What’s Missing In Legal Tech Today? “Budgeting Tools that Transcend Excel”

SAN FRANCISCO - June 16, 2017

At yesterday’s LegalTech conference in San Francisco, Neel Chatterjee of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Law 360’s IP Group of the year) was asked what he thinks is missing in legal tech. He responded, “Budgeting tools that transcend Excel.” He went on to discuss how it seems like lawyers are still “sticking a finger in the air” to get budgets and need help finding the right number and adhering to it. “We need tools that mine the firm for analytics” and can tell you things like, “how much does a motion cost?”

Neel’s comments launched the group into a larger discussion of the need for better budgeting by legal vendors because lawyers get blamed for vendors’ cost overruns. Given the amount of time the panel dedicated to this topic, it seems clear there remains plenty of room for innovation — and for tech adoption –in the legal budgeting space.

In addition to being a great trial lawyer, Neel is a straight-shooter and one of the first people I approached when I started doing “proof-of-concept” market research for my company, Digitory Legal. His insights taught me that it was important to create a system that includes costs-per-task because these metrics can help law firms manage their teams to budget and reward efficient lawyers.