07/12/2017

Reinventing Interaction With Business Law Firms

We participated in the Junction 2017 hackathon in November. Our goal was to find people to help us reinvent how clients interact with law firms. We were amazed at the solutions that our twelve international teams presented and are excited to start validating the ideas with our clients.

The Best Client Experience – Digitised

Legal advisory will always be the core value of business law services, but the way services are delivered will change.  To meet client expectations in a new digital world, we have to actively explore the opportunities technology is providing.

Setting Up The Challenge

We wanted the participants of our Legal Tech track and challenge ‘Accessing the Law’ to help us reinvent how clients interact with law firms and access the law. We provided the hackers with three examples of areas they could focus on to ensure an interesting hack.

In the first area, we asked the hackers to find a solution for both clients and lawyers to track the progress of a project. In the second area, we encouraged the hackers to create a solution that provides a price estimate for a project. The third possible area to focus on was to create a solution to gather the information needed to run a legal project successfully. In addition to these three areas, we encouraged the hackers to be brave and think outside the box to improve our client experience.

The Clients’ Journey

As we were preparing for Junction, it became clear that defining and communicating the scope of the challenge was no easy task. We wanted the guidelines to help the hackers get onto the right track, but not stifle them or discourage them from bringing new ideas to the table.

Given that our hackers were not necessarily familiar with the legal field, we decided to provide few examples of typical client interactions that take place during a legal assignment. We used the picture below to communicate our challenge to the hackers. We felt that any one of these examples could benefit from a hack and were happy to see our hackers tackle many of them.

The Clients' Journey

Experiencing Groundbreaking Innovation

As a first timer at a Hackathon, we didn’t know what to expect. It felt as if we were taking a leap into the unknown, which is always exciting. On the flip side, we weren’t sure what the hackers would think of our challenge.

At first, it seemed as if they weren’t very interested in our track. Luckily, this turned out not to be the case—quite the opposite actually. Our track was fully booked with over 40 participants.

It was amazing to watch the teams work and admire how they radiated energy and innovativeness. It is difficult to describe the atmosphere at the venue over the weekend. Everyone should have a chance to experience something similar.

The thing that impressed us the most during these two days were the people—their motivation and talent. None of us had experienced this kind of innovation event before.

Teamwork

Junction was concrete proof of the power of teamwork. In this case, this applied not only to the competing teams, but to us as well. We brought a team of our own people and people from our business partners Talent Base, CSI Helsinki, Arc Technology and Taival to support the participants and give them the best shot to succeed in our challenge.

We were so happy to see the seamless collaboration between lawyers, business service experts and our business partners’ experts. Everyone’s expertise was put to good use over the weekend, and we also received excellent feedback both from the teams and Junction’s organisers.

And The Winner Is?

The demos started with a demo expo in which every team had the opportunity to present their project to a larger audience and get feedback to encourage them to develop their ideas further.

Every track chose their own judges who picked the winners of the track. The Legal Tech track judge team consisted of Pia Ek and Heikki Ilvessalo from our firm as well as Asko Relas (Talent Base) and Reko Lehti (Taival). The judges went from table to table to listen to each team. Each team had to demo their project in a maximum of four minutes, after which the judges had two minutes for questions.

Junction

   Photo: Juha Nurmela

We have to admit that it was very hard to choose the winner from the twelve amazing solutions presented to us.

In the end, we chose the team ‘Discover’ as the winner of the Legal Tech track.  The team’s solution redefined interaction between lawyer and client in a unique way. The goal of the solution is to connect lawyers and clients using an intuitive and forward-thinking interface, including document management, time management and project budgeting, where transparency is of utmost importance.

The tied second best teams ‘Legal Timer’ and ‘Lexio’ chose to create a solution for price estimates. Legal Timer’s solution uses machine learning to analyse the data from our ERP system to create a quick price estimate in place of time-consuming manual assessment. The solution uses intuitive visualisation, is easy to use and can be integrated into our existing CRM system. Lexio’s solution provides a price estimate of the probable cost of an assignment. The service also uses ERP data to provide insight on how much the client can expect to spend according to the total costs of similar cases. Lexio’s solution gives the lawyer a starting point for pricing the case and provides an easy to use interface to send the estimate to the client.

We look forward to having interesting follow-up discussions with the winning teams. You can explore all the solutions from here.

Designing the Best Client Experience

We have already started to discuss the results of Junction with our experts and clients to identify the value of the new ideas in terms of improved client experience.

As our client or business partner, we would like to invite you to help us focus our development initiatives. Feel free to contact us for further information on the Junction challenge and the lessons we learned from it or contact your favorite lawyer to start a dialogue on how we can improve our client experience.