Aaron Wenner - Lawyer turned Innovator
Updated: Aug 19
Meet Aaron Wenner, the mind behind our latest feature: CiteRight
Aaron has an impressive resume-
an Ontario based lawyer called to the bar in 2016, who graduated from Harvard University and the McGill Faculty of Law. He is also an accomplished business leader, and dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge… need proof?
Well, he taught himself how to code.
Most of all, he’s a proud father.
Aaron is one of many lawyers with an entrepreneur hidden on the inside patiently waiting its turn. However, in Aaron’s case, the entrepreneur wasn’t as patient, it was slowly sneaking in some peeks in Aaron’s early career.
Aaron was working at one of the most prominent law firms on Bay St. living the dream, but he quickly realized that his work environment was somewhat more reminiscent of the early 20th century, rather than the 21st.
Technology was present at a bare minimum. Most tasks were done by hand, and articling represented a bulk of Aaron’s frustrations. After spending sleepless nights on such mundane tasks, he thought things could be done much faster.
He then initiated the concept behind CiteRight-
Why not automate most of the work that goes into putting together legal documents, while allowing for greater collaboration in legal research?
“In academia we have access to citation generators, but there was no such thing for legal research”, Aaron notes.
He soon found this idea to be feasible.
However, the question remains - are the law and technology truly compatible?
(Aaron's eyes twinkle)
He points out,
“Lawyers were amongst the first to adopt technology. They were the first to use word processors and fax machines. The value proposition was quite clear. There’s also a valid reason why we still see older technology still in use in some offices, such as typewriters.”
“It’s not entirely fair to label lawyers as technophobes. Lawyers operate within highly professional standards. So, the question is always raised, how does change affect the obligations I have to my clients? Lawyers are also very individualistic, therefore innovation with technology is welcomed if it understands the workflow of the environment it's entering.”
So what is Aaron’s advice for up and coming legal tech startups entering this environment?
“Do research in advance. Develop a concept that’s clear and don’t get too excited. It takes a lot of iterations and mock-ups to get to the final result.”
He also notes that every firm is different, and they may have specific requirements.
CiteRight’s team is acutely aware of this.
Jeremy Spira, CiteRight’s Director of Business Development says,
“Instead of just looking at what the problem is, we also try to see how the firm currently approaches the problem.’’
CiteRight is in active use by many Canadian law firms with great satisfaction under Aaron Wenner’s guidance.
The question then comes to mind: How has CiteRight changed the way he would practice law?
“If I were currently practicing, I would definitely use CiteRight.”
Finally, given Aaron’s experience and CiteRight’s success, I would be amiss not to ask him and his colleague Jeremy, on what the greatest need is for legal innovators today.
“A platform for partnerships. Open communication within the niche legal market.”
Aaron hopes to continue introducing technology into other facets of legal work in order to help lawyers function and use their knowledge more efficiently.
You can connect with Aaron on:
To find out more about CiteRight please visit: CiteRight