Innovation in law may be the talk of the legal profession of late but what it really means in terms of legal service delivery is still up for some debate.

What is innovation in law?

In our first film, The Professionalisation and Diversity of Innovation in Law, Totum’s Gary Jones asks Alex Smith of Reed Smith and Justin North of Janders Dean about why innovation has become such an important topic. Law firms are increasingly working with general counsel who are being influenced by their own innovation teams. And they are speaking the language of service design, user experience and continuous improvement. Law firms are starting to do this, but could they improve their approach and learn more about effective innovation from other sectors?

Pitching innovation

In our second film, The Pitch Process, Alex and Justin talk to Gary about innovation in requests for proposals (RFP). If clients ask their law firms to include examples of innovation in an RFP, what should firms be saying? It’s easy here to start talking about deal rooms, AI or decision logic tools, but real innovation needs to be about the ongoing conversation that gets to the crux of what clients are trying to achieve, their long-term goals and the pressures they are facing. Indeed, should firms be asking why their clients want or need innovation in the first place? Does this fit with an RFP, which is essentially a conversation about buying goods? And how do you stop innovation becoming a tick-box exercise if it is a question that must be answered as part of a pitch process for a large procurement team?

Getting real

In our third film, Bring Back Boring #BeingBrave, Gary, Alex and Justin chat around the idea of bringing back boring. Industry is increasingly talking about client centricity and service design, often spending millions along the way to get it right. But isn’t this exactly what law firms used to be very good at: listening to clients, understanding pain points and what they’re trying to achieve? The opportunity here is to get your great lawyers back doing what they are amazing at, rather than talking about AI and shaking hands with robots. It is also an opportunity to get brave in conversations with clients, to avoid the wrong messages, and to take innovation from a small group doing it well in key relationships, to a firm-wide approach to effective and innovative communication with clients.

The interviews

Click on the links below to see each interview in full:  Professionalisation and Diversity of Innovation in Law  The Pitch Process  Bring Back Boring #BeingBrave