The company’s legal technology accelerator program will run this time with seven new startups with big dreams of disruption in the legal field.
On Sept. 28, LexisNexis kicked off programming for the second cohort of legal technology startups to participate in the company’s Legal Tech Accelerator program. Seven new companies—Contract Wrangler, dealWIP, Lawcountability, Medilenz, ThreadKM, Vijilent and vTestify—are slated to participate in the 10-week program designed to mentor companies as they look to scale in the legal market.
The companies will move through the accelerator’s business development curriculum and work between Lex Machina’s Menlo Park office and the LexisNexis Raleigh Technology Center on the Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University.
Dan Hauck, president and CEO of Slack-style knowledge management platform ThreadKM, will be participating in the fall program. He explained that ThreadKM is looking to the accelerator to help navigate anticipated integrations with document management, billing and legal research platforms.
“People at Lexis are really knowledgeable and have great experience in building legal tech companies,” Hauck told Legaltech News, pointing to Becker’s experience building out legal data analytics platform Lex Machina, which was acquired by LexisNexis in 2015.
Lex Machina CEO Josh Becker, who leads the program along with a group of other LexisNexis executives, explained that the accelerator’s second class, much like the first, tackles a diverse set of legal issues.
“It’s pretty wide-ranging. We have some that are very technical; we have some that are more trying to solve business problems,” Becker told LTN. “Like anything these days, there’s probably more [artificial intelligence] focus in there, but there are other folks like vTestify, where there’s obviously tech there, but they’re looking more at a well-known issue.”
“I think it just shows there’s a lot of opportunity to address challenges in the legal industry,” Hauck said of the diversity of the participants.
While Becker expects the accelerator’s core curriculum to remain largely the same as its spring program, he said that it’s also trying to expand into working with law firms and legal departments.
“Connectivity with some of the broader legal community, especially with law firms that are interested in innovative technology, we’re seeing the ability to ramp that up. That’s going to be a huge value for the participants,” Becker said.
The newest cohort is slightly bigger than the accelerator’s first, in large part because the accelerator had trouble figuring out which ideas to let go. “We were trying to cut it down. We had a lot of great participants, and we had a lot of hard decisions. We had about nine finalists, and we were trying to cut it down to five, and we just couldn’t quite do it,” Becker said.
Although some participants are tackling problems already being worked on by other technologists, Becker said the cohort has a strong group of entrepreneurs and founders with direct legal experience that could give them a competitive edge. “We always like that when people are leveraging their own personal experiences,” he said.
Here’s a quick look at the seven participating companies:
- Contract Wrangler, based in San Francisco, uses machine-learning technology to extract relevant business data from contracts. Although contract analysis has some other players in the space, Becker said that the company’s legal background could set them apart.
- dealWIP, based in Baltimore, is a cloud-based workflow streamlining system for transactional attorneys, aiming essentially to bring automation more cleanly into corporate legal matter management.
- Lawcountability, based in New York, is a marketing and business development coaching platform aimed specifically at lawyers, especially those who can’t make heads or tails of all the social media and networking work they may need to put in to generate leads.
- Medilenz, based in Philadelpha, extracts data from medical records to better facilitate attorneys and medical consultants’ work on legal matters.
- Thread KM, based in Alpharetta, Georgia, uses a Slack-style interface to help attorneys collaborate on various projects, hoping specifically to help law firms cut down on the amount of email they have to navigate.
- Vijilent, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, uses machine learning to crawl various social media and online platforms to collect information about individuals for jury selection and discovery.
- vTestify, based in Cary, North Carolina, is a virtual testimony platform, bringing technology into the work of court reporting.