By Tara Seewald, Director, Business Development Client Services, Wilson Allen
It is with pleasure that I share my perspective for this issue of Modern Law, particularly since the theme is Women in Law. My perspective is not on the practice of law however, but the business of law, particularly around the use of CRM in law firms.
In my role as a director of business development client services, I work with many law firms. When it comes to a firm that treats gender diversity as a priority, I immediately think of Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP. Many firms have policies in place to achieve gender diversity. In my experience with Womble, they are upholding those policies in principle and practice.
As a case in point, Womble is in the midst of transitioning a 20-year old CRM platform, building an experience and proposal management system, and rolling it out in phases to 800 users across 19 offices. I’m the project lead for my firm and Anne Reavis, director of business intelligence, is the project lead at Womble. Two women in legal technology. That both organizations entrusted a project of this scale to us speaks volumes about their commitment to dismantling gender biases within our respective firms.
Anne believes this project is testament to Womble’s dedication to diversity and inclusion – and how the legal industry is changing. “At Womble, our entire executive committee is comprised of women and Betty Temple is the first woman to be leading our firm. It shows that the face of legal is changing dramatically,” she says. “Plus, I’ve seen more and more advocacy for women in technology over the course of my career.”
I concur. I believe there’s a growing respect for women in our marketplace. Over the past 15 years as I’ve been coming up through the ranks in legal, I’ve always been under male leadership. I have found that those leaders have always been supportive and wanted me to excel. My experiences during this time have enabled me to become one of my firm’s youngest directors – the fact that I’m a woman is beside the point.
I think we’ll see more and more instances where this is the norm in the legal industry and beyond. Where the best person is awarded the work and responsibility, regardless of their age, gender, or any other characteristics seen as diverse.