A highlight of the keynote session came when Mike was joined by George Grawe, Senior VP/Deputy General Counsel at Allstate, who’s been advancing the modernization of legal processes and practices for over 30 years. One thing he realized early in his career there?
It was easy to take out the dictaphone, and it was easy for a lawyer to generate a lot of work for the support staff. I wanted to do something to enable the staff to be happier in their work and complete the tasks that I had given them. Technology was part of the answer…When we decided that we wanted to use technology to drive the changes we wanted, that led us to Mitratech.
Getting others to embrace change can be difficult, even during times like these when it’s more urgent than ever. One approach he recommends?
(People) will say they have a more efficient way to do things…you need to get in the trenches with folks to see how they do their job. If you can find a way to have the technology complement the way they do their work, they become your change champions.
It is Time We Got This Right: Legal and Law Firm Diversity
It’s an enormously hot topic for a session we previewed recently, as Victoria Hudgins of Legaltech News sat down with David Cunningham of Legal Metrics and Winston & Strawn, and Nagendra Donepudi, Mitratech’s SVP of Product Development.
“Diversity is really driving buying decisions,” David explained, as more clients mandate that law firms display inclusion and diversity in the teams working on their business. Those clients “want people to feel like everybody has an opportunity,” and that sentiment is shared by many firms as well, he says:
I thought the legal departments would have to compel law firms to participate (in diversity), but I’ve found equally good reception from both sides.
As for the technology that corporate legal departments are asking for to support diversity efforts, they’re not looking for standalone products but features to enhance existing ones. As Nagendra pointed out, “What we have seen in the past several years is, (users) want something that integrates within a system they’re already using.”
TIK-TAPpening: Co-Innovation on Display
Justin Hectus, CIO/CISO at Keesal, Young & Logan and CIO of Keesal Propulsion Labs and Mitratech’s Brian McGovern, General Manager, Workflow Solutions are well-paired presenters, as anyone who’s seen them in action before can say.
One example of co-innovation they shared: KP Labs designed and built a workflow for a NetApp use case in a 24-hour hackathon. The result impressed Connie Brenton, Chief of Staff and Senior Director of Legal Operations at NetApp enough for her to say, “In 24 hours, you’ve delivered a fundamentally different and better way to communicate our expectations and obtain commitments from our outside counsel.”
A well-designed, flexible workflow, using the right solution, can accomplish more than just accelerate a task from start to finish. “If you do this right, you build in policy, procedure, and training in the workflow,” Justin said.
Co-innovation between provider and client, and even between Legal Ops professionals at different organizations, is the mainspring behind these successes. Referring to TAP’s own Co-Innovation Center, Brian said, “There’s a whole bunch of ideas there that give you a huge leg up on what to do next.”
“It’s an alarmingly open community,” Justin said. “It’s all built around this idea of possibility that comes out of TAP.”