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Organize for the Future

by Ryan Anderson

on 30 November, 2018

How Nested Projects can clarify increasingly complex legal work.

If you’re feeling the stress of organizing a law firm, you’re not alone. Law firm management has never seen challenges like these.

Legal complexity is growing exponentially. Firms are rapidly globalizing, operating in various jurisdictions, across boundaries, and in multiple languages. At the same time, they’re increasingly adopting ‘micro-niches,’ becoming experts in several extremely specific technical fields. If that’s not enough, there’s also a concurrent rise in complex litigation, where attorneys willing to take on massive cases are seeing the highest average compensation among the entire industry.

As firms drill down to molecular specificities, spread out across the globe, and tie themselves up in complex cases, attorneys face new risks to firm management. With each layer of complexity, firm members waste more time searching for relevant information, duplicating work, and reinventing wheels.

The future belongs to firms who can brave this new terrain, while remaining organized.

Filevine is on the side of innovative firms. And to hold up our end, we’re constantly creating new features and improved flexibility to meet unprecedented challenges.

In that spirit, we introduce Nested Projects: a new layer of organization for your case-load.

With Nested Projects, you can create layers of master projects and sub-projects. Instead of relying on a static list of cases, your workflow can better reflect how your cases and matters actually connect and interweave. This helps you keep a macro perspective on your larger issues, while retaining the client-level details you need to keep cases moving forward.

Here are a few examples of what this can mean for the modern firm:

1. Quickly Link Related Cases:

Suppose you’re a personal injury lawyer representing a woman in a car accident. Two other people were in her vehicle, who have also become your clients. With Nested Projects, you can link those two secondary cases to the primary case.

The principle is the same for even greater levels of complexity. A file for a mass tort or other complex litigation can have nested sub-files for each party involved.

When you’re working on one case, you’re likely to learn information relevant to the others. Nested Projects allows you to immediately open and edit those cases, without disruptions. Whatever the size or complexity of the issue, this gives you big-picture vision with granular clarity on clients and tasks.

2. Share Institutional Knowledge:

60% of top legal decision makers say inconsistency is one of the biggest problems in their firm. Big clients may be happy working with one member of the firm, but they return to find other legal team members to be lacking.

One major reason for this inconsistency is that information is kept in a silo. One person learns the needs, preferences, and quirks of a client, but that knowledge stays locked in a single brain. This isn’t just about clients: attorneys also silo information about opposing counsel, expert witnesses, judges, jurisdictions, and so on.

With Nested Projects, you can create master projects for firm associations that capture this invaluable institutional knowledge. They will link to every relevant case or matter, allowing you to move back and forth between the details of a case and the applicable wisdom gleaned by your entire firm regarding the entities involved.

3. Define Your Micro-Niche

Big corporate clients are no longer looking for ‘technology lawyers’ or ‘healthcare attorneys.’ Legal analyst David Parnell shows that they’re increasingly searching for experts on a hyper-focused subject matter. He throws out a few examples: CRISPR genomics editing, 3D printing in specific industries, AI uses in healthcare, industrial robots, human microchipping, and synthetic biology. Though the possibilities are endless, the conclusion is clear: the future of law will hold more space for firms who can build a name for themselves in highly technical fields.

With Nested Folders, you can define your own micro-niches. This holds all the firm’s work on a specific field within its own overarching project.

4. Organize for the Future

Nested Projects can bring together specific jurisdictions, specific countries for international firms, co-counsel members, or cases that share a connection with any third party. But the best uses of Nested Projects probably have not been discovered. As with our other feature releases, we expect Filevine users to surprise us with their organizational ingenuity.

To learn more about bringing Nested Projects into your practice, visit the Filevine Help Center.