Sometimes, one host just isn’t enough. In this special episode of the Legal Toolkit, host Jared Correia was joined by guest host and wife Jessica Correia. After establishing Jessica’s indifference towards the Beatles, they talk to Chelsey Lambert about how and why law firms should invest in new technology, from voice activated time and billing to simply updating basic software. They discuss common reasons why law firms hesitate to adopt new technology and who should be involved in the process of choosing and implementing technology. They also geek out about forms automation and the epic software that is changing the document assembly game.
Chelsey Lambert is founder of Lex Tech Review, a legal technology blog and learning center.
Special thanks to our sponsors Scorpion, Answer1, and Thomson Reuters Firm Central.
The Legal Toolkit
All You Need is New Technology
Intro: Welcome to Legal Toolkit, bringing you the latest legal trends and business initiatives to help you manage your law firm, with your host Jared Correia. You are listening to Legal Talk Network.
Jared Correia: Welcome to a new episode of The Legal Toolkit. You are on the Legal Talk Network. If you are looking for the new trailer for the Sherlock Gnomes movie, you can find that on YouTube. It is delightful.
If you are a returning listener, welcome back. If you are a first-time listener, hopefully you will become a longtime listener. And if you are Manfred Mann, you are simultaneously one person and multiple persons.
As always, I am your host, Jared Correia, and in addition to casting this pod, I am the Founder and CEO of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting, which offers subscription-based law practice management, consulting and technology services for law firms. Check us out at HYPERLINK “http://www.redcavelegal.com” redcavelegal.com to learn more.
And if you are itching to change your law firm technology platform after listening to this podcast, go ahead and hit us up, we can do a technology audit for you.
Here on The Legal Toolkit podcast we offer you each month with a new tool to add to your own legal toolkit so that your practices will become more and more like best practices.
In this episode, as I just alluded to, we are going to talk about the tech trends you need to know for 2018, which is this year now. But before I introduce today’s guests, let’s take a moment to thank our sponsors.
We would like to thank our sponsor Thomson Reuters’ Firm Central, cloud-based legal practice management that streamlines your day and automates non-billable administrative tasks so you can accomplish more with less.
Answer 1 is a leading virtual receptionist and answering services provider for lawyers. You can find out more by giving them a call at 800-Answer-1 or online at HYPERLINK “http://www.answer1.com” www.answer1.com.
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So we have two guests on the show today. We have a regular guest Chelsey Lambert; we will hear more from her in a second, but we also have a guest host, that’s right, I said guest host. Today I will be co-hosting this show with my very own wife, Jessica. This really is a truly, truly watershed moment for The Legal Toolkit Podcast. Have we jumped the shark, have we reached a place in time where I feel as though I can just do whatever the hell I want? Let’s find out, shall we?
So my wife, Jessica, again, who is today’s guest host, who is looking at me funny right now, is in fact the most wonderful person I have ever known on every level.
Jessica, is there anything you would like to add to that in terms of specific biographical data?
Jessica Correia: No, but thank you for having me.
Jared Correia: Okay. Everybody, listen up, this is how this is going to work. For the first third of the show I am going to interview Jessica; for the second and third-third of the show Jessica and I are going to interview our guest Chelsey Lambert. This is going to be fun. This is the first time we have ever done this, this way.
So let me ask Jessica some discussion questions to start. Okay, let’s start with a really easy question, which one of our children do you love more?
Jessica Correia: You are my favorite child of all my children, but if I have to pick one of the children I would say it is whoever gets ready for bedtime without me having to ask 10 times to get ready for bed. So it varies day by day.
Jared Correia: Yes, that’s good. That’s not even a diplomatic answer. You love a different child everyday depending on the expediency of bedtime.
Jessica Correia: Whichever one listens better.
Jared Correia: Well, hopefully nobody from the Department of Social Services is listening to this show right now.
So I want to talk a little bit about the peculiar habits I have, because people just hear me on the radio and they think I am this amazing dude. What listeners might not know though is that I am kind of weird in real life. So for example —
Jessica Correia: I think they could probably tell that by listening to this.
Jared Correia: Maybe. It has been years, nobody has really called me out on it. When I am using a spoon I have to lick it clean before each new spoonful, which is like I understand one of the most disgusting things that a human being could do, but I feel compelled to do it. Like it’s disgusting watching me eat like a SunButter sandwich, of course because I am allergic to peanut butter or yogurt.
Jessica Correia: Why would you be eating a sandwich with the spoon?
Jared Correia: Well, I don’t know. I wouldn’t eat a sandwich with a spoon I suppose. I would make it like an open-faced sandwich and a spoon off the SunButter. But we are getting away from the point, which is I like to lick the spoon clean after every spoonful. You admit that is vile, right?
Jessica Correia: It’s disgusting, yes.
Jared Correia: I can’t seem to help myself. But which of my habits do you think is the most disgusting?
Jessica Correia: I can only pick one?
Jared Correia: Well, you can pick two, go for it. Seven, it’s the Christmas season.
Jessica Correia: Top on the list is definitely nail biting; nail biting is the worst. I would also have to say how loudly you eat cereal.
Jared Correia: Wow, you are really hitting home there.
Jessica Correia: Let’s see, shrinking my clothes in the laundry. Ladies, you think you want your husband to do your laundry, you don’t, you don’t want him to do your laundry, because for some reason Jared thinks that every load of laundry needs to be washed at extremely high temperatures and you have a really nice new North Face jacket and he decides to wash it and now it’s too short.
Jared Correia: Strictly hypothetical, right?
Jessica Correia: Absolutely hypothetical, yes.
Jared Correia: Chewing ice?
Jessica Correia: You want me to keep going?
Jared Correia: No.
Jessica Correia: Okay.
Jared Correia: Total lack of manners, which you frequently refer to.
Jessica Correia: Cereal eating.
Jared Correia: Raised in a cave.
All right, let’s stop talking about me, as it’s clearly not getting us anywhere. Let’s talk a little bit about you Jessica, who is sexiest, David Duchovny, Adam Sandler, Tom Brady, or yours truly.
Jessica Correia That’s easy, David Duchovny.
Jared Correia: David Duchovny is sexiest. Would you mind explaining your reasoning behind that, because those are four sexy gentlemen?
Jessica Correia: Yes, I mean, you put together a great list. You could also add honorable mentions for Adam Scott and Paul Rudd also make my list. You left them off.
Jared Correia: I am sorry, that’s shameful. I should have a better understanding of who you are interested in.
Jessica Correia: The cream of the crop is obviously David Duchovny.
Jared Correia: Yes, because?
Jessica Correia: Because he is a sexy man.
Jared Correia: And what’s your favorite TV show?
Jessica Correia: The X-Files obviously.
Jared Correia: And do you want to tell people a little bit about something that’s happening with the X-Files?
Jessica Correia: X-Files is coming back for Season 11 in January.
Jared Correia: You are going to segue into that later?
Jessica Correia: No.
Jared Correia: Okay, go ahead, you can segue into it now.
Jessica Correia: January 2018 X-Files Season 11, it’s big.
Jared Correia: Watch out people, it’s going to be even better.
Jessica Correia: Don’t call us on Wednesday nights.
Jared Correia: Yeah, this is going to make X-Files Season 10 look like House Party 3. So do you get that reference or is that too–
Jessica Correia: No, I have no idea what you are talking about.
Jared Correia: Jessica is younger than me. I am really old.
Okay, let’s shift gears again. I don’t know if everybody knows this about you, but you hate the Beatles, is that correct?
Jessica Correia: I do not hate the Beatles; I do not like their songs.
Jared Correia: You like them personally of the remaining Beatles that live?
Jessica Correia: Yes.
Jared Correia: You like Paul and Ringo personally; they are good men?
Jessica Correia: Yes.
Jared Correia: But you hate their music, you hate the Beatles music?
Jessica Correia: I don’t like their music, I don’t.
Jared Correia: It’s okay, you can say it, it’s fine. You are in the tree of trust right now.
Jessica Correia: Hate is a strong word, but no, I do not like the Beatles music.
Jared Correia: Okay, dislike strongly, detest?
Jessica Correia: No, I don’t detest. They are fine gentlemen; I just don’t like their music.
Jared Correia: One of them is a Knight. I think two of them are Knights. Name me a Beatles song you like?
Jessica Correia: Hey Jude is a good Beatles song.
Jared Correia: Okay, so you don’t love the Beatles.
Jessica Correia: I don’t love the Beatles. I also don’t like Elvis.
Jared Correia: So here is the thing, I like the Beatles. I have like original Beatles albums and stuff, but I like a lot of music, so I ask you then Jessica, which of my other musical preferences do you also hate, and alternatively, what artists would you recommend, and I ask this even though your musical tastes are so obviously compromised?
Jessica Correia: So again, I don’t like the word hate; I am not a fan of the word hate. I do not hate the Beatles; I do not like the Beatles music.
For musical tastes, my musical tastes change frequently. I used to be a big Taylor Swift fan and then 2017 happened and I am not really a fan of the new stuff. I would say I used to listen to a lot of music at work and now I mostly listen to podcasts while I am working. Probably I listen to the most music now in the car and that would be SiriusXM ‘90s on 9.
Jared Correia: Because we are old white people and we have a subscription to SiriusXM?
Jessica Correia: Yes. ‘90s on 9 is the best Sirius station.
Jared Correia: Very good choice. I get behind that.
Jessica Correia: I would say that now mostly it’s less music, more podcast, and on the train I am now reading books more, so I try and read a book a week or every two weeks.
Jared Correia: Look at you. So producer, Laurence Colletti, +2 for Taylor Swift and the X-Files, -5 for your distaste for the Beatles, I am sorry.
Jessica Correia: Again, we were talking before, I also don’t like Star Wars, so I am going to get a huge minus a million for not liking Star Wars.
Jared Correia: Oh my God, why are you doing this to yourself? You know this is posted online, right?
Jessica Correia: I also don’t drink coffee.
Jared Correia: This is weird, okay. And why don’t you drink coffee, can you talk about that for a second?
Jessica Correia: Because I don’t want to become reliant upon caffeine to stay awake.
Jared Correia: Hot coffee was not spilled on you as a child or anything?
Jessica Correia: No, no, I have no traumatic memories of coffee as a child. It smells delicious. I drink it sparingly when I need to, but I a not a coffee —
Jared Correia: That’s too bad we couldn’t explore any traumatic childhood incidents.
Jessica Correia: We can talk about that when Chelsey comes on.
Jared Correia: Yeah, let’s do that. That sounds exciting. Chelsey has experience with that. So let’s talk a little bit about a new project you are going to launch in the New Year. You and I have traveled regularly for years and we are about to launch a travel podcast. Yes, I am about to expand the podcasting empire. So Jessica, can you talk a little bit more about the upcoming podcast.
Jessica Correia: Well, if you all haven’t gotten enough of us from this little clip-it.
Jared Correia: Yeah, this is just a taste.
Jessica Correia: This is just the tip right here.
Jared Correia Oh my God, this is a family podcast, for the love of God; an archer reference though, Big Ups.
Jessica Correia: Thank you Jared. So we took a trip last year to Disneyland in Hawaii and before we were going on that trip I was looking for a good family travel podcast to give me some tips, tricks, because every year that we travel, our kids get older. We start traveling with a different age group. They have different needs and wants, so I was looking for a travel podcast for families. I realized that I could not find anything more than an episode of certain podcasts on iTunes that dealt with family travel as a whole. So we figured if it didn’t exist, we could create it.
So Jared and I will be sharing our favorite travel tips, destinations, family hacks, traveling with young children, all that good stuff.
Jared Correia: Family hacks. What’s the name of the podcast?
Jessica Correia: The name of the podcast is The Lobby List.
Jared Correia: And you can find it on iTunes and et cetera places where you get your podcasts.
Jessica Correia: Google.
Jared Correia: Google Play. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be like this, only better.
Jessica Correia: Right. And we want the travel podcast to not just be about traveling with families with children, we want it to be about any sort of family travel, whether you are grandparents traveling with kids, whether you are newlyweds on your honeymoon, any sort of family.
Also, we want to take away some of the fear and trepidation some parents have with traveling with their children. I think there’s a misconception out there that once you have kids, your life is over. No, once you have kids, your life changes dramatically, and while your type of travel might change, we don’t think the trips that you take have to change. So we also want to focus on taking those adult trips, but incorporating your children as well.
Jared Correia: Beautiful. All right, even if you are like a psychotic inbred hillbilly family in Nevada we can help you travel, right? Hills Have Eyes, you have never seen that either, have you? Okay.
Jessica Correia: We love Nevada too. Nevada is a great state.
Jared Correia: Well played. All right, enough about my domestic bliss, here’s all the stuff you need to buy.
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Jared Correia: All right, thanks for sticking with us. My wife Jessica and I are co-hosting the show today and we are about to bring in our guest Chelsey Lambert, but before we do that remember to check out Jessica’s new podcast The Lobby List on iTunes.
So we are going to talk to Chelsey today about the top technology trends for legal in 2018. Chelsey Lambert, if you don’t know, and you should, is the Founder of Lex Tech Review, a legal technology blog and learning center. Her mission is to help attorneys and legal professionals understand the technology that is available to them, how to use it and the positive impacts it can have on their business.
Both a former Practice Management Advisor for the Chicago Bar Association and Vice President of Marketing for a case management provider, she is an expert in small law firm processes and practice management topics.
Chelsey recently published the nearly 200 page 2017 Legal Technology Buyers Guide, which has been downloaded by thousands of law firms around the world and you can go download it right now.
She regularly writes and teaches on law practice management and technology and you can read her blog at HYPERLINK “http://www.lextechreview.com” lextechreview.com and you can also follow her on two Twitter accounts; one is @ChelseyLambert and @LexTechReview.
Chelsey, welcome to the show.
Chelsey Lambert: Thank you so much for having me.
Jared Correia: I am sorry you had to sit through that early portion; I hope you found it amusing.
Chelsey Lambert: No, it was fantastic.
Jared Correia: Did you enjoy the first part of the show?
Chelsey Lambert: Yes.
Jared Correia: Oh good, good, I appreciate that.
Jessica Correia: Are you a fan of the X-Files?
Chelsey Lambert: I am, I am, and David Duchovny, high-five.
Jessica Correia: Oh, great. We can continue our friendship.
Jared Correia: This is great. Look at Jessica, jumping in off script and everything, I am impressed.
All right, I am going to swing it to Jessica, Chelsey, so she can start asking you about technology.
Chelsey Lambert: Oh, fantastic.
Jessica Correia: Okay Chelsey, it’s 2018, the start of a New Year, is this a good time for law firms to revise their technology platforms or is this just the random flipping of a calendar page used to sell gym memberships?
Chelsey Lambert: Switching technology and adopting new technology can seem like this big, monumental, I should do it at the beginning of the year goal that we all set, just like you know the New Year’s resolution for losing weight and joining a gym. But really adopting technology from my perspective is a lifestyle and that lifestyle change can happen at any time over the course of the year.
And the reason why I say that is because just like New Year’s resolutions, I run into so many firms that have this massive list of goals and I am going to adopt this technology and I am going to automate my marketing and I am going to change my website, and in the same way that we all run to the gym and we workout five days in a row and then we hurt ourselves and then we don’t go back there for three weeks, you can also overdo it.
So think of folding technology into your practice and into your life in increments and have that goal, if it is, to adopt a new platform in 2018 or you made that decision at the end of last year to baby step into it. And in some cases, Jared is a great example of the wonderful trainers and consultants that are available to help you do that so it’s not an overwhelming process.
So it is yes, an awesome time to start the New Year especially because you can start that case management software on calendar day 1, January 1, or the beginning of a month, but don’t overdo it and take it in increments.
Jared Correia: So this is the equivalent of not pulling your hamstring when adopting new technology. I think that’s a great analogy.
Chelsey Lambert: Yes. I mean, you have seen it too Jared. I mean how many firms you know dive headfirst into three platforms or trial seven different softwares at one time and then they get paralyzed by that decision and are like, oh my gosh, now I can’t do anything, and then it’s another year before they actually implement something.
Jared Correia: They just need to read your book. So psychologically, let’s dive into this a little bit, what is it that stops law firms from upgrading their technology on a psychological level, absent any like technology specific requirements?
Chelsey Lambert: Yeah. So I mean change sucks, right, like usually people don’t make a change in their life unless it is like a catastrophic situation, problem, major thing happens. And so from my experience in working with firms, it is hard to convince them to make that decision, make that investment, and make that change when their business isn’t broken, right?
So if I am making money and I am able to pay my bills and I am able to make do with what I have, whatever that might be; for some firms it’s the legal pad and Excel sheet; for other firms it’s software that they bought ten years ago. If I can still operate my business, then what motivation do I have to stop and slow things down and adopt new technology and spend money? If I can continue to do things the way that I always have, then why am I going to make a change?
So part of it is that and then the other is the realization that you have to, especially going into 2018 and beyond, the market has changed significantly, it will continue to change, the consumers have different expectations, clients have different expectations and you have to acknowledge the fact that it’s no longer an option to have software that runs your business. Everybody from landscapers, to yoga teachers, to the guy that comes and shovels snow, everybody is using technology, everybody is accepting credit card payments, everyone in the general universe of the public in civilized United States is using technology to run their business, no matter what that is, so we have to adopt those technologies if we want to continue operating at scale and at the same pace as everything else.
So acknowledging that that investment is no longer an option, that it is a requirement, there are products that fit every single budget. You could come to me with like $20-50 budget and I would be able to tell you, okay, well, here are your options. There are so many products out there now.
Jessica Correia: That’s great. Thanks Chelsey. When Jared is consulting with his clients, he often tries to include associates and staff, to what extent should law firm management include associates and staff in the technology decision making process?
Chelsey Lambert: So coming from personal experience working with firms, it’s to me a requirement to include them, because when a law firm is evaluating software, let’s just take case management as an example, the managing partners and associates are going to value different features in those platforms, such as reporting, such as billing, perhaps tools that they are going to use to expedite the delivery of cases across the entire firm, where if it’s a paralegal support staff or intake person, more demoing or testing that software, they are going to value a different toolset.
Rocket Matter is a good example of having even two different views; a list view versus a calendar view, whereas an associate or the managing partner might look at the calendar because it’s where they need to be that day, whereas a paralegal or a support staff person is going to want the list view.
And there are other case management platforms with nuances the same way, where it’s like Clio, you can sort and move columns around to display different pieces of data.
For PracticePanther, there’s text message appointment reminders that would save a ton of time for a paralegal or support staff who is doing confirmation calls and things like that.
So there are different sets of features and tools inside of these systems that carry different values and weighted values for each of those different team members. So as a whole it’s really, really important that at least a couple of people from each team, if you have a larger firm, couple of your paralegals or support staff, maybe the managers or the admin, everyone be involved in that test and trial period.
Additionally, when the selection process happens, it’s very, very common to see a managing partner pick a solution and then hand it off to the support staff and it’s the first time that they have even heard or seen this piece of technology, which then creates animosity within the firm, resentfulness, and we often call in the software vendor world, we call that person, you always have a champion inside the firm who loves the technology and runs around raving about it, and then you always have a detractor, who didn’t we spend enough time with, who was the paralegal who is responsible for doing 90% of the document prep, that nobody showed the document prep features to.
And these are situations that happen all the time, so talking about that psychological fear of change, that’s very real for everybody, and the worst thing that you can do is pick a piece of technology and then hand it off to your staff and say, okay, have fun with it. You guys make sure that all of the work gets done on time while learning the solution that I just pushed onto you today, and unfortunately that does happen.
So involving the team as much as possible, not only shows that you value their opinion, they feel more like participants in the process as opposed to that you are delegating this new thing that they have to do, and they can actually get excited about it. And you would be amazed when you get a team in the room, all of the different opinions that you will see come out. They feel comfortable and they are more than willing to share with that salesperson or whoever is giving the demo all their thoughts and opinions on how the software would work for them. And it can be an enlightening experience for the managing partner, the associates that lead the firm because it can oftentimes uncover problems that they didn’t even know were happening. Like, oh, this form feature or these online intake tools would actually save us X amount of hours per week. Oh, I had no idea you were spending that kind of time. Well, yeah, because you don’t have to do it.
So it’s a really great opportunity to not only increase morale by bringing your team into the decision, but also uncover potential efficiency gains or issues that you may have not even known existed.
Jared Correia: Excellent points Chelsey. I thought that was very good. I talk a lot about this notion of like staff nullification, like most of the law firms, the staff is doing the bulk of the work and if they don’t want to use the software, they ain’t using it. So you definitely need to get people involved.
Chelsey Lambert: It happens a lot.
Jared Correia: Yes. And unfortunately, we have to take a quick break, but we will be right back with more from Chelsey Lambert after you hear about a bunch of nifty products you just might want to buy this year.
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Jessica Correia: Welcome back. Jared just made himself a mustard sandwich.
How’s it tastes, Jared?
Jared Correia: Tangy and pungent.
Jessica Correia: Hmm, yum. We’ve got more with Chelsey Lambert of Lex Tech Review who is telling us everything we need to know about the hottest technology trends for 2018 in the legal field.
All right, Chelsey, let’s talk about some specific tech trends, you think are going to hit hard in 2018. Let’s start with Voice-Activated Time and Billing. Why do you think this is finally going to be the year that time and billing gets modern?
Chelsey Lambert: Well, Tali had a – and Tali, T-A-L-I, if you are not familiar with it, had an incredibly warm response at the Clio Conference when they launched earlier this year. I had the pleasure of demoing the software and there’s a review on my site about it, and even if you’re not a Clio user because it is integrated with Clio, you have the ability to talk your time records into an electric device, whether that is the Alexa app on your phone or the Amazon Echo Dot sitting on your desk or Alexa, pro bono Alexa device sitting in your kitchen.
So, wherever you are working, all you have to do is say, record two hours on the Smith’s case for doing document prep. These are going to be able to capture — these technologies will be able to capture your time, your notes, and all of those little details that you might forget throughout the day, even if you have started using voice annotation or voice notes to dictate to yourself to create a notebook whether you are using Evernote or just the apps that are native on your phone, it’s so much faster and safer, especially if you are in the car, then typing them out and texting them, but they still require a manual entry.
So, this new technology that would have been considered to be kind of a niche of a niche, how many people own these devices or we see in general this area of the market for consumers expanding as well as now bridging over into the business world.
So, it’s not only very, very functional but one ancillary benefit to using voice-activated technology, whether it’s to record notes to a case or to capture more time and billing records than you normally would, is the detail that you can provide for your client. And, if you want to test this out, I just invite you to try voice texting, when you’re texting someone or dictating an email into your email client on your phone, you can get things done so much faster and I’m recording the same level of detail.
So, if recording detail on invoices is something that you’ve really tried to get better at which will by the way improve your collection rate because there is nothing that a client will disagree with more than invoice with a bunch of line items that don’t have a description, this is a great way to provide an incredible amount of detail to your client to justify and backup the value that you’re providing for those fees, but in a way that isn’t intrusive on your schedule or labor-intensive.
Jared Correia: Excellent. The human voice, the most effective tool of all, as you can see from podcasts like this one. So, Chelsey, ready to talk about Forms Automation?
Chelsey Lambert: Oh, my favorite.
Jared Correia: Forms Automation is your favorite, so you’ve told me like —
Chelsey Lambert: I am so excited.
Jared Correia: You’ve told me there’s some bad*** Forms Automation stuff coming down the pipe, just how bad*** are we talking. I am not lying.
Chelsey Lambert: I noticed we could swear on this podcast, would you just go and I have hung out, so I’m very like comfortable. I’m very excited about this bad*** Forms Automation that I am about to tell you about.
Jared Correia: Yes, throw it out there, feel free.
Chelsey Lambert: I don’t know a lot of you really get super-excited about Document Assembly or Automation. I have been really passionate about it since I was first introduced to the technology in 2009. I got to work with Stephanie Kimbro and Richard Granat and have considered them to be great contributors to the legal community, really showed me the power of what Document Automation and Assembly can do.
So, first, I just want to share that as we move through this market that’s adapting and changing and growing like crazy and products coming out all over the place, Document Assembly and Forms Automation is something that can be used and implemented in the firm so easily that makes such a massive impact in margins, profitability, accuracy, I mean, it just has so many benefits that it’s one of those things where once it’s set up, it just goes, and it just has so, so many positive benefits to the firm.
So, I recently demoed — there’s case management systems that have built-in Document Assembly tools, and then there’s also solutions like HotDocs, and one of the limitations of these tools has been that they have to live on a PC. They have to use local RAM and storage or live on a server to be powered and it’s very hard to bring these technologies to the web because they oftentimes need Microsoft Office, Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook to power that Form Automation, which also creates limitations for Mac users.
So, the reason why I call this so just a bad*** revelation amazing achievement is because I demoed the software called Lawyaw and it’s kind of like I was actually talking about it with my boyfriend. He’s like, oh like, Lawyaw, like Lawyaw. That was really cute.
Jared Correia: How drunk were you guys when that conversation took place?
Chelsey Lambert: We were sober, we were 31:44, it’s really awesome. So, it’s Lawyaw and everybody should check it out because it is web-based, only available in the State of California right now and I’m literally like just begging these guys to let it lead across America because it allows you to create a form stack.
So taking California judiciary forms, for example, in the area of family law, this is how Document Assembly would previously work. You would have to select the form, it would pull all the information about your client and create this document, okay, save it. Lawyaw allows you to build a stack specific to a case type. So let’s say that I am doing a divorce, I am doing a child custody matter. Okay, I’m going to say I need this form, I need this form, I need this form, and I need this form, right? Here’s my stack for this child custody case.
Input the client information in the dashboard like frame, contact center on the left and then build your stack, and all of a sudden, boom, in the browser everything is populated, it’s super-beautiful, really, really clean interface, and it works on any device, so in the browser. This is a massive improvement in some of the technologies that we’ve seen before, they’ve got a really, really great team with some crazy, crazy smart people. You see Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning being applied to Document Assembly and Automation use cases for forms-driven practices, like family law, real estate, bankruptcy, I mean, it just, the list goes on as to how many practice areas, especially in the solo small mid-sized law firm space can benefit from this technology. I am like super just crazy stoked about it and I can’t wait until it’s available outside of California. If you’re a law firm in California, you need to check it out, for real.
Jared Correia: Dare I say “fat stacks”. We should talk because there is a lot of action going on. At Document Automation I may have some hot tips for you. It’s interesting that you mentioned HotDocs as well because they were just purchased by advocate’s data systems and I think that means that HotDocs is going to be available to advocate’s law users as well.
Chelsey Lambert: I think so, I think so.
Jessica Correia: That’s some good information I hadn’t heard of them before, so Jared, I just want to know did we set a new podcast record for the number of times **** was mentioned on this podcast?
Jared Correia: Unfortunately no.
Jessica Correia: I am glad to come back on and do it again.
Chelsey Lambert: So close. So close.
Jared Correia: I would love that.
Jessica Correia: Okay. Chelsey, you say that text messaging is the new email, and I know that moms everywhere are saluting you when you say this. Can you talk a little bit more about why that is?
Chelsey Lambert: Yeah, so I heard this quote recently and I’m going to have to reuse it. If you divert a call from your mom and send her a text message, do you think that your clients are going to answer the phone when you call? It’s kind of that — it’s a shit, and that’s a realization like we have to just own up to the fact that this is a widely used form of communication.
Think about every consumer service that we subscribe to, whether that is your dentist, your hairdresser, your doctor’s office, any professional service where there’s an appointment or there’s some type of deliverable, I mean, we’re getting marketing messages. It’s almost been used in the same way that telemarketing was used in the past to reach consumers, and so this is no different. We have to realize that the people buying legal services, and again, a lot of my background focus has been in the area of consumer law. So we’re just as much in competition with their open Amazon shopping cart as we are their decision to buy an estate plan or to invest in planning for their family or to finally move forward on a particular legal matter that they’ve been putting off, right?
So, if we can close the gap in communication to help convert more prospects into clients by adopting this form of communication then why aren’t we doing it? So you’ve got some newcomers to the space, you’ve got Zipwhip that’s integrated with Cleo, that’s fantastic, you’re starting to see case management providers integrate email. PracticePanther has text message appointment reminders, which will also help decrease no-show rates, by the way, I’m really, really big on that one.
It’s hard enough to get some scheduled for an appointment. You don’t have the time to go chase them down when they miss it. So, if it’s automating those reminders and more people are showing up at the door, that’s more people that are converting. Right? So let the technology help you make more money.
And, then we’ve also got, I think, LEAP, Jared, has some Integrated Text Messaging features, SmartAdvocate that I demoed has Integrated Text Messaging feature. So you are starting to see it move into the case management space. It’s not as prolific as I would like. It’s not as widely used, as in my opinion it should be, and then also just in talks I was talking to Shawn Holahan at the Louisiana State Bar Association about this just a couple of weeks ago and she does bring up a good point that confidential client communications, there are situations where you don’t want that in text message; however, that’s not necessarily what you need to use it for. You need to use it to capture the attention of the client, use it as a marketing vehicle, use it to get them into the office, and then leverage tools like your Secure Client Portal for the document sharing, for those secure communications about the granular details of their case that should be respected and kept in that realm of attorney-client privilege and all of that information kept in a secure area.
I will bring up another use case is that if this is already happening in your office like let’s say paralegals are for an office staff or receptionists are communicating with clients for whatever reason through text and then they happen to leave your firm, you have no record or access to any of that information.
So by using tools that are made for text message communication, you’re retaining an audit trail, you’re keeping track from an ethical perspective of everything that ever occurred, there’s even one off solutions, if you’re not one for case management or you don’t want to use anything that’s specific, there’s a tool called Pinger, that’s a web-based browser that allows you to connect phone numbers and document those text message communications.
So, you have to move where the clients are going. Mark written it, although paper presentation, I think it was a couple years ago where he said, you could go where the money is, you have to go where the clients are, you have to adjust and shift in shape to how they want to be communicated, and the fact of the matter is, is that even my mom, who’s 72, is texting me. Right?
So, if that’s kind of the fastest way to get them into your office and to get answers and to have them show up for things that could potentially derail the case, like a bankruptcy client showing up to a 341 hearing at the right time with their social security number and everything else that they need by not using it or you setting yourself up for that could then cost you time, money, and effort or potentially loss of clients, because quite frankly, if the law firm down the street is using it, that’s who I’m going with.
Jared Correia: Text messaging, the new black, there you have it. Now, I think a Filevine, which is a case management program, also does some really interesting things with text messages as well, including getting fee agreements signed which I think is pretty cool.
Chelsey Lambert: Yeah, personal injury — that’s a great use case, Jared, my attorney — actually I was in a car accident over the summer like minor, no like worries not for anybody listening, but I hired this guy straight up because the time between the phone call that we had and when I had a text message was a link to my retainer agreement that I doc you signed on my phone without having to log into anything was less than four minutes. I mean, it has to be like a retainer record –
Jared Correia: There you go.
Chelsey Lambert: And Filevine, I think it has a nice sweet spot for a PI attorney, so totally just on-board with the whole concept.
Jared Correia: Be that guy, wow. We are name dropping like crazy. This has been a tremendously fun episode of The Legal Toolkit.
It was awesome having a guest host like Jessica, awesome having a guest like Chelsey, 2018 is off to a great start. So, remember me, I’ll be back for future shows with further insights into my soul, the soul of America, and the legal market; however, if you are feeling nostalgic for my dulcet tones, you can check out our entire show archive anytime you want at HYPERLINK “http://www.legaltalknetwork.com” legaltalknetwork.com.
Jessica Correia: So, we owe a big thank you to Chelsey Lambert of Lex Tech Review for making an appearance on the show. Chelsey, last time we saw you, we had those delicious pineapple mojitos, so hopefully next time we hang out again. We can have another fun night like that one.
Chelsey Lambert: Oh, you’re on. Those are awesome.
Jessica Correia: All right. Can you remind folks where they can find out more about you?
Chelsey Lambert: Yes. Thank you so much for having me. I had a great time today and everyone can find me at Lex Tech Review. You can go to my contact page. If you are law firm that needs just a quick assessment or curious to hear what my thoughts are on a platform, you can schedule right on my calendar from there. My email address is HYPERLINK “mailto:[email protected]” [email protected] and you can visit me on Twitter at @ChelseaLambert or @LexTechReview.
Jared Correia: So, check out Chelsey’s website, follow her on Twitter on both accounts and download the 2017 Buyer’s Guide, which is a tremendous publication.
Thanks again, Chelsey. Thanks to my wife, Jessica, for co-hosting her very first podcast, and also for putting up with me for the last 15 years. We’ll see how many more she can do, and finally, thanks to all of you out there for listening, and remember, even if you’re stuck on the island of misfit toys, listening to King Moonracer Drone on and on Rudolph and Santa may be just around the corner.
Outro: Thanks for listening to Legal Toolkit, produced by the broadcast professionals at Legal Talk Network. Join host, Jared Correia, for his next podcast covering the current business trends for law firms.
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