leverage best in class analytics, reporting dashboards, mobility, amazing features that Salesforce provides natively on their platform that we get to leverage and provide to an industry that otherwise would never have access to that type of functionality. That was really for us, it was like a game changer is like how can we get the the best technology in the world into the hands of lawyers so that they can run their businesses the same way and as an asset at a high of a level as other businesses are able to run. And that was kind of, you know, game over for us.

Pam Wickersham 26:54
But we also had to make it look like it was for the legal team. Again, it’s a generic piece of software out of the box, you get a Salesforce account, it doesn’t look like it’s for the legal industry. What Litify has done is tailored exactly to what they need. The vernacular is correct. They see themselves in the tool, and all of a sudden, it does look like it’s a platform for the legal industry.

Ari Treuhaft 27:15
Yeah, and I think to that point, Pam, you know, the, the extensibility of Salesforce and the ability to configure and customize, you know, lawyers are, you know, they’re specialists, like you ask a lawyer, what do you do, he’ll never say, or she’ll never say, I’m a lawyer, they’ll say, I’m a, you know, I, you know, practice, you know, transactional work or whatever specific type of legal practice that they perform kind of like doctors, you don’t ask a doctor, you know, and they say, Hey, I’m a doctor, they’ll say, I am a pediatric pulmonologist or something like that. And you know, that’s kind of a necessity. And the technology is like, how can you provide a core operating system to a law firm that has 20 distinct practice areas with 20 distinct needs, and still give the lawyers what they need, and they’ll actually use so the business gets what it needs? And you need to give them a platform that can be molded and extended to their specific business line. And that’s kind of I think, what Pam and the team and partnership with Salesforce has been able to do.

Marlene Gebauer 28:18
So just this week, Litify was named overall practice management solution provider of the Year by Legal Tech Breakthrough. So congratulations for that. So this is, you know, a great recognition, especially since I think there were over 1400 nominations submitted for the award. Pam, you know, what do you think makes Litify special in regard to these other products? And what do you think you’re doing to put yourself ahead of the competition?

Pam Wickersham 28:45
Yeah, great question. One of the things I’m extremely proud of is just our speed to market. So our ability to adapt quickly, to be able to release new features on a cadence that is much faster than some of our competitors, and our ability to listen and pivot. And then the ability to extend the platform beyond that. So we have a roadmap where we have, you know, four releases on each product planning here at minimum, Salesforce is also innovating on that platform. And then our professional services team and our customer success team is listening to specific customer needs, and helping them customize beyond that, where they really have their own roadmap. So our ability to not only bring features to market, but to also adapt and make those exactly what you need, I think is what makes our platform so exciting. And it’s also innovative and new. And it looks current of this decade, at least and just great, great to work with that our UX team, I think, dazzles and delights a lot of our customers compared to what’s out there in the market as well.

Toby Brown 29:51
So Pam, I’m going to pick up on a couple of terms you put out there. One was roadmap and one was exciting. So looking ahead… Looking ahead, can you give us an idea of the functionalities that are on your near term roadmap that you think are exciting that people are going to really be interested in?

Pam Wickersham 30:11
Yeah, absolutely. We have a philosophy at Litify, where we like to bring our software to you and to where you work. And I think that’s a lot of the themes that you’re seeing in our roadmap. Currently, we’re releasing new features and Outlook and the email and calendar product, and also within Word and the Microsoft Office Suite. So those are some pretty exciting things happening on the dock row and DMS side. And then we’re also really focusing on integration. So the ability to use Litify, but maybe not all of the Litify platform. So we have a document generation and management tool, but maybe you’re on iManage, maybe you’re on NetDocuments, still being able to use Litify, and Doc Rio to generate documents, but integrating with those other platforms. So we’re really focused on, you know, loving everybody in the ecosystem and understanding that Litify might not be your end to end can be but we also play nicely with with other systems in the DMS space and other systems also in accounting. So we’re integrating our Time and Billing features into accounting aid, but also Aderant and other platforms like that.

Toby Brown 31:14
I’m glad you brought that up. Because as I went through the cycles, that was the some of the sort of red flags people come up with, well, wait a minute, we use, you know, whatever, Brand X of software, and we’re not going to get rid of that. And I think that’s very important that you’re integrating across the board. Because that’s, that’s a hard thing for law firms to do is give up some piece of software that they’ve had for 30 years.

Marlene Gebauer 31:37
That they’ve invested in.

Toby Brown 31:38
Yeah, so I think that’s smart.

Pam Wickersham 31:40
I see it more as a menu. And so if the whole menu works for you, that’s, that’s amazing. And you’re gonna have a one stop solution. But you can also pick and choose pieces of it. And we are, again, benefit of being on the cloud very extensible, and have API’s to integrate with just about any piece of software out there.

Greg Lambert 31:56
Ari and Pam, we ask all of our guests what we call our crystal ball question. And Ari, let’s start off with you first. What do you see as some changes or some challenges for the legal industry over the next three to five years?

Ari Treuhaft 32:12
Yeah, I think we’re starting to see legal get pushed in a way that it hasn’t before both, you know, rate compression, the demands of businesses, we’re in a very highly litigious, you know, world that we live in right now. So legal expenses, and legal fees are just going up ballooning through the roof. And I think what you’re starting to see is legal reaching outside of legal for resources, both from a people process and technology perspective. So ALSPs, obviously, coming to the forefront. But I think more than that, I think you’re starting to see legal operators function more as core operators than as just legal teams. So I think you’re going to start seeing more and more of the kind of digital transformation that you’re seeing happening in the space right now. Leveraging experiences from outside of what we’ve seen in the last 15 and 20 years. So I’m excited. I think we’re all sitting at the forefront of what will be a really exciting time. And we’re continuing to see a tremendous amount of progress in that realm.

Marlene Gebauer 33:20
Pam, same question to you.

Pam Wickersham 33:23
Yeah, I think Ari touched on this a little bit early. But I think that we’re starting to see a lot of our law firms and even corporate legal teams really need to operate like a business and really look at their bottom line and not just be a cost center, but also have opportunity to be making money and operating, operating lean, but really thinking about themselves as a CEO of that department. And so we are creating products that are making that a lot more possible for them to be able to run reports and have analytics and make sure that they’re making decisions based on data and not just on what’s been done in the past, or you know, what, what someone is suggesting that they do. So we’re building products to help make that easier to manage budgets, seeing a lot of things going to alternative fee arrangements, there’s just a lot that’s happening that we need to keep up with, as well as creating products for our customers’ customer. So that’s something that already touched on too, of making sure that their outside counsel, they can interact. And so we’re not just creating a product for the corporate legal team, but also a product for the outside counsel. And same thing with law firms. There’s a client portal so that you can log in and make sure that you can share data back and forth with your your customer. And so that’s something that we’re focused on as well.

Greg Lambert 34:37
Well, Ari Treuhaft In Pam Wickersham I want to thank you both for taking the time to talk with us. This has been great.

Ari Treuhaft 34:44
Yeah, it’s been great. Thanks for having us. I really enjoyed it.

Pam Wickersham 34:47
Thank you very much.

Marlene Gebauer 34:48
Thank you

Greg Lambert 34:52
Well, it’s good I you know, I I thought we’d probably spend more time on the Salesforce thing, but

Toby Brown 34:58
I know I was kind of surprised that didn’t him up and his elevator speech? Because to me that’s like a primary value that they have. And I know he was smart to say, lawyers get confused about it. But it is a known fact, the answer I would have given to his question when he when you said, you know, how are law firms viewing this, you know, with client data going on, as I would have said, your clients are already on this platform with very sensitive information.

Greg Lambert 35:27
Yeah. And I think he mentioned it, you know, mentioned that with all the other companies that are on there. And I will say that he’s done a couple of other podcasts, one with Bob Ambrogi, back last summer, where they really went into what it means to be be on the Salesforce platform. So if anyone wants to hear more of that Bob did a great job.

Toby Brown 35:47
Bob usually does.

Greg Lambert 35:48
Yes.

Marlene Gebauer 35:48
I thought it was interesting that they were talking about that, you know, yeah, there’s there’s been more of a push for, you know, attorneys and law firms to sort of move to this sort of platform and use of data, because I still think there’s there’s still a bit of resistance. That way, people who haven’t been used to being monitored in that sort of fashion, who’s, you know, who have been very autonomous in terms of running their own practice? You know, I still think there’s, there’s a bit of a of a hesitancy to jump on board with that.

Toby Brown 36:20
Yeah, I liked his comment about, you know, ensuring good customer, forget the term of use the customer experience that would that would be consistent. And I do like the idea of bridge between the Customer and the client. But the problem there is, then does the client have the same software as you and the answer? 99 times out of 100 is no.

Greg Lambert 36:43
But the possibility of the client being on Salesforce is probably high.

Toby Brown 36:47
True, true. Well, and plus, with Salesforce, you can open it up so that the clients can come in and view it.

Marlene Gebauer 36:53
But the fact that they’re picking up on sort of this this desire and need for this sort of this deep and more meaningful collaboration. You know, having that ability on a platform, I think is absolutely true. Clients are always asking for that. And you know, this would make it very easy.

Toby Brown 37:10
Well, since I can never have a conversation anymore without mentioning SALI, the standards effort.

Marlene Gebauer 37:15
Mentioned it, we love SALI.

Toby Brown 37:18
And I’ve had conversations with Litify. With Ken there at Litify. About you guys really need to get on SALI. But if you think about it, one of the value proposition of SALI is allowing seamless, frictionless data transfers between different applications. Well, with Litify they’re not different applications. They’re the same one on the Salesforce platform. So that makes it even better.

Greg Lambert 37:42
Yeah. Well, in one thing that I think we kind of glossed over the fact that Pam is an engineer, different background, not coming in from legal.

Marlene Gebauer 37:54
Different perception.

Greg Lambert 37:55
Different perception. I think it’s brilliant to have her on there. Helping to guide this that, you know, she called herself the, the documents, person.

Toby Brown 38:07
That was a little bit of an understatement.

Greg Lambert 38:09
Yeah. Well, and I think Ari pointed that out that, you know, that’s they, they have a real jewel, with having Pam there. And so I think other companies could could learn a lot by what they’ve done. So I want to thank Ari Treuhaft and Pam Wickersham, both of Litify for coming on, and talking to us on the show. And I also want to thank City Acre brewery for letting us crash their place today and …

Toby Brown 38:36
Crash being the operative word.

Greg Lambert 38:37
Yeah, we had a little incident earlier.

Marlene Gebauer 38:42
Yeah, well, unfortunately, we can’t say that any laptops weren’t harmed in the making this podcast.

Greg Lambert 38:48
Thank God we brought two.

Marlene Gebauer 38:51
And want to say thank you to all of you for taking the time to listen to The Geek in Review podcast. If you enjoy the show, share it with a colleague. We’d love to hear from you. So reach out to us on social media. I can be found at @gebauerm on Twitter.

Greg Lambert 39:04
And I can be reached @glambert on Twitter and Toby, what about you?

Toby Brown 39:08
Knowledge, but it’s spelled unique way?

Greg Lambert 39:10
Yeah, with a “g”.

Toby Brown 39:11
G N O W L E D G E (@gnawledge).

Greg Lambert 39:15
Well done.

Toby Brown 39:15
I gotta right this time.

Marlene Gebauer 39:18
Or you can leave us a voicemail on the new geek interview Hotline at 713-487-7821. And as always, the music you hear is from Jerry David DeCicca Thank you, Jerry.

Greg Lambert 39:29
Thanks, Jerry.

Toby Brown 39:30
Thanks Jerry.

Greg Lambert 39:30
All right, Marlene, Toby, see you later.

Marlene Gebauer 39:32
Alright, bye!

 



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