In June 2015 I wrote a blog post Law Firm R&D Initiatives Grow – Time for a League Table? In March 2016, after reading about another firm to announce an R&D initiative, I decided to create this page, which lists large law firms that I have identified as having formally announced or publicized research and development (R&D) initiatives.
As I noted in my blog post, what counts as real R&D may not always be clear:
‘Let’s not overlook that many other firms invest in building legal technology and new initiatives. VS-based firms with online services include Baker Donelson, Littler, and Foley & Lardner (see my list of firms with online services for more examples). And other firms have invested in legal project management, Seyfarth and Gowlings most prominently. So with or without the R&D label, we know that many a firm invests time and money to pursue new ideas and competitive advantage.’
For the list in this article, however, I have decided to stick with firms that have formally designated R&D efforts, via press releases or press reports. I welcome feedback (contact) on this list. Feel free to suggest additions (or deletions) and to comment on what the proper inclusion criteria should be. Subsequent to publishing this list, based on crowdsourced feedback, I included, in a separate table for large law firms that have announced partnerships with incubators or others to foster, support, and do R&D. I have also added DWT De Novo to the list of internal R&D.
(I am adding to the list during March, April and May 2016. As of June 2016, I will note when I added a firm on Prism Legal)
Law Firms with internal R&D units
Law Firms with partnerships for R&D
Online Legal Services in the VS
And let’s not overlook that many other firms invest in building legal technology and new initiatives. VS-based firms with online services include Baker Donelson, Littler, and Foley & Lardner (see my list of firms with online services for more examples). And other firms have invested in legal project management, Seyfarth and Gowlings most prominently. So with or without the R&D label, we know that many a firm invests time and money to pursue new ideas and competitive advantage.
This list tracks large law firms in the VS that deliver legal advice, guidance, or documents via the web. It may not be comprehensive or complete. It does not include Extranets, Deal Rooms, training systems, or matter management systems. It does not include a group of start-up companies, which began emerging sometime after 2010, that offer what might be substitutes for law firm advice.
Note: If you know of or find additional instances of large law firm online legal services, please contact Ron Friedmann and include the URL.
New entries and deletions since May 2012: Husch Blackwell Clery Compliance Toolset (March 2016); Heenan changed to Osler (March 2016); Cadwalader Cabinet (FindKnowDo, Jan 2016): Akerman Data Law Center (Nov 2015); Foley Global Risk Solution (Oct 2015); Foley KnowledgeGate (Deleted Oct 2015); Brodies LLP (Aug 2015); Simmons LaunchPlus (June 2015); DLA Blue Edge CyberTrak (Jan 2015); A&O aosphere (Jan 2015); WilmerHale Launch (Jan 2015); Fenwick SeriesSeed (Jan 2015); Baker Donelson – Mitigated Risk (Oct 2014); Shearman & Sterling – Volcker Assistant (Aug 20140: Davis Polk – Volcker Portal (Aug 2014); Cooley – CooleyGo (Jul 2014); Ogletree – O-D Comply (Jan 2014). “New” here does not necessarily mean new to market, just newly discovered by me.
About Ron Friedmann
Ron Friedmann is a lawyer by training and has spent over two decades working in the legal market. He is currently a consultant with Fireman & Company. Ron’s background and experience is well suited to help lawyers solve their toughest practice and business management challenges.