While the pandemic impacts businesses around the world, we are fortunate to have work underway and have not closed our doors.
Our best wishes for good health for you, your families and friends, and our thanks to all who continue to provide essential services and medical care during this time.
Please stay home to flatten the curve, wear masks if you need to go out and wash your hands!
This year I began to receive notices of awards from numerous legal publications. The offers were remarkably similar, all notifying me that I had been nominated by my peers in legal for a prestigious award and was a finalist based on recent voting. Some of the awards received so far this year include:
- Finance Monthly’s Legal Awards Global Award 2019.
- CIO Application’s Magazine’s Top 10 Legal Tech Consulting/Services Companies 2019
- Lawyer Monthly’s Women in Law Awards for 2019
- and then again Finance Monthly’s Global Award 2019.
And this doesn’t include the number that I deleted before I started saving my “Award” notifications. I think my favorite early honor was one that named me as a top lawyer. I corrected them several times that I was not a J.D., but apparently that wasn’t enough to disqualify me from the award.
Each of these honors required a fee to be interviewed and for the printing, shipping, etc. of the award. So my question is this: Who pays for an award?
Recently Forbes Magazine published an article on top corporate law firms in the Americas, which can be found here. I believe I have finally found an award I can respect. At the bottom of the page you will see the following note: “Companies do not pay a fee for placement on the list, which is independently determined by Forbes.” My congratulations to all who were honored on the Forbes list and to Forbes for their methodology and process.
I got together with the folks at eBillingHub last weekend to attend the Pittsburg Vintage Grand Prix. What a blast! eBH is a sponsor and had a tent right at the finish line. Great food, great friends, great fun. If you ever get invited be sure to go.
I went to hear Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger speak last weekend. If you have ever seen the movie Rudy (a favorite), his story will be familiar. This is his real story, not the one portrayed in the movie.
Rudy grew up as one of fourteen children in a working-class household. He was small in size and had marginal grades. He described himself as a dreamer who always imagined that better was possible. After graduating high school, he served two years in the navy and worked another two years at a power plant. He loved Notre Dame football and his dream was to attend Notre Dame. The first time he applied to Notre Dame he was not accepted and instead, with the help of a priest who was the former President of the University, was accepted into Holy Cross College. While there he learned he was dyslexic. He worked for two years to improve his grades and finally, on his fourth application to Notre Dame, was accepted into the college. He tried out for the football team,earning a spot on the practice squad (no mean feat for someone 5’6″ and 185 lbs!) and spent two years helping prepare the team for games. In the last home game of his senior year, in recognition of his devotion to the team, Rudy was allowed to dress for the game with the team. He participated in three plays at the very end of the game, sacking the opposing team’s quarterback in the final seconds of play. Rudy was carried off the field by his teammates.
Rudy has some very interesting things to say about staying focused and reaching for impossible goals.
- Regardless of our age, without something to strive for, we founder.
- He talked about “goofy thoughts,” those voices in your head that tell you you can’t do something or that a goal is unrealistic, or the voices of others who tell you something is impossible. Their message is the same: aim lower; be satisfied with what you have; better isn’t possible. Goofy thoughts drive you away from your purpose and can lead you into trouble. I loved that he put his message in such simple terms so that kids in attendance could understand.
- He talked about the importance of mentors in his life. Most were just regular people and would hardly call themselves a mentor. By giving encouragement they helped him to remain focused as he kept true to his course. We need to believe that anything is possible. (I wonder, who did you encourage today?)
An inspirational story and a great message.
There is a new ebilling offering for law departments called Viewabill is a very new take on the client’s desire to manage better. The system gives clients the ability to monitor work performed by outside counsel real time. It allows clients to monitor services provided while work is underway instead of discovering four or more weeks later when a bill is submitted that the work deviated from the agreed to plan. With this system there should never be any surprises.
I am intrigued by this product for a couple of reasons: it completely eliminates the need to provide accrual information, and it provides insight into the actual services performed under a flat fee instead of producing a shadow invoice. These are two of the most cumbersome manual processes in ebilling today and with Viewabill they are not a factor.
More importantly, it represents a new take on ebilling. I always have been intellectually interested to see how ebilling will evolve. Will this be a better mouse trap? I can’t wait to see.
I do feel the need to caution law firms. Now is the time to get your billing practices in order. Because Viewabill allows clients to see real time data, time must be entered on a timely (daily) basis, as cleanly as possible and in accordance with the client’s billing guidelines. You don’t have the luxury of the billing process to massage raw entries under this system. I suggest you don’t wait until one of your clients requests your firm to use this kind of system before you start to put your timekeeping practices in order.
I am not entirely comfortable with “putting things out there” to share with the world. For this reason this blog will be more business and industry focused than a vehicle to relate personal thoughts and experiences.
That said, I want to share something I did the other day that was really interesting. In celebration of its 40th anniversary, the UConn Women’s Center invited Gloria Steinem to speak. Amazingly, Gloria is 78 years old! Her discussion was brilliant and in the spirit of one of her topics, women supporting women in business, I would like to give a shout out to Rebecca, Lauryn, Louann, Cathi and Babs. These ladies are the finest women in legal technology today, all are wonderful role models and working with them is a joy. I salute you all.