Technology innovation is alive and well in large law firms. 

Later this week, The College of Law Practice Management will announce the winner(s) of its InnovAction award. Leading up to this, the College has been blogging each application entry. [I am a Trustee of the College but not involved in the InnovAction judging.]

Several entries posted so far are based on technology:

  • Foley & Lardner’s Private Equity Matchmaker “brings together Foley clients from around the world who are seeking capital with those who are actively pursuing private equity investment opportunities.”
  • Holland & Hart’s internet-based compliance management system helps its “clients increase the return on training investment, improve employee knowledge and understanding of policies and regulations applicable to their businesses, and automate retention of training records.”
  • Reed Smith’s IP Management Mapping Program “provides a web-enabled “snapshot” of an IP portfolio in real time in presentation-ready format. With it, our Firm’s clients have immediate access to the most up-to-date data, displayed in either map or chart form.”
  • Morrison & Foerster’s AnswerBase is “a unified knowledge management system that allows users to search across the enterprise with a single, simple search boxes, provides each user with a contextual understanding of search results by displaying the relationships between relevant data, enforces the firm’s security policies, and respects users’ privacy concerns.”
  • Mallesons Stephen Jacques’ TalentNet “a web based solution for recruitment management… has vastly improved the firm’s recruitment outcome while reducing costs… [it] manages all internal and external processes in the recruitment lifecycle, from the requisition through to the final appointment. TalentNet has removed most of the administrative overhead in the recruitment process.”

The mix of innovations is interesting. Three are client-facing and one is internal (AnswerBase). Perhaps most unusual is TalentNet since it targets the recruiting market. In my March 2006 post, A New Weapon in the Talent Arms Race, I noted that big firm salaries tend to be the same, so firms need to find other recruiting differentiators. I wrote about blogging; Mallesons illustrate another “weapon” in the war for talent.