Award-Winning Law Firm McDermott Will & Emery Transforms Workspace Collaboration with the Zoom Platform
Mcdermott Will & Emery leverages Zoom to enhance collaboration and provide an enterprise-grade communications experience for its employees.
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Challenges: Inconsistent video and audio quality from its legacy provider, poor mobile app performance, and lack of flexibility in workspace communication
Solutions: Zoom Meetings, Zoom Rooms, Zoom Phone, Zoom Team Chat, Zoom Webinars
Benefits: Enterprise-grade video communications, a flexible, reliable phone user experience, streamlined software portfolio, and access to an all-in-one communications solution
With Zoom, we’ve given our lawyers a platform where they can work with their clients however they want to — whether it's on the phone, a group meeting, breakout rooms for brainstorming, or a webinar. It’s an all-in-one solution for us. And with all the developments happening with Zoom Video, Webinars, Zoom Rooms, and the entire platform — it’s just continuing to get better and better.
Stephen GreenSenior Director of IT Operations, McDermott Will & Emery
McDermott Will & Emery has grown from its humble beginnings in Chicago in 1934 to become one of the largest grossing law firms both in the U.S. and globally. With more than 1,200 lawyers across 21 offices in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, McDermott Will & Emery provides a wide range of legal services, collaborating across practices and geographies to deliver nuanced perspectives to elevate strategy and surface highly effective solutions.
Although the firm has experienced consistent growth over its almost 90-year history, it has maintained its commitment to quality of service, earning a number of awards, including being named #1 Best Law Firm for Technology and Innovation for 2022 by Vault and recognized as one of the top 10 law firms in representing the healthcare industry in the U.S.
To enhance the delivery of its award-winning services across the world, the team at McDermott Will & Emery wanted to implement an enterprise-grade communications solution that could meet their rigorous standard for service quality.
Creating a reliable, seamless communications experience
McDermott Will & Emery teams leverage video communications to meet and develop closer connections with clients, collaborate with internal teams, conduct depositions, and more. However, its previous provider wasn’t fitting the bill, with reliability issues and a complicated user interface driving its teams to look for a better solution.
“The audio and video were really inconsistent,” said Michael Shea, Chief Information Officer at McDermott Will & Emery. “Sometimes the video would be great, but then it would cut out, or the audio would fail. I don’t think I went through a meeting where we didn’t have issues with audio or video.”
Hoping to establish reliable voice communications with global partners, McDermott Will & Emery also needed a modern, frictionless phone solution.
“On the phone side of things, we were having a lot of challenges with mobile device performance and getting the voice clients to work consistently,” Shea said.
“The call flow was also inconsistent,” said Stephen Green, Senior Director of IT Operations at McDermott Will & Emery. “The call quality was really bad, especially for our personnel in Europe and Asia.” Green also noted how important interoperability was for enabling an agile working environment, adding, “And the mobile component was huge. We needed something that could perform reliably on handheld devices in the office, on the road, and integrate well with our conference room technology.”
Providing enterprise-grade ease of use and flexibility
After speaking to analysts about the best options and rigorously testing each solution, the teams at McDermott Will & Emery settled on Zoom due to its performance and ease of use.
“We shortlisted a few other solutions but there were issues, including the use of proprietary technology or a complicated interface. We also tested each provider’s conference room solution, and Zoom was the clear winner.”
“There was a dramatic difference between what we were using before and Zoom,” Green said. “From the user interface perspective to how the meeting progresses to how sharp the video is, there is just a huge difference.”
Green and Shea also decided to investigate Zoom Phone as a replacement for the firm’s phone solution, and immediately saw how Zoom Phone could impact their operations.
“Zoom’s performance on a mobile device far outpaces any other competitor solution that we’ve tested,” Green said. “The incredible usage of bandwidth, even when it’s limited — nothing else performs like Zoom does.”
Enhancing collaboration with Zoom’s unified communications platform
McDermott Will & Emery teams were able to implement the Zoom platform on a very short timeline with minimal friction, creating a seamless transition to a new solution.
“We immediately began implementing Zoom, and we were able to get that done in under 90 days,” Green said. “And the continuity of devices made training really easy. Because we had previously implemented [Zoom] Rooms, learning the interfaces for Meetings and Phone was pretty seamless — even with minimal training — because they don’t have to learn three different interfaces.”
With such a seamless training experience, the team was quickly able to maximize the potential of Zoom Phone, empowering dynamic communication between teams and enabling enhanced collaboration and flexibility despite enormous global challenges.
“The mobile capabilities of Zoom Phone and the Zoom mobile app really propelled us forward,” Green said. “If we didn’t have Zoom Meetings and Zoom Phone rolled out before the pandemic, we would have definitely struggled. We wouldn’t have been able to keep pace with our clients, especially since our business has grown since the pandemic started.”
In addition to enhancing their video and audio experience, the Zoom platform helped the teams at McDermott Will & Emery simplify workspace communication.
“First and foremost, Zoom has really just helped streamline things,” Green said. “Previously, we had three or four solutions with overlapping capabilities, and Zoom helped us phase those out.”
“We had multiple chat solutions in play and users were split between them,” Shea said. “But we started funneling everyone toward using Zoom Team Chat, and that has helped us simplify our software portfolio.”
And with Zoom Webinars, McDermott Will & Emery have developed a seamless way to engage with current and potential clients without risks to health and safety.
“We have always engaged clients through webinars, and when the pandemic hit, we transitioned from conferences and in-person events to provide relevant content to clients and potential clients during a difficult time,” Shea said. “We began hosting those webinars on Zoom Webinars, and we actually had higher client growth in that time than ever before, and a lot of it was from the great content we hosted on our webinars.”
Zooming into the future
As McDermott Will & Emery teams leverage Zoom, Shea and Green are excited to see how the technology will continue to impact their operations.
“Our employees are beginning to return to the office, and as they do, they’re rediscovering Zoom Rooms and the technology in them, which has been great to see,” Shea said. “And the new technology enhancing remote attendee experience in meetings held in conference rooms is really exciting.”
“With Zoom, we’ve given our lawyers a platform where they can work with their clients however they want to — whether it’s on the phone, a group meeting, breakout rooms for brainstorming, or a webinar. It’s an all-in-one solution for us,” Green said. “And with all the developments happening with Zoom Webinars, Zoom Rooms, and the entire platform — it’s just continuing to get better and better.”