How legal engineering helps law firms gain a competitive advantage
What is legal engineering?
Legal engineering, simply put, is the transformation of “legal” into “software”. Legal engineers usually work in multidisciplinary teams and are creative problem solvers providing an end-to-end solution.
Transforming legal into software usually builds upon four pillars:
- 📚 Legal knowledge: What does the law/jurisprudence/doctrine say?
- 🧩Process mapping: How do I get from input (e.g. a client’s question) to the desired outcome (e.g. a legal advice)?
- 💼Legal business logic: What advice would I give in which situation?
- 🚀 Technology: Which technology do I need and how will we build the solution?
Law firms lack the skills to create viable, robust and sustainable legal tech solutions.
Correctly combining all four elements: legal knowledge, process mapping, legal business logic and technology is crucial to transform any type of legal question into software. Today, almost no law firm has the necessary skills in-house to create viable, robust and sustainable solutions.
What are other law firms doing?
Ambitious and forward-looking law firms have realised that they lack the necessary skills. To remedy the lack of skills, these law firms have started collaborating with external providers.
Recently we saw a very interesting move by leading international law firm Simmons & Simmons. The London based law firm acquired Wavelength, a legal engineering firm, to provide a better offering for their clients.
Ambitious law firms are partnering with legal engineering firms to gain a competitive advantage.
This acquisition clearly indicates the importance of legal engineering capabilities. The ability to quickly create, build and implement legal tech solutions is an extremely valuable advantage in today's rapidly changing environment. Law firms that realise this will gain a competitive advantage.