Peer to Peer Magazine

Spring 2017

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 8 of 79

10 PEER TO PEER: THE QUARTERLY MAGAZINE OF ILTA | SPRING 2017 BEST PRACTICES Raise Your Conflicts Technology Game Raise Your Conflicts Technology Game In recent years, technology, globalization, law firm mergers, segmentation of the large law firm market, economic pressures, client pressures and technology advances have been the primary drivers of huge changes in the legal world. by Stuart Poole Of these drivers, technology has evolved to allow law firms to enhance their services to clients, capacity to do work and efficiency to carry out work. Conflicts technology is needed to run a firm's day-to-day operations. The conflicts/business intake process is of paramount importance, as every single maer in a firm flows through this process. Without suitable technology coupled with a strong conflicts process, law firms can be conflicted out of work; can be sued for malpractice; can incur increased insurance costs; can lose potential merger candidates, revenue or current and prospective clients; and can receive bad press, lose valuable aorneys and experience other potential pitfalls. With a widely used legacy conflicts soware nearing its end of life and the realization that an antiquated and unsophisticated conflicts process can have detrimental ramifications, conflicts is now a top priority for firm leadership. The good news is that since the conflicts process has remained relatively unchanged since the early 2000s, even minor modifications can provide law firms with cost savings and a substantial increase in its efficiency. An investment in new conflicts technology will cause the biggest impact to a firm by helping streamline its conflicts process, while adding to and enhancing a firm's current capabilities. However, before investing in new conflicts technology, a firm should properly assess its current processes and resources, specifically its workflow and data, and build a strategy for moving forward. The Workflow Game A "workflow" is the progression of requests that flow through the conflicts/business intake process of a firm. Traditional conflicts and business intake workflows are oen linear in design and can be manual, fully automated or a hybrid of both. Most workflow designs are sequential or allow for work to move forward only if each step is taken in order. This structure impedes results since a delay in one of the process steps will restrict the work from moving forward to the next step, which can prevent the entire "flow" of work and breed inefficiency. Prior to reviewing new conflicts soware, a firm should evaluate its workflow and all the offshoots that have been added over the years. For firms with an automated business intake process, the best option is

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