Law Practice Technology and Management - APIs


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This is a slide deck from a live session for the course Law Practice Technology and Management. In this session we covered:
- APIs
- Integrating solutions
- Tech solutions for business process management
- Finding the value before investing

Published in: Technology

Law Practice Technology and Management - APIs

  1. 1. Technology to Practice Law Live Online Class Law Practice Technology and Management March, 2014 Stephanie Kimbro (c) 2014 Copyright
  2. 2. Topics Covered • APIs • Integrating solutions • Tech solutions for business process management • Finding the value before investing Stephanie Kimbro (c) 2014 Copyright
  3. 3. API (application programming interface) • A set of programming instructions and standards used to access cloud-based software applications • Companies release their API so that other software developers may design products that are powered by the service their software provides. • This is not something you can see. • It’s software talking to software. • Look for “open API” Stephanie Kimbro (c) 2014 Copyright
  4. 4. Examples • Extend Platform o Twitter o Most users do not access Twitter via the web browser. o Tweetdeck, Tweetcaster, any Twitter “client” that pulls it up on your iPad, iPhone, Android, PC. o How: Twitter has an excellent API that extends the platform for its service. • Mashups o Yelp o Uses Google Maps API and adds its own data on top o No point reinventing the wheel • When you purchase anything online, typically the company you are purchasing from uses an API to send out your credit card information to a processing company that handles that component of the transaction and then sends you back. The company had to provide its API to that processing company in order to provide its customers with that service. Stephanie Kimbro (c) 2014 Copyright
  5. 5. Examples • Clio released its API so that Box, DirectLaw, a credit card processing company, ZenCash, Chrometa, and other vendors with cloud-based solutions could design features that would “link” into the services Clio offers. • Rocket Matter partnered with Chrometa to include ABA Task Code support and LEDES billing. • MyCase opened an “App Bar” to create a marketplace for practice management solutions. Stephanie Kimbro (c) 2014 Copyright
  6. 6. Why should you care? • Seamless integration for your clients • Additional practice management features • More ability for unbundling of features • Cooperative companies • As your firm scales, you may have invested significant time in one application. You want the ability to use the data you put in that application with other platforms for other purposes. Stephanie Kimbro (c) 2014 Copyright
  7. 7. What to look for • Object-oriented Web service API accessible via SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) or Representational State Transfer (REST) o If only import/export movement of data, reconsider. • Evaluate API o How will it integrate into existing firm setup? o What are the business processes and data that will be moved in and out of the system? Map it out. Both now and considering growth. Look at roadmap for their API and see how it compares. o What will the API allow? o How are updates handled? o Real-time access to data? What kind? o What kind of data elements in the software’s API restrict customer access in terms of encryption, or other proprietary limits on access? o Does it support master data management standards and practices? Stephanie Kimbro (c) 2014 Copyright
  8. 8. Integrating Solutions • Access policies • Security controls across applications • Ethical walls • Information security and compliance software • Improving workflow across systems Stephanie Kimbro (c) 2014 Copyright
  9. 9. Stephanie Kimbro (c) 2014 Copyright
  10. 10. Business Process Management (BPM) • Technology that improves PROCESS efficiency • Data-driven intelligence • Technology for New Business Intake (NBI) o Deciding whether to take on a client or not o Setting up the lawyer to begin the work and billing • NBI process includes o Evaluation of the client’s needs and ability of firm to handle work o Ability of the client to pay for services, pricing arrangements, weighing the investment in the case (money needed to equip lawyers and firm with tools needs to adequately represent the client) with the potential profit. o Checking for conflicts of interest • Mostly for larger law firm, but how could the use of technology for this process effect the efficiency of the solo or small firm, especially in unbundling of services? Stephanie Kimbro (c) 2014 Copyright
  11. 11. From “A Data Management Project Forges a New Career Path”, by Cristina Libro of Henry Davis York, in Peer to Peer Magazine, ILTA (March 2013)Stephanie Kimbro (c) 2014 Copyright
  12. 12. y/Publications/WhitePapersandSurveysStephanie Kimbro (c) 2014 Copyright
  13. 13. Finding the Value Before Investing • Can the proposed tech significantly improve the work in question? • Is that work especially valuable or strategic to the firm? • Is there a good degree of participant enthusiasm, access, and availability? From The Lawyer’s Guide to Working Smarter with Knowledge Tools, Marc Lauritsen (2010) Stephanie Kimbro (c) 2014 Copyright
  14. 14. Tech + Unbundling • For small firms, unbundling requires a firm systems analysis and redesign. • Analyze each task to be done in the unbundling process. • Figure out what can be done more efficiently and cost-effectively. Invest in the tech to help with this and set up the process. Stephanie Kimbro (c) 2014 Copyright