Troutman Pepper’s Innovation Solutions team uses automation to make attorneys and clients happier and more efficient.
Troutman Pepper is a national firm with more than 1,200 attorneys strategically placed across 23 US cities. The firm is built around delivering excellent service and putting clients first. In today’s market, meeting clients’ evolving needs means evolving how the firm delivers services.
Andrew Medeiros is Director of Innovation Solutions at Troutman Pepper and he explains how the firm uses technology to deliver a better client-attorney experience that makes everyone’s life easier.
Empowering attorneys to think and do differently
The Innovation Solutions team at Troutman Pepper focuses on building digital solutions to improve the experiences of everyone interacting with the firm: clients, attorneys, and internal administrative departments. As Andrew puts it, “Nothing is off limits when it comes to thinking innovatively.”
While Andrew’s team might act as a catalyst to build solutions, their primary focus, and core to the firm’s ethos, is empowering departments to think differently, innovate, and improve how they service clients themselves. “As a firm, we need to evolve as the market changes and our clients’ needs change. The Innovation Solutions team empowers our attorneys to think and do differently,” Andrew explains. “We encourage innovation within the firm, help bring new ideas to life, operationalize them, then we move on to the next thing.”
The team pairs technologists with subject matter experts to collaborate on operationalizing software or designing and building custom solutions using BRYTER’s legal application-building platform. Together, these teams figure out what’s automatable, what isn’t, and how those two categories of work can seamlessly integrate with each other.
How a digital solution improves both the attorney and client experience
Part of the Innovations Solutions team at Troutman Pepper focuses specifically on client collaboration. Their goal is always to solve client problems more quickly and efficiently, and core to that goal is having flexible technology like BRYTER that can adapt to each unique problem.
Troutman Pepper serves clients of all sizes, from start-ups to publicly listed companies. Working closely with the firm’s transactional attorneys, Andrew and his Innovation Solutions team identified a great use case for BRYTER: end-of-year board reporting.
The challenge: overworked attorneys doing mundane tasks
As the year end approaches, companies of all sizes need to prepare Board Reports. This involves collecting information from various board members and stakeholders internally, anonymizing it, synthesizing and summarizing it, and putting it in the correct format to report back to the Board of Directors and Senior Management. The result is a valuable insight into how the year has gone without necessarily having names attached to individual pieces of feedback, but the process was highly manual and time-consuming.
“Before we used BRYTER, this exercise was essentially a longwinded copy and paste process. Our corporate transaction attorneys would use a combination of emails and PDFs to request information from various parties, input into a database in Microsoft Excel or Word, and then use this to prepare a Board Report. Given this job is one that would occur at the year end, the busiest time of year for corporate transactions, often these attorneys who are already overworked would find themselves spending their evenings or weekends doing this incredibly mundane work.”
The solution: combining automation with a bespoke client service
Troutman Pepper identified this use case as a perfect one for automation: a repetitive, recurring piece of work that was needed by multiple clients. However, the challenge was that while automating this service would be great for attorneys, the clients of the firm expect a bespoke client service. The solution: build a digital application on BRYTER and customize it for each client’s unique needs.
Using BRYTER, the Innovation Solutions Team built a digital Board Reporting Application that collects information from the various stakeholders and synthesizes it into a database. Having built the core application once, the Troutman Pepper team could then scale and deliver this application to multiple clients of the firm. Using BRYTER’s customization functionality, the team tailored each application to each specific client: incorporating the client’s logo, color scheme, and branding and adding additional questions if needed. The result? An improved experience for the attorneys and clients alike, and business benefits for the firm.
The benefits of digitizing with BRYTER
1. For attorneys: a better quality of work
Transactional attorneys are busy, and the Innovation Solutions team at Troutman Pepper helps them look at ways they can work smarter.
“No associate went to law school to copy and paste information. Using BRYTER, we automated the routine work to enable our attorneys to better spend their time on more valuable matters. This means happier attorneys and happier clients.”
2. For clients: paying for the work that matters
“No client wants to pay for work that can otherwise be automated,” says Andrew. However, one of the fears of automation is that it results in an impersonal experience. What Andrew’s team has shown is that it does not have to be impersonal: you CAN have both.
“Our clients want a white glove service and individualized attention, but they don’t want to pay for routine work. BRYTER allows us to do both: combine the benefits of automation with the personalized service our clients expect.
The solution we built with BRYTER collects information from our clients in a compelling, dynamic way that doesn’t make them feel like they are one of thousands of clients. They feel like this is a customized solution, which it is, but we were able to customize it quickly and easily using the BRYTER platform.”
3. For the firm: scaling services, quickly
BRYTER allows us to do more with less. I can scale the impact of my team without having to hire more headcount.
Andrew explained one of the core benefits of digital products: scalability. “BRYTER allows us to take the routine parts of legal work, automate them, build a digital product, and scale this across multiple clients. For the board reporting app, we built the core once, and we delivered it to a bunch of different clients. That scalability would not have been possible without using BRYTER.”
Scalability as a benefit extends to how the team operates: The Innovation Solutions team scales their internal processes. “BRYTER allows us to do more with less. I can scale the impact of my team without having to hire more headcount,” explains Andrew. And while this sentiment can often give rise to fears of “robots stealing jobs”, as Andrew explains this is not true. “BRYTER enables us to automate the work that is routine and redundant, freeing up attorneys and employees to work on custom and higher value projects. Whereas a task might have taken five hours before, now it can take one hour.”
From the firm’s perspective, the benefits of BRYTER do not just relate to client work, it is also about the attorney experience. Recruiting and retaining top talent in today’s legal market is one of the biggest challenges facing firms, and Troutman Pepper is committed to finding ways to improve the quality of the work for attorneys. “The solution we built on BRYTER is one way to make the jobs of our attorneys a bit better, a bit easier, so they can focus on the work that they enjoy and motivates them, and ultimately the work that provides real value to the firm,” explains Andrew.
The answer is short: time to value. “We evaluated a number of automation tools, and BRYTER was the only one that enables legal analysts and engineers to quickly learn and build products. Using BRYTER we reduced the time to value. You can build, test and launch digital applications easier and faster with BRYTER because it is built specifically with the legal engineer in mind,” Andrew tells us. “I could do similar things with other software after spending five years getting to know a platform. But now, I need someone to quickly get up to speed and deliver that same quantity and quality of work. BRYTER allows someone to scale to that point within a day or two.”
You can build, test and launch digital applications easier and faster with BRYTER because it is built specifically with the legal engineer in mind.
“A better way to do this”
The Innovations Solution team at Troutman Pepper is focused on enabling attorneys to try new things: work more efficiently, service clients differently and better. For every attorney that ponders, “Is there a better way to do this?” this team is there to help them explore and test new options, and it is this culture, and leveraging technology like BRYTER, that makes Troutman Pepper stand out and deliver the best possible services to their clients.