Based out of UK, LEAP is a case management and accounting software solution for law firms that delivers a world-class practice management system to legal professionals, putting innovation at the heart of its cloud-based practice management platform. The company gives lawyers user-friendly technology and invests significantly into research and development that drives law firm productivity.
Providing industry-leading software that is attuned to the ever-changing needs of small to mid-sized law firms, LEAP is dedicated to developing software to generate efficiencies, profit, and improve service.
The company combines world-leading technology with the provision of quality content that law firms come to rely upon daily and drives automation to ensure that non-billable tasks can be completed with speed and accuracy.
Meet the Innovative Leader
Specialised in providing law firms with the latest legal tech, Kirsteen Forisky is the Head of Innovation for LEAP Legal Software UK. She wears many hats in her role, including software development, customer service and CRM, negotiations, and new business development. Kirsteen is not only passionate about her work but also loves how LEAP is benefitting thousands of law firms and legal practitioners across the world, helping to improve their performance and the results on casework.
Kirsteen is uniquely poised to understand the needs of the legal market and provide guidance to the software developers accordingly. She cares about both her employees and clients. Kirsteen applies the core values of LEAP to improve continually and never give up across all aspects of her life. She finds herself privileged to work with some of the top minds at the forefront of software development and innovation.
Focusing on Case Management and Cloud Solutions
Having left school at the age of 16, Kirsteen initially worked in several secretarial roles before taking on a ‘Helpdesk’ role for a supplier of case management to the legal sector. Whilst the offering was for competitor case management solutions; it soon became evident that the company needed to be able to develop and supply its case management offering.
Considering this, Kirsteen took on the role of Development Manager and brought this vision to life, delivering a unique software application that the company then sold successfully throughout the UK. Several years later, Kirsteen started to look at cloud solutions and with this the case management solution quickly transferred into Windows Azure, giving clients access to their client files 24/7.
When the opportunity for the company to be purchased came about, alongside others in the business, Kirsteen’s skills and experience were invaluable, and she went on to become Development Director of Peapod Legal Office Ltd. Then in 2013, Peapod was acquired by LEAP. “I remain an essential part of the business holding the role of Head of Innovation, managing the LEAP UK Development team to deliver applications that integrate with the core LEAP product and providing a wealth of additional value to LEAP clients.” Kirsteen says.
Running the Development team, her influence, and hands-on approach begins at initial project meetings and continues through implementation, client relationship, maintenance, and support.
Challenges Bring Opportunities
At the beginning of her career, Kirsteen had to undertake a steep learning curve, developing a deep understanding of many areas of law, the day-to-day running of legal practice and the government legislation of the day to guarantee a deliverable software solution that would be scalable in the future.
“Nowadays, people are the key factor in making any task or project work; you need to ensure that you have buy-in from all involved. Communication, regular meetings, and updates are essential to drive any project forward,” Kirsteen says. “We hold weekly meetings for sprint settings and have a ten minutes huddle every day for any roadblocks to be raised. Doing this allows for continued progression, and issues are identified and resolved, on each step of the way.”
She adds, “Think of challenges as ‘opportunities’, giving us the ability to improve our skills, both professionally and personally, and increase knowledge.”
Embracing Changes is the Key to Success
As a leader, Kirsteen believes that one needs to adapt and change quickly, embracing changes in direction rather than fighting them. One always needs to identify the vision and how the end goal would look like and believe that it can work.
“At LEAP we work at a fast pace, and we try new things, experimentation in development is essential. Now and again, development may not go as planned, but the secret is to realise if something isn’t working and adapt quickly,” Kirsteen cites.
Above all, you require ensuring that your team is aligned. And everybody is swimming in the same direction. Be prepared to scrutinise yourself now and again on your projects and principles,” she adds.
Leveraging Latest Technology to Improve Customer Experience
LEAP always explores ways to improve its offering. Along with enhancing the software, it invests in new functionality and improves integrations that will have the most significant impact on simplifying the working day of the end-user. The company focuses on the clients’ experience of the software to be an efficient and pleasant one.
Kirsteen believes there is a lot of investigation and groundwork that needs to get completed before developing any application which includes:
1. What do clients need?
2. How will it help them?
3. What’s the competition?
4. Will what we are proposing do the job?
5. How should the UI look?
Cloud Computing Makes Communication Effective
Kirsteen states that with the 9-5 becoming no longer the norm, we need to ensure that we have the tools and intellect to hand in order to competently do our work, whilst maintaining a work-life balance.
Kirsteen says “Without Cloud computing the communication and collaboration between ourselves and others would be nowhere near as effective as it now, and we would not be as efficient in our day-to-day roles, or our on-line personal presence.”
Cloud computing allows this to happen with minimal effort so that one can access its work applications as well as different social media channels for communications on all levels.
Kirsteen feels, “There is also the ability to help the environment by going green ‘get rid of the paper‘ – offering a real Cloud solution means users not only can access their information from anywhere but also can be protective of the environment by going paperless. Why print out hundreds of pieces of paper to clutter up your desk or office space when you can view all the information online.”
Strengthening Business Continuity with Cloud
Being a reliable cloud provider, LEAP provides clients with the ability to work from anywhere in the world, be it via desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile.
The company has proved to be invaluable, especially during the global pandemic. Its clients continue to operate efficiently, and in many cases have expanded their business.
As a company LEAP continues to strive and grow globally. The company can get firms up and running in no time as opposed to utilising server-based technology which would have taken days, if not weeks.
Words of Wisdom for Budding Women Leaders
Kirsteen’s advice to any emerging women leaders is that one needs to share the vision, ask for opinions, listen to the team, and tap into others intelligence and resourcefulness. Kirsteen quotes that success is not final; failure is not fatal. It is the courage to keep going that counts and use these experiences to build upon.