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Houston Office of Blank Rome is Site of Pilot Test for App That Allows Employees to Return to Work

The Legal Intelligencer and Texas Lawyer

When the chair of Blank Rome’s Houston office, Susan Bickley, plans to access her physical office, she opens the firm’s newly developed app, “BReturn,” on her mobile device.

Bickley describes the app as a “practical tool” for employees to return to the office, underscoring the firm’s commitment to employee health and safety. It allows her to book time in the office, check the office status, and even check in and out during her visit, to ensure employee safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Brad Miller, the director of technology innovation and research at Blank Rome, was the lead developer of BReturn. He released the app firmwide in just five weeks using Fliplet’s mobile app development platform. Under Miller’s leadership, the firm has recently launched five apps using the Fliplet platform, including BReturn, and has several more in development.

In the app, an employee wishing to go to the office must answer basic health screening questions related to COVID, including a symptom check and a query about contact with COVID-positive persons, she said. If an employee meets the health screening requirements, the app automatically generates a confirmation email, and another email the day prior to the scheduled visit.

Blank Rome’s chief information officer, Frank Spadafino, said he anticipates that BReturn will make for a better transition when it is safer for more employees to come to the office. Blank Rome has 13 U.S. offices, and one international location in Shanghai, with over 600 attorneys firmwide.

“We can download data from the app into our internal platforms to use it for firm management,” Spadafino said. He said essential staff are the most frequent users, and attorneys after that.

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“Houston Office of Blank Rome is Site of Pilot Test for App That Allows Employees to Return to Work,” by Erica Silverman was published in The Legal Intelligencer and Texas Lawyer on September 14, 2020.