The Value of Law Firm Technology Directors with Sam McAllister

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In this episode we talk about the advantages of having technology and software development capabilities inside your law firm. Can you imagine? And we’re not just talking about someone who is adept at unjamming the printer.  

While the legal tech industry offers myriad high-quality solutions (some of my best friends are technology solutions), there are times when a litigator just wants that one thing that the tech doesn’t do. Or, working with the tech has such a long learning curve that the attorney won’t embrace it, that is, if he or she even tries it.

There are also service enhancements attorneys would like to offer clients – capabilities that set the firm apart, that demonstrate the firm has the client’s best interests at heart and that the firm is even (gasp!) innovative.

Litigators want to get an edge at trial. They want to be able to collaborate smoothly with clients. They want clients to get answers to important questions quickly. Focusing on customer experience is not just for retailers anymore.

Joining me to talk about how one law firm benefits from having its own in-house technology developer is Sam McAllister, Director of Litigation Technology at Lightfoot Franklin & White in Birmingham, Alabama.

Sam works on creative solutions for the firm’s litigation defense teams in the categories of communications, workflows, automation, multimedia, task efficiency, jury selection, information organization, and courtroom visualization, and more. The results come in the form of proprietary software, custom platforms, and apps. Many make the firm more efficient, cost-effective, and better equipped to collaborate with clients. Some have the effect of wowing clients, too.

It’s no wonder Sam found himself on the Fastcase 50, a unique award that celebrates innovative professionals in the legal field. Sam, they said, exemplifies the “build-your-own spirit” of the award.

He is the leader of the firm’s Case Clarity Group, which provides “highly-developed technology to clients throughout the duration of a case, e-discovery collaboration with Lightfoot lawyers, and adaptive evidence models to make complex ideas simple.” And – I like this part – “ask any lawyer who knows him – Sam does what it takes to help you win a case and is known for bringing calm to the most intense of trials.” (I can think of some work groups that would benefit from a position I just made up – Director of Calm. I mean, a cat can only do so much.) Sam received his B.S. in computer science from Auburn University. Speaking of cats – Go Tigers! 

I hope you enjoy the episode. If so, give us a rating!

This podcast is the audio companion to the Journal on Emerging Issues in Litigation. The Journal is a collaborative project between HB Litigation Conferences and the Fastcase legal research family, which includes Full Court Press, Law Street Media, and Docket Alarm. The podcast itself is a joint effort between HB and our friends at Law Street Media. If you have comments or wish to participate in one our projects please drop me a note at