Blogs

Within this section you’ll find our general musings and updates, along with a Spotlight section where we shine a light on individual members.

January 2023 - Round Table Events

On January 25th, the DEG Organising Committee are excited to be able to bring two round table events to our community:

  • Ask the Experts  (Virtual and In-person - London)
  • DEG Teams Talk (Virtual)

For anyone able to attend in-person in London, there will also be the opportunity to network afterwards at a nearby venue.

To find out more about either event, click here.


Document Excellence Day – 12 October 2022 (virtual)

Once again, our Document Excellence Day was held as a virtual event, allowing attendees to join from all over the world.  Sessions were hosted in the U.K. and U.S. -  it was fabulous to hear from our wonderful speakers, as well as the enthusiastic contributions to discussion from all the attendees.

A big thanks to everyone that helped make this day possible, especially our sponsors this year, who were:

Document Excellence Day 2022 sponsor logs

Supporting Materials

Conference Agenda

Speakers


Welcome - New Committee Member - Martin Dentith

We're pleased to welcome Martin Dentith onto the Organising Committee.  Martin has worked in the legal IT sector for over 15 years, working with a variety of UK Legal 500 law firms. Currently with Simmons & Simmons LLP, he is the defacto go-to person for all things document related within the Simmons & Simmons family. He has a passion for delivering intuitive and innovative solutions to streamline the document creation and maintenance process and also works closely with the M&BD department to deliver legal documents that are more engaging to the client, alongside delivering a strong brand experience.

 


Document Excellence Day 2022 - Speakers

Thank you to all the speakers and panelists who have given up their time to discuss and educate us on a variety of topics around the theme of "The Future – New Core Challenges”.

FIND OUT ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS AND PANELISTS

 


Document Excellence Day - Sponsors 2022

Thank you to our sponsors
your support is invaluable to us

Find out more about our sponsors


Document Excellence Day Agenda 2022

Check out the agenda for the Document Excellence Day.  You can Download it here.


Calling Document Specialists

Are you a Document Specialist who has to struggle with marketing and business development documents? Would you join a panel at the Document Excellence Day (virtually) to discuss the challenges of producing branded / marketing documents. Contact info@docexcellence.com - we'd love to hear from you.


Document Excellence Day 2022 - Save the Date

We’re pleased to announce the next Document Excellence Day will take place on 12th October 2022.

Once again, the event will be virtual.  This can be joined from any location giving us the opportunity to connect internationally with as many of our friends and colleagues as possible. Watch this space for more information - the full Agenda and Joining Instructions will be available soon.

 


Find out more about the Capabilities Matrix

What skills exist within our Document Center teams? What is our succession plan as long-time staff retire? Do we know what capabilities will be lost? Since our Document Centers have started providing expertise in emerging technology, how do we assess our team to determine the capabilities to develop or hire?

The DEG Capabilities Matrix is designed to catalogue and visualize the capabilities of the document center team. It can be used to communicate, analyze, and visualize trends.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vV9j-ZVhtbs

Watch Sherry Kappel and Richard MacDougall explain the background, how it works and take you through a real life example.

 


Welcoming a new Committee Member

We’re really pleased to welcome Richard MacDougall from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton on to the organising committee. Richard is a passionate legal technology strategist with extensive experience supporting global law firms. He approaches technology challenges in the evolving legal tech landscape with open-mindedness, flexibility, and a willingness to learn. With 30+ years of experience within law firms and another five years working for legal technology vendors, he implements, guides, and teaches innovation that is critical for firms and their user communities to grow and adapt to change. Even before joining the committee, he played a huge part in the development of the Capabilities Matrix.


Changes to the Organising Committee

There have been some changes on the Organising Committee.

  • Angela Crossland – Chair
  • Clare Waller – Secretary
  • Joanne Humber  – Membership Secretary
  • Julie McCarthy – Treasurer

Other Committee Members are

  • (UK) Andrea Bowyer, Annette Brown, Kim Walton, Maria Clancy, Sheila Quansah Solomon
  • (US) Heather Morrow, Richard MacDougall, Sherry Kappel, Tracy Kraft

You can find out a little more about them by clicking here.

If you'd like to become involved please contact us at info@docexcellence.com


Document Excellence Day 2021 - Speakers

Thank you to all the speakers and panelists who have given up their time to discuss and educate us on a variety of topics all around the theme of "Inclusion and the Future of Document Production Within Law Firms”.

FIND OUT ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS AND PANELISTS

 


Document Excellence Day 2021 - Sponsors

Thank you to our sponsors
your support is invaluable to us

Find out more about our sponsors


Document Excellence Day Registration 27th October

The Document Excellence Group welcomes you to its 2021 Global and Virtual DEG Day event, to be held on Wednesday, 27 October, starting at 13:30 GMT/8:30 EDT until 17:30 BST/12:30 EDT

Registration is now open.

We look forward to seeing you there.

REGISTER HERE

 

We’ve established a theme for this year’s event - “Inclusion and the Future if Document Production Within Law Firms” with sessions on user experience, platform - and hybrid - working, building document expertise across the firm, and more!

Join our panelists and sponsors as we bring you this annual event. Download the Agenda here.

You are most welcome to attend any or all sessions and details of the full agenda will be published shortly. Attendance at our physical events is normally restricted to members only but we welcome and extend our invitation to anyone interested in our document related topics.


Document Excellence Day 2021

The Document Excellence Group welcomes you to its 2021 Global and Virtual DEG Day event, to be held on Wednesday, 27 October, starting at 13:30 GMT/8:30 EDT until 17:30 GMT/12:30 EDT. Register Here.

We’ve established a theme for this year’s event - “Inclusion and the Future if Document Production Within Law Firms” with sessions on user experience, platform - and hybrid - working, building document expertise across the firm, and more!

Join our panelists and sponsors as we bring you this annual event. Download the Agenda here.

You are most welcome to attend any or all sessions and details of the full agenda will be published shortly. Attendance at our physical events is normally restricted to members only but we welcome and extend our invitation to anyone interested in our document related topics.


Our strategic partner LTC4 supports new initiative to establish best practices for document competency

The Effectiveness Project team announced today that it has completed the first version of Document Competency: What Every Legal Professional Should Know for Effective & Efficient Drafting in Word, designated as a best practices guide. This version represents 18 months of work from the team and incorporates feedback from academics, vendors, lawyers, and other legal professionals.

The best practices guide is the team’s first step in creating concrete, phased guidance on document competency. It is part of a broader initiative to create a framework that will help legal professionals at large and small firms, in corporations, classrooms, and courtrooms, and elsewhere in the legal profession understand best practices for efficiently creating an effective legal document. LTC4™ (the Legal Technology Core Competencies Certification Coalition) plays a key role in supporting this project.

“The goal of this project is to shift the conversation from mere efficiency to effectiveness, so that we may challenge how we think about document creation in our industry,” said Tony Gerdes, Effectiveness Project Team Co-Lead, and Director of Knowledge and Innovation at Offit Kurman, P.A. “LTC4 already has application-agnostic learning plans to encourage efficiency, so the focus on effectiveness provides the ideal complement to LTC4’s offerings. I look forward to seeing how our work will make a difference.”

“We hoped to create a guide that would prompt people to think critically about every aspect of the document-creation process and improve it,” said Sherry Kappel, Effectiveness Project Team Member, and Evangelist at Litera. “Expectations for document creation are evolving. Legal service providers who efficiently use Microsoft Word and embrace its power will consistently and predictably create better documents. I believe this project will help.”

“I was inspired to launch this project because I care deeply about the duty of technology competence and improving legal practice through simple, everyday technology like Microsoft Word,” said Ivy B. Grey, Effectiveness Project Team Co-Lead, and Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at WordRake Holdings LLC. “By creating specific guidelines and focusing on a part of legal practice that everyone does, we can provide support for the technology competence mandate to have an impact.”

About the Best Practices Guide

The best practices guide establishes a common starting point for improving the document-creation process and provides a framework for effective, efficient document drafting that an array of stakeholders can use in their existing document-creation workflows. Through this project, the team aims to move document drafting out of the untouchable realm of bespoke work to the world of knowable, predictable, repeatable work that lawyers can evaluate and improve.

The guide is based on modular structure for document drafting divided into eight stages: confidentiality and document re-use; planning, structure, and organization; research, support, analysis, and argument; creating content and delivering information; collaborating with reviewers and authors; reviewing, editing, and proofreading; finalization; and on-screen review. The approach gives legal professionals specific, yet flexible guidance.

The content is offered in three ways: an interactive website; a downloadable PDF; and eight individual modules that can be used to build stand-alone units for training and education. It is free and open for review, available at: https://ltc4.org/effectiveness-project

After establishing best practices for document drafting, the next project from the team hopes to set standards for the appropriate time-to-value ratio for document-creation work and to empower clients to ask for more in the delivery of legal services. In this next project, the team hopes to teach legal professionals to question the work they do and actively seek more efficient methods to maximize their time on valuable (and billable) tasks, thus igniting a desire to continuously improve.

About the Effectiveness Project Team

The Effectiveness Project is an international working group of legal professionals—with support from LTC4--collaborating to establish best practices and baseline skills for creating effective legal documents.

The team is led by Ivy B. Grey, Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at WordRake and Tony Gerdes, Director of Knowledge and Innovation at Offit Kurman, P.A., and Contributing Member of LTC4.

The Effectiveness Project team also includes Rachel Baiden, Global Technology Training Manager, Squire Patton Boggs; Adrian Bailey, Chief Architect, DocStyle, LLC; Chris Cangero, Chief Executive Officer, DocStyle, LLC; Dave DiCicco, Senior Director of Product Management, LexisNexis; Florentina Field, Co-Founder of Prelimine, Litigation Attorney; Jacob Field, Co-Founder of Prelimine; Sherry Kappel, Evangelist, Litera; Colin Levy, LegalTech Evangelist and Blogger; and Dyane L. O’Leary, Associate Professor of Legal Writing and Director, Legal Innovation & Technology Concentration, Suffolk  University Law School. Additional contributors include: Alma Asay, Founder, Allegory; James Gillis, Estates and Trusts Attorney, Offit Kurman, P.A.; and Douglas Lusk, Founder, National Society for Legal Technology.

Learn more at https://ltc4.org/effectiveness-project/


Download the Document Capability Matrix

The DEG Document Capability Matrix is designed to catalogue and visualize the capabilities of your document center team. It should be used to communicate, analyze, and visualize trends – teams should commit to assessing capabilities every quarter to visualize progress made, or anticipate risks up ahead.  Read more about it here or watch Sherry Kappel and Richard MacDougal explain the background and look at a real life example.

Download the Capabilities Matrix


New Committee Members

Two new members have joined the Document Excellence Group Management Committee.  They are Heather Morrow (Director, Project Management and Training at Loeb & Loeb LLP) and Karen Kucinski (Manager of IT Training at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz).  There details will be added to the Management Committee page soon but if you would like to see who else is on the committee you can do so here.