Feb 22, 2021
With this episode of
the Legal Tech StartUp Focus Podcast (www.legaltechstartupfocus.com/podcast),
your host, Charlie Uniman, welcomes Kevin Miller, CEO of
LegalSifter (www.legalsifter.com). According to its website,
LegalSifter " . . .
fixes many of the pre-signature contract
challenges [its customers] face. It reads contracts and gives
in-context advice. It's fast, easy-to use, and is configurable for
[the customer's] organization." LegalSifter's website also
describes its post-signature contract management tools where
"[LegalSifter] keep[s] track of [a customer's] contracts using
A.I., easy-to-use contract software, attorneys, paralegals, and a
passion for technology and service."
Kevin begins by describing his professional journey, first,
acquiring a JD, next undertaking a brief stint in legal practice,
then on to getting an MBA and working as a senior manager at
growth-stage companies outside the legal tech sector. This
description leads to the story of how Kevin became the CEO, about
five years ago, of LegalSifter, a startup squarely in the legal
Charlie follows up with questions about LegalSifter's product
offerings and we learn that LegalSifter offers both pre-signing and
post-signing contract analysis and management services. As Kevin
describes those offerings, his company uses natural language
processing technology (its "legalsifters") to surface ("sift" out),
and give advice concerning, key provisions in contracts. Kevin also
describes his company's "Concierge" services where, AI and related
technologies, together with LegalSifter's personnel, an enterprise
can have LegalSifter act as the enterprise's "contract librarian"
to assist with post-signing contract management.
Kevin next offers some helpful "words to the wise" advice for
fellow legal tech startup leaders. First, Kevin emphasizes the
importance of post-sale customer nurturing and the how even very
early-stage legal tech startups should target hiring people whose
talents are particularly geared to post-sale customer success.
Kevin then notes that a well-designed and ongoing "land and expand"
strategy (i.e., growing the number of users at an existing
customer) is an oft-neglected path to solid sales growth. Kevin
concludes by talking about a realization that came to him only
after several months of leading LegalSifter. This is when Kevin
came to understand that managing a startup did not mean tearing up
the big company "playbook" that he had developed in previous roles,
but instead that leading an early stage company meant just the
opposite; namely, calling on that playbook's management strategies
to manage a startup like LegalSifter.