17 episodes

The Legal Tech StartUp Focus Podcast covers the startups that develop and sell legal tech products and services. Through interviews with legal tech startup founders, investors, customers and others with an interest in this startup sector, the podcast's host, Charlie Uniman, and his guests will discuss such topics as startup management and startup life, startup investing, marketing and sales, pricing and revenue models and the factors that affect how customers purchase legal tech. In short, the Legal Tech Startup Focus Podcast will focus on just what it takes for legal tech startups to succeed.

Legal Tech StartUp Focus Podcast Charles Uniman

    • Entrepreneurship
    • 5.0 • 1 Rating

The Legal Tech StartUp Focus Podcast covers the startups that develop and sell legal tech products and services. Through interviews with legal tech startup founders, investors, customers and others with an interest in this startup sector, the podcast's host, Charlie Uniman, and his guests will discuss such topics as startup management and startup life, startup investing, marketing and sales, pricing and revenue models and the factors that affect how customers purchase legal tech. In short, the Legal Tech Startup Focus Podcast will focus on just what it takes for legal tech startups to succeed.

    Ep 017 Interview with Bill Henderson, law professor, editor of Legal Evolution and interim director of the Institute for the Future of Law Practice

    Ep 017 Interview with Bill Henderson, law professor, editor of Legal Evolution and interim director of the Institute for the Future of Law Practice

    Episode 17 of the Legal Tech StartUp Focus Podcast -- Interview with Bill Henderson, Law Professor, Editor of Legal Evolution and Interim Director of Development, IFLP
    In this, one of the most wide-ranging episodes of the Legal Tech StartUp Focus Podcast (www.legaltechstartupfocus.com/podcast), Charlie Uniman welcomes Bill Henderson. Bill is a law professor at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, editor of the online publication, Legal Evolution (www.legalevolution.org) and Interim Director of the Institute for the non-profit Future of Law Practice (IFLIP) (www.futurelawpractice.org). Charlie and Bill kick off the podcast with Bill describing his interesting journey from college to law school to a law professorship (interesting, especially, because of Bill's spending over a decade between starting and finishing college as a fireman and EMT in the Cleveland area).
    Next, Bill discusses IFLP's mission, which consists principally on offering online and real-life boot camps (for law students and mid-career professionals) and working internships (at law firms and legal departments) that aim to "equip lawyers with the knowledge and skills that are essential in modern legal practice." In this regard, Bill talks about educating so-called "T-shaped" lawyers who can supplement legal (doctrinal) knowledge and skills with skills that involve technology, design, business decision-making, data analytics and project management. Bill also describes how the traditional "one-to-one consultative" aspects of law practice have involved to include a more "one-to-many" way of practicing law. We learn from Bill about IFLP's ambition to take its programs to a much larger scale than they operate at currently and IFLP's efforts to raise the funds necessary to achieve that scale.
    Given Bill's role as a law professor, Bill and Charlie turn next to legal education and consider what have been both the accelerators and the retardants of change in how law students are taught in most US law schools. Bill distinguishes how so-called "top tier" law schools can persist in avoiding, to a greater degree perhaps than other law schools, classroom teaching in areas that, while outside the area of traditional doctrinal learning, can have a positive impact on a law student's readiness to practice law upon leaving school for a law firm or an in-house legal department. Bill draws a distinction between (i) on the one hand, the AmLaw top 150 law firms that hire predominantly from the top-tier schools to do clients' "bet the company" lawyering and (ii) on the other hand, in-house legal departments and the remainder of the law firms in the US that handle more day-to-day, but vital, operational client work. With this distinction in mind, Bill calls out the day-to-day work as a "contested area," where an client desire for efficiency and, therefore, cost-effectiveness allow in-house counsel and law firms outside the AmLaw 150 to battle successfully with the upper-echelon firms in garnering legal work and, thereby, to increase hiring demand for law students trained in disciplines that enhance efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
    Finally, Bill delves deeply into what impedes the adoption of innovative approaches to law practice at so many law firms (and even in-house legal departments) both inside and outside the US. Bill and Charlie talk about cultural and financial barriers to innovation and discuss the impact of exogenous factors (like the worldwide financial crisis that began around 2008 and the worldwide COVID crisis) that can act as forcing functions for the adoption of innovations in the practice of law and the business of delivering legal services. As Bill, quoting a friend, puts it: "necessity [in the form of exogenous factors] is not only the mother of invention, it's also the mother of adoption."

    • 40 min
    Ep 016 Interview with Teruel Carrasco, Chief Revenue Officer of dealcloser

    Ep 016 Interview with Teruel Carrasco, Chief Revenue Officer of dealcloser

    Episode 16 of the Legal Tech StartUp Focus Podcast with Teruel Carrasco, Chief Revenue Officer at dealcloser
    In Episode 16 of the of Legal Tech StartUp Focus Podcast (www.legaltechstartupfocus.com/podcast), your podcast host, Charlie Uniman, interviews Teruel Carrasco, Chief Revenue Officer at dealcloser (www.dealcloser.com).
    Teruel first talks about how his journey began with working in B2B marketing outside of legal tech. From there Teruel moved on to being involved with private equity investing and startup consulting. And then Teruel describes how he next joined dealcloser to head up revenue and growth. And, as you'll hear from Teruel, it was quite a bit of serendipity in his consulting and investing roles that brought him to his position at dealcloser.
    Charlie and Teruel next talk about just what kind of product dealcloser offers. As should be clear from its name, dealcloser provides transaction management solutions for law firms and in-house legal departments. Among the things that Teruel mentions in this segment of the podcast are the features that distinguish dealcloser from other players in the transaction management space.
    Following a pattern established in discussions with previous podcast guests who are involved in a startup's marketing to law firms and legal departments, Teruel and Charlie go over some of the steps that dealcloser takes to market its product. These steps include: (i) going to where innovation-minded lawyers can be found (e.g. trade shows and other conferences), (ii) educating the market with thought leadership content delivered through social media, (iii) hiring a full-time and experienced director of marketing and (iv) marketing to champions at a customer to encourage non-users at that customer to "come aboard."
    Following this marketing discussion, Teruel talks about dealcloser's customer onboarding efforts. Here, Teruel talks about achieving product "stickiness," and recommends generous use of training videos, together with more standard (but always user-friendly) documentation, virtual training in real-time with users working on actual transactions, and periodic follow-up's both to get feedback and smooth out user interface and user experience kinks.
    In closing the podcast, Teruel talks about how the COVID crisis has affected dealcloser's customer acquisition efforts. In this regard, Teruel stresses the importance of demonstrating genuine empathy with customers who are confronting work-from-home challenges. Teruel also mentions the silver lining that dealcloser encountered during the crisis as customers showed a greater willingness to consider tech adoption in the face those work-from-home challenges.

    • 37 min
    Ep 015 Interview with Rhys Hodkinson - Head of Growth at Define

    Ep 015 Interview with Rhys Hodkinson - Head of Growth at Define

    Episode 15 of the Legal Tech StartUp Focus Podcast with Rhys Hodkinson, Head of Growth at Define
    In Episode 15 of the of Legal Tech StartUp Focus Podcast (www.legaltechstartupfocus.com/podcast), your podcast host, Charlie Uniman, interviews Rhys Hodkinson, Head of Growth at Define (www.trydefine.com).
    Rhys first discusses his professional background, describing how he moved from practicing at a UK law firm to earning his MBA in the UK and stepping next to heading growth at Define. Charlie and Rhys next talk about Define's product offering, with Rhys detailing how Define enables lawyers to master the reviewing, drafting, editing of defined terms in their contract documents -- all through an easy-to-use plug-in to the familiar Microsoft Word interface. Rhys goes on to explain why Define's use makes contract drafting more accurate and much faster.
    Rhys offers pointers on marketing to law firms and legal departments (such pointers including, among other things: (i) finding (and supporting) in-firm and in-house evangelists, (ii) offering social media content and case studies that customers (and potential customers) actually find informative and otherwise of high value, (iii) offering continuing attention (e.g., with regular follow-up's) to existing customers (especially product champions) and (iv) being "present" by attending conferences and engaging with the legal tech community locally and more broadly).
    From marketing, Rhys provides advice when it comes to a legal tech startup's customer onboarding efforts (here, describing how Define (i) gives priority to user experience and user interface, (ii) makes use of its corps of customer-champions/evangelists, and (iii) persists in its gathering customer feedback -- all with a view to making sure that, once licensed by a law firm or legal department, its customers' users adopt and consistently use Define's product).
    Charlie asks Rhys what he and his leadership colleagues are most proud of from a management standpoint at Define (hint: its a team that's diverse in its viewpoints, supportive of team members and remarkably well-skilled).
    Finally, Rhys talks about how the COVID crisis has been a "double-edge sword" as far as leading growth at a legal tech startup goes, with Rhys offering more advice to startup leadership when it comes to empathizing with customers during these challenging times, bringing even greater focus on Define's value proposition during ongoing contact with customers and properly using financial and other incentives to drive sales.

    • 36 min
    Ep 014 Interview with James Quinn, co-founder and CEO of Clarilis

    Ep 014 Interview with James Quinn, co-founder and CEO of Clarilis

    Episode 14 of the Legal Tech StartUp Focus Podcast -- Interview with James Quinn, Co-founder and CEO of Clarilis
    In this episode of the Legal Tech StartUp Focus Podcast (www.legaltechstartupfocus.com/podcast), podcast host, Charlie Uniman, interviews James Quinn, co-founder and CEO of document automation startup, Clarilis (www.clarilis.com).
    Charlie and James discuss: (i) James' transition from corporate lawyering at Slaughter and May in London to co-founding Clarilis, (ii) how Clarilis' technology nvolves automating the preparation of a suite of highly complex documents (i.e., those with provisions that themselves consist of many "moving parts" that articulate with complicated logic), (iii) the emphasis that Clarilis places on using a very "hands on" customer-success approach by having its team of technologists and lawyers help its law firm and legal department customers to implement the Clarilis technology (thereby driving long-term customer adoption and avoiding the "shelf-ware" fate often suffered by legal tech), (iv) James' and his team's very positive involvement with Slaughter and May's "Collaborate" startup incubator, (v) the impact that the COVID-19 crisis has had on Clarilis' business and (vi) the biggest "mindset" adjustment James had to make in moving from practicing law at a Magic Circle law firm to managing a legal tech startup.

    • 33 min
    Ep. 013 Interview with Alexander Sverdlov, co-founder of Atlant Security

    Ep. 013 Interview with Alexander Sverdlov, co-founder of Atlant Security

    Episode 13 of the Legal Tech StartUp Focus Podcast -- Interview with Alexander Sverlov of Atlant Security
    In this episode, Charlie Uniman, your host of the Legal Tech StartUp Focus Podcast (www.legaltechstartupfocus.com/podcast), interviews cybersecurity expert, Alexander Sverdlov,
    co-founder of Atlant Security (www.atlantsecurity.com).
    After a brief discussion of Alex's professional background, Alex gets right down to offering practical ( and immediately actionable) cybersecurity tips for working from home during the COVID 19 lockdown (and for working from anywhere outside an office when the lockdown is finally lifted). These tips include (i) video conferencing protections (including a discussion of both the now popular Zoom video conferencing tools and also Zoom alternatives), (ii) putting cyber protections in place to secure wifi use (including the use of a VPN ("virtual private network") for outside-the-office work), (iii) the importance of insuring the security of one's personal computer (including steps to take to do so), (iv) the oft-neglected security of whatever browser is being used on one's personal computer (citing, especially, the broader protections that ad-blocking browser extensions offer beyond just blocking ads themselves), (v) password and user name cybersecurity "hygiene" (using a password manager and two-factor authentication) and (vi) advice to legal tech startups to architect security at the very outset of the development of their legal tech applications.

    • 38 min
    Ep 012. Interview with Tunji Williams, Director of Strategy for Transaction Management at Litera Microsystems

    Ep 012. Interview with Tunji Williams, Director of Strategy for Transaction Management at Litera Microsystems

    Episode 12 of the Legal Tech StartUp Focus Podcast - An Interview with Tunji Williams, Director of Strategy for Transaction Management at Litera Microsystems
    In this episode of the Legal Tech StartUp Focus Podcast, Charlie Uniman, your podcast host (www.legaltechstartupfocus.com/podcast), talks with Tunji Williams of Litera Microsystems (www.litera.com).
    Charlie and Tunji kick off the podcast by talking about how Tunji moved from corporate practice at a large law firm to founding dealWIP, a legal tech startup that aimed at becoming a "deal workflow information platform." While at dealWIP, Tunji and his co-founders participated in two prominent legal tech accelerator programs, one managed by LexisNexis and the other managed by the UK law firm, Mishcon de Reya. Charlie and Tunji dive into what accelerator programs can offer legal tech startups (discussing, in particular, what Tunji learned from his participation) and how important it is for a startup to evaluate such programs from a timing standpoint (what is the right time for a startup to join an accelerator?) and from the standpoint of matching an accelerator's features with a particular startup's needs.
    Tunji next discusses just how much progress legal tech startups have made over the last five years in marketing and selling to the "right" stakeholder decision-makers at law firms and legal department customers. This discussion leads Tunji to describe his current role at Litera, which involves assisting customers in deriving value from Litera's deal management apps so as to encourage better customer engagement with those apps. Tunji goes on to describe the commercial and educational significance of bringing Litera's suite of tools to law schools and law students.
    Charlie and Tunji conclude by covering (i) what Tunji learned from the demise of dealWIP, (ii) his transition from his founder's role at dealWIP to his role as a member of Litera's team, (iii) how he, along with with others at Litera, devotes time to sketching out what deal management tech will look like decades from now and how doing so informs his day-to-day work and (iv) the importance for Tunji of being dedicated to (and, dare it be said, even in love with) his company's mission and the benefits that executing that mission can bring to Litera's customers.
     

    • 34 min

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