How to launch a new legal tech project in a law firm

April 4, 2024
 min read
Last updated 

Embarking on a new technology project within a law firm can be as daunting. But fear not, for Matthew Vaughan, Chief Information Officer at Tompkins Wake, unveils his cheat sheet for kicking off any new legal tech project in your firm.

In this guide, Vaughan shares seven essential steps distilled from his wealth of experience. From the crucial phase of self-reflection, where understanding requirements takes precedence, to the meticulous process of partnership negotiation, each step is meticulously crafted to ensure a seamless journey towards technological transformation.

Ditching conventional approaches, Vaughan advocates for direct market engagement, emphasizing the value of firsthand insights. Networking becomes a powerful ally as Vaughan urges tapping into the experiences of peer firms for a smoother migration journey.

And let's not forget the pivotal role of early change management. Vaughan underscores the importance of laying the groundwork for stakeholders, ensuring a harmonious transition. With agreements secured and preparations in place, the implementation phase unfolds seamlessly, setting the stage for post-implementation clarity.

So, whether you're venturing into the realm of legal tech for the first time or seeking to refine your approach, Vaughan's insights promise to provide you with a smooth sailing ahead.

1. Self-Reflection 👀

Prioritise understanding your requirements. Identify core processes and business functions crucial for success while delineating areas open for compromise. This clarity streamlines the evaluation process when exploring options in the market.

2. Market Exploration 🔎

Rather than opting for a traditional RFP, Tompkins Wake opted for direct market engagement. By interacting with potential providers firsthand, they gained insights beyond what proposals might convey, ensuring a better fit for their needs.

3. Network Outreach 🛜

Matthew stresses the importance of tapping into the experiences of peer firms in Australia and New Zealand. Leveraging insights from others and building partnerships for migration support proved invaluable in their journey.

4. Early Change Management 📝

Start discussions with stakeholders early, laying the groundwork for change management without inducing undue stress. Fostering comfort with the impending changes sets the stage for smoother transitions.

5. Partnership Negotiation 🤝

Securing agreements with partners and vendors is a pivotal step in the process, ensuring alignment on expectations and commitments before moving forward.

Tompkins Wake knew that collaborating with Verlata Consulting, a seasoned implementation partner, was key. Their expertise and experience paved the way for success, complemented by Tompkins Wake's strong in-house team.

6. Implementation Phase 🙌

With preparations in place, the implementation stage can proceed seamlessly, leveraging the groundwork laid in earlier steps.

7. Post-Implementation Clarity 🎢

Don't overlook the importance of post-implementation planning. Establish clear guidelines for winding down the project and transitioning into the next phase of development to maintain momentum and clarity.

Keep these insights in mind for a successful legal tech project launch! 💡

The File Notes Podcast has a full episode with Matthew Vaughn where we dive into everything you need to consider when considering, selecting and implementing technology in your firm.

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