Revolutionizing Legal Services with an Alternative Legal Operations Graduate Program

MinterEllison is helping young lawyers put their skills and interests to use in other areas of the firm than traditional law. The firm introduces in July 2019 Australia's first alternate legal operations graduate program—Revolution. Read on to learn more about the program from their perspective.
Who are our legal Operations team

Our Legal Operations group is primarily focussed on executing MinterEllison's digital transformation strategy within the firm. The strategy encompasses four key pillars – deliver improvements and innovations that optimise our operations, engage our clients, transform our products and services, and empower our staff. Our Legal Operations group is an Award Winning team that has achieved;

Savings to our lawyers of over 30,000 hours of task-work per annum;
MinterEllison being named in the Top 10 Most Innovative Law Firms 2019; and
Developing digital tools recognised in the Financial Times Innovation in the Business of Law Technology awards.

What is Revolution?

Revolution is the MinterEllison Legal Operations graduate program which commenced in September 2019, initially in our Melbourne office. In building the program we looked for graduates who had completed a dual degree in Law and another discipline, who had a passion for the law but did not want to practice. Traditionally graduates who would like to pursue a career within the legal field have been limited to a traditional graduate law program, focussed on training to practice. We recognised that there are increasingly diverse legal careers that span across a variety of specialisms and the legal technology field is an important one.

Over the 12-month graduate program, each graduate will undertake 4 quarterly rotations providing opportunities to develop in legal project management, legal technology consulting and other areas across Legal Operations. The Legal Operations Graduates work under the guidance of our broader Legal Operations team and will spend time embedded in our centre of excellence teams where they will hone their skills in legal project management, process analysis, artificial intelligence, and emerging technologies. They will also work directly with our legal teams to help deliver innovative and effective outcomes for MinterEllison clients. Aligned to our broader graduate program they benefit from the extensive training program our legal graduates experience alongside technical specific training and development.

What has the reaction been?

We received a fantastic level of interest for the program, and believe it demonstrates the diversity of interests law graduates have today and we are very pleased to have a program that can provide a route into such a critical area for our Firm. Of course, our law graduates are also able to support our legal operations teams from within their rotational seats but this provides a dedicated career route for those who have a deep passion in this area. We are already seeing the impact of the program since our first cohort joined us in September, as Chief Digital Officer, Gary Adler, explains "With all businesses now being significantly impacted by digital disruption, we knew we needed to take a bold approach to genuinely drive change and transformation in a historically traditional sector. We're very pleased that this approach has already been impactful across the firm, delivering meaningful change from the inside-out, and deeply complementing our overarching digital-enablement strategy"

Three months into the program, Nathan one of our graduates describes the training he has received so far, "we have been provided with a comprehensive introduction to the firm and its capabilities in areas such as continuous improvement, artificial intelligence and automation, and legal project management. We have also been exposed to essential working methodologies including Lean Six Sigma and Agile." When asked what attracted him to the role he tells us " I knew to join a leading law firm with the expertise in, and a passion for, delivering real impact through tailored and innovative solutions was the perfect opportunity for me: it would allow me to bring together my passion for thinking creatively, leveraging new technologies and working in the law to make a difference in lawyers' lives and to the services available in the market."

Asked about her experience so far Georgia tells us "I've had the opportunity to pitch ideas for improvement with partners who have been very open to my ideas, which is so refreshing. Weekly check-ins with the different Heads of Legal Operations have meant I've felt supported throughout the entire program to date." Ben adds, "The work is brilliant and I am constantly surprised by how fast we have already been able to effect meaningful change. However, I have to say that what I enjoy most is the genuinely communal atmosphere that runs through the entire firm. You can feel a real sense of unity that is essential to the driving force behind everything we work on."