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May 8, 2020

Watch Onit’s Webinar: Adapting Law Department Practice to the New Normal

Onit recently co-hosted a webinar with PinHawk, Adapting Law Department Practice to the New Normal as part of our new Lean into LegalOps online learning initiative.

The session opens with Rees Morrison, Senior Manager at Ernst & Young, setting the stage for the webinar. Colleen Hankins, Senior Vice President at Fidelity then tackles the first question, “What has been the biggest challenge of work from home (WFH) for your department, and what have you done?” She explains they Fidelity had been anticipating this scenario since February, and that technology was one of their major concerns in making sure that employees had what they needed to work from home successfully. Colleen points out that the sheer volume of mail they receive was another unexpected challenge.

Jim Michalowicz, Senior Manager at TE Connectivity takes it from there and explains that a big challenge was in the operations side of the house. For example, electronic signatures aren’t allowed in Europe, so a document needed to be signed by hand and then scanned. He adds that the other challenge for them was maintaining a sense of community while not being in the office every day. Colleen is then invited to address the second question, “What have you invested in or spent more time on because of WFH?” She explains that focusing on a sense of connection was a huge priority, following technology and logistics. She adds that Fidelity has done a lot in this regard by putting together a communications campaign in order to ensure that people feel connected. In addition, Fidelity’s knowledge management program, which they started several years ago, has proved to be highly valuable during this crisis.

Jim returns to offer his insight to the same question. Keeping people connected was definitely a priority, and fortunately his company already had a communications in place pre-COVID. They already had quarterly webcasts, but now they’ve ramped up the number of them. Their use of Skype has increased dramatically as well. Kristen Herber, Managing Counsel at Under Armour, then takes on the third question concerning managing people during this crisis. She mentions that one of her strategies has been to have more of a personal connection with her team members, both as a team and one-on-one. Kristen points out that keeping a sense of normalcy and some comfort is very important. Colleen returns and comments that not much has changed in this regard for her, since her team has always been scattered across the country. Fidelity also encourages their people to take time off periodically.

Kristen moves onto the next question of how have HR and IT helped the law department. She remarks that they worked with HR to develop norms for communications. Jim comments that there were a lot of things they did cross-functionally, such as chipping in to help wherever needed. Kristen then addresses the next question of how law firms and vendors helped, in other ways than legal services. She mentions that they have taken advantage of all the law firms’ webinars and other knowledge, and it’s been very useful. Colleen tackles the final question concerning in what way will this crisis may permanently change the way they work with internal and external teams. She explains that the biggest change could be having to give up office space and have more people work remotely.

A Q&A session fills out the remaining time in the webinar. We hope you’ll take some time view this highly informative webinar by clicking the link below.


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