Welcome to the LEX Summit
Good morning everyone! I am thrilled to be here at the LEX Summit, representing Filevine - a legal technology company that focuses on legal tech software to help lawyers streamline their legal operations. It's amazing to see such a great Filevine community and audience here today. We hope to energize you with our presence and content today. We recently watched the Super Bowl together, and we are excited to present you with an action-packed event filled with tons of learning opportunities.
Reimagining the Legal Experience
At Filevine, we often talk about mountains, and I apologize if that's just who we are. As a hiking enthusiast, I love being elevated and surrounded by nature. Today, we get to lift our vista and reimagine the legal experience from a higher altitude.
Questions We Ask Ourselves Every Day
As the CEO of Filevine, I think a lot about where we're going, who we are, and what we're going to be doing. There are four questions that I ask myself every single day, even if I may not ask them explicitly:
- What is the opportunity that we're chasing?
- What is the impact that we want to make?
- What is the talent that we need to acquire and retain to make that impact?
- What is the system that we need to create to support that talent?
These questions are at the forefront of my mind as we continue to evolve and innovate in the legal tech industry.
Tech and Its Impact on the Legal Space
As the CEO of Filevine, one of the things that I ask myself every day is the state of the world. What is going on in the world that might impact the legal space? The world and legal impact each other all the time, and it's essential to understand how that interaction impacts our community, our customers, our partners, and the lawyers who aren't our customers yet but will be soon.
With all that information and the chessboard we find ourselves playing on, how should Filevine respond? That's where my four questions come into play. We'll dive into all four of those questions, and I'll share my vision for where I see this company going.
The Future of Legal Professionals: AI and Remote Work
The people in this room have bought Filevine and are committed to it for a decade or more. I hope in 20 years you will still all be using Filevine, and to make that happen, you have to have a company that cares deeply about where we are going. And if there's anything you know about me, if you've met me personally, you know I care about this stuff a lot. And today, I'm going to give you a thesis for my speech: exactly where I think things are going. I don't want to scare you, but I'm going to tell you the truth: "AI will replace lawyers..... who fail to adapt with it."
We have an opportunity as an industry to do something completely unique. At this time, we are beginning to see the first stages of leverage, the likes of which we have never seen as legal professionals. And I can tell you, you will have to use it, to further your career, to further your firm, to further your practice. So how did I arrive at this conclusion?
State of the World
Well, let's think about the state of the world. The state of the world is in flux. It is in a very different situation than just a few years ago. The labor force is changing. I don't have to tell any of you this. For those of you in this room who are hiring people, you already know it. You already know how hard it can be to find great people, to attract and retain them. It is really tough out there. And here's the bad news: it's not getting any better.
In fact, if Chairman Powell was to be believed, and I think he should be, he knows a thing or two about this stuff. He says, "low unemployment in the face of rising interest rates appears to be structural, not cyclical." Think about that for a minute. What he is actually telling us is that the low labor environment is something we are going to be stuck with for a very long time, perhaps permanently.
And when we do find workers, what do they want out of us? 87 percent of workers want to work remotely at least some of the time, and the more you want them back in the office, the harder they're going to make life on you. So, I know this personally, by the way, what I can tell you is that I count myself amongst those 87 percent. I love working at the office. I love the feeling of the daily communication, of jiving with the team and figuring out new solutions. But of course, everybody wants some flexibility. We all want a different way of working. But I'll tell you, I just don't think that opinion is shared by everybody.
What do CEOs Think of Remote Work?
What do some Old Guard CEOs think about this? Reed Hastings, when asked about remote work, said the following, I was kind of surprised. He's the CEO of Netflix. He would think he cares a lot about this stuff. He said, " I don't see any positives. Not being able to get together in person, particularly internationally, is a pure negative."
David Solomon, the CEO of Goldman Sachs, said, " This is not ideal for us, and it is not a new normal. It is an aberration that we are going to correct as quickly as possible."
Big Daddy Benioff, what does he think about remote work? He says, "We don't have the same level of performance and productivity that we had in 2020 before the pandemic." He says, "Look at this, at some of the BREAK
Remote Work in Quadrants
We have a nuanced view of remote work at Filevine, and frankly, it ought to be nuanced because humans are nuanced. Employees, partners, customers, and the people we deal with every day, come to us differently, and we should meet them differently. What I'm going to present to you is essentially Ryan Anderson's theory of remote work. Take it for what it's worth, but I can tell you as somebody who struggled with this internally at Filevine, I've put a lot of thought into it.
I think that we should look at remote work on a double axis, a quadrant essentially, on untrained versus trained, unproven versus proven, and let's walk through sort of why that makes sense to think about those two pairings. I'm going to give you a few examples.
Untrained and Unproven
Let's take John. John is a new summer associate, fresh out of his first year at law school, maybe a second year at Law School. John doesn't know much about really anything. For those of you who've trained up new associates, I can tell you, and I'm sure you already know, they're not worth it down. And yet, if John tells you the only way I'm going to come work for you is with a remote position, don't hire him. That's my view. In my opinion, an untrained, unproven candidate really needs the office experience to absorb, to learn, to be facilitated, to understand the culture of the group he's going to work with, to just see and learn by osmosis. So much of learning in the office is turning to a friend in a highly quick feedback-heavy way and saying, "Hey, how do you do this thing?" "Oh, that's right. That's how you do this thing." It's those repetitive micro-muscle movements that can only be learned over time and repetitively.
Un-proven and Trained
Caleb is trained, meaning he's gone through our trainings. We think theres promise with Caleb. He's done all the things we've asked him to do. He's watched the videos. He's taken the tests. It appears that he knows what he's doing, but he is not proven. Caleb has not shown that he can actually produce results. In my view, Caleb needs to be in the office at least some of the time, maybe not always, but at least some of the time because again, there are things Caleb will simply not learn unless he gets in a desk and sits next to people who are much better at their job than he is.
Proven and Untrained
Let's talk about Mia. Mia may come to us as perhaps an I.T director, 10 years of experience, clearly proven, knows exactly what she's doing. However, she isn't proven at our firm, at our company. How do we handle somebody like Mia? Again, I would say that's a hybrid position. That's somebody who probably needs the benefit of the office but also needs the benefit of being able to have the kind of flexibility that somebody at her stage in her career, with her experience, her knowledge, her reputation deserves.
Proven and Trained
Lastly, let's talk about Sally. Sally's trained and proven. She is a five-year attorney with proven results and gets those results consistently. This person should be able to work remote whenever she damn well pleases. We are lucky to have her.
It's not perfect, but there you have it, Ryan Anderson's view on remote work, which I think is way better than simply saying everybody back at the office or you never have to
We Are Living in a New World
A world that is increasingly going to be about how we use AI. But again, I have, I believe, somewhat of a nuanced view around how that will impact us. To understand that nuanced view, let's take a step back through history.
In the 1960s, law students learned legal research in law libraries, and you know, we say the 60s, look, I had to learn law research in a library. I had to learn it by book. They actually required that at BYU law school at the time. I don't know if they still do. There are many people in this room who learned to do legal research with a book still today.
And yet, can you imagine not being able to use a cloud-based, computer-based legal research today? That doesn't even make sense. A lawyer would find herself completely obsolete in this market if that was still where they were. In 1974, we see the first personal computer that was developed. Let's talk about that for a minute. We think, oh my gosh, personal computing's been around forever. Of course, everyone uses a personal computer to practice law.
AI is just the next thing
What's important for me to tell all of you is that given this history AI is not the last thing, it's just the next thing. It's just the next thing you're going to have to learn to use on a day-to-day basis in order to practice law and the way that your clients will demand. In fact, almost one in four companies state that they are adopting AI because of the price of labor today, it is simply too much.
Our A/B marketing team has tested tons of taglines on our website, and I'm going to get in some trouble for this, but I'm going to show you what is by far the most popular tagline on filevine.com - "Filevine, that one employee that never takes a vacation." We care a lot about productivity and it's much harder to get, so how does that all impact legal? Well, legal's not going away. There is a lot to do, in fact, the government believes that we will need more lawyers - 80,000 more lawyers to accomplish today what we'll need to accomplish in the next eight years. There's a lot of work coming out, US law has gotten a lot more complex.
But what does that mean for a customer, what does that mean for our community, what does that mean for all of us? It means we have a high-stress environment. Lots is layered upon us, long hours, short staffed, and challenging work.
So how should Filevine respond
Filevine is incredibly bullish on AI but not as a standalone product. AI works best when it has a platform it can learn on. The reason Chat GPT3 is so good is because it has a huge model on which to train a massive data set on which you can train its AI models to produce stunning results.
The good news is that a model like that needs to train on a system that tracks workflows, manages documents, stores data, and houses communication. Sounds a little bit like Filevine, and I can tell you we will build AI into all of this.
AI will not replace you because Filevine will help you adapt.
We have teams of developers working on features right now. The Outlaw team is currently working on ML features. The legal futurists are researching and developing the embryonic stages of incredible AI use cases. You should go up and check out their Lounge later on today. But of course, not all AI they're not all tech is AI. There's lots of tech that is not AI, and we're going to talk about a lot of them here today. I got to tell you, as I mentioned before, we've got a ton to discuss. We're gonna go through a few problems that will kind of direct you as to what kind of features you can expect us to roll out.
Filevine Adapting AI.
We've got some updates for that. We've got some very cool features for that. Let's say I think it's taking too long to get the signatures I need on the documents that have to be signed. We've got big features rolling out on that. I want to communicate better with a remote workforce. We've got answers for you, awesome brand-new answers that all of you have been waiting for. I want all of my data in one place. The promise of Filevine has always been
we are thrilled to go through this roller coaster ride of an event we have got an action-packed star-studded list of speakers and beyond that we are going to be showing you stuff we have been working on for an entire year
this community is at the Leading Edge of legal Tech we think you are the best of the best thank you for coming on this journey with us thank you for coming to Salt Lake City and let's have a great Lex conference everybody