The importance of sector specific experience in legal tech

Having read your article Engaging a managed service provider with legal specific breadth and depth , we at Katchr can certainly identify with the importance of legal sector specific knowledge in providing high quality services to law firms. For many years the legal industry has had its own tech providers on the basis that the requirements of law firms are different to those of most other forms of business. Whilst that premise in itself can be challenged (what law firms don’t use Microsoft Outlook or Word) in delivering a high quality service beyond pure product, it is really important in our experience to understand the challenges and speak the language of legal practice. So, why is that? Law firms have unique challenges such as data security risks with their client knowledge, it makes them prime targets and the worst case scenario could create economic disruption on a wide scale. Firms also have lots of highly educated senior people operating their IT systems covering a breadth of duties that creates an ecosystem of responsibilities.  As individual business units, they require a vast amount of IT support and systems to underpin all that activity from marketing, billing and credit control to legal services delivery.

Understanding these challenges is crucial. How law firms work and speaking their language enables us to develop more supportive and collaborative relationships. For example; a local IT Services company may have experience with retail or manufacturing but these do not in any way reflect the uniqueness of law firms. Software applications that law firms use tend to be specific to the legal vertical and IT Services need to understand that eco system of legal specific software.

An example in our space of a general business software solution is Power BI. This is a highly functional tool which, in the hands of experts, can create great business intelligence solutions. However, creating those solutions with a generic tool requires domain specific expertise as well as deep product knowledge. That domain specific expertise can be incredibly difficult to find and the temptation is therefore to engage with a generalist developer. This means that you then have a large and protracted education period at significant expense in both time and money. In addition, the ability of the developer to produce an accurate scope of work is compromised. Whereas if a law firm uses a legal specialist to build their dashboards, they save the time and effort. And, the focus is more aligned with the skills in the room.

Graham Moore
MD / Founder

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