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Startup Snapshot: Deborah Baron, Align Matters

By Monica Bay, CodeX Fellow

411:Chief Strategy Officer, Align Matters. Also serves on the Board of the Kellogg Alumni Council and Forest Creatures Foundation and is a board advisor to organizations in electronic discovery, information governance, data analytics and information privacy. Recently joined CodeX’ and Quora’s communities.

Name of start-up and launch date: Align Matters - the GPS for every legal matter. We went live in Feb. 2015, are hosted in the secure Microsoft Azure cloud and were selected for the BizSpark startup program. (See video here).

Is this your first start-up? No, Align is my third startup. My second was ZANTAZ —a roller coaster ride that gave me a deep appreciation for smart leadership, vision and true teamwork. I joined in 2001 to launch an open source SaaS archiving technology for Wall Street banks. We had 40 people, a handful of customers and needed another revenue stream. I took ZANTAZ into the e-discovery market; we grew revenue four-fold and had 400+ personnel when we were acquired by HP/Autonomy.

How does Align help lawyers?Think of Align as a GPS for legal matters—every legal matter is like a journey. Align helps lawyers plan and navigate the journey and clarify client business objectives. Client business objectives drive the plan: it coordinates budget, timeline, calendar, resources and risks. Align provides all participants—both inside and outside teams—with real-time status reports and alerts. The analytics help lawyers manage the matter and make adjustments on the fly avoiding painful budget overruns and conflicts over invoices.

What problem does Align solve? General counsel and legal operations managers tell us that buying legal services often seems like an uneven playing field. They want to know how much a matter is expected to cost and what others are paying, and they don’t want budget overruns. CFOs and CEOs have the same agenda. With Align you know what a matter should cost at the start and when it goes over budget or off plan.

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