2018 Legal Technology – Year in Review

From Uptime Legal’s CEO

As 2018 comes to a close, I can’t help but reflect on what an evolutionary year it’s been for lawyers and for legal technology.

The theme I might use to describe 2018 is: Growth and Development. The legal technology industry, the companies, the products and Uptime Legal have all grown considerably and developed remarkably within these short twelve months.

Adopting the Cloud

Once a maverick concept, today cloud computing has been adopted worldwide as the best, perhaps only way to consume and leverage technology. In 2018 more law firms moved partially or completely to the cloud than any preceding year. Cloud-based technologies are becoming more secure, more flexible and more secure than ever before, and fear of the cloud is all but extinct.

Moreover, many law firms, especially firms of 10 employees or more, are realizing that there’s more to the cloud than just web applications. A Private Cloud has become the enterprise-grade go-to for law firms looking to leverage the cloud, and all of its benefits, without abandoning its mature legal software.

Market Consolidation

Emerging markets tend to consolidate over time, and legal cloud technology is no different. Two years after Uptime Legal announced its acquisition of JurisPage, the M&A market within legal technology shows no signs of slowing down. In October, Tabs3 announced its acquisition of CosmoLex, a leading legal practice management and accounting software company. Also in October, Clio announced its acquisition of Lexicata, a law firm intake and CRM platform. On the media side of the legal technology spectrum, in January Internet Brands acquired Avvo, the popular lawyer review site.

I expect to see more M&A activity within the legal technology space in the coming years, and legal tech organizations young and old look to expand their reach, market share and capabilities.

Betting on Innovation

Companies in legal technology aren’t just merging; many are innovating. On the development side of our Growth and Development theme, 2018 saw a lot of product evolution. LexisNexis launched Time Matters Go and PCLaw Go, mobile apps for Time Matters and PCLaw, their venerable practice management and law firm accounting applications, respectively. Rocket Matter announced its Braavos Edition, packed with practice-area-specific functionality. CosmoLex announced major updates to streamline and secure law firm communications.

In 2018, Uptime Legal announced Generation 10 Uptime Practice, setting a new standard for law firm private cloud platforms. And LegalWorks launched version 2.5, loaded with enhancements to help law firms better manage documents and email.

Over the next few years, you can bet that legal tech titans and startups alike will double-down on development and product innovation.

Becoming the Gold Standard

In 2018, Uptime Legal was recognized among America’s fastest-growing private companies for the fifth consecutive year (the 2018 Inc. 5000). In 2018 there are no shortage of hosting and IT companies offering to host a law firm’s applications and data, but only Uptime Legal has demonstrated the experience and the acumen to make this prestigious list for a sustained period of time.

The close of 2018 also marks one year after LexisNexis announced its partnership with Uptime Legal, naming Uptime the preferred partner for hosting LexisNexis’ legal software, including Time Matters and PCLaw, in the cloud.

Helping Law Firms Grow

In 2018 perhaps more than any other year, law firms large and small are working to grow their firms. Law firm marketing has moved from billboards and business cards to the Internet and social media.

In 2018, JurisPage, Uptime’s award-winning digital marketing agency for law firms, helped hundreds of law firms build their online presence, market their firm and get more clients. 2018 is also the year that JurisPage launched its Email Marketing service, helping law firms build their email database and market and engage with their audience.

Giving Back to Lawyers and Legal Tech

We’re very thankful to the lawyers and legal technologists that helped Uptime legal become the revered company that it is today. That’s just one reason, as we close 2018, we hosted the third-annual LawLauncher, our virtual summit packed with speakers on all things legal technology and legal marketing.

This year, we hosted some of the smartest attorneys, marketers, and technologists in the legal industry for talks from the trenches on how to leverage technology to start, grow, and manage your law firm.

Closing Remarks

2018 has been an incredibly progressive year for legal technology, and we’re honored to have helped lead the way.

I want to thank everyone who helped our industry and helped Uptime Legal reach the echelons they have: Our employees, our partners, our followers and fans, and most of all: Our many clients.

Have a happy, healthy holiday season.

Here’s to an amazing 2019!