I’ve blogged before about the legal technology audit that Casey Flaherty introduced for Kia Motors about a year and a half ago. Would-be outside counsel had to take a test with a variety of fairly standard formatting options for Word and Excel. All the firms that took it failed miserably. Interestingly, the relatively smaller firms did better than the very large firms.
Now the audit has been systematized and packaged in conjunction with the Suffolk University Law School and is being offered on a subscription basis to law firms. According to their web site the expected completion time for the test is 1 hour, whereas the average completion time has been 5 hours. Since the average test taker billed at $275/hour, this represents over charging clients by up to $1,100 an hour for average tasks. While the test people obviously are not releasing details, they do provide the following description:
“The tasks are part of a series of assignments that constitute a single, continuous workflow. The test takers will finalize a redlined investors’ rights agreement (word processing). They will then be given data on dividend payments to investors to investigate whether payments were made equally to all investors (spreadsheets). Finally, they will prepare an e-filing attaching the agreement and spreadsheet (PDF).”
It will be interesting to see whether this test takes off and becomes a de-facto measuring stick for attorney computer proficiency in relation to internal advancement in large law firms, as well as an aid for corporate general counsel in selecting outside counsel.