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Culture Wars? LawNet 2001 August 30, 2001 Thomas Gaines.

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Presentation on theme: "Culture Wars? LawNet 2001 August 30, 2001 Thomas Gaines."— Presentation transcript:

1 Culture Wars? LawNet 2001 August 30, 2001 Thomas Gaines

2 Agenda Senior Management Support Staff Alignment Cost Accountability

3 Senior Management Support Senior Champion/Advocate –Must have or be a champion/advocate highly placed in senior management –Must be able to get the ears of lawyers –Must have time to focus on the technology issues without other major distractions

4 Senior Management Support Understand firm goals and objectives –What are the firms goals? Short term Long term –Where/how does the IT function fit into achieving those goals? Short term Long term

5 Senior Management Support Understand Firms Challenges –What are the firms major challenges/obstacles? Client relationships Declining business sectors Client consolidation of legal services purchases Attracting and retaining personnel –What are clients expectations? How will the firm satisfy/exceed those expectations? Are you at the table for RFP responses? How will IT assist in the effort?

6 Senior Management Support Education on IT roles and challenges –Assist management in understanding the role of IT –Increase managements awareness of technology issues expense cycle is continuing! Get used to it! educational programs –Create working knowledge of new technologies regular periodic meetings selected readings - minimal effort

7 Senior Management Support Build a credible basis for confidence –Insist that there be credible lawyer involvement dont let them off the hook –No technology that does not have a clear business justification Just because its cool doesnt make it fit the business objectives of the firm Create a working knowledge in management of potential uses of technology

8 Senior Management Support Marketing, Marketing, Marketing –Describe successes in ways that fit firm goals –Create opportunities for partners/associates who have achieved technology successes to be showcased in ways that show progress toward specific goals

9 Senior Management Support Pitfalls –Be honest/realistic in assessment of technology and its uses –Identify inherent difficulties in uses –Do not over sell or under deliver –Do not give the impression that it is a shrink wrap solution (no silver bullets) –Identify difficulties in hiring and retaining good people –Dont get overwhelmed by the details

10 IT Department Role Has Changed

11 Aligning IS Support Installation and maintenance of core technology systems –Mainframe systems –Minicomputer systems –Local Area Networks –Wide Area Networks –Personal Computers –Telecom systems –BackOffice systems Accounting/Financial Human Resources

12 Aligning IS Support Installation, maintenance and support of core applications –Word processor –Document storage and retrieval –

13 Aligning IS Support IT staffs focused on general technologies applied in legal environment Expertise in the application of technology to unique business objectives fell to others –non-technical personnel lawyers legal assistants

14 Aligning IS Support IT personnel looked to for advice Assumptions –IT staff understands the business processes litigation practice large document production litigation tools regulatory practice transaction practice –IT staff understands the business objectives

15 Aligning IS Support Organize to meet the challenge Appropriate placement of overall technology responsibilities

16 Aligning IS Support with Firm Objectives Distinguish between infrastructure systems and process/objective systems –Infrastructure systems Network services Telecom Audio/visual/video conferencing End user support –help desk –hardware support Application support –Stable growth potential

17 Aligning IS Support with Firm Objectives –Process/objective systems End User Training Practice services –Litigation support –Transaction support –Web technologies –Demand driven growth potential



20 Cost Accountability Law firm perspective –Provide the best legal services we can –Lawyers are responsible for providing legal services –If a lawyers demands the accommodation because of a client need, we provide the accommodation

21 Cost Accountability Disconnect between expense generation and cost accountability Hold down costs... unless I ask for it Example –15 laptops

22 Culture Wars? LawNet 2001 August 30, 2001 Thomas Gaines

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