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| 1 minute read

Law Firm/Law Company/Law Dept. Collaboration Benefits All

At the July 21st Master’s Conference in San Francisco, I presented a session on “Delivering Value to Clients: Why Service Provider & Law Firm Collaboration Benefits All.” The focus of that talk was how law firms and law company collaborations can create synergistic benefits for clients, delivering high quality work while reducing transaction costs and yielding other savings. My colleague, Selina Coleman, a Washington, DC partner in Reed Smith’s Life Science and Health-Industry practice group (and a 2022 “AI Visionary” award winner) reminds us of another way that law firms, law departments, and technology companies can collaborate for mutual benefit.

According to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Rule 1.1. Comment 8), lawyers are obligated to maintain competence and “keep abreast of changes… including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology…” At least 40 U.S. states now have ethics opinions reinforcing that obligation. With technology constantly evolving, this can be a tall task! While many legal education programs address this requirement, collaborating with legal technology providers can be another valuable way to keep up with emerging legal technology.

As Selina explains in her recent Relativity blog post, “Law firms can also create centers of technological expertise—like Reed Smith’s Records & E-Discovery Group, and our technology subsidiary Gravity Stack—to support evaluating new technologies, as well as effectively employing technologies to deliver greater value to clients. Putting dedicated experts on these tasks helps to improve adoption and implementation.”

She also says that it’s important that legal leaders “stay up to date on the evolving technologies, and recognize that it’s not about ceding control—it’s about harnessing technology to help us do our jobs better.” Working directly with service providers enables firms to assess developing technologies first-hand, and establish themselves as leaders in various legal fields – such as e-discovery and artificial intelligence. Lawyers can then provide innovative solutions to their clients by embracing these new technologies, where appropriate. Collaboration, when done right, can create value for all parties involved.

Stay up to date on the evolving technologies, and recognize that it’s not about ceding control—it’s about harnessing technology to help us do our jobs better.


legal technology, artificial intelligence, collaboration, e-discovery, ediscovery, ai, rule 1