The legal world: resistant to change, in need of innovation

The world of law has always seemed impenetrable to the uninitiated. In Charles Dickens’ Bleak House from 1852, characters are entangled in an inheritance dispute spanning several generations.

Over 150 years later, the legal industry still maintains this reputation for being archaic, unnecessarily convoluted and resistant to change. In an industry that has long clung onto the past, legal tech solutions are now offering an alternative future. Where once access to lawyers was expensive and laborious, new and innovative legal tech is democratising the process, offering businesses a means to feel confident and capable in handling their own legal needs. 

Incentivising digital efficiency

Almost every sector has undergone a digital transformation in recent years, from retail to real estate, healthcare to fashion. Yet, in the face of change, the legal world has dug in its impervious heels. Beyond the immediately obvious archaic legal practices - such as bowing to the crown when entering court and barristers donning white wigs - there remain several legal mechanisms that disincentivise digital efficiency. 

The concept of the billable hour - which remains standard practice for almost every law firm in the UK - is a common legal practice that strongly discourages innovation and reform. For the most part, digital tools are designed to save money and labour. However, when work is charged by the hour, such solutions are not always economically desirable. 

Beyond its inefficiency, hourly billing also fuels the unflattering image of law as exorbitant and exploitative. If a job takes longer, it’s profitable for the lawyer and an added expense for the client, pitting their economic objectives against one another. Not only does this penalise efficiency, but it encourages lawyers to needlessly work overtime and reinforces the idea of law as an ‘us vs them’ dynamic, and almost a necessary evil. 

Technological solutions encourage firms to move away from the traditional hourly format and embrace a more modern system. By leveraging automation technologies, data analytics and artificial intelligence, lawyers can price according to their true value, rather than their time spent. Not only does this offer a way of better understanding where time and resources should be spent, but it appeals to the modern day, price-conscious client, who favours project-based pay to timesheets in six minutes increments. 

The legal know-how 

The inaccessible nature of law - with its complex procedures and Latin locution - gives lawyers a monopoly over legal advice and information. The less a layman can know or understand, the more valuable legal expertise becomes, incentivising the information barrier. 

Legal tech solutions work to democratise access to information, by making content readily available and documents easier to understand. In the UK, small businesses lose up to £13.6bn every year due to their failures in solving legal matters, according to a report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

For many SMEs, legal access remains an inaccessible and inefficient beast. However, with the help of tech solutions, a safer, more streamlined and sensibly priced legal future is now possible. At PocketLaw, our mission is to act as a digital in-house lawyer for businesses of any shape or size.

By automating contracts and legal advice, as well as providing on-demand, 24/7 access to lawyers, we help companies solve their legal challenges immediately and efficiently, saving them time, money and resources that external counsel would usually demand. We are driven by the belief that everyone should feel safe and equipped to handle their legal matters, and all for an affordable price. 

Legal tech: empowering lawyers, not replacing them 

We tend to associate the idea of ‘automation’ with robots pinching people’s jobs. But quite the contrary, legal tech exists to empower lawyers to do their job to the best of their ability. Armed with the right digital tools, lawyers can streamline their workload, spending less time on repetitive tasks, such as contract writing and checking, and more time on the complex, challenging components of law that demand expertise and creative thought.

Despite a growing pressure for reform, the legal world remains reluctant to embrace innovation. Fixated on tradition and familiarity, lawyers have long held the coveted secrets surrounding legal information, but times and technology are changing this. Digital tools will never replace the human ability to work out complicated aspects of legal practice, the parts that require lateral thinking and flair.

Instead, lawyers should look at digitisation and automation as an improvement of their toolkit, a set of instruments which will allow them to do their job even better. It is their resistance to change - rather than tech innovation - that is a threat to their existence.

Startup Details

Startup Details



Manage your company's legal in one place. PocketLaw paves the way so you can focus on what really matters - driving your business forward.

  • Headquarters Regions
    Stockholm, Sweden
  • Founded Date
  • Founders
    Kira Unger, Olga Beck-Friis
  • Operating Status
  • Number of Employees