Why don’t law firms do R&D? It’s a question that Daniel Martin Katz of Michigan State’s Reinvent Law Laboratory has asked in a number of presentations, articles, and interviews, including one at Insight Labs: Recalulate the Future of Law.

As Katz notes, that may be the wrong question, because the industry does have an R&D wing; it’s just not run by the law firms itself. It’s a loosely-organized group of legal tech startups, and there are increasing signs that they are here to stay. One of those signs is the estimated $458 million that has been invested in legal startups in recent years (the number includes about $200 million recently invested in LegalZoom to buy out early investors – which may or may not still fit the definition of a startup). AngelList, which tracks early-stage companies, lists 414 legal startups with an average valuation of $4.3 million.

Katz’s ReInvent Law Laboratory is, first and foremost, a training ground for a new generation of lawyers trained in the integration of technology with the practice of law. But he’s also known for a series of events called ReInvent Law, the most recent of which was held on February 7, 2014 at Cooper Union in New York.

To read more, visit the Legal Executive Insights blog.

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