Eric Wood, '08: Developed New Software Called Closing Room to Help Associates Creating Closing Document Sets for Financial Transactions

Law Firm or Software Developer? Chapman and Cutler Is Now Both

Eric Wood is the kind of lawyer Big Law firms often lose as a result of a character trait that firm management would love to cultivate: An entrepreneurial streak.

Chapman and Cutler almost lost him. About four years ago, Wood considered launching a legal tech startup that would take the pain out of a process that frustrated him as an associate: Creating closing document sets for financial transactions. The tedium of printing documents and arranging them in a room full of folders is not what attracted Wood to law school. It is, however, part of what inspired him to learn to code.

Last week, Chapman announced it had sold a software application, called Closing Room, that was developed inside the firm by Wood and the firm’s practice and technology innovations team. The product, which was purchased by NetDocuments and will be available in early 2019, has been used to automate the paper- and people-heavy closing set process some 5,300 times at Chapman. It represents one of the first pieces of software to be developed inside a law firm and sold to a technology provider.

The terms of the sale were not disclosed, but Wood and Chapman will be involved in both integrating and marketing the product for NetDocuments.

“Many law firms are building interesting things internally,” Wood said. “But building something that has broader market appeal, that has been our biggest achievement to date for our group.”

Read more at The American Lawyer