Be There or Be Scared: Eversheds Sutherland debuts “Techtember” to dispel its lawyers’ fear of IT

September 13, 2019

3 min read

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What's going on here?

Eversheds Sutherland is currently hosting a month-long training program to improve its lawyers’ confidence in the IT tools developed and adopted by the firm over the last few years.

What does this mean?

The firm is holding 1.5 hours of interactive sessions dailyrun by partners and designed to allow lawyers to use tools like CaseReady (a collaborative matter management platform), ES Locate (an e-discovery analysis platform), Luminance (an artificial intelligence tool) and other workflow and automation solutions. It is also an opportunity for the firm’s IT and innovation team to locate areas of improvement and understand the technology concerns of its lawyers.

The sessions have been attracting large numbers of the firm’s lawyers from all practice groups and levels of seniority. After each session, lawyers will be asked to follow up with actions including conversations with clients about the tools that the firm incorporates into each session. It is hoped that this will teach participants to apply tools to specific cases and carefully consider client’s perspectives during the process.

Why should law firms care?

Techtember is designed to increase competency with technology. This latest scheme expands on Eversheds Sutherland’s previous IT training as it aims to teach lawyers at every level at the firmboth in the UK and internationally, whereas the earlier scheme focussed on partners (check out our report on that here). Having live sessions conducted by partners will encourage participants to get advice about particular platforms and software rather than listen to theoretical explanations.

This will raise the confidence of the firm’s lawyers in the use of technology whilst advising clientsworking on matters and help dissipate fears such as artificial intelligence tools replacing legal roles. This is one long-term impact that the firm wishes to instil with Techtember.

Eversheds Sutherland's insights...

The initiative has some clear client-centric benefits for the firm. When LittleLaw spoke to Eversheds Sutherland’s Alex Smith, he said that “the adoption of technology has come thick and fast in the past few years, but its use has been quite siloed into specific practice areas at the firm.” The issue here is that lawyers in one practice area become accustomed to the technology that they’re using, but might be unaware of what’s happening outside their department. Alex said that “now, there is a need to know the tech that your colleagues are using firm-wide as the questions are being asked by clients at the tender and pitch review meetings.” When lawyers are seeking to pitch work to clients, they are specifically asked about the tech that the firm is using as clients now see this as a hugely important factor when choosing their lawyers.

The training initiative is also part of a broader project within the firm’s vision to integrate technology into its service offering. This is evidenced by Eversheds Sutherland’s recent launch of Konexo, a platform offering financial, consulting and remediation services, to compete with the Big Four and alternative legal service providers (check out our report on that here). 

It is clear from these initiatives that Eversheds Sutherland has an eye on the future of law. Techtember is strengthening lawyers’ ability to deal with the changing landscape and with new client demands.

Report written by Evania D’souza​

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