Flexible legal resource provider Obelisk Legal Support Solutions has built and launched a cloud-based time recording app for its employees to record their time on the go. The app, which is for both iOS and Android, means that time is being recorded much quicker and provides Obelisk’s management with better visibility over how time is being spent.
Speaking to Legal IT Insider, Obelisk’s founder and CEO Dana Denis-Smith said: “People download the app on their mobile phone to record how much time they have worked in a week when they are working on a project. It’s much quicker and gives us much more visibility of how much time is being spent on a job.” It also enables Obelisk to help match the right talent to the right job.
Obelisk employees are required to fill in a narrative to explain how they have spent their time and while filling in time is never popular, Denis-Smith says: “Our aim to do this in the simplest way, which helps us with client conversations.”
The app, which has the potential to become client facing, provides dashboards of where time is spent, and Denis-Smith says: “Doing this on the go gives us more visibility of how the work is being done.”
She adds: “To my knowledge none of our competitors have done that.”
Founded in 2010, Obelisk connects a pool of largely female ex-City lawyers to the need for flexible legal support within law firms and in-house legal teams globally.
Having begun developing its own software in 2015 driven by a need for simpler, more agile solutions, Obelisk’s internal team has built its own work management platform using open source web application framework Ruby on Rails.
Denis-Smith said: “We’ve done a lot of work on the internal platform on how to manage the journey to automate for example on-boarding or listing information on a CV to populate a profile, so we can deliver work to clients quickly.”
Denis-Smith, who today (6 November) picks up an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Worcester, says: “We built it because we couldn’t find a platform that matched people in a speedy way.”
Speaking to Legal IT Insider back in 2015, Denis-Smith told us: “Businesses like ours would not have been conceivable before the rise of faster speed internet and cloud technology; we believe in simplicity when it comes to implementing new technology – law is not an early adopter and therefore everything we have/ we are building has to account for the technical ability of its users and be very intuitive.”
2018 has been a hugely successful year for Denis-Smith and Obelisk. The Honorary Doctorate is in recognition of Denis-Smith’s The First 100 Years project, which charts and celebrates the journey of women in the legal profession and in which the University of Worcester Law students have participated since the School of Law was founded in September 2016.
In March Denis-Smith was awarded Legal Personality of the Year 2018 at the LexisNexis Legal Awards 2018 thanks to her fight for equality within the profession. And in September The FT published a first-time list of the fastest growing UK companies that are also making an impact on their industry or wider society, with Obelisk the only legal business to make the cut, thanks to its impact on diversity.