How to Talk to Your Lawyer About Adopting Legal Tech like Upstock

Casey Fenton

|

December 13, 2023

Adopting legal tech

The legal technology industry is notoriously resistant to change. Whether it's due to the barriers of the profession or because lawyers are traditionalists, law firms find it hard to agree to things like adopting new technology or using a new tool or new tech, even if the legaltech adoption would make their lives easier.

As a legal tech company, Upstock often sees this real problem with a law firm firsthand. That's why we're offering these tips and tools for your law firm that you can roll out to get your users and legal team to set your company up for success.

As a busy person, you're probably always adopting systems, methods, or technologies to make your processes efficient and effective.

For example, if you are an HR professional in a large company, you want something that could ease the process of managing.

At the same time, you want something that can make reviewing employment contracts and streamlining other labor compliance matters more efficient. After all, the bigger the company is, the messier these things get.

Legal technology aims to address these issues. But of course, there's always pushback from those who will struggle against implementing new systems or technologies.

Some may find it unnecessary or too complicated to learn a new way of doing things, while some others may see this move as them being treated as merely practice groups.

As a company operating around the legal tech space, Upstock knows it’s important to address these concerns through effective communication and advocating for technological adoption.

Ultimately, this has resulted in significant success stories. The best working practices that law firms implemented in their training process and other areas have resulted in the successful adoption of new technologies.

Here’s how we help firms achieve early successes when it comes to adopting legaltech by addressing their pain points.

Pitching to law firms and in-house lawyers

Suppose you have an in-house legal tech department. In that case, much of your time is usually devoted to administrative matters. But these are better spent on resolving more complex, non-technical and technical legal issues, such as communicating with clients, improving the overall client experience, getting and exploring new software or new tools, and brainstorming with vendors in your designated niche.

Thus, corporate lawyers are often supportive of anything that allows them to save time as it makes their jobs less challenging while giving them easy wins in the form of achievable goals.

At Upstock, we emphasize the following benefits and advantages of our worker-focused equity management system to in-house legal professionals:

  1. Standardized high-quality equity plans and employment contracts. Counsels in new companies and startups are often expected to draft employment agreements and equity award agreements from scratch. With Upstock, we have that covered for them, saving them hundreds of hours in contract drafting work and revisions.
  2. Moreover, international experts have vetted and examined Upstock’s legal documents and templates. Your in-house vendor can now rest easy knowing that they don't have to go through a full-blown contract review of Upstock documents.
  3. Built-in customization. Upstock’s legal documents also have a section where you can add custom clauses. So if you want to add a special clause around a worker’s employment or additional specifications around a worker’s equity or bank account to be used in a particular country, it's easy.  
  4. International applicability. Sure, pre-drafted and standardized agreements are nice. However, counsels and partners still need to know whether the template is enforceable or valid in the relevant country or jurisdiction.
  5. This issue becomes more significant if the company has global operations or works with international or remote teams. This means that the in-house counsel is still expected to research the laws and regulations of each country that are relevant to their employment contracts and agreements.
  6. Upstock solves this by doing the research for in-house counsels and partners in advance and ensuring that its legal documents are valid in 70+ countries around the world.
  7. Built-in contract management. No more stressing about organizing signed employment contracts and agreements or trying to find or locate lost ones.
  8. Upstock tracks them in a central location. This means that founders won't have to be involved in manual contract management and corporate housekeeping and can save both money and time in the long run.
  9. Updates to legal documents and templates. Most of the time, in-house counsels also have to keep track of legal and regulatory changes that can affect contracts.
  10. At Upstock, we update our legal documents to ensure that they remain compliant with laws and regulations. That's one less thing for them to worry about.

If you're looking to pitch a great equity management system or vendor like Upstock, you can easily gain the support of your in-house counsel by emphasizing how it can make their life easier and save money.

Talking to external counsel and law firm

‍In-house lawyers are generally more receptive to legal tech adoption. It almost always benefits them by saving them time.

In contrast, external lawyers, your business vendor, and law firms who charge based on time stand to lose a significant number of billable hours, since the faster the work can be done, the fewer the hours they can bill.

If you work with an external counsel or vendor, there may be some pushback against a legal tech solution that could take away work referrals from them.

This is a fundamental business problem in the billing practice, which some lawyers and law firms have more recently been creatively solving.

More and more great firms are embracing change and warming up to the idea of utilizing legal tech solutions because it means doing what's in the best interest of their clients. A company that thrives will produce more billable work across the spectrum.

At Upstock, we emphasize the following opportunities and benefits for external counsels:

  1. Partnership opportunities. Legal tech vendors and apps allow lawyers to play a role in the overall operation of the offered product or service.
  2. At Upstock, we have been starting to collaborate with external and independent lawyers who are becoming partners in our product and service offerings.
  3. For example, we have started to allow external legal tech vendors and counsels to offer business support services and earn a percentage of the subscription fee in case there are requests for amendments or customization of Upstock’s standardized equity plans from their referred clients or customers.
  4. This is particularly good for companies that still want their lawyers to handle the administration of their equity plans and set them up for success.
  5. With Upstock, lawyers can still add all the relevant employee information and any desired clauses. After this, Upstock will alert employees when their legal documents are ready for signing. 
  6. Time savings for retainer arrangements. External lawyers or law firms only have a retainer agreement with the company.
  7. This means they are periodically paid a fixed fee regardless of the time they spend on new legal tech and legal work, usually subject to a time cap and limitation of the scope of the service.
  8. Thus, for external lawyers under a retainer arrangement, saving time by taking advantage of legal tech is actually beneficial to them as it allows them to maximize the equivalent per-hour income from the fixed fee.
  9. Furthermore, it enables them to reallocate their saved time to do more billable work. This is what Upstock could do for them in employee contract management and equity compensation.
  10. Focus on overall benefits. It is also important to emphasize that the external counsel also thrives if the firm or company thrives. Any development or new technology that allows the company to save on expenses and increase its revenue would allow it to expand and scale faster.
  11. As the company expands and grows, opportunities for referrals and the need for more significant legal work will also follow. This is something that a progressive lawyer would easily understand, and who is someone you would want to continue working with as your business grows.

It is normal for your external lawyers to voice their concerns and skepticism about any legal tech app or new legal technology you would be pushing for.

But if you can communicate the factors we have highlighted above, it should become easier for them to understand that adoption of legal tech could benefit both of you. 

Conclusion: Upstock's Role in Legal Technology

Understandably, not everyone will be warm to changing their habits from how they were done before. This is especially true in the legal sector, which is sometimes known for its fixed habits and resistance to further adoption.

But recently, this market and industry has become more open to technological innovation and adopt technology as a result. 

At Upstock, we are witnessing this field of equity management as an area in legal tech that continues to embrace technological developments (such as digital transformation and new tool). In turn, this leads to massive advantages and benefits we bring to the table for companies and legal professionals through tailor-fit solution and process. 

We also provide top tips and a great practice area with the help of new software tool and solution to help these companies and individuals further master their craft.

As a result, it helps make the process easier for their clients to give buy in using a new legal tech tool and new technology adoption.

If you need more input on how you could talk to your lawyer regarding legal tech like Upstock—or if you're a lawyer who wants to know more about how Upstock could make your work easier, talk to us.

If you want to discuss possible opportunities for partnership or collaboration through training sessions, video conferencing communication, or an artificial intelligence tool, send us a message. We can offer a solution, new software, and practice areas for certain technology, using a top down approach. Or maybe you're undergoing change management training for your law firm subject matter expert, or are interested in new strategies for success. Any process or ideas you'd like to discuss—we’d be happy to talk!

Stop hemorrhaging cash with expensive lawyers. Upstock dramatically improves motivation, retention and recruiting capability.

Learn More
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Casey Fenton

Founder, Upstock & Couchsurfing, AI and Equity Innovator

Casey Fenton, the founder of Upstock & Couchsurfing and an AI and equity innovator, has revolutionized how we perceive and implement equity in the workplace. His foresight in creating platforms that not only connect people but also align their interests towards communal and corporate prosperity has established him as a pivotal figure in technology and community building. Casey speaks worldwide on topics including ownership mindset, worker equity, With Upstock and Couchsurfing, he has demonstrated an unparalleled expertise in harnessing technology for the betterment of community interaction and organizational benefits.

Previous: How to Spot High-Potential Creator-Driven Businesses as Investors‍ Next: How to Use RSUs to Attract Top Talent and Elevate Your Business