iManage helps Davison Eastman Muñoz Lederman & Paone bring new level of efficiency to its daily operations
Davison Eastman Muñoz Lederman & Paone P.A. (DEMLP) is a full-service law firm providing coordinated legal services from its offices in Freehold and Toms River, New Jersey. Since its founding in 1988, the firm has established a strong reputation in the legal community. Clients trust DEMLP to represent them on a multitude of general and complex issues that might arise in any business, individual or family setting.
As the firm entered its third decade, DEMLP sought to implement some key changes to its daily operations. For years, the firm had relied on internal folders, email inboxes and file shares to manage all of its documents and communications. To improve efficiency, the firm decided to seek out a document management system (DMS) that could be leveraged throughout the organization.
“It was time to take a more sophisticated approach to the way the firm operated,” said Matt Blaine, Partner and Chair of the firm’s Technology and Innovation Committee. “We wanted to have one centralized document repository to reduce time spent searching for files. In addition, we wanted to make documents more accessible for remote users so that our attorneys can stay productive even when they’re not at the office.”
Because the firm did not previously have any formal document management system, DEMLP’s primary criteria for a solution was that it needed to be both user friendly and cost-effective for the firm.
“We’re not a very large firm and we did not want to spend millions of dollars implementing a new document management system,” said Blaine. “We wanted a solution that we could deploy quickly and painlessly and that people would be comfortable using right away.”
DEMLP formed an evaluation committee, eventually narrowing down the DMS contenders to two finalists: iManage and a web-based competitor. After viewing demos of both products, the committee overwhelmingly voted to go with iManage. Key elements of the iManage solution include iManage Work for document and email management, iManage Share for secure sharing with clients and outside parties and iManage Mobility for mobile working.
“We felt iManage Work’s ease of use and overall look-and-feel would make it very easy for our people to transition to using a DMS,” said Blaine. “We were also excited about other elements, like the ability to share documents more securely. The product basically sold itself at all levels and made the decision a no-brainer.”
Working with iManage partner Adaptive Solutions, DEMLP completed an on-premises implementation of iManage within four months and transitioned the entire firm over to the new systems over the course of three weeks.
Since going live on iManage, DEMLP has experienced numerous benefits. Files are much easier to find which saves attorneys time in two ways: first, they spend significantly less time searching for files, and second, attorneys need less time “reinventing the wheel” when preparing new legal documents for clients.
“In the past, our attorneys might spend one to two hours looking through their case files to find a document that could help with a new agreement they were drafting,” said Blaine. “If nothing turned up, they might then email the firm to see if anyone had anything relevant in their case files and then wait to hear back. Now, they can just perform a simple search within iManage Work and instantly bring up results. Time is money at a law firm, so any opportunity to save our attorneys time is significant.” Solutions: • iManage Work provides a centralized repository for all documents, emails, and other work product • iManage Share allows easy and secure sharing and collaboration with clients, service providers and other outside parties • iManage Mobility enables busy professionals to access their most current work product from iOS, Android, Windows or other mobile devices Benefits: • File searches that used to take an hour or more can successfully be conducted in minutes, giving attorneys more of their time back • Files can be shared with third parties in minutes rather than days, allowing for easier collaboration and faster turnaround on matters • Secure access to full range of documents and emails from mobile devices allows attorneys to stay productive outside the office, from the courtroom to their homes
“On average, our attorneys probably save at least an hour per day thanks to iManage, although that guess could be much higher,” said Patricia Isaacson, Executive Director, DEMLP.
With iManage Share, the firm has gained a quick and secure way to collaborate with clients and other third parties without having to resort to insecure file sharing methods like email, consumer file sharing applications or cumbersome hard copy mailings.
“We live in an age of immediacy — people want files as soon as possible,” said Blaine. “Instead of downloading documents, putting them on a flash drive or CD and then hand delivering or overnighting them to someone, we just send a secure Share link. They can have access to those documents and start collaborating on them in a matter of minutes, instead of days — which allows us to turn around matters that much more quickly. Just as importantly, iManage Share gives us a tremendous amount of security when we’re sharing files, which is good from a confidentiality and HIPAA perspective.”
In addition, DEMLP has been using iManage Mobility to provide its attorneys with anywhere, anytime access to all of their critical work product, improving productivity and enhancing the level of service that the firm can deliver.
“At a recent trial, the opposing attorney brought approximately five boxes worth of documents into the courtroom,” said Jim Petrozelli, IT Director, DEMLP. “Our attorney, on the other hand, simply placed his iPad on the table and pulled up iManage Mobility. Initially, the judge was skeptical that our attorney could quickly find the appropriate documents. The judge asked our attorney several questions and he immediately responded because all of the documents he needed were right at his fingertips — whereas the other attorney had to fumble through papers to come up with his answers.” The process improvements that iManage has enabled in DEMLP’s daily operations play an important role in shaping the overall work culture at the firm. “We want to provide a certain quality of life to the attorneys and staff here, especially those with young children,” said Isaacson. “In the past, an attorney might be stuck at the office after closing time for an extra hour or more trying to find a particular document. Now, that search will take minutes allowing them to get home to their family and spend time with them. That helps us create a culture for our firm where we have an opportunity to provide excellent legal services and also have a work/life balance.”
The process improvements that iManage has enabled in DEMLP’s daily operations play an important role in shaping the overall work culture at the firm. “We want to provide a certain quality of life to the attorneys and staff here, especially those with young children,” said Isaacson. “In the past, an attorney might be stuck at the office after closing time for an extra hour or more trying to find a particular document. Now, that search will take minutes allowing them to get home to their family and spend time with them. That helps us create a culture for our firm where we have an opportunity to provide excellent legal services and also have a work/life balance.”