LawNext is a weekly podcast hosted by Bob Ambrogi, publisher of LawSites. Each week, Bob interviews the innovators and entrepreneurs who are driving what’s next in the legal industry. From legal technology startups to new law firm business models to enhancing access to justice, Bob and his guests explore the future of law and legal practice. Subscribe to receive future episodes at iTunes, LibSyn, or using your favorite podcast player.

In major legal industry news, global law company Elevate announced its acquisition of the legal AI technology and consulting firm LexPredict. The move combines the comprehensive legal services offering of Elevate with the data science team and AI engine of LexPredict.

With the combination of Elevate’s alternative services model and LexPredict’s cutting-edge technology, does this acquisition foreshadow the future of legal practice?

In this episode of LawNext, we take a deep dive into the acquisition and what it means for the legal industry. Joining me are two of the deal’s principles:

  • Pratik Patel, vice president of innovation at Elevate. Patel oined Elevate as part of the acquisition of RFx LEGAL Analytics in 2012, prior to which he served as a founding member and partner at RFx LEGAL. Earlier, he was a senior managing consultant at Huron Legal, where he played a key role in the rapid growth of Huron’s Legal consulting practice.
  • Daniel Martin Katz, cofounder and chief strategy officer of LexPredict, as well as professor of law at Chicago Kent College of Law and director of Chicago Kent’s Law Lab, a research center focused on legal innovation and technology. Katz has been named to the Fastcase 50, which “recognizes 50 of the smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders in the law.”  He was also named to the ABA Journal’s “Legal Rebels,” a prestigious group of change leaders in the legal profession.

Patel and Katz describe what each of their companies brings to the table, how the two companies align, and why they believe the sum of the two makes both companies even greater.

Listen above, on Apple Podcasts, or via your favorite podcast player. To never miss an episode, subscribe on Apple Podcasts or via RSS, or like us on Facebook. And if you like what you hear, say something nice in Apple Podcasts. Your ratings help us reach more listeners.

Comment on this show: Record a voice comment on your mobile phone and send it to info@lawnext.com.

Is the traditional form of contracting broken? Are static legal agreements irrelevant in a fast-moving global economy? Casey Kuhlman, CEO of the blockchain and smart contracts company Monax, believes we’re on the brink of a paradigm shift in how we form and execute legal agreements.

Kuhlman and Monax are the principal forces behind the launch of the Agreements Network, which he describes as the “legal layer for a networked world.” The Agreements Network provides a base blockchain layer and other tools to serve as an ecosystem to create, distribute, and operate legal agreements.

Kuhlman envisions that lawyers will be able to generate new revenue by converting agreements they’ve created into products that can be sold through these networks. These “archetypes,” as Kuhlman calls them, would combine legal text with smart-contract workflows to allow commercial clients to create their own active agreements.

Now based in Scotland, Kuhlman is a U.S.-trained lawyer who went to work in Somaliland in eastern Africa and started a law firm there. His work representing companies in transactional matters helped convince him that there had to be a better way to manage agreements. That led him to launch Monax and the Agreements Network.

Listen above, on Apple Podcasts, or via your favorite podcast player. To never miss an episode, subscribe on Apple Podcasts or via RSS, or like us on Facebook. And if you like what you hear, say something nice in Apple Podcasts. Your ratings help us reach more listeners.

Comment on this show: Record a voice comment on your mobile phone and send it to info@lawnext.com.

In this special bonus episode of LawNext, listen to a panel discussion on savvy podcasting for lawyers.

Recently, at the 2018 Northeast Regional Conference of the Legal Marketing Association, I participated on a panel of legal marketing and media experts to discuss podcasting for lawyers and law firms. The panelists shared their tips and experiences on starting, producing and promoting legal podcasts.

The panel was moderated by Susan Peters, president of Greybridge PR in New York. In addition to me, the other panelists were Angela Robinson, marketing communications manager at the law firm Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner in Washington, D.C., and Michael Meyer, a New York photographer who specializes in corporate and legal marketing and who has his own podcast, the Legal Marketing Studio.

A special thanks to Michael Meyer for recording the panel and making it available to LawNext.

In the latest episode of LawNext, we take you live to Russia, where I interview two of the leading experts on Russian legal technology to get their insights and perspectives on the state of innovation and development there. What they say may surprise you.

I recently visited Moscow as the keynote speaker at the Skolkovo LegalTech conference. (I recounted the visit in a post at Above the Law.) While there, I recorded these two interviews on the state of the legal tech industry in Russia:

Holger Zscheyge, managing director of the publishing company Infotropic Media and organizer of his own legal tech conference, Moscow Legal Tech. Zscheyge is widely regarded as the leading authority on legal technology in Russia.

Anton Pronin, organizer of the Skolkovo LegalTech conference and legaltech director of the Skolkovo Innovation Center, where he helps incubate and advise legal technology startups.

Zscheyge and Pronin describe an industry undergoing significant change. In Russia, the legal tech startup scene has quickly become more robust over the last two years. But law firms and courts have been slow to adopt new technologies. Both guests suggest that may now be starting to change.

Listen above, on Apple Podcasts, or via your favorite podcast player. To never miss an episode, subscribe on Apple Podcasts or via RSS, or like us on Facebook. And if you like what you hear, say something nice in Apple Podcasts. Your ratings help us reach more listeners.

Comment on this show: Record a voice comment on your mobile phone and send it to info@lawnext.com.

When Alvin Tedjamulia cofounded NetDocuments in 1998 as the first cloud-based platform for document and email management, few lawyers had any concept of what it meant to work in the cloud. Today, NetDocuments has grown to become one of the leading DMS systems in legal, counting some of the world’s leading law firms and corporations as its customers.

Now chief technology officer at NetDocuments, Tedjamulia is in charge of strategic planning, cloud engineering, research and development, and SaaS software development, as well as for overseeing the company’s data centers in locations around the world.

During NetDocuments’ recent ndElevate customer and partner conference, Tedjamulia sat down with me to discuss the development of NetDocuments over the years and how lawyers came to love the cloud.

Before cofounding NetDocuments, Tedjamulia was a cofounder in 1989 of SoftSolutions, an early DMS system popular with the legal profession. After WordPerfect acquired SoftSolutions, he became CTO at WordPerfect, and after Novell acquired WordPerfect, he became VP in charge of the Advanced Technology Group.

He was also the original chief designer for Comprehensive Law Office (CLO), an accounting and time & billing system for Law Firms which is now with Aderant.

Listen above, on Apple Podcasts, or via your favorite podcast player. To never miss an episode, subscribe on Apple Podcasts or via RSS, or like us on Facebook. And if you like what you hear, say something nice in Apple Podcasts. Your ratings help us reach more listeners.

The recently launched Caselaw Access Project is the capstone to a massive undertaking executed over three years to digitize all U.S. case law, some 6.4 million cases dating back to 1658. Leading the project was Adam Ziegler, director of the Library Innovation Lab at Harvard Law School, which partnered with Ravel Law to digitize the school’s entire library of U.S. cases.

In this episode of LawNext, Ziegler joins me as my guest to describe the project and its significance for legal researchers. He also discusses other projects underway at the Library Innovation Lab and touches on some of the lessons he learned as cofounder of a legal tech startup.

In addition to directing the Library Innovation Lab, Ziegler is an affiliate of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and an adjunct professor at Suffolk University Law School, where he co-teaches “Lawyering in the Age of Smart Machines.” Earlier, he founded Mootus, an online platform for collaborative legal argument, and practiced law for several years with firms in Boston and Washington, D.C.

Listen above, on Apple Podcasts, or via your favorite podcast player. To never miss an episode, subscribe on Apple Podcasts or via RSS, or like us on Facebook. And if you like what you hear, say something nice in Apple Podcasts. Your ratings help us reach more listeners.

Comment on this show: Record a voice comment on your mobile phone and send it to info@lawnext.com.


Sarah Schaaf wanted to revolutionize how lawyers get paid. After growing up with lawyer parents and then becoming a lawyer herself, including a stint in Google’s legal department, she saw the problems lawyers had in collecting from clients. She envisioned a platform as easy to use as PayPal or Venmo, but made specifically for the legal field and fully compliant with lawyers’ professional responsibilities.

Headnote, the company she co-founded and leads as CEO, is both a payment-processing platform, allowing lawyers to accept echeck and credit card payments, and an accounts-receivable automation platform, to help ensure invoices get paid. Headnote takes a unique approach to the e-payments process, aiming to make it easier for both the lawyer and the client. It is also transparent about its pricing, with no monthly service fees and fixed transaction fees of 1.9% for echecks and 2.9% for credit cards.

In this episode of LawNext, Schaaf joins joins me to discuss her company and her thoughts about payment processing in general. She describes how Headnote evolved out of her own experiences as a lawyer, how it differs from other payment processing platforms, and what lawyers should understand when selecting a payment processing company.

Listen above, on Apple Podcasts, or via your favorite podcast player. To never miss an episode, subscribe on Apple Podcasts or via RSS, or like us on Facebook. And if you like what you hear, say something nice in Apple Podcasts. Your ratings help us reach more listeners.

Comment on this show: Record a voice comment on your mobile phone and send it to info@lawnext.com.

They say you can’t go home again, but Matt Spiegel came back to legal technology after selling the first company he founded, MyCase, and then moving to other verticals. Earlier this year, Spiegel launched his second legal technology startup, Lawmatics, a cloud-based platform designed to automate legal marketing, CRM and client intake.

Spiegel had been a criminal defense lawyer when, in 2009, he founded MyCase, the legal practice management platform. In 2012, he sold MyCase to AppFolio, and then left in 2015 to start a software company that helped organizations manage trade shows and events. But he says he always knew he’d come back to legal technology.

In this episode of LawNext, I sat down with Spiegel for a live conversation during the recent Law Firm 500 conference in Lake Las Vegas, Nev. Spiegel discusses the void he saw in legal-marketing software for smaller firms and how he believes Lawmatics can help lawyers boost their bottom lines.

Listen above, on Apple Podcasts, or via your favorite podcast player. To never miss an episode, subscribe on Apple Podcasts or via RSS, or like us on Facebook. And if you like what you hear, say something nice in Apple Podcasts. Your ratings help us reach more listeners.

[Note: MyCase is a sponsor of this podcast. Although Spiegel founded MyCase, he no longer has any connection to the company.]


It was big news earlier this month when practice management company Clio announced that it had acquired Lexicata, the first cloud-based CRM and client-intake platform for lawyers. It was the first acquisition by 10-year-old Clio, which says it will continue to operate Lexicata but will also develop its technology into a new, more advanced client-engagement platform, Clio Grow.

Lexicata CEO Michael Chasin and law school classmate Aaron George founded the company in 2014, after previously founding LawKick, a marketplace for connecting clients with lawyers. A 2013 graduate of Loyola Law School, Chasin also received a master’s degree in business administration from Loyola Marymount University.

In this episode of LawNext, I sat down with Chasin during the recent Clio Cloud Conference, shortly after the acquisition was announced. We discussed the history of Lexicata, the reasons for the acquisition, the future of the product, and what it all means for the legal industry at large.

Listen above, on Apple Podcasts, or via your favorite podcast player. To never miss an episode, subscribe on Apple Podcasts or via RSS, or like us on Facebook. And if you like what you hear, say something nice in Apple Podcasts. Your ratings help us reach more listeners.

Excuse this commercial interruption, but I wanted to acknowledge and extend a huge thank you to MyCase, the practice management company, for becoming the first sponsor of my recently launched podcast LawNext.

Starting LawNext was somewhat of an experiment for me. As I explained in a recent post, I had been podcasting for 13 years as cohost of Lawyer2Lawyer on the Legal Talk Network. But I wanted to try something different — to be more hands on, to be more nimble, and to own what I was doing. And, frankly, I wanted to see if I could make a little money at it.

No sooner had I released the first episode in July than I heard from MyCase about the potential of becoming a sponsor. A few phone calls and emails later, it was official. Starting with Episode 13 posted earlier this week, you’ll hear some “words from our sponsor” during the show (plus an offer for a free trial).

By the way, we have other slots for advertisers and sponsors. If you’re interested, shoot us an email at info@lawnext.com, or email me directly at ambrogi@gmail.com.