Peer to Peer Magazine

December 2012

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

Issue link: http://epubs.iltanet.org/i/96072

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smart moves Know No Limits: Promoting Technological Innovation by Katherine Lowry of Baker & Hostetler LLP Just as technology changes every day, the way law firms do business is changing every day. This creates an incredible opportunity to alter the way we provide value-driven solutions to lawyers in our ongoing efforts to improve profitability, workflow efficiency and client communication. I first discovered my passion for technology and product development in law school when working for an online legal publisher, conducting systems testing for one of its products. I was fascinated by the nuts and bolts of technology and how that related to the management and delivery of information. It was then that I knew I would not go down the path as a traditional lawyer, but would instead dedicate my career to serving the legal industry by managing information and its delivery. Since that time, I've worked as a director for law firms, as a client relations manager for a vendor and as a consultant, gaining valuable knowledge and being exposed to a variety of viewpoints that have shaped the way I approach each new challenge. Build Technology To Meet Attorneys' Needs Our role is to provide the tools and resources that improve workflow for lawyers in the practice of law, in their communication with clients and in executing their reporting responsibilities. Having this foundation allows them to direct their energy to activities that foster the firm's success, such as providing high levels of client service and delivering successful resolutions to client matters. To achieve the most effective outcome and provide this foundation for lawyers, allow the information you obtain from 24 Peer to Peer them to drive the development process. Build the technology to fit their needs, rather than impose a prepackaged solution on the problem. To do this, you must thoroughly understand the process you are supporting. Take the time to learn every single step and why it is necessary. Embed yourself in that particular practice or area of work to fully grasp what is taking place. Meeting with attorneys and others in the organization will help you better understand their roles in the process. Then map everything out so you and the attorneys can visualize the progression of activity and confirm its accuracy. This helps clear up any confusion or miscommunication that may have taken place during informationgathering. Once you understand the process, you can identify specific needs and develop the right solution. This method was applied by our practice services team in the creation of an automated system related to document generation for processing foreclosures. By learning the reason for each step, we were able to formulate a plan to create a workflow for 159 documents, where each document would be automatically generated sequentially upon the execution of a particular action or step in the process. This saved the lawyers countless hours of document preparation and allowed them to focus on the practice of law. Grow Innovation Organically Many lawyers want to innovate and become more efficient through the use of new technology — some do not. My suggestion is to focus your efforts on those who are most open to change. Take notice of how attorneys are working and operating and what technology intrinsically fits their needs. Use this as

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