Like a growing number of law firms around the country, Fenwick & West isn’t just looking to buy legal technology. If it sees a client or attorney need that can be solved by a technology not yet available, it creates its own proprietary platform or integrates among current technologies to create hybrid solutions. At the heart of this effort is the law firm’s tech incubator, Fenwick Labs. With a staff of 10—eight of whom are application developers—the team is helping Fenwick push the bounds of legal innovation.

But while Fenwick Labs is unique to the firm, how it has evolved is part of a larger story. In fact, Fenwick Labs’ experience is a microcosm of both the broader changes in the legal technology market over the past few years and the current trends defining its future.