ILTA09 Notes from taking Lit Support from good to great

These are real time notes, so don’t expect real deep thoughts here, but do comment on anything that strikes you as interesting. 🙂

From Good to Great: Take your group from Litigation Support Providers to Expertise Ambassadors for your Firm.

Pretty full room, lots of interest in the area.

Dominic Jaar, Duane Lites and Susan Wortzman on the panel, good e-discovery and Lit Support folks.

What areas is the law firm developing in to? How are they going to need Lit Support services, how can you help get them where they want to go? Can you go to an attorney and talk to them about what technology their clients are using? Stay up on what your clients use, and what people in any market are using.

Offer clients additional services. Can you get Lit Support involved in webinars talking about lit support technology? Can you get them to help you develop technology tools that clients can utilize themselves? Lit Support people should build relationships with clients as well, clients very likely to call paralegal or tech folks with questions, fear of hourly costs keeps them from communicating with attorney, so they don’t ask.

Find cost-effective solutions and processes that align your lit support services with what your clients need. Do they need a portal of litigation preparedness information? Build them one. Do the attorneys need someone to develop presentation materials for clients. Traditionally we’ve done that going to trial, but how many clients need it outside of that area?

Be responsive. The attorneys are your clients. The last thing you want is for them to think you don’t have time for them, they’ll route around you and you’ll be bringing less value to your firm, not more.

Know your audience, ex. use RSS to locate material for your attorneys. Keep an eye on clients and industry leaders on Twitter to know what they are thinking, what they’re doing. If firm clients are at conferences with you, meet them. Be educated about the legal and industry areas your firm works in.

Similarly, get to know and build relationships with your lawyers. Figure out which ones love technology and work with the to move the firm forward, and find the ones who are scared to death of technology and help educate them.

Understand where requests for your work fit in to the grand scheme of a case. It can help you offer alternatives that save time/money instead of just filling the request as asked. Strengthen those areas where you have the most demand, which means tracking what requests you are getting, what demands your department is getting, where in the workflow are the bottlenecks, etc.

Susan got more referrals from sitting next to people on airplane and chatting or other people she just “knew” from various places than any other source. It’s not just lawyers that is true of, people know you work at a law firm and know lawyers, that is a source of business too.

Stay out in front proactively within the firm, so you know what’s coming. Get sponsorship from firm management to get things that you need. Both of those things require building relationships internally.

Lots of good thoughts, lots of ideas running around my head from this session, hopefully I’ll be able to put those thoughts into concrete actions!

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