Bob and Ben Ambrogi Launch LawNext Directory, a Clearinghouse for Legal Technology Buyers
For more than two decades, attorney Robert (Bob) Ambrogi and his media scholar and producer son Ben Ambrogi have chronicled the legal tech industry on Bob’s popular Lawsites blog. But now the two are now expanding their scope to map the industry as well, publicly announcing today the release of the LawNext Legal Technology Directory.
The LawNext directory aims to provide information about legal technology products that would be needed for buyers to make a decision, including product features, pricing, resources such as screenshots, and outside media coverage of the product. (including from Bob Ambrogi’s own blog), and Suite. The product page will also contain reviews from verified sources, as well as lists of competing products from the same product category.
The directory will launch with approximately 400 listings that responded to their limited pre-launch invitation to submit products, plus some that the two added internally to build the listing. Bob Ambrogi noted that they will “look to ramp up quickly” with more signups and eventually have a current target list of 4,000 businesses to add. These products are categorized into 14 high-level groups known as “technology hubs” which provide a hub for product types ranging from contracting to hiring and talent management and more. From there, the products will be broken down into 72 different category types, helping to further guide potential buyers to the right type of tool for their needs.
The directory will be completely free to buyers, and Bob Ambrogi said he expects a wide range of small lawyers, large lawyers, corporations and mainstream clients. For legal tech companies, the basic list update is also free, although they can also purchase an enhanced list which offers benefits such as the ability to publish white papers and videos, the ability to sponsor a category with a specially marked listing at the top of a category page, and more.
The goal, Ben Ambrogi noted, is to provide a more comprehensive and easily accessible list of legal technology products than what buyers would find through a normal search, which often does not speak directly to legal technology professionals. law.
“If you search for practice management software, you will see MyCase versus Clio, two versions of this document hosted on each of their respective websites, and you will see [technology review site] G2, which is fine for what it is. … But we spend a lot of time. Bob spent six months carefully crafting the list of 72 categories that serve legal technology. So even if you’re trying to find solutions they’re really broad on something like G2 there’s a million solutions out there that I don’t even know how they got listed they don’t quite reflect categories,” he said. Explain.
The ability to see peer reviews is a key differentiator for the site, according to the two, which stems in large part from a partnership they forged with legal marketplace Justia. The Justia team has been helping build the site and helping the market with SEO-centric development for the past six months, Bob Ambrogi explained. The LawNext directory will also be promoted to Justia’s lawyer clientele, which also has the advantage of being a group of bar-accredited lawyers who can provide advice immediately.
“We all know that’s what we’re all looking for when buying things these days. We want those peer reviews and peer reviews, that’s what we trust,” he said. -he adds.
This broad base is also a key selling point for legal tech companies, who will be encouraged to maintain their own listings on the site (with help from the Ambrogi team). Ben Ambrogi noted that the directory would bring in a full-time developer and editor in the coming days to continue developing the site, but for the most part the companies themselves have taken on “a heavy weight” in putting update their pages with relevant information ranging from customer support to security certifications.
Of course, there could be a danger that this information will become outdated over time. However, the two believe their focus on the legal tech community and companies with “skin in the game” to market against their competitors will help keep the lists fresh.
“They’ve put a lot of effort into this, and we’re focusing on quality over quantity here, so I don’t think it’s an unmanageable amount while we’re still in the manual lifting phase,” explained Ben Ambrogi.
The idea for the directory grew out of a list of legal tech startups Bob had compiled on the Lawsites blog over several years, which ended up with somewhere between 800 and 900 companies listed, he estimates. . Since then, other directories such as LegalTechnologyHub, run by former Big Law tech leaders Nicola (Nikki) Shaver and Jeroen Plink, and Stanford University’s CodeX Techindex have additionally built listings of up to to 1,700 legal technology companies.
But where the LawNext Directory hopes to stand out is this “quality over quantity” mantra. Along with the verified reviews and sheer amount of content on every page, Bob and Ben Ambrogi bank on the former’s reputation for industry reporting. as a draw for buyers.
“Because people could look to him for product reviews and he’d spend all day looking at product demos and things like that, we thought we might be in a good position to try to show more information to potential buyers,” explained Ben Ambrogi.
Bob Ambrogi agreed, noting that what started out as “a small idea has grown into something much bigger than we originally thought, and in part because we just realized that the problem or the need was quite great there”.
He added, “I’ve been in this for a long time and have a deep understanding of this industry, and I think that’s going to really inform how we’re building this directory and make it useful for professionals.”