Talking with Ishan Girdhar, CEO of Privva, a vendor risk management company, at ILTACON 2018. 

Kevin O’Keefe: Who am I talking with?

Ishan Girdhar: Hi, my name is Ishan Girdhar, and I’m the founder and CEO of Privva.

Kevin O’Keefe: What does Privva do?

Ishan Girdhar: Privva really helps manage the security assessment process throughout the entire value chain in the legal industry. So, clients are asking law firms a lot of security assessment questionnaires, how they’re protecting that data. So we help them respond to those assessments. And then we also help law firms do security evaluation reviews of all the third party vendors. So all the vendors in this room today, you know, they may touch networks, they may touch data and so we just want to make sure that they have the right measures in place for whether it’s security policies, procedures, architecture, to protect that data.Continue Reading Ishan Girdhar, CEO of Privva: “It’s All Relationships”

Speaking with Michael Chasin, the CEO of Lexicata, on his journey from Uber driver to legal tech CEO, at ILTACON 2018. 

Kevin O’Keefe: I am with Michael Chasin, and you’re the founder of what?

Michael Chasin: Lexicata.

Kevin O’Keefe: And what is Lexicata?

Michael Chasin: So Lexicata is essentially a CRM and client intake software built for small to medium-sized law firms.

Kevin O’Keefe: And how’d you get that idea?

Michael Chasin: So a bunch of pivots – there’s been a few pivots. Long story short, my business partner, Aaron and I were in law school and we were trying to come up with an idea for a business and we basically realized that it’s a lot harder to come up and find lawyers than we realized, and we were in law school at the time, so we said if we’re struggling to find a lawyer, we need to figure out a way to find a lawyer.Continue Reading Michael Chacin, CEO of Lexicata, on His Journey from Uber Driver to Legal Tech Founder

Talking with Tom Martin, CEO and Founder of LawDroid, a bot automation company striving to promote “Justice Everywhere,” at ILTACON 2018. 

Kevin O’Keefe: Who am I talking with?

Tom Martin: So my name is Tom Martin from Vancouver.

Kevin O’Keefe: And what do you do, Tom?

Tom Martin: So I have a legal tech company called LawDroid.

Kevin O’Keefe: What does law droid do? And droid is d-r-o-i-d like in droid, obviously.

Tom Martin: Like R2D2. Yeah. So what LawDroid does, it’s a legal AI company that’s dedicated to helping lawyers and law firms automate their office.

Kevin O’Keefe: So what does that mean? Like, I’m a lawyer, what does it do for me that is a result of that?Continue Reading Tom Martin, CEO of LawDroid, Says “Now is the Time” to Jump Into Legal Tech

Talking with Erez Bustan, CEO of American LegalNet, a provider of  “Desktop to Courthouse” workflow technologies, at ILTACON 2018. 

Kevin O’Keefe: Who am I talking with?

Erez Bustan: You’re talking to Erez Bustan, president and CEO of American LegalNet,

Kevin O’Keefe: What does the company do?

Erez Bustan: The company’s in the risk management area. We take reduced risk for law firms. We have a suite of products that do that. We have a calendar and court roles-based system, forms and anything that associated with due dates, and content. That’s what we do.

Kevin O’Keefe: And you founded the company?

Erez Bustan: I founded the company.

Kevin O’Keefe: When did you found it?

Erez Bustan: I founded it in 1996.Continue Reading Erez Bustan, CEO of American LegalNet, on Recognizing the Power of the Internet

Talking with Chang Zi Qian, CEO of INTELLLEX, a Singapore based company doing automated document organization, at ILTACON 2018. 

Kevin O’Keefe: Who am I talking with?

Chang Zi Qian: Chang.

Kevin O’Keefe: Chang. And what do you do?

Chang Zi Qian: I build knowledge platforms for lawyers to do legal research and knowledge management.

Kevin O’Keefe: And what does that mean?

Chang Zi Qian: So when lawyers want to do research they search beyond. So they search for external documents and more importantly they also want to search for internal documents.Continue Reading INTELLLEX CEO Chang ZI Qian : “This is our conviction”

Spoke with Ryan Alshak, CEO of Ping, Inc., an automated timekeeping solution for lawyers, at ILTACON 2018. 

Kevin O’Keefe: Who am I talking with?

Ryan Alshak: Ryan Alshak

Kevin O’Keefe: And Ryan, what do you do?

Ryan Alshak: I founded a company with my best friend, Kourosh (Zamanizadeh), and we started a company that’s automating time and billing by leveraging machine learning.

Kevin O’Keefe: How long ago did you start it?

Ryan Alshak: 2016

Kevin O’Keefe: Two years. How’d you get the idea to do it? Like, what made you crazy enough to say, “okay, we’re going to start a company that does that.”Continue Reading Ryan Alshak, CEO of PING, “Don’t Wait for the storm to pass. Dance in the rain.”

Caught up with Rick Merrill, CEO of Gavelytics, which has developed a judicial analytics tool, enabling “moneyball on judges.” 

Kevin O’Keefe: Who am I talking with?

Rick Merrill: Hi, I’m Rick Merrill. I’m the CEO and founder of Gavelytics. We are a state court-focused judicial analytics platform. I know that’s a mouthful, but basically what that means is we tell lawyers in advance what judges do and why.

Kevin O’Keefe: Which is cool, because as a trial lawyer for 17 years, you just go on gut feels, and a lot of it would be totally anecdotal. It’d even get down into the rudimentary level of calling the clerk, getting to know the clerk, knowing bailiffs, knowing all that type of stuff. How did you come up with this idea? I mean, what made you one day say, “that’s what I’m doing.”

Rick Merrill: I’m a former litigator, also. I spent seven years litigating at Greenberg Traurig. I was a real estate litigator, and I was primarily in state court as opposed to federal court.Continue Reading Rick Merrill, CEO of Gavelytics, on Executing an Idea

Want fire and a “can do” attitude? Listen in on this interview with Chelsey Lambert, Founder of Lex Tech Review, who I caught up with in D.C. at ILTACON 2018.

Kevin O’Keefe: Alright, I think I know who I’m talking with: Chelsey Lambert. You were originally with Total Attorneys way back when. How long ago was that?

Chelsey Lambert: It was 10 years ago.

Kevin O’Keefe: Wow. Long time. I wanted to ask you some questions about how you got started doing what you’re doing now, which really is the concept of something that did not exist, and you created it. What is it? What is Lex Tech Review?

Chelsey Lambert: Kevin, we’ve known each other for a long time, and you’ve always been a really incredible mentor, a career voice for me, and we’ve talked about how you meet certain people in the space, and how networking is so important, no matter what stage of your career you’re in, and you meet people and either what they’re working on resonates with you, or you see a way that you can apply their methodology to your world. And the blog, Lex Tech Review, came from my passion working with legal tech products, building legal tech products, bringing them into the market, being a CMO or VP of marketing, being a trainer at the Chicago Bar Association, but then never really feeling like I had time or space or voice, or wasn’t under some crazy noncompete, to actually talk about all the products. So after working for software vendors for so many years, I finally didn’t have a contract, and I found myself out in the marketplace, and the job that I had recently taken basically just didn’t work out on either side and I found myself in a place where I could either go get another job or I could start this blog that I really wanted to start. And I could talk freely about all the software solutions out there without having to worry about being somebody’s competitor or having to say, “I worked for this provider, so this is the greatest thing in the world.”Continue Reading Chelsey Lambert, Founder of Lex Tech Review, on Her Startup Journey

Cash Butler, Founder of ClariLegal, a vendor management platform that simplifies and normalizes RFPs between legal service buyers and vendors, talks with me at ILTACON on the value of optimism. 

Kevin O’Keefe: What do you do?

Cash Butler: I have a software company called ClariLegal. We match corporations and law firms with service providers to get their work done.

Kevin O’Keefe: And at much less expense than before.

Cash Butler: Oh yeah. Significant cost reduction and actually significant improvement of outcomes.

Kevin O’Keefe: I’ve been talking with people that founded founded companies, who tend to be a little bit wacko, all of us are, in this regard. But you founded this, didn’t you? How long ago?Continue Reading Cash Butler, Founder of ClariLegal, on the “Muscle Memory” of Positivity as an Entrepreneur

At ILTACON 2018 in DC,  Anand Upadhye, VP of Business Development for Casetext, shared the perspective, not of a founder, but of a lawyer quitting a good job at a good law firm to jump on a legal tech startup rocketship.

Kevin O’Keefe: Who am I talking with?

Anand Upadhye: You’re talking to Anand Upadhye, VP of Business at Casetext.

Kevin O’Keefe: Okay, so you answered that question. I have a question for you. What causes someone to leave a job as a lawyer and go work for, at that time, a startup company, which you did in the case of Casetext. What causes that to happen?

Anand Upadhye:  What causes that to happen is realizing something is gravely broken in the way that business currently operates and for me as a litigator at a large firm that was legal research. What I was finding in my thousands of hours of legal research over my six years as a litigator was it was incredibly inefficient. It was prone to being inaccurate and attorneys were prone to missing cases. It appeared to me to be a space that could be really, really changed and changed fast.Continue Reading Anand Upadhye, VP of Business Development for Casetext, on Turning Law Practice Troubles Into Innovation