SMART Solution Wins Women in Law Hackathon

Congratulations to Holland & Hart partner Chris Groll, member of the winning Team 9 at today’s Women in Law Hackathon event held at Stanford University. Diversity Lab launched this team pitch competition to generate innovative ideas that tackle recruitment, advancement, and retention of experienced women in law firms.

Team 9, the “SMARTies,” won the competition with their innovative SMART proposal: Solutions to Measure, Advance and Reward Talent. SMART proposes taking into consideration a broader variety of contributions that each attorney makes and using more objective means to evaluate each attorney’s value to the firm and its clients when determining promotion and compensation.

SMART suggests that firms use eight categories, or pillars, to determine how attorneys are measured for promotion and compensation, most of which build on the time entries that attorneys already use. An attorney receives a “grade” for each of the eight SMART Pillars, and an overall grade, or SMART Score on a 100-point scale. SMART suggests that firms use existing committees or create “SMARTest Committees” comprised of various stakeholders to oversee the development of the Pillars, determine what values to attribute to each Pillar, and make annual adjustments to the program. A dashboard and an app would turn existing time entries into immediate feedback for attorneys to monitor their progress on each of the eight Pillars.

Team 9 will donate its $10,000 prize money to Ms. JD, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the success of aspiring and early career women lawyers.

Team 9’s SMARTies include:

Firm Partners:
Eva Davis – Winston & Strawn
Chris Groll – Holland & Hart
Perlette Jura – Gibson Dunn
Lynn Pasahow – Fenwick & West
Reid Schar – Jenner & Block
Cate Stetson – Hogan Lovells

Stanford Law Student: Rachel Boochever

Deborah Epstein Henry – Flex-Time Lawyers LLC and Bliss Lawyers
Katie Larkin-Wong – Ms. JD and Latham & Watkins

For information about innovative proposals by other Teams, see the Diversity Lab’s press release.


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