Lori Gonzalez is the CEO of The RayNa Corporation. Find her on Twitter @RayNaCorp.
How did you become involved in legal tech?
As a former paralegal in small, but busy, firms, I was always testing out new tools to ease some of the overwhelming workloads of those firms. I eventually began teaching practice management classes for a legal tech consulting company as a side hustle. When I founded RayNa Corp, I knew that helping connect lawyers and technology would be a major focus for me. Since then, I have played with every new tool I can get my hands on!
What projects have you been focused on recently?
In December of 2019, I was appointed to the State Bar of California’s Access Through Innovation of Legal Services Task Force, which ends in March of 2020. The Task Force has been working to create recommendations for regulatory changes to improve access to justice with innovation and technology. I am also excited to begin a new project in 2020 with the University of Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law; I will be joining an advisory board for the School of Law’s Tech and Innovation Initiative. Finally, I have been working with Code For Nashville (a local brigade with Code For America) to turn a limited power of attorney form from a fill-in-the-blank form found in a statute to a living, user-friendly website where immigrant parents in Tennessee can prepare POA forms in case they ever become detained or deported. Of course, like most of the amazing women in legal tech I know, there are 14 other projects milling about as well.
Is there a legal tech resource of any kind that really helped you when you were starting out in the field?
It’s hard to think of one resource I used when starting out. I was super curious about any emerging (or existing) technologies and spent a lot of time searching out anyone or anything that piqued my curiosity. I am a huge fan of attending both the Clio Cloud Conference and the ABA TECHSHOW conference and simply walking the vendor floors. Each year I find tons of new ideas/products and people worth seeking out.
What technology do you think lawyers could look at in a different way that would benefit society?
Any technology that improves overall efficiency and productivity—such as basic business operations and document template creation. While boring and seemingly un-innovative, the time that can be freed up in law firms (and the lawyers within those law firms) is plentiful. The most creative small firms and solo lawyers I know have implemented the technology they need to free them from mundane, repetitive, or overly-redundant tasks so they can work on new ways to serve their clients. As lawyers build better business operations (and with it, better law firm models), they will find new ways to serve more clients. With 80% of legal needs being unmet, lawyers can greatly benefit society by simply creating newer models that are not the traditional 1-to-1 model of our current legal system.
What advice would you give to other women who want to get involved in legal tech?
The best advice I have for women in legal tech is to simply show up. The people (both women and men) who are a part of legal tech are a collaborative, welcoming group. The network of extraordinary women that is accessible to those who are curious enough to seek them out and fearless enough to ask for real conversations is astounding. Many of my proudest accomplishments over the years have all started with a real-life relationship moment that led to either inspiration or opportunity.
Give a shout-out to another woman in legal tech who you admire or have learned something from!
Oh goodness, there is simply not enough print space to respond to this question. One of my most recent legal tech crushes has been on Dorna Moini of Documate. I would be impressed enough with Dorna as a founder of a great tool for lawyers and her willingness to share that product with Legal Services Corporation (and others) to improve access to justice. But my favorite reason for the well-deserved admiration involves the Global Legal Hackathon in 2018. Dorna and I competed in Pasadena on opposite teams/projects and let me just say, it wasn’t even close. She was phenomenal and beat some pretty amazing teams and projects with her project. If I am going to lose, I always appreciate losing to a woman of such talent.