women of legal tech

Women of Legal Tech: Kelly Clifford

The Legal Technology Resource Center’s Women of Legal Tech initiative is intended to encourage diversity and celebrate women in legal technology. This initiative launched in 2015 with a list of innovators and leaders in legal technology and with this year’s additions, that list now includes over 80 talented and influential women leaders. Every Thursday, we will be featuring a woman from our class of 2018. This week we have Kelly Clifford!

cliffordKelly Clifford, Chief Operating Officer at LEAP. Find her on Twitter @LEAPKClifford.




How did you become involved in legal tech?

From a young age, I have always been interested in technology. My dad made the switch later in life to learn technology. He quit his job as a sales representative, taught himself everything about computers, and then started his own computer business.

I started my career as a legal secretary. The role allowed me to use computers as well as build my legal knowledge. The company I started with was all manual, but within a year we introduced a case management system. I put my hand up to be involved in the rollout of this and helped with training the staff—something I thoroughly enjoyed.

After working in a law firm for almost four years, my sister in law was working for LEAP and introduced me to the founder and CEO at the time, Christian Beck. It sounded like the perfect career move for me and I began as an installation consultant a few weeks later—that was 15 years ago.

What projects have you been focused on recently?

One of the key differentiators of LEAP is that we deliver LEAP with pre-configured matter types in the common areas of law, together with automated legal forms and other document templates for specific matter types. The automation is very powerful for our users. LEAP users enter the information once and quickly and accurately create their documents with all this information merged in automatically, saving them time and money.

One of the major projects in which I have been working with our software development team on is a major re-design and global deployment of a complete re-write of the LEAP document organization, assembly, and delivery system—currently implemented internationally. It allows our design and automation team, who are former paralegals and attorneys, to have an easy-to-use platform that can deliver this pre-configured intellectual property to our users quickly. I also have responsibility for the creation of matters types, automated legal forms, and letters for the US. We now have more than 3,000 forms available for LEAP users to use. Our users rely on us to get this right, so the design and automation team plays a very important role.

Is there a legal tech resource of any kind that you find yourself returning to or that was particularly formative for you?

I work in such a specialized field and LEAP pushes the boundaries of innovation. We spend a lot of time gathering feedback from our users. It is deeply ingrained in our culture. I make sure to personally visit LEAP users as often as I can to see what they are doing differently and how we can help them with this. There is no better resource than the people who use your product. My users are my primary resource for information.

What technology do you think lawyers could look at in a different way that would benefit society?

Society is always looking for ways to do things faster, without having to leave the house or office. Everyone is always on-the-go.

The use of technology that allows for mobility is essential for both the lawyers and their clients. It is changing the way lawyers work everywhere. One of the great benefits mobility provides is for working women with families, who require a lot of work flexibility. Mobility is making it possible for women lawyers to combine their career and family lives more easily than ever. This is a significant change as more women enter the profession.

What advice would you give to other women who want to get involved in legal tech?

Do it! Don’t be afraid to step up and show that you have the skills and the determination to achieve great things.

I am glad that I made the move and would never turn back. Technology is ever evolving at a rapid pace and is not looking to slow down. In the legal tech industry, I learn something new every day and work with some brilliant minds to make what some would think is unachievable achievable.

Never let the fear of change stop you from making the move to learn something new and progress your career.

Give a shout-out to another woman in legal tech who you admire or have learned something from!

I was one of the very early employees of LEAP, and one of the earliest female leaders in the business. Over the years, I have worked alongside many women who have risen to leadership roles. We have all progressed within the company in our own ways. So my shout out goes to the other inspirational women at LEAP who have encouraged and inspired me along the way.


Feature image by #WOCinTechChat

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