8,500 Users Ask Am Law 100 Firms: Please Give Me A Better DMS

The NetDocuments Team
Sep 6, 2017

We asked four Am Law 100 firms to discuss why NetDocuments is their platform to support lawyer productivity. The panel represented a mixture of iManage and Open Text customers that switched to NetDocuments for enterprise document management (DMS). Here is their story.

Robert Craig, CIO, BakerHostetlerCraig Dean, CTO, OrrickDurgesh Sharma, CIO, Littler MendelsonMeredith Williams, CKO, Baker DonelsoniManage to NetDocumentsiManage to NetDocumentsiManage to NetDocumentsOpenText to NetDocuments“NetDocuments is a security platform that does document management.”“This is a governance project. I need the application to be adopted.”“Lawyers travelling all the time and it became a big deal to allow lawyers to work anywhere.”“The DMS was an impediment to lawyer productivity. We fixed that with NetDocuments.”2,000 users | 14 Offices2,600 users | 25 Offices2,000 users | 75+ Offices1,900 users | 24 Offices

Thank you for sharing how NetDocuments supports your vision. Read on, if you want to learn about other activities our customers talked about at ILTA.

Governance and Analytics: Twin Sisters of Growth and Productivity

All panel firms are using machine learning or analytics to better understand the implications of important business decisions or to drive lawyer productivity. A few interesting examples.

With thousands of matter types, Baker Donelson streamlined their matter classification using data modeling and regression testing. Once they reduced the matter classification to one hundred, it produced an unintended result: predictability. Now their matter dashboards can indicate what should happen next, surface relevant knowledge sources and manage security or risk with the client. They are now partnering with NetDocuments to deliver content from documents and public sources previously included in a lawyer question and answer process. This saves lawyer time previously spent on administrative tasks.

With time entry at the top of most lawyers "things I hate to do," Littler studied timesheet accuracy. They found most timesheets are about 60 percent accurate. Using machine learning, they select accurate timesheets in their employment law practice and apply them to new timesheets. Their modeling showed improvements in accuracy and lawyer satisfaction. They hope to move from trial to production in 2018.

During frequent visits with his Managing Partner, Orrick CIO Craig Dean, keeps hearing: "Why can't I find the last ten matters that look like this?" All the panelist agreed that "the more utility like infrastructure I can turn over to a cloud service provider like NetDocuments, the more I can redeploy document administrators to be data analysts." With the right perspective on data, the signals you have available open new possibilities. "We like those possibilities through our NetDocuments partnership,” said Bob Craig.

On Why Am Law 100 Firms Switched

During the audience Q&A, someone asked: "Switching a DMS is like changing the transmission on a car while moving. Why change? What gave you the confidence and energy to select NetDocuments?" What the panelist said, might surprise you.

For the second largest firm on the panel, the motivation was security. With a very large privacy and data security practice, the stakes are high. Should the firm face a bad event, they view the NetDocuments trusted cloud platform as a key way to "keep our marketplace calm, keep our clients calm." Panelist said NetDocuments is "going to play the long game and really deploy an infrastructure that is lasting and defensible."

The largest firm said their migration "started as a risk and information governance project" because legal teams "had data stored in multiple data repositories." The Management Committee asked IT to "fix the DMS" and "to get a centralized matter file." They turned to NetDocuments because "lawyers found the product easy to use." IT appreciated the continuous updates and constant platform innovation. The impact is significant. With NetDocuments, Orrick has a tool and a platform to build their future governance model.

Find Ways to Improve Lawyer Productivity

The common goal from all Am Law 100 panelists: remove any impediment to practicing law and increase technology adoption. Legal teams suffer because the case file was incomplete. Finally, with existing their solution, organizations could not find ways to simplify document access from anywhere and in many ways. Ultimately, "it became a big deal to allow lawyers to work anywhere" and they selected NetDocuments as their platform partner.

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