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September 1, 2022

Reflections From the Virtual Lunch: Joseph Anderson, IT Director at Miller Johnson

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Ari Kaplan Interviews Joseph Anderson, Director of Information Technology at Miller Johnson

Throughout the month of August, SurePoint Technologies sponsored the Virtual Lunch with a focus on Igniting Innovation. The Virtual Lunch is hosted by Ari Kaplan, a legal industry analyst/speaker and Reinventing Professionals podcast host. Ari brings together people from the legal community every day from 12pm – 1pm ET to discuss a variety of topics. Sign up to join.

The Virtual Lunch recently welcomed Joseph Anderson, who is the Director of Information Technology at Miller Johnson. He also serves as President for the West Michigan Association of Legal Administrators (WMALA). Joseph talked about the ever-evolving digital landscape and how innovating and pivoting in times of change, such as when facing a pandemic, is critical for a law firm.

Below are some key takeaways from the chat!

Joseph pursued an education in legal administration and received his master’s degree from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. He began his career focusing on technical and accounting operations for various law firms. Joseph then worked at BAE Systems before joining IBM, where he worked for more than 19 years. He then took on the role of Director of Information Technology at the law firm Miller Johnson.

After joining the firm in the fall of 2019, Joseph was quickly tasked with assessing the firm’s technology, as the COVID-19 pandemic began and the state of Michigan, where the law firm is based, started to shut down. During this time, Joseph was able to increase bandwidth and access points for all firm members while also working to overcome challenges, such as with video conferencing and going paperless.

“Requirements definitely changed due to the pandemic and remote work,” said Joseph. “Some operations had to be scaled back or changed while at the same time, we had to continue delivering proper technology and resources at a faster rate.”

While Joseph and his team had aspirational goals of advancing the firm’s technology within 12 to 18 months, the pandemic forced them to move a lot faster. Joseph said, “This became 12 to 18 days.” They were able to shift some processes, such as timekeeping, to digital formats, while also putting a heavier focus on maintaining and increasing cybersecurity protocols and policies.

When asked about some of the changes brought on by the pandemic, Joseph shared that law firms’ use of mobile apps gained a lot of traction, and he would like to see that adoption continue. He also said that the role of IT did not change but there has been more pressure as law firms are paying even closer attention to things like IT systems, cybersecurity, paperless processes, and more.

Thank you to Joseph for being a special guest on the Virtual Lunch!

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