We understand in-house counsel.
Ward and Smith works closely with in-house counsel to help achieve their company's goals within budget and the preferred timeframe. We are continuously seeking improvement in both our use of technology and our drive for efficiency in the delivery of legal services. We do this through a framework involving analytics and process improvement.
Legal Lean Sigma
In 2017, a cross-functional team of Ward and Smith attorneys and staff earned their Yellow Belt certifications in Legal Lean Sigma® and Project Management from the Legal Lean Sigma Institute. Tom Babel, Charles Collins, Angela Doughty, Laura Hudson, and Jennifer Sutton completed the two-day, hands-on training in Washington, D.C. as part of the firm's Legal Lean Initiative to improve efficiency, provide cost predictability, and streamline processes to enhance client service.
Additionally, the firm's administrative services supervisor, Chrystal Bradshaw, received her Yellow Belt Certification in Lean Six Sigma, a collaborative managerial process that seeks to improve an organization's performance by identifying errors or defects in a business operation and eliminating them.
The Legal Lean team is active at the firm, and helps practice groups review their processes and improve turn-around time, reducing unnecessary or overly burdensome steps, and deliver added value out of current resources.
Alternative Fee Arrangements
We work with in-house counsel to jointly develop win-win AFAs based on company and firm analytics. We developed our approach to AFAs to appeal to the specific needs of clients who prefer arrangements that are predictable, controlled more directly by the client, or that offer incentives for innovation or efficiency. We routinely offer AFAs, and are adept at using our internal historical data to tailor AFAs to meet specific client needs.
The Ward and Smith Way
At Ward and Smith, we understand that transparency and trust are key connectors in the client-attorney relationship, and in-house counsel, many of whom worked at law firms before going in-house, may want to understand how we issue "credit" for work originated or handled.
Delivery of effective, efficient, and responsive client service is our first priority. To that end, we wish for clients to understand that we are different than many law firms—we do not have an "eat what you kill" system at Ward and Smith. In contrast to the way many other law firms operate, our system does not allow "client credit," or "originations," or any other system that would incentivize an attorney toward inefficiency or expending unnecessary time and resources on a matter. We literally do not track originations.
We simply work together to represent our client as best we can, every time.
In-House Counsel Seminar
Ward and Smith regularly host seminars for In-House Counsel to provide guidance and insights on legal trends and important issues.
Here are our articles summarizing key takeaways from our Seminars:
2018 In-House Counsel Seminar: