Change requires “doers.”
Change requires “doers.”
Counsel On Call’s Discovery Symposium 7.0 was recently held in Nashville, Tenn. The annual two-day event was a good balance of relevant large data topics, fun networking between in-house attorney peers, and open dialogue on the issues challenging the legal industry today.
The Symposium’s program is full of experts, but not the typical people one sees at other events. Instead, our speakers are the in-house attorneys who are actually in the trenches for their companies, trying to solve challenges that are ever-changing while learning new technologies and processes – doing it all on a shrinking budget. The Symposium provides our attendees – some are GC’s, others Heads of Litigation or Discovery, and others manage specific parts of the process – some of the intelligence necessary to do all of these things. (See the DS7.0 agenda and panelists here.)Continue Reading...
This guest post is by Eric Griffin, a director at Counsel On Call. Eric works closely with clients to design innovative and cost-effective legal solutions in a variety of verticals and practice areas.
Just over a week ago, Ryan McClead of 3 Geeks and a Law Blog penned a great conversation starter titled “The Myth of Disruptive Technology” in the legal industry. There, he analyzed the fabled competitive battle between the innovative, streaming video of Netflix and the plodding retail video store Blockbuster, and compared it to the situation in today’s legal industry. Although McClead questioned the applicability of the Netflix/Blockbuster paradigm to law practice, he implied that many traditional law firms may be in the same boat as Blockbuster: unable to adapt to a rapidly changing market environment without cannibalizing its core business.
Soon the interwebs were buzzing with arguments surrounding McClead’s implication. People questioned if we are actually living through the legal innovative disruption, or if law practice was even capable of being disrupted. Does it need to be?
Counsel On Call has always done things differently in the legal marketplace. Differently for our clients. Differently for our attorneys. Differently in the results we focus on and achieve. We approach projects from a business perspective – using well-trained and experienced attorneys, providing transparent budget forecasts, identifying key metrics to track, using best in breed technology, and employing a best practice approach on all matters are just a few of the issues on which we’ve always been at the forefront.
These initiatives allow us to not only keep long-term clients, but also long-term legal professionals. Legal professionals who are highly skilled, motivated by the work and environment they get to be a part of, and who practice high-level legal work while gaining more control over their life.
In 2014, our focus in the Managed Services Division is to increase the level of specialized training for all of our legal professionals. This training will include explaining much of the EDRM model, integrated with topics we have found to be essential, including how we work and communicate with clients, our collaborative approach to projects, the elements of successful teams, and many more.
We kicked off this Certification Program by visiting each of our offices and Managed Services facilities to focus our team members on understanding the “Counsel On Call Way.” These were open discussions about the issues above, but also touched on understanding the true life cycle of a document, from creation to disposition to understanding all the players who deal with that document.Continue Reading...
In part one of his series, former general counsel and current Counsel On Call Director, Eric Griffin, described the waves of change he’s witnessed in the legal industry throughout his career due to the disaggregation and commoditization of legal work and associated rise of managed legal services.
In my last post, I concluded by describing a “three legged stool” model of providing legal services in the modern era; in-house counsel focuses on the business issues, outside counsel focuses on strategy and high level analysis, and the legal business process manager acts as the gatekeeper on costs, process, technology, staffing, metrics and improvement.
But are all types of legal matters amenable to legal process management? If not, what kinds of legal work should be considered for process management?
The fact is, practically all legal tasks (other than those performed in connection with “one-off” and highly unique and infrequently repeated matters) are amenable to process management initiatives. Specifically, managed legal services can bring tremendous efficiency and cost savings to projects involving high volume or repetitive tasks such as (but not limited to) the following:
This is Part 1 of a two-part series from Eric Griffin, a director at Counsel On Call. Eric works closely with clients to design innovative and cost-effective legal solutions in a variety of verticals and practice areas.
As little as 30 years ago, most business corporations were staffed with employees who performed all, or virtually all, of the tasks required to deliver products and services to their customers. Even job functions that were only tangentially related to the end product or service were often performed internally by dedicated corporate employees. The outsourcing of tasks to a third party outside of the corporation was an alien concept.
That world no longer exists. Today, businesses are closely examining their internal processes and work flows to determine how to deliver products and services more efficiently. The ubiquity of electronic information systems, as well as the attendant untethering of skilled labor from local job markets, has led directly to the disaggregation and outsourcing of once purely “internal” and even mission-critical tasks. Whole new industries have arisen to provide managed services to corporate clients. The client can selectively outsource various business functions and focus its internal resources on its core business.
But what about the legal industry? Perhaps because of its inherent conservatism, its reputation as a learned profession, or just due to the widely held belief among attorneys that lawyers are different, the profession has generally been slow to embrace a true managed services model of service delivery. Today, even that is changing.
Today's post is from the President of Counsel On Call, Dennis McKinnie.
I absolutely love reading about successful people and how they got where they are, and I have noticed that the paths are never the same. I always learn something. One of my favorite reads about these varied stories of success (and sometimes failure) is Fast Company. A couple of months ago I was paging through the “most creative people” issue and ran across a very interesting quote from Ruchi Sanchvi, head of operations for Dropbox. In discussing her approach to resolving or “optimizing” logistical problems she stated, “I ask: ‘What’s the goal? What are our constraints? What is the optimal, elegant way to get to that goal within those constraints?’ I break it down in terms of a data funnel: ‘Where in the funnel are we inefficient?’”Continue Reading...