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How Fenwick Labs’ Growth is a Microcosm of Legal Tech’s Evolution

January 10, 2019

Legaltech news featured Fenwick’s tech incubator, Fenwick Labs, and the firm’s new AI-powered knowledge management platform that gives lawyers quick access to actionable information to better serve clients. Fenwick’s Camille Reynolds, senior director of knowledge and innovation delivery, and Mark Gerow, director of application development and business process, discussed the firm’s approach with the publication.

Fenwick Labs, which launched more than a decade ago, has evolved primarily from developing client extranets to creating workflow and process automation tools, Gerow told Legaltech. When a client or attorney need arises that can be solved by a technology that is not yet available, the in-house team creates its own proprietary platform or hybrid solution to meet that need—helping Fenwick push the bounds of legal innovation. 

The latest Fenwick Labs invention is Fenni, an artificial intelligence application that assists with knowledge management, helping to pull data from across Fenwick’s databases, including its financial, CRM and HR systems to answer questions on everything from billing rates to client procedures to where to find paycheck information.

Reynolds told Legaltech the need to innovate is in part a response to the modern business world, where lawyers work under compressed timelines and increased pressures. “The demands on our lawyers are incredible,” she said. Fifteen years ago, a law firm lawyer would have a week or more to answer a $1 million question. “Now they get a call and it might be a $20 million question that might impact their business in a much bigger way and you have five minutes to answer it.”

Fenwick’s proprietary technology combined with off-the-shelf technology has been a key differentiator for the firm, Gerow said. “I do think there is a difference in firms who have the bench, who can build if they choose to do so versus firms that have no option but to go to the market and buy what everyone else has to buy.” Fenwick’s capability to combine the know-how of Fenwick Labs’ developers and practice legal process engineers by optimizing off-the-shelf technology in combination with proprietary developed tools enables the firm to continue to raise the bar on client service.

Read the full article on the Legaltech news website.​​​​​​​​​​​