Goodell DeVries future-proofs the support service offered to attorneys with “Future Staffing Initiative” and BigHand Now

Goodell DeVries Leech & Dann LLP is a leading US law firm with over 60 attorneys and offices in Baltimore and Philadelphia. Forward-thinking in its adoption of technology, the firm has implemented BigHand’s task management solution, BigHand Now, to optimize the effectiveness of its support services and client delivery turnaround.

Back in 2015, the firm began working on a project called “the Future Staffing Initiative”, in light of the legal secretarial challenges in the market. David Roden, Director of Technology at Goodell DeVries explains, “It became very apparent that the traditional Secretary to Lawyer relationship was not a sustainable support model and the rise in legal delivery technology, teamed with the challenge of a shrinking talent pool, meant that we needed to make changes in order to future-proof the firm’s support services function.”

Goodell DeVries created a new division of the support team, called the Document Services Team, to handle administrative document requests so that the senior support staff could focus on higher-value or billable work.

David continues, “Once the Document Services Team was established, we needed a way to move work around, which ensured that the right type of work was delegated to the right resource, with all the necessary instruction first time.”

The firm had been using BigHand Digital Dictation since 2009 and got in touch with BigHand as part of their search for a solution.

“It soon became clear that BigHand Now was the only task management solution in the market built specifically for law firms. It also helped that the software could be implemented with a simple upgrade from the existing dictation technology that the attorneys were already used to, allowing for the delegation of voice and other kind of tasks”

With BigHand Now, tasks are sent with a form that captures all the instruction upfront, entered into a workflow and automatically routed to the right resource. Once in the system, the tasks can be tracked through to completion. The solution provides the firm with visibility of key measurables such as what types of tasks are being requested from different teams and what team capacity is like at any one time.

David explains the impact of BigHand Now at the firm, “We always knew that everyone was busy, but we didn’t know what busy actually looked like. With BigHand Now, we have transparency of what work is being sent, and to which resources in the firm.”

So far, the firm has rolled out the technology to its Document Services Team and to paralegals. The plan for 2020 is to continue the rollout across its attorney base.

David concludes, “We have already received great feedback on BigHand Now and the clarity it gives our Document Services Team, as well as our management, so we can optimize the service we offer to our attorneys.”

“I look forward to rolling out the technology further and seeing the full benefits across the firm as we continue to modernize our support service and build a support workforce for the future. I’m sure this will be an easy process with the BigHand team, who always deliver an exemplary service, and who we consider a business partner over and above a technology supplier.”