The legal industry has been one of the slowest industries to adopt technology. This is why the term “legaltech” is often met with confusion by attorneys, advocates, in-house counsel, law students, and legal academics alike.
Over the past few years, South Africa has seen a proliferation of legaltech startups being founded. Unlike the interest in and meteoric rise of fintech, legaltech is still very much nascent.
To usher tech into the legal industry in South Africa, Catherine-Jane Paulse and Yusha Davidson co-founded the South African Legal Technology (SALT) Network.
Catherine explains that the SALT Network aims to connect all South Africans working or interested in law, technology, innovation and the intersection thereof.
Law students, legal academics, attorneys, advocates, and-inhouse counsel are given a platform to showcase their research and gain further insight in law, tech and innovation.
Established and aspiring legaltech startups are given opportunities to showcase their solutions and connect with customers and funders.
Yusha attributed the SALT Network’s success to the growing interest in the use of tech in the legal industry and the democratization of knowledge.
Since the inception of the SALT Network in February 2020, over 1400 people have joined the network housed on LinkedIn.
The SALT Network releases weekly articles/videos prepared by anyone that is interested in contributing knowledge.
Once a month, the SALT Network hosts webinars, training sessions, live debates, round-table discussions and pitch events.
Catherine and Yusha also assist legaltech startups in South Africa, by offering them support and connections to investors, potential customers, and third-party service providers who have an affiliation with the SALT Network.
The SALT Network recently prepared an infographic of the legaltech startups founded in South Africa.
The legal industry is ripe for disruption, and the innovation demonstrated by the existing legaltech startups is evidence that the disruption has only just begun.