August 15th, 2013 → 12:05 pm @ Ari Kaplan
I spoke with Leah Beckham and Beth Thompson, the CEO and Director of Business Development, respectively, for BillBLAST, a cloud-based application that helps law firms manage their e-billing and related reporting.
Beckham discussed how her tenure as COO for McAngus, Goudelock & Courie for 15 years helped shape her view on law firm efficiency and her mission to help law firms manage the ever growing client demand for e-billing. With over two decades in legal technology, Thompson echoed that view of streamlining complex and labor intensive tasks while accelerating the payment cycle with user-friendly dashboards and metrics that enhance business intelligence.
Beckham, Thompson and I will be discussing trends related to increased pressure on law firms to provide value, the renewed focus on cost control, and the availability of emerging solutions at ILTA‘s annual conference on August 20th (at 1:30 p.m. in Octavius 7).
Listen to our interview below:
Leah/Beth – what are your goals for the this year’s ILTA conference?
July 23rd, 2013 → 8:45 pm @ Ari Kaplan
I spoke with Vincent Bell, the former Director of Administration for Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s New York office, who recently founded the Upstream Consulting Group to provide financial and operational support for law firms nationwide.
We discussed the genesis and mission of Upstream Consulting, how the legal field has changed over the past three decades, and the evolving role of legal administrators, among other topics. Bell offers ideas for optimizing billing and collection, strategies for implementing operational modifications, and key advice for managing partners.
Listen to our interview below:
March 6th, 2012 → 7:15 am @ Ari Kaplan
I speak and write often about collaboration. My research has also shown that successful rainmakers work in tandem – they attend events together, participate in masterminding groups, and find ways to create opportunity for one another. A variety of firms in different industries across the globe connect with one another by developing a formal partnership. I spoke with Simon Truskett, a Sydney-based senior partner at Clayton Utz in the firm’s Corporate Advisory / M&A group, who is the new chair of Lex Mundi, a global association of independent law firms, with 160 member firms in 102 countries.
The association features a client advisory council in which leading in-house counsel advise on ways to improve client service. Members also exchange information on practice management, administrative support and technology usage. In terms of trends, he noted Lex Mundi’s interest in broadening its reach in Africa and Asia because of increased competition from international firms and a more globalized client base that expects its professionals to provide services where they are. Listen to our interview below:
January 26th, 2012 → 4:48 pm @ Ari Kaplan
In anticipation of the upcoming Legal Tech New York conference, I spoke yesterday with Steve Harber, the President and co-founder of DiscoverReady, a leading provider of e-discovery services. Steve and I have been discussing fixed-fee document review services and innovations in automated review for a few years. He shared his views on how the market has changed, as well as key trends for 2012 and beyond. Listen to our discussion below:
November 29th, 2011 → 7:04 am @ Ari Kaplan
I was in London over Thanksgiving to speak at the 2011 BigHand User Conference and had the privilege of meeting with Richard Susskind, author of The End of Lawyers?, at the historic St. Pancras Renaissance hotel. We talked about upcoming trends and he highlighted that “the only trend that matters for 2012 is the more for less challenge,” in which lawyers will continue to try to find ways to deliver the highest quality service at the lowest possible cost. Susskind noted that the pressure on in-house legal teams is enormous and they will be asking law firms to consider new efficiencies in the coming year. Ultimately, he said, 2012 will not be about pricing differently, but about working differently (e.g., outsourcing, offshoring, subcontracting, etc).
“I think  is going to be the last year where people will get away with trying to meet a client’s demands by offering alternative fee arrangements; after that it is working differently.” Watch our interview below:
September 20th, 2011 → 8:47 am @ Ari Kaplan
When Matt Homann told me that he occasionally sends his client an invoice that says simply: pay what you think my services for this project/speech/consultation were worth, I was intrigued. When I read this post on Lawyerist.com by Alex Bajwa, a Minnesota estate planning attorney in St. Paul, Minnesota, I was both surprised and yet not surprised at all. Bajwa is a creative solo practitioner with whom I had the privilege of speaking about reinvention in small firm practice. His video discussing the firm’s “Name Your Own Price” campaign and our interview are below:
September 16th, 2011 → 2:45 pm @ Ari Kaplan
In my continuing series about reinvention in the legal and other professions, I recently had the opportunity to interview David DePietto, the CEO of NexFirm, a company that helps lawyers create their ideal law firm by providing all of the supporting resources, strategic planning and administration necessary to achieve their goal as efficiently as possible. Watch our discussion below:
July 27th, 2011 → 11:50 am @ Ari Kaplan
David Snow, ALM’s editorial director for technology, shared a great recap of Corporate Counsel magazine’s annual Survey of In-House Technology in- Small Surprises in the 2011 In-House Tech Survey. He notes that in addition to providing insights on mobile security policies and cloud computing, the survey highlights variable success with requiring law firms to use e-billing systems selected by their clients to organize bills, reduce confusion or human error, and realize immediate savings. It seems like a clear road toward greater efficiency, but Snow reports that only 35 percent of the companies surveyed require e-billing, citing law firm objections to paying vendor fees.
I had a second opportunity to speak with Jay Shepherd, the visionary founder of Prefix, LLC, while on the BigHand reinvention tour in June (our first interaction was in connection with this research report: The Evolution of the Legal Profession: A Conversation with the Legal Community’s Thought Leaders on the Front Lines of an Industry in Transition, sponsored by DiscoverReady). He discusses the reinvention of billing in profession services below: