2017 Short List for Organization Awards



2017 Short List for Organization Awards

Innovative Law Department of the Year

American Electric Power







AEP’s legal department moved its on-premises iManage document management system to the iManage Cloud. AEP uses iManage to store and manage all of its attorney-related documentation. Information stored in the iManage system is vital to all practice areas, and access to this information is necessary for legal to meet regulatory and litigation deadlines. For several years, the company was having problems with the infrastructure components of the system, which caused several service interruptions. This was the catalyst for making the move to cloud. Since moving to iManage Cloud, the legal department has seen a significant increase in productivity and efficiency. Involving the practice area groups during the process has contributed to an increase in user adoption, and features such as mobile access, secure document-sharing and disaster recovery have contributed to the overall success of this project. The company is also saving $31K annually in license replacement costs and has been able to eliminate data center hardware costs that were needed to support iManage.

NetApp, Inc


NetApp partnered with law firms to create a win-win solution for onboarding firms and a second use case for litigation collections, jointly implementing a standard collaboration workflow for document collection. The manual approaches that this new system replaced were disjointed, labor-intensive (for everyone involved) and unnecessarily vulnerable to human error. The solutions brought order to chaos, eliminating the use of inefficient, cumbersome back-and-forth emails and manual tracking via spreadsheets. The processes were designed collaboratively by bringing together both inside and outside counsel, alternative legal service providers and technology experts. By getting a group of “unusual suspects” to really collaborate, we have created a system that makes everyone more efficient and more focused on the legal work at hand.

Telstra


Telstra’s Legal Innovation Forum has resulted in material time and cost savings so that the Telstra legal team is freed up to focus on high-value, more strategic activities. More than 40,000 hours per year of low-value, non-strategic work were been cut from the legal team’s workload in 2016. This will translate into more time for our lawyers to plan ahead and focus on work that’s valued by the business. The Forum will continue to play a critical role in focusing efforts on innovation and inspiring Telstra legal to strive for world-class improvements in the way we operate.








 

 

Innovative Law Firm of the Year

Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz



Baker Donelson's unique culture is the backbone of its innovation, directly leading to continued successes internally and in client engagements. The use of technology to enhance the practice of law and delivery of services continues with game-changing projects, such as development of the BakerPractice portal, enhanced Budget Designer and new Budget Alert systems, to provide state-of-the-art matter management. Baker Donelson's investment in its people and processes is also a critical component of the firm's success. Whether re-engineering administrative functions, developing forward-thinking discovery processes, cultivating internal conduct standards, providing professional development opportunities or supporting employee volunteering, all efforts are geared to serve the client better by making the people better. The strategic combination of fully engaged people and the creative use of technology have helped to cultivate and create one of the most innovative Am Law 100 firms.

Littler Mendelson


With innovation deeply ingrained in its identity, Littler continually develops solutions that provide greater value to clients. Littler’s signature technology platform, Littler CaseSmart, expanded to the most complex and high-stakes cases – wage and hour class and collective action litigation. Having resolved nearly 20,000 matters, the platform now provides clients with valuable benchmarking information. As Littler moves more services online, its new Franchise Compliance Toolkit and Construction Industry Toolkit provide employers with cost-effective ways to access information and resources. In addition, Littler’s Big Data Initiative developed a proprietary audit process for identifying gender pay disparities, ComplianceHR added applications to help companies make critical employment decisions, and the firm completed one of its most significant internal technology projects with Virtual Binder, a case management system providing automated workflow, streamlined communications and dashboards with financial data. Littler also launched #KnowledgeDesk, allowing attorneys to quickly receive information for clients, similar to an IT help desk.

Seyfarth Shaw LLP





Supported, funded and driven by the direction of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, SeyfarthLean Consulting has invested in robotics as an integral piece of its technology systems. SeyfarthLean Consulting formed a partnership with Blue Prism to deploy robotic process automation (RPA) software and created an internal center of excellence to drive best practices around a growing pipeline of robotic process automation projects in the firm. RPA connects data stored in multiple systems to rapidly complete repetitive tasks and accelerate defined processes. Seyfarth and SeyfarthLean Consulting developed the addition of a chatbot, Ask Lee, on its SeyfarthLink client collaboration platform to answer support questions faster and more efficiently than support team members could. Ask Lee will be expanded to cover other parts of the firm to drive adoption of this easy-to-use support interface. This two-pronged approach to implementing robotics is driving efficiency, emphasizing our commitment to helping clients solve their most complex business issues.

 

 

Innovative Project of the Year - External/Client-Facing Category

Bricker & Eckler


Adeptly responding to the unique needs of its client, Bricker & Eckler’s litigation support team developed a highly customized technology solution for a natural gas distributor involved in an interstate pipeline project. This complex task required strong collaboration, blending the strengths of people and applications to manage a significant amount of data and organize it in a meaningful way, from both a real estate tracking standpoint and a legal process standpoint. In addition to integrating GIS mapping software, financial statistics and real-time analytics, the system allows Bricker’s litigation group and clients to generate all documents needed to initiate necessary legal processes with the click of a button – a noteworthy success, considering the various sources and formats of the required information. The Bricker team delivered a comprehensive, simple-to-use platform to query and retrieve important information related to this engagement on a timely basis.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth





A key priority of Corrs' strategy is to be client-driven in all thinking and behaviors, striving to seek out and deliver superior services that create value for clients and supports their competitiveness. A project that supported this is CorrsEdge, which launched in December 2016. A specialist service for entrepreneurs, CorrsEdge was designed to provide them with affordable, top-quality legal support across their entire business life cycle. CorrsEdge uses a new generation of aggregated intelligence, designed using innovative frameworks that seamlessly integrate what has traditionally been a layer of legal complexity into simplified legal processes for startups supported by simple access to experienced Corrs lawyers familiar with the template documents and challenges startups face. Corrs’ use of process automation and streamlined document automation, combined with the backing of leading lawyers, differentiates CorrsEdge from any other offering in the market.

Goodwin



The Goodwin-Shoobx Collaborative Partnership takes the delivery of legal services to a new level of innovation, transparency and efficiency. The collaborative partnership offers startup clients a centralized platform to perform their corporate legal actions, with automation of Goodwin legal content, end-to-end legal approval workflows, electronic signatures, virtual data room capabilities, cap table management and more. Goodwin startup clients receive efficient and effective legal service at a significant cost savings while simultaneously building an online collection of their corporate documents, with a fully-verifiable cap table and centralized platform to collaborate with legal counsel, directors, employees and investors. Conversely, Goodwin attorneys are able to easily track and manage the activities of their startup clients, with the confidence that Goodwin content was used and all processes complete, freeing them up to focus on higher value legal work.

 

 

Innovative Project of the Year - Internal/Firm-Facing Category

Allens






Allens' technology-enabled, end-to-end process, REDDA, is transforming real estate due diligence, significantly reducing costs for clients by improving efficiencies, enabling the use of an alternative workforce and reducing the time required from senior legal teams. The process, which incorporates three leading artificial intelligence and collaboration legal technologies, maximizes intelligent automation in what, until now, has been a resource-intensive, entirely manual process. Automating some of the legal reasoning and expertise through the use of machine learning and expert system decision trees, the systems guide and instruct junior lawyers and paralegals in the initial review process; automatically generate material issues; automate the generation of data-driven reports; and enable collaboration for expert legal analysis and generation of reports. The process dramatically reduces the time and resource burden of real estate due diligence while ensuring quality.

Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz



Budget Designer is a technology innovation that allows attorneys to provide clients with reliable estimates and manage matters more proactively. Budgets are developed with a consideration of scope, assumptions and risks and using bottom up estimating at the phase, task and sub-task levels. The resulting "intelligent" budget provides clarity to the client and legal team regarding the limitations of the estimate. As budgets are created, Budget Designer provides a real-time snapshot of estimated matter profitability and leverage, along with a pie chart showing the percentage of staff allocations. Budget Designer serves as the firm's budget repository by department, practice area and matter type so templates can be used to streamline future budget development. Budgets can also be incorporated into the firm's proprietary legal project management tool, BakerManage. Once created, budget oversight is facilitated by associated reporting and alert tools that help our attorneys proactively monitor scope and spend thresholds.

Littler Mendelson


In 2016, Littler completed what has long been the Holy Grail for law firms – a comprehensive case management system that streamlines internal processes and maximizes efficiencies. Virtual Binder is an internal network for managing litigation that integrates all of Littler’s resources – including email, chat, document management and financial information – in a single-entry network. Its many benefits include automated workflow tracking throughout the life cycle of a case, features to better manage communication and enhance collaboration, and dashboards with financial data. A first-of-its-kind solution in the legal industry, Virtual Binder has transformed how Littler’s case teams manage litigation. Attorneys are able to work more efficiently and access case-related information in one organized environment, and quality and consistency are enhanced by ensuring all tasks are captured and completed and litigation best practices are followed. With innovation being one of Littler’s core business goals, Virtual Binder is an important part of the firm’s strategy.

Perkins Coie LLP





P4 has transformed the patent prosecution practice at Perkins Coie. Perkins Coie partnered with Elevate to launch a web-based tool combining deadline and budget visibility in one intuitive interface, effectively bringing patent prosecution workload into sharp focus. P4 helps partners, attorneys and administrators centrally view and collaborate on upcoming deadlines and budget information by client, matter and activity level – in real time. P4 allows users to easily view, filter, group, and sort items based on item type, client, assigned personnel, deadline and other key information. The tool intelligently assigns red, yellow and green traffic lights to activities based on upcoming deadlines and financials and incorporates predictive analytics for fee extension deadlines. Overall, P4 is an innovative tool providing real-time transparency to help teams complete patent activity on time and on budget. When asked about P4, one IP partner said, “I love that program.”