Having already signed on about 40 American law firms as clients, legal software maker Rally has inked a deal with the Atlantic Canadian law firm Cox & Palmer to help provide legal services to the Atlantic Canadian startup community.
Based in St. John’s, Rally makes software to help lawyers share documents among themselves and with their clients, as well as communicate with clients about their cases.
CEO Scott Stevenson said in an interview that Rally’s growth has been bolstered by the shift to remote work, and he expects the trend to continue even after the pandemic.
“Basically, what we do is we help law firms deliver services much more efficiently, and help them give their clients a more digital experience,” he said. “We also help the firm automate a lot of the monotonous and routine drudgery, so that they can spend more time on high level strategic work that really adds value to the client.”
The system is sold to law firms using a SaaS model, with three pricing tiers. The cheapest option costs US$99 per month, with the most expensive clocking in at US$999 for a version that includes real-time messaging with clients and e-signature support for both lawyers and clients.
For example, a law firm’s clients can log into Rally to see updates about their cases and review documents. The lawyers, meanwhile, can use Rally to automate some parts of the contract-drafting process, which typically includes reams of formulaic writing that doesn’t necessarily require the expertise of a lawyer.
Founded in 2018, Rally now has about 50 law firms in its client roster. Stevenson said that last quarter alone, Rally’s customer base grew by more than 40 percent.
“The majority of our growth happened post-COVID,” he said. “And I do think the change is here to stay for the most part, because once firms move to digital collaboration, once they started doing Zoom meetings and realized they don't need to do a physical meeting with their client all the time, I think a lot of people are very reluctant to go back to the old way. To have to go into your lawyer’s office and sit down, it's pretty inconvenient to do that in the middle of the day.”
To accommodate that growth, Rally plans to more than double its employee count in the next year, growing from 10 people to 25, with the hiring process beginning in September or October. Those hires will include more software developers, more salespeople and more customer success staff.
The company raised a $750,000 funding round led by Venture NL and Killick Capital in 2019, and is planning another, larger round for later this year.
The Cox & Palmer partnership will start with the law firm providing services to startups at Newfoundland and Labrador’s Genesis entrepreneurship hub, and then expand to service the broader startup community.
Stevenson said that Rally’s automation and document-sharing features can both improve transparency between lawyers and clients, and lower the cost of legal services by reducing the amount of time law firms spend pushing paper.
Those cost-savings have the potential to be a particular boon to startups, which are often operating on tight budgets.
“It was a big reason why we initially started Rally,” said Stevenson. “Because as founders ourselves... accessing legal services was really tough. It wasn’t a great experience.”