In 2014 and 2015, Casey Flaherty wrote the monthly Tech Toolbox column the flagship publication of the Association of Corporate Counsel. In 2016, he teamed with Vince Cordo, the Global Sourcing Officer for Legal at Shell, to begin a new series on strategic sourcing of legal services centered around an inside account of Shell’s global panel review.
Inaugural column of Tech Toolbox discussing why technology is necessary to help us deal with the problems associated with technology.
Welcome to the 21st Century, Mr. Hancock
Electronic signatures are not our future. Electronic signatures are our present.
Real-time? Real talk (Real-Time Accruals)
For the remainder of the billable hour’s reign, I suspect real-time matter tracking will be a fixture of the “New Normal.”
The Legal Tech Assessment: Coming to the Internet Near You
Technical competence is not innate. What is needed is a basic framework of understanding developed through structured learning and deliberate practice.
All Sound and No Fury
The Legal Tech Assessment’s objective is to reduce the time and mental energy unnecessarily devoted to low-value added work in order to create more space for ‘real’ lawyering.
Shedding New Light on Legal Billing
Technology is enabling us to shine new light on the dark corners of legal billing.
Copy, Paste, Repeat … No More
We don’t need to jettison copy-and-paste; we simply need to get better at it.
Making the Most of “Free” Hours
Using outside counsel “free” hours for process improvements.
Excel the Killer
Harnessing the power of Excel, the original killer app.
Google Is Elementary, My Dear Watson
Watson, Esq., based on IBM’s Watson, a natural language processing computer, is coming to a law office near you.
Measuring What Matters
Metrics and benchmarking through the lense of diversity.
The Cobbler’s Children
Why we should trust but verify when it comes to lawyers use of technology.
Laws of Exponential Growth
Why technology is more attractive than adding headcount for increasing productivity.
Making Tech Work Takes Work
While the allure of technology should be obvious, complementary investments in implementation, integration, process redesign, and training are all necessary.
Integrating tech in you approach quality assurance. Typos is problem.
A Buyer’s Market
Strategic sourcing, deep supplier relationships, and getting beyond price as the sole lever to drive quality improvement.
Info Gov: Defaults drive behavior and our current default is to retain data even after it expires.
The end of the Tech Toolbox column and the transition to the series on strategic sourcing.
Shell Sees Legal Team as Instrumental to its Future
The first in a series of articles that will provide an insider’s view on the effort to incorporate professional sourcing methodologies into Shell’s legal operations.
Shell Oil Law Department Strikes All Company Facets – In a Good Way
The theoretical underpinnings and objectives of Shell’s panel review.
Shell Legal – Betting on Data
A data-driven approach to matter pricing.
Shell Legal – People as a Bridge from Data to Information
The best-planned process can be derailed by lack of shareholder buy-in.
A New Role Bridging Business and Legal at Shell
The origin of Shell Legal’s Global Sourcing Officer role and the growing importance of allied professionals in legal.
Shell Legal – Strategic Selection
Outline of Shell’s panel review process.
Shell Legal – RFI
On the shift in emphasis from quality to value.
Shell Legal – Reverse Rate Auctions and the Durable Billable Hour
Engaging with reality. The billable hour endures, even with AFAs.
Shell Legal – Shadow Billing
The durable billable hour still has informational value from a cost accounting perspective.
The following is a series of articles written by Casey Flaherty and Connie Brenton of NetApp for their monthly column on legal operations.
Achieving Differentiation with the Little Things
Where the base of comparison is one set of outstanding lawyers versus another, velocity of timekeeping can have a considerable impact at the margins.
Rack Rate Fiction (Part 1)
Published billable rates are a fiction because of their tenuous relationship to the underlying reality.
Rack Rate Fiction (Part 2)
Rack rates are data points with limited informational value.
Law firms are data rich but information poor.
On Law Department Responsibility (Part 1)
It is a buyer’s market for legal services. Yet, there remain many glaring deficits in the delivery of legal services that we have not remedied.
On Law Department Responsibility (Part 2)
The trick is to start communicating differently. What follows is a list of first steps towards a more structured relationship with your key law firm partners.
More Than Great Lawyers
While legal insight can be the product of a solitary genius, the delivery of modern legal services demands a mix of people, process, and technology.
The Data Deficit
Proper measurement is a prerequisite to proper management.
To Borrow a Phrase, Just Do It
Small change can still be meaningful change. And an overemphasis on large changes can, like perfection, be an impediment to any change at all.
The 80 Percent Solution
The perfect is the enemy of the good. Departmental improvement initiatives already have enough natural enemies. And perfect improvement initiatives are not just expensive, they are illusory.
A 2013 ABA Legal Rebel, Casey Flaherty intermittently writes for the ABA Journal‘s New Normal blog.
The End of Lawyers, Period
There is disagreement of the effect capable machines will have on legal employment. The debate should not lose sight of the fact that the law does not exist to permanently keep lawyers in lucrative jobs.
Job-Killing Legal Technologies
Augmentation rather than replacement has been the historical reality of improved legal technology. But it never looks that way initially.
Lawyers and the Fate of Elevator Operators
Instead of worrying about future technologies that might take their jobs, lawyers should be more focused on using existing technologies to serve clients better.
Law Firm Failure–the good kind
Though they are easy to label as Luddites, some law firms are experimenting with technology and alternative means of legal service delivery.
Clients are mad as hell–but also really vague
One reason that law firms are so reluctant to experiment is that they have reason to doubt that clients will reward their successes.
Get rid of the billable hour–but then what?
Eventually, to improve pricing and process, we are going to need to talk about pricing and process. Legal operations and procurement professionals are well suited for that role.
Is the herd finally embracing legal ops and procurement?
The rise of legal operations and procurement are important development in the evolution of the legal marketplace. They will be even more powerful if they foster collective conversations that include the entire legal ecosystem (law firm, alternative providers, technology vendors, law schools).
‘Analytics for Dumm…’ eh, lawyers
A simple introduction to the use of analytics through the prism of invoice review.
Lawyers, the algorithms are better than you (at some things)
A simple introduction to algorithms.
The judgment machine: How algorithmic software won me over
A continued introduction to algorithms through the prism of invoice review
The agony of the invoices: When it comes to math, humans are no match for machines
The gaps that machines fill through the prism of invoice review.
Legal machines give lawyers the structure we need
A final post on the role of technology in the invoice review process with an emphasis on structured data and data quality.
Sorry, technology isn’t easy – you take the time to learn, or you lose
A user interface is like a joke. If you need to explain it, it isn’t every good. Except not really.
Tech comes naturally to ‘digital native’ millennials? That’s a myth
Comfort (most) is different than familiarity (some) is different than facility (few).
Buy new technology? You must also invest your time in learning it
Why tech purchases don’t pan out. No complementary investment in process redesign and training.
Solving the other legal education crisis
Law school is a mess. MCLE is worse.
Competence-based CLE: a different way to learn
Time is a poor proxy for learning. Measure learning directly.
Mandatory tech CLE: an idea whose time has come
The Florida Bar at the tip of the spear.
Tech knowledge makes lawyers more productive, and could be key to increasing access to justice
Wrapping up on The Florida Bar’s mandatory tech and optional competence-based CLE
The following is a series of articles from Casey Flaherty for Thomson Reuters’ Legal Current.
A Story of Sandwiches
Stop using price as a proxy for quality.
Warning Signs in the Inside/Outside Counsel Relationship, Part I
On the shortcomings of a singular focus on discounts.
Warning Signs in the Inside/Outside Counsel Relationship, Part II
Moving beyond discounts and engaging in structured dialogue about legal service delivery.
Let Data Be Your Guide to Improving
Introducing the Service Delivery Review as a mechanism for driving structured dialogue.
Even with the billable hour, law departments can get higher quality work at lower cost while law firms increase profitability.
What Law Departments Can Learn from Burritos and Cars
On strategic sourcing and deep supplier relationships.
3 Geeks and a Law Blog
The following is a series of posts written by Casey Flaherty for 3 Geeks: