Search Outside the Box #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Title and Description: Thinking and Searching Out of the Box

Our industry helps people retrieve information by searching, browsing, and visualizing the data stored within their content management systems. This endeavor is inherently introspective in so far as it focuses on the close analysis of an enterprise’s internal content. This talk is an exercise in thinking outside of that box. Clarke explores ways in which an enterprise’s internal content can be mined for information, even when the answers don’t always exist within the data we are querying. He discusses the use of natural language processing and semantic query expansion techniques, demonstrating the power of ontologies and machine reasoning to interrogate internal content in new and powerful ways.

Speakers:

Dave Clarke, CEO, Synaptica
Maish Nichani, Co-founder, Ola Search

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2016 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • What is the “Box”?  The box is your content collection.
  • What’s the difference between search inside and outside the “Box”? The speakers assert that you can do better job searching your internal content if you first map your content to external content.  For example, if you type in a general query or a minimalist query, the search engine needs to understand the concepts implicit in the query. If the search engine does not have the required information, the search engine will (at best) return a rather general response that may not contain the desired results. By contrast, if you map externally after the search, you can see how a similar search is handled externally. That exercise will help enrich the query, thereby giving the search engine more useful information to work with.
  • Do not think small about Search. Search is not just about locating specific content. It is also (and increasingly) about finding answers to specific questions. Google is learning that users increasingly want answers to questions (e.g., how to treat the common cold) rather than particular documents or videos.
  • Start by mapping. When you map internal content to the external content, this helps you understand better what is inside your content collection. It finds and validates information that is not already in your content collection, but that can be used to enrich both the initial user search and the results the search engine brings back.
  • How does this fit with your taxonomy?  Taxonomy and search belong together. Make sure your search engine does not ignore the taxonomy that you have built so carefully. Equally, sometimes your taxonomy does not encompass everything you need for an efficient search. So searching “outside the box” can help enrich the taxonomy and search.
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How to Innovate #KMWorld

KMWlogo_Stacked_Session Title and Description: Hacking KM or How to Innovate!

Speakers: Jeffrey Phillips, VP & Lead Consultant, OVO Innovation Co-Author, OutManeuver: OutThink, Don’t OutSpend

[These are my notes from the KMWorld 2016 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • Maneuver.  
    • We need to learn how to compete by increasing agility and responsiveness.
    • Business tends toward standardization and efficiency. This makes it possible for an organization to “do a slow grind” but does not allow an organization to pivot quickly or course correct.
    • The secret to success is to outmaneuver your competition rather than trying to compete with them head on.
  • Ways to Attack your competitor.
    • Preemption
    • Dislocation
    • Disruption
  • How to compete. Find the weaknesses in your competitor’s business and then compete there.
    • What are the vulnerabilities in your competitor’s strategy?
      • is your competitor locked into a particular way of working? For example, AirBnB needs a supply of privately owned bedrooms. Can you make it difficult for them to operate that way? Can you operate that way, but better.
    • Are there tangible business requirements you can compete against?
      • Does your competitor need specific laws and regulations? Is your competitor violating specific laws and regulations? Can you hold them accountable for this? (This is a tactic some cities (and hotels) are using against AirBnB.
    • Are there intangible business requirements?
      • can I beat you by creating a better culture, hiring better talent, etc.
    • Can you compete strictly on product? This is the most common arena for competing.
  • Maneuver Tools.
    • Temporal competition. If your competitor brings our new product on a fixed schedule, can you come to market on a different schedule, at a different time? Can you compete on speed?
    • Psychological competition. Can you use psy
    • Positional competition. Does your competitor have a position (or market share) I need to take or can I make that position/market share irrelevant? Amazon and Netflix made the prime real estate location of Barnes & Noble and Blockbuster irrelevant.
    • Informational competition. How do I use information more effectively than my competitors? Can I use information to beat my competitors? We need insight = see opportunities before they emerge
  • Maneuver Strategy Relies on Speed, Agility, Insight and Innovation.
    • Speed. Can I act before my competitors do? This is pure speed. (Most companies are set up for the slow-grind, not the fast sprint.)
    • Agility. Can I course correct at speed? This agility.
    • Insight. Insight is the ability to see opportunities before they emerge, before they are obvious to your competitors.
    • Innovation. Can I bring to the market something new that has commercial value?
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Artificial Intelligence Use Cases for Law Firms #ArkKM

Title: Artificial Intelligence: Use Cases in Law Firms

Session Description: Artificial intelligence is in mainstream and legal media headlines daily – and often with much hype. What’s real and what’s not? And what exactly is AI anyway? And are law firms really using it? Today, there are as many questions about AI as there are headlines. In this session, we will answer some of the key questions. These law firm use cases will illustrate what problems they are trying to solve and/or what benefits they create with AI. As well, the corresponding software providers will also explain how their products work and fit into the broader AI picture. Attendees of this session will also hear what it takes to create a working AI system, who might use it, how to encourage adoption, and where AI is likely headed within law firms.

Speakers:

  • Jonathan Talbot, Director, IT Enterprise Systems, DLA Piper LLP,
  • Marlene Gebauer, Director of Knowledge Solutions, Greenberg Traurig,
  • Steve Obenski, CMO, Kira Systems,
  • Ryan McClead, VP, Client Engagement & Strategy, Neota Logic
  • Moderator: Ron Friedmann, Partner, Fireman & Company

[These are my notes from the 2016 Ark Group Conference: Knowledge Management in the Legal Profession.  Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error.  Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • What led the law firms on the panel to AI?
    • At Greenberg Traurig, they were looking for ways to automate processes and become more efficient. They wanted to adopt new technologies that would provide greater capability. This led them to Neota Logic.
    • At DLA Piper, their due diligence group wanted to improve and automate their due diligence process. This led them to Kira Systems.
      • They are using this across several practice groups.
      • Clients are outsourcing due diligence work to DLA Piper. This is an expanded source of business for the firm. (They support this with their low-cost service centers.)
    • At Norton Rose Fulbright, Ryan McLead used the platform as a prototyping tool. He could automate a process and show his internal clients a prototype in just a handful of days.
  • What’s Kira Systems?
    • It is a machine learning tool for taking unstructured content in contracts, and then structuring it in order to expedite document review.
    • Their platform ingests contracts, OCRs them, analyzes them, does entity extraction, and then enables reporting.
    • Some firms are using Kira to digest and analyze outside counsel guidelines.
    • Kira encourages potential clients to compare the results of their own due diligence processes against the results from using Kira Systems.
  • What’s Neota Logic?
    • It is a platform upon which you can build algorithmic expert systems = knowledge builders. It is engine that produces repeatable, reliable and consistent results. It makes your knowledge exponentially scalable. It is no longer trapped in one head.
    • It can do risk analysis.
    • Some law firms use the platform for document automation — although they are not a document assembly tool.
  • This is not magic! Humans need to put in the time and effort to create the models.
    • Plus, both tools aim to provide some transparency regarding how they operate and make decisions. They are trying to dispel the anxiety of the “blackbox.”
    • Who should be allowed to train these systems?
      • Each firm needs to make this choice carefully. Do not simply give this job to the most junior person (on the theory that they are young and therefore must be the most tech-savvy???). It is wise to have an internal vetting process.
    • The person who builds the expert system often becomes the expert.
  • What are the related human issues?
    • Help them understand the extent to which this new tool might (or might not) make them redundant.
    • Help them understand the extent to which the tools augment what they do, allowing them to do more value-added work. “Kira does not practice law. YOU practice law.”
    • Give them sensible incentives to participate.
  • These tools leverage good process
    • This means that you need to know and understand your processes.
    • This also means that you need to ensure that your processes are smart ones. (Don’t automate a faulty process!)
  • Key Lessons Learned
    • If you understand the lawyers’ process, it is not hard to show the value of automation. And they will get it.
    • Even the most entrepreneurial law firms are VERY conservative.
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KM, Artificial Intelligence and Information Security #ArkKM

Title: Data Security is Required. KM is Demanded. AI is Here: Armageddon or Utopia?

Speaker: Peter Kaomea, Chief Information Officer, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP

[These are my notes from the 2016 Ark Group Conference: Knowledge Management in the Legal Profession.  Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error.  Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • “When powerful forces collide, you can get either great devastation or great beauty.”  Here are the big forces that are coalescing now:
    • Knowledge Management
    • Artificial Intelligence
    • Information Security — this one is top of the agenda now because of cybersecurity concerns.
  • The PERFECT song to describe the degree to which our lives are surveilled or disclosed is “Every Breath You Take” by the Police.  (See video below)
    • Peter Kaomea then did a fantastic “dramatic reading” of the lyrics of the song to show how all the behaviors described in the songs are now being done by technology. We ARE being watched and analyzed with every breath we take.
  • Security Challenges:
    • Hackers are more sophisticated. There is a group that monitors mergers & acquisitions transactions and then “injects” itself into the email traffic.
    • Hackers inject themselves into transactions in order to redirect payment into their own accounts.
    • Ransomware — now even on smartphones (which contain a great deal of sensitive personal information)
  • Pressures: Clients want additional protections on their information
    • Client external law firm guidelines contain a huge number of restrictions on the way data about them can be stored and used.
    • Law firms have to change their behavior to comply with these guidelines.
  • Perfect Storm Approaching
    • The hardware, software and data handling tools are reaching the point where enormous and dangerous security breaches will be regular events.
      • By 2025, you will be able to buy the computing power of a human brain for approximately $1000.
      • By 2045, you will be able to buy the computing power of all human brains for approximately $1000.
  • How can KM help Security?
    • Help information services people manage the client data security contracts they are required to sign.
    • Focus on how to protect information even as we are trying to share it.
    • Purging information once you have finished using it.
      • The less you have, the less you have to protect
    • Put super-sensitive information in an “Enclave” — offline repository that requires the user to go a physical place to retrieve it in person (an updated version of using microfiche)
  • Thinking about using Security to improve precision AND recall.
    • There is a mathematical way to calculate how to achieve precision and recall. For example, removing unnecessary data makes it easier to find the useful data
    • This is a nice way of switching perspective: don’t see information security concerns as a handicap for KM, see them as enablers/opportunities.
  • How can KM and AI work together?
    • Profiling content
    • Profiling users — e.g., what’s the ratio of send to receive? Has that behavior changed? What could that change indicate?
    • Automating taxonomy creation
    • Automating knowledge workflows
  • How do Information Security and AI work together?
    • Anomaly detection programs watch the traffic over the system. Is there a spike in traffic that correlates to the work day in Russia or China? Could it indicate possible infiltration?
  • “Too big to know”
    • What happens when you join data sets that have never before been joined? This can turn up valuable insights. It can also expose information that was considered hidden/secure.
  • How should you converge KM, AI and Info Security?
    • Entity extraction can be helpful to understand your content. Can you also automatically delete those entities to achieve quick document sanitation?
    • Can you use auto-classification so that fewer people need to handle sensitive materials?
    • Can you use auto-purging processes to strengthen security?
    • If you are watching activity anyway, can you create behavioral analytics and then use those insights?
    • Can you use these three areas of expertise to improve access to justice?

 

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Rebooting KM with Purposeful Collaboration #ArkKM

Title: Rebooting KM with Purposeful Collaboration, Silo-Busters, and Ambient Knowledge

Speaker: Stuart Barr, Chief Strategy Office, HighQ

Session Description: Traditional KM has focused on accumulating and organizing knowledge that you know people need and trying to make sure it’s available when they need it. But what about what is known but not documented? Or the knowledge trapped in silos that are completely unstructured and inaccessible? In this session, Stuart Barr will explore how to break down traditional barriers to knowledge sharing, capture knowledge as people get their work done and automate knowledge extraction to drive new insight from your historical data.

[These are my notes from the 2016 Ark Group Conference: Knowledge Management in the Legal Profession.  Since I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error.  Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • Traditional Approaches to KM
    • Collecting knowledge
    • Connecting that knowledge to people
    • Tying that knowledge to the organization’s productivity systems
    • Automating knowledge systems
  • Challenges to Traditional Approaches to KM
    • They usually are manual processes
    • They are siloed — both the repositories are siloed and the processes are siloed
    • They often are concentrated on “known knowns” — mainly the obvious knowledge is “hunted down and captured.”
    • People are not always motivated to contribute
    • You need to connect the knowledge to people more effectively
      • connect with experts
      • enable people so they can ask their questions in the open — this openness spreads knowledge and emboldens people to ask the questions they might have been afraid of asking.
    • We are stuck in very old ways of work = Ineffective Collaboration
      • Email is a massive “Black Hole” of knowledge. It is where knowledge goes to die.
      • Most firms have not found a way to collaborate. They do not realize that email was not designed for true collaboration.
  • Why is Social Collaboration Useful?
    • Assuming it is implemented correctly, it can provide a “peripheral vision” or “ambient awareness” of what is happening within an organization. This makes a knowledge worker much more plugged in and effective.
    • It provides passive access to information (e.g., the activity stream, group conversations, etc.)
    • It also enables active collaboration (e.g., shared workspaces)
    • It helps people share information actively, for example, by @ mentioning someone to draw their attention to an issue or to specific content.
  • Digital Transformation can drive KM. That said, KM should be at the heart of your digital transformation strategy. When done properly, digital transformation changes the way people connect, communicate and work.
  • What comes next?
    • Analyzing the data that are captured through your knowledge tools and social collaboration tools.
    • Coupled with machine learning, you can understand what content is important. In fact, you could provide digital assistants that can help knowledge workers find the content they need.
  • Conclusion
    • We need to keep doing traditional KM
    • But we also need to use more social ways of
    • We need to connect our systems of record to our systems of engagement
    • Collect and analyze the data about our work behaviors so we can make our systems and processes better
    • Use machine learning & AI to take these insights and enable digital assistance at the point of need
  • Audience Discussion:
    • How social collaboration helps strengthen law firm information security:
      • Meredith Williams (CKO, Baker Donnelson) noted that phishing is one of the biggest information security vulnerabilities for law firms. Often the dangerous emails masquerade as internal emails. (She estimated that 20% of emails are purely internal.) If you move those internal conversations into a social platform, you reduce the number of emails that can be used for phishing schemes.
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Law Firms — The Final Frontier

leonard_nimoy_william_shatner_star_trek_1968We interrupt our ILTACON blogging to mark a significant occasion in the history of humankind: The 50th anniversary of Star Trek.

This iconic television show premiered on September 8, 1966, and since then has changed the way several generations think about technology and space. In fact, it has changed our lives. According to Elizabeth Howell, several Star Trek technologies that seemed far-fetched when first seen on TV are now an indispensable part of modern life:

  • communicators >> cellphones
  • tricorders >> MRIs
  • tablets
  • global positioning systems

While I am an enthusiastic fan of the franchise, I cannot claim to match Marshall Honorof in his devotion. He has watched every single Star Trek movie and television show. In his account of his personal space odyssey, he makes the following observation about Star Trek:

Something about the show’s optimistic message stuck with me. Technology can improve our lives. We can conquer our deeply held prejudices. There is other life out there, and it is willing to cooperate with us. And, importantly, no matter how far we come as a society, there will always be room for adventurers.

[…]

While it’s not a novel observation, the reason ‘Star Trek’ feels unique, even in a world of more ambitious sci-fi properties like ‘Battlestar Galactica’ and ‘Black Mirror,’ is because it alone asserts that technology will make our lives better, not worse.

So it seems that others have figured out something that eludes too many inhabitants of law firms: technology can make our lives better, not worse. The challenge is whether we can “conquer our deeply held prejudices” and use our Vulcan, Bajoran, and Betazoid abilities to leverage technology to make something better of a woefully underperforming industry. We have underserved clients, unhappy lawyers, and unappreciated allied professionals. Isn’t it time for a change?

Go boldly!

[To learn more, see the great infographic on The Evolution of Star Trek.]

[Photo Credit: Wikipedia]

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#ILTACON from the Bridal Suite

2016_ILTACON_logoPeople attend the International Legal Technology Association’s annual conference (ILTACON) for a variety of reasons. Whether you are looking for outstanding educational sessions, insightful conversations with your peers or informative encounters with leading technology vendors, ILTACON has it all.

In prior years, my strategy has been to attend as many educational sessions as possible so that I can drink from the amazing firehose of useful information provided at ILTACON. (I have then tweeted or blogged those sessions so the rest of you can benefit from those sessions as well.)

This year, however, I found that instead of sitting in the scheduled educational sessions, I was sitting in the Bridal Suite.

To set the record straight, I was not in the Bridal Suite for any reasons having to do with a wedding. Rather, the Bridal Suite was ILTACON TV’s studio and I was fortunate enough to be one of the interviewers. This meant that I had the privilege of participating in wide-ranging conversations with some of ILTA’s impressive thought leaders.

If time permits, I’ll be revisiting those interviews and blogging some of their key content. In the meantime, here are links to the interviews I conducted that are now available. (I’ll update this post as more interviews become available.) Plus, there is a bonus link so you can learn from the conversation between Todd Corham (CIO, Saul Ewing) and Jeffrey Brandt (CIO, Jackson Kelly).

John Alber (ILTA’s Futurist, formerly Strategic Innovation Partner at Bryan Cave):

ILTACON 2016 – ILTACON TV – John Alber from ILTA on Vimeo.

 

Katie DeBord (Strategic Innovation Partner, Bryan Cave) & Jay Hull (Strategic Innovation Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine):

ILTACON 2016 – ILTACON TV – Katie DeBord and Jay Hull from ILTA on Vimeo.

 

Michelle Mahoney, Executive Director, Innovation, King & Wood Mallesons):

ILTACON 2016 – ILTACON TV – Michelle Mahoney from ILTA on Vimeo.

 

Chris Emerson (Chief Practice Economics Officer, Bryan Cave):

ILTACON 2016 – ILTACON TV – Chris Emerson from ILTA on Vimeo.

 

Keith Lipman (President and Co-Founder, Prosperoware):

ILTACON 2016 – ILTACON TV – Keith Lipman from ILTA on Vimeo.

 

David Michel (Director of Technology Services, Broad and Cassel):

ILTACON 2016 – ILTACON TV – David Michel from ILTA on Vimeo.

 

Lida Pinkham (Technology Training Manager, Ice Miller):

ILTACON 2016 – ILTACON TV – Lida Pinkham from ILTA on Vimeo.

 

BONUS: An interview between Todd Corham (CIO, Saul Ewing) and Jeffrey Brandt (CIO, Jackson Kelly):

ILTACON 2016 – ILTACON TV – Jeffrey Brandt from ILTA on Vimeo.

 

 

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When Clients and Law Firms ACTUALLY Collaborate #ILTACON

2016_ILTACON_logoSession Title: A New Approach to Aligning the Objectives of Outside Counsel, In-House Legal, and Corporate Business

Session Description: The past few years have brought a lot of discussion about how to better align the interests of law departments and their outside counsel through alternative fee arrangements, but the discussions generally end there. What if there was an approach that aligned outside counsel and legal departments in their pursuit of better business outcomes that extended beyond pricing? How can the strength of that relationship help demonstrate the value that the legal department brings to the organization as a whole? Come hear a case study exploring how one legal department and its panel of law firms have partnered differently and how their holistic approach to solving legal problems has the power to transform the way the department delivers value to the business.

Speakers:

  • Chris EmersonDirector, Practice Economics Bryan Cave, LLP
  • Bryon KoepkeSVP, Chief Securities Counsel Avis Budget Group, Inc.
  • David A. RueffShareholder and Legal Project Management Officer, Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz

Session Slides: Available through the ILTACON website

[These are my notes from the International Legal Technology Association’s 2016 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • The Avis Story.  They undertook a convergence effort to reduce their legal panel from 700 law firms to seven firms globally. The winning seven firms are guaranteed work, provided they maintain expected quality levels. In addition, these firms work within a “target” (or fixed) fee structure. This convergence provided several benefits for the Avis legal department and their related business clients:
    • reduced administrative burden
    • cost certainty
    • legal risk mitigation
    • increased efficiencies in legal services
    • improved business outcomes
  • The New Way in which Avis wanted to work with its panel firms:
    • focus Avis resources on tiers of work that were created based on business risk and complexity
    • foster collaboration between Avis and its panel firms, as well as among the panel firms themselves
    • provide incentives to panel firms to invest in innovations that result in better business outcomes for Avis
  • The Work. Avis did a wide-ranging risk assessment and then asked their panel firms to bid on the work. Avis identified 3 categories of work:
    • Cream — high-risk work that requires high levels of legal expertise
    • Core — moderate-risk work that requires moderate levels of legal expertise
    • Commodity — low-risk work that does not require much legal expertise
  • Activities in Preparation for RFP. Avis asked 130 law firms to complete a “pre-qualifer” (PQ) that was quite similar to a law school exam. The questions in the exam reflected the real issues Avis faces. Each question was multi-disciplinary.
    • Law firms had a tight timeframe (about 10 days) within which to respond. Plus Avis sent this challenge out during Spring Break, which put added pressure on the law firms. This was a way of gauging responsiveness.
    • Of the 130 firms invited, only 80 responded.
      • 50 firms did not respond. Some thought Avis was trying to get free legal advice. They were wrong; Avis already had the answers to the questions in the PQ.
      • Some of the firms that did not respond thought their relationship with Avis was so solid that they did not need to go through these hoops. They were wrong; they were eliminated from the Avis panel
    • Some of the firms provided responses that simply were wrong.
    • All firms were asked to tell Avis how they would staff these matters and what they would charge.
    • Avis also asked how they answered these questions, whom they involved?
  • The RFP. They invited 45 law firms to participate in the RFP. (This was 45 out of the 80 firms that responded to the PQ.) There were three areas of emphasis:
    • Legal expertise
    • Pricing
    • Universal Requirements (Operations) — focused on actual examples of innovations these firms had developed to better the firm or outside clients. According to Avis, they were looking for Jetsons firms (firms that were innovative on behalf of themselves and their clients), not Flintstones firms that are stuck in the Stone Age.
  • How did the Firms respond to the RFP?
    • They researched the business goals of Avis so they could align their responses better to Avis’ needs
    • They managed tight turnarounds on drafts of the RFP as they involved a wide range of firm personnel in the RFP process in a very short period of time
    • Bryan Cave took a divide-and-conquer approach. They put the legal questions in the hands of the lawyers and kept the Universal Requirements in the hands of the legal operations team. The Bryan Cave legal ops group had the expertise to discuss the range of technologies they had invested in (or were contemplating) to improve firm and client outcomes, as well as completed or contemplated process improvement efforts.
  • The Semi-finals. During the semi-finals, Avis invited 17 firms to meet with the company. Each firm was asked to bring four partners of their choice and their legal operations person. During the interviews, the partners expected to lead the conversation. Instead, Avis said they would review their slides later. Then Avis asked to begin the conversation with the most important person in the room — the legal operations person.  (Partner jaws dropped!) Avis started with legal ops because they were serious about understanding the technology and innovation potential of each firm.
  • The All-Star Team. Avis invited the final seven firms to a Summit at which they met with business and legal department leaders of Avis. At that meeting, Avis made it clear that the chosen firms were stars that now had to find ways to work together as if they were on an All-Stars Team. This meant not just solo excellence, but collaborative excellence as well.
  • The Legal Ops Bounce. Crucially, the legal ops folks from the law firms met with the legal ops folks from Avis. This combined client/firm legal ops group has unleashed powerful tools and methodologies for the benefit of Avis (and the panel). Further, the emphasis that Avis has placed on legal ops gave the law firm legal ops teams greater confidence and enthusiasm in the work they do.
  • Avis Success Factors. Panels are graded on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These KPIs are assessed on a matter-by-matter basis and, in the aggregate, feed quarterly and annual performance assessments. Here are the KPIs:
    • how well a Matter Assessment Form (MAF) was filled out. (The MAF helps the firm and Avis scope out a potential matter very quickly.)
    • submission of MAF in 3 days
    • the number of changes in scope requested per matter
    • the firm’s ability to accurately predict legal spend and outcome
    • the ability of the firm to avoid surprises to business units
    • how the firm uses technology to improve accountability and efficiency
    • value-adds the firm provides to the Avis engagement
  • How Baker Donelson revised its processes to meet the Avis KPIs:
    • They created an intranet Client Site that tracks the Avis engagement
    • They created workflow to ensure they can turn around an MAF within the required 3 days. This workflow is managed via their  Avis client site
    • They use budget and project monitoring tools internally so that they can notify Avis before something happens. This allows them to meet the critical KPI of avoiding surprises.
    • They created workflow to manage changes in scope and budget
    • They developed an external communication plan for the Avis engagement
      • monthly case management updates
      • quarterly reports to in-house counsel
      • annual reports
      • how to deal with emergency issues
    • They developed an internal communication plan for the Avis engagement
      • phase and task code requirements for matters
      • training regarding the initial budgeting, MAF and change processes
      • training regarding regular updates on budgets and contingent liability
      • training on and communication of Avis’s outside counsel guidelines
  • How Bryan Cave has invested to improve the Avis engagement:
    • they developed new internal processes and technologies
    • they trained attorney teams on this new way of working
    • they created and provided to the Avis legal department training on alternative fee arrangements (AFAs):
      • how law firms construct AFAs
      • the types of AFAs and their typical uses
      • how to frame AFA requests to obtain responses that support business objectives
    • they worked with the Avis legal department to build a dynamic technology platform that
      • facilitates the MAF process for Avis and for all panel firms
      • capture critical data points in structured format
      • leverage workflow tools to enforce operational standards
      • integrate with Avis’ e-billing system to automatically open matters
      • display actionable information to all users via flexible dashboards
      • provides dynamic authoring tools to create/update forms within minutes/hours rather than days/weeks
      • stores information in structured databases, but can generate documents in formats attorneys are used to reviewing (e.g, Word or PDF)
    • Who reviews, tests and suggests improvements to the technology?
      • Bryan Cave engineers, business analysts and other operational professionals do the initial work
      • Avis attorneys and legal ops professionals advise on integrating the panel’s technology with Avis’ e-billing, advanced workflow reporting and alerting, dashboard structure and key metrics
      • Baker Donelson (and other panel teams) provide recommendations on U/I enhancements and how to integrate the shared technology with the proprietary technology platforms of the panel firms — this eliminates duplication of effort and strengthens their shared common sources of record
  • The Collaboration is Growing.
    • Now panel firms share Avis work with each other if they believe this approach will benefit the client.
    • If Bryan Cave creates new technology, Baker Donelson  will do acceptance testing. When Baker needs automated data feeds, Bryan Cave provides it. Both firms confer with each other (and the other firms) to find solutions that benefit the client.
    • The collaboration among the panel firms has generated new ideas and approaches to matter intake and AFA construction
    • The technology used by the panel firms has improved because these firms now have a reason and the ability to share ideas as never before
  • Next Steps. Both Avis and its panel firms have ambitions for growing and improving their collaboration.
    • On Avis’ list of next steps: Creating metrics to measure and dashboards to communicate progress in key strategic areas of operations.
    • On the panel firms’ list of next steps: Creating metrics to measure and dashboards to communicate progress by the panel firms in helping Avis manage its legal issues.
  • Results. This collaboration has been an unqualified success for  Avis and for its panel firms.
    • Avis: Thanks to the collaboration, the Avis legal department has now established itself as a critical business partner of the larger organization. Through its pioneering work in this collaboration, the legal department has modeled better ways of managing liability and expenditures that can now be applied across the company. Further, the work of the legal department has become a source of competitive advantage for the company.
    • Panel firms: Their experience with Avis has demonstrated how non-attorney professionals can be critical to the selection of the firm for a legal panel, as well as the on-going relationships between the firm and its client. The panel firms now have clear confirmation that their investments in innovation, project management, and process improvement have enabled them to differentiate themselves in a competitive market. Finally, these firms now see the benefits of not only collaborating with the client but also with the other panel firms. The Avis collaboration has become a significant win-win situation for these firms.
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Law Department of the Year Nominees #ILTACON

2016_ILTACON_logoSession Description: And the nominees are…Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Prudential Financial, Inc. and RBC. Watch as the short list of nominees for ILTA’s 2016 Distinguished Peer Award for Innovative Law Department of the Year present their innovations. Attendees at this session will vote for their favorite, and the winner will be announced on Tuesday evening at the Awards Dinner.

Speakers:

  • Robert Bell, Assistant General Counsel and Legal Knowledge Officer at Royal Bank of Canada
  • Molly Perry, Chief Operating Officer, Office of the General Counsel at Hewlett-Packard
  • George Chiu (IT) and Brian Burlew (Legal Operations)

[These are my notes from the International Legal Technology Association’s 2016 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
    • RBC is the largest bank and the largest company in Canada.
    • Their CEO is a former programmer — he speaks digital.
    • Their General Counsel Group has several sub-groups, two of which are:
      • Their eDiscovery team has significantly improved turn-around on discovery work and savings.
      • Their external counsel group has meaningfully improved their monitoring and measurement of external counsel, leading to significant savings.
    • RBC Connect
      • RBC Connect is their social enterprise network, powered by Jive
        • early adopters of this social tool have experienced a dramatic reduction of email traffic
      • In April 2016, they logged 50.4K monthly users. This represents 2/3 of all potential users in the company.
      • The General Counsel Group has a vibrant presence on RBC Connect
        • they provide private and open communities so they can collaborate with their internal business clients
        • they provide  for a wide range of
      • They have a new role of “knowledge anchor” each of whom is a legal subject matter expert who works to promote key team knowledge and post it in relevant places (including their knowledge hubs).
      • They have a knowledge and meeting hub:
        • The knowledge hub contains key resources that may be hard to find in the DMS
          • Substantive Law Primers
          • Materials from preferred external law firms
        • The Meeting Hub stores meeting agenda and resources in a single place for each group that holds meetings
      • They use the search tools in RBC Connect to see the materials that their business clients use on a daily basis. This allows them to develop and enhance strategic relationships with their business partners.
      • They also create communities that involve both members of the legal department and the various business groups they serve
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise. They are focused on bringing legal work in-house because they have been able to generate substantial savings by doing so
    • Strategic Framework
      • Smart Solutions
        • MitraTech TeamConnect for matter management
          • Outside counsel have access to this
        • SalesForce for IP sales management
        • Project management for M&A transactions
        • Dealflow — extends their project management tool to other uses
        • they use HPE predictive analysis and coding in their discovery work
        • they use the HPE records tool and have created significant cost savings by digitizing ahead of schedule
        • Business clients have self-service access to create confidentiality agreements
      • Inside Game — tools & processes that help their team most efficient and effective so they can bring more of the work inside the legal department.
      • Game Changers
      • Talent Factory
    • They had a massive challenge when they had to use their resources to help manage an enormous corporate separation. This involved separating assets and allocating people
    • Their Innovation: Time reporting made simple — used by more than 650 professionals worldwide
      • During the corporate separation, they monitored their internal time reports. These data revealed that they were spending too much time on low-value contracts. Consequently, they implemented an internal time recording tool and protocol to continue creating and gathering time data.
      • They use business intelligence tool that shows external spend data, internal time data, and internal pro bono hours. The connections between internal time and external spend have been a “goldmine” of useful information.
        • Managers can generate the reports the need on a self-service basis
    • Contracting Metrics:
      • They handle virtually all their contracting in-house.
      • They are able to track  internal time spent on contract type, value and geography.
      • They now can see if their time is spent on the most important tasks. They have used these data to reduce time and expense
      • Managers have dashboards and can generate reports on a self-service basis
    • The Litigation “Inside Game”
      • They can correlate internal time to the time spent by external counsel. This helps them see where their use of external counsel is efficient and where they should increase staffing internally.
  • Prudential Financial.
    • They have a “solid and flexible platform” = MitraTech TeamConnect. It supports
      • Matter management
      • Spend management
      • Integration
      • Collaboration
    • It was originally intended for matter management and e-billing. Since then, they have built suites for several compliance groups. In addition, several operations groups are using TeamConnect’s workflow tools.
    • TeamConnect required very little staffing. They do some configuring (and a little customizing, as necessary). Both IT and the Legal Operations Group work together to support TeamConnect.
    • Internal and External Partnership
      • Internal
      • External
        • Mitratech — leader in Enterprise Legal Management (ELM)
    • Their Innovation: a very close and dynamic working relationship between legal operations and legal IT.
    • Any innovative technology is only as good as the people who design it and the people who use it.
    • Their work has been speedy and extremely cost-effective.
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Keynote: Measure Twice, Cut Once: Solving the Legal Profession’s Biggest Problems Together #ILTACON

2016_ILTACON_logoSession Description: Clients and law firms need to work together to solve the biggest problems facing them both, including the optimal overall data strategy for collection, hoarding, preservation, measurement and metrics; data we should collect today to help answer the questions of tomorrow; leveraging current technologies to improve data measurement and regularization and overall collaboration; measuring the performance of and determining fair value for legal work; how to create appropriate micro-incentives to further innovation; startup technologies being developed that are worthy of consideration; and where we’ll find the staff to manage it all. Together, we’ll measure twice, cut once and start solving legal’s biggest problems.

Speaker: Daniel Katz, Associate Professor of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law.  Dan is a scientist, technologist and law professor who applies an innovative polytechnic approach to teaching law, meshing litigation and transactional knowledge with emerging software and other efficiency-enhancing technologies to help prepare lawyers for today’s challenging legal job market. His forward-thinking ideas helped earn him acknowledgement among the Fastcase 50, which “recognizes 50 of the smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders in the law.” He was also named to the American Bar Association Journal‘s “Legal Rebels,” a prestigious group of change leaders in the legal profession. Professor Katz teaches civil procedure, e-discovery and entrepreneurial lawyering at Chicago-Kent and spearheads new initiatives to teach law students how to leverage technology and entrepreneurship in their future legal careers.

[These are my notes from the International Legal Technology Association’s 2016 Conference. I’m publishing them as soon as possible after the end of a session, so they may contain the occasional typographical or grammatical error. Please excuse those. To the extent I’ve made any editorial comments, I’ve shown those in brackets.]

NOTES:

  • How to build a more perfect supply chain.  This requires that we move more parts of legal practice from the “art” column to the “science” column. This, in turn, requires that we measure our work more rigorously.
  • Economics of the law.
    • What’s a lawyer’s value proposition? What do lawyers solve for? If you get too far from that value proposition, you become irrelevant.
    • the value proposition:
      • help people manage complexity
      • help people manage enterprise risk
    • Lawyers as Complexity Engineers: In the face of growing legal complexity, we have applied greater and greater numbers of human experts to solve problems. (We throw more and more labor at the problem.) This, in turn, creates a huge opportunity for disruption. Do we really need all these people? Can some of what they do be done by a machine. Better yet, can we remove some of the complexity?
    • Where are the large-scale complexity-filled opportunities in law? Banks! They do very complex transactions and need increasingly efficient ways to cope with the legal complexity of their transactions.
    • Paul Lippe’s insight on three types of lawyers:
      • Mediocre lawyers play whack-a-mole, seeing legal risk around every corner
      • Clever lawyers find solutions to those legal risks
      • Great lawyers help design systems that can balance risk and then price risk correctly.
    • Why do we have law firms?
      • Every client has to decide whether to make or buy.
        • Law firms help offset peak load by helping law departments from having to staff up when unusal issues arise.
        • Firms provide high value by providing expertise that is rarely used or hard to acquire
    • The problem of agency costs:
      • If I am the principal and hire an agent to act on my behalf, the agent often has more information than the principal. This creates agency cost. Therefore, this relationship is always slightly antagonistic.
  • Moving from Artisinal to Industrial.
    • Across many industries, we are moving things from the artisan column to the industrial column. This requires standardizing and measuring business processes. The result is reliable and repeatable.
    • This does not need to mean a loss of quality. We do not need to move from being Sal’s artisanal pizza to Dominos. We need to produce artisinal- quality pizza with the economies of industrial processes.
  • Creating a Data-Driven Enterprise.
    • Our understanding of our processes is imperfect. We rarely appreciate how complicated they really are. We rarely see how simple they really should be.
    • The first step is process mapping. When process mapping, don’t make it so granular that it turns into a #ridiculogram.
    • Don’t merely aim for understanding the average cost/effort. Focus on the variability. Understand what moves things out of the left tail and into the right tail.
    • Transparency is the glue that builds relationships. But in the legal industry, we hate transparency. If we want real change in the industry, the transparency has to work both ways. Both law firms and clients must share their data. Only then will we have a clearer understanding of actual opportunities and risks.
    • Data-driven outcomes = using data to underwrite legal risk.
    • Data-driven transactional work = using data to determine the value of particular negotiating and drafting approaches. If we don’t know how much risk is being avoided or created, how can we choose the right approach?
    • We need a better understanding of the actual drivers of risk. A mediocre lawyer sees risk everywhere. A great lawyer has the data to explain the actual risks.
    • Human are good at pattern detection. A high-frequency trader may take only 60 seconds to identify a pattern, but in that minute the arbitrage opportunity will disappear because computers are faster.
    • Predicting case outcomes using data. When it comes to forecasting, there are only 3 ways to predict: experts, crowdsourcing, and algorithms.
      • However, “experts” don’t really need to be expert in law in order to predict well. Take the example of Jacob Berlove, an actuary who lives in Queens, New York, who is one of the best predictors of supreme court case outcomes.
      • Yet there is something that can outperform a high-performing individual. A Human + a Machine always outperforms either a Human OR a Machine.
  • Legal Analytics & Machine Learning as a Service (MLaaS). Law is a relatively small vertical. And it has a great diversity of expertise. Therefore, it is unlikely that the big players such as IBM will focus on the legal vertical. However, we can take IBM’s general offerings such as Watson and conquer the last mile, which is to figure out how to adapt it to the legal industry.
  • Fin(Legal)Tech.
    • If you are offering alternative fee arrangements, you are self-insuring because you are assuming the risk. However, most firms do so without the necessary data or models. Crazy!
    • Fintech is about removing socially meaningless friction and then characterizing and pricing exotic risks. Once we understand the data under the legal system and use that data to characterize and price legal risk, we will create Fin(Legal)Tech.
  • Practical Steps You can Take:
    • Improve your early case assessment. Collect and understand the data your have in your firm regarding litigation cases. Then build a predictive model.
    • Improve your transactional predictions. Collect markups on every deal document. Understand what they are and why they are done. Then you can predict the next negotiating/drafting tactic of opposing counsel. And you can assess the costs of every move.
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