Your single source for new lessons on legal technology, e-discovery, and the people innovating behind the scenes.

How This COO & Others Pay it Forward Throughout The Legal Industry

Mary Rechtoris

When it comes to driving inclusion, diversity, and belonging (IDB), Andrew Kent’s motto is simple: Would your parents be proud of what you have accomplished today?

When he was growing up, Andrew’s family moved around quite a bit. As a result, he met people of different backgrounds, life experiences, and circumstances. Often, where one individual was excelling, another was struggling.

“I saw communities that were integrated. Then I saw others that were still segregated,” Andrew said. “Environments and interpersonal treatment can affect an individual’s life trajectory. As individuals, we can make a positive impact.”

Individuals can indeed make a big influence on another’s life. And that impact becomes greater when we band together to enact positive change.

Sharing Your Ethos with Your Organization

Giving back to others is at the center of Andrew’s life—both personally and professionally. As the COO of Page One, Andrew ensures the company is getting involved in the community to drive a better future.

For their Caring Starts at Page One program, employees are in the driver’s seat. Teams select public interest causes, toward which the company allocates time and resources. For instance, team members have volunteered at different events. The company also provides matching donations for various fundraisers.

Additionally, Page One leaders ensure IDB is a part of many aspects of the company. Their recent conference featured sessions on topics like inclusion, diversity, and empathy.

“When sourcing vendors for recruiting, we ensure they have similar values. We want them to bring us a broad range of candidates,” Andrew noted.

In addition to inclusive hiring, they also ensure that they have an inclusive culture. Leaders encourage their Page One colleagues to bring opposing ideas to the table.

“We want to hear all voices. At our company, our biggest asset is our ideas,” Andrew said. “We need a wide spectrum of people sharing their opinions."

When organizations have more voices represented, they yield better results. A 2018 study found companies with higher-than-average diversity had 19 percent higher innovation revenues.

Stellar Women guest Jigisha Lock recently noted: “The most successful programs that I've been on are the ones that have had the most diverse footprint. I've personally and professionally benefited from diversity. Everyone can. That requires representation.”

Other organizations, too, are working to create an inclusive culture. At FTI Consulting, mentoring is key. Jon Chan, senior managing director at FTI Consulting, noted FTI leaders are coaching women and minority employees on internal and external networking and presenting with confidence.

For Innov-8 Data Counsel CEO Marlon Hylton, he believes that leaders in the space have a responsibility to diversify their company and represent the markets they operate. The firm seeks opportunities to partner with high schools to educate students about legal tech opportunities. When students get excited about the tech field, they may consider this career path down the road.

Chipping Away at Access to Justice Barriers

Globally, these advocates know, we have an access-to-justice issue. Our legal system is complex, especially for individuals without a background in the law.

A 2019 Global Insights on Access to Justice survey interviewed global citizens to gauge how people navigate the legal system and to determine how their legal issues may impact their life. Of those surveyed, 49 percent experienced at least one legal problem in the last two years and 23 percent reported that they lost their job or had to relocate. And, perhaps most notably, only 29 percent who experienced a legal problem sought any form of advice to help them better understand or resolve the matter.

In a Relativity Fest 2018 panel, legal professionals discussed barriers blocking access to justice, and more importantly, ways to break them. Some include making access to justice a greater priority for professionals spanning many fields, including social workers, designers, business school graduates, and engineers. Or law firms can engrain pro bono more deeply into their company's culture.

Technology also plays a role in leveling the playing field and making the legal system more accessible. One application—Do Not Pay—helps users in first understanding their legal issue, and then explaining next steps in the legal process, such as drafting and filing claims in a small claims court.

Forging Partnerships to Improve Access to Justice

This past spring, Page One became involved in Relativity’s Justice for Change program. The program pairs nonprofits and academic institutions with a service provider or law firm to handle their e-discovery needs pro bono. As part of the program, cases teams can use up to 500 GB and 10 users for 24 months.

“It was a great day when we learned about your Justice for Change program,” Andrew said. “We have a culture where our employees want to push social justice. They want to increase diversity and ensure the American dream is alive in our communities.”

Since joining the program, Page One has already started work on three cases. They've added one case each month in May, June, and July this year. The team has thoroughly enjoyed working with nonprofit organizations on their cases. Andrew and his team find they can teach nonprofits about the left side of the EDRM. They can show them how technology can improve their projects, as opposed to feeling stuck with manual reviews of paper documents or PDFs.

“Page One has been absolutely incredible raising their hand to support this important work,” said Jaclyn Sattler, senior associate, strategy and business operations, Relativity. “We recently had our first check-in with them and left that meeting feeling invigorated about what’s next for the program and our partnership.”

For Andrew, too, he noted that the company’s dedication to Justice for Change is important for their employees. Not every Page One employee is directly involved in Justice for Change, but they all play a part. Their work is empowering Page One to go out in the world and make a difference.

“Everyone feels a great sense of pride. When we help other people, our entire team celebrates,” Andrew said. “We honestly don’t look at this as ‘what is the ROI?’ To me, it’s simple: You are a good person when you are helping people. Would your family be proud of what you’ve done?”

Learn More about Relativity's Justice for Change Program

Mary Rechtoris is a senior producer on the brand team at Relativity, where she's always collaborating and looking for new ways to develop and socialize stories.

The latest insights, trends, and spotlights — directly to your inbox.

The Relativity Blog covers the latest in legal tech and compliance, professional development topics, and spotlights on the many bright minds in our space. Subscribe today to learn something new, stay ahead of emerging tech, and up-level your career.

Interested in being one of our authors? Learn more about how to contribute to The Relativity Blog.