The Unique Legal Technology Needs of Medium-sized Law Firms

As many of you know, I’ve spent the better part of my legal career at The Stolar Partnership, a medium-sized law firm of roughly 40 – 50 lawyers when I was there.
My legal tech career probably began on the morning when I got into my office early and found a large manila envelope on my chair. I opened it and found a set of keys, a pager and a memo from our then one-person IT department that began: “As you have probably guessed, this is my resignation letter.” It went on to say that that he gave me the memo because I was the only one in the who could understand the importance of and what to do with the info in the memo.
For better or worse, he was right and it made for an interesting day and next few months, to say the least.
So, I’ve always had a special understanding of the unique legal technology needs of medium-sized law firms. By medium-sized, I mean firms of roughly fifteen to maybe one hundred lawyers.
I’ve noticed, as have many others, that there are lots of great consultants and other resources for small firms and solos, and, of course, for large law firms.
However, there seems to be a gap when it comes to help specifically tailored for medium-sized law firms. As a local St. Louis sportscaster likes to say, they are kind of caught betwixt and between.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time talking with lawyers in medium-sized firms over the past few years. I have an affinity and an affection for this group – we have a lot in common.
Firms in this category have a difficult time evaluating legal technology options and face an overwhelming, sometimes paralyzing, number of choices. I often hear that these firms simply do not know what options they really have.
I’ve also found that these firms have two overriding concerns. First, they want to be sure that they are not wasting money they are spending or making truly bad decisions. Second, even with limited budgets, they want to identify a few technology projects that will be good projects that really help them. I absolutely agree that those are the big two concerns for firms of this size.
So, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about this group of firms and have decided that I want to make this category of firms my primary focus in my consulting. It’s the category of firm or corporate legal department I can understand well and probably help the most.
As a first step down that road, I’m introducing some new, I hope reasonably-priced, consulting packages that focus specifically on the two biggest concerns decision-makers in medium-sized firms have expressed to me over the years. I described the packages as “A Second Pair of Eyes” and here are some of the details:
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A Second Set of Eyes: Legal Technology Audit and Strategic Planning Packages from Dennis Kennedy
Too many law firms and corporate legal departments flush away a surprising amount of money on poor technology choices and implementations. Maybe you work at one of them. Poor buying decisions, wasteful and duplicative projects, failure to take advantage of volume licenses and many other factors result in the waste of dollars firms actually spend. Failing to plan or put together any kind of cohesive approach to technology spending in the future will result in missed opportunities, misspent funds and mistaken priorities.
No one likes the terms “audit” and “strategic plan” these days, but the fact is that, whatever you want to call these processes, failing to do them will waste time and money, make people unhappy, and leave your firm unprepared for client demands.
In most cases, law firms have good people at work on these projects, but they are stretched too thin and simply do not have the time to become familiar with everything in the world of legal technology.
In many cases, what is needed is not a full-blown, expensive top-to-bottom consulting project, but simply a “second set of eyes” to look at your situation and help you set priorities, redirect projects appropriately and make better decisions.
Dennis Kennedy offers three standard packages designed to give you that “second set of eyes” from one of the most highly-regarded authorities in legal technology today.
1. Legal Technology Audit Package. Dennis Kennedy takes an overview look at your existing technology and your current projects based on telephone interviews and documentation you provide. Using his experience and knowledge of the industry, he provides you with a report of what you are doing right and what you can do better, with a focus on identifying places where you are wasting money or spending money in unproductive ways. You get a report, with a set of action steps for you to consider as ways to save or better spend your technology dollars. Price: $2,500.
2. The No-nonsense Quick Strategic Technology Plan Package. Dennis Kennedy will review your current technology plans, discuss your strategies, ideas and wish lists, and do a high-level review of your current technology set-up based on telephone interviews and documentation you provide. He will then produce a report that recommends three to five strategic technology goals tailored to your firm and action steps for working toward those goals. Price: $3,500.
3. The “Second Set of Eyes” Combined Package. The “audit” and “strategic plan” pieces fit together like hand in glove. You can combine both phases into a single package. Price: $5,000.
I’ve put a flyer (PDF) on my website here.
If you’d like to talk in more detail about these packages or other medium-sized law firm issues, contact me.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
This post brought to you by Dennis Kennedy’s legal technology consulting services, featuring RSS and blogging consulting, technology audit, strategic planning and technology committee coaching packages especially for medium-sized law firms (15 – 100 lawyers) and corporate legal departments. More information on the “Second Pair of Eyes” packages for legal technology audits and strategic planning may be found here (PDF).