How Your Client Views Your Firm

Session Description:  Jamal Stockton, Fidelity’s Head of Legal Innovation, will show us their law firm ranking system. [These are my notes from a private gathering of senior knowledge management professionals from large law firms. The participants come from law firms around the world.]

    • Fidelity’s KM Program includes YOU. Fidelity Investment’s inside legal department devotes some KM resources to tracking and ranking the law firms they use.
      • Fidelity Investments KM group determined its scope and programs through a series of design thinking workshops with all their internal clients.
      • They include in their scope an online tool that helps Fidelity’s law department find “quality trusted firms at the right price.”
      • The engineers/software developers used this empathy-based approach to build trust with their internal lawyers and to make sure their lawyers felt ownership of the tool.
    • PADU. They use a “PADU” system for evaluating their outside counsel:
      • P = preferred
      • A = acceptable
      • D = discouraged
      • U = unacceptable
      • If an inside lawyer wants to choose a low-rated firm, that choice requires approval from more senior ranks.
    • How they Evaluate Outside Counsel Data.
      • They use an Amazon-style five star rating system that is completed at the completion of each matter
        • Responsiveness
        • Timeliness
        • Quality of advice
        • Price
        • Diversity of team
      • At this point, populating the data base of evaluations is voluntary. Next, they will start sending requests for data when a matter passes a significant milestone.
    • Searching Outside Counsel Ratings. Their in-house attorneys are required to choose their counsel by searching the evaluation system first. They can search by legal subject matter, by jurisdiction, by a firm’s matter experience, by price, etc. There are about 150 firms in their system. (They used to have 350 firms in the past but have whittled this down to 150 firms, of which a smaller number are preferred.)
    • IT Support. They have developers in India and a team in Salt Lake City that does custom development using an Agile process.
Editor’s Note – this posting republished with permission of the author, with first publication on her blog, Above the Law.
Posted in: KM, Law Firm Marketing, Legal Marketing