Setting Precedent with an Inclusive Workforce

Leading law firm employs Autism2Work team.

Commitment to Integrity Beyond the Courtroom

Since its founding more than 100 years ago, Kirkland has helped clients with their most complex legal matters. Today, it is recognized around the world for its highly sophisticated work in private equity transactions, mergers and acquisitions, litigation, government disputes, restructurings, and intellectual property. In a field known to be contentious, Kirkland fosters a distinctly principled culture. Its belief is simple: invest in the brightest talent and build multidisciplinary teams that draw on the strengths of its employees—diverse backgrounds, knowledge, and skills.

This commitment to integrity goes beyond the courtroom. The Business Intake Team, for example, must reduce the time it takes to open new cases and deals. To do this, the team captures and analyzes vast amounts of publicly available market data. Ensuring the data is current and accurate is a colossal undertaking.

As Data Integrity & Reporting Supervisor for Kirkland’s Business Intake and Conflicts Department, Paul Mateja is responsible for the hundreds of thousands of records captured in the Firm’s database. When Paul was charged with helping upgrade the database, he understood the magnitude of the job.

“For a major data upgrade project like this, we need a team to find opportunities to improve processes and drive accuracy and efficiency. The work is technical in nature, using large spreadsheets and software new to the firm, but it is also often tedious and requires scrupulous attention,” says Paul.

The Right Team for the Job

This is when Paul heard about CAI’s Autism2Work (A2W) program. “We are committed to diversity and inclusion, and with CAI’s partnership, we were able to get the training we needed to equip both the new A2W team and our own team for success.”

Soon after the A2W team of four analysts and a team lead arrived at Kirkland, they became involved in the database upgrade. The team conducted quality assurance (QA) audits of data systems and reports, including in-depth analyses of thousands of data points a month, and identified opportunities to vastly improve processes and accuracy.

Once that was completed, other projects presented themselves. When the Firm needed to verify critical data points in 2,700 lawyer bios for the database, the A2W team dove in. Then, in just four months, the A2W team completed close to 13,000 data uploads related to restructuring cases, saving the Business Intake and Conflicts team countless hours.

I look forward to working with this team every day—it’s one of the most meaningful parts of my job. When people ask me about my work, A2W is the first thing I talk about.

Paul Mateja, Data Integrity & Reporting Supervisor at K&E

Embracing Difference

Because of the A2W team, Paul and his Kirkland team can turn their attention to critical decision-making rather than the manipulation of data. “This team has been a valuable addition to our ranks, and we are grateful for their hard work and dedication to detail,” says Paul.

When work became remote in early 2020 due to the effects of the global pandemic, workplaces everywhere were concerned about a loss in productivity. But, with Paul’s advocacy, the team maintained consistent delivery with no impact on its productivity. “Like many people, my list of things to do is nearly infinite and much of it is highly complex. I would recommend A2W to anyone who has complex, detail-oriented work.” And then Paul adds quickly, “But aside from that, working with this team is one of the most meaningful parts of my job. When people ask me about my work, A2W is the first thing I talk about.”

2,700 Lawyer bios for the database
4 A2W team completed data upload in 4 months
13,000 Data uploads related to restructuring cases

Want to learn more about how the Autism2Work program can help your organization?

Let CAI help you manage your new and legacy applications, reconcile complex resource issues, consolidate IT to optimize systems, partners and resources and address barriers to innovation.

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