The Changing Lawyer Summit – Empowering Lawyers Through Technology
Litera Evangelist Sherry Kappel hosts seven legal technology and innovation experts who have guided their organizations through the pandemic and into a new world. They describe an industry that is seeing some genuinely profound shifts in the way lawyers and firms think about the role of technology in their work and their organizations. Read transcript
CIO, Thompson Hine LLP
CIO, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton
President and Cofounder of i.c.stars
COO, Hinshaw & Culbertson
Global CIO, Mayer Brown
National Director, Innovation and Knowledge Programs, Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP and board chair of ILTA
Legal Process Engineer Manager, BakerHostetler
Welcome to Legal Tech Matters, a Litera podcast dedicated to creating conversations about trends, technology and innovation for modern law firms and companies big and small.
That which has given birth to us all being here together today, specifically technology that can help attorneys deliver their best work. Certainly, it's had its challenges over the past nearly two years with lots of changes, lots of pivots in the workplace. So if you're like me, I'm sure you've said thank you to technology many, many times in your head for coming to our rescue. As things just abruptly change on us, our panel up next will shed light on technology matters relating to returning to the workplace management of infrastructure and systems, tech adoption, tech innovation and the use of artificial intelligence. Definitely, definitely just relevant for each and every one of us. So I'm sure you're just as eager as I am to hear what the panel has in store for us today. So let's watch together.
Hello, everyone. Oh my goodness. OK, so I already I tried to coach myself not to behave like fangirl because I am totally fangirl of every single one of you. I want to welcome our audience here today for an incredibly essential conversation. We have things to review over what we've all just gone through with empowering our lawyers through technology during some really critical crisis moments. But this essential conversation is going to take us into where we're going, where we're heading, what our strategies are for infrastructure, software management, empowering the lawyers, innovating. And again, I am so privileged to introduce to you this panel. First of all, I am Sherry Kappel. I am an evangelist here at LItera. I've had the honor of working with each and every one of your firms and your affiliations to use Seth's word from this morning.
And so I'm going to go ahead and toss this to Tracy. You're in my upper left, so why don't you go ahead and let us know your firm, your role, actually your roles, in fact, and where you're broadcasting to us from?
Hi, Sherry. Hi, everybody. I am broadcasting from Chicago. I am Tracy Elmblad. I'm the chief information and operations officer at Hinshaw and Culbertson. We are a law firm of about 400 lawyers and 22 offices in the US.
Wonderful and Sandee. How about you?
Hi everyone. I'm Sandee Kastrul. I'm the president and co-founder of icStars. And I'm coming to you from Chicago.
Ginevra Welcome. Thank you.
I'm Ginevra Saylor. I'm the head of innovation and knowledge programs at Gowling WLG.
We're a global firm with offices all over. I am broadcasting from Toronto, Ontario in Canada, and I have a dual role, I guess, because I'm also president of the Board of the International Legal Technology Association.
Thank you. Britton, you're next.
Sure. Hi, I'm Britton Choi. I'm the chief information officer for Sheppard Mullin. Been lucky to start the first half of my career, as the chief security officer for Sheppard Mullin and now moved into a technology role for the second half of my decade plus here as CIO and I'm broadcasting from Los Angeles, although I think my lighting doesn't show in the sunshine that's coming through the windows properly. So I'm trying to move my curtains, please. Thanks.
Thank you, Britton. Liz you're next.
When I got the same for you Britton but I am in Ohio.
I am Liz Snyder. I'm a legal process engineer manager with Baker Hostetler, which is based out of Cleveland. I'm actually coming to you from Cincinnati, Ohio, today.
Thank you, Doug. You are next.
Hi, I'm Doug. I'm the global CIO for Mayor Brown. We're one of the larger global firms. I work in Chicago, where I have commuted to for 19 out of 22 years, but never live there on Saturday and Sunday. And I'm coming to you today from the original home of Microsoft, where Paul and that other gentleman. Bill Gates first founded Microsoft in 1975 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is where I am today.
History Lesson too! So Matt, you are last but not least.
Sure. Sure. Yeah, I am actually coming to you from down the road from you in Dayton, Ohio, and I am currently chief information officer at Thompson Hine. Tracy, like your firm about 400 lawyers. We have eight offices Ohio, East Coast, Atlanta, Chicago as well. I had a sense with all sides of the legal profession, including software providers and consultancies LexisNexis and HPR, and was previously at WilmerHale as well. And I give you all that only because I'm relatively new to Thompson Hine. I have been here about six months.
Wonderful. So there are a couple of things I want to share with our audience today. First of all, as you can tell, we have an esteemed panel and we are here to talk about a very big topic.
So we brought all of the brains together to have that conversation from beginning to well to the wrap around of the circle. And this conversation is about empowering lawyers with technology. And so with the way we're going to move through this conversation is to take a small play from our our title of the changing lawyer publication.
We're going to move through this conversation, starting with the changing tech. Then we're going to start talking about the changing workspace because obviously when the workspace and the work changes, our tech has to fit. And then from there, we're going to start talking about the changing tools, new tools of the trade. And we're going to wrap up with being able to then go ahead and work with the lawyers to the changing lawyer, the changing and tech empowered lawyer that's going to kind of wrap up our conversation. Now the cool thing is, I was told by our backstage folks that we get to accept questions from the audience and they're going to write them in the chat and then they're going to come up on the screen for us to kind of interject. I'm going to invite you all to do this throughout because again, this panel, you won't get them all together like this again!
No, this is this is very, very unique. So. So let's get started with our changing tech and we're going to focus. Tracy, Doug and Britton on that tech. And I would like to just kind of go back to what's happened in this last year or so. Bloomberg law, did a legal tech survey this last year and said that 54% of legal leaders are now open to using technology, compared to a whopping 40% prior to the pandemic. So, Tracy, I wondered if you could share your sort of special perspective on this, on what creative things happened within your firm to make that crisis? Have us all lean into technology?
Sure. And you know, some of my story may sound similar to others out there because I think law firms reacted remarkably when COVID first hit. It quickly became all about agility.
I like to say everybody, and it became front desk, you know, front help desk, front line on the front lines, always. But we the first thing we did was push VPN into all of our desktops because the only people who had laptops were actually the lawyers and income staff. So we quickly realized we needed everybody to everything home. So people literally put their workstations under their arms, and sometimes monitors too, and headed out the door. And then we were quickly trying to figure out how do we keep this business connected.
People connected connect to our clients, all of this as fast as possible. one of my favorite stories is that we were not a Zoom shop before COVID hit, but within the first two weeks my chairman had found the free version and fighting the management committee, all of us making the leadership decisions. We had the 45 minute free version. So after 45 minutes you'd send a new link and start the whole thing again, so as fast as we could, with the rest of the world, we were trying to get enterprise licensing for Zoom, you know, and so we got that taken care of within probably the first four weeks.
And then Zoom phones followed a little bit after because we were actually making cell phone calls with our clients because we didn't actually have a phone system that could support it through through any other mechanism we had, we were on an older system. So a couple of other things that we did, I'm not sure they don't feel as creative anymore as they did in the moment. But on the operation side of the house, the first thing I did was create a weekly ops call with about 40 of our leaders included the GC, chiefs, directors, managers, office managers, so that we could quickly share pain points and solve the businesses problem. And as we moved through it, what I didn't realize about that meeting, we used to zoom. Of course, it kind of became this invisible team builder. It was pretty incredible.
People who had never seen each other before kind of met and then bonded and and really interacted in a whole new way with 40 people, you would think it'd be somewhat unmanageable. It really wasn't.
We actually ended up starting the meeting after a few weeks with a "mindful minute" because there were so much stress involved in doing some sort of mindful exercise with everybody. And then we would do a round robin to see everyone was doing, which would include checking on how are your family and how are you and how is your team, you know? And then what is the business problem that we should be talking about or trying to solve? And people really liked that. So we did that aspect of it.
And I guess I would also just mention we created a program called Shadow Me. I don't know if if anyone's heard of this one before, but we just found that the lawyers, as we move through COVID just were not as, they weren't using the technology to the fullest extent, of course. And so we would get an eight person to chat with someone for a couple of hours, watch and work and make recommendations to how they could do things better. So that was really kind of a fun program that folks really liked.
OK, so how about you, Doug? Tell us what the creative, you know, creative solutions you brought up during working remotely?
Well, I guess a couple of things. And as you know, as we look to when we all decided to go work from home when we were planning to do it, I was actually in our London office that week, which gave me the added benefit that my workday started six hours before the workday here in the US. But a couple of things, you know, just that come to mind it just in general and then more specific to your question.
We have a part of our business continuity plan and we have a global crisis management team and that's composed of about a dozen people, myself included, headed by our managing partner, who's based in London. And so we we evoked that and ended up with daily meetings starting the first week in March of of 2020. It seems like yesterday, but so we we invoked that and that met and really sort of said, OK, what do we need to do? What do we need to do now?
Like Tracy, we, you know, we look to get people more mobile and more connected. We use both VPN and Citrix and we have the technologies in place. So that was good. We just needed to, during the first couple of days, acquire additional licenses for like secure ID and things of that nature.
So I think, you know, and as we look to remote working, I think one of the changes and is that pre-COVID, a lot of lawyers would say with regard to their secretary or personal assistant, he or she needs to be right outside my door. You know, if we look back over the last 15 months, they haven't been right outside their door. We haven't been moving toward work teams and things of that nature, but which were pretty much locally based. But now those support teams are fully deployed, and we don't have a plan to bring many of them back on site there with third parties or others. So that's something that's changed.
Some things that we had a jump on were like, like many firms and many companies, there's if something isn't broke, why fix it? Well, our pre bills were done manually, like in paper.
In fact, we were just moving. The week this happened, we were moving from one building to another in Chicago, and there was this huge 15 by 45 foot room with a big table in the middle that's that was designed to for the billing team to sort of layout all the pre builds and stack them and distribute them and things of that nature. We moved back to office this past week in the US. That room havsnever been used and will never be used because we quickly realized we had to get Pre-Bills out. We didn't really have a good way to do it. And so with our developers and our building team and such, we developed an automated, prebuilt system in about three and a half weeks and did that. So that was one of the things we really had a jump on.
Another thing that we've been doing is about three months in or two and a half months in. Our managing partner created a workplace of the future task force. Not just work from home, but what does the workplace of the future look like? So there's been a number of we've been involved in that, and that's how that's defined our future, where we are and where we're going. And it still needs it's still under definition.
So Britton, tell us about what creative aspects you did on your side.
Yeah, I'm very fortunate that I have a very aggressive and forward thinking it team. We've been using Microsoft Teams since it was first introduced five years ago, so it was we didn't have to adapt to learning something new, and we were lucky that we also added Zoom three months prior to the start of the pandemic. So it was being having a talented organization, but also just being lucky of being in the right, making the right decisions. And so we both had teams and Zoom, which helped us a lot.
I think when we transition to work from home, you know, attorneys appreciate technology and more. But I don't want to tell them, Hey, we kind of already had this. We didn't have to adapt as much other than like, Doug said, adding more licenses for Citrix. You know, we had we had the capacity because like our programs that Doug mentioned of adding, you know what happens and being prepared for that moment, But it was a deeper thing, a lot of thankfulness from the attorneys like, Hey, we just transitioned. We just literally close all of our offices in a week and we're all able to work from home. How did you do it?
And I didn't want to say, Hey, you know, it wasn't that hard. But you know, and the accolades came and we appreciate all of that. So a lot. And I'm fortunate to work for a very generous firm where, you know, they reimburse for a lot of things that I'm not sure if it's universal for a lot of
firms. We did a work from home stipend so that people can buy furniture, you know, chairs. That way, they also have a biannual technology stipend where your attorneys can buy a tablet phone. They get reimbursed and they've already got reimbursed for, you know, home internet cell data and plans, which I think are really generous compared to other firms like that. And all of our laptops are enabled so they can just connect to Verizon if they lose their internet or wherever they're traveling. So we were kind of prepared for kind of the remote work environment because mobility has been emphasized throughout the industry. You know, already. And so we were building that model and it was fortunate that we had these capabilities.
I think some of the newer creative technologies and working closely with my chief innovation officer who's super, super talented and creative. I don't have that creativity, fortunately. So we kind of kind of lean on him like, Hey, what are the solutions like? You know, we have the challenge, but then, you know, I look at it, OK, I'll implement your ideas.
So, you know, looking at a lot of requests from attorneys and staff like, how do I know that my practice group from my client teams are busy? So we created this a simple dashboard developed internally to just, you know, an attorney or an associate and say, I'm full. Don't hand me any more work or I have room. And so it was just a dashboard that the billing partner can see, "OK, there's 18 people on my team. There's three people that can accept work." So things technology related to those type of free busy requests, whether it's staff and attorneys, was probably the most common request from from our internal teams.
I'm just reminded of the adage about necessity is the mother of invention, right? And I feel like there were so many inventions through this. So I wanted to ask Tracy you a question as we transition into the next part of this conversation, you have a very unique perspective.
So as you as you began to, you know, we're planning obviously for this coming year and the things that we know need to persist and all of the things we need to budget for. Do you see that, going to leadership as a result of this incredible example of how technology can empower an individual and a whole firm? Do you see that there's more, I guess more lenience in that or more agreement in that? Or is there still a lot of debate about technology?
No, I don't think there's a lot of debate, and I think that the doors will continue to open wider and wider. I think 2021 was still a sort of, you know, cautious year. And so things still went forward, by the way, more so than in 2020, which when it became about surviving or what was going to happen with this pandemic so much uncertainty. Nobody really knew. But now it's sort of, OK, how can we really use technology? They can see it in a whole new world of enablement. You know, oh, I can actually work from home, where before we had many that wouldn't.
They just liked coming to the office and wanting to be in the office. But now they're thinking this is a better life, As all firms and businesses move through what's that right balance of, you know, being in the office and outside the office. So I do think it was the year or the two years almost now for tech to shine and to really show how these businesses would never have been able to last without it. It's pretty incredible.
I would say, would would you all agree that IT professionals became visible in this and became, you know, their knowledge got to shine in their ability to help you? I love that that strategy you had of them watching over and kind of giving some guidance. That's just, you know, again, very empowering to leverage this, this technology. So I think that's where we're going to go ahead and transition into strategies for infrastructure and return to work.
And Doug, I'm going to talk with you about this first, because what was it just a week or two ago? You your the whole U.S. office came back to work and three weeks before that, London did.
Yeah, exactly. And we've gone to a work, from home policy of two days out of the office and the rest in and some of us were doing work from home before then. But what was interesting is during one of the workplace of the future meetings, one of the senior people in our firm made the comment that while our work from home strategy policy used to be sort of set up to discourage people from working from home, and now it's sort of turned and flipped like everything else, and that our work from home policy is there to really sort of encourage people to have a more of a work-life balance and such.
But we came back to the office in London about three weeks ago, and it's pretty much been in most of the time. Brazil is in and out. And then in the U.S., some all of our U.S. offices a week ago Monday. And pardon me while I, I'm going to take a little bit of time here. Sherry, if you if you don't mind, I'll try to get through real quick. But I wanted to give you some feedback from direct feedback about what we've gotten from our experience. So I'm going to go through this real quick part of my notes.
We had an uptick in calls the first week there wasn't really an avalanche of what we expected, primarily probably because the prep work we did in offices and part of that was over the last few months we had techs come in cycle long cycle off desktop PC and such to try to keep them up to date so that people didn't come in and just get stuck. We also had users coming in and out of the office, so that helped with the transition.
We had an increase in calls related to new webcams and headsets and speakers. One of the things we've been doing over the last couple of months is we've been, we deployed in all our offices, webcams and headsets and speakers so that when people came back they would have something to use other than, you know, we're all tired of the ceiling fan shot that people are. So, you know, why isn't the video working? Well, you need to flip the cover up off the camera, things like that. Printers. We had a lot of people that were new hires and they had never been in the office.
So our techs needed to walk them through connecting to a printer, and some came in to find new printers or things that they wanted. Problems with performance. A lot of it was just reviewing how-tos. Some keyboards just did not did not work. So they've been sitting around for a while. Phones. This was a common type of call. Again, many of these were how to such as resetting passwords, changing call forwarding because every body had changed, call forwarding to be out. Now it's in. Applications. Some people, like I said, were reporting applications were too slow. All that was pretty much resolved once syncing completed. And so there was the, you know, just the update syncing. But also in outlook, you have your your boxes that need to be sync, so we could use Citrix in the office for help with that.
How to log on desktop machines. We use BitLocker Locker and, you know, people forgot the code outlook sync. I talked about that. PC updates sometimes, you know, for the the machines that our techs could not get to, sometimes they required a couple of restarts, phones and voicemail. Everybody wanted their office phones to point and get back into. They wanted to go to their cell phones on the way out. Now on the way in, it's a different story and a lot of it, it all comes down to assisting users with training and re educating them on feedback in the office.
And I'm going to just take a couple a moment here to recap something from our London office. When our London office came back in our office managing partner, she wrote an email to the entire London office because everybody was coming back in and thought things would be magically done for them.
And so there's about eight bullets here, I'll read two. Everything seems to be. Everything seems to be escalated as urgent and high priority. Please be thoughtful about what is really urgent. The IT team is very busy and therefore please bear with us for non-urgent requests.
Please use the service desk for Help Desk. But I loved the first one and I saved the best for last. So because we deployed a lot of laptops during this time.
A lot of people have been, quote unquote, forgetting their laptops and demanding immediate replacements when they get to the office. I am not sure when you were coming into the office how you could forget your laptop, but if you do, obviously that's your responsibility. Either go home and collect it or you will need to be patient while IT try to help. It is not a priority for them to manage people's forgetfulness.
Oh OK. OK. OK. That's an interesting last line. So Britton, on your side, you had some sort of strategic focus for your technology moving forward. It all kind of relating to collaboration tools. And I was hoping you could comment a little bit about that, whether that was during the pandemic or if that is, you know, your whole kind of focus going ahead.
Yeah, a couple notes, you know, like Doug noted, we changed our model. I think we we modeled after like retail actually, because we introduced you shipping to people's homes. We introduced curbside pickup for equipment. It's it's kind of crazy that, you know, we mimic the retail model and all of our laptops have in-home support so they can just call the support and they'll get it, if they want it to come into their home right now. And with collaboration, you know, we're really looking at open spaces where we're doing about three buildouts right now, you know, one in our Northern California office, our DC office, and we have a couple coming in. And I know my CEO was talking to different architects, different from leaders. What's the new space going to look like? Are there more huddle spaces, as are more common spaces? And so we're adjusting to that type of model where there might be people coming in on specific days of the week or a couple of days of the week. Whether it's a practice group, I know, like our corporate team in L.A., come down on, I believe Tuesdays just so that they're all in the same day and then they might be coming in more than one day, but at least they're coming in so that they can collaborate and not have everybody come in when they want, so they might be coming in not seeing the people that they really want.
So the other part is really, I think a lot of firms are kind of grappling with this is that collaboration tools that are out there. So you have Zoom, you have Teams, you have WebEx, you have RingCentral. And how do you make it work? Because these providers aren't making it easy. They don't communicate well together. So building out these huddle rooms for looking at making technology agnostic. So you know, right now, if you can create a Zoom room, you can create a teams room.
But what happens two years from now when one product might be more dominant than another? And so we've introduced kind of flexibility. We use a product called Question Flex so that people, if it's not a Zoom room or and they need to connect to a Google Meet or other, they can just bring their laptop and it'll work off the existing infrastructure.
So it is really trying to solve, I believe the technology providers should be really solving, but you know, they're in for market share and things like that. So Zoom and Teams and others are just, you know, fighting in the same space. And so they're not going to make it easy on us.
So Britton will also have a strategy that, you know, Doug mentioned the laptops first and on his side, but you're working on something kind of innovative as well. Going forward, it has to do with working in iPads.
Yeah. So we are getting more frequent requests from Attorneys, especially partners about, hey, kind of like, what about Doug talked about. They're doing their E billing or pre billing. So we kind of moved away from paper billing a couple of years ago, and so we tried to mimic that process. And again, this is, you know, working very closely with our chief information officer, a part billing partners are used to writing on an eight and a half by eleven sheet of paper. So how do we introduce our products on an iPad with that exact same process? We're not changing their process, just changing the platform. And so we provide our billing attorneys with iPad Pros. They can mark up the bills, email and send it in your Ghostwriter accounting team. And so we've kind of introduced a couple of years ago, and so I'd say about two or 300 of our billing partners already have
Being very intelligent people, they're like, How can I use my iPad that you've already provided me? In addition to laptop? And how do I move more services to the iPad?
So we have focus on mobility. We had a couple of partners that just returned their laptop and said, I don't need this anymore. I'm working on my iPad, so it's really rethinking how best to work efficiently from a remote workspace or wherever that might be. You know, we don't know where they are at any given time, except for we get alerts sometimes that they're in a foreign country, that they're trying to log in from the infosec alert. But, you know, we don't know where they really are.
I could be talking to a partner and they might be in their different residence or mobile. So, you know, we want to make it as simple as possible, wherever that might be to work. So whether it's an iPad, whether it's a laptop. I've been trying to I think when I talk to you, I've been trying to make the Mac folks work off the new new chipset that's faster than any Intel chipset and just haven't had success. But that's probably the next brainstorm. If I can get the other legal vendors to work on a Mac, that's probably small
If I can just interject. What's interesting to me in this conversation is, you know, we think about what it was like before the pandemic and then the huge challenge of suddenly moving an entire workforce to remote working. And a lot of people have been thinking, Oh, great, the pandemic is going to end and and, you know, we've done the biggest challenge. And I think what everyone is experiencing now is, oh, we haven't really faced the biggest challenge yet, which is the hybrid environment.
And so I know in my role with ILTA, you know, we were used to doing the live events and when we had to do ILTA-on which was totally online, we thought that's the hardest thing we'll ever have to do. And then we came to 2021 and had to do a hybrid conference and found, Wow, there's nothing harder than that. And I think with our looking to return to the office, I think firms are facing that same issue themselves because we know how to work totally remotely.
We know how to work totally in the office. What do we do now? Do we equip people with both laptops and a full set up at work to avoid the issue of forgetting to bring their laptops in? You know, how do you how do you make meetings fair when some people are there physically and others are coming in through Zoom? How do you sustain a culture where it's, you know, all people are not necessarily in the office, all at the same time? And so I think we're all realizing that the bigger challenges and the bigger uncertainties are the ones we're about to face, not the ones that are behind.
The workplace of the future is definitely the bigger challenge like you're mentioning. And it's not only the workplace internally, but it's the workplace with our clients who are, you know, experience a lot of the same things. One of the things that that we've really started to focus on when we start to think about the workplace of the future is workflow and workflow technologies.
But it's not just technology people, too. But if you think about workflow, workflow many times was taking a memo down the hall a couple of doors and handing it to somebody to review that was workflow. And now our workflow is all up in this up in the sky.
And I think it's interesting because Tracy was also saying. And, Doug, about all the different offices that you have and that there's a kind of uniqueness about each one, whether people are always in the office or whether they prefer to not be there and how this is impacting you in the other hat for a real estate, right?
Absolutely. And with leases coming up, how do you make the decision that says, you know, before it's every every attorney gets an office, you know, usually went line and now it's do you really still go down that road?
Do you get an agreement from the lawyers that say, OK, three days a week or more and you can have an office otherwise? We don't know. I mean, I think that's what all law firms are now going to be faced with with the real estate aspect. Because I've been in and out of all these offices during the last two years and most because of COVID has been empty, except for the, you know, the one offs here and there were nobody, everyone kept going. It didn't matter.
But it's going to be a real challenge. We also opened four offices during COVID and we put them in Regis space because we weren't sure how large they were going to be. We had attorneys on where they were going to be ten were they going to be five? And so we thought, well, since most people are working from home, anyway, let's give them a place to go and then we'll figure out what to do. And so we are now having some really interesting decisions like, I don't know, in our New Orleans office we are actually going to have flex space that mirrors some of what they experienced in the , which had some more collaborative workspaces like you see with co-working when you go into some of those co-working areas and we're going to have the regular traditional aspects too. So a little bit of both mixed in to really make it an interesting work area.
And I think you all are planning, you know, greater movement to the cloud, which was already in progress for most of you. But this is where we're actually going to transition now to hearing from Matt, Ginevra, Leigh and Sandee about basically the changing tools of the trade, the changing and new tools of the trade. And so I wanted to get started by having you, Sandee, talk a little bit about your organization, first of all and and then share with our audience how you know you're preparing talent to empower other talent through use of some special projects and how that ties to what we're all doing here and legal.
Awesome. Great. So first of all, I think, Doug, your comment should be a bumper sticker.
Just saying. icStars, we are a technology leadership and business training organization for underserved and underrepresented folks in Chicago, Milwaukee, soon to be Kansas City and Columbus, Ohio. And so in a nutshell, we find talent, we train talent and put talent to work in I.T. careers.
But I think what makes it really special is that it's not just technology training where it's sort of anchored in systems thinking. And so we look at systems thinking and all the great process and methodology that's embedded in doing technology work, and that's where we focus our training on. So of course, people learn how to be developers, programmers, but also that same anchor of systems thinking helps us to develop community leaders. So at the end of the day, I.T. is about solving problems and building solutions. We're teaching that also, how do we solve problems and build solutions that our communities face every day?
And so to kind of bring those ends together, technology and leadership, we really work on building a community of technology leaders and community leaders to surround our students, our interns with as mentors and coaches and leaders, et cetera. And so how we do this is we do a project based learning environment. So every cohort of 20 people is given a business problem from a CIO and that organization sponsors the project and the team. The cohort is divided up into four teams.
They form their own consulting companies and then they're competing with each other for this RFP. And it is a blast. So you know, the software that they build is absolutely real. But we script learning objectives, the leadership objectives through the project and through the client.
So, for example, their second client meeting, the teams are showing up to like go over some user stories with their client and all of a sudden a fight will break out between technology and business. Like that ever happens, right?
And the teams have to decide, OK, what do we do or do we mediate or moderate or just let the loudest person win because we don't even know? And so they're learning to be consultative and that. Our learning is that after that meeting, the program manager kind of takes him to the whiteboard and says, OK, did you build trust and credibility with your client today? Did you defend your client and then, you know and trust him credibility? Every team will sort of put them chart where they are on that two by two and and kind of plan for the next time.
So I share all that with you to say like this is our model of learning, but it's also how we engage the community. And so, you know, one of our projects was a voter app for the partners at his firm. And so our students made this voter app, and it was really exciting and kind of the problem that that he wanted to solve was sort of moving the partners from paper to technology. And this was, you know, a little while ago, but not that long ago.
And so what better than to have a group of 20 year olds kind of competing with different solutions, very creative or practical solutions. But what it ended up being is a tremendous opportunity to be an employer of choice for their team. So all of a sudden, this team of high potential technology folks was like, Sure, I'll sign up for this fun project with icStars. And then they end up getting reinvigorated, re-inspired, you know, by working with young people and actually acting out some of the worst behavior they've ever experienced.
It's kind of a learning simulation. So a ton of fun, but a really important part of learning and doing is actually building your social capital, meeting with people and trying things out in a quote unquote safe environment. And so, you know, as Sherry wanted me to share that because I think it's such a powerful way that we sort of bring communities together and add value in them.
Sandee, thank you. The session that was one before ours, there was a gentleman on the panel who talked about teamwork, and he said that, you know, more time for teamwork is the future way of all of us working. And I wanted you to share that story because how do you do that right? How do you sort of develop the talent to to recognize that when frankly, it's not really been like that, right? And so I think it's just such a great example of some of those inspired ideas that we can all have, Ginevra to your point about, you know, what's so hard, what all the hard things are that we have to do ahead. I wanted to take this next to Matt because Matt, Matt, by the way, first of all, I am sorry, Tracy, I forgot to mention in your introduction that we have royalty on this call.
That is Tracy, because the Society of Information Management just named her CIO, plus a CIO who took on additional responsibility CIO Plus of the Year. And then we have Matt, who is an author of a book called The Human Cloud. And equally, you have a blog post, a podcast media mogul here as well. So, so man, I wanted you to talk a little bit about your what you shared about A.I. and about how, like Sandee's, you projects, these are missions for good and that these are things which, by the way, are, yes, powerful and empowering lawyers. But will it just erase lawyers? And how do you communicate around all of that?
Sure. Yes. And before we jump in on all that, I wanted to add, Sandee it's the kind of work that you're doing and building more. I'd say core skills and I.T. professionals is absolutely essential because we've all seen and I've seen in my journey, my career, we're in this big shift from what was traditionally more of a back office infrastructure kind of role for technology, and not that that was absolutely necessary.
So we're pivoting more and more into being business enablers and strategic partners of the business, and that is a different set of skills that some of us have had to either learn through osmosis or are fortunate enough to have that background to begin with. But more and more, we need that in everything. We need that in every professional as opposed to just the one or two people we hire specifically for that. So. What the work that you're doing and look forward to hearing it.
Very impressive. Yeah, jumping been one of the one of the things that I have seen through the course and I've been in the machine learning space for too long, probably decades at this point is similarly what used to be something that was very, very complicated, expensive, really reserved for only the handful of largest companies of use cases is and this is no surprise, it's becoming much, much more accessible. It's becoming much, much more approachable, less expensive, easier to manage, easier to use. And it's getting integrated into everything that we, we use and sort of refer to it as everyday A.I. and that's everything from I saw article today that cash flow prediction will grow 450% in the next few years due to machine learning and the so it's everywhere. And when it comes to the lawyers, we all know of the traditional use cases with eDiscovery being first really the first one that really brought machine learning and artificial intelligence into the mainstream and certainly legal research we're seeing in our contract
management over the last few years, for sure.
But I'm seeing it even in areas like language analysis and translation, seeing it in areas that our clients as law firms have been doing for some time. But law firms are starting to express an interest like patent landscape analysis, looking at trends and clusters of work and using that to
help build a strategy with clients. Those are things that lawyers didn't necessarily do 5:10 years ago. So really, it's starting to permeate all of the different things that we use in a lot of different ways. And I know that's not, you know, that's probably stating the obvious, but it it is just it's accelerating.
We're seeing it in everything from the practice of law to some of the business of law. And even I, my predecessor here, sent the article over the other day that talked about using emotion and facial recognition sentiment analysis to build better engagement on virtual meetings like this and that they have law firms as clients. So we're seeing this permeate a lot of what we do.
Awesome. So thank you, Matt. I want to jet in a question that came in, if that's OK, Madeleine, you can go ahead and post it. This question is for any one of you. How did how do we secure our data with most of the services moving to the cloud based platform nowadays? Anyone want to take that one? I'll start and then I'll let others jump in as well.
I moved my prior firm to the cloud a decade ago, so the cloud is not new and it wasn't new even a decade ago, but it really comes down to due diligence. You have to do your due diligence.
A lot of cloud structures are actually more secure than what you can do internally. I know everybody said that for years, but a lot of people don't believe it, but it's kind of true. But it needs to come down to due diligence and how you structure things, but I'll let others answer as well
I agree with what Doug said. We've had a cloud first strategy for a while, and I remember when people were first talking about moving to the cloud and lawyers were very skeptical. Someone said something so intelligent to me that it convinced me. And to this day, I think it really rings true, which is these companies. This is what they do, right? They create these products, and if they're not secure, that's it for them, right? That is not what we do. We are not I.T. people. We don't. It's very arrogant for us to think that we would be able to secure that digital content better than a company focused on that and that that really rang true to me, especially when I consider things like.
How bad people were at protecting their paper and you know, how you constantly have to remind people, don't say things in the elevator. You know, you forget these are human beings who are not thinking about security 24 hours a day. But these companies are, and I'm going to have a slightly differing view on that because I don't make a blanket statement that some of these cloud vendors are. You've got a really like a couple of people who said that you got to do due diligence. You know, a lot of some of these cloud providers have moved their, you know, third party programmers to Eastern European countries without telling us. So I don't want to make it universal that the cloud vendors are doing a better job.
I see some of the smaller law firms moving to cloud because they just can't retain infosec staff. I mean, even here in L.A., I've had multiple conversations with the CIO director. Like, I just hired somebody I already lost some six months later. Do we move to MSP service or do we try to do? I try to actually make an effort to retain infosec and probably for those that makes sense to move those outside. one of the reasons we move to net docs is because their information security was years ahead of what we could provide..
And like you're saying, the no what we can provide, but for the other services that are moved to cloud, you know, whether it's box, Dropbox or others, you know the if you were lucky to have an information security or information governance team implementing CASB, which is like cloud access security broker and Microsoft has compliance centers.
So using properly using the tools once you've opened it up to understand what data is going in and out of those services, I think is critical. And, you know, a lot of a lot of our law firms, you know, our information, the trades going from ten years ago when I when I was answering those from like 30 or 40 year per year, you're now reading three or 400 a year. So you know, our clients are keeping us honest in terms of what we're doing and and what controls we're putting in place.
The only other point I want is to if we're lucky to have an information security to implement in HSM. So like Microsoft, they can release our data to government entities without telling us in some cases. So if you if you have an HSM or a customer lockbox, I urge law firms to implement services like that where you're in control the data, even though it's in the cloud.
So yeah, you want your keys.
Yeah, yeah. And the last thing I would just add is and I echo what Doug and Brennan said for sure, that RJC goes through every single one of those contracts and it's a business associate agreement, and you got to make sure sometimes we'll put our security addendums on top of it and we go back and forth a lot with the lawyers on it. There's almost no agreement that doesn't go back and forth with the lawyers.
So, Tracy, there's actually a question that was asked for you for this question, and I'm laughing because I had I had the New Orleans group convinced that we could put one of these things on tables that would flip so the top could be a war room table. If you needed it, then flip it over. You could have some fun and right up until we made the order, then they backed out. So we do talk about it, and so at some point we'll probably get something like that that will happen in our downtown L.A. office. When we build out the multipurpose room, it's it's a smaller it's only like, I think, 20,000 square feet there.
We made sure it could be also a yoga room and things like that. So when you're making sure your furniture is in, in and modular. And then the other thing we have done in your office you want is we put a keg in as well because it is a gathering place and it is where people can precovid. Right now and we've already turned them all off. But that would open the door. Folks would get together and and hang out and have a beer.
Doesn't that keg come with the buildings in Chicago? I think it comes in the building.
We don't have a keg in our building, but the building we moved the admin team moved to just last year. There was a bowling alley downstairs, two bowling lanes.
OK, so we had one other question that I wanted to get to and then we're going to go to Ginevra and Leigh. So this one is from Mark about isn't it time to finally kill unsecure unencrypted client emails? Speak on the operational and ethical argument to move to secure client portals to facilitate in house all client communication things.
Well, that's not a technology question. That is a behavior question, and it's not up to the lawfirms clients. Yeah, if they would move off the email and news portals that would be great.
What we have found is most of the portals. Typically, they get used for just consuming information. The collaboration part hasn't really caught on with some clients it has, but not as much as you'd expect. So it would be great to be able to just collaborate seamlessly through these portals. But it's going to take a while to wean clients and everybody off of email. We're just so used to it. It will happen just like we were weaned off the phone onto e-mail, but it will take time.
We've had some success actually offering an easy web form intake for clients to communicate with us. Some of the teams that had a great volume of email activity and needed a better way to get their arms around that came to us looking for a solution, and we went to this secure web form option, which allows on the back end the team to have a workspace with all of the information that they need to see. But the front end is just a slick, easy form for the client.
Nice. So Ginevra, we're going to go ahead and queue you up because one of the interesting things that you shared with us as we prepared for this is that you had been for a while trying to explain what exactly does knowledge management and innovation look like? What does it do for the firm? And you were having to sell it and always call people in and explain it. But there's something that has happened through all of this, and I was hoping you could share that with our audience today.
Yeah, I've been around a long time, longer than I care to admit, and I did start out as a practicing lawyer, which is relevant, I think, to the comments I'm going to make. Then, after practicing for a while, moved into innovation, knowledge management, legal technology and have been doing that for 20 plus years in that time. So much of it, until very recently has been around adoption, promotion, even after you get people to adopt. You have to be constantly promoting so that you have persistence. You don't have people forgetting and going back to their old ways, and change management was a huge part of it.
Also just justifying your existence. So, you know, you talk about the back office and the front office, and that was a very real and painful concept, I think for the longest time. What's happened now is a real shift, and I have to say it was starting before the pandemic hit.
But like many things that started before the pandemic, it really escalated and hastened the process. So typically, you know I.T. people, people in information services, people who were in non-practicing lawyer roles even and there is a real hierarchy within the law firm and there, you know, a tension of sort of an us and them feeling.
And what's happened? I think what's been hastened by the pandemic is that there is no back office anymore. There is one office and we're all in the front and we're serving clients and we're just all serving our firm's clients in different ways. So what I do for the client differs from what the lawyers who are practicing do, which differs from what our team does. But all of us are bringing different skills that allow us to deliver that service to the client.
And what I'm finding is, first of all, what's most gratifying is we're not out selling our services to the lawyers anymore. They're coming to us and we have a new problem. And it's a great problem. We can't keep up with demand that is really new for us.
We are really struggling to keep up with not only the lawyers coming to us and saying, Oh my God, I need you to help me solve this problem. But their clients are coming to them and asking them to solve their non-legal problems, and we're being brought in as experts in our field to actually build and produce, for example, custom solutions for a client. And it started where we were doing the legal side of it and the technology side of it or, you know, the custom build side of it. Now we're actually working on projects for certain clients where the lawyer has no involvement.
So it's a corporate law department. They know the law. They just want us to do the non-law side of it. And that's really exciting. It's making us part of revenue generation. I loved what Sandee was saying because it is so true on these kinds of projects. The technology people often are the most important person in the room leading the project, and they do need leadership skills and they do need superior communication skills and they do need negotiation skills. You know, being able to say, Well, you want that, but mm, wouldn't it be better if we gave you this?
And so what you're doing is great because I'm finding that the people on my team who come from these different various backgrounds really are equipped to sell our services. Express their skills and work together to create great solutions for our clients. And I think the thing that's most gratifying and then I'll shut up is I think it really is breaking down that hierarchy where every member of a project team is equally valued. And like, like I said, sometimes the lawyer has no part to play, and they're fine with that because it's all about meeting your client's needs.
And strengthening that relationship. And I know Leigh, this is exactly where I loved your comment about the client facing versus the, you know, non client facing work that you did. And Leigh has had a similar transition, Ginevra to the same scenario. So Leigh, can you share with us about what you've been doing in your group?
Absolutely. So when I joined the incubator a couple of years ago, we were predominantly internal and occasionally we would engage with clients. Now, for my role in particular, although there's a broader team of other attorneys and technologists, I'm really about 80% client facing
and it comes down to is do no, we're saying the comfort with our knowledge base or trust you, right? So if you think about going out to select a solution in a market that's getting very crowded. How do you know what you need?
You really don't if you haven't experienced those technologies before, so you might be likely to go with what your neighbor is using that you heard about. It may not be the best thing for your practice, may not be the best thing for the business. So it's a broader conversation that needs to occur to really pull in the attorneys or the clients. If you're working with the client directly and help them understand the journey that they need to be able to get to the right desigered endstate.
And we see a lot of times we have to shift the conversation from a request for a solution or an inquiry about a solution to a conversation about how we might reach an objective, like how might we drive efficiency and really start to bring more around the potential options for solutions even beyond technology, which helps us better define the problem?
Leigh, thank you. And this is where I want to marry up Sandee Britton and Matt on kind of those who are transitioning this final part of the conversation, which is the changing and tech empowered lawyer, right? The fact that we have these I.T. professionals, if you will, working at. Ginevera. I loved what you said about we're all working for the client just in different ways and and delivering that client service. And so Sandee and Matt, Britton, we've all kind of talked about what exactly are those skills that you know, we need to develop and that we need to broaden more across our firm and our teams. And I know Sandee, you have and I have talked a little bit about some of that and and it has to do with, oh, I don't know, diversity. It has to do with all these broadened perspectives that Leigh spoke about and you never spoke about and Tracy spoke about. And Doug, you know, all of you. And how do we bring diversity into this and how do we build it? You can go ahead and get started.
Yeah, it's so important, right? Like that, especially in technology, right? Because the more diversity we have, the better our solutions and the more capabilities that we have. So, you know, I'm going to waive my diversity flag and say it is essential everybody needs to invest in diversity and there are great ways to do it with organizations like ours. So I see ours is not the only person or not the only organization doing technology training. yhere's Year Up, there's Genesis works and all of us are sort of in this industry to develop that next generation of technology leaders.
But I think we've also got the boot camps, we've got the universities, we've got all these ways to find great talent. But I think that when you are looking at socioeconomic diversity and in addition to racial and gender and all of those things, what folks who have been underserved are bringing to the table is a level of resiliency that their counterparts might not have. And so from facing adversity, a lifetime of adversity, you develop resiliency and think about it like a tool kit that inside of that tool kit are critical thinking, skills and creativity and reciprocity.
You know, it's all there and we just need to provide a context for them to unpack that. And I think that that's what happens when you connect with organizations like icStars to bring on talent or to have a volunteer project or to sponsor and engage with at the board level. Because there's so many things that we can provide from the diversity perspective that will enable the business and that makes for great technologists so that that empowers great lawyers and and and never. I was just thinking like, I'm going to play matchmaker here. But but like your backlog, I think maybe Sandee might have an idea for you and Britton. You know, recently you shared with me that you just joined a mentoring program.
Yeah, I'm so envious of what Sandee has accomplished. I didn't even know about it until very recently, and I reached out to icStars like, When can how do we open one up in Los Angeles? And I saw that you open one up in Chicago and Milwaukee. And I was just actually reading an article, a huge sports fan. But what caught me is Aaron Gordon has coached in Orlando. He started. I've never read about him. But when I started reading that, he and his mom started a foundation in Orlando to teach minorities and women starting from the grassroots, from high school.
I read a five page article and never even, you know, I'm a big fan, but I've never even read about him and told that article. I saw that he started a foundation called Orlando. And I've talked to the recruiters because diversity is something that's really important to me, and I'm trying to increase diversity. But when I get resumes, you know, out of probably 40 or 50 resumes, I might get two that are women candidates. And so I talked to many recruiters and asked what's the issue and it's the pipeline.
So I think part of it is what Sandee is doing. Start getting people interested in technology, whether it's application development or cybersecurity or whatever the. Get them interested at a younger age, get them sponsorship so that there is people that are interested in their progression in their career.
I think that's the only way to tackle. I mean, we have half a million cybersecurity jobs open and somehow we can't fill it because people are not moving into that field. And I don't even know about the openings in I.T. because I've just been more focused on the cybersecurity job openings and how do we fulfill those because there is a big glaring hole on that side. In addition to technology, so I'm so envious of what Sandee has created. I'm interested in how do you expand to more cities in the U.S. and if I can help in any way? I'd be very interested.
I'd like to just jump in here if I can please. Yes. I was part of a change leadership team for a new charter company. They had a great metrics tool that showed us that diversity tended to be in pockets across certain job roles. And so one thing I'm a big proponent of is having diversity just in the voices in the room and the role types in the room when you're vetting and selecting technology, which is what I primarily work with. But I think that if we do a better job internally in our own organizations and in our cooperative initiatives where we're engaging with clients to pool in the folks from various different role types that will also naturally increase their community exposure that Sandee is discussing with us today.
And then I have the other topic to which again, just sort of fills in, right the whole the whole picture. And that, Matt, what you and I have talked about, about some of the skills that we know our organizations need existing personnel and and building that understanding and broader perspective that can make better technology, better technology decisions, better service to clients. And so we talked a little bit about some of the things you had ideas on. one was, I think it was like a contract, or maybe it was a list of skills you wish to see developed in your legal teams.
Yes, yes. And piggybacking off of what Sandee and Leigh just shared, you know, I'm seeing this as well, and it's brilliant to see. I can't. I'm optimistic, but I can't wait for it to happen quicker because we need this right now. But I've been heartened by conversations with the local university and local high school system just this past week and seeing the energy and talent and willingness to be multidisciplinary. It is leaps and bounds above when dating myself. When I went to school, it was not like that, and so I'm really encouraged by what we're seeing.
And we need those folks in the workforce now, so it's great to see. Yeah. When I think about the skills, Sherri, that what we used to call soft skills, which I hate that term, I call them core skills now because soft makes it sound soft.
And no, it's it's core. These are core to what we need, and they're universal. So Sandee the same kind of things that you were talking about with building resilience and communication, empathy and teamwork and task management, product management. We need folks with an I.T. to level up to that. But Sherry, what we were talking about is it's a universal skill. So we do need our lawyers to also level up in those areas and it is encouraging. I think the. This shift and the move to a future of work is starting to realize that those skills are more important than the law firm, and we've been saying this for decades, but it's just now, I think, starting to really come to the surface with topics of diversity and inclusion and how we build more resilient and strong teams.
So I think that the thing that and we have talked about is technology is absolutely becoming one of those core skills. I don't know of any area anymore that anyone can say, "I don't need that." And and so we do need to find a way of meeting in the middle where we, as technologists need to be more accessible, understand the business more, be willing to say yes and sort of move to the middle. But we need our lawyers to sort of sign that other side of the contract to say, we're going, we're willing to learn, we're willing to come to you and ask, and we're seeing more and more of that, which is encouraging.
I will tell you, I've still seen you a couple of years ago, heard partners say, Well, I don't need to do that. You fear the technology people. You go figure out. I don't need to know how to start a virtual meeting. I don't have to just go do it for me. That doesn't cut it anymore. And their clients again aren't going to accept that as an answer anymore. Said it absolutely that that contract, that agreement that we're willing to help but we need them to own technology as a core skill is essential.
I want to pick up on something, Sandee said, that I think is really important. She was, I believe, talking about the socio economic differences and, you know, having skills like chutzpah and things like that. I think the problem is a lot of people have these skills, but they turn them off when they walk into the classroom if they're not one of the lawyers. And so I think what's really important to break that socioeconomic barrier is exposure. And so I was involved in a program that I thought was fantastic where we would go to our high schools, groups of lawyers and we would just do activities with them that were somewhat related to law.
But it was for them to get to know lawyers as people. And then we would also they would come down to the big law offices in Toronto and just so that they would get comfortable in that environment and not self-select out of it because that's a big part of not having the pipeline.
People assume and I'll never get in there. And so it's that exposure that makes people more comfortable with each other.
Thank you, Jennifer and Tracy. May I ask you when you were speaking earlier about the, you know, just how your technology team, you know, stepped up and and really did start working alongside the lawyers and in their endeavors. I'm just curious your thoughts about what Matt and Ginevra and Cindy and Leigh have said, because how do you how do you embed that talent? How do you persist that talent? And how are the lawyers responding? That's really the key question.
Well, so I think what we've all noticed, right, and watched this COVID there, there was some magic that got created in law firms, and that was that lawyers finally accepted technology, but they stopped resisting it. They got engaged. They stopped trying to make someone else go start their Zoom phone call. They had to learn how to do it themselves, right? So I think they got curious, too, with technology. And I think they realized the connection that can happen with it, right?
So important through this and this was the big lesson. I think that we all got to learn that we can connect in more ways than just in-person, although that is the best way to do it. But then it was phones, or it was WebEx is. Now it's this is as close as we can get, and it's good now. I can also connect with my clients this way, you know, and it does establish a different kind of bond.
So I think I think it got to a point where we're enhancing, you know, any kind of interaction now with technology. And it's become a partnership with technology and because they needed to learn it that way. Finally, you know, and not resist anymore. That's my point.
I was going to say, Doug, you you. What are your thoughts on this? You have always empowered your teams. You've always continued their learning and their education and their exposure to things. And you said something about an initiative around your I.T. team. I think you showed me in a mouse pad with a phraseology on it that I've got it.
I've got I've got a prop. He has a prop. I knew it was a prop before. Before I show you the prop. I'm just going back to the first part of the topic with laptops, first policy and Tracy was talking about people carrying PCs out the door and stuff like that. We started the laptops first policy a year ago and will conclude we get through 2023 with the refresh cycle. But it's not for not just for lawyers. Lawyers had laptops, but it's for our business professionals because that was the one thing we had.
We didn't have the ability to pick up and go. So we're giving everybody laptops so that people can pick up a go. And also, it supports our new work from home policy of two days a week for everybody globally. So if you don't have a secretary doesn't have an ability to pick up and go, how can you say you've given them a work from home policy?
But going back to what you were asking, one of the things that I've done for this firm in my last term is is brand I.T., you know, we've we've talked about being the back door, the front door. But one of the things that you know, who are we and that may around our brand is evolving Mayor Brown technology.
And just prior to COVID hitting, I was just getting ready to start a new program which sure was referring to. And I just in fact, at a town hall global I.T. town hall last week reenergized it since I joined IBM. This is, I guess, one of my favorite sayings, whether I meant to be or not is is the status quo? How many times have we been in a company of firm or whatever? And the response to something has been what? We've always done it that way. Well, I don't care, challenge the status quo. So we're starting this is within it now. It's meant to be an internal program. But I challenge the status quo where it's I for me or innovation and shoot for the star challeng the status quo.
Fantastic. I think Sandee loved the touch of the star. So listen, we have just a few minutes and I wanted to sort of wrap up by tossing each of you an opportunity to share your idea. And I'd love for our audience to join in through the comments, too. But my question is if we were to ask of our organizations, regardless of role, what would be the superpower you wish for them to bring to our new workspace in this coming year and the years beyond?
But what are some of those things that you wish you would you would, superpowers, you wish you would see more of where you would like to develop more of? And I'm going to just go back through the sky, the squares again. So, Tracy, you're up first. So which superpower do you want to bring into your organization?
Well, right. Look, I can only pick one. That's it. You know, agility is important. Doug that laptop thing we did as well. We also gave them the backpacks and mouse pads and everything so they could start going back and forth with it. But I really, I think, not being afraid of change, being agile and intentional connection. I mean, I really can't say I don't think so.
Agility and connection, those are awesome. Sandee, how about you?
Yep, I love it. I love both of those agility and connection. I also, I think on this diversity piece it is so important and that it's not just the diversity we bring in, it's the culture that we bring the diversity into. That's going to have everything to do with retention, right? So, you know, we are all culture captains in our organizations. And so I think taking a look at what currency are we using to inspire, to reward, to punish, to do all of those things because that impacts the culture that everybody is working in.
Very well, said thank you, Ginevra. How about you?
Well, I agree with everything that's been said so far. So I think by the end, we'll have a huge list of perfect superpowers. But I guess what I would add is. To not embrace uncertainty, but really thrive in it and accept that uncertainty is life. And instead of confronting it or viewing it as a challenge, viewing all uncertainty as an opportunity. So that's the first one.
Then this is something I've believed in my whole life and it hasn't changed. Curiosity, if you're a curious person, then you embrace diversity. You embrace uncertainty. You embrace change. It just opens everything up. So those are the two, I think I would add.
So, Leigh, this is great because Ginevra, she almost spoke the title of your article that I want everyone to read. And it was "technology decisions in times of uncertainty," and I just thought, Oh, so perfect. So what are your superpower additions or broadening you'd like to see?
So I do love what Ginevra just shared, but I would add operational empathy. We are going through significant times of change. And if you're familiar at all with the change model, it's chaos right before it smooths out and we storm and form a norm.
So right now, we need to be patient with each other and whether someone is coming to technology because they recognize they have to or because they are tech curious. Regardless, we need to all support each other and help patients in that journey.
Britton your next.
Yeah, I think I agree with everything, probably just as much as curiosity and the articulation of requirements. We have a lot of returnees that we've introduced technology on, and they don't find it for a couple of couple of years later like, Oh, we had this.
And so, you know, if we always struggle internally with, how do we get the training out to the attorneys, you know, do we create shorter snippets they can see on an iPad, whether it's true with four minutes that they know they might be able to afford? Because if we offer training, we might get know 50% adoption in terms of, you know, coming to class for something. And this is before COVID. Now that we're remote and work hours are kind of, you know, gone where people might be doing a two hour errand during the day. And so they're working until 10 or 11.
So it's really, you know, the change management has changed as well as know how do we train our end users that might be disparate where we used to be dependent on, oh, they're going to be in this office together same time, if we offer this training, you know, either in the classroom or go to their office, you know, we're pretty we can hit most of them. But now with people coming in, you know, randomly days of the week.
OK, thank you. So, Matt, and we'll then we'll end up with Doug, and I'll say thank you to our good right?
Thanks. I didn't think anybody else with it riffs off a bit of that diversity discussion and how the diversity of inputs. And that is a very broad definition of how it enriches the team. I would add outside industry perspective and I'll say, for instance, I was in it in management consulting.
I worked for Deloitte. We do hybrid work 15 years ago and that was you did. There's all set of norms and practices that we just developed because most of us were on client sites and then there were practice leagues that were back in the office.
Very similar. So yes, bringing that fresh blood and being open to what those professionals have to offer, I think can add quite a bit into the professional
Cool diversity of a tech perspective. So, Doug, you get to wrap us up with the final superpower.
OK, that's a wrap, OK? Real quick, I think I would say communicate and participate, if we're looking for attorney superpowers, and what I'm really getting at there. We do a lot of projects or attempt to do a lot of projects with practices and lawyers, and they're excited about it and we all get partway through and then they disappear. They all were too busy. And so we've all wasted a lot of time. So my one superpower would be the willingness to devote time to the projects.
Thank you all so much for sharing how we can empower our lawyers with technology, and it takes this core set of skills to back them up, to be able to then serve the clients in any way. So thank you all for sharing your time with us today
And challenge the status quo.
Exactly. Thank you all. Thank you.
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