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CGW says new data management system does not dehumanise lawyers

CGW says new data management system does not dehumanise lawyers

Cooper Grace Ward (CGW) has denied that new integration software it has adopted which streamlines its internal processes is dehumanising to lawyers.

CGW has followed in the footsteps of Minter Ellison and Melbourne-based Russell Kennedy by acquiring IntApp Integration Builder to provide information and process management as part of the firm’s initiative to replace its legacy business intake software. 

When Corrs Chambers Westgarth purchased time-billing software late last year it was greeted with criticism in some quarters, which claimed that the software was “dehumanising” to lawyers.

However, CGW’s IT manager, Jason Mills, does not buy into that argument and says CGW’s purchase of Integration Builder is not solely aimed at reducing the number of hours worked by its lawyers. 

“I don’t think this system is dehumanising,” he said.

“Integration Builder will allow our lawyers to stop doing administration work and focus on what they do best and what they have trained all their life to do ­— legal work.”

Mills believes the new system will be hugely beneficial to the firm’s data management and says it is a win for lawyer efficiency.

“Integration Builder will be employed across the whole business, everywhere from corporate services and back office, through to all of the legal work groups,” he told Lawyers Weekly.  

Benefits

IntApp says that the Integration Builder provides a simple way for law firms to connect, manage and automate their business applications and processes, and enables firms to address challenges such as new matter intake, new user provisioning and distribution list management.

According to Mills, the new system will see several facets of the firm’s workflow become automated, making life easier for its staff.  

“Lawyers will see little wins here and there. It’s not going to change their lives tomorrow, because we need to look at the manual processes already in place and find out the best way to utilise the software so we can automate certain processes to make their lives easier,” said Mills.

“With Integration Builder at the back-end handling the workflow process we can dovetail really into any system. It’s not limited to just the practice management system or document management system, we can get into exchange, active directory, payroll … the whole lot. We can automate lots of things through the workflow.”

Mills added: “It will free up some time but I don’t see it as a massive time saver. From an audit perspective and just from systemising in general, it will reduce errors and paper trails, which is important from a sustainability point of view. The new system has multi-faceted benefits.”

Mills also confirmed that, while associated IntApp software products Time Builder and Wall Builder “look (like) very promising systems”, the firm is not focused on either at the moment.

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