Conferences are crucial opportunities for industry professionals from all points in their career path to gain knowledge from experts, learn best practices, hear success stories, and network with peers. Dave Voelpel, a previous CounselLink® client and now Account Manager, knows what it’s like to attend the CounselLink Conference from a client perspective.
As the only person to attend every CounselLink Conference, Dave has seen how CounselLink has expanded its capabilities to help clients (such as himself) over the years, making him the perfect person to share how the conference benefits his skills and experiences.
Ahead of this year’s CounselLink Conference, I had the chance to sit down with Dave and chat about his experience at the conference and its role in gaining expertise for using CounselLink software to its fullest.
How have you seen the conference evolve year over year?
It all started in Sacramento, California as a small group of clients in a conference room back in 2007. Every year since, attendance has multiplied, and the conference has been held at some great locations across the U.S. The event went from a small meeting to a full-blown conference with a variety of sessions where attendees can choose a path that meets their own needs.
The conference has continued to grow alongside the legal operations industry. The CounselLink software team has stayed on top of industry trends, adding application functionality to capture what will help legal departments most; for example, diversity tracking, Legal Request, Matter Tasks, Vendor Scorecards, Dashboards, and In-app Reporting. Most recently, CounselLink went beyond just managing matters and has become a full work management solution.
As the product evolves, the conference becomes a great opportunity to learn new functionalities that are released every year to support legal operations. Also, I believe it’s a great opportunity for clients to get away from their desk and learn from peers that are tasked with the same responsibilities, and collectively, they can learn best practices.
Favorite part about the conference as a customer?
It’s hard to pinpoint only one favorite part as I have attended 11 of them! I really enjoy sharing ideas with peers facing similar challenges and working with the CounselLink team to come up with solutions. Of course, the Customer Appreciation Events that are held at unique venues are always a blast!
What tips do you have for making the most of the CounselLink Conference?
CounselLink has a ton of functionality, so I recommend going to the conference with one or two objectives in mind. It’s helpful to note a few challenges that you face in both your daily tasks as well as departmental goals. With product experts and peers all in the same space who are facing similar challenges, the conference becomes a fantastic resource to help create solutions that can make your life easier.
For example, at my previous company, I had to be a CounselLink power user. Like everyone else, I started out a novice, learning as much as I could as fast as I could. I went from implementing workflows using CounselLink to assist with our department’s limited resources to utilizing cross-department functionality as a way to implement invoice integration with Accounts Payable. Thanks to CounselLink, the idea that we could connect with non-legal departments and the confidence to implement the workflows came from attending the conferences and working with other CounselLink users.
As a customer, what was your greatest takeaway from the conference?
Year after year, it seems like more work is expected in the same amount of time. That means departments must rely on software to help get all the work completed. Each year, as new functionality is added, there are new ways to solve increasing workloads. Attending the conference year over year, I learned the ins and outs of the new functionality then went back to the office with the confidence to spearhead change and help others adopt new methods.
In fact, I actually won a CounselLink Impact Award writing about one of the improvements I developed for my office after attending a CounselLink Conference. Read about it here.
What inspired you to come work for CounselLink?
While I enjoyed my work as a legal operations manager, the thought of sharing my legal ops experience and knowledge of CounselLink with multiple clients really appealed to me.
What are you looking forward to most this year at the event?
This year, I’m really looking forward to meeting with my clients and helping them bring solutions that are really going to make a difference in their departments and in their work. I think it shows how devoted CounselLink is to our clients. Because we aren’t just saying, “We understand what you’re going through,” we’re saying, “We’ve gone through the same experiences you’ve gone through.”
On a personal level, I want to make sure everyone who attends gets the most value out of the conference. This can be as simple as introducing clients to other clients and making sure I point them to the right resource to answer questions. Any time you can put a face to a name, future conversations become more personable and meaningful.
What’s your favorite part about working for LexisNexis®?
I started with LexisNexis in January 2019 and I have loved every minute of it. My favorite part would be the teamwork I have experienced at LexisNexis. It has been incredible. We are all customer-focused—we will do what we need to do behind the scenes to keep our clients happy and help them resolve their business challenges as efficiently and effectively as possible.
When you’re not working, what do you do in your free time?
Participation in sports has always been a big part of my life. I’ve played a soccer game before the New York Cosmos in Yankee Stadium when I was growing up. I come from a family of bowlers and my high game is 279. More recently, I have taken up pool and I’m a member of the American Poolplayers Association.
Follow in Dave’s footsteps and gain long-lasting, valuable skills and knowledge from this year’s CounselLink Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, from September 24th through 26th. Advance your legal operations with these two full days of training, customer stories, best practices, and networking. Register today!