Big Law Business Summit: Driving Efficiencies in the Law Practice

hi I’m Deirdre Bern and I run one of the legal verticals at Integra yan it is we are an outsourcing company with with quite a number of areas other than law and I want for one second I want to address the difference between outsourcing and offshoring because people have been asking me what is the difference since I run offshore delivery only and that means India the Philippines and in our case Fargo North Dakota but the lady with the striped phone back there that’s taking photographs is runs runs onshore so just keep in mind when we talk about that piece of it that that outsourcing is not necessarily coextensive with with offshoring and that’s enough about me I’m going to introduce the panelists and in the interest of time I urge you to read their BIOS Steve poor Rose Sturdivant and Marty Mazzoni we have a great panel and so I’m just going to start by asking the panel to discuss the nomenclature around this area in particular what does driving efficiency mean what does innovation mean and what does disruption mean where do you want to start sure well we’ve heard the term innovation and disruption and change and all of that today and I guess for the work that I’ve been doing for nine years a lot of it is really I think of it and maybe it’s just another jargon you term but I think of his reinvention of the legal services delivery model or more maybe more pipi what’s the 21st century lawyer look like because I think the 21st century lawyer really looks quite different than the 20th century lawyer looked like and can you can you cite an example or two yeah I mean I we were talking about this earlier and I and I think that the whole discussion that we need to be having across our in-house and outside counsel and our alternative legal services vendor vendor community is what constitutes success for a lawyer and it used to be and I think in many traditional settings it may still be that being really smart and being a subject matter expert is enough and from an in-house counsel perspective being a trusted adviser to your client is enough but actually I think the question is what is is that enough and I put out there for an example if you are litigator and you won a hard-fought case and you charged the client ten million dollars and you could have won that case and charge the client four million dollars if you had been have paid more attention to costs if you had you know started with the old fashioned outline of proof if you had limited the number of depositions if you had not taken a scorched-earth approach so if you win a case and it cost ten million and you could have won that case and it cost and you could have won it in three million did you win is that a win for the client and so that’s the kind of that’s the kind of thinking we’re trying to bring in our in-house setting to everything both what our in-house counsel are doing and what our outside counsel are doing what constitutes success we look at time to market that’s of course an obvious metric for all of our businesses when we’re putting products and services out there how quickly can you respond we look at business disruption are you taking people out of roll all the time because you’re not planning and you’re not disciplined and how you’re conducting your practice and therefore you’re coming back all the time to the business people who have the answers to your questions we look at risk management are you and I believe somebody earlier today talked about this are you being a proactive identify of gaps and risks and we look of course at cost efficiency do you really have it in your bones that cost matters and that if you can get the evidence you need in two depositions instead of four that you’re going to live without the information and those other two depositions you didn’t take those are criteria for success in addition to the fundamental platform which is you know what you’re talking about you’re good at what you do and your client trusts you I’m going to throw it over to you Steve to talk about some of the processes Steve in case anyone hasn’t read the bio is the chairman of say farts Shaw and they have been on the leading edge of innovation in this space Marty’s got the in-house counsel point of view and I’d like to hear from the big law what did you yeah thank you yeah so I start from the premise on would pick up on a couple of things Marty said because they they

resonate with me in our 10-year journey first we start with the premise that there’s a value gap in our industry and by value gap what I mean by that is the value the purchaser the legal services perceives they’re receiving and the value the deliver of the legal services perceives they are delivering and that gap is getting it’s getting broader and I think it’s because we aren’t listening to one another we aren’t talking one another we aren’t following some of the things that Marty is talking about in terms of the redefinition of what success ought to look like we talk about nomenclature I think it’s you know we get caught up in words where lawyers we love words and get caught up and what’s disruptive and what’s innovative and what’s what’s different I think the challenge and and for us and the way we would articulate it is how do we get better and faster in terms of delivering legal services I think too often we start with the premise of how do we get cheaper cheaper doesn’t lead to better and faster but better and faster oftentimes leads to cheaper so for us it was about ten years ago when we started trying to adapt and apply Lean Six Sigma methodologies which are manufacturing techniques designed to look at process improvement in quality and defect control into the practice of law and over the years we’ve modified it we’ve adapted it it’s really become more Design Thinking now than pure process but underlying that in order to close this value gap talking about it really requires that their tools we’re going to talk about but there’s their mind shift changes that we need as lawyers first speaking now from outside counsel perspective it’s truly an outside in perspective by outside in we all talk and for those law firms room yes we all have on our website how client focused we are how we love our clients how important they are to us all get stuff and I I get that and we do too and they real are important to us and for those of you in the room we love you and we’re focused on it but by outside in I’m talking about something different it is understanding in your bones the outcome the business needs to be achieved through the particulars solution set you’re being asked to deliver and by business I mean exactly that I don’t necessarily mean just the in-house counsel I mean their clients they have clients as well there also has to be an application of technology and the use of data to make better and faster decisions and then there’s a process piece that holds it all together it is the ability to look at the delivery of legal services as a process and pull it together and look and see where there is waste and inefficiency and that’s one piece of driving efficiency is just stop doing the stupid stuff stop doing the stuff that’s wasteful but there’s another piece which is what’s the smartest way to get work done Marty hit on it there’s sometimes when we hear about more for less right we want more for less well the better challenge is let’s do less for Less okay let’s think strategically about what needs to be done and what doesn’t need to be done and if it needs to be done by looking at the service delivery chain we can decide what’s the right vendor what’s the right service model for particular components of this in the prior panel where were three legal ops folks and I will I will tell you for those of you that haven’t work with legal ops profession that’s the way they think about it the that’s the way they’re looking they’re looking at a redesigning services to maintain quality to achieve outcomes to make more strategic decisions and at the end of the day become more efficient and more effective to become better and faster you weren’t here this morning but somebody else said it’s how to do less for Less this morning so that was a good theme but I was just going to pick up on one thought rosin Steve and I were talking at lunch and it’s this notion of a cultural change that you know feeling it in your bones and I’ve been really mulling this over in my head because I’ve been working on change strategies in my department for nine years and it is a it is a slog and you know I debated whether to raise this because I don’t you know we don’t have a lot of time and I don’t want to be overly provocative but I think that there’s a real issue in our community with humility and I think humility know Marty you got a gasp oh yeah I think well you know I don’t want to get too deep but I think humility is one of is a problem we don’t were not humble enough we don’t believe that when you unbundle services as Steve described or when you know ROS runs a whole group of people who maybe don’t have a JD when we don’t believe they’re delivering as good a service as we could or we think that you know our Harvard degree means more than that University of Memphis degree but then yet we heard today from the the General Counsel’s who were talking about their regional law firms

who know the regulator’s and I think it was the Ford General Counsel who was saying you know it worse know we’re snobs and you know that whole notion of being open to change being willing to examine what is the spectrum of service that we’re trying to provide and who is the right person and what is the right what are the right qualifications to provide it instead of trying to become all of those things instead of every lawyer trying to become a project manager or a data analyst like trusting the data trusting your project managers seeing your legal Ops people or your paralegals or your alternative service providers or your offshore providers as having value some within that chain and it’s hard for us and that’s a real mindset change yeah I would say the challenge from the operations and the administrative side when we talk about one of the drivers and I think they relate to everyone here you know it’s certainly the client and it’s certainly the attorneys and it is the bottom line so those are this side what also matters and and this can relate to the attorneys as well but it is I hear too often you know it’s the way we’ve always done it and I used to hate hearing that now I love hearing it because now I say oh okay so so it’s not said to me too much anymore because they know I get all excited you love the challenge so that’s always a great challenge to hear that the other is the technology is it that we’ve introduced new technology and we now have to learn how to use that most efficiently make there’s quite often a lot of change that comes along with that and and I think also it becomes more task driven mentality now from my end and how to manage those changes that happen quite frequently now in addition to that training it’s just a you know do we have the basic training for four for all of those staff the paralegals etc and and management if we have training for management as well let me pick up on something Marty said because I think it’s it’s worth sort of unpacking a little bit we have a very different industry now even if we don’t recognize it and many of us don’t recognize it where we have a very multidisciplinary skillset that’s necessary to apply to find these kind of solution sets for our clients I use us as an example but I think it’s generally applicable we’ve got you know a large team of project managers and yes I love it when you say let’s train our lawyers to be project managers because we’re lawyers we can absorb the mantle in any kind of profession a must we must be smarter right you know those non lawyers like you go to the doctor’s office and for saying she’s the non doctor right but it isn’t the ability to believe that we as lawyers can become anything we want to be it is the skill set the skill set necessary is the the skill set to be able to work within a multidisciplinary team to be able to understand the value that the project manager the legal technologists the the paraprofessional can bring and understand how that operates to the benefit of the client right so a lot of our learning over the last few years has been we have our colleagues and our partners love an experience where they’ll go into a client meeting or they’ll go into a client pitch and they’ll be taking along a project manager or they’ll take along a lucien legal solutions architect who are our technologists and the client and I just had this experience the other day the client will turn in say to the project manage that you’re the person I want to talk to and the partner sitting there kind of looking around you know saying but I’m a really important partner big law firm we can debate that particular piece but it’s this moment it’s this transcendent moment that communicates more powerfully than anything else what kind of world we’re living in and if you want to find efficiencies and if you want to really have a higher value to begin to close this gap living in that world and in thinking differently about it is a key predicate point and we need to be more humble about that you’re absolutely right um so I’d like to in the interest of time ask you each to tell me a little bit about what your push driver Marty doesn’t like driver what okay what what the push was what was your pain point because they’re all going to be different right yours is as in-house counsel yours is trying to herd cats from 20 different offices in the in the in the document space and obviously Steve is is chairing a big global firm so I think your pain points are likely to be different so could you each tell me what drove the the innovation and the disruption what whatever word you want

to use sure sure I’ll start so fidelity as with probably most corporations in the early 2000s when business records went from being paper – went to being electronic were somehow suddenly mired in millions of dollars in costs just getting to evidence right so if you you know think about what fact-finding used to be and there were five boxes of documents in the 1800’s that somebody hand wrote and then it was 50 boxes of documents when they’re carbon copy from the typewriter and then there were 5000 boxes of documents when they invented the mimeograph and Xerox invented its machine and now there’s five million pieces of data coming in every hour but you still have to find the same five facts to make your case or to you know defend your your position so we all face that and so discovery and the cost of discovery were clearly the the driving point for at least for the company to bring me in and I had kind of grown up on both sides I was an inadvertent discovery lawyer because I was a 10 years out of law school I mean a 10 years older than my peers I didn’t go to law school close in my 30s I had management experience there were massive discoveries going on in the late 90s with a lot of government investigations for the clients that I was working with and all of that discovery went from paper to electronic while I lived through it and so I was sort of a discovery lawyer I thought it was gonna be writing briefs to the Supreme Court but instead I was doing fact-finding and electronic records and I you know was open enough to realize that I really needed those technologists that I was not going to be able to do this without them so that partnership between law and technologies that came as a result of business records becoming electronic was really the very beginning of some what I would call parallel pain points so there’s always the pain points of the merits new clients are always very unhappy because they never did anything wrong and they never crossed any line and this is all the other side’s fault and that’s always the case in litigation but then there became this whole parallel track and litigation which had to do with costs and fact-finding and all of the manipulation that can go on in in cases because of that and so when they when they brought me on you know it was and I came from a systems background I worked in child welfare and juvenile justice I worked in systems and I looked at the whole thing as a system and how do you this system that was the driver what became clear to me was we quickly could address the law firm prices we we were really able fairly quickly with the help of great partners like the offshore groups like other managed service companies to develop alternative service providers to develop a spectrum of service providers to do what Steve was saying and unbundle everything and hand it out to the right people and then to develop a layer of management over that so that it wasn’t you know Anarchy out there but what was hard to do and what continues to be a driver for the work I do now is to change the mentality of the in-house counsel that’s been the really hard part and you know we have brilliant attorneys we probably have a tenure of 20 years I mean I don’t know what the average tenure is but our attorneys have been around for a long time and getting them to understand these same principles that were asking you as outside counsel to understand is tough and it’s rewarding when you can make it happen but for us the next the next berry the next frontier is getting the in-house counsel to think differently about the same things that we want the outside counsel to think think about I think drivers for me in in creating efficiencies particularly at Holland and Knight have been there there’s over 20 offices so obviously there’s redundancy in a lot of the operations as a result of that and over a period of time we’ve been very successful in creating an operation center in Tampa that houses over 200 back office finance HR IT etc and and with the use of technology that also has made it much easier to manage the multiple offices and I think in addition to that we we’ve also have paired with some outsourcing which has been you know so trying not to do just one model has worked well for us and I’ve also found to be very mindful is what works for one firm you know you quite often senior management will come back from a luncheon and say firm X’s you know doing this or has a ratio of this etc but each firm really needs to look within their own culture and their own organizational structure to see what works for them and that’s where maybe the innovation comes in you can make it work work for all different models yeah so for us in terms of drivers why did we start down this

path it’s it’s it’s sort of an odd story I suppose because we started down this path ten years ago and if you think about put you in the wayback machine a little bit to say in oh five what was going on and if you think about it it was sort of the but turns out to be the Golden Age of big law right I didn’t know it at the time wouldn’t it felt so stressful if I’d known into the time but if you watch the industry back then the primary lever that big law was pulling at the time was a rate lever that’s how profitability was was was increasing was largely rate growth and we began to look at it and began to wonder eh how long can that continue and to doesn’t there have to be a better way for our clients and it was that for our clients piece is really the driver for us and the fact that some our industry was sort of immune to the need to get better and faster every year just didn’t feel right to us so it I triggered in us a desire to find a better way for our clients so there wasn’t anything more complicated than that that’s that piece of change is obviously accelerated dramatically over the last few years since I weights and so nine and in increasing demands and all the talk in the industry that’s what started us safer you know really safe earth went at it from a very I think holistic big-picture they said we’re gonna adopt this manufacturing Six Sigma lean approach and you know I remember the early Seyfarth materials on it and I was very impressed by that because you really you went after it you didn’t you didn’t sort of make a little change here a little change there you really went after it at the same time I would say even if you can’t do that in your law firm or in your House Council you know start where you are in your in-house Department start where you are wherever you are because even the small I think somebody earlier said success breeds success the smallest changes can have such big impact and you know maybe your driver is something like your attorneys are spending too much time on ndas well that’s a quick solution there are solutions the the the sponsors of this organization can all give this seminar can all give you solutions to that or maybe it’s something that’s you know like discovery or or it could be anything but just start where you are just get you know get a project underway we did everything I have never in nine years had a budget I have never had a budget and I’ve made every change that we’ve made which has been really extensive across the department without a budget I’ve never had a I’ve never had a charter that I didn’t write myself you know I just looked at what I thought needed to be changed so there and you will get at least I I have found and I think that you know as much as I talk about humility and lawyers and lawyers being resistant there actually are lots of people who will be your champions when you start to make them look good which is exactly what you do as soon as you start to make these changes you you can they can go to the client and say we reviewed three hundred thousand documents and that cost nine thousand dollars which is a true story in our case there are very very first use of the IP of the LPO was I actually called the director and said that you know we’re fidelity we don’t need slave labor we’re happy to pay a real bill he said no and that really is what it cost $8,000 I said okay so I noticed each of you mentioning technology and the changes that in recent years have made this kind of innovation possible and the move towards efficiency which I would say to quote Clayton Christensen is you know the disruptive technology of gee what are the other things that had to change in this period of time that you’re talking about what’s called roughly 10 years what else had to change during that period to drive the efficiencies to where we are today and perhaps even to where we’ll be tomorrow I mean I think it’s critical I that this is a critical point technology driving change is unlikely it is possible there are a few technologies out there in the world that actually drive the change like Excel Excel actually drove change and how a practice was made most technologies are not doing that most technologies can facilitate process change that you’ve developed and that you’ve but if the if you if you think the technique if you think you know biotechnology you’re gonna put it in and it’s going to make everything better that will likely not work one of my least favorite phrases that won’t work and you and you’ve got to you’ve got to examine the outcome that you want and the process by which you get there the workflow all of these McKinsey

consultancy terms that we as lawyers didn’t really income you know have to encounter very much in our practice but you really have to encounter them now and then you pick the technology that facilitates what you want to get done right I would agree there and it goes back to something that Steve said earlier and that is you know what is the change that you want to make without looking at even the even the technology side of it the bottom-line side of it how do we want to make the process better what’s going to work better for everyone we talk about you know being more efficient how do we work smarter how do we work faster and it ultimately turns out you do that for less it just it just falls into place if you’re if you’re doing it the right way and and I also think part of what happened over that 10-year period is that we’ve tried some things that didn’t work and and I think from my personal experience there were some changes that were made on you know the operations side if the honestly if the partners don’t see it you know we’ll go do it and just make it happen lesson learned Partners say it you want to make sure that you’re transparent you get buy-in you do your pilot group I personally choose I don’t want to say the most difficult I’ll say the ones that will challenge me the most that’s a great group to work with when you want to implement something new within your firm it may take longer it may take a lot of effort and the effort never and once you you’ve implemented something new it continues you always have to be involved in it you always want to listen to both sides you want to hear the client you want to hear the attorneys you want to hear you know how what your staff is saying if you want to continue for those processes to move along with the time practicing differently than we did five years ago today and we will again in five years from now so we know that we need to keep on top of that all the time so so let me jump in for a second because we only have a couple of minutes left Rose you said we’ve tried some things that haven’t worked and some other things have work that had then been championed internally so Steve can you give us an example of something that’s worked and something that hasn’t worked I started out lunch asking you to tell me stories so the we’ve only got two minutes so I don’t know really really really sure I don’t tell short stories the problem keep it on the on the line of communication and to pick up on something that already said there’s a there’s a great sort of David Meister sort of story where he says how do you train law firm partners and he used how do you train pigeons if you want to get a pigeon from one quarter of the box next corner where do you put the pellets you don’t put the pellets all at the end you put it at the beginning and you train people to get there and some of our early mistakes dealt with not following that particular advice not recognizing that victories in the small steps yeah and you build on success so it’s trying to look too big so you know we ran a campaign in the firm now probably been eight or nine years ago after we sort of started down this path and it was referred to as the kiss campaign with pictures of gene Simmons and stuff I was thinking that keep it simple stupid that’s what it was supposed to be yes and and and we got roundly ridiculed by all of our attorneys that who thought it was hokey thought it was ridiculous thought it was making a you know a bad point and actually set us back a little bit so even so we we began to recognize that how you communicate how you talk and how you bring people and you have to meet people where they are and begin to bring them forward and so for us that was an important learning process so you two ladies can hand wrestle over the remaining minute you know I all agree with that very quickly that it’s communication transparency and and and developing that trust I think that that’s what happens if you get you start getting even the small buy-ins you develop trust and then and then when you’re faced with the next challenge it you know you you’re going to get people to cooperate a lot sooner yeah I guess I would just say that and I know as many of you have done this already but thinking outside the JD box for who can be a professional who supports the services that you’re providing one of the best things that I ever did and honestly I don’t know how this all happened I stumbled on all of it but I hired a process engineer into the legal department about five years ago I didn’t even know what a process engineer was but I knew that this guy was smart and he could look at how we did business and take it apart and say let’s do it differently and he was actually GE worked for GE actually and he’s made all the difference both not only in actually we have taken apart so many processes and put together technology to support them and put together new processes but he’s also been very persuasive with the lawyers we’re high could not be because I was always at the edge of my skis talking about this stuff and he was able to say look let me give it to you let me

explain it to you and give them the detail and give them the real support that they needed so you know there are people out there who do this kind of efficiency work for a living and they’re there more and more coming into our profession and into our groups and I highly recommend that okay I see that our time is up thank you for your rapt attention and thank you to the dowager thank you