BAL Wins Legalweek Award for Most Innovative Law Firm Operations Team

Jul 19, 2021 2:48 PM ET


Tech-forward immigration law firm Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) won the Most Innovative Law Firm Operations Team of the Year Award, announced by Legalweek at the Leaders in Tech Law Awards ceremony Tuesday. The award recognizes BAL's proprietary case management system, Cobalt®, for its speed and efficiency in serving clients worldwide.

Legalweek honored firms that developed innovative tech solutions during a year of "unprecedented uncertainty and needed flexibility." With vision and foresight, BAL's Operations began enhancements on Cobalt in mid-2019 and finished the project shortly after COVID lockdowns began. Cobalt's lightning-fast search engine and document upload features surpassed all expectations in timing and effectiveness.

"I'm honored to work and innovate with an incredible team in a unique environment," said Chanille Juneau, Head of Products. "At BAL we have forward-thinking tech people who work side-by-side with our legal teams, figuring out how to apply technology to the legal practice in ways that are most effective and beneficial to clients."

The team optimized Cobalt to handle the growing number of users as BAL expanded its caseload. Juneau and her team improved search accuracy and enabled greater speed and document upload capability, so that users would have the same experience regardless of whether one person or 1,000 people were simultaneously searching or uploading a document. 

The new system launched August 2020, six weeks before the government unexpectedly opened a filing window that led to the biggest wave of immigrant green-card filings in 15 years. With enhancements to Cobalt's performance and scalability, BAL was able to successfully file more than 10,000 cases for clients in a four-week filing period, with Cobalt handling a record number of users, searches and document uploads, while experiencing zero down time or outages.

"This project was a significant win for our firm and our clients. Cobalt is already an industry-leading legal tech product, and our teams elevated its performance level and utility during a critical time," said Chief Information & Technology Officer Vince DiMascio.

"During the massive surge in usage, Cobalt operated without a single misstep, and we filed all client applications without interruption," added Partner Edward Rios, Head of Innovation. "Even during stressful caseload surges, our clients can sleep at night knowing that nothing will be dropped because we have the best people and tools in the industry."

Rios and DiMascio also presented at Legalweek's Driving Legal Forward virtual event on Tuesday, leading a speaker session on "Change Management, Successful Law Firm Transformation and How to Implement AI, RPA and Emerging Technologies Into Your Law Firm."

In addition to representing BAL's leadership in innovative legal operations, this award demonstrates the positive impact BAL is making in people's lives. BAL's sophisticated legal teams backed by groundbreaking tech enable the firm to help countless people through their immigrant journeys to pursue their American dreams.

About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP (BAL)
BAL is one of the world's most recognized corporate immigration law firms and the Best Lawyers® "Law Firm of the Year" in U.S. Immigration Law for 2019, the Most Diverse Law Firm in America on The American Lawyer's rankings (2020 and 2021) and the #1 Law Firm for Women on the National Law Journal's Women in Law Scorecard three years in a row (2019, 2020 and 2021). BAL's Cobalt® digital immigration services platform won the 2020 CODiE Award for Best Legal Tech Product and the prestigious CIO100 award for Innovative Use of Intelligent Automation in Immigration Services. BAL is singularly focused on meeting the immigration challenges of corporate clients around the world in ways that make immigration more strategic and enable clients to be more successful. Established in 1980, BAL has consistently provided immigration expertise, top-notch information security and leading technology innovation. The firm entered into a strategic alliance with Deloitte UK to create the world's first global immigration service delivery model. BAL and its leaders are highly ranked in every major legal publication, including Best Lawyers, Chambers and Partners, The Legal 500, and Who's Who Legal. See website for details:


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