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Please enjoy this blog post co-authored by Kristin Rhodes, Senior Practice Manager, Paul Hastings LLP and Mike Ertel, KM Attorney, Paul Hastings LLP. Our previous posts discussed practice management generally and how it adds value to law firms . This post discusses how to introduce an embedded practice manager. A new practice manager has several process goals, including: Obtain holistic view of priorities Generate simple and high value wins Gain champions Build trust Reaching these goals is an iterative process requiring a slow build of reliance over time. They are also non-sequential and can inform each other. As you learn about priorities, ...
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Please enjoy this co-authored blog post by Kristin Rhodes, Senior Practice Manager, Paul Hastings LLP and Mike Ertel, KM Attorney, Paul Hastings LLP. A properly implemented practice management program is an arrow in your firm’s quiver that helps maintain efficient and profitable practices. We discussed practice management generally in a previous post ( Practice Management: What Is It and Why Do You Need It? ), but will now take a deeper dive into the day-to-day practical value it adds to the firm’s partners and employees. The Benefits of Practice Management to Practice Group Leadership The practice manager is the right-hand person, or chief of ...
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By Christiane Matuch, LL.M., ALPM and Harriet Joubert-Vaklyes Have you ever found yourself in the situation where the firm has bought or developed a new legal tech tool, but nobody knows how to make the most of it? Or maybe one person knows but just can’t handle the volume of support? Who are the first adopters of new, legal technology solutions in your firm, and does it matter what kind of support you provide? It sure does! (At least that is what our latest survey shows.) Let’s get into it. Our survey shows that there are different levels of adoption between shareholders/partners, associates, paralegals, and staff. Almost 90% of respondents stated that ...
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Please enjoy this blog post co-authored by Kristin Rhodes, Senior Practice Manager, Paul Hastings LLP and Mike Ertel, KM Attorney, Paul Hastings LLP. Introduction Practice management in law firms is not new. While some firms have had practice management programs for decades, many still do not. The definition and implementation of the program varies widely across firms, and even across practice groups within the same firm. This is the first in a series of blog posts designed to provide an overview practice management to help you consider whether your firm should implement or bolster its practice management efforts. What is Practice Management? ...
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Please enjoy this blog post authored by Bill Bice, CEO, nQ Zebraworks. Now is the time to leverage the accelerated change fostered by the pandemic to push your firm forward in your digital transformation, leveraging a rage example of technology that has aged well, the PDF. In legal, we constantly work with PDFs, but when was the last time you actually thought about the PDF itself? Why is this 30-year-old technology the dominant way that we share and store documents? It certainly wasn't obvious at the start that the PDF format would even survive, never mind become dominant. It all started with a rather noble goal back in the early 1990s, which ...
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Co-Authored by Christiane Matuch, Innovation Project Manager, Greenberg Traurig and Michael Ertel, Practice Innovation & Knowledge Attorney, Paul Hastings LLP. Silos in the Delivery of Legal Services When groups of people or departments with varying expertise need to respond uniformly to customers, silos can get in the way and lead to a miserable customer experience. When we discuss breaking down silos, what we really mean is fostering collaboration. Collaboration is the process where two or more people, entities, or organizations work together to achieve a goal. Sounds simple, but it is not! Collaboration requires hard work—every day! That ...
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Introduction Understanding the concept of solutionizing—and avoiding it—can protect you from creating solutions that fail to solve your end users’ actual problems. On its face, this seems like a simple common sense concept, but many people still unknowingly solutionize. If you take a deep dive, I bet you can find failed solutions that resulted from solutionizing. What is Solutionizing? Solutionizing is when you create a solution, but the problem your solution is trying to solve has not been defined or, even worse, might not even exist. This happens when you make presumptions about what a problem may (or may not) be, and then you create a solution without ...
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In a recent ILTA podcast featuring Josh Lazar, Chief Information Officer, 18th Judicial Circuit, Florida and Sean McGinty, Learning Product Engineer, Simplify Compliance, they touched upon several great resources to enhance your skills and how to go about taking that first step forward in investing in yourself and your career. Edx (www.edx.org) Edx offers free online courses from over 160 of the world’s best universities, colleges and organizations. Originally founded by professors from by MIT and Harvard. The courses are taught by leaders in the industry and credential professors. They also provide an option to pay for verified course certificates. ...
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Please enjoy the summary notes from the 3/25 Twitter Discussion entitled " What Matters Most in Proving the ROI in Legal Innovation " authored by Christiane Matuch, Innovation Project Manager, Greenberg Traurig. What matters most in proving the ROI in legal innovation? Meet the needs (genuine use case, scoped and built out) Identify the User (who are you setting out to serve, identify THEIR needs) Adoption (mostly within the intended group) Gather metrics about your innovative solution Quantitative v. qualitative value? How do you measure that? Increased revenue or client engagement Risk reduction Define what end stage success ...
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Please enjoy this blog post authored by Mike Ertel, Practice Innovation & Knowledge Attorney, Paul Hastings, LLP. “App Fatigue” is annoying, frustrating, and decreases productivity. Don’t be fooled into thinking you are productive just because you are using an app marketed as an efficiency booster. The purpose of this blog entry is two-fold. First, to get you thinking about whether the multiple apps you are using at your firm are actually helping your employees. Second, to help foster empathy for your end users who may suffer from app fatigue, which may help you offer better (not necessarily more!) solutions. App Fatigue at Home In your personal ...
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“In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” – Charles Darwin The Underrated Skill of Listening to Your Clients. A few weeks ago, in October 2020, I had the opportunity to interview @Greg Lambert , Chief Knowledge Services Officer at Jackson Walker, on a podcast entitled “ Separating True Innovation from Hype ”. We had a very exciting conversation on how truly innovative law firms can differentiate themselves by delivering value and enhancing customer satisfaction. One of the things I asked Greg to comment on was how law firms can foster innovation to meet ...
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Selecting Projects that Provide Value to an Organization Each day, projects are selected within an organization for a variety of reasons and not all of them have straightforward purpose or value. The role of a project manager is to understand and illustrate why the project was prioritized in order to align the project team toward executing the initiative that has been made by leadership. In order to draw enough justification to select a project, every organization needs strategic business goals, which offer a purpose and a prioritized hierarchy of potential added business value. For this article, Cooley LLP's business value has been defined as the net-benefits ...
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“The bane of our existence.” That is how one law firm general counsel described outside counsel guidelines (OCGs) at last year’s Law Firm General Counsel Forum at the Aon Law Firm Symposium. Bane or boon, if you work in a law firm environment, OCGs are a daily fact of life. Clients use OCGs to communicate expectations regarding the handling of their matters. Ensuring that OCGs make it to the right people is critical. Accuracy in timekeeping along with a proper understanding of correct phase/task/activity codes, narrative requirements, and timing restrictions cannot be overstated. Knowing and doing are two different things, however, which points to an even larger ...
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There is no shortage of information on mindfulness available today. A simple Google search on mindfulness renders "About 206,000,000" results. The sheer magnitude of resources can be overwhelming. Where do I start? I already feel overwhelmed! This blog post attempts to solve the challenge of getting started with a mindfulness practice by providing a much shorter list of resources than our friend Google supplies. Its goal is to help you get started and/or advance your mindfulness practice. The resources included here have been provided by people and/or institutions who have developed expertise in mindfulness practices. They have been vetted by experienced practitioners ...
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Evolving Skill Sets in Law There is ample evidence that the practice of law is evolving. It is a topic covered frequently in industry publications, educational programming, blogs, and in the mainstream media. An increasing number of Am Law 100 firms are marketing not only their legal services but also their legal-operational services to their clients. Alternative Legal Service providers are now in the mix even in the United States. Practice innovation leaders and teams have become relatively common as many traditional knowledge and/or practice management teams have shifted their focus to encompass innovation as well as traditional KM responsibilities. It stands ...
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Please enjoy this co-authored blog by Amy Monaghan , Senior Practice Innovations Manager, Perkins Coie and Mike Ertel , Practice Innovation & Knowledge Attorney, Paul Hastings. The purpose of this blog post is to encourage using empathetic, human-centered design as an overlay on Design Thinking when creating solutions for your law firm. We decided this was an important topic earlier this year before COVID-19, when we could still meet in person and were not confined to working at home. Now, after COVID-19 has changed our reality, we think empathy is more important than ever. Human-Centered Design vs. Design Thinking Design Thinking ...
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Knowledge Management. Not so long ago, if I said this was part of my job, my family did not understand what I did for a living. But now, during COVID-19, KM has suddenly been thrust into the spotlight of importance. KM professionals are getting their shining moment and taking the time to show KM’s value. So last post, I promised you to highlight some of the new project focus based on COVID-19. It’s going to revolve around KM. Evan Shenkman , Sr. Director of Knowledge Management, and Jennifer Mendez , Director of Knowledge Management and Innovation at Fisher Phillips heard about my mini blog and were gracious enough to share some of the valuable things ...
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A friend of my directed me to the Houston Art Interview Project , where oral histories of artists who have made significant contributions to Houston art are complied. I watched Malinda Beeman’s interview and was struck by how she found needs and opportunities in her environment and applied her creativity to address them. Her move to Marfa, TX (if you haven’t been there, I highly recommend it) showcases her innovative capabilities. Malinda was an established artist in watercolor, printing and ceramics when she moved to Marfa. And while it is an art hub now, it was nothing like that in the 1990s. She had little in common with the locals at the time. And ...
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Disasters always bring out the best and the worst in people. The hoarders of toilet paper and the caregivers risking their lives to help others. I have a couple observations about this, and they center around focus. The self-focus and the selfless focus. Are you trying to make things better for others or are you just worried about your own ass (literally)? Focus on the real problem (and address it). We have a more than adequate supply chain of toilet paper. We don’t, however, have inexhaustible supply of caregivers, masks and medical facilities to treat potentially exposed people. Under normal conditions, neither of these examples would pose much of ...
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Hello from my bunker in Texas. Like most of you I am “WFH,” which I consistently confuse with “WTH,” which makes for some initial seconds of confusion on my part. Some examples completely made up but inspired by real life. Feel free to add your own in the comments. “The WFH initiative will be implemented on Monday. All necessary technology and instructions are in place and everyone is ready.” “She was on a conference call and her kids were running up and down the stairs. WFH, right?” “WFH. How to connect with you clients in a really, REALLY remote environment.” But this WFH thing has a lot of us doing things differently. A lot of us. Even the ...
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