This post was originally featured on Above the Law.

In the fall of 2014, I was traveling to an innovation event at Stanford, emailing leads to fellow entrepreneurs, and dreaming up an easy way to direct attorneys contract management and IP docketing solutions. The Legal Tech Toolkit (LTTK) launched shortly thereafter on Traklight. A year later, we created Evolve Law and relaunched the LTTK to meet this growing interest in new companies. Today, this same toolkit is integrated into the world’s largest legal website - Above the Law.

Over the past three-plus years I have had the honor of meeting hundreds of people passionate about improving legal services with technology and innovation. Over 150 companies and innovators shared this passion and joined the network and attended one of the sixty events. I would like to say that Evolve Law was all planned from day one but that is not even remotely close to the truth.

Many have asked why I did all this, including travel to over sixty events, and why Mike Willee dedicated at least half of his time to Evolve Law when we had Traklight to run. The main reason is that it’s amazing to meet people who are committed to change and innovation, regardless of the size of their company or firm. It’s infectious to see a group of legal tech people meet for the first time in a city and develop their own community. It’s gratifying to hear the success of our members, whether in terms of growth, fundraising, or partnerships.  And please note that I am not using the past tense. I am still committed to growing Evolve Law membership as I transition to the advisory counsel, and as a member going forward.

 

 

Evolve Law was a bit of the snowball effect, as it caught on, I was trapped but in a good way. I look back and use the ‘but for’ test of whether it all made sense. But for Evolve Law, I would not have met all the Thomson Reuters small law, big law, innovation, Legal Executive Institute (LEI) people and would not have written my KPI book. But for Evolve Law, I would not have met ONE400’s Allen Rodriguez who introduced me to the Group Legal Services Board. The list goes on and on.  =

I have decided access to justice is my mid-life project and I am taking steps to make sure I can best support the legal community.  This includes focusing on finding strategic partners for Traklight as a business legal checkup or lead generation for companies and attorneys. Also, I will continue to write and advocate for LegalShield and serve on the Group Legal Services Board.

Thank you to ATL for providing me a platform to contribute regularly on access to justice and the business of legal – what Biglaw can learn from small law. Without so many plane rides, I may also have time for a third book; noodling around with some ideas for legal education reform, who knows what I might come up with.

As I head out the door this evening to what I hope is my last red-eye, I want to take a poll – if you have the middle seat, do you have to share the armrests? Let me know on twitter @maryjuetten. #onwards.

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