In this fourth and final post on law firm multi-disciplinary models, we discuss new tools and resources, many of which incorporate technology, process improvement and knowledge management to enable more effective service delivery and enhanced and automated access to information. Law firms have either developed their own tools and products or incorporated existing technologies into a customized platform. Some of these are integrated into the delivery of other legal services while others are sold independently to clients as a discrete product offering.
We have described below different service solutions developed by:
- Bryan Cave
Bryan Cave: BCXponent
Designed as a combination of legal data analytics and legal operations consulting services, this service solution is intended to help in-house legal departments achieve their management objectives and innovative legal services solutions. According to their web site, “Our team includes more than 30 practitioners with deep expertise in computer science, actuarial science, probability and statistics, business and project management. We bring smarter science and new ideas to the business of law.” The firm supplements these technology tools and resources with economic and business advice. This solution is co-led by Chris Emerson, Bryan Cave’s Chief Practice Economics Officer, and Katie Boyd, a partner at the firm and its Chief Innovation Officer.
Baker Donelson has developed a suite of products, approaches and service offerings around Legal Project Management (LPM) all in an effort to help clients improve service delivery (budget predictability, workflow efficiency and team collaboration), enhance business operations (lower spend, minimize risk, prove value) and achieve operational excellence of strategy, people and process. Core LPM solutions offered include:
- BakerManage™ is a patent-pending tool that is combined with Lean Six Sigma processes to improve efficiencies and budget predictability and transparency.
- BakerManage™ LPM Program Development and Training: on lean process improvement, reliable budgeting, innovative pricing, team management and enterprise lawyer management technology.
- BakerManage™ Workflow Management: a tool that automates BakerManage™ and other processes to optimize resources.
- LPM Secondment/Sourcing to augment or second professionals to clients who have limited access to LPM expertise.
- BakerLean™: Process for developing budgets, project plans and pricing models.
The Legal Project Management solutions team is comprised of lawyers, certified legal project managers, Lean-certified professionals, technology and automation specialists, and others. In 2016, Baker Donalson announced an affiliation with Legal Shift, a consulting and business advisory. Through the combined team, the firm offers a more robust blend of advisory services with their project management tools:
- Legal process improvement
- Contract workflow strategy
- Litigation readiness assessments
- IP paperless process design
- Business operations (re)design
- In-house/outside counsel alignment
- Matter budget compliance program development
- Pricing model development
- Technology assessment planning, selection and implementation
- Knowledge management, contract discovery and compliance, practice support solution design
- eDiscovery process improvement, vendor selection and performance measurement; repository management
Littler: Littler CaseSmart®, Littler GPS,Littler X-Celerator and Others
Perhaps one of the most robust and well-developed suite of service offerings has been developed by Littler, which has won numerous awards recognizing its innovative products. These multi-disciplinary solutions genuinely developed out of client needs and in many cases were developed in partnership with the firm’s clients. Scott Rechtschaffen, a shareholder and Chief Knowledge Officer at Littler, shared more details on the impetus for and some detail behind many of the tools the firm has developed.
Littler CaseSmart® uses a dashboard interface to provide “privileged analytics” which are insights on business risks and employment issues as identified by data. Littler CaseSmart utilizes a combination of project management methods supported by the right attorney at the right level to complete tasks efficiently, consistently and within budget. There are over 175 companies that use the tools which allows them to benchmark against what their peers are doing, what peer average spend is and what converts to litigation versus settles. It offers three product lines:
- Littler CaseSmart Charges™: manages agency charges and attorney demand letters
- Littler CaseSmart Litigation™: Defense of single plaintiff employment litigation
- Littler CaseSmart Class Action™: Defense of wage and hour class and collective actions
Littler GPS®: A data base of 50 state surveys that tracks legislative changes, and provides practice pointers and other tips. The firm charges for access to this real-time, searchable service.
Littler X-Celerator™: A web-based resource toolkit for start-up companies and WeWork space sharing organizations to help them start or grow their workforce and stay compliant with state and federal rules.
Littler Learning Group: Provides innovative training solutions worldwide. Littler was the firm that in 1996 developed the first employment law board game for training HR professionals.
ComplianceHR: This is a separate joint venture with software innovator NeotaLogic, launched in 2015 to provide online compliance solutions for HR and legal professionals. It is a subscription service.
Home Care Toolkit: Industry specific information and data specifically geared toward franchise employment model.
XMPT Toolkit: This was developed for Obama-era overtime exemptions to help employers evaluate and decide whether to convert employees to hourly or increase salaries.
Littler Big Data Initiative: This team, led by a PhD from MIT, works directly with clients on HR analytics to identify and prevent violations of compliance laws and develop predictive modeling for litigation analytics.
There are other tools and solutions the firm offers and it is likely to continue to adapt to client needs, adjust current offerings and develop new ones. This is a firm that for decades has innovated and brought together lawyers, analyst and technologists to provide analysis and advice to its clients. It is a leader in the application of integrated multi-disciplinary approaches to client solutions.