At Sunstein, the use of technology to make our lawyers more efficient is deeply embedded in the firm’s culture. As a boutique firm, we have the ability to focus all of our technology investment and innovation on making our IP lawyers more efficient and improving their ability to serve our clients. Sunstein’s approach to integrating technology into its practice has been so successful that it has been featured at legal technology conferences across the country and in Europe. In addition to implementing tools from leading technology vendors, Sunstein has developed a suite of proprietary applications to help our practitioners.
Building the Electronic File
At Sunstein every client’s file is electronic. That means every e-mail, every office action and every draft document is available to our attorneys 24X7 wherever they may be. As a pioneer of the electronic file—we’ve been fully digital for the last ten years—Sunstein has consistently worked to make building and maintaining the electronic file more efficient and cost effective. We have developed custom software that reduced the time it takes to electronically file e-mail messages by seventy-five percent and tools that ensure that the PDF files we save are made searchable so that attorneys can more easily find them.
This electronic file, as well as relevant data from all of our other systems, are brought together in the firm’s Consolidated Firm Information System. CFIS brings together information about clients and matters from every system in the firm and presents it in a single, well-organized application built by Sunstein’s developers. General client and matter information, documents, docket entries, case management data, financial information, and more are available via a simple, customized, search algorithm. Attorneys don’t need spend time searching in different repositories for the data they need. CFIS puts it at their fingertips. Additionally, much of this information is also easily available to clients through the firm’s online Client Portal.
Capturing and Automating Case Management Tasks
Sunstein has also been at the forefront of using automated workflow technology to increase attorney efficiency, mitigate risk, and improve client service. The firm has developed a proprietary workflow system that is used to manage the entire lifecycle of the patent and trademark prosecution processes. This system captures incoming e-mail, outgoing e-mail, paper and faxes and then routes them through a workflow process that ensures that the items get properly filed, docketed in the firm’s IP docket, and sent to attorneys so that they can take action.
Capturing and tracking thousands of incoming items allows our attorneys to stay organized and ensure that tasks are accomplished in a timely manner. Attorneys have full visibility into the process and can be assured that they have all of the relevant information they need to address the task at hand. Automation like this makes everyone at the firm more efficient and allows our attorneys to focus on meeting client needs.