Just about every email or product release I read about legal technology says that it is “dynamic” or “revolutionary.” Most of the time it’s not.

Let’s look at last week in the non-legal technology world. Elon Musk released the solar roof panels. This is, of course, in his spare time between building a spaceship to colonize Mars and electric cars that are not horrible. Microsoft had a product release where article after article after article called Microsoft more innovative than Apple.

So, what’s going on in the legal tech world? Why don’t we ever hear about revolutionary things happening in the legal tech world? It’s because legal tech is not supposed to be revolutionary. It’s not supposed to take you to Mars or power your house or eliminate the reliance on fossil fuels. That’s because legal tech is supposed to help you be revolutionary.

Legal Tech Does Exactly What It Needs to Do

As I wrote last week, we are asking ourselves the wrong questions when it comes to legal technology. More than anything, legal tech is a set of tools that helps us work more efficiently so that we can focus on the things the practice management software cannot – be great lawyers.

I just got back from Above the Law’s second Academy for Private Practice in Philadelphia. The Academy for Private Practice is an all-day event that focuses on helping lawyers run a private practice more efficiently. There were a lot of legal tech vendors there. There was an “Innovation Award” showcase for legal technology companies to showcase what they’ve got. The winner was Casetext, which built a tool where you drag and drop your brief into their legal research tool and it analyzes the authorities you cite and directs you to cases and other authorities that you might have missed by comparing your brief with a database of most-cited authorities. That is a legitimately neat tool that can not only save you hours of research on each project, but help you find things that you would not have been able to find before. It makes your solo practice into the strength of maybe a solo attorney and a law clerk. Is it revolutionary to give attorneys shortcuts to perform legal research faster and better? Probably not when you compare it to Mars spaceships, but it’s not supposed to be.

Read the rest from Jeff Bennion at Above The Law Blog.