Legal technology continues to rapidly change the practice of law—and today’s legal tech startups promise to unlock even more innovation for law firms.

Legal tech has become foundational to the operations of most successful law firms. In fact, the 2023 Legal Trends Report found that firms with good revenue are more likely to use technology for tasks like billing and accounting, client-facing communications, and document management. At the same time, legal tech startups are finding even more creative and cutting-edge ways to innovate.

Put simply, the best legal tech startups are disrupting the industry. How? by creating new ways to automate, digitize, and streamline legal workflows and tasks.

But what are the top legal tech startups to watch in 2024?

In this blog post, we’re putting the spotlight on legal tech startups. We’ll start by outlining the role of tech startups in today’s legal industry. We’ll also delve into factors to consider when choosing legal technology solutions for your firm. And, we’ll highlight the top legal tech startups we’re keeping in view in 2024.

Why legal tech startups are transforming the industry

As we unpack in greater detail in our guide to legal technology, legal technology can be broadly defined as technology—typically, software—that provides legal services and supports the legal industry.

In practice, legal technology is a type of tech that helps lawyers and law firms work more efficiently. Legal technology impacts law firms and legal professionals in many ways, including:

  • Improving overall productivity and efficiency, with tasks like billing, office administration, document creation and management, and legal research.
  • Saving time, which promotes cost efficiency and helps improve work-life balance.
  • Streamlining communication, both within firms and with clients.

But what differentiates legal technology providers from legal tech startups?

In general, a “startup” is a company in the early stages of its operations. It’s focused on developing an innovative product or service to solve a problem or meet a consumer demand.

Similarly, a legal tech startup is a company focused on using technology. They find new solutions and develop innovative services related to the practice of law and the legal industry.

Take Clio, for example. While Clio is no longer a startup, from the start, Clio’s cloud-based practice management software used technology to disrupt the legal industry by helping law firms to use the cloud to work more efficiently and offer more client-centered legal services.

While each company has a specific focus, today’s legal tech startups can help streamline legal processes in a variety of ways, including:

  • Automation: Repetitive tasks can be completed faster, easier, and with less chance of error, thanks to automation.
  • Artificial intelligence (AI): AI-powered tools created by legal startups can streamline legal tasks like legal research, document review, and more.
  • Client service: Tools can make communication easier (such as case management portals or secure document sharing tools), which improve the client experience of legal clients.
  • Court processes: From streamlining court reporting to e-filing solutions.
  • Improving access to justice: By streamlining processes to save law firms time and money, legal tech startups help to make legal services more affordable. Additionally, some tech startups focus on finding new ways to help firms offer more equitable access to justice.

Choosing the right legal tech partner for your firm

While legal technology can offer many benefits to law firms, not all legal tech solutions will be the right fit for your firm. When considering any legal software, it’s important to carefully vet the provider and the tool itself.

Here are some key questions to ask when choosing a legal tech startup solution:

  • What is the startup’s track record and reputation? Even if a legal startup is relatively new, take the time to evaluate the company’s history and reputation.
  • Is the product something that your firm actually needs and will use? There may be times when a tech startup develops a unique and innovative product, but it’s just not a fit for your law firm. Consider the specific needs and goals of your law firm, and make sure the solution is a fit.
  • What support does it offer? Similarly, it’s important that a new service will be easy to use and supported should you run into any questions or issues. Assess the customer support and training options offered to ensure you won’t run into problems down the road.
  • Is it scalable? It’s also key to assess the scalability and flexibility of any software before implementing it. Can the software grow with your firm?
  • Can it integrate with your other software and systems? Integration capabilities with your firm’s existing legal systems can be a valuable way to further streamline workflows.
  • Is it secure? As with any tool or service you consider for your firm, security is paramount. Evaluable any potential legal startups for their data security and privacy measures.

For more tips on how to make informed decisions when selecting legal technology from tech providers or legal startups, check out our legal technology buyer’s guide here.

Top legal tech startups

In 2023, Clio highlighted nine groundbreaking legal tech apps at the Integration Awards, due to each one of them revolutionizing the legal technology landscape. The three categories were Best New App, Best Practice of Law App, and Best Business of Law App.

Below, we highlight all nine of these notable startups, what they do for the legal space, and who ultimately ended up taking home the awards.

MotaWord

MotaWord helps lawyers navigate the needs of a global legal industry who are dealing with documents in various languages, and tight deadlines. It provides seamless, high-quality, and cost-effective translation services for law firms. Ensuring that all translations maintain the original document’s intent, tone, and legal nuances. MotaWord won Clio’s 2023 Integration Award for Best New App.

CollBox

CollBox helps automate accounts receivable for law firms, ensuring timely payment and allowing lawyers to focus on delivering the best client experience. Their tool works to reduce collections lockup by 40% and can save firms money by reducing the need for clerks hired to handle accounts receivables. CollBox was nominated for Best New App at Clio’s 2023 Integration Awards.

Vaultie

Vaultie works to safeguard lawyers’ time, money, and legal reputation against the increasing threat of fraud. Their suite of tools, including identity verification and secure document storage, helps lawyers establish trust and verify credentials. Vaultie was nominated for Best New App at Clio’s 2023 Integration Awards.

Fidu

Fidu propels law firms into the future, helping them transition from an hourly billing structure to a subscription-based model. It enables legal teams to scale from providing one-to-one services to a more efficient one-to-many approach. Revolutionizing the legal experience by bringing an end to the billable hour for good. Fidu won Clio’s 2023 Integration Award for Best Practice of Law App.

AltFee

AltFee equips law firms with the tools to adopt a client-centered approach to pricing. By aligning fees with the value provided, legal professionals can become more profitable, and clients can have upfront cost certainty. AltFee was nominated for Best Practice of Law App at Clio’s 2023 Integration Awards.

Gavel

Gavel universalizes access to legal services, allowing attorneys to provide affordable unbundled legal services. By offering alternative business models, law firms and other legal services companies can reduce prices and reach a broader user base. Gavel was nominated for Best Practice of Law App at Clio’s 2023 Integration Awards.

Hona

Hona is building one central hub for all client interactions. It’s software automatically educates and updates clients, letting lawyers spend time winning their case while giving clients an experience that makes firms stand out. Hona won Clio’s 2023 Integration Award for Best Business of Law App.

Kolleno

Kolleno streamlines financial operations in businesses and legal firms by simplifying the collection, receipt, and reconciliation of payments. Their mission is to drive the legal industry towards a future that is more efficient, client-centered, and data-driven. Kolleno was nominated for Best Business of Law App at Clio’s 2023 Integration Awards.

Levitate

Levitate makes the world a more entrepreneurial and creative place by developing software that helps small businesses grow. Designed specifically for relationship-based firms, such as legal practices, Levitate facilitates authentic communication at scale. Levitate was nominated for Best Business of Law App at Clio’s 2023 Integration Awards.

Final notes on legal tech startups

In today’s tech-driven legal landscape, adopting legal technology has become foundational to the success of many law firms. With the right legal tech, firms are able to work more efficiently, automate tedious processes, and deliver better client service.

When it comes to the most innovative solutions, legal tech startups are driving rapid advancements in how legal technology can help law firms—particularly as AI powers new workflows.

Though the possibilities of new technology from legal tech startups may feel limitless, it’s also important for law firms to take an informed and thoughtful approach when adopting any new technology and tools. Be sure to vet potential tech partners carefully, and look for solutions that can help streamline common workflows or alleviate any pain points your firm struggles with.

With that said, while the above list of top legal tech startups is a solid starting point for your search for potential solutions, it’s important to research tools that can help your firm’s unique needs. A great place to start for this? Take some time to browse Clio’s App Directory and learn more about our integration partners and how they might help your law firm.