AALL Spectrum

AALL Spectrum / November/December 2019 / Volume 24, No. 2

AALL Spectrum / Published by American Association of Law Libraries

Issue link: https://epubs.aallnet.org/i/1178310

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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019 | AALL SPECTRUM 47 Year founded: 2014 Headquarters: Seattle and San Francisco Number of employees: 11 LAWINSIDER FAST FACTS hearing about us and reaching out. Our next chapter of growth will require a much deeper relationship with law librarians than we've had in the past. We're looking forward to that. What would you say is LawInsider's most unique selling point? We do one thing well. Most of the research tools available to law librari- ans and attorneys are bundled inside huge enterprise packages sold by billion-dollar businesses. Our focus is on contract and clause search, and we think that focus is our biggest differen- tiation. Drafting and negotiating com- plex commercial agreements is hard, and we're a pretty inexpensive way for attorneys to do this hard work faster. What's also interesting, from a business perspective, is that we have a bottom-up business model—think LinkedIn—meaning we are primarily discovered and purchased by individual attorneys, not law firms. Because we have this bottom-up model, it enables us to build deep relationships with our end users and keep our prices down. If we were a larger corporate business model, we'd have to pay salespeople to get on airplanes. That materially affects the price of a product. LawInsider is $300 per user, per year. It's really easy for an independent attorney on their own to pull out a credit card and say, "I want this product." As a team, we're really focused on making the product and buying experience better and easier. How have you marketed LawInsider to industry members over the years? Believe it or not, we've done zero traditional marketing. No ads, no conferences, no partnerships. This will change going into 2020, but we were very intentional about creating a product-driven growth strategy. I've led large sales and marketing teams at other companies; it's expensive, and as a fully bootstrapped business, we wanted to focus on building a product that—at least in the beginning—didn't require a big sales organization to get off the ground. What are some of the most popular product elements? Our two most popular user-driven features are the lists and split view functionalities. Lists is a simple tool that enables attorneys to easily sort and assemble new agreements by clicking on the save button within documents and clauses they discover on the site. One of the biggest complaints we had in the early days of the site was that attor- neys would lose track of the numerous clauses and contracts they discovered when searching. Lists was designed for attorneys to keep track of their favorite search results. Split view is a brand-new tool we built for power users of our clause search feature. The common use case for attorneys searching for a particular type of clause on our site is to look through a set of sample clauses. But invariably, they also need to verify the source of the clause. With split view, you can search through thousands of clauses and quickly review their source without leaving the page. Did the legal industry's emphasis on delivering services in a more cost-effective manner since the Great Recession influence how you designed the product in any way? Yes! In business, there are cycles of bundling and unbundling—our phone services, cable, and internet are the most common examples. Netflix was an unbundled version of what cable companies were providing us for years. The big players in the legal research market are the classic bundled model. They buy the smaller competitors, and the bundle gets bigger and more expensive. Ultimately there are very few new and innovative research tools like LawInsider in the market as a result of the large-scale bundling. So, one of our commitments is to stay independent and offer a reasonably priced, unbun- dled research product for people who need exactly what we offer. We think this commitment helps attorneys deliver better work, more cost-efficiently. What do you feel the future of legal research will look like? There are probably way smarter peo- ple than me to give an opinion on this. That said, I think we are in this frothy, ambiguous moment of AI and machine learning. Everyone likes things that have AI and machine learning attached to them. Need a new product? Just add AI at the end of the name, right? In reality, we are still three to five years away from AI being where we want it to be in legal research, and there'll be a lot of puffery, claims, and promises before it gets good. At LawInsider, we think and talk a lot about how machine learning can improve the drafting and negotiation of commercial agreements in the future. We also think the platform we're build- ing will enable some incredible innova- tions in that direction—but the reality is that we're all still on Chapter One of that type of innovation. So, we'll do our best to avoid giving any of our products AI-ish names in the meantime. What else is next for LawInsider? Staying focused on offering search capabilities is what's next for us—and as our search capabilities improve, we want a larger database to work with. To that end, we're working hard to expand beyond our current corpus. Multi- language search and integration part- nerships are on the horizon for 2020. Also, right now, it is very difficult for law librarians to enable 10 or more attorneys within their firms to use our product. One of our biggest focus areas in the coming year is to make corporate accounts a more central part of our business. 3 Research + Analytics Information Management

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