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.

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.

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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.

At just 17 years old, Joshua Browder made international news when he created DoNotPay, a chatbot that helped appeal parking tickets, reportedly saving motorists in the U.S. and UK some $16 million. Now 21, he has just released a series of apps designed to help consumers solve common legal problems without the help of a lawyer — including one to file small claims lawsuits in any U.S. jurisdiction.

In this episode of LawNext, I caught up with Browder during the recent Clio Cloud Conference, we discussed the genesis of DoNotPay, the latest round of apps, and Browder’s dream of enabling robots and technology to help people with most of their common legal problems.

“If you’re a normal person who’s not accused of murder, who doesn’t need to be in the Supreme Court, I don’t want you to even have to interact with a lawyer,” Browder says. “ … There’s no reason why, if your landlord keeps your security deposit, it should be so complicated to get justice. So everything that a consumer would want from the legal system, I want to provide for free.”

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


Kevin O’Keefe believes that lawyers get their best work from relationships and a strong word-of-mouth reputation, and that blogging is the perfect way to build relationships and reputation. In 2003, he founded LexBlog, a company devoted to helping lawyers and law firms launch their own blogs. Today, LexBlog has grown to a network of nearly 20,000 legal professionals worldwide blogging on the platform.

More recently, LexBlog launched a global legal news and commentary network based on legal blogs. The network is open to any legal blog, without cost and regardless of whether the blog is a LexBlog customer. And just last week, LexBlog announced a national campaign to help bridge the legal services gap by enabling lawyers to connect with consumers in real and authentic ways through blogs.

In this episode of LawNext, I talk with O’Keefe about LexBlog, blogging, and the important of building trust and relationships for lawyers to connect with clients.

Full disclosure: Since January, I’ve worked with LexBlog as publisher and editor-in-chief. 

Before founding LexBlog, O’Keefe was a trial lawyer in Wisconsin for 17 years. In 1998, he founded a virtual law community, PrairieLaw.com. After selling PrairieLaw to LexisNexis in 2001, he became vice president of business development for its Martindale-Hubbell division. He is a graduate of University of the Pacific — McGeorge School of Law and the University of Notre Dame.

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.


What if a lawyer could know how a judge is likely to rule in a case or how heavy is a judge’s workload? Rick Merrill was a litigator at a large law firm who became frustrated over his inability to get meaningful information about the judges before whom he appeared. So last year, he launched Gavelytics, a California company that uses analytics and artificial intelligence to analyze docket data and provide lawyers with a range of insights about judges’ propensities, workloads and leanings.

In this episode of LawNext, I visited Gavelytics’ office in Santa Monica, where I sat down with Merrill, now the company’s CEO, and Justin Brownstone, VP of sales and litigation counsel, to talk about the product one year after its launch, how lawyers use analytics for strategic and competitive purposes, and how analytics and AI are being used more broadly in law.

Before founding Gavelytics, Merrill was a litigator with the law firm Greenberg Traurig in Los Angeles, involved primarily in real estate and other commercial disputes. He received his law degree from UCLA School of Law, completed the executive program at the UCLA Anderson School of Business, and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California.

Brownstone is also a former litigator with several Los Angeles firms. He is also a graduate of UCLA School of Law, where he was a managing editor of the law review. He earned his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College.

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.

Earlier this year, Mark Britton left Avvo, the often-controversial company he founded in 2006 and led as CEO, after selling it to web behemoth Internet Brands. Explaining his departure in a memo to his staff, he wrote, “It’s time for me to go.”

In the latest episode of LawNext, Britton reflects on his 12 years at Avvo. In a face-to-face interview I conducted with him last week in his home base of Seattle, Britton recounts why he started the company, discusses why he sold it to Internet Brands, and explains why he left. He talks about what he believes his company achieved and what he achieved as CEO. He reveals his greatest disappointment and his frustration with Avvo’s ongoing battles with the organized bar. He also offers his advice to budding entrepreneurs.

Before founding Seattle-based Avvo, Britton was senior vice president, general counsel and secretary for Expedia after it spun off from Microsoft. Earlier, he was an attorney with Preston, Gates & Ellis in Seattle and senior counsel with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He is a 1992 graduate of The George Washington University Law School and a 1989 graduate of Gonzaga University.

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.

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