Legal Service Design Jam - Report 2: Process

Legal Service Design Jam - Report 2: Process

Following on from our introductory article ‘Legal Design Jams – 9x more productive than Jack Bauer’, Panicos Iordanou reviews the output from the ‘Process’ team at the Legal Service Design Jam hosted by LexisNexis, in conjunction with The BIO Agency, at Janders Dean’s ‘Horizons’ conference in May 2016.

Reviews of the output from the other two teams can be found here:

Identifying the main issues

The ‘process’ group started by brainstorming the key process-related issues and challenges facing law firms.

While there were a number of ‘smaller’ issues many of these were ultimately just symptomatic of two larger issues/problems.

The first was that lawyers - and indeed law firms generally –often ‘re-invent the wheel’ due to a lack of properly defined processes Tasks that should have be approached in a standard way across a firm – such as the onboarding of new clients – are often handled in an almost ‘ad-hoc’ manner.

The second was that law firms are not doing enough to continuously learn from and improve their processes.

How to stop re-inventing the wheel

If a law firm followed a similar approach to that taken by the ‘process’ team at our legal service design jam, the starting point would be to conduct an internal ‘tasks audit’. The objective would be to identify those tasks which, by virtue of their frequency and/or their impact, should be prioritized in terms of reducing inefficiency.

The next exercise would be to identify whether, for each such task, any process (good or bad) is in place. With that done, it would be necessary to identify whether the process is flawed, not being followed, or both.

This would lead to a fairly simple matrix of situations and required actions:

  • No process: create one
  • Flawed process: improve it
  • Good process that isn’t being followed: work out how to drive adoption of the process.
How to continuously learn from and improving processes

The group identified that, in order to learn from and improve processes, law firms would need to:

  • Collect and record data
  • Present/analyze data
  • Share learning

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