Strategic Intelligence for Law Firms

In today’s modern, techno-centric world with its endless supply of data, and the multitude of ways to collect and utilise it, intelligence has become the best tool for law firms when it comes to understanding client needs, offering quality value-oriented services, and garnering and retaining business. 



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  • Publication date: August, 2016
  • Pages: 100
  • ISBN: 978-1-78358-240-2


In today’s modern, techno-centric world with its endless endless supply of data, and the multitude of ways to collect and utilize it, Intelligence has become the best tool for law firms when it comes to understanding client needs, offering quality value-oriented services, and garnering and retaining business. 

Ark Group's new report Strategic Intelligence for Law Firms offers a robust overview of how, and why, strategic use of intelligence can foster real results in your firm.

Featuring advice and case studies from experts in business development; analytics; and the ABC of artificial, business, and competitive intelligence, Strategic Intelligence for Law Firms covers topics including:

- Client success through better intelligence
- Why client intelligence is (or should be) the new CI for law firms
- Balancing pricing and client perceptions of value
- Utilizing multiple intelligence sources to create an opportunity scoring assessment
- Developing a CI function in a resource-constrained environment
- Compiling a useful and user-friendly competitive intelligence report
- Design, Thinking, and the why of BI
- Using software to increase access to legal services
- The evolution from business intelligence to artificial intelligence

With insight, opinion, and practical working knowledge from the likes of Mark Medice and Jennifer Roberts Intapp, Zena Applebaum, Bennett Jones LLP, Peter Lane-Secor, Pepper Hamilton LLP, Patrick Fuller, Neota Logic Inc., Annie Johnson, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, Mark A. Gediman, Best Best & Krieger, Ed Walters and Jeffrey Asjes, Fast Case, Joanna Goodman, Law Society Gazette and The Guardian and John Alber, ILTA

Strategic Intelligence for Law Firms will help all law firm leaders establish a flexible intelligence strategy that will address the current and future strategic needs of the firm. 


Executive summary
About the authors
Chapter 1: Client success through better intelligence
  • State of the industry
  • Client intelligence opportunity
  • Data-driven and systematic approaches
  • Measurement, insights, and action
  • Cultural considerations
  • Managing progress in light of the larger vision
  • Summary
Chapter 2: Why client intelligence is (or should be) the new CI for law firms
  • The CI cycle
  • And then it was 2008 - An industry in flux 
  • Technology makes it easy
  • Understand my business
  • Collaboration is the key to client intelligence
Chapter 3: Balancing pricing and client perceptions of value
  • Defining value
  • Using communications to demonstrate value
  • Estimates and fee structures
Chapter 4: Utilizing multiple intelligence sources to create an opportunity scoring assessment
  • Setting the foundations - Metrics and scope
  • Legal intelligence platforms 
  • Relationships and connections
  • Experience
  • Finance, pricing, and profitability
Chapter 5: Developing a CI function in a resource-constrained environment 
  • Gaining buy-in 
  • Process, process, process 
  • People
  • Take initiative
  • Solicit and implement feedback 
  • Track outcomes 
  • Ready to launch 
Chapter  6:  Compiling  a  useful  and  user-friendly  competitive  intelligence report
  • Step 1 - Choice of format
  • Step 2 - The executive summary
  • Step 3 - Establish the purpose of the report
  • Step 4 - Tools
  • Conclusion
Chapter 7: Design Thinking and the why of BI
  • Change or die
  • But change how?
  • Design thinking discipline
  • Empathy?
  • Bringing empathy to BI
  • OMG
  • Beginning with the prosaic 
  • Back to the why of BI
Chapter 8: From BI to AI
  • BI and big data
  • AI's two-factor authentication 
  • The AI of BI - and the BI of AI! 
  • Get the BI right first
  • From dashboard to conversation
Chapter 9: URLs or UPL? Using software to close the access to justice gap
  • Mind the gap
  • A history of software turbulence
  • Legal software is already here
  • Industry concerns
  • What's next
  • Unauthorized practice of law
  • Unclear boundaries
  • Inputs vs outputs
  • A future of robots in the law 
  • Lawyers in the loop
  • Quality service at scale
  • Colophon
Download chapters


Zena Applebaum
Zena Applebaum is the manager of intelligence and intranet at Bennett Jones LLP, a leading national and international law firm based in Canada. Zena’s primary responsibilities include conducting analyses of market and competitor performance to inform the firm’s growth, practice development, business development, client relationship management, counter-intelligence and marketing. Tying it all together, she enables the collaboration and sharing of information and intelligence throughout the firm via its award-winning intranet. She brings a unique perspective to intelligence and the dynamics of market and industry issues as a result of broad business development, marketing, and corporate research experience across a variety of sectors including technology, hospitality, government, healthcare and professional services. A frequent writer and speaker, Zena imparts information on competitive, market and business intelligence topics in Canada and abroad, with a particular emphasis on the legal sector. She is a regular guest contributor to the 3 Geeks and a Law Blog. Her articles and chapters have been published in PM Forum Marketing Magazine, the Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Foundation’s Starting a Competitive Intelligence Function (2008), and by The Ark Group. Zena is a Toronto steering committee member of the Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals organization, an advisory board member of the Special Libraries Association competitive intelligence division, and a member at large of the Professional Marketing Forum. Zena has a joint academic and applied Masters degree in communication and culture from York and Ryerson Universities. Zena Applebaum lives in Toronto, Canada and can be reached via email, on LinkedIn or on Twitter.
John Alber
John Alber serves as futurist for the Institute for Future of Law Practice. He was also the first futurist for the International Legal Technology Association. He writes, speaks and consults widely, focusing on finding practical ways to reshape the delivery of legal services to suit a future demanding excellence far beyond substantive legal skills. Prior to his current role, John was a transportation industry CEO. Thereafter, he led Bryan Cave LLP to become one of the most innovative firms in the world, serving as its strategic innovation partner for more than 16 years. While at Bryan Cave, he also served for seven years on the firm’s operating group (its management committee). At Bryan Cave, John created one of the first Practice Economics consulting groups, one of the client facing technology groups and one of the first in-firm legal process outsourcing (LPO) organizations. The groups he created developed innovative web-based, client-centric applications that delivered legal advice to clients, managed complex workflows and even created pleadings automatically. They also developed client-facing knowledge management, project management, project estimation and business intelligence systems and highly technology-leveraged alternative staffing solutions for engagements of all types. John is an Emeritus fellow of the College of Law Practice Management. He has received a number of awards, both in the legal field and in information technology generally. Among other awards, he received ILTA’s first ever Premiership Award, was named American Lawyer Media’s first ever “Champion of Technology”, was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by Law Technology News and recognized as one of the Top 25 CTOs in the world by Infoworld. In addition, while under his leadership, Bryan Cave received recognition as a CIO Magazine “Top 100 Company” and was twice recognized as ILTA’s Most Innovative Firm.
Peter Lane Secor
Peter Lane Secor is the director of strategic pricing and project management with Pepper Hamilton LLP. Mr. Secor concentrates on legal project management with a focus on improving effi ciencies through shared management responsibilities, strengthening communication and making value transparent. His expertise includes client/matter profi t analysis and providing partners with performance evaluations from a fi nancial perspective.
Jeffrey Asjes
Jeffrey Asjes works as a research and reference attorney at Fastcase, an online legal publishing company based in Washington, DC. His work focuses on the application of data analytics to legal issues, with the goal of automating simple but labor intensive tasks, such as proper citation formatting or recognizing subsequent negative treatment of cases. Prior to starting at Fastcase, Jeffrey worked on policy and outreach for the United Nations Information Center and the Partnership for a Secure America. Born in Zurich, Switzerland, Jeffrey Asjes earned an A.B. from Princeton University and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center, where he focused on the intersection of law and technology. At Georgetown, Jeffrey also worked for the Law Library’s Faculty Services program; conducting legal research for Georgetown Law professors and streamlining the Library’s information retrieval process.
Patrick Fuller
Patrick Fuller is the vice president of business development for Neota Logic, Inc., based in New York City. With nearly 20 years of experience in the legal profession, Patrick is often referred to as one of the leading experts and pioneers in legal competitive intelligence (CI), particularly in the art of translating big data into intelligence for business development (BD) and organizational strategy purposes. Previously, Patrick served as the director of legal analytics for TyMetrix and ELM Solutions, helping legal departments to design and implement analytics and metrics management strategies. Prior to joining TyMetrix, he served as the vice president of product & market strategy for legal technology company Content Pilot. Additionally, Patrick was a senior consultant in the Client Growth Strategy practice with LawVision Group as well as an adjunct consultant with Hildebrandt Consulting, after serving as the global managing director of the Monitor Suite competitive intelligence platform he helped launch for Thomson Reuters Hubbard One. Patrick began his career in the legal industry with Martindale-Hubbell.
Mark Gediman
Mark Gediman is the director of information services for Best Best & Krieger, LLP and has been with BB&K since 2000, managing the research needs of more than 200 attorneys and paralegals in nine offi ces from DC to California. He is a past-president of the Southern California Association of Law Libraries (SCALL) and the co-founder and co-chair of the Competitive Intelligence Caucus of the Private Law Libraries- Information Professionals (PLL-IP) of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL). He has over 25 years of experience in law library management and writes regularly on Competitive Intelligence, research, and library management issues. He presents frequently for AALL and the Inland Counties Association of Paralegals as well as for SCALL, NoCALL, ACI and HALL. He has authored Chapter 8 of Business Intelligence for Law Firms (ARK Group, 2012) and articles in AALL Spectrum, Practicing Law Management Week, Paralegal Today, and Facts & Findings – The Magazine of the National Assoc. of Legal Assistants (NALA). He is a graduate of the University of California, Riverside.
Annie Johnson
Annie Johnson is the manager of business intelligence for Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. At Pillsbury, Annie is responsible for maintaining and growing the fi rm’s business intelligence structure. Prior to joining Pillsbury, Annie spent nearly a decade covering business and public policy on the local, state, and national levels for various news organizations. At the Nashville Business Journal, where she covered economic development and legal affairs, Annie was instrumental in spurring public debate about tax-payer money and corporate incentives. Previously a congressional reporter in Washington DC, Annie reported on the intricacies of the legislative and budgetary process. A native of Virginia, Annie also worked at various news outlets including the Charlottesville Daily Progress, The Roanoke Times, and the Blue Ridge Business Journal. In Roanoke, she was a weekly guest on an NPR affi liate where she hosted Business Talk with Annie.
Mark Medice
Mark Medice is responsible for strategic marketing and new program development at Intapp, helping law fi rms to achieve client success using metrics and actions, exploring innovation in client service. Prior to Intapp, Mark led the Peer Monitor program at Thomson Reuters, consulting with law fi rm leaders on topics like fi nancial competitive intelligence and benchmarking, industry performance, rates, pricing trends and strategy, profi tability, among other metrics. He is a licensed attorney and also worked throughout his career with Morgan Lewis, IBM, and Procter & Gamble.
Ed Walters
Ed Walters is the CEO of Fastcase, a legal publishing company based in Washington, D.C. Fastcase is one of the world’s largest legal publishers, serving more than 800,000 subscribers from around the world. He is an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches The Law of Robots, a class about the frontiers of law and technology. Before founding Fastcase, Ed worked at Covington & Burling, in Washington D.C. and Brussels, where he advised Microsoft, Merck, SmithKline, the Business Software Alliance, the National Football League, and the National Hockey League. His practice focused on corporate advisory work for software companies and sports leagues, and intellectual property litigation.
Jennifer Roberts
Jennifer Roberts is responsible for the analytics and research component that supports thought leadership and new initiatives at Intapp. She examines the legal industry to drive analytical intelligence that informs strategic decisions and solves organizational needs. Prior to joining Intapp, Jennifer was responsible for the innovation and development of thought leadership content at Thomson Reuters. Working with law fi rms to develop insightful and actionable content as well as working internally to educate the fi eld. Jennifer received her master’s degree from the Humphrey School of Public Policy, focusing on statistical methodology and performance measures within various industries.

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