We were very excited to announce the winners of our inaugural 2018 Changing Lawyer Awards during ILTACON. The awards presentation, held during our executive breakfast briefing, saw the announcement of four legal professionals and organizations that embrace and drive change in the legal space.
Our CEO, Avaneesh Marwaha, kicked off the briefing highlighting Litera Microsystems vision for 2018, our new services Litera Desktop and Clause Companion, and our new standard of service. Our VP of Marketing, Julian Morgan, introduced the newest edition of The Changing Lawyer, which discusses the cultural shifts affecting the legal market and how successful lawyers, law firms, and legal service providers can embrace and drive change. The awards are an extension of that same idea, recognizing individuals and organizations that are creating new value for their clients.
Sherry Kappel, document lifecycle evangelist for Litera Microsystems, took the stage to present the awards. The winners of this year’s Changing Lawyer Awards demonstrated true innovation, entailing more than just new technology, but better processes and the effective involvement of their people in that process. We believe each of the winners has a great understanding of where the legal market is moving and are pursuing solutions to stay ahead of it.
Out of the twenty finalists for the inaugural Changing Lawyer Awards, our distinguished panel of judges selected the following law firm, legal tech company, and legal professionals in each category. We’d like congratulate the 2018 winners!
Outstanding Lawyer of the Year was presented to the lawyer who has taken initiative, identified market trends, and boldly figured out how to use groundbreaking processes to get ahead of them.
- Natalie Munroe - Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt: Natalie Munroe is a lawyer at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt where she is head of Osler Works - Transactional, an innovative new service based in Ottawa that uses a combination of people, processes, and technology to support the firm’s deal teams and clients, largely in the context of corporate and commercial transactions. In this role, Natalie leads a team of lawyers and other professionals, and has been integral to the ongoing success of the Osler Works - Transactional initiative. Over the last year, Natalie and her growing team have helped hundreds of clients streamline their transactional processes and save time and costs. Currently her team is focused on providing due diligence and closings while creating customized legal solutions that evolve with the client’s needs and expectations.
Outstanding Law Firm of the Year was presented to the firm that has implemented core process changes, creative billing arrangements, or other innovations to transform the way they provide legal services.
- Reed Smith: In October 2016, Reed Smith embarked on a firm-wide initiative to create a culture of innovation. This has been the catalyst for a variety of projects, including multiple home-grown advances in legal technology and improvements in the delivery of legal services to their clients. Innovators at the firm have the firm’s commitment, facilities, technology, and manpower at their disposal to deliver new ideas and projects, which are supported throughout the process by their dedicated team of Innovation professionals. The firm provides up to 50 hours of billable credit for lawyers to work on innovation projects, credit that encourages attorneys to pursue their biggest ideas. In 2017, the firm piloted ten such projects which improved, among other things, the firm’s approach to pricing, project management and budget tracking; deal management and performance as well as providing its clients with better ways to understand their obligations due to data loss incidents. The program has been such a success it is already in progress again in 2018.
Outstanding CIO of the Year was presented to the CIO who has championed new programs or tools, driving increased efficiency through innovative processes, or creating entirely new ways of working.
- Judith Flournoy - Kelley Drye & Warren: Judi Flournoy is CIO for Kelley Drye & Warren and is passionate about the importance of innovating to stay at the forefront of the legal profession. Working her way up from a deeply technical role to the CIO ranks, Judi developed an appreciation for what end users need from technology, as well as, what it takes to deliver the technology. Recently, during a DMS migration, she tuned into the firm’s practice areas and how lawyers were working to effectively include the lawyers in their decisions for workspace design. By giving the firm’s lawyers buy-in, they then had a solution that was relevant to everyone at the firm.
Disruptor of the Year was presented to an alternative legal service provider or legal tech startup that has managed to disrupt the broader legal profession through new processes, technology, or service delivery.
- Casetext: Founded by a team of former litigators from top law firms, as well as Ph.D. data scientists and leading A.I. engineers, Casetext helps legal researchers find cases, faster. Casetext’s CARA AI for analyzing legal briefs and documents has shown to be a truly disruptive technology; however, the company has seen where large law firms can sometimes have a natural resistance to change when it comes to new technology. Casetext recently began using an innovative gamification initiative to get firms to effectively rollout their solution by increasing awareness and usage among the firms’ lawyers. During their pilot program, the company developed the gamification initiative for one firm’s more than 1500 attorneys across more than 30 offices. The program increased usage of CARA AI by 159% among new users and by 300% in overall user activity. Based on the success of their pilot program, Casetext plans to deploy this initiative across law firms they work with to increase adoption.
Thank you to our 2018 sponsors: Keno Kozie Associates, Kraft Kennedy, SecurIT360, and Traveling Coaches. And thank you to all the nominees, finalists, and our judges for being a part of this year’s Changing Lawyer Awards.