Innovation Lab Manager - (Hybrid Schedule)

Reed Smith LLP

Princeton, NJ, USA Remote

Full time



May 8

Position Summary

We recognize that a leading bottleneck for innovation in law firms is the struggle to get busy partners and associates engaged with tech and process investments. We are not immune as we have invested in dozens of progressive teams and programs across Reed Smith which can become complex for partners to keep up with and know exactly how and when to best engage them. Additionally, partners have established ways of working that have served them well over time, but may not be optimized for market conditions, client priorities, or cost models.

The Lab turns these issues on their head. Using the firm’s strategic priorities as its North Star and human centered design as its driving methodology, the Lab works with legal practices, client teams, and our business services teams to study them, identify improvements, and establish new ways of working for the future. However, never in isolation as the Lab seeks to bring our clients and all functions of the firm to the table. By doing so, the Lab brings the collective knowledge and innovative tech and services of the firm (or identifies capabilities the firm does not yet provide) to the situation in the best ways possible. The work of the Lab is not only to find, understand, and solve problems, but also to build coalitions and stakeholder buy-in so that what we build becomes the firm’s new DNA. Fresh thinking, complete engagement, and high impact.

Reed Smith is seeking a Lab Manager to support the launch phase and beyond of our Innovation Lab. As a member of the newly formed Lab, you will be able to contribute your unique skillset to develop methods and lead engagements grounded in design thinking, anthropology, technology innovation, user research, qualitative analysis, and storytelling. The successful candidate will be responsible for leading human-centered design projects driven by qualitative and ethnographic research, managing team member performance, and interfacing with the firm at large to engage our attorneys and professional staff with the innovation function. Initial focus for the role will be bringing the Lab’s capabilities to contribute to ongoing internal business process initiatives. If you are excited about being a part of a new and innovative team and contributing to its success, we encourage you to apply.

Essential Functions

  • Advances and executes the lab’s vision and strategy .
  • Applies and operationalizes design thinking methods to the law firm context to support the launch of the Innovation Lab
  • Introduces ideas, improves existing processes, and creates a culture of innovation within the Firm.
  • Embraces an innovation strategy to define objectives and measures aligned with overall Firm goals to add value to stakeholders.
  • Implements innovation projects and oversees resources and budgets.
  • Works with partners and firm leadership on initiatives that support innovation.
  • Provides training and resources to promote a culture of innovation that encourages and supports experimentation and rewards new ideas and ways of thinking.
  • Manages a portfolio of projects from start to finish, ensuring that they are completed on time, to the highest quality and in an inclusive and collaborative manner. Responsible for final deliverables.
  • Designs, conducts, and oversees ethnographic and other research: interviews, virtual and in person observation, and artifact analysis.
  • Leads the design and facilitation of in-person and virtual collaborative workshops
  • Manages and contributes to insight development from primary (firm data) and secondary (external trends) research
  • Maintains an awareness of current and upcoming legal innovation trends
  • Drives collaboration with internal business groups to complete projects that leverage the resources available to the firm
  • Ensure that the work produced by the team meets the firm's quality standards by reviewing work products, providing feedback, and identifying areas for improvement
  • Manage and develop staff by assigning tasks, providing feedback, mentoring and coaching team members, and conducting performance evaluations
  • The ideal candidate will have experience, knowledge, and/or great interest in legal tech, as well as a passion for empathy and precision


Education: Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a relevant field, such as design thinking, social sciences, technology, or business.

Experience: Eight plus years experience. Expertise in human-centered design (HCD), leading qualitative and ethnographic research, project and team management, and with senior level stakeholder management. Expertise designing and facilitating collaborative in-person and virtual workshops. Professional services firm experience strongly preferred. Familiarity with legal technology and the legal industry


  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills to build relationships with Lab stakeholders (including attorneys and staff) and team members
  • Design thinking methodology, specifically in the research, synthesis and ideation phases
  • “Front of Room” or lead facilitator experience
  • Developing and executing vision, strategy, and implementation roadmaps
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team, with excellent problem-solving skills
  • Flexibility to adapt to changing priorities and deliverables in a dynamic environment
  • Passion for innovation and creativity, with a keen eye for detail and precision
  • Proficiency in relevant software and technology tools, such as database management, project management software, and design thinking software


Supervisory Responsibilities: Managing team resources.

Equipment To Be Used: Personal computer and other office equipment such as telephone, calculator, fax, machine, copier, scanner, etc.

Typical Physical Demands: Manual dexterity sufficient to operate standard office equipment.

Typical Mental Demands: Able to work effectively in a fast paced environment. Make judgment decisions and adapt to changing work situations. Grasp and apply new ideas. Communicate with various personalities at all levels.

Working Conditions: Works in typical office setting. Occasionally called upon to work hours in excess of your normal daily schedule.

Reed Smith offers a challenging work environment, business casual dress code and a total compensation package that includes a competitive salary, flexible benefits program, tuition assistance, and generous 401 (k) plan.

Reed Smith is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Reed Smith's success depends heavily on the effective utilization of qualified people, regardless of their race, ancestry, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, disability, veteran's status, or any characteristic protected by law. As a firm, we adhere to and promote equal employment opportunity for all.

Reed Smith provides reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities, including in the application and interview process.

Qualified candidates only. No search firms.

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