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A Legal Tech Lesson from Our Kids

This is the second of a three-part mini-series by MetaJure co-founder Kevin Harrang about just-plain-cool technologies that are quietly changing our world and inspiring how we think about improving the practice of law.  If you missed last week’s check it out here.

Recently, one of my children graduated from college and started a new job (thank you, God!), which inspired me to send him an email suggesting that he create a personal budget.  Hardly an expert myself, I was still able to share with him several resources for such things.  For example, there are a number of online tools such as BudgetSimple that, together with online banking, greatly simplify the task.

But what made me feel particularly old was describing to my son how this used to be done—by “balancing your checkbook.”  (There’s probably a dividing line somewhere around age 30, below which no one has any idea what this means.)  Try describing this process to a Millennial and trust me, they’ll look at you like you’re telling them about hiking uphill (both ways) to school through a foot of snow.

Mostly, though, I felt envy for the younger generation who has all these great tools at their fingertips from the outset.  By contrast, manually entering amounts into a check register, and sitting down with a box full of receipts and a calculator now seems prehistoric.  And well it should, because the digital revolution has to a great extent provided everyone with immediate access to the data that used to be a lot of work to acquire.

I say “to a great extent,” of course, because it’s still early days in this revolution, and some things still lag getting easier—like document management.  The dominant paradigm for dealing with important documents in most legal organizations is still the repository, into which all documents are supposed to be manually uploaded by authors, and tagged according to a rigid taxonomy.  It’s not that much different from manually balancing a checkbook, when you think about it.

Where is the equivalent of online banking when it comes to documents?—meaning, where is the technology that does all the rote work for you, thus freeing you to quickly and easily access the information you want?

This is how we at MetaJure think of innovation in document technology.  Users don’t want to spend time managing their documents and email, they just want to find what they’re looking for—wherever it happens to be (like on your colleague’s PC).  If they want to find a document, we don’t think they should have to know where it is located to open it. That’s what computers are for.

And, that’s what MetaJure is all about – doing all the work for you.

Kevin Harrang is a proud dad and co-founder of MetaJure, which makes next-generation smart document management technology.