Monday, 01 May 2017 09:00

Design thinking

Design thinkingWe can wow our clients by shifting our mindset when we solve legal problems.
Published in Commentary
Monday, 13 April 2015 08:00

Disrupting or just evolving?

Cost pressures are the largest motivators for new ideas in the legal business.
Cost pressures are the largest motivators for new ideas in the legal business.
Corporate law departments under pressure to cut costs may be the main driver behind a revolution in the provision of legal services, but when it comes to innovation they may be hamstrung by their own lack of budgets to pull it off themselves.
Published in Latest News
Monday, 06 April 2015 08:00

Size matters for KM

Size matters for KMKnowledge management at law firms is about externalizing the knowledge held in lawyers’ heads. Because we can’t remember everything and everyone, we need to tap into a centralized system or repository as extensions of our brains. Think of Google. Most of us now outsource to Google some of our thinking selves — which grapes go into a Bordeaux blend? In fact, our smartphones now act as personal knowledge management devices or memory banks — people’s phone numbers, birthdays, meeting start times, to-do lists, and even interesting articles saved for future use.
Formal KM departments attempt to do this but on a much bigger scale.
Published in Commentary
Monday, 02 February 2015 08:00

Balancing the tensions of legal technology

Is it just me or have the last couple of years heralded ever-increasing pressures on legal technology in our firms, whether large or small? And they don’t seem to be any cute, simple pressures either — they’re a bunch of competing tensions that constantly threaten to throw us off-track.
Published in Commentary
Monday, 07 October 2013 09:00

Legal farm teams

Legal farm teamsLast spring, the Royal Bank of Canada came under fire for outsourcing some of its technology services. The concerns mostly focused on the loss of Canadian jobs to another jurisdiction. They did not focus on whether technology was an appropriate service to outsource. Outsourcing technology is seemingly an accepted practice, but what about legal services? Despite warnings from numerous industry watchers that some legal services must and will be outsourced to jurisdictions with a cheaper labour pool, Canadian firms have been slower to take up this option than their counterparts in the United Kingdom or America.
Published in Departments
Monday, 01 April 2013 09:00

Quantifying value through time codes

Last November, Matthew Whalley posted on the LinkedIn discussion group Knowledge Management for Legal Professionals a presentation he authored with Ian Rodwell entitled “Valuing Value-Add,” in which they compare the respective perceptions of clients and lawyers of the “value-added” services lawyers provide their clients. Among the observations Whalley and Rodwell draw are, first, the divergence between clients and their lawyers with respect to the efficiencies generated for clients by “value-added” services (lawyers believed the potential efficiencies to be much greater than the clients) and, second, the need for a better understanding by lawyers of the value of the services they deliver outside legal advice.
Published in Departments
Monday, 01 October 2012 09:00

Managing information in-house

Canadian legal departments are well behind their U.S. peers in adopting technology to streamline workflows. Image: Shutterstock
Canadian legal departments are well behind their U.S. peers in adopting technology to streamline workflows. Image: Shutterstock
When it comes to implementing technology systems to streamline workflow in corporate law departments, Canadian in-house teams are trailing their peers in the U.S. — but some are adopting systems that are paying off.
Published in Latest News
Just before completing this column, I read that the general counsel of Yahoo Inc. announced his resignation effective July 9. The article about the resignation states, “with the general counsel’s impromptu exit, all eyes are back on the company.” As resignation has to be the last resort for any general counsel, I wonder how many people have any appreciation for the internal battles fought and the pressures faced by any GC in the period before he or she makes the decision to resign.
Published in Latest News
Monday, 19 March 2012 11:22

A fresh look at the strategy process

A fresh look at the strategy processIt is with no intended humour that I speculate that there are law firms claiming success in achieving their strategic targets having done so by shooting first and calling whatever they hit their target.
Published in Web exclusive content
Legal project management: Where IKEA meets law and the challenges implementing itLegal project management is one of the more recent trends to affect the practice of law. Whether it is a passing fad, as its detractors dismiss, or here to stay, as its advocates would like, its implementation in law firms will ultimately depend on their clients’ will to have files managed according to project management principles. Clients, however, are unlikely to request this unless they perceive a direct link between LPM and the bottom line. Until LPM addresses pricing, budgets, and fees, the merits of Gantt charts, work breakdown structures, and communication plans will largely remain ignored.
Published in Web exclusive content
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