Sandpiper Partners’ 5th Annual Conference:
3 Key Takeaways

S2|DATA had the pleasure of attending Sandpiper Partners’ fifth annual conference “New Directions in Disruption and Innovation in the Delivery of Legal Services” in New York City last week. The conference featured 20 speakers well-versed in the legal industry who provided insight on adjusting to new practices within the legal world.

Keeping up with industry trends is quintessential and implementing an innovative approach can lead to a great ROI for law firms and legal service providers. Doing this requires a level of work and understanding across all departments in a firm. So, what strategies need to be taken to commit to a next-level innovation to take your firm to a higher level?

1. Be collaborative internally, as well as externally

Having a communicative work environment is crucial to contributing to growth and innovation within a company. But, say you were to take it a step further and collaborate with your client? Toby Brown, chief practice management officer of Perkins Coie LLP., iterated the importance of an external collaboration. In 2018, Perkins Coie partnered with Adobe Systems Inc.’s legal department to work together, as opposed to a firm-client style. Each month, Adobe pays a flat fee to Perkins Coie and the firm is able to scale what needs to be done per month in that fee.

Through this relationship, the two companies have grown together. The two provide a summer internship where a law student spends half of the summer at Perkins Coie and the other half at Adobe.

In turn, this style has led to cost savings, quicker turn-around times and better insights of Adobe’s needs. This amicable partnership amounts to a better future between clients and law firms, as they are able to depend on each other through a communicative process.

2. Design a system that is practical for all parties

In the age of innovation, usability is a main factor. Technology has adapted to providing convenience and functionality to users. The legal industry has started to truly adopt a more technical standpoint. Data management software can assist in several legal departments, including litigation, data services and collections.

S2|DATA identifies that the client’s understanding of innovation and technology is top priority. With  Invenire, TRACS and LEAR, these products and services are explained and designed so the client can understand the process behind it.

3. Be open to the idea of change

This one may seem obvious, because in simple terms, innovation is just that. But often times, this is a hard mentality to adjust to. So, by letting the idea of change in, a huge first step toward great innovation is made.

Listen to your team. Put these ideas on display. Conduct quarterly audits to see how these innovations are being acted upon. When working on a new data management strategy, be understanding that there is more out there than just the traditional way.

Tim Mohan and Eric Wood of Chapman and Cutler LLP. said that in law firm innovation, there are three constituents: owners, team members and clients. It begins that owners have to be willing to invest some of their own dollars for innovation efforts. Then, team members need to open up to these change to their current habits to help mold to this new idea. When the team is open to change, progress and creativity will flow. Finally, the client needs to be ready to accept these changes at the time provided.

This model can be beneficial to companies across the globe. There are several components to successful innovation, but it begins with an open mindset. By having everyone on board with innovative ideas, extraordinary outcomes can be created.

Taking it home…

By attending Sandpiper Partners’ 5th Annual Conference, we were able to hone in on innovations occurring in the legal industry. We plan to continue adapting to the technology and process changes being made in the industry as well as sharing with clients and receiving their feedback on the innovations we have planned.