ALTA Board Member Profile | President – Jodie Baker, Founder & CEO, Xakia
How did you end up in your current job, and what drives you?
The path has been windy, and direct, depending on the perspective. I was (many moons ago) a lawyer, but then spent a decade outside the legal industry as an equities and financial analyst, and then came back into the industry to kick off Hive Legal after returning to Australia from living in the U.S.
The creation of Xakia was initiated from a research project with in-house legal teams, which uncovered a gap in the market for a simple and affordable management tool for in-house legal teams. The journey since then has been intense and the most fun of my career.
I’m driven by creation – building teams, solutions, products, communities – I love working with people from different backgrounds and with different skills to bring all the pieces of a puzzle together in a beautiful way that keeps us evolving and moving forward.
Describe a typical day in your life as a legal tech founder
I start my day around 5.30am and at my desk by (no later than) 6am to work with our North American team and client base until 9am, when the Australian day kicks in. From there, the day is a mix of team management, product creation, technical liaison, client interaction, a little bit of sales (but not much these days), a lot of marketing, partner and consultant engagements and… though I’m exhausted by the time this occurs, an increasing number of late night calls with our growing European client base. Upshot: they are long days, but varied and fun!
You are about to go back in time to give your younger self a single piece of advice. What do you say to younger Jodie? And when?
I’ve really enjoyed my journey and wouldn’t change very much at all, but if I could talk to my 25 year old self, I would encourage her to be more confident, take bigger strides, and not try to plan the future so intensely.
It’s 30 October 2030. What will lawyers and legal tech founders say when they look back at the legal industry today? What moments and trends will they still be talking about?
In 2030, 2040, 2050, everybody will still be talking about 2020. We are living today in a moment of incredible change – financial, operational, geo-political – which provides amazing opportunities. Whilst the groundwork has been set for legal technology adoption over the past 5 years, it is right now that mass adoption, which has always been a barrier for the legal industry, is happening. Whilst it won’t all happen at once, the tide is lifting fast and those already on it are in for a big ride.
In 3 sentences: what is ALTA, who was ALTA created for, and why should they care?
ALTA is a community of Australian legal technology creators. This eco-system was initially born with the sole focus on helping these early stage legal technology companies establish themselves and find a market, and then build a brand for Australian legal technology on the global stage. The entire Australian legal ecosystem stands to benefit from a strong legal technology industry – to have these innovators on our doorstep ensures that in the long term, we can achieve an efficient legal industry providing high quality legal advice and access to justice for all.
What is your role on the ALTA board and what are your plans for the rest of your term?
I am the current President. In my term, I am proud to have worked with our Board to navigate through the COVID-19 environment, helping to pivot to an online conference and build strength and diversity in the ALTA operations to achieve its long term vision. My longer term contribution will be in building out the community of women of Australian legal technology (WALTA).
Where can we stay up to date with what you’re doing?
I’m not a big social media presence, preferring to work through the organisational brands of Xakia and ALTA to build the communities and offerings there – so follow those organisations and you’re bound to see me around!