Checkbox is an Australia-based no code platform making digital transformation accessible for the legal industry. In this interview with Asia Law Portal, CEO Evan Wong explains the inspiration for the founding of Checkbox, the importance of automation for legal services, and how Checkbox is helping legal professionals make technology easier to use to enhance their work.
What is Checkbox and what inspired its founding?
Checkbox is a leading no code legal automation platform. This means that legal teams can quickly and easily build document automation, legal intake and triage, legal workflow automation, and self-service tools using only drag and drop without the reliance on IT or Checkbox as a vendor. Using our platform, customers around the globe including companies like Coca-Cola, PwC, and Allianz, have streamlined and scaled the way they deliver legal services and manage risk across the business.
For example, Checkbox can be used for NDA automation and to create other automated legal documents. A business user can access a digital ‘front door’ to legal services, where, based on a series of conditions, they will be directed to the appropriate lawyer, or perhaps a self-service automation tool that generates the appropriate document, collects the necessary approvals, and sends the document out for e-signature.
Checkbox was founded because we saw an opportunity for legal and compliance services to be delivered in more digital, personalized, and dynamic ways. However, we also realized that there was a huge barrier for the legal industry to digitize and innovate with legal technology to achieve that vision, due to the lack of access to technology resources or skills. We thought to ourselves: ‘Could there be a way that we could enable knowledge and process experts to build digital tools without needing to code?’ And in answering that question, we found ourselves building a no code platform with the mission to empower anyone to build software.
How does Checkbox help the legal industry?
The legal industry is constantly under pressure to do more with less. This manifests itself in needing to deliver services faster, more cost-efficiently, producing more deliverables or managing a greater complexity of governance and regulation with legal headcount that doesn’t scale as fast as the demand.
To address this, legal teams and legal operations staff look towards legal technology to compliment and scale people and processes. However, legal does not typically get the required prioritization for IT resources. Combined with the prohibitive costs associated with more traditional IT approaches, most legal technology projects never see the light of day.
As a no code tool, Checkbox enables legal teams and legal operations with the ability to build and maintain their own apps cost-efficiently without reliance on IT, providing greater control over development cost and timelines and flexibility to respond to user feedback or process changes. Checkbox makes digital transformation accessible for the legal industry.
Why is automation so important for legal services?
Legal automation is important where there is a significant amount of manual, human work. Although legal services are provided by professionally trained lawyers who are highly intelligent legal problem solvers and negotiators, there is a significant amount of manual and administrative processes that is associated with the delivery of those services. This takes lawyers away from the high-impact and high-complexity work into the low-value process work which eats up their capacity, feeding into wider issues of the legal bottleneck, poorer risk visibility coverage, and the ability to scale fast enough with the business.
Legal automation is therefore a critical solution for legal teams. Whilst there are in-house legal software or law firm software such as matter management systems or document management systems that add value by helping lawyers better organize their work, automation plays a unique role in not just organizing, but improving the way legal work is done and directly delivering on the ‘do more with less’ promise.
What’s new in legal software and how is Checkbox utilizing it?
There are currently two major trends that we’re seeing in legal software. The first is no code technology. As a concept that has attracted lots of attention not just in legal, but across industries, no code is democratizing the ability to create software, bringing life to the citizen developer model to accelerate digital transformation. This is important as the demand for digitalization far outpaces the ability to deliver it. The Checkbox legal automation platform applies no code to empower knowledge and process owners to streamline manual business processes that still heavily rely on their time without requiring any coding or IT skills. We call this type of no code application: Expert Process Automation, or EPA.
The second trend is data. Legal teams are becoming more data-conscious and realize the value in capturing data, making data-informed decisions, and leveraging it for reporting. As an industry that traditionally operated heavily within paper-based and manual offline workflows, data has not been readily available or front of mind. However, with pressures to demonstrate and measure value as well as an opportunity to add strategic value to the broader business through data insights, most legal teams are now expecting legal technology to deliver value not just through its core functionality, but through the data it captures and provides. Being a legal workflow automation tool, Checkbox captures unique business data at the legal workflow level, and provides customizable dashboards to surface insights and track the status of workflows across the team.
What has been the reaction of law firms and legal departments to working with Checkbox?
Law firms that work with us are often surprised at how fast they are able to go from opportunity or idea to having a working solution in market. As the market evolves and client demands arise, law firms have successfully used Checkbox to deploy solutions within days, not weeks or months. The ease of use and speed of development means that ideas can be prototyped quickly, bringing agility into firms as a distinct competitive advantage. Law firms have not only been able to improve their own internal efficiencies but also deliver new streams of value to their clients, and in some cases, even new streams of revenue for the law firm.
Like law firms, legal departments that work with us are also delighted with how quickly outcomes can be delivered and the ROI benefits that are realized. For example, Air New Zealand’s legal team was able to go from first engagement to deploying their NDA automation tool using Checkbox in just four weeks, and on a strict budget during the pandemic. Another example is the legal team at Telstra who were able to save over 10,000 lawyer hours per annum using Checkbox by automating their legal intake and triage. To quote the then General Counsel and General Manager of Commercial Affairs at HESTA, a financial services company: “We found the Checkbox platform far better than the alternative solutions because of the usability and speed. It’s intuitive to use and you can change things in a matter of seconds. Checkbox is really quite limitless.”
You can read more about what our customers say in our case studies.
How can legal professionals work with you to improve their practices?
Easy, just reach out! Checkbox has deep experience unlocking value for in-house legal departments, law firms, not-for-profits, universities, and government. Whilst we are a technology company, we understand that success takes more than just great technology. We’ve developed best practice design, governance, and operating models that come before and after the technology. We have a first-class team who are more than happy to understand how we can help no matter the stage, size or challenge of any team, and a strong global network of world-class partners too who can help fill in the blanks. You can reach out to one of us at www.checkbox.ai/contact-us.