We asked Legal Value Network member Chris Emerson, Senior Director of Legal Operations and Innovation at Quarles & Brady LLP, to tell us more about his career path and what he loves most about what he does. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn.
Tell us how you got into your field.
My route into the field was definitely non-intuitive. I’ve always been very interested in technology and business. For my first ten years in legal, I was a software developer in a special group that was outside of the firm’s administrative structure. We focused on developing solutions that transformed the ways our lawyers delivered legal services. During that time, I also worked on creating the firm’s cost allocation and profitability tools, as well as their financial warehouse, dashboard, and pricing tools. That led to the creation of a dedicated pricing team, which then led to LPM, process improvement, and data science. In spite of the changes in my career direction, I’ve maintained many of my software development skills, which helps regardless of the hat I’m wearing at any given moment in time.
What do you love most about what you do?
The joy of working with great teams, the satisfaction that comes from a job well done and the delight from the lawyers (client and law firm) when we’ve enabled them to be more successful.
What do you think are some of the biggest challenges facing law firms today in their relationship with outside counsel and the major changes and threats in the legal industry?
I tend to see challenges as opportunities, and on that basis, I feel that there are a lot of very exciting opportunities for us to advance state-of-the-art and create lasting, meaningful change in this industry. There’s definitely been more change in the last ten years of my career than in the first ten years.
What are you looking forward to most at the 2021 LVN Conference Experience?
I love the LVN community and have missed seeing people in person during Covid. I can’t wait to see everyone again!
Tell us a fun or surprising fact about yourself.
During Covid, I 3D printed life-sized and fully functional Star Wars droids. Right now, I have an R2-D2 and BB-8 as well as a non-functional Roger Roger Battle Droid. The LVN Council of Luminaries watched them slowly come to life over 2020.