Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Strategy and Technology Are Key Themes at this Year’s LMA Conference


This year’s Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference promised to be the premier meeting for legal marketing and business development professionals and did not disappoint. The LexisNexis® InterAction® team had the opportunity to participate in the annual event and be part of the legal marketing conversation. One of the overriding themes in the conference was that firms needed to differentiate themselves in an often-stagnant market. Fortunately, marketing leaders at the conference discussed some easy-to-implement tactics that are helping their firms stay on top.

Standing out From the Crowd

In any industry, adjusting to the ebb and flow of the market can be a challenge. When things get tight, marketing and business development budgets are often the first to get cut, so maximizing available resources is an absolute must.

In order to facilitate growth, successful firms are positioning themselves as trusted advisors to customers and future customer bases. This requires focusing on not just marketing legal services but also positioning their team as thought leaders in their focus area.

Where are firms starting? Legal marketing experts encourage firms to do the following:

  1. Assess the demand in the marketplace.
  2. Evaluate how well clients know the firm and the firm knows its clients
  3. Determine the extent the firm understands the market they are in
  4. Size up direct competitors

During LMA, a common theme was that tackling the steps listed above requires a comprehensive understanding of your firm’s data and relationships. A CRM solution can help your firm take advantage of both. The right CRM solution provides firms with access to reports that uncover insights on key targets and opportunities. CRM tools also allow firms to more efficiently manage client relationships and see how marketing and business development efforts measure up.



Rapidly Evolving Technology

Another important focus of this year’s conference was emerging technology. Artificial Intelligence, also referred to as “AI,” is disrupting the industry. More than just a buzzword, AI can now be trained to understand context and perform tasks that were once thought possible by only the human brain.

In the legal industry, AI is now being incorporated into HR, cyber security and finance functions. AI allows firms to quickly analyze data and proactively stay ahead of market challenges. Leading firms that embrace AI are reaping the benefits and seeing immediate results.

When it comes to marketing, AI is already providing insights and helping firms determine if they have any cost drains. With close to 60% of Fortune 500 companies utilizing AI, now is the time to get in the game.

As technology in the legal sector evolves, so does our understanding of its power to advance firm marketing and business development efforts. InterAction is proud to be a leader in legal technology and will continue to support advancement within the industry through constant innovation.


Have you reserved your spot for Accelerate?
We started the conversation at LMA around AI and how technology can help you grow your business. We now look forward to continuing that conversation during the 3rd Annual Accelerate Business Development Summit, hosted by LexisNexis InterAction. Accelerate 2018 will bring together business development and marketing executives—across leading law firms—for a series of interactive discussions. We’ll explore best practices driving success and how you can make AI a practical part of your business. Check out the agenda here. We look forward to seeing you there!


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Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Pulse of the Legal Industry: Changing Landscape Calls for PROactive Measures


You don’t need me to tell you that these are some interesting times to be in the legal arena. Client demands are rising. Corporate legal departments are handling more matters in-house. Non-traditional service providers are growing their capabilities to get larger slices of the “legal pie” that law firms have considered exclusively their own.

A telling indication of the current competitive environment is the increasing state of law firm consolidation in corporate legal departments. The 2018 CounselLink Enterprise Legal Management Trends Report reveals that 60% of companies using CounselLink have 10 firms or fewer that make up at least 80% of outside counsel fees. According to the 2017 Law Firms in Transition survey, conducted by Altman Weil, 52% of firms in the study report that equity partners don’t have enough work, and 62% say that non-equity partners are working below desired capacity.

Leading law firms transcend these market challenges by PROactively using business development as a tool to stay ahead of competition and stay in front of clients.

According to our 2017 Law Firm Marketing and Business Development Survey, only 16% of attorneys have dashboards that show the health of their pipeline. This includes critical information such as who they should contact, relationship risks, and business development activities. Maintaining greater visibility into opportunities and contacts has been proven to move the needle when it comes to engaging new business and strengthening the bottom line.


Although some firms are reluctant to entrust technology as a means to grow their bottom line and better serve clients, the Altman Weil survey reveals that nearly 50% of the firms reported that they do rely on technology to improve service delivery performance. Chances are, as these firms become more comfortable with technology, they will also become more eager to embrace data-driven tools. These tools can then help them manage relationships PROactively versus REctively, and better support their business development efforts.

For an up close and personal examination of current legal industry trends and how technology can augment a firm’s innate intelligence, join us at Accelerate 2018. You’ll hear from marketing and business development leaders on ways they’re using automation, improved data quality, and data-driven decision-making to PROactively engage with current and future customers.


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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Equipping Your Department to Thrive in the Modern Legal Ops World

You hear it time and again: “Corporate legal departments must do more with less—operate smarter, faster, and more cost-effectively.” As the legal workload grows in both volume and complexity, corporate legal operations often find it challenging to keep up with the demands that define the new status quo.

Responding to the needs of your department and of the business requires strategic planning, proper resource allocation, and investing in the right tools. When it comes to tools, technology plays an increasingly critical role in helping legal ops achieve their strategic goals, improve the quality of service they provide, and not merely survive—but thrive—in a rapidly changing corporate legal landscape.


One might expect that users are pleased with their technology with more and more corporate legal departments relying on software to help manage matters, manage vendors, increase efficiency, control costs, prove their value to the organization, and more.

Yet, despite the growing recognition of the importance of technology in legal operations, a recently released report on Corporate Legal Operations[1] reveals that barely one-third of corporate legal departments feel that their legal technology infrastructure meets their operations’ needs.

This curious disconnect between technology adoption and users’ perceptions of its ability to meet their needs merits closer examination. If legal department leaders recognize the value of technology for their operations, what might explain the relatively high rate of dissatisfaction with its perceived effectiveness?

Choosing the Best Tool for the Job

One answer may be that some legal ops teams haven’t chosen the best tool for the job. For example, while it can be tempting to think that a Swiss Army knife is the only instrument needed in the woods, the reality is that specific tools are the best means of accomplishing specific tasks. Would you ever try to cut down a tree with a pocket knife?

The same principle applies to selecting technology for a corporate legal department. It’s imperative to carefully assess the operation’s needs, define short-term and long-term objectives, and review the capabilities of the tools that are available.

Selecting the right technology solution is only part of the battle. Ensuring that it’s configured to support the organization’s business strategy as well as the department’s workflow and reporting needs is also important. This requires thoughtful planning to ensure that the technology can meet not only today’s needs, but also those of tomorrow and beyond.

With business strategies relying on data, providing up-to-date reporting that incorporates key metrics, such as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Vendor Scorecards is essential. A properly configured and feature-rich Enterprise Legal Management (ELM) solution can provide effective, comprehensive, and relevant reports that support the specific needs of your organization.


Expert Support Helps Optimize ELM Performance

A majority of respondents in the legal operations report don’t think that their current legal technology is meeting their needs. It’s possible that they have the right tool in place, but it’s just not configured properly. Enlisting the help of a tech-savvy strategic consultant can play a crucial role.

Evaluating a legal ops team’s needs, infrastructure, and workflows, and then creating a strategic plan that optimizes software to ensure its alignment to business goals are tasks best handled by specialists. For example, CounselLink® customers count on a committed team of implementation, customer support, account managers, and strategic consultants for a long-lasting partnership that ensures that they achieve their goals.

Final Thoughts

The key takeaway is that technology holds tremendous potential for helping legal ops function more strategically, effectively, and economically than ever before. The challenge lies in knowing how to choose the most appropriate technology and then configure and deploy it to the department’s greatest advantage.

Join Us at the 2018 Annual Corporate Legal Operations Institute to Learn More

The 2018 Corporate Legal Operations Consortium’s (CLOC) Annual Corporate Legal Operations Institute takes place Sunday, April 22 through Wednesday, April 25 in Las Vegas.

This hallmark gathering of legal operations professionals includes curated educational sessions provided by industry leaders and numerous opportunities to learn, share, and connect. If you plan to attend this industry event, we invite you to stop by the CounselLink booth #161. We’d love to connect and share how CounselLink can help your legal ops team excel, evolve, and optimize the delivery of legal services to your organization.

[1] 2018 Consero Corporate Legal Operations Report

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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Is Your Firm on the Road to Readiness for GDPR? This 10-Step Action Plan Will Help


Ready or not the May 25th General Data Protection Regulations deadline is right around the corner. Whether you’re just scratching the surface on a plan to tackle requirements or putting final touches on your strategy, there are 10 key steps your firm can take to simplify GDPR compliance efforts. These steps are proven successful across many organizations—including LexisNexis.

The plan is simple, straightforward, and specifically designed to offer practical guidance in “bite-sized” portions that help ensure that the process doesn’t become daunting.

Here’s a snapshot of the 10 steps you should consider when tackling GDPR requirements:

  1. Project Initiation – Tips for assembling a team, defining scope and objectives, and more
  2. Raising Awareness – How to enlist support across the organization
  3. Analyzing Data – Achieving an understanding of your data risks
  4. Documentation Requirements – Gaining an understanding of the documentation needed for data protection
  5. Privacy Notices – Notifying the individuals you’re collecting data from, what data you’re collecting, and what you’ll do with it
  6. The Rights of Data Subjects – A list of the rights data subjects have under GDPR
  7. Processing Data Lawfully – Details the six reasons for processing data under GDPR
  8. Preparing for a Data Breach – Steps to take to ensure that your firm is prepared for the worst
  9. The Data Protection Officer (DPO) – Determining when a DPO is required
  10. New Requirements for Subject Access Request (SAR) under GDPR – Reviews the seriousness of providing a timely response to SARs

If this brief summary has piqued your interest, you might want to take a look at the complete action plan. Download our insightful eBook The 10-Step GDPR Action Plan now. Trust me: It’s a quick and highly informative read that will give you not only useful tips, but some peace of mind too.

Another Valuable GDPR Resource: The GDPR Readiness Review

Want even more help with your GDPR preparations? LexisNexis® InterAction® Professional Services offers two options to make sure you’re ready.

  1. GDPR Readiness Review – An opportunity to sit down with us to discuss ways to best configure your InterAction CRM to support your company’s GDPR compliance strategy and facilitate discussion around your firm’s approach to compliance and best practices.
  2.  InterAction Contact Suppression – A 90-minute, web-based, hands-on class that orients you to the InterAction Contact Suppression tool (included in our next upgrade release). Learn how to configure the tool and ensure that you maintain compliance within InterAction.

While some might swear that GDPR stands for “Ginormously Distracting Pain in the Rear,” that’s certainly not the case for firms that have a solid action plan in place. Working through the process one step at a time—with trusted advisors when needed—will get you where you need to be come May 25, 2018.

For more information or to request a LexisNexis InterAction GDPR Readiness Review, contact your Account Manager.


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