Jackson Lewis P.C.
Labor and employment-focused Am Law 100 firm Jackson Lewis P.C. has been helping clients develop proactive strategies, robust policies, and business-oriented solutions to cultivate high-functioning workforces since 1958. The firm has around 950 lawyers in 60+ offices in major cities across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, so having a user-friendly platform that delivers both transparency and control over matters to internal and external users is vital and much appreciated on both sides.
Today, as the firm seeks to accelerate its use of technology as a commercial differentiator, it relies on Thomson Reuters HighQ — the modern, adaptable legal operations and business management software that simplifies legal processes — to collaborate more closely with clients and streamline workflows.
Prior to implementing HighQ, the firm was using a well-known system for file sharing and another technology to create client portals, but neither was working well for users and setting up portals was a major pain point. The firm decided to look for a centralized solution that could facilitate collaboration while improving the user experience and enabling the firm to enhance its client service.
The firm selected HighQ because of its ease of use and because they found it to be a turnkey solution that is ready to deploy but also customizable as required. Plus, it provides so much in the way of features and functionality: Jackson Lewis uses it to share files, generate workflows, structure data-using iSheets, and create data visualizations. With seamless integration to Contract Express from Thomson Reuters, the firm also uses HighQ for document automation.
The implementation process went smoothly, with the firm essentially able to “plug and play” the solution with just a few easy configurations to branding and security to make it their own.
Ready to create powerful applications
One of the most common HighQ use cases is to share information on matters and the firm has created many client sites for this purpose. Mark Salamon, Director of Innovation, Client Solutions, at Jackson Lewis, says, “It’s so easy to share information on iSheets, which you just can’t do in a file-based only extranet platform.”
One practice group, which works with hundreds of clients and advises regularly on compliance, was unhappy with the user experience of their previous file-sharing system, so they asked for a template to be built for their specific needs. This included creating an attractive landing page displaying key client information with folders set up in a specific way. More importantly, it had to be easy for lawyers and professional staff to add clients and tweak features themselves, rather than having to ask the IT team to do it for them. In just a few months, 200 client sites have been set up from this template on a completely “self-serve” basis by lawyers and staff.
Jackson Lewis also uses HighQ to create highly sophisticated client sites that are more like applications or solutions, where information is entered that generates an action or a workflow. For example, one of its major clients wanted a solution that would allow them to generate documents on their own, automatically. This was the reason the firm decided to bring on board Contract Express — something it did not initially have — knowing that it could leverage the product in other ways for other clients, too. It was an extraordinary success.
“When we showed it to the client, their jaws just dropped,” says Salamon. “It was way beyond their expectations. Since then, we’ve been doing much more with the document automation piece, such as creating solutions to generate numerous agreements. People have a vision of document automation as being a bit like mail merge, but when they see it, they’re really impressed. It’s very popular internally and externally.”
Beyond that, Salamon and his team have been building applications in Collaborate. There, clients needing advice can submit requests and then a workflow is created, status is tracked, and notification emails are sent automatically. These sites also provide up-to-the-minute analytics to clients — for instance, how many requests have been opened and closed — and incorporate Contract Express and DocuSign to generate and sign documents.
ROI: Keeping clients happy
As Salamon puts it, “HighQ Collaborate is about developing solutions, rather than just sharing documents, and that takes it to a whole new level in terms of value. One of the nice things is that Collaborate is so approachable. We can put something together quickly, with no code required, and people can immediately see the benefit.”
“We receive many RFPs, so being able to have this capability is a real selling point. Both clients and our lawyers will say, ‘Oh, it would be great if we could do x,’ and then you come back and say, ‘Well, we can do x, y, and z.’ People see what is possible and it opens their eyes. That is really powerful.”
The firm measures the success of the solution in the excellent client feedback it receives, how widely it is being used, the value of work it has helped the firm win from existing and new clients, as well as the time it saves and the quality and consistency of work that it enhances. For Salamon, HighQ is vital, “enabling technology,” just like email. “The ROI is that you keep your clients happy,” he says.
Users like the control it gives them to delegate work or have transparency over matters. They appreciate the ease of use, with no instruction manual or coding required, and they like how the solution looks and feels. “HighQ provides a nice overall user experience for our clients, both in the way it looks and what you can do with it,” says Salamon.
Moreover, the fact that it is fully branded makes it look as though it has been custom built. This last point is an important one for Salamon who is well aware just how challenging it is for firms to create point solutions themselves from scratch, especially if they don’t have a large IT team, and then to ensure they remain up to date and suited to the firm’s needs as technology advances and personnel changes over time.
“You can really do a lot with HighQ without having to build it yourself,” he explains. “The document automation, the workflows, the data visualization — you could build all those things, but you’d have to build them all, or you’d have to go out and grab different technologies and integrate them to do it. With HighQ, you’re basically being handed all these pieces.
“HighQ has been a central part of our drive to accelerate our use of technology, and because it is turnkey and we didn’t have to build it, it fast tracked that acceleration. It was basically acceleration squared!”
Jackson Lewis advises companies of all sizes from the Fortune 100 to small businesses on every aspect of the employer-employee relationship, from corporate diversity counseling to workplace health and safety and litigation to labor relations, immigration, and international employment.
The firm wanted an easy-touse platform for file sharing, but one that would also act as a centralized mechanism for client collaboration, enhancing transparency and control over matters for internal and external users. Improving the user experience was a must.
HighQ was chosen for its user-friendly, professional-looking interface that could be branded as required and enabled information to be shared, client sites set up, and documents created, quickly. Despite looking custom built, the fact it was ready to use straight out of the box was important.
- A turnkey solution, but customizable
- No code required and no need for a user manual
- Superior user experience, professional look and feel
- Templates can be created to accelerate rollout of client sites
- Integrates seamlessly with Contract Express for powerful document automation