The University of Tasmania (UTAS), one of Australia’s top public research institutions, employs close to 4000 people. Their in-house legal department was looking for a tried and tested technology to ease their workload. LawVu has enabled UTAS to easily understand and manage their legal matters.
The nine-strong legal team deal with everything from intellectual property rights to the commercialisation of new breakthroughs, research collaborations, commercial and construction contracts, privacy and personal information, legal compliance and corporate governance issues.
Having oversight over what matters UTAS lawyers are working on at any given time is critical, so in-house lawyer, Theo Kapodistrias, and his colleagues went in search of a software solution.
“Several of us attended the ACC (Association of Corporate Counsel Australia) National Conference in 2018, which is where we came across the LawVu stand,” Kapodistrias says. “We had a chat to them, did a demo, and it ticked all our boxes. It’s designed with legal teams in mind and it immediately appeared to be the right solution for our in-house matter management needs.”
LawVu worked alongside UTAS’ internal IT team and gained approval from the university’s Course Records Management department ensuring the smooth set up and implementation of the software.
“It was very easy because LawVu is a cloud-based system. It was just a matter of logging onto the website.”
Having the ability to integrate Outlook streamlined the process because it’s all there. As you send an email, you can then file your matter into the system simply by clicking a few things. It is amazing functionality in terms of streamlining the filing process.”
Several online training sessions were held to demonstrate the key functionality and help UTAS’s in-house legal team set up LawVu in a user-friendly way that best suited their needs.
Kapodistrias says the ability to share a screen and demonstrate how things are done makes remote support both effective and flexible – an important benefit in today’s post-Covid world. “Speaking as a millennial, I find technology very easy to deal with. Using LawVu is really just a few clicks.
It’s incredibly intuitive. From my perspective, I find it to be a straight-forward and hassle-free system to use, which for software is incredibly important.”
Now that an effective matter management system is up and running, the UTAS in-house legal team has taken a quantum leap in terms of efficiency and transparency. Everyone in the team can instantly see what matters people are working on and the status of each one. They can quickly search keywords and find previous legal advice given.
According to Kapodistrias, the data generated by LawVu is proving invaluable.
“We can see how much work is being done by the team, where that work is (or isn’t) coming from, and the risk level of that work. LawVu gives us the ability to set a risk level for each matter that comes in, which means we can flag really high-risk matters.”
“We were able to identify certain areas where there is a high volume of low-risk material, and work on ways to reduce those repetitive tasks for our lawyers – such as developing standard template agreements – and empower the business to move forward.”
LawVu also brings all the relevant documents and correspondence on any particular matter together in one place. “That’s important because if one of our team is away sick or on leave, someone can easily take over that matter and quickly bring themselves up to speed.”
Having one central repository for information also makes collaboration much easier. Notes and conversations can be recorded and filed within each matter, so everyone remains on the same page.
UTAS’s General Counsel and other key managers now have clear oversight of individual workloads and are able to assign matters to whoever is best-placed in terms of time or expertise.
The next step for the UTAS in-house team is to establish a LawVu portal through which all university staff can log requests for legal assistance.
“From there, matters will get assigned to particular people within the system. So less email, more LawVu essentially,” says Kapodistrias.
The advice of Kapodistrias to other in-house teams is to come together and decide what they want to get out of the LawVu system to begin with. “Then, with a collective understanding of how it will be used, get your standard operating procedures set up from the get-go. Putting some time into the initial implementation is worth every cent. The return on investment is quite clear for teams and individual lawyers.”
“We get continual support from LawVu with a lot of offers to check in with us every few months to see how we’re going with it and to see what we want to do next in terms of using the system. Having that support is really great.”
Key Outcomes for University of Tasmania
- Clear oversight of individual and team workloads
- Access to meaningful data to measure performance and assess risk
- Collaborating team members have all information to hand
- Improved knowledge management and access to previous advice
- Repetitive tasks highlighted so solutions can be found