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Legaltech insights — Listening to customers is key

Lucy Melendrez-Diaz

Now that we are a couple weeks removed from Legaltech, I’ve had the chance to reflect on the whirlwind of activity that took place that week.

It was great to catch up with clients during the event to better understand their needs and successes with using iManage RAVN to better manage their legal documents. It was also meaningful to talk with other legal operations professionals—both in firms and enterprise organizations–to discover where they are on their journey with using artificial intelligence and other solutions to better understand the knowledge within their documents and become more productive.

If there were any themes that we took away from the show, I think one was the continued value we receive from listening to customers as we further enhance our products and use cases to better serve them. Another theme was that our customers are actually doing the same thing with their own clients (internal and external) to determine how they can provide better, faster service, and utilize technology to achieve those goals.

After all, we all know that if we’re not moving forward, we’re falling back.

Knowledge unlocked

To ensure we keep moving forward, iManage strives to understand client needs throughout the year—not just on an event floor. For example, on the eve of Legaltech, we kicked off the week with our semi-annual Insight product advisory board. The clients that contribute to this board are some of the brightest minds in the Legal Knowledge Management (KM) community. We are honored to have their input as we continue to progress a best-in-class, next-generation knowledge management solution for our clients.

This type of forum enables us to collaborate with them on taking Enterprise Search to the next level with Insight to help unlock knowledge in their documents. We kicked off the meeting by revealing the latest enhancements in our most recent release – Insight 10.4—including:

  • New User Interface
  • Join Queries
  • Relevance Tuning Enhancements
  • Insight API
  • SharePoint Web Parts

This group was key to the prioritization of what went into this release and provided feedback about what features and enhancements should fit into the next one. They have continuously shared what is most important to their end users, helping to shape our product to be a solution from which the true end user derives value.

The KM function is ever growing and evolving and is now a key department in many firms as they know that when attorneys create new work product, they don’t start from scratch. Enabling collaboration and streamlining the sharing of existing information leads to achieving more high-quality work product in a shorter time.

Whether there is an official KM department or not, someone or many people across the firm are mining the most relevant precedents and best practices for the firm’s attorneys to rely upon. This is part of the reason individuals and organizations often seek out what they perceive as the best law firms is because of their long history in servicing similar clients in similar industries facing similar problems that need solving by the most creative, diligent minds.

We collaborate with our clients to help them better equip their end users to mine and get to the key, and most highly relevant, documents more quickly. Beyond that, we are working together as they work to surface up more granular information locked away in those documents and link it all together – documents, clauses, transaction values, case teams, time and cost on matters. This information is key for attorneys and others in the firm as well – business development, pricing analysts, and other firm functions.

Together, we can unlock invaluable insights.

Contract intelligence

In addition to improved search, enabling efficiencies with contract management while still delivering high quality, deadline-driven work is top of mind for clients.

iManage RAVN helps extract the key, and most highly relevant information within their contracts such as clauses, transaction values, and parties, more quickly. To further bring this topic to light, our General Manager, Nick Thomson, presented a Legaltech LITE Session on this topic: Contract Intelligence – The New e-Discovery. Can you afford not to be in the market?

Firms, legal departments, and professional services providers need to first and foremost understand what their clients’ end goals are, of course. Once that work is done, which is key, having the right toolbox in place (and knowing the right tools to use), to manage their contracts or to conduct a contract review is vital. Whether you are trying to identify risks, obligations, and/or entitlements in contracts or are conducting a large-scale due diligence review or contract repapering exercise, understanding your options and how to appropriately employ them is essential.

Helping your clients understand that there is technology to facilitate getting to the key pieces of information within their contracts relays to them that you are a true partner and that your expertise goes beyond legal advice.

To me, this type of partnership is a testament to the fact that we are all working together, marching towards the same goal of improvement…for ourselves, for our organizations, and for our clients. If we focus on listening to one another in the process, we’ll all be successful.

We’re incredibly excited to see and be a part of the continued evolution of the application of technology in the practice of law. Thanks for being with us on this journey!

Learn more about how other firms are using RAVN to better manage their contracts and knowledge management here.

About the author

Lucy Melendrez-Diaz

Lucy is the Legal Practice lead for iManage RAVN. In her role, Lucy helps law firms leverage technology to help them achieve optimization in knowledge sharing, work process, and improvement in the quality of final work product. Prior to iManage, Lucy worked at an e-discovery company and a legal services firm. She received her JD from the University of Illinois College of Law.