The legal tech industry is booming, and at its core are innovators and pioneers hailing from diverse backgrounds with a shared common mission: to increase access to justice for legal consumers.
Knowing what is going on in legal tech and in the legal industry as a whole is critical for practitioners, alternative legal services providers, tech startups, and legal consumers. As new advancements and innovations change the legal landscape, people find themselves with new opportunities, but also new challenges.
One of the pioneers working to improve access to justice through legal technology is Eve Barrett, the CEO and Founder of Expedite – a platform connecting attorneys with court reporters and other legal service providers on demand. Prior to founding Expedite, Eve ran her own successful court reporting firm, Barrett Court Reporting. Eve is also a veteran with a distinguished prior career in the United States Army. Her list of accolades is long, from honors like Soldier of the Year, an Army Commendation Medal, and the National Defense Medal. Outside of work, Eve is also an avid marathoner and a three-time worldwide Ironman finisher.
We were fortunate enough to sit down with Eve to discuss her career path, her role in advancing legal tech, her mission in starting Expedite, and the values that propel her forward.
UniCourt: Tell us your story. What is your background, and what led you to start Expedite?
Eve Barrett: As a court reporter for the last twenty years and a firm owner for fifteen of those years, I have experienced firsthand the pains in the legal industry. I have a strong affinity for on-demand platforms like Uber, Wag, Takl, HomeAdvisor, DoorDash, Lawnz, so I connected the dots. I built the first-to-market on-demand platform that connects the supply-and-demand side. Expedite is not looking to replace an existing service model; we simply created a more efficient and convenient solution.
UC: Who are your professional mentors, and who has inspired you most in your professional journey?
EB: As a court reporter, I am surrounded by many intelligent people. Attorneys, judges, paralegals and my colleagues inspire me daily. As for the inspiration to build my line of mobile apps? That would be my children and husband. We all devour the latest-and-greatest technology as it rolls out. We see a future capitalizing on convenience.
UC: As the Founder and CEO of a legal tech company, what would you say to other women interested in starting their own legal tech companies or working in the legal tech industry?
EB: My advice to other women would be to own your solution and take charge. As a U.S. Army veteran, I don’t see race, religion or gender. As a leader, you need to set the goals, lay out the steps necessary to achieve said goals, then execute. Failure is not an option. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman: The ability to connect is your strongest asset. Utilize it.
UC: Why do you think it is important to continue improving access to legal services and legal support services? How can technology help?
EB: An old Army question is, what’s the biggest room in the world? The room for improvement. Mobile apps are dynamic and constantly evolving. Technology allows us to pivot quickly to adjust for nuances within the industry. Immediate access to resources is priceless, especially in the legal industry, as time translates into billable hours.
UC: How do you think the on-demand economy will continue to change the legal industry?
EB: Today’s society enjoys instant connections. Technology affords us the opportunity to work smarter, network faster, and be more transient. By utilizing platforms such as Expedite, we can show the legal profession that technology increases the value of the human element rather than replacing it.
UC: What are some of the trends you see impacting legal support services providers? We are about to enter a new decade, one which will most certainly be filled with innovative replacement competitors.
EB: We can no longer run from the future, for the future has arrived. There are many innovative replacement alternatives that are infiltrating the record-making process within the industry. Artificial intelligence and digital recorders/transcribers are pushing forth records replete with errors. There is zero tolerance for errors in legal transcripts. That’s why I created Expedite. Expedite is the certified court reporter hub that keeps the justice system accurate, neutral, and moving!
UC: What are some of your favorite sayings? Do you have any favorite real-world examples of how you have seen those sayings come to life?
EB: One of my favorite sayings is, “Dress shabbily, they notice the dress. Dress impeccably, they notice the woman.” -Coco Chanel. As a court reporter, my goal is to dress to impress on every occasion. Many times, I’ve been mistaken for the attorney, and that’s a compliment. Lately, I’ve revamped my wardrobe to reflect my CEO title. My goal is to make an impression when I walk into a room. The right power suit boosts confidence and sets the tone for the conversations that follow.
UC: What are your professional goals for the coming year? Are there any projects you are working on? Any upcoming events we should know about?
EB: My professional goals are to continue building upon the Expedite platform. Expedite will be THE platform where the entire legal industry connects and shares valuable resources. We are currently working on two major additions that will take Expedite to a whole new level. As much as I’d like to announce them, we must ask for everyone to be patient. A wonderful side effect of launching my legal tech apps and podcast series is speaking engagement and presenter opportunities. My calendar is filling quickly and I look forward to continuing my journey.
A Community of Innovators
In the coming months, we look forward to interviewing other legal tech innovators like Eve, inviting them to share their perspectives on how legal tech will change the legal landscape. Stay tuned for interviews with pioneers in legal data, content, pro bono services, and more. All will share their perspectives on why it is important to improve access to legal services, and how technology will continue to impact and aid their efforts.