Nathan Cemenska, director of legal operations and industry insights at Wolters Kluwer’s ELM Solutions, says that complex billing guidelines coupled with the mounting workloads of in-house professionals erodes the effectiveness of e-billing solutions. Here, he provides some useful advice on maximizing e-billing ROI without dumping more work on law departments already slammed with too much to do.  Continue Reading E-Billing Is No Panacea for Law Departments 

Barnes & Thornburg’s Jared Applegate discusses challenges and ideas for gathering and using data.

CCBJ: Both law firms and in-house law departments look to gain pricing certainty from a better understanding of data related to matters. What type of data should be focused upon?

Jared Applegate: From an in-house law department perspective and, frankly, from a law firm perspective, I think you always want to start with the end in mind. Ask these questions: At the end of the day, what business decisions will be driven by the capture and analysis of the data? Will that ultimately provide greater value/insights to my business unit leaders?   Continue Reading Capture Pricing Data with the End in Mind

DISH’s Mike Burg partnered with iDS’s Dan Regard to build a document repository that allows the legal department to be more consistent across matters and leverage previous decisions on repetitive documents.​

CCBJ: Mike, please describe some of the issues that have been on your radar since you joined DISH.  

Mike Burg:  I’ve been managing e-discovery at DISH just about five years. Currently, we’re focused on becoming more efficient and leveraging technology to Continue Reading The First Stop for IP E-Discovery

Transparency and collaboration are obvious keys to strong and smooth relationships between inside and outside counsel. Less obvious is the role budgets can play in facilitating such relationships. Here, Jared Applegate of Barnes & Thornburg and Justin Ergler of GlaxoSmithKline share best practices on using budgets as a conversational tool to build better relationships. Continue Reading Budgets as Conversational Touchstones

When I got back from CLOC last month, I was amazed at the various roles and responsibilities shouldered by legal operations staff. Still one of the fastest growing roles in legal departments, the responsibilities often assigned to these teams are varied and all over the map in terms of impact on the business, not just the legal department. Continue Reading The Ever-Increasing Responsibilities of Legal Operations Staff

The Gates Foundation’s Keith Matthews explains what satisfies his soul and makes him happy to come to work every day.

CCBJ: Your career followed an interesting and varied path to the Gates Foundation. Can you tell us about that?

Keith Matthews: Professionally, my first job out of college was as a credit analyst and later a middle-market loan officer at what is now JPMorgan Chase. With that background – and with a finance degree from college – I knew early on in my career that I wanted to focus on transactional work. Continue Reading Helping the Client Achieve Its Objective: Saving Lives

Interview with Linda Hovanec / Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions

Linda Hovanec is a senior director in product management, global business intelligence and analytics at Wolters Kluwer ELM Solutions. Lately, she has been devoting a good deal of time to studying law departments’ billing processes. A recent survey that ELM Solutions collaborated on revealed that companies aren’t all that happy with the billing guidelines they use to manage their law firms, and they aren’t doing very much to make them better. As Hovanec sees it, they’re missing a big opportunity to simultaneously strengthen their guidelines and enforcement, while also improving their relationships with their law firms. Her remarks have been edited for style and length.

Continue Reading What Law Departments Need to Know About Billing Guidelines: A survey suggests that many departments have plenty of questions and concerns