Being a lawyer is hard work. These 8 Chicago tech companies want to make it easier.

by Andreas Rekdal
June 3, 2016

One of Chicago’s biggest advantages as a tech ecosystem is the way in which tech company executives rub shoulders with leaders from other industries on a daily basis. These day-to-day interactions lead to interdisciplinary partnerships that simply wouldn’t be possible in a tech-only echo chamber.

kCura is a notable example of a company born out of one of these interactions. Originally founded as a software development firm, the company got a contract building bespoke software for a legal client — and the rest is history.

But kCura isn’t the only Chicago tech company shaking up the legal industry. In fact, we’ve got a handful. Here’s what a few of them are up to:

Named after an infamous 1892 English lawsuit, Smokeball’s cloud-based software helps small law firms manage their cases. Smokeball stores every aspect of a case — from contact info and calendar events to correspondence and documents in an easily searchable database. The platform also helps firms automate document and letter generation, saving law firms both time and money.

Page Vault helps legal professionals capture web pages for admission into evidence in U.S. courts. This protects parties in legal cases from tampering with — and destruction of — evidence. The company recently raised $1.75 million to boost its technology development and marketing efforts.

The maker of the Relativity e-discovery application, kCura is one of the world’s biggest players in legal tech. Relativity helps law firms and large organizations search, analyze and review documents related to litigation. The company’s list of clients include a number of large law firms, as well as the Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency.

A tech-enabled outsourcing platform for lawyers, Esquify utilizes machine learning algorithms to supervise lawyers who review documents from home. In addition to increasing efficiency, these algorithms provide customers with real-time analytics on progress and costs to date, along with estimated completion dates and total project costs.

The process of obtaining a U.S. visa is time-consuming, complicated and nerve-wracking. But a large portion of delays and hurdles throughout the process are caused by simple, avoidable mistakes in the filing process. VISANOW leverages technology to help streamline the process and steer clear of these human errors, and has attorneys on hand to review applications before they get sent off. And if a case proves particularly tricky, the company puts applicants in touch with specialized attorneys.

WarRoom’s browser-based software helps lawyers and secretaries summarize depositions quickly and effectively. After uploading a deposition, all the user needs to do is highlight passages and tag them by topic. WarRoom will then automatically pull the passages into a summary, along with references to where the passages can be found in the document. Changes are automatically tracked across platforms, enabling lawyers to work on their phones or tablets while on the go.

Passing the bar is an important rite of passage for budding lawyers, and most recent law school graduates spend countless hours preparing for it. But cookie-cutter bar prep materials don’t take the graduate’s strengths and weaknesses into consideration, resulting in wasted time going over questions that are too easy. AdaptiBar’s exam prep software draws on published questions from previous bar exams, adapting study sessions to give students extra practice in the areas where they struggle, offering feedback and solution strategies to boot.

With its cloud-based evidence management system, Nextpoint helps law firms of every size stay on top of their caseloads. The responsively designed app runs directly in any browser window, letting attorneys review, edit and manage documents on the go.

Images via listed companies.

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