The results are in. Readers have been voting to select the 15 legal technology startups that will get to participate in the fifth-annual Startup Alley at ABA TECHSHOW 2021, which will be held virtually March 8-12, 2021.

These 15 will face off in a virtual pitch competition that will be the opening event of this year’s TECHSHOW, with the conference’s attendees voting to pick the top winner. The first-place winner gets a package of marketing and advertising prizes.

In November, we issued a call for entries. From all the entries we received, a panel of judges narrowed the applications down to 25, which we posted on Jan. 25.

Here are the winners in order of their vote tallies. The descriptions were provided by each company. The full ballot with more-detailed descriptions is here.

1. FirmVO

The way attorneys work has changed forever. We offer a hybrid of technology and brick and mortar office space. They are fused together to save law firms 90% or more on base rent and occupancy expenses. We offer a virtual office under one platform and in compliance with the ABA and state bar associations’ virtual office ethic model rules (for example, compliance with New York’s Judiciary Law § 470).

FirmVO is the first legal tech start up to compete with the physical office and its landlord. As the historical “corner attorney office” loses its luster, we are helping our clients save on theirs #2 expense after staff. We help our members increase profits and pass on the savings to their clients. We have been meaningfully helping our member keep safe during the pandemic by them not having to venture out to stop by the office to pick up essential mail.

2. Freelance For Law

Freelance For Law is a marketplace that connects law firms with freelance legal professionals. Busy attorneys simply post a project (short- or long-term) including the type of freelancer, skills required, due date, and budget. Then they can review profiles, hire, securely exchange documents, monitor project status, and pay all on our user-friendly platform.

Unlike the very few existing law firm outsourcing marketplaces, our freelancers include attorneys and support staff (paralegals, law clerks, legal assistants, and more). Our goal at its very core is to drive law firm efficiency, which is why we recently launched our free practice management service allowing users to create matters, upload documents, set reminders, collaborate with team members, and more.

3. ClauseBase

ClauseBase is a contract drafting platform that allows lawyers to turn their clauses into intelligent and reusable clauses and manage them in a clause library. From there, they can build contracts by stacking clauses on top of each other like building blocks, with ClauseBase ensuring internal consistency in terminology, grammar, styling, cross-referencing, and much more. The software also allows users to transform intelligent templates into a Q&A-style interview for easy contract generation.

Instead of automating entire templates, as traditional document automation software does, ClauseBase looks at the individual building blocks that make up a document. This approach allows you to not only build templates for automation in a traditional Q&A format, but also to create bespoke documents by stacking clauses on top of each other. ClauseBase also lets you upload your house style to the platform so that every document’s styling is consistent, eliminating the typical battle with MS Word.

4. 44th Street

44th Street helps lawyers understand their cases more thoroughly, starting on day one. Built by trial lawyers for trial lawyers, our case-analysis software accelerates your investigation, delivering compelling data visualizations that reveal your case story faster. Instantly identify data patterns and relationships with communication mapping, timelines, topic clustering, sentiment analysis, chronologies and email thread analysis. Develop your winning argument from discovery to trial.

44th Street speeds up the discovery process to give users a competitive advantage in the courtroom. With its intuitive interface that includes e-discovery capabilities, 44th Street transforms data into digestible visualizations that save you countless hours. Utilizing natural language capabilities and artificial Intelligence, our case analysis software instantly identifies data patterns and relationships. Empower your team to collaborate, discover new questions, and deliver actionable insights.

5. Syntheia

Syntheia is a knowledge platform for lawyers. We make it easy for lawyers to do their best work by providing them with useful information at the right time and in the right place. Our software turns legal expertise and long documents into bite-sized and reusable machine learning models and text. These models and text plug into multiple use-case specific applications – including for AI-assisted document review, automating clause bank creation, and recommending drafting in Microsoft.

Five key differentiators make us unique:

  1. Our natural language processing technology is capable of learning new legal concepts from 3-5 examples.
  2. Our machine analyzes documents at a granular level, starting with document layout analysis.
  3. Our software is deployed privately to law firms, so data is never shared.
  4. Our applications are designed to fit existing workflows, but share learnings across them.
  5. We aim to fill the gaps left by incumbents, rather than challenge them head-on.

6. DorothyAI

DorothyAI applies an ensemble of advanced natural language processing, machine learning, and traditional keyword-based search models to a query in your own words to quickly identify the most relevant results, filter results, and refine searches. Patent practitioners using DorothyAI can perform their own searches in less time than patent search firms, eliminating the need for patent search outsourcers and the disclosure risks associated with outsourcing, while turning outsource fees to revenue.

Ways in which we are unique: 1. Connection: Our team has almost 80 combined years of patent practice experience, and we leverage our network to ensure our solutions solve problems. 2. Technology: We are redefining how technical documents are searched with advanced AI while recycling existing methods to make the search efficient. 3. Focus: DorothyAI will identify the best references no matter the technology quickly. 4. Experience: Our tools produce professional results with the look and feel of consumer tech.

7. Spectacles

Spectacles patent-pending technology displays all terms defined in a document in an interactive side-panel so you can see what matters while you read. No flipping pages, no multiple document windows, no searching for definitions. Spectacles brings the definition to you. Just highlight the word and click, Spectacles will handle the rest.

Our patent-pending technology makes reviewing even the most sophisticated and complex legal and finance documents a breeze. Never hunt through indexes or multiple pages of a contract again. Just highlight and click, Spectacles will bring the definition to you.

8. Legal Karma

Legal Karma accelerates law firm’s most important client interactions. We build client portals that allow lawyers to assign tasks/build work flows for clients, provides a “”case tracker” for clients to stay in the loop on their matter, and automate any document or form like a TurboTax for law. Plus, law firms can sell their legal services online with a menu of options. We are a client-centric portal. This isn’t your place to manage your matter internally.

Most folks focus on client interaction from the perspective of CRM or how best they can manage their matter internally. Legal Karma is a client-centric tool that sits on top of any law practice, litigation-centric or contract-centric.

9. Della

Simple to set up and easy to use, Della is supplanting established contract analysis and review tools, by offering lawyers an intuitive way to review contracts. Using proprietary AI, Della allows lawyers to ask questions about their contracts, in plain English (and other languages), and get clear answers. Della learns every time you use it and recognizes that lawyers don’t think about contracts in terms of “extracting clause X or Y,” they just want to find the answer to a query. Quickly.

Traditional contract review focuses on clause detection and data extraction. Della focuses on the questions we want to ask of our contracts, allowing users to focus on legal work, not paperwork or tech. It takes 10 mins for a new user to start using Della. Our models learn directly from any interactions, allowing users to review docs faster every time. Powered by massive language models, Della reduces time-to-value, while ensuring the use of a sophisticated tool is achievable for smaller firms.

10. Motionize

Motionize’s intuitive design and navigation leads you through the document automation and creation process seamlessly. We help lawyer’s save up to 80% of their non-billable time.

Our intuitive system takes your existing documents and our AI programs them for you. Also, unlike any other system, we have complete compatibility with Microsoft word documents and allow users to edit them with full end-to-end encryption in the cloud.

11. Avvoka

Avvoka is a document automation, negotiation and analytics tool designed to help law firms, in-house legal teams and businesses draft documents, negotiate them, and leverage data insights to draft better documents, and get to “yes” faster. Avvoka replaces complex coding requirements of legacy tools with an intuitive, no-code approach to document automation. We provide a cloud collaboration and negotiation environment. Our analytics module provides useful insights.

Our tool is very intuitive and has a truly no-code approach. With Avvoka, everyone can learn to automate. However, Avvoka is very powerful and can handle sophisticated automation. Besides, we are an end-to-end tool that manages the entire life cycle of a contract from drafting to negotiation, execution and analytics. Our features increase contract creation efficiency and reduce negotiation time to reach execution faster.

12. TermScout

TermScout reviews, rates, and compares B2B software contracts based on customer favorability so that software buyers can quickly understand what they’re being asked to sign and so software vendors can better understand how their contracts compare.

We are the world’s first objective contract rating agency. While we’re building our initial business in the B2B software contract space, our model is applicable to any contracts that are used on a one-to-many basis (e.g. privacy policies, employment agreements, leases, insurance contracts, and more). Our model produces high-quality contract reviews, comparisons, and ratings at extremely competitive pricing.

13. ADR Notable

ADR Notable is the end-to-end solution that suits all a mediator’s needs throughout the mediation:

  • Capture client intake and engagement agreements pre-mediation.
  • Keyboard or stylus-to-text notetaking and timers to track plenary and caucus in-session.
  • Bill clients, make a term sheet, and delete confidential materials post-mediation.

ADR Notable is the only tool a mediator needs to keep organized and efficient throughout their mediation and focus on finding a resolution.

ADR Notable is the only case management system to go “in the room,” specifically designed to serve mediators before, during, and after the mediation session. It replaces the legal pad with keyboard or stylus-to-text notetaking, and the mediator can capture note content, party, and note type. Manage notes logically, link notes to each other, and even export notes to draft a term sheet. Securely store and delete files used in mediation via a secure cloud-based case management system.

14. Bigfork

Bigfork’s ALOE was developed by in-house lawyers to provide a single platform that allows in-house lawyers to collaborate within their organizations, implement process and controls, and free up lawyers to be lawyers and business partners instead of administrators.

Our solution was developed by in-house counsel who have felt the pain personally. Which is why we’ve included things like email integration, mobile approvals, Docusign integration, and focused on collaboration and end to end process for contracts, matters, and all things that come across the desk of an in-house lawyer.

15. Painworth

Painworth helps people calculate, manage and settle personal injury cases.

We serve end users directly and broker fast settlements and arbitration that cut through unnecessary legal hoops.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.