Welcome to the Spring edition of Mattern Matters. My name is Rob Mattern, president of Mattern, the leaders in making law firms back and middle office services more cost-effective and efficient.
Current State of Affairs for the Legal Industry
The start of 2020 has certainly been challenging and no vertical has been left untouched. I am writing this editorial as the coronavirus continues to impact all of us, including the legal market. Firms are shutting down individual offices and swiftly implementing work from home, a true testament to the value of technology .
The need for a digital/paperless office could not be more clear. Unfortunately, many firms are still trying to figure out digital workflow and all the pieces that are required to support this practice. This includes information governance to facilitate attorneys’ efficient access to client files wherever they are working as well as compliant practices even while legal work is performed out of the office.
Meet the Consultant: Ed Warren
Q: What do clients like best about working with you?
A: I find that I have an ability to help clients see past the basics. I’m able to take what they feel/think is an OK situation and show them that there are more efficiencies
to be achieved and more money to be saved, all in the best interest of the firm.
Q: What is unique and valuable about your expertise?
A: I work very closely with clients to help them understand the “what if ” in their situation, a benefit that others may not fully offer. In addition to helping them resolve their immediate needs, I also position them with a long-term flexible solution that will continue to save their firm money. The Phase III Contract Compliance service I provide makes sure the success of the project is not just a one-time fix but a continual success year after year.
Outsourcing: How to Do Better Than Flipping a Coin
The majority of law firm outsourcing engagements fail, and yet outsourcing is on the rise. This is the conundrum we find ourselves in.
In the past three iterations of its Law Firms in Transition Survey (2016-2019), Altman Weil has found that just under half of firms reporting their outsourcing engagements as successful — except for 2016 when under 40% of firms reported their outsourcing engagements as successful. And yet year over year during the same period, outsourcing is on the rise.
Why would firms increasingly pursue a strategy that delivers results that are slightly less reliably positive than flipping a coin?
New Outsourcing Contract Yields $1 Million+ Savings for Dickinson Wright
Dickinson Wright is a Michigan-based law firm with a significant national practice and over 450 attorneys. By 2017 the firm had been with its outsourcing service vendor, Exela, for several years and enjoyed a workforce spread across three offices: Detroit, Troy, and Phoenix. Around the time Exela’s contract came up for renewal, however, Director of Human Resources Linda Reyna, noticed an increase in staff turnover at the Troy office as well as some signs of under-utilization at other offices.
Am Law 50 Firm Ensures Employee-Friendly Outsourcing Path while Improving Back Office Efficiency
Opportunity: Based in Seattle, this 1,000+ attorney Am Law 50 firm with 16 US offices in 12 states, had expiring outsourcing contracts in place with two vendors in 6 of their offices. Nine of the firm’s other offices were staffed in-house with long term dedicated employees. The firm was interested in determining the potential opportunity to improve the quality and consistency of services for the in-house offices while identifying the “best” partner to provide outsourced services. In addition, their leadership wanted to partner with a service provider that would not only meet the services required today, but the firm’s future needs as well.
Seven actions your firm can take to impact your outsourcing
Are your outsourced operations running optimally, or do you suspect your firm may be overstaffed, over-equipped with services that are over-priced? They might be. Operational excellence is required in today’s competitive market. Here are 7 ways to investigate the health of your outsourcing relationship.
1) The Right Process – You cannot have a cost-effective, efficient operation without a competitive request for proposal (RFP) process with proposals from multiple vendors. You may get lucky and get a great vendor that does everything you want them to but chances you are overpaying for their services. Or you may partner with a vendor that gives you a great price, but chances are you will be disappointed in their service.
2020 e-Discovery & Litigation Support Survey Results Helps Firms Compare and Improve Recovery Models
Law firm leaders know e-Discovery and litigation support costs have spiraled out of control because of the exponential increase in data volumes, but firms struggle with a legacy practice of writing off litigation support/e-Discovery and related costs. The costs are simply too high to continue this practice, with no abatement in sight.
While litigation support and e-Discovery strategies vary widely, some firms recover more than double what others are.
Mattern Assists an Am Law 200 Firm Create New Cost Recovery Model to Recoup Charges for Litigation Support Solution
Opportunity: This Am Law 200 firm with over 380 attorneys in seven office across Texas offered clients a full end-to-end litigation support solution that included collections, forensic analysis, early case assessment, data processing, document review, and production and trial presentation capabilities. Unfortunately, the firm’s hourly billing model stopped covering the true costs of litigation support services delivery, and the firm needed a new model to recoup overall costs for labor, infrastructure, and software while continuing to deliver first-class, market-leading service to clients. The firm also sought a current state assessment with roadmap recommendations to ensure its capabilities remained aligned with future client needs.