Haley Altman, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder at Doxly. Find her on Twitter @Haley_Altman.
How did you become involved in legal tech?
I started creating products within the law firm to enhance my relationships with clients and grow my book of business. I focused on finding ways to innovate the way we delivered legal services to our clients. Through that process, I started to see opportunities for improvement in other areas. Working with startup clients also made me realize how much value technology provided and how we could apply it to solve our own problems.
What projects have you been focused on recently?
In 2016, I left partnership at Ice Miller to create Doxly, a legal transaction management platform that helps attorneys get deals done. Recently, I have been focusing on creating products that improve attorney/client relationships. To accomplish this, I spend a lot of time concentrating on motivating our team, helping customers achieve business objectives, establishing meaningful partnerships and Doxly’s credibility in the marketplace. Over the past year and a half, our customers have closed transactions with an aggregate value of over $2 billion.
Is there a legal tech resource of any kind that you find yourself returning to or that was particularly formative for you?
We are constantly turning to content created by Zach Abramowitz, Co-Founder and CEO of ReplyAll and Columnist for Above the Law and Bob Ambrogi, Lawyer, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of LexBlog. I find how they highlight key issues, legal technology innovations, pain points, and opportunities extremely valuable.
What technology do you think lawyers could look at in a different way that would benefit society?
I think blockchain technology has amazing potential to be utilized to benefit society outside of traditional cryptocurrency applications. The UN’s World Food Programme is showcasing the social benefit of blockchain by helping Syrians secure their personal data and access critical programs while reducing bank transfer fees. SnapNurse looks to use blockchain to solve the global nurse shortage.
What advice would you give to other women who want to get involved in legal tech?
It depends on your goal. Do you want to build a company or join a legal tech company? If you want to start your own company, you need to gain experience as a lawyer to understand the problem you want to solve. Is it a “need” or “want”? Is anyone working on a solution? Why are you uniquely qualified to solve the problem? When selling to law firms, it helps to have credibility around the problem set so they can have confidence you understand the nuances of the area.
If you want to join a legal tech company, start networking. There are a lot of opportunities to meet people in the space. Evolve the Law connects lawyers to technologists, gives you insight into the legal tech space and coordinates legal tech events. Christian Lang, Creator and Editor of Blacklines & Billables has created a NYC Legal Tech Meetup that brings lawyers, technologists, and others interested in legal technology and innovation together. Do it without expecting anything in return. Research before you make the jump.
In either context, network early and without expectation. Get to know people in the community so you know if the jump is the right thing for you. In the end, they can help direct you to your next opportunity or give you advice about your next venture.
Give a shout-out to another woman in legal tech who you admire or have learned something from!
It’s so hard to name just one person. I’ve learned so much from Alma Asay, CIO of Integreon, Monica Bay, Journalist, Lawyer, Provocateur, CodeX Fellow of The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics, and Nicole Bradick, Founder and CEO of Theory and Principle. But Alma’s story is close to my heart. Seeing a woman who left a big law firm and started her own company, before legal tech was really even a concept, is extremely inspiring. Her successful exit helps us see what is possible. She is also incredibly giving of her time and insight. I owe her many glasses of wine for her support and advice.
Feature image by #WOCinTechChat