DLA Piper: Legal Calendar Software Case Study

legal software

DLA Piper: Legal Calendar Software Case Study


In 2005, three law firms undertook an unprecedented trans-Atlantic merger to create DLA Piper. The juncture of Dibb Lupton Alsop, Piper Rudnick, and Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich created a global legal services practice with 3,500 lawyers and 3,400 support staff, who operated in 67 offices in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States.

The size and scope of the merger created management challenges, including the need to unify docketing processes across all U.S. offices. Pre-merger, the two U.S. firms used different procedures and software. Gray Cary used CompuLaw. Piper Rudnick used a hybrid of MA3000 from ALM (the publisher of Law Technology News), DM2000 from the Law Bulletin Publishing Co., and Microsoft Access. Given the potential risks the merged firm faced with a complicated calendaring system, a unified approach immediately became a high priority.


While scouting a legal software application to solve its calendaring problem, DLA Piper developed a proposal that listed must-have features. The docketing solution would namely have to be a rules-based court calendaring system that could perform automatic date calculations. The program would also have to be scalable and customizable, and would need to include a centralized database. That solution turned out to be Aderant CompuLaw due to its intuitive and integrated nature — the legal software integrated with existing software like Microsoft Outlook, Elite, and Autonomy’s Interwoven line.  The firm was able to customize it using the extensive set of rules already built in, plus make revisions based upon lawyers’ individual needs and demands.

Business Impact

With so many attorneys in so many jurisdictions, CompuLaw’s rules-based system helped DLA Piper protect its clients and save time and money. More importantly, it helped them avoid the logistical nightmare of calculating every court date manually and factoring in all federal, state, and local court holidays. The calendaring system also centralized the docketing department. Requests to calculate deadlines and calendar events are now sent by e-mail, calendar reports are distributed as PDF attachments to emails, and schedules and backup documents are stored electronically. Plus, as the firm is committed to a global sustainability program, CompuLaw helped them cut down on paper usage.

In Their Words

“We were impressed with the intuitive nature of the software; our ability to customize it using the extensive set of rules already built in; the willingness of CompuLaw to make revisions to the software based upon our needs and demands; and that it integrated with existing software (Microsoft Outlook, Elite, and Autonomy’s Interwoven line).”

— Chris Gierymski, Director of Docketing, DLA Piper

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