Publishing and Placement Application
A cloud based SaaS application for the publishing and placement of public notices. The challenge for this project was filling the needs of several stakeholders. The stakeholders included law firms and agents representing financial institutions, newspaper publishers that edit and publish public notices, and the back office processors who are assigning public notices to publishers. I led the design and development of the project from requirements gathering to completed delivery. We broke the project down into two phases. The first phase addressed the back office and editing functions that our employees would be utilizing. The second phase was concerned with the law firm, agents and newspaper publisher facing features. Each phase took approximately nine months to develop. Because of the features and back office improvements made we were able to gain a competitive edge and increase business and revenues as a result. The latest phase, just completed, is widening the market from an Illinois-based product to a national application.
Case Management Application
A national cloud based SaaS case, calendar and docket application for law firms. There were several challenges for this project. The first was moving a Windows thin client product using TCP/IP to connect to a company-hosted Oracle database. So not only were we moving the front end to the Web, but the back end database needed to be converted to a cloud-based RDS product. We had some competitive issues we had to deal with to add insult to injury. We were able to design around the core features of the product in a very comfortable UI thanks to some UI/UX help, deep SME involvement and customer concept testing. We successfully delivered the first iteration of the product within nine months out of hybrid environment to meet competition. We were able to release a full cloud environment within another six months and also make it a national versus regional product. It was a phenomenal lesson and taught me how to move from waterfall to agile development. We released a mobile app for attorneys in both IOS and Adroid which has yet to be met by the competition.
Professional Social Network
In 2008, attorneys were being laid off from law firms at a rapid pace. We wanted to reach out to the profession and assist them. We decided to build a professional social network called the Chicago Lawyer Network. We held a number of events, like speed networking, meet your mentor, a charity fashion show (focus on woman attorneys) and other concepts to help attorneys build their professional network. I designed and developed the network using the Ning platform. We also built another adjacent blog called Attorneys in Transition that was intended to help attorneys who were struggling with unemployment. We held several events focusing on attorneys making a career change including panel discussions at John Marshall Law School and the Chicago Bar Association. The reason why this case study might be important is because in a matter of 30 days, we were up and running with several tools and events for attorneys that helped build good will and strengthened the legal professional community in Chicago. The Chicago Lawyer Network is now one of the most active groups on LinkedIn for professionals in Chicago and grew out of the site created in 2008.
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Online
In 2004, The Wall Street Journal was the only business newspaper that was actually making money on the Internet. Publishers like the owners of the Chicago Law Bulletin looked at the Internet with fear of losing money as almost all publications were giving their content away for free. It took a lot of convincing on my part and several iterations and promises of monetized subscriber retention and expansion to get the owners to buy into it. I was fortunate to get the consensus of our editor at the time who made Peter Parker’s editor in Spiderman seem like a light weight. So we embarked on moving the print Chicago Daily Law Bulletin to the web. I gathered the team, put the design together and worked on getting a daily newspaper up and running on the web 24/7. There were some challenges, other than the change management, we had to pick a content management product. We ended up using a privately built converted SGMI system that we eventually replaced (another case study for another day). And most importantly we had to build the password security to check the circulation list for active subscribers. This was a great experience to learn content management from the ground up, centralized login systems, and how to limit risk in a project. This one took about nine months from final go-ahead for the project to release.