19 May Duane Morris LLP Case Study
Duane Morris LLP Case Study
About Duane Morris
A highly diversified law firm, Duane Morris has more than 700 lawyers in offices across the U.S., UK, and Asia. The firm has been in the AmLaw 100 since 2001 and has nearly tripled in size over the past 16 years. Recently, U.S. News named Duane Morris “2015 Law Firm of the Year” in two disciplines: Construction Litigation and Bankruptcy Litigation.
- Duplicate workspaces for client matters
- Cluttered workspaces with unused folders
- Managing nearly 100 lateral hires a year
A phased implementation of Milan from Prosperoware, beginning with their help desk, followed by a firm-wide deployment and, more recently, a matter-centric refresh with Milan 2.0
- Ability to create a single workspace for each
- Resolution of 25% more user requests on the initial support call
- Reduction from 15 to 5 folders per workspace
- Production time for imports and exports reduced by 75%
- Broader adoption of iManage and the firm’s information governance strategy
- Reduced costs associated with transferring client and matter files
- Ability to create a single workspace for each
Global Law Firm Duane Morris Refreshes its Matter-Centric Environment
An industry leader with global operations, Duane Morris became an early champion of matter centricity and adoption of the electronic file— a concept originally developed by Prosperoware’s co-founders. Matter centricity today is an essential construct in the majority of large law firms around the world.
Duane Morris also became an early adopter of Prosperoware’s Milan platform, which takes matter centricity to the next level with enhancements to iManage. Milan stores and automatically feeds data between processes to empower admins and end users to work more efficiently. Milan also ensures that users are working within established security boundaries.
“We saw the potential of the product and wanted to help steer its development,” said Emmerich Buziak, Practice Support Project Manager, speaking about the firm’s initial adoption of Milan several years ago. Duane Morris has provided beneficial input and specifically requested a number of Milan features, most recently driving the integration of Milan with KwikTag, a platform for improving and automating document scanning, with the intention to further drive adoption of the electronic file.
Efficiency with a capital “E”
“Improving efficiency is the primary focus of our IT strategy,” said Joe Aurite, Application Integrator at Duane Morris. “Milan makes our entire organization more efficient.” Joe reports that when the firm evaluated Prosperoware’s software, they especially liked how Milan generated workspaces and kept metadata intact during the export process.
Duane Morris began its phased implementation of Milan in 2010, deploying it first to the firm’s help desk, where it helps first-level support personnel resolve 25% more user requests on the initial call. Today, Milan is deployed firm wide, empowering the entire firm with more self-service capabilities that have helped drive adoption of both iManage and the firm’s broader information governance strategy.
One workspace per practice group—no more
Also valuable to Duane Morris is Milan’s ability to create a single workspace for each client/matter based on Type of Law. “Our environment is driven by large practice groups with many client/ matter workspaces,” said Joe. “We didn’t want to create a ton of duplicate workspaces for matters that spanned multiple practice groups or different libraries.
Duane Morris takes advantage of a number of other Milan efficiencies, including the ability to create on-demand folders, which lets users add their own folders as needed and enables administrators to automatically delete old folders. This “housekeeping” capability helped Duane Morris quickly perform a mass cleanup of its matter-centric environment when Milan was deployed. Milan’s on-demand provisioning helps the firm maintain that order by eliminating unnecessary and confusing clutter in matter files. Automatic folder provisioning has been reduced from 15 to 5 folders per workspace, and any folder that hasn’t been used in 18 months is automatically deleted. (The folder remains available on demand.)
Matter Centricity 2.0 and solving the lateral hire challenge
More recently, Duane Morris refreshed its matter centricity environment with Milan 2.0, which gave the firm a number of new capabilities, including the ability to parse email into categories and automatically separate internal email from external email—another feature the firm specifically requested. “The ability to automatically parse internal from external email before exporting a matter file allows us to withhold sensitive material that otherwise would take us hours and hours to identify,” said Joe. “It all goes back to efficiency. Milan has helped us reduce the cost of transferring client and matter files, which is critical to on-boarding lateral hires and getting them to work as quickly as possible.”
Lateral hires are of strategic importance to large law firms like Duane Morris, who estimate they manage 90-100 lateral hires a year. However, administratively, on-boarding lateral hires can be a challenge because file transfers can number in the tens of thousands and—more often than not—the imported files have different folder structures than the destination folders.
Native iManage functions were originally designed for individual import and export of documents, which makes bulk operations cumbersome, manual, and time consuming. By enabling intelligent automation of the import/export process—including bulk transfers—Milan helps Duane Morris significantly reduce the time and cost associated with on-boarding and off-boarding. “iManage native tools did not do what was needed to complete the import/export process. With the Milan product in place, we were able to save 75% of the production time it would take to do the same imports/exports with iManage native tools.”
Usage is high
Duane Morris reports wide adoption and heavy usage by the firm’s 1,800 users, who typically rely on Milan tools every day, three to four days a week. “The finished Milan product is what we wanted and what we envisioned,” reported both Joe and Emmerich. You can’t ask for a better testimonial than that.
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