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You're a large firm. You've invested in a skilled, sophisticated tech team: data analysts, programmers, legal tech experts, managers. They've helped you innovate your offices and practices, writing bespoke software tools or analyzing internal data. Now, you're looking for ways to continue maximizing their value. What do you do?
The answer in many law firms seems to be: turn them in to their own, client-facing service.
Would You Like a Tech Expert With Your Lawyer?
In what could be the best upsell since McDonald's started asking "do you want fries with that," many firms are adding tech services to their roster of services. One of the most recent large firms to pivot its tech team is the Bryan Cave. Last week, the firm launched a new consulting service based around its tech professionals, according to the American Lawyer's Roy Strom. Strom writes:
Branded BCXponent, the new Bryan Cave initiative is a formal marketing effort designed around an existing 31-person team at the St. Louis-based firm that includes data analysts, software programmers and project management pros. The team has already helped legal departments develop software tools that help manage contracts, track legal spending or conduct and manage RFPs to hire law firms.
The Bryan Cave's new team joins similar client-facing services offered by SeyfarthLean Consulting, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz's LegalShift and Davis Wright Tremaine's DWT DeNovo, according to Strom. (Let's work on these names though, guys. Half of you sound like 90's video processor companies.)
A Truly Full Service Law Firm?
Law firms' tech talent is "becoming the star of the show to a certain extent," according to Andrew Baker, a consultant with Janders Dean and former head of Seyfarth Shaw's technology team.
So, what sort of projects are making these teams stars? Bryan Cave's technology team won an ACC Value Champion award from the Association of Corporate Counsel last year, according to Strom. The award, which they shared with the burger chain Red Robin, resulted in part from a comprehensive contract management system built by Bryan Cave. That system has "has improved timeliness (90 percent of contracts are completed on time) and lowered risk (100 percent of high-impact contracts are approved via the CMS)," according to the Association.
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