Global Law – BYOD and Display Connect Top Law Firm to World Offices
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP (Weil) is an international law firm headquartered in New York City. Founded in 1931, Weil is ranked as one of the top ten most prestigious US law firms, as well as one of the most respected law firms in the world. It is best known for its corporate and restructuring practices. The firm employs 1200 attorneys located in 20 offices around the world. In order to maintain the firm’s excellence, Weil adopts cutting-edge technologies to ensure its attorneys communicate more efficiently and have the best access to continued education.
In its New York headquarters, Weil has a large boardroom, capable of accommodating more than 65 participants; it is used for daily corporate meetings and continued legal education. The challenge came from the meeting space itself: the room is 70 feet long, 18 feet wide, and 8 ½ feet high, with the table and seating arranged in a U-shaped configuration. When fully occupied, the farthest attendee sits some 60 feet from the presentation at the front of the room. Even with a large, rear screen projection system at the front of the room, it was still very difficult to see from the rear seats. If the presenter sat in the back of the room, people would have to turn in their seats to look back at the presenter, then back to the front to see the presentation. The entire set up was awkward and cumbersome for the participant. The initial solution was to place monitors around room, but this plan was scrapped when it was learned there was HVAC units throughout the ceiling, and the walls could not be disturbed either. The next plan was to have small monitors placed on the tables around the room, but the exorbitant cost of this system rendered it useless also. That’s when New York-based audio-visual integrator Video Corporation of America (VCA) was brought on board.
Through coordinated efforts with Weil and VCA, and six months of engineering, it was determined that Haivision Makito HD encoders and InStream Mobile players running on iPads, resulted in extremely low end to end latency from the presenter’s computer to the videowall to the iPads. VCA also replaced the rear screen projection system with a PrimeView 2×2 60 inch plasma videowall. Removing the rear projecton system resulted in a better image in the boardroom, as well as more space for technicians to work in the control room located behind the videowall. Biamp Tesira DSP and 65 Clockaudio gooseneck mics make up the room’s audio system; the system feeds overflow rooms via AVB. Video conferencing is achieved with Cisco equipment and Sony cameras. Crestron provides video switching and control for the entire system, as well as HD recording to capture events in the boardroom.
The difficulties and discomfort of the old system have been replaced, allowing for easier participation. By integrating iPads into the room, each participant now has an up-close view of every presentation. An updated control system, more space in the control room, and updated Unified Collaboration equipment has helped improve communications and increase the effectiveness of training. It also means the system is now easier to operate and offers more flexibility than ever before.