SUMMARY:The International Law and Technology Association (ILTA) has named DWT the most innovative law firm of the year two years running, in no small part due to the De Novo team.
De Novo is DWT’s legal solution design and consulting team. De Novo supplements DWT’s legal subject matter expertise with innovations in technology, project management, process improvement, and data analysis to design cutting edge legal solutions that work for business. These solutions are driven by what the client actually needs and can vary from building a managed service that handles high volume contract review to mining data about a client’s workforce that analyzes trends and proactively identifies problem areas.
Because the De Novo team uses small specialized teams for its solution deployment, the Legal Solutions Architect (LSA) needs to wear multiple hats and switch back and forth to roles in three key areas:
1) Relationship building, 2) Program and project management, and 3) Thought leadership.
Although LSAs should have substantial skills in each of the three areas, some candidates will have more strength in some areas and more weaknesses in others. The ideal candidate will be motivated to assess his or her strengths and weaknesses and develop a professional development plan with the Operations Director.
Relationship Building: De Novo works closely with law partners and business leaders to delight clients. The LSA is expected to:
Be the single point of contact for client in-house counsel (IHC) and DWT relationship attorneys with legal solution needs, fielding communication, escalating issues, and allocating resources as necessary
Interview client, attorney, and staff stakeholders to gather requirements; synthesize and prioritize requirements to produce formal solution requirements for IT and other implementers
Understand client context, research competitive intelligence, and survey stakeholders about legal solutions
Create and present legal solution proposals and business plans to leadership
Understand and represent De Novo differentiators and service offerings
Help DWT and De Novo win business by contributing to and participating in client pitches and RFPs
Demonstrate past success working in the legal industry or another professional industry
Demonstrate past ability to move opportunities from leads to wins
Project and Program Management: De Novo is strategic about solution deployment and ensures every client has a single point of contact for its projects. Larger programs may entail managing several individual projects and project managers.
The LSA is expected to:
Design legal solutions to address client needs
Manage a portfolio of legal solution programs and projects
Create project plans, track deliverables, and report on status and goals
Analyze data to give stakeholders operational insight using tools like Excel, SharePoint, Power BI, and Tableau
Learn new tools and demonstrate past successes (such as data visualization software, document automation software, case management software, document management software, or project management software)
Allocate resources and work on and lead small teams
Thought Leadership: As a provider of “law-plus” services inside an established law firm, De Novo is recognized as a leader in legal innovation. This kind of pioneering work creates fertile ground for business case analysis and lessons learned. De Novo LSAs are committed to seeing around the corner and sharing these insights with the law and technology community.
The LSA is expected to:
Mine projects for lessons-learned, use-case analyses, and business trends
Keep up to date on emerging legal technologies
Participate and present at legal and technology conventions, seminars, and trade shows
Author pieces for law and technology publications
Demonstrate proven experience identifying and adopting technology solutions
Demonstrate experience presenting to large audiences
2+ years’ experience in a law firm environment or similar professional industry including accounting, corporate law department or consulting firm
Bachelor’s degree, preferably in business administration, or other technical discipline
Lean, Lean Six Sigma, PMP or similar certification preferred or the ability to demonstrate comparable experience and training in project management or process improvement
Experience presenting to small groups and decision-makers
Proficiency with Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Word, Project, Visio and OneNote
Preferred: proficiency with legal technology tools such as matter management, document automation, and/or document review software, or skills with similar tools from other industries that demonstrates an ability to learn and use new technology
The List that Shaped a Legacy
Davis Wright Tremaine is dedicated to providing excellent legal services, and delivering them in a manner customized to each client’s particular needs and preferences.
This commitment has remained intact for decades as the firm has grown across the nation and to China. Today, Davis Wright is a full-service firm with approximately 500 lawyers in nine offices on t...he east and west coasts of the United States and in Shanghai. We are recognized for excellence in a broad number of areas, with 89 of our attorneys across 31 practice areas cited as leaders in their fields in the most recent Chambers USA guide, and over 140 of our attorneys across 56 practice areas included in the 2015 edition of "The Best Lawyers in America."
Focused on the Future
While we honor and have great regard for our history, Davis Wright is focused on the future of providing legal services. We believe the future will reward those lawyers and firms that innovate and persist in tuning their services to the real-life, changing business needs of their clients. The ability to deliver customized excellence is based on listening to and understanding our clients, and being sufficiently flexible to adapt our approach to the client’s needs in the context of the particular situation in which we were hired. That involves talking with our clients, learning what their success measures are, and collaborating with them to ensure our service helps them accomplish those measures.
This always involves excellent lawyering but it also includes:
deep industry knowledge,
gains in efficiency in performing work that does not require a customized solution, or
the application of technology to reduce cycle time and improve quality.
How We Work with Clients
We use a number of techniques to ensure we understand our clients. We use client teams to enhance communication and collaboration among our lawyers, to advance our understanding of our clients’ business objectives, and to confirm with clients that our service model is aligned with their needs. Each year, we conduct dozens of face-to-face client service interviews, led by senior members of the firm, to solicit specific feedback on our lawyers and work, and to understand how, from the client’s perspective, we can improve. And, on a daily basis, we expect our lawyers to deliver value that includes not just excellent legal service but also business insight, user-friendliness, and flawless support.
We believe the way we work with clients is a distinctive feature of the firm and we make it a priority to reinforce its importance.
Teams That Collaborate
In terms of our services, we supplement depth and strength in the core legal functions of litigation, business transactions, intellectual property, and employment with nationally-recognized, broadly-based teams focused on a number of highly regulated industries—including communications, media, financial services, health care, energy, and hospitality. These teams collaborate effectively to provide a unified legal solution that is well-informed by the particular business and regulatory circumstances that influence our clients’ businesses and the legal work they need.
We focus on what we do extremely well. This means we will not be all things to all clients, but that they will place a high value on their relationship with Davis Wright.