Women in Law – Female Founders: Catherine Krow former CEO of Digitory Legal

Originally published by Artificial Lawyer - May 2019.
Digitory Legal is now BigHand Impact Analytics. Learn more here.

Artificial Lawyer is today launching a new series called Women in Law – Female Founders, where well-known legal entrepreneur, Dana Denis-Smith, the creator of Obelisk, interviews inspiring women working in the legal sector around the world.

The first – and just ahead of International Women’s Day – is an interview with Catherine Krow, CEO of legal tech startup, Digitory Legal. Catherine shares her experiences on addressing key business issues in the legal world, what it’s been like to create her own startup, and points out a couple of the challenges she’s noticed as a female founder.

Hi Catherine, first of all, please tell us what your business is all about? 

A few years ago, I realized that legal departments were undergoing pressure to reduce spending, forecast accurately, and increase outside counsel accountability. In a buyers’ market, law firms needed to solve cost management problems in ways that promoted trust and collaboration.

The starting point for this legal tech venture was Digitory’s litigation budgeting and AI-enabled cost analytics platform. It used data to answer the question ‘What should this case cost and why?’ and then helped customers manage that number.

How would you describe your company’s growth in just three key figures?

  • User base growth over past 12 months: +150%
  • Increase in billing data volume processed over past 6 months: a factor of 45
  • Time from release of enterprise platform to first AmLaw top 50 law firm client: less than a week.

What are your insights into the startup world as a female founder?

Diversity is not a metric for funding and there are not enough women in VCs.

Female founders are being held to Series A funding metrics in what are actually Seed rounds.

It’s not because women are too protective of their equity as is often said; it’s just that they have to fight harder for the same valuation as men get.

More broadly, what are your thoughts on the state of the legal industry as a whole? 

The global financial crisis of 2009 really put legal department spending under a microscope for the first time. As a result, clients are applying an unprecedented level of business discipline to the legal industry. Legal departments face the same pressure to live within ever-shrinking budgets that other business units have felt for decades.

Corporations also have built up legal procurement and legal operations departments – departments that barely existed before 2014 – to help them apply traditional lean sigma business principles to the legal market. Various industry trends appeared, including disaggregation of work and the rise of alternative legal service providers.

You can read the full interview here.

About BigHand Impact Analytics

BigHand Impact Analytics combines strategic advice and change management expertise with AI-enabled data analytics to transform legal billing data into DEI success. The solution allows firms to identify opportunities for career advancing work, supports DEI initiatives, and focuses on areas where time recording needs to be improved - ultimately creating a smoother billing and collection process, with better data insights. 

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