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How Perkins Coie Unites Technology with Experience through Everlaw

by Justin Smith

Perkins Coie is more than a law firm. It’s a multi-generational power. As an Am Law 100 firm with more than 1,200 attorneys in 20 offices on two continents, Perkins Coie sits squarely at the upper echelon of the legal industry, with over 110 years of history behind it.

To stay there, they go out of their way to listen to and learn from their clients in an effort to discover how they can do better. They engage in direct conversations to ensure they’re always aware of what’s happening in the market and using the best technology available.

It was one of these conversations that led Sam Kepler, Senior Program Manager of Ediscovery at Perkins Coie, to hear about Everlaw for the first time.

“I first heard about Everlaw through internal clients,” Kepler said. “I always like to be on top of what's going on in the industry, and sometimes you hear about different platforms and tools through your colleagues. I was interested in the aspect of it being a technology company, and not necessarily a service company or in the business of customer service.”

As someone who’s been in the ediscovery space for almost 20 years, Kepler knows the value of, as she puts it, “working faster, better, and cheaper.” So when Everlaw was introduced, she recognized the potential almost immediately.

Supporting Quick Adoption Through Ease of Use

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Once Kepler started navigating through the platform herself, it didn’t take long for Everlaw to make a lasting first impression.

“My first impression of Everlaw was that it had great ease of use and user interface. It's pretty self-explanatory, which I find helpful, especially for that self-service model that a lot of our internal and external clients are looking for,” Kepler said.

“We are responsible for being on top of trends, being on top of innovation, and being on the edge of what's next.”

Having an intuitive ediscovery software transfers to less time spent onboarding new users, less money spent hiring contract review attorneys, and more of the high-value legal work that benefits clients.

Moving From Buzz to Value

In the ediscovery and legal technology space, buzzwords like “efficient,” “intuitive,” and “innovative” are often thrown around to highlight what people are looking for in a software solution. They get repeated over and over again, but there’s never a clear definition for what those words actually mean.

Nevertheless, there’s a reason those words are repeated so often. They demonstrate value, and a firm that is looking for technology at the forefront of what its clients want.

“When evaluating new technology, I'm always looking for ways that we can introduce new automation or new ways of gaining efficiencies, and I know efficiency is kind of a buzzword,” Kepler said. “We’re always trying to bring a value-add to our internal and external clients. We are responsible for being on top of trends, being on top of innovation, and being on the edge of what's next and what's coming.”

In today’s digital age, firms have a responsibility to stay ahead of trends and find ways to incorporate technology into their operations as much as possible.

A firm like Perkins Coie, which reached the mountaintop by understanding the market and looking after clients, knows this better than anyone, which is why they’ve focused on Everlaw as an ediscovery software platform that can keep pace with their ever-changing needs.

The Strength of Generative AI

There can’t be a discussion about innovation in the legal technology space without mentioning generative AI. It has exploded onto the scene in just a few short years, and is the subject of practically every conversation being had around the law and technology.

“I'm most excited about the application and use of generative AI,” Kepler said. “Although there is some fear and trepidation about it, I'm looking forward to its application in different tools. I think it will show clients, case teams, and attorneys how to augment vast amounts of information, how we can get to key facts and details faster, and how we can use that across different clients.”

To truly maximize the potential of generative AI, it must start with a partnership between the organization and the technology. Perkins Coie recognizes looks to partners like Everlaw, with clear, responsible, and trustworthy principles around generative AI.

“It's a way for us to marry technology and human knowledge expertise in a really interesting capacity.”

“I appreciate the transparency that Everlaw has had around its philosophy about the application of generative AI, especially,” Kepler said. 

“It's super important to have that information because I need to be able to turn to a partner or to a client and say, ‘This is why we should use this tool, and this is why we're going to use it this way.’” 

“I need to be able to sell the technology that I am recommending to a client. I don't think it's this silver bullet that’s going to solve everything, but I think it's a way for us to marry technology and human knowledge expertise in a really interesting capacity.”

Moving the Landscape Forward

With ediscovery software and legal technology continuing to evolve, it’s important for firms to partner with companies that are committed to moving the landscape forward.

“I would say that given the speed in which we're expected to work in the discovery space and the volume of data that we are expected to synthesize quickly and get out the door, the future is the cloud,” Kepler said. “There is no other way to augment the volume and the sheer complexity of the data space.”

Having an ediscovery software like Everlaw, with built-in customer support to help navigate the changes and technologies emerging in ediscovery, is key to staying at the front.

Everlaw is committed to helping customers maximize their experience with the platform so they can best serve their clients. With customized training available any time, frequent user education sessions, and more included in the price of the subscription, Everlaw does its best to give its customers the resources they need.

“I get the impression that the Everlaw team wants its platform, its tool, to be used to the best of its ability,” Kepler said. “They take the time to make sure everybody's aligned and happy, which is refreshing.”