When enforced remote working came into place in March of 2020, Clark Hill was quick to action its business continuity plans so that all staff, across its 25 offices, were able to effectively work from home. Once the initial home working arrangements were made, the firm turned its attention to optimizing support services for lawyers and clients by adopting BigHand Workflow.
Kathleen Sullivan, Chief Human Resources Officer at Clark Hill explains, “I was already aware of the merits of BigHand Workflow as a workflow solution specific for law firms, and understood that it could assist with making our practice support model operationally efficient. When the pandemic hit, it was apparent that we had to prioritize getting the technology in place to help us effectively move work among support staff while working remotely, and to provide us with actionable data to optimize the entire support function.”
BigHand Workflow allows tasks to be sent to a central workflow, where they are automatically routed to the right skilled resource, at the right cost to the firm. The centralized view of work can be accessed by desktop or mobile devices to allow lawyers to check on the progress of their work at any time.
Kathleen continues, “Like many firms, we find that the partners often get their work prioritized over the associates. BigHand Workflow will help us evenly spread the support work across all lawyers and ensure work is prioritized based on deadline or capacity for optimized client service. From an HR standpoint, we know that senior partners often need a different level of help compared to younger associates, and the solution will also give us the vital visibility needed to manage that effectively.”
The solution will enable the firm to move work around easily to optimize team capacity and ensure staff with specialized skillsets are used effectively – something that’s particularly important in the current environment and will enable the firm to be more flexible in the future.
The firm has begun to move away from the traditional title of legal secretary in recent years to Legal Administrative Assistant and introduced its Practice Assistant role to complement their existing support structure. Kathleen explains, “We have a focus on succession planning for when our skilled support staff retire. The Practice Assistant role provides career path development for new generations looking for a challenging and varied career in legal. Moving forward, BigHand will provide us with the transparency we need to make accurate recruitment decisions when someone leaves the firm.”
BigHand Now provides management with key data analytics such as type and volume of tasks being sent, team capacity and time management, to allow for more informed, data-driven decision making.
“The thing that excites me the most about BigHand Workflow is the visibility and understanding we will gain over the workflow across the firm.” Kathleen concludes. “Our Legal Admin Assistants are usually office based and we plan to use the workflow data from BigHand to support cross office support more in the future. Although we are already planning to reopen some offices, COVID-19 has not vanished, and BigHand Workflow will help us to easily manage the support workflow should we need to close any offices or otherwise augment our staffing plans in the future.”