Ballard Spahr Introduces Customized Tools to Enhance Client Value
Ballard Spahr has developed a set of proprietary technology—Ballard360—that provides clients with increased value, cost predictability, transparency, and efficiency and allows information to be reviewed and exchanged more quickly and easily.
The Ballard360 tools include:
ValueMatters is a pricing and matter management application that provides real-time budget-to-actual information in a dashboard format and generates client-facing reports and budget alerts. It also helps us to collect and analyze data from previously completed comparable matters to prepare more accurate budgets and provide a wider range of fee arrangement options to clients.
ClientView and ClientConnect are shared extranet portals. ClientView is an out-of-the-box solution that can be set up quickly and administered by the legal team working on the matter. ClientConnect can be customized to meet the needs of particular clients or matters. Both tools create a way to easily upload and share documents for review and collaboration and can provide a resource library of documents and information related to the case. ClientConnect is a more robust solution that can be customized to enhance communications about matter status, provide ongoing information about the client's investment relative to budget, track the status of invoices, and even enable clients to enter information into templates that automate the first draft of key documents.
DocBuilder reduces the effort and risk associated with using form documents. It automates the drafting of documents by enabling us to enter key variables and other information into questionnaires that feed into templates. This can improve quality and consistency, and increase speed and efficiency to keep costs down. It frees our lawyers to focus on review and other higher-value activities for the client.
CaseTracker is a one-stop matter management application that makes it far easier to track case information and documents, review and manage workload, and draft pleadings, contracts, and other documents. We can also use it to collect detailed case information, such as case type, resolution time, location and judgment amount; court type and judge; and competitive intelligence on opposing counsel. This information can be used to support the development of engagement strategy for future matters. It also enables us to spot patterns and trends that may be valuable to our clients in minimizing overall legal costs.
"We listen to clients—our business partners—and have created these tools to make their lives easier," firm Chair Mark Stewart said. "Clients want on-demand access to documents and customized budget information. They want to know exactly how their resources are being allocated and where things stand. And we want to demonstrate that we care as much about value and efficiency as they do."
This month, Ballard Spahr was recognized by BTI Consulting Group—the leading provider of client feedback research to legal and professional services firms—as one of the country's most innovative law firms. In the inaugural issue of Legal Innovation and Technology Outlook report, BTI asked more than 350 general counsel and top legal decision-makers to rate law firms in four areas. Ballard Spahr was named a leader in every category and was praised for its strategic use of technology, focus on emerging areas of practice, high level of client service, and innovative approach to tackling client issues.
"Ballard360 is an exciting part of the ongoing effort to provide more value to clients, but we have many more terrific things in development," said Ballard Spahr Chief Value Officer Melissa Prince. "It is part of an overall approach that considers our clients' current and future needs and addresses them in a practical, effective way. We're already seeing the difference."