Expert Verbatim - APIs – the future of legal tech leadership
Expert Verbatim - APIs – the future of legal tech leadership

Communication and collaboration are critical going forward in a world interconnected than ever before. This holds good for the legal sector as well. With APIs offering a full suite of services, software intermediaries have to be on the company’s roadmap, writes, Anna Lozynski.

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What’s on my mind at the moment is APIs.

“An API is a platform that allows different pieces of software, or applications, to communicate with one another. The term is used broadly in the context of programming languages, the web, operating systems, etc. For example, Apple publicly shares a number of APIs powered by iOS, its operating system for iPhones and iPads, for an app developer to use. These APIs allow applications like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to access a user device’s camera, microphone, and much more.

APIs can fall into a number of subcategories. Many web and mobile applications, as well as devices (e.g., Amazon Echo), rely heavily on what are known as web APIs. A web API uses the same underlying technologies as web browsers to allow different applications to communicate with one another. Web APIs allow applications to retrieve data or perform actions beyond their built-in capabilities.

Typically, an application, using the internet, requests some data or action from an API. The API provides a response, and the application then adapts and displays it. The API’s code is hosted on a web server, which is essentially a computer connected to the internet. Depending on the functionality the API is providing, there may be an additional layer of security involved, such as sending a unique key”

Collaboration and connection are becoming more and more business critical.

In that context, APIs will have a significant part to play in the future of legal tech. In my mind, they have the potential to be a source of interconnectedness across the legal profession.

At present, while there is not one legal tech vendor that offers the full suite of capabilities, once the use of legal tech becomes the “new normal,” clients will (and so too, will their business clients) want a single operating system or interface to access legal support.

Imagine if you had to carry a separate smart phone for each of your apps!
What that means existing legal tech is going to have to connect and “talk” to one another a lot more than it does now. It necessitates the existing legal tech world to undergo a transformation of its own.

As clients, let’s ensure legal tech providers don’t inadvertently adopt some of the silo mentality that already exists in droves in the legal profession.

Let’s make sure APIs are part of the product roadmap.

“Great leaders communicate and great communicators lead” – Simon Sinek

Great communication has an incredible opportunity to extend to legal tech too.
Let’s lean on the leadership of legal tech to keep us as a profession connected and data driven, greater than ever before.

Anna-Lozynski

About the Author

Anna Lozynski is an executive general counsel and author. She believes that legal innovation is invigorating, change is energising and efficiency will never go out of fashion. Anna has studied law in Melbourne, Beijing, Utrecht and Boston. Starting out at a major Australian law firm, she has spent the majority of her legal career in-house working in the banking, automotive and cosmetics industries. Described as a change agent, Anna is a sought-after commentator and speaker both domestically and internationally – seeking to shift the dialogue in order to propel the profession forward.

annalozynski.com

@legallyinnovative