Webinar:

How to plan and manage when change is the only constant

Thursday, July 9, 2020, 1:00 pm CDT
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COMPLIANCE WEEK STARTED!
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Law firms never had to react and adapt as quickly as when the global pandemic hit. Some were prepared and many weren’t; some transitioned smoothly and for some it’s been a bumpier ride. In all cases, with attorneys and staff now working remotely and uncertain plans to move back to the office, there are still many questions left unanswered.
Join a panel of experts as they solicit attendee responses and discuss their own experiences and perspectives on planning and managing in these evolving times. Topics of discussion will include challenges firms are facing around supporting remote or blended working environments, the medium-term challenge of managing uncertain levels of work by office or practice group, and the long-term challenge of strategic resource planning during uncertain economic times.

Objectives:

Hear how firms adapted their administrative functions in order to continue supporting attorneys and clients effectively, including key successes and learnings.

Gain insight into some of the tools and techniques used to efficiently and cost effectively manage the flow of work between attorneys and their support staff including outsourced administrative resources.

Learn about future staffing plans and how firms are expecting to utilize remote working practices long-term, moving staff back into offices, or see value in a combination of both.

Assess the impact of an increase in support staff retirements, attrition and layoffs.

Discuss how the pandemic has impacted firms’ disaster recovery plans, strategic planning, budgets, and willingness to embrace change.

Speakers:

Murray Joslin

Panelist

Murray Joslin is Senior Vice President, Business Enablement Services. In this capacity, Murray is responsible for the strategy, delivery and growth across the Business Enablement Business Unit which encompasses Legal Word Processing, Creative Services and Business Process Outsourcing / Administrative Solutions. Murray has spent 20 plus years delivering businesses enhanced efficiencies utilizing managed services methodology-on site near-shore and offshore.

Kacee McCalla

Panelist

Kacee McCalla is the Director of Human Resources Operations at Baker Donelson where she oversees the Training Department, Document Services and various HR Operations. She is a graduate of the University of Memphis School of Law and is licensed to practice in Tennessee.

Eric A Seeger

Panelist

Eric A Seeger is a principal at Altman Weil, a US legal management consultancy. Eric works with law firms on strategy, management, practice group leadership, succession, and other projects. As a consultant and director of Altman Weil’s research function, he conducts client surveys and interviews for law firms and co-authors the highly regarded Law Firms in Transition surveys of law firm leaders.

Eric Wangler

Panelist

Eric Wangler is president of the North American business unit for BigHand, with over 25 years’ experience in the legal industry. Eric is an expert on legal workflow and back-office operations, partnering with firms across the US and Canada to enhance their administrative support functions, specifically focusing on streamlining processes, increasing efficiencies and optimizing resources, and arming firms with the visibility and real-time information necessary to make informed, data-driven decisions.

April Campbell, JD

Moderator

April Campbell, JD is the interim Executive Director, the former Board President, and a longstanding member of the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA).

Poll Questions:

Which best describes your return to work plans between now and October 2020

  • Aiming to get all staff back into offices as soon as authorities allow
  • Planning on returning the majority of staff to offices
  • Planning on returning less than 50% of staff to offices
  • Planning on treating each location differently, with flexibility to respond quickly to any issues that arise
What are the main challenges that you have faced in the past 6 months with support staff working from home?

  • Visibility
  • Workflow / task delegation
  • Resource utilization
  • Quality of work
  • Productivity / efficiency
  • Availability
  • Frustration with new process or lack of process
  • Rapidly evolving demand changes
  • Uncertainty around future working (home, partial office, blended)
  • Less knowledge transfer / training among teams
COVID-19 has made our staff more willing to change their working practices? Rate on scale of 1-5 (strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree)
Do you believe the changes in our working practices including more remote working is permanent or temporary?

  • Permanent
  • Temporary – less than 12 months
In a 2019 survey, we uncovered that 68% of firms plan to change their back-office services structure within the next 5 years. Do you believe that the current situation will accelerate or decelerate these plans?

  • Accelerate structural change
  • Decelerate structural change
What attorney working practices have changed and will likely remain altered even as return to office is encouraged:

  • Hub utilization of document services
  • Legal assistants utilized less
  • Legal assistants utilized more
  • Direct utilization of IT Hub services
  • Access to admin support outside of standard work day/times

Poll Questions:

Which best describes your return to work plans between now and October 2020

  • Aiming to get all staff back into offices as soon as authorities allow
  • Planning on returning the majority of staff to offices
  • Planning on returning less than 50% of staff to offices
  • Planning on treating each location differently, with flexibility to respond quickly to any issues that arise
Do you believe the changes in our working practices including more remote working is permanent or temporary?

  • Permanent
  • Temporary – less than 12 months
What are the main challenges that you have faced in the past 6 months with support staff working from home?

  • Visibility
  • Workflow / task delegation
  • Resource utilization
  • Quality of work
  • Productivity / efficiency
  • Availability
  • Frustration with new process or lack of process
  • Rapidly evolving demand changes
  • Uncertainty around future working (home, partial office, blended)
  • Less knowledge transfer / training among teams
In a 2019 survey, we uncovered that 68% of firms plan to change their back-office services structure within the next 5 years. Do you believe that the current situation will accelerate or decelerate these plans?

  • Accelerate structural change
  • Decelerate structural change
COVID-19 has made our staff more willing to change their working practices? Rate on scale of 1-5 (strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree)
What attorney working practices have changed and will likely remain altered even as return to office is encouraged:

  • Hub utilization of document services
  • Legal assistants utilized less
  • Legal assistants utilized more
  • Direct utilization of IT Hub services
  • Access to admin support outside of standard work day/times

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