Paul L. Caron

Saturday, May 25, 2013

BigLaw Flunks Tech Audit: Associates Don't Know How to Use Word, Excel

Word ExcelLaw Technology News:  Big Law Whipped for Poor Tech Training:

D. Casey Flaherty, corporate counsel at Kia Motors America, really does have good intentions as he humiliates Big Law firms about their dismal technology skills — and he is careful never to embarrass a partner.

Flaherty mesmerized a standing-room-only crowd on the opening day of LegalTech West Coast at the Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles with his electric keynote, "Raising the Bar on Technological Competence — the Outside Counsel Tech Audit."

Frustrated by ridiculous bills for routine "commodity" matters, Flaherty decided to strike back, and recently launched his technology audit program, where firms bidding for Kia's business must bring a top associate for a live test of their skills using basic, generic business tech tools such as Microsoft Word and Excel, for simple, rudimentary tasks.

So far, the track record is zero. Nine firms have taken the test, and all failed. One firm flunked twice.

"The audit should take one hour," said Flaherty, "but the average pace is five hours." In real life, that adds up to a whole lot of wasted money, he said. Flaherty uses the test to help him decide winners of the beauty contests, and to set rates and set performance goals. "I take 5 percent off every bill until they pass the test."

(Hat Tip: ABA Journal.)

Legal Education | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference BigLaw Flunks Tech Audit: Associates Don't Know How to Use Word, Excel:


Not for nothin', but sometimes non-tech guys are what you need to run a company. Technicians have always been considered to be underlings.

Posted by: Alan | May 26, 2013 5:00:12 AM


Because they were taught by law professors.

Posted by: Unemployed_Northeastern | May 25, 2013 2:46:22 PM

In this day and age, how can anyone get through 4 years of undergraduate studies and 3 years of law school, yet not have working knowledge of Excel and Word?

Posted by: Jake | May 25, 2013 9:37:12 AM

What percent of employees of KIA can pass the test?

Posted by: Anon | May 25, 2013 7:44:55 AM