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Law firms and lawyers are rarely thought of as "innovative." But at Baker Donelson, innovation is part of our culture – we are hardwired to approach the practice of law in new and innovative ways, to deliver value to our clients as they perceive value.


Keep reading for just a few of the recent solutions we have been able to offer for specific client challenges:

Client challenge: How do we manage our national network of outside counsel to lower costs, provide transparency and facilitate reports to the c-suite?

Solution: Baker Donelson's Legal Project Management Team collaborated with in-house counsel to implement a case management system built upon our BakerManage LPM methodology as customized for the client's reporting and communication needs. This system promotes efficiency and includes matter-specific budget-to-actual reconciliation for all outside counsel timekeepers, status updates and portfolio level performance indicators. In-house counsel can either access information through a secure login or receive updates through an automated data transfer process developed by Baker Donelson's Information Technology Team.

Client challenge: How do we globally manage contracts to a specified standard on a world-wide platform without the legal department becoming a bottleneck?

Solution: Baker Donelson's Knowledge Management Team created an online workflow system that templates the critical questions of the contract into a decision tree format.  Users around the globe can log in 24 hours a day, answer questions and the system auto-generates the contract with the correct provisions based upon the answers. Electronic signatures can be included to help with the execution portion. Executed contracts are automatically saved and can be accessed centrally by the client's general counsel team.

Client challenge: How can we track all contracts, existing and pending agreements, and other information critical to the franchise process for our national franchise operations?

Solution: Baker Donelson's Knowledge Management Team developed the Franchisor Toolkit, a mobile application in which the franchisee can generate all FDD agreements using a templated decision tree process and franchisors can monitor all steps of the process, jurisdiction, regulatory deadlines and more through a mobile platform.

Client challenge: How do we manage a large internal investigation project involving two million documents for 20 employees on a tight timeframe and to a budget in the most cost effective and efficient manner?

Solution: Working with the Baker Donelson client legal team and the client's technology department, Baker Donelson's eDiscovery Team directed the collection of email for a small group of lead custodians, and that dataset was used to develop relevance filtering terms in close consultation with the legal team.  The universe was narrowed to around 30,000 reviewable documents, which were reviewed in less than 10 days by a Contract Counsel Review Team, identifying the key documents for the legal team to analyze  and enabling them to complete the investigation on time and under budget.

Client challenge: How can we manage our legal matters across a multi-state region and ensure consistent process, quality and cost?

Solution: Baker Donelson's Legal Project Management Team evaluated the client's matter processes and implemented proactive budget management utilizing resources such as: (1) process maps of efficient workflows; (2) standardized statements of work to clarify matter scope; (3) template budgets with optimum time and resource allocations; and (4) team training on billing guideline compliance. This approach clarified best practices for the entire legal team and promoted consistency in quality and legal spend across the region.

Client challenge: How can we better collaborate with our Baker Donelson legal team to share knowledge, track case status, get ready access to our key documents and trial calendar, and understand where we are against budget for each matter and portfolio?

Solution: Baker Donelson's Knowledge Management and Information Technology Teams developed a customized collaboration extranet site for the entire Baker Donelson and client legal team to access and share information for a litigation portfolio. The site includes extensive databases that track all key data points in order to develop better budgets and better predict outcomes.  The site also includes each matter's documents and date tracking systems to make sure the team can access all needed knowledge within minutes.

Client challenge: How can we price our portfolio of legal matters to achieve better predictability and share risk with our legal team?

Solution: Using the resources of Baker Donelson's Pricing Team, Baker Donelson collaborated with our client to develop pricing structures that balance risk and provide cost certainty. In this instance Baker Donelson offered a fixed-fee model for successful transactions while absorbing the costs of transactions that do not reach an agreed upon benchmark.  This creative structure protected the client's return on its investment.

Client challenge: How can we use technology to expand access to justice for the rural poor?

Solution: Under the auspices of the American Bar Association, Baker Donelson's Information Technology Team developed a 41-state web-based interactive virtual pro bono clinic for low income individuals (abafreelegalanswers.org) which can be accessed from any web-enabled computer, allowing qualifying individuals to post questions and obtain free confidential legal information and advice regarding a civil law matter from licensed attorneys in their states. 

These are just a few examples of how Baker Donelson's innovative solutions are making a difference for our clients and providing real value to the legal process.  Let us show you how we also can make a difference for you.

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