Zoom Helps Cooley Disrupt the Legal Market with Technological Innovation
Cooley LLP transforms offices into modern-day innovation centers using technology such as Zoom to embrace hybrid work and events.
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Challenges: Global law firm known for advising tech-focused clients wanted to completely transform its worldwide offices to better reflect its passion for innovation.
Solutions: Zoom Meetings, Zoom Phone, Zoom Rooms, Zoom Events, Zoom Webinars, Zoom Team Chat, Professional Services, Zoom Contact Center
Benefits: One vendor for all communications, meetings, events, phone, and collaboration; ease-of-use regardless of technology comfort level; can meet clients’ expectations and stay connected from anywhere; host inclusive, hybrid events that extend brand recognition.
We worked with Zoom because of its ease of use, deep feature set—and because we viewed them as a disruptor, which is how we view ourselves.
Rob KerrCooley LLP Chief Information Officer
Traditionally speaking, law firms are not usually synonymous with technological innovation. But Cooley LLP is known for advising technology disruptors and is a disruptor itself, using technology solutions to create a seamless experience across its global offices, including Zoom for its communications and collaboration needs as well as virtual/hybrid events.
Founded in 1920, Cooley has a rich history of representing clients in the technology sector and has built its reputation for finding and leveraging new technology on its clients’ behalf. In 2018, Cooley redesigned its New York office away from the traditional setup of personal, perimeter offices and moved toward technology-enabled spaces that reflect its dedication to pushing beyond the boundaries of technological limitations, while establishing a global standard that is now used in all of Cooley’s modern offices.
“We look at technological disruption as not just following the yellow brick road, but really saying, ‘What do our lawyers need most today? What do our clients need the most?’ And how can we do that in a way that perhaps we haven’t previously thought about,” said Rob Kerr, chief information officer at Cooley.
Rob’s team began planning for a new hybrid workspace that would encourage better collaboration and connect its lawyers and clients around the world with ease.
Connectedness is imperative. It's no longer a nice-to-have or ‘I need to talk.' It's instead, ‘I have to share documents. I have to work together with my clients and colleagues,’ and I have to be able to do that on a global scale.
Rob KerrCooley LLP Chief Information Officer
Enabling better collaboration through digital transformation
To achieve this vision, Cooley worked with Zoom’s Professional Services Organization (PSO) to create designs for its conference rooms and huddle rooms as they transformed into wireless collaboration spaces with touch-screen TVs, divisible spaces, and digital panels that control each room’s setup. Each Cooley conference room was configured as a Zoom Room, which allows Cooley employees to start meetings from a voice prompt, interact and share content across dual touch screens, and transition to an in-progress meeting using a one-touch interface.
“When we began working with Zoom, it was principally Zoom Meetings in all of our workspaces. But then we went deeply into the technology for every single space, and all of our conference rooms became Zoom Rooms,” Rob said. “From our smallest room to our largest, they all have exactly the same capabilities for consistency of experience and ease of use.”
Cooley continued to deepen its relationship with Zoom after the New York office redesign and retrofitted all 17 of its locations with Zoom Rooms, deployed Zoom Team Chat for quicker collaboration, and upgraded its phone system to Zoom Phone for greater call flexibility. While migrating to a new phone system brings the potential for downtime and extensive employee training, Cooley turned to Zoom’s Professional Services Organization (PSO) to assist with the porting of more than 5,000 numbers while deploying more than 3,300 Zoom Phone licenses.
“There’s a lot of anxiety around porting numbers in the middle of the day. What’s going to happen if someone is on a call on one platform and then receives a phone call on another? How do you bridge that?” Rob said. “Because we were already using Zoom Meetings, the interface was easy to use and made the transition to Zoom Phone seamless. People were able to transition easily and intuitively.”
Virtual connections yield new opportunities for growth
With new infrastructure and technology in place, Cooley frequently uses Zoom Meetings and Zoom Webinars to distribute educational content and legal updates to its clients. When the global pandemic halted in-person gatherings, Cooley drew upon the success of previous Zoom experiences to launch a fully-virtual event strategy and deliver the professional services and expertise their clients expected.
“COVID-19 forced us to shift everything to a virtual format. In doing so, we learned that with the right tools, such as those we have available through Zoom, we were able to continue providing high-value, high-touch, high-quality conferences, webinars, or social functions, as well as conduct meaningful client meetings and relationship-building activities,” said Jen Ainsworth, Director of Marketing – Business at Cooley.
No stranger to events, Cooley is typically involved in 900+ events per year, which includes a variety of sponsorships, conferences, meetings, and speaking engagements. The pandemic created a new dependency on remote experiences, so Cooley used Zoom to stay connected and hosted internal social hours and larger corporate events. But as in-person events began to return, Cooley chose a new virtual event management solution to bridge the gap between remote and in-person events.
Zoom Events helps Cooley elevate the hybrid experience
Cooley’s integration with the Zoom platform led to a natural transition to use Zoom Events for its first truly hybrid experience: a two-day conference with the Berkeley Center for Law and Business. Led by Savannah Fairbank on Cooley’s events team, the goal was to provide the same experience for both remote and in-person attendees.
“The Berkeley Forum on Corporate Governance was our first foray into a major hybrid event, and in addition to executing virtually, we were also running logistics on the ground. We needed Zoom’s help to execute the virtual component as our team couldn’t be online and offline at the same time,” Savannah said.
Savannah leveraged Zoom Events Services to manage the digital feeds and content for the virtual audience. As the event was planned in close partnership with Berkeley, it was important to highlight both the Berkeley Law and Cooley brands.
“We needed to make our event feel like Cooley from a technological perspective, and because our offices feel like Zoom, continuing to utilize a Zoom option made perfect sense. There was a lot of collaboration to see how we could use the solutions we already have in place,” Savannah said. “Zoom’s Events Services team was really helpful in figuring all that out and in terms of building out the event itself so that it was fully live.”
All told, the Berkeley Forum hosted roughly 120 people in person and an additional 800 remote participants. Both virtual and in-person attendees viewed the same live video feed and simultaneous content, resulting in a seamless hybrid experience that positively reflected the Cooley brand.
We received a lot of positive feedback. Attendees were excited to have the option to join virtually and have the digital experience be very close to the experience on the ground. Our ability to customize imagery, logos, bios, and other branding options allowed us to further align the virtual experience with what was happening live.
Savannah FairbankCooley LLP Lead Marketing Events Manager
Channeling innovation to disrupt new markets
For Cooley, brand reach means more than a marketing campaign or a successful event; it’s how the firm maintains a competitive advantage and breaks into new markets.
“Brand reach is incredibly important for us from a competitive standpoint to keep in front of this disruptive, innovative new economy,” Jen Ainsworth said. “It’s imperative to focus on business opportunities that are not necessarily situated where our offices are located, as more markets open up and expand throughout the U.S. and around the world.”
From Beijing to Boston, Cooley’s teams may be spread around the world, but they stay connected through enhanced collaboration tools like Zoom Team Chat. Their long-standing relationship with Zoom provides ongoing opportunities to break new ground as a technology disruptor.
We've developed a relationship with Zoom where we feel like we have input and a voice that's heard. We worked with them very closely on product development features that were critical for us in our adoption path.
Rob KerrCooley LLP Chief Information Officer
Cooley was an early adopter of Zoom Whiteboard, which allows employees to visually strategize and easily collaborate during meetings; and Smart Gallery, a feature that grants remote participants an individualized view of conference room attendees. Now, Cooley is adding Zoom Contact Center to its roster of Zoom products to service its internal Help Desk and better serve employees.
“I’m excited not only about the emerging technologies and the focus that Zoom has, but also the ability to see how other industries, companies, and technologies fit into that overall spectrum,” Rob said. “I look at our Zoom relationship as something that has long-term value for us beyond just the services that are being provisioned to us,” Rob added.
Hybrid workstyles are key to meaningful customer connections
Looking ahead, Cooley is confident that hybrid events, remote work, digital collaboration, and personalized, virtual experiences are the norm. Using Zoom, Cooley can continue to serve its clients and employees where they work best, most recently working with Zoom’s PSO to launch Zoom Contact Center.
“We frequently talk about meeting our clients where they are, and many of our clients are permanently remote, so there’s going to be an element of our work and marketing that will remain in this hybrid world forever,” Jen said.
Learn more about how Zoom supported Cooley’s hybrid event strategy and some best practices for hosting your own hybrid experience.
Zoom is really helping us create that system of normalcy and togetherness around how we work both internally and with our clients.
Jen AinsworthCooley LLP Director of Marketing - Business