It seems like everything was different in 2020—including Legal Lab, HBR Consulting’s sixth annual gathering of leaders from some of the nation’s top law departments and law firms. In place of the two-day, in-person event that HBR has hosted in the past, we reinvented Legal Lab as a series of five virtual sessions that unfolded across multiple weeks.
“Wherever there is change, and wherever there is uncertainty, there is opportunity!”– Mark Cuban
The Summit on Legal Innovation and Disruption (SOLID) East, held on September 13, 2018 in New York City, delivered on its promise to bring together professionals who are transforming the legal industry. The daylong event held an action-packed sprint of 14 TED Talk-style sessions spanning the full spectrum of stakeholders in the legal ecosystem. SOLID East 2018 was the third such event orchestrated by The Cowen Group and delivered in partnership with several sponsors, including HBR Consulting. Each summit has reflected the ethos of those dedicated to exploring the rate of change and innovation at the intersection of technology and the business of law in both law departments and law firms.
Corporate law departments are increasingly challenged to track their e-Discovery activities and costs. In today’s metric-focused business environment, law departments should be able to answer simple questions about their e-Discovery lifecycle, including: Exactly how much is being spent on e-Discovery and how do those costs break down? What volume of data is being handled? What is the cost of reviewing documents? What are the opportunities to reduce costs?
As the legal industry continues to evolve so do the demands and needs of law firms’ internal and external clients. Like many other support functions, litigation support is an area that historically supported one primary business need (i.e., managing e-Discovery), but the role of the service is transitioning due to market changes. Today, law firms are revisiting litigation support services and strategies to account for evolving e-Discovery provider business models, increasingly sophisticated corporate client sourcing arrangements, rising technology and infrastructure costs and decreasing litigation support revenues.
I recently participated in a podcast series to offer insight into how corporate legal departments can better manage their litigation spending by restructuring their e-discovery strategy. Aiming to alleviate some of the pain associated with e-discovery, the panel and I discussed the use of analytics in cutting costs and the value of approaching e-discovery as a business process. Our discussion included three important areas: review of the current landscape, existing cost drivers, and tips for a successful e-discovery strategy.
Results of HBR’s Law Firm e-Discovery Strategy Survey
A law firm’s capability to provide electronic discovery (“e-discovery”) services has gone from a novelty to a business necessity. Historically, firms have struggled to find the optimal business model to meet increasing client and business demands.
A legal hold is the term used to describe the actions an organization must take in order to preserve all forms of relevant information when a legal obligation arises; it is the first critical step in an effective electronic discovery program. While much has been written about the legal requirements and the pitfalls of failing to effectively implement legal holds, for today’s purposes I will address the processes and decisions that should be considered when developing a Legal Hold Playbook.
The majority of companies report that Law Department e-Discovery operations are still in the adolescence stage of maturity.
Evolving case law, new proposed rules and technology advances provided no shortage of complex topics at this year’s conference. The Annual Georgetown Advanced eDiscovery Institute never fails to deliver engaging topics that are top of mind for lawyers and technologists practicing in the electronic discovery realm. The industry has experienced a number of innovation milestones over the past several years as it has adapted to the complexities presented by discovering relevant evidence in this ever-changing electronic age.