Short Thoughts on the Romanian Legal Tech Market

I was talking the other day with some friends about the ways things evolve in Romania. Or at least, how things have been until now. It just so happened that, at the time of this discussion, I was reading the book “Why Nations Fail” by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson. Surprising as it might seem (or not!), among other convergent factors of why populations disappeared over time, the lack of innovation stood as one of the main determinants.

Due to historical events, it has been shown by many historians that Romanian people, both individually, and as a nation, suffer from some sort of inferiority feeling. Although this problem started to dilute at an individual level, as the new generation grew new beliefs, it is still challenging at a state level to get rid of this perception.

The way Romania chose to do things in recent years was pretty predictable. We waited for other countries to develop modern technologies, and only then, if we saw that things were going in the right direction, we decided to adopt those novelties. Many times, we were the latest to adopt them.

Law has been for centuries one of the most traditional domain. Resistant to change and, sometimes, having the power to punish the innovators, the law has proven one of the lasts to bring originality into its development.

The situation is not very different as we speak, either. We’ve seen, for some time, developments in many areas of our everyday life: banking, accommodation, tourism, recruiting, health, commercial, IT, social interaction, governmental. And still, the legal market has just begun to move its wheels of innovation. And when I say this, I don’t say that people started only now to think about all kinds of improvement that the legal market might need. No. This has been happening for years. But for years, innovators were discredited by authorities and other practicians, because of fear of shaking the system; a system that has proven to be beneficial for some time, but, outdated for today’s generation.

At the Romanian level, things don’t rest very different. The change is coming slowly, but surely. And still, authorities turn a blind eye to innovators in law. Somehow, they exist, but not linked to the state. Because the state prefers stability, over novelty. However, in time, their own stubbornness might (almost surely, based on history) turn against themselves.

In the last years, the Romanian legal tech movement caught wings through some initiatives and startups such as the Global Legal Hackaton, alertaCUI.ro, Avoteca, KeyVision.eu, Legal Tale podcast, LegalUp, Sypher Solutions, and many more. And I am sure, as the years pass by, and the needs of people change, more initiatives will appear to satisfy these unsolved issues. At Avoteca, we believe that innovation is the only solution to bring the justice system closer to the public. Only by promoting new technologies, we can bring joy into the lives of our legal professionals, and carry out legal services at high standards.

I’m looking ahead with interest and hoping to see more efforts and support from the authorities towards the legal tech actors in Romania.

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.

Founder of @avoteca, writer, travel wonderer, freelance lawyer for freelancers