The winners of the inaugural Litera Microsystems Changing Lawyer Awards were announced this morning (21 August) and here they are together with Litera’s summary as to why they won.
Disruptor of the Year: Casetext
Founded by a team of former litigators from top law firms, as well as Ph.D. data scientists and leading A.I. engineers, Casetext helps legal researchers find cases, faster. Casetext’s CARA AI for analyzing legal briefs and documents has shown to be a truly disruptive technology, however the company has seen where large law firms can sometimes have a natural resistance to change when it comes to new technology.
Casetext recently began using an innovative gamification initiative to get firm’s to effectively rollout their solution by increasing awareness and usage among the firm’s lawyers. During their pilot program, the company developed the gamification initiative for one firm’s more than 1500 attorneys across more than 30 offices. The program increased usage of CARA AI by 159% among new users and by 300% in overall user activity.
Based on the success of their pilot program, Casetext plans to deploy this initiative across law firms they work with to increase adoption.
Outstanding Lawyer of the Year: Natalie Munroe; Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt
Natalie Munroe is a lawyer at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP where she is head of Osler Works Transactional, an innovative new service based in Ottawa that uses a combination of people, processes and technology to support the firm’s deal teams and clients, largely in the context of corporate and commercial transactions. In this role, Natalie leads a team of lawyers and other professionals, and has been integral to the ongoing success of the Osler Works Transactional initiative. Over the last year, Natalie and her growing team have helped hundreds of clients streamline their transactional processes and save time and costs. Currently her team is focused on providing due diligence and closings while creating customized legal solutions that evolve with the client’s needs and expectations.
Outstanding CIO of the Year: Judi Flournoy; Kelley Drye & Warren
Judi Flournoy is CIO for Kelley Drye & Warren and is passionate about the importance of innovating to stay at the forefront of the legal profession. Working her way up from a deeply technical role to the CIO ranks, Judi developed an appreciation for what end users need from technology as well as what it takes to deliver the technology. Recently, during a DMS migration, she tuned into the firm’s practice areas and how lawyers were working to effectively include the lawyers in their decisions for workspace design. By giving the firm’s lawyers buy-in, they then had a solution that was relevant to everyone at the firm. Although this morning we are honoring Judi for embracing and driving change at her firm, we could equally honor her for her leadership as a former ILTA president, chairman of ILTA LegalSEC, and a member of the Founding Circle for ALT.
Outstanding Law Firm of the Year: Reed Smith
In October 2016, Reed Smith embarked on a firm-wide initiative to create a culture of innovation. This has been the catalyst for a variety of projects, including multiple home-grown advances in legal technology and improvements in the delivery of legal services to their clients. Innovators at the firm have the firm’s commitment, facilities, technology, and manpower at their disposal to deliver new ideas and projects, which are supported throughout the process by their dedicated team of Innovation professionals. The firm provides up to 50 hours of billable credit for lawyers to work on innovation projects, credit that encourages attorneys to pursue their biggest ideas.
In 2017, the firm piloted ten such projects which improved, among other things, the firm’s approach to pricing, project management and budget tracking; deal management and performance as well as providing its clients with better ways to understand their obligations due to data loss incidents. The program has been such a success it is already in progress again in 2018.
The judges were:
– Bob Ambrogi: Lawyer, legal technology writer and founder of LawSites blog
– Jeffrey Brandt: CIO for Jackson Kelly and editor, PinHawk Law Technology Daily Digest
– Casey Flaherty: Principal of Procertas, former in-house and outside counsel, and industry consultant
– Ivy Grey: Senior Attorney with Griffin Hamersky and author of American Legal Style for PerfectIt
– Caroline Hill: Editor-in-chief for Legal IT Insider (aka The Orange Rag)
– Avaneesh Marwaha: CEO of Litera Microsystems and former attorney