With offices in four strategic locations including Boston, London, New York and Washington, D.C., international alliances in Europe, Asia and the Middle East and an impressive range of domestic and international clients, Sullivan & Worcester offer big firm talent with small firm collegiality. They provide a broad range of commercial legal services to clients ranging from emerging businesses to Fortune 500 companies and leading financial institutions.
Located in the Boston office, Sullivan & Worcester’s InfoCenter provides answers to research related requests from the firm’s 180 plus attorneys.
During busy periods the InfoCenter’s small team can receive a dozen requests per day, from any of the firm’s four offices.
To manage these requests’ the InfoCenter required a solution that could easily assign queries to different staff and manage the request through to completion. They also knew that if they developed a searchable knowledge base of the completed queries, they could save countless hours of research in the future.
Sullivan & Worcester (Immediate Past) Director of Library Services, Sarah Bennett, said they were looking for a more sophisticated solution than the system they had previously been using, and one that could accommodate the growing needs of their firm.
“We wanted to eliminate duplicated work, and be able to delete completed questions out of our email without losing that information,” she said.
What made illumin stand out
The key objectives for Sullivan & Worcester were the ability to increase efficiency in responding to reference questions, collect statistics and retain a searchable knowledge base.
“We evaluated two other systems as part of the selection process, illumin met all of our objectives and we were impressed with its ability to centralize workflow to inbox and assign and prioritize quickly,” Sarah said.
With illumin, reports are available on assigned requests, time spent and billing information.
“Corporate reporting and statistics are very important to us so the ability to easily export charts and graphs was a very attractive feature.”
The flexibility to customize illumin to meet their specific needs was another key benefit, including changing the color scheme to match the InfoCenter’s brand colors.
‘Being able to brand illumin with our InfoCenter’s colors helps make our service more cohesive and recognizable and builds trust within the whole organization,’ Sarah said.
A custom field, ‘Already Searched’ was also added, helping the team to focus their research in areas where it will be most productive. It also helps avoid duplicate research and subsequent duplicate charges to the client.
‘Having the flexibility to add our own fields and customize the look was important to us,’ Sarah said.
Another benefit for Sullivan & Worcester was the streamlined integration with their Liberty library solution.
“We don’t need to duplicate the work, so data entry is reduced which saves us a lot of time and effort.”
Sullivan & Worcester were also happy to be working with Softlink on the project.
“Softlink has always been a great vendor to work with, they are very responsive and always interested in finding a solution to our unique needs.”
Illuminating Sullivan & Worcester’s InfoCenter
Sullivan & Worcester implemented illumin in October 2014 and have been reaping the benefits of the new system ever since.
“It’s kept our reference requests organized, the assignment feature is great and I love uploading documents to keep them all together in one place.”
With illumin, incoming emails can easily be routed to one or more email boxes from which staff can select or managers can assign requests.
Administering an organized, streamlined InfoCenter is vital for the busy law firm that provides services in eighteen different practices including Banking and Finance, Art and Museum Law, Real Estate, Intellectual Property, Trusts and Estates, Government Contracts and Grants, Corporate, International, Litigation and more.
“We’re starting to work with the timer feature as well, which will give us a clear picture of the resources used for each request, this is especially important with ‘for fee’ requests put through.”
The future of illumin at Sullivan & Worcester
While it is only the library and research staff who are using illumin at present, Sullivan & Worcester have plans to get the attorneys to start using the system in the future.
illumin was built from the ground up for the web, which is beneficial for attorneys who are working across the globe and on the move.
“As we populate the Knowledge Base and introduce attorneys to the system, research and request efficiency will improve exponentially.”