In a recent survey commissioned by Am Law firm Thompson Hine, they asked 176 company in-house counsel and senior executives how much “innovation” they were seeing at their law firm. The results were stark, with 81% reporting “little” or “hardly any”’ and 15% reporting “none”. With findings such as these, it seems obvious why law firms have the reputation of being slow to adopt technology. The results of this study highlight a deep chasm between the surging development of new legal tech innovation and firms willingness to adopt.
To bridge the gap, firms are now hiring Chief Innovation Officers, coined “CINO”, to leverage both talent and technology to produce better outcomes. “CINOs are creating new solutions, new services to sell, and new ways to avoid shrinking margins… [and] are highly motivated to understand, experiment with, and expand profitable new margins of technology” says futurist, career strategist, and President of the Cowen Group, David Cowen. As of April 2018, 44 Am Law firms have hired the CINO position, with a significant number having been hired in 2018 alone. This exponential growth curve is a positive sign for an industry that is slow to adopt, driven by the pressure to do so.