COVID-19 Resources for Lawyers
Featured Guest
Tucker Cottingham

Tucker Cottingham, J.D., is CEO and co-founder of Lawyaw, a legal document automation software company in San Francisco, CA.

Your Host
Jared Correia

Jared D. Correia, Esq. is the CEO of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting, which offers subscription-based law firm business...

Episode Notes

Attorneys want to practice law in a way that is comfortable for them and their families, but, in reality, many feel they must sacrifice their personal lives to keep up with the demands of the job. Jared Correia and Tucker Cottingham discuss the inefficiencies driving lawyers’ long hours and share productivity tips and technology-powered time-savers that can help them take control of their legal practice.

Tucker Cottingham, J.D., is CEO and co-founder of Lawyaw.

Special thanks to our sponsors ScorpionTimeSolvAbby Connect and Alert Communications.

Transcript

Legal Toolkit

Running Behind The Real Reasons Lawyers Suffer From Inefficiency in Legal Practice

8/18/20

 

[Music]

 

Intro: Welcome to Legal Toolkit, bringing you the latest legal trends in business initiatives to help you manage your law firm with your host Jared Correia.  You are listening to Legal Talk Network.

 

Jared Correia: Hey everybody.  Welcome back to yet another episode of the award-winning Legal Toolkit Podcast only on the Legal Talk Network.  If you’re looking for Lion-O, I believe the ThunderCats are streaming on Amazon Prime look there.  If you’re a returning listener, welcome back.  If you’re a first-time listener welcome home and if you’re Pepper Brooks, you sure do like pumpkins.  As always, I’m your show host, Jared Correia and in addition to casting this pod, I am the CEO of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting which offers a subscription-based law practice management consulting services for law firms, bar associations and legal vendors.  Check us out at redcavelegal.com.  I am also the COO of Gideon Software, Inc. which offers chatbots, software built specifically for law firms.  Find out more at www.gideon.legal.

 

But here on the Legal Toolkit, we provide you with a new tool each episode added to your own Legal Toolkit so your practices will become more and more like best practices.  In this episode, we’re not just going to talk about the fact that lawyers are inefficient.  But we’re going to try to figure out why they’re inefficient.  But before I introduce today’s guest, let’s take a moment to thank our sponsors.

 

We would like to thank Alert Communications for sponsoring this podcast.  If any law firm is looking for call intake or retainer services available 24/7/365, just call 866-827-5568.

 

Scorpion is the leading provider of marketing solutions for the legal industry.  With nearly 20 years of experience serving attorneys, Scorpion can help grow your practice.  Learn more at scorpionlegal.com.

 

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TimeSolv is the number one web-based time and billing software for lawyers.  Providing solutions since 1999, TimeSolv provides the most comprehensive billing features for law firms big and small.  www.timesolv.com.

 

So, my guest today is Tucker Cottingham, who is the CEO and Co-Founder of Lawyaw which delivers document assembly for attorneys.  Now Tucker, that was a super brief bio, anything you would like to add about you or Lawyaw? Now would be a good time to do so.

 

Tucker Cottingham: Thanks Jared.  Well, thank you for having me.  Yeah, as you said, Lawyaw is built for law firms and so maybe worth mentioning that I am also a lawyer and spent several years practicing law and building a small firm myself.  So, I have some experience doing that before starting Lawyaw.

 

Jared Correia: You got out(ph), good for you.  Welcome to the big show, Tucker.  Thank you.

 

Tucker Cottingham: I appreciate it.

 

Jared Correia: We’ve never done this before, have we?

 

Tucker Cottingham: We have not done this before.  No.

 

Jared Correia: This is exciting, I’m thrilled.  So, I need to get something off my chest first, you’ve got a pretty killer beard.  I don’t know if people know that about you.  I don’t know if it like comes off in the audio recording but hopefully, we’ll have a picture attached to this podcast so people can actually see it in its full glory.  You could have easily been — oh, a general during the Civil War.  Like, I won’t even front(ph).  So, I’ve heard a rumor that you might be the fourth member of ZZ Top, can you confirm or deny?

 

Tucker Cottingham: Usually, people go with Brad Pitt from Legend of the Fall but I’ll take the ZZ Top compliment.

 

Jared Correia: Brad Pitt’s pretty good, I think I would probably go with Brad Pitt over like — I’ll work on that.  Next time we do the show, I’ll have a better comp for you.

 

Tucker Cottingham: There you go, thanks.

 

Jared Correia: All right, let’s make the sponsors happy.  Let’s talk about law stuff, right? So, you run Lawyaw which is a document assembly company.  So, you believe in efficiency? Kind of have to if that’s your business model.

 

Tucker Cottingham: Yes.

 

Jared Correia: Let’s talk first about why it is important for lawyers to be consistently efficient, especially now where everybody is working from home.  Everybody’s doing web-based marketing.  Everybody’s doing things online.  Can you talk a little bit about that and then we’ll dive into the reasons why lawyers are so inefficient?

 

Tucker Cottingham: Yeah, sure so most lawyers who practice law for any amount of time, I think have this feeling that there has to be a better way than how they’re currently doing things, just generally.  And I think a lot of times the word, “efficiency” kind of gets melded with this sort of feeling of, “there has to be a better way to do things.” And from my experience, that kind of falls into three categories.  So, I guess, quality of life I think is probably the main driver honestly and that touches on some of the things you mentioned.  But you know, I personally really believe that as lawyers, our time is worth a lot more than just money.  And so many of the attorneys and paralegals and staff that we talk with tell me that in order to keep up with their work, they’re sacrificing all kinds of other things in their lives.

 

(00:05:02)

 

So, whether that’s time with family or hobbies or health or other relationships.  So, I think the biggest driver I think really is just quality of life.  And then the second one is probably client expectations.  And so, as you’ve talked about us — you know, a lot of people have talked about client expectations are changing dramatically.

 

Jared Correia: Right.

 

Tucker Cottingham: And clients no longer expect just quality or personalization, they expect convenience.  And that’s what we’re used to from basically every other area of our lives now.  And so, whether it’s shopping and getting your groceries delivered, or transportation, or professional services.  I now communicate with my dentist by text and they remind of meetings and ask me if I want to reschedule and it’s easy, it’s amazing, it’s super convenient.  And you know, I equate that with sort of a luxurious kind of experience.  And so, I would say quality of life, client expectations and then necessity and kind of as you mentioned, I think COVID has really changed everything.  And so, many firms now just need to change how they’ve been doing business because it’s a lot harder to meet with clients or collaborate with co-workers and so forth.

 

And in some ways, a lot of us have more time because we’re commuting less and traveling and networking less.  But we have all these new demands on our time as well.  So, for folks that have kids, especially for folks that have kids.  Navigating school year starting and social events and all these things during the day that are sort of in our lives now on a regular basis.  So yeah, I would say that some of the drivers that we’re seeing — our quality of life is probably the primary, then client expectations and just necessity.

 

Jared Correia: Are you going to social events that I’m unaware of? I don’t think I’ve gone to a social event with more than like, four people in half a year.

 

Tucker Cottingham: No, but I’m getting people that want to schedule like Zoom calls during the day and things like that.

 

Jared Correia: You know, I think it’s great that you bring up like the lifestyle side of a law practice.  Because all these studies that come out like, you look at everything about lawyers and it’s like their number one concern is revenue across the board.  And I think that there are actually a lot of lawyers out there who want to be able to practice in a way that’s comfortable for them and their families.  The education on technology is really important for that.  We don’t want to go and design Minecraft buildings after we podcast, right?

 

Tucker Cottingham: Well, no.  I think that’s true though to a degree.  A lot of the firms that we talk with, a lot of the attorneys I talked with — when they’re not sort of being on the record, and all kinds of opinions about their quality of life and the lifestyle that they want to live.

 

Jared Correia: Right.

 

Tucker Cottingham: We’ll talk about it later but there are the essential human things that are not — we’re not immune to, as attorneys.

 

Jared Correia: Totally true.  And like, you make a good point about people with kids, right? Like I know my schedule has been deeply affected by the fact that I’m like the babysitter, caregiver.

 

Tucker Cottingham: Right.

 

Jared Correia: Teacher, like it’s hard to manage all that stuff and the business expectations that like — you’re just saw drawn into your stuff but like having some more time to be able to do that, being hyper efficient is really helpful.  All right, so let’s talk about the root cause of inefficiency for lawyers.  Because I think you have a really interesting take on this.  When most people talk about lawyers they are like, “Well of courses, lawyers are inefficient, right?” But people don’t often say why they think that’s the case.  So why do you think that’s the case?

 

Tucker Cottingham: Yeah, this is something that kind of recently clicked for me, people who are not in the business of providing legal services think that lawyers are inefficient because we make more money that way, right? And they think it’s all this like — big calculated scheme to make more money from our clients.

 

Jared Correia: Yeah.

 

Tucker Cottingham: And when this really hit home for me, we are raising our first round of funding and an investor said to me “Lawyers don’t care how they spend their time.  A lawyer would scrub a bathroom with a toothbrush for $300 an hour.” And I was deeply offended and shocked but partly just because people think that lawyers are just totally different than other people.

 

But more so, that this idea that our only sense of satisfaction is from the money, it’s kind of what you talked about.  So that kind of set me into “Okay, digging into this issue a little bit more deeply and trying to really understand some of these hard problems of what the origins of some of these very — manual, kind of archaic process are in the legal industry.” And the brief answer is that legal inefficiencies — I think are often rooted in a desire to build strong relationships and really, client stewardship.

 

I think that’s the origin of a lot of these sorts of manual processes that now we’re seeing — sort of stand out on the age where everything is so much more efficient.

 

Jared Correia: I hear that a lot from lawyers and that’s a good point that you make.  Like, anytime you talk to a “Traditional Lawyer” about using technology.  They’re like, “Well, I want to keep touches on clients,” right? And they think that means they need to talk to them or there needs to be a manual process to manage the interaction.  They feel like if there is any kind of barrier between them and their clients, they’re going to lose the client eventually; or new clients aren’t going to come in.

 

(00:10:03)

 

Tucker Cottingham: Right.

 

Jared Correia: I think that’s especially true in like — small firm practices.  So, this notion of like client stewardship affecting the way lawyers work, I think is really spot on.  Do you want to expand on that a little bit?

 

Tucker Cottingham: Yeah.  Sure, and I think it’s a super important part of the conversation that gets left out from a lot of the discussions about legal technology, which is that people are hiring lawyers to help them with really important things, right? Custody of our kids and how to distribute the property you spent your entire life accumulating and lawsuits and employment issues and immigration.  All these things that are often times life-changing events for the people who are hiring lawyers or looking to hire lawyers.  They are really stressful and distracting and so, this human element of hiring a real person that has experience that you trust is very genuinely critical to a successful relationship, I think.

 

But I think when you look at some of these processes, it can kind of come into focus a little bit differently.  And so, an example would be prospective client intake is one that I like thinking about.  So, it’s sort of before somebody has hired a lawyer.  And I like this example because lawyers aren’t getting paid for time before they’re retained, right? So, this is not — they don’t have the economic incentive to be inefficient that going back to our investor comment.  But most attorneys understand that the initial relationship building, that step of building trust is really important.  And so, the vast majority of attorneys spend time talking with prospective clients and then manually taking notes.  There are more efficient ways to screen clients and collect information but the tradition of meeting and talking and taking notes comes — I think from this inherent desire to build a personal relationship and to earn trust and then in turn to win that business.  And so, I think the punch line for me is really just that when we’re thinking and talking about technology and process improvement, we can’t ignore that human element.  I think it’s very foundational to attorney-client relationships and to running a successful law practice.

 

And there may be other ways that we can improve — I think that there’s an opportunity to improve legal process and to leverage technology without ignoring or trying to minimize the importance of personal relationships and the importance of earning trust.  But there are just a lot more ways to build personal relationships and to earn trust now than through these sorts of manual processes that may not even be the thing that the clients are really looking for, if that makes sense.

 

Jared Correia: Totally, that’s great.  So, we’ll stop here for the first part of the show.  We’ll take a break.  You’ll hear from our sponsors and then we’re going to come back and talk about applying efficiencies in in the law office.

 

[Music]

 

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Jared Correia: All right, thanks for coming back.  I’ve returned from putting down an entire package of refrigerated Cedars Gummy Worms.  By the way, those are the best gummy worms in the world.  I’m not even being paid for this.  So, let’s get back to our conversation with Tucker Cottingham of Lawyaw and we’re talking about curing law firm efficiencies.  All right.  So, we talked about lawyers’ inefficiencies, we talked about why they’re inefficient.

 

But you and I both know that one of the best ways to add efficiency to a law firm — maybe the easiest way is to utilize a document automation tool.  I think traditionally, it’s been really hard for law firms to find document automation tools that are viable in the cloud.  So, is that changing? Has that changed?

 

Tucker Cottingham: Yeah, the world is changing.  It is much easier to find user-friendly cloud-based document efficiency solutions, Lawyaw obviously being one of them.  But to your point, that’s actually why I started Lawyaw is because at our firm, we wanted that kind of a solution, we couldn’t find one.  It was mind-blowing to me that in 2016, this didn’t exist.

 

Jared Correia: The holes in legal technology are still staggering to make but go on.

 

Tucker Cottingham: It is really foundational stuff, right? We were getting good business, we had — and the firm’s still around and has great reputation.  But there were just a lot of things that we didn’t need to manually be doing.

 

(00:15:03)

 

And I think that at the surface, it seemed like that was an obvious — there was an obvious solution to an obvious problem.  I think one of the reasons it’s taken a lot longer to really become easily available is because of the technology itself.  So, thinking about sort of — some of the things that have changed in the past, there were really kind of like two main types of document automation.  So, one was sort of the old non-cloud-based world of programming languages.

 

So, this actually required writing logic statements into your documents and so that’s kind of the old process of super-slow, kind of tedious 800 page manuals with tons of user instructions for how you create an “If-then statement.”

 

Jared Correia: Right.

 

Tucker Cottingham: And for people looking for efficiency, that doesn’t seem like an obvious path to learn a new programming language and read an 800-page manual.  And then the second is this sort of like clunky use of custom fields and kind of usually inside of your practice management software.  And then really, you are kind of trying to manage like a million different custom fields and do these like mail merges and keep them organized.  It’s just a very clunky, unfulfilling process which for folks that have tried it really quickly hits a ceiling, when it comes to anything more complicated than a simple letter.

 

And so yeah, I think that the world has changed in the way that now we have more affordable cloud-based storage online.  A lot of the trends that have enabled other technologies, enabled document automation but essentially being able to have an infrastructure that’s cloud-based, that’s more affordable.  And that we can do things with data and language now that makes it easier for end-user to — you don’t have to memorize these specific kind of logic statements.  We can do things to make that a lot more user-friendly.

 

Jared Correia: Right, and I think that’s kind of the story of legal technology writ large, right? As the cloud came on, software became much more convenient, much more — easy to use and then like — you’re not dealing with legacy or on-premise systems as much anymore or at least you have a choice to move off of those.

 

Tucker Cottingham: Right.

 

Jared Correia: So, one thing you talked about in that response that you just gave was like the changes with respect to the cloud have also generated changes in terms of like the user interface that’s utilized in the document assembly program.

 

Tucker Cottingham: Right.

 

Jared Correia: Som can you speak a little bit more about how those changes have been effectuated?

 

Tucker Cottingham: Yeah sure, so now — so I kind of gave examples of sort of some of the old processes which is sort of a glorified mail merge inside of another software or kind of a really complex sort of programming language style non-cloud-based program.  And now, we can have simple interfaces with clickable buttons, drag and drop, just select the text that needs to become changeable.  And we can use kind of more generalized notions of these fields, so like an attorney’s first name or the number of kids that a client has.  You know, they’re not just mail merge tags but they actually allow you to do something that’s a little bit more substantive.  And so that then for other documents in that given case or that client.  You know you can combine different documents and you can change the number of kids and that will change multiple documents and adjust things like subject verb agreement or pronouns or drop-in sections of text.

 

But the interface of just being more kind of what people are used to really opens up a whole world of building these workflows.  And doing it in a way that doesn’t hit that low ceiling of a mail merge but being able to generate an entire divorce packet or an estate plan and reusing a lot of what you already have.  So, I would say that kind of a tangential benefit to the user interface — kind of issue is that it also allows you to use your own documents because it used to be so complicated to turn your own documents into sort of smart templates or these kind of programmable things that people started just using default templates.  Like, okay, off the shelf, here’s a bunch of canned letters, here’s a bunch of canned motions or estate documents whatever it may be.

 

A large part of that was because turning your own documents into templates was really hard.  So, what the advances in User Interfaces have done by simplifying them, is it makes a lot more of the work attorneys have already spent a decade putting together useful and accessible.  So, I would say that that’s one of the most exciting things that we’re seeing — is the number of firms that are able to say “Oh yeah, we’ve got another version of this that we did for a previous client.  We could just turn that into a template and we send out the same Proof of Services and letters and Petitions that we’ve — for each case they’re different but we can re-use all this stuff we’ve been doing.  And really make that — pretty quickly make that into a streamlined kind of document workflow.”

 

And so, that’s where I see — it’s interesting thing is about the UI because I really see that as an inflection point in enabling a really powerful use of this kind of technology for small firms.

 

Jared Correia: Oh totally, like I quit practicing law for a reason and seriously, like one of the reasons was like, I’m like “My god, no one knows how to use technology in this field.” I’m going to be sitting in an office 16 hours a day because the people I’m working are just like — they don’t know what they’re doing here.

 

(00:20:05)

 

So, let’s have one more question covered on this topic, which is integrations, right? Like, the cloud also allows technologies to work together better than they ever have before.  So, what kind of integrations are you seeing in the world of document assembly that are hot right now?

 

Tucker Cottingham: Yeah and I think one of the things that we’ve learned over the last 15 years of legal technology is that the promise of this amazing all-in-one solution is not realistic.

 

Jared Correia: I keep hearing about that, I suppose it’s happening.

 

Tucker Cottingham: I’m not a believer, unfortunately.  I think it’s very unlikely that a legal research company would also happen to make the best billing software or that a video conferencing tool is going to make your best calendar solution, you know?

 

Jared Correia: Fair point.

 

Tucker Cottingham: And so, it’s just not their core competence, it requires different skills to build different things.  And so luckily, the internet again has helped us because now we can have these best-in-class solutions for different specific things that can work well together.  And to your point, we did that with integrations.  And so, at Lawyaw, our goal is really to seamlessly integrate with all these other things that you’re using and for us to be the very best at what we do; which is streamlining your document workflows.  And so, the types of integrations that we’re seeing now are with your practice management software.  Not having to re-type things into your billing software that you’re using in your documents, maybe intake forms or chat bots where maybe you do, do some pre-screening.  Or you do have some kind of intake or a receptionist service and essentially letting that information flow through your different processes without having to retype it in all these systems.

 

So that’s something we’ve been really kind of focused on from day one but we’re seeing — gaining a lot of traction right now, as people just want these things to work nicely together.  And they know that one company isn’t necessarily going to build the best version of 20 different tools.  And so, I think having these APIs and these integrations are really critical to the future of law in general.

 

Jared Correia: Now that you’ve destroyed the dream of a single legal software, let’s take a break so everybody can recover from that.  Listen to some more(ph) words from our sponsors and we’ll be back for our last and final segment.

 

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Jared Correia: All right, thanks for staying with us, I never left.  Now let’s continue with Tucker Cottingham of Lawyaw who has been walking us through why it is that lawyers are just so damn inefficient.  For this last part of the show, we’re going to do a little bit of grab bag questions.  This is the potpourri(ph) section of the podcast.  So, Tucker, do you find that the efficient lawyers that you know work with or talk to are tending to bill differently than other attorneys? By that, I mean like not hourly billing but trying different things.

 

Tucker Cottingham: Like alternative fee structures and flat rate and things like that?

 

Jared Correia: Yeah.

 

Tucker Cottingham: Yeah.  I mean the short answer is yes.  For everything — maybe except for litigation defense, which sort of has its own evolution in billing conventions.  But yeah, I mean I think in general, many practice areas are really well-suited to non-hourly billing.  It could be a family law, estate planning, housing, immigration, personal injury, consumer finance, right? And so, I’d say that lately we’ve definitely seen a big trend in returning to those kinds of Fee Schedules.  And maybe interesting point here for the audience is some of the history of the billable hour.  I don’t know if you’ve spent too much time going into that in the past.

 

Jared Correia: Not weekend reading for me.  No, but go ahead.

 

Tucker Cottingham: Sure.  Well, the history of the Billable Hour is actually super interesting, I think.  But up until the 1970s, the Billable Hour was almost non-existent and so State Bar Associations would set a fixed-rate fee schedule for most legal services.  And then it was until 1975, that there was a Supreme Court ruling in — I think in Goldfarb v.  Virginia where the Court essentially said that setting a minimum fee schedule was anti-competitive and constituted price fixing.

 

(00:25:04)

 

And so, after that, there had to be a way to distinguish the pricing for different services and the Billable Hour became an easy way to create obvious pricing competition.  And so oftentimes, people think that legal services have always been hourly and now there’s this innovative new approach to create some sort of alternative fee arrangements.  But really, it was always alternative fee arrangements and then there was an Antitrust Lawsuit that sort of resulted in a really quick conversion to a lot of billable rates and hourly billing.

 

And now, we’re seeing the same practice areas go back towards some of those different fee structures which they really naturally fit into.  I’m always interested when I talk to firms and they say “Oh, you could never do this on a flat rate, our cases are always different.” It’s like — for you know, 200 years they did.  But we do see people that have — what I would say is that, you do want to have some kind of economic incentive for efficiency in some way.

 

I do think that despite our earlier conversation, I do think that that’s helpful.  And so, things like fixed fee or capped billing or contingency.  And then what we see too with a lot of our customers is they might do a hybrid approach.  So, it doesn’t need to be that the entire project can be flat rate.  You might say we do flat rate up until this point or we do a flat rate for projects that these certain facts are not present that make them more complicated.  So, I think having a sort of a fluid understanding of that or having that as a tool in your Legal Toolkit too.

 

Jared Correia: Oh wow, well-played, well-played.

 

Tucker Cottingham: Thank you.

 

Jared Correia: Bonus points.  Now if we can just bring the pet rock back, we’ll be all set.  Alternative fees, pet rocks.

 

Tucker Cottingham: Right, exactly, it’s all been done.  But no — yeah, I mean I think to your point, what document efficiency enables is having a more predictable amount of time and resources for a project.  And being able to know that with some degree of certainty enables you to really have a lot — more predictable pricing which is better for clients and better for law firms.  So, we absolutely see that as a trend across our customer base, no question.

 

Jared Correia: We’ve talked a lot about inefficiency for lawyers who are in practice for profit.  How about legal aid attorneys? Do you work with legal aid providers and how do they work in terms of technology and efficiency, versus kind of like the for-profit law firm model?

 

Tucker Cottingham: Yeah that’s a super interesting and good question.  We do, we work with a lot of legal aid organizations.  We work with a lot of LSC funded organizations, we have all over the country, different legal aids using us.  And we’ve been doing that really since the beginning of Lawyaw.  It would be an interesting conversation for another time but that was really — our roots are in working with legal aid, although it’s not widely talked about by us or other folks.

 

Jared Correia: Yeah.

 

Tucker Cottingham: But you know, there is this huge issue of — all of the kind of access to justice and all of the — sort of barriers that prevent most– saying that as a scientific term that prevent most people from being able to access legal services.

 

Jared Correia: “I won’t require data from you sir, go on.”

 

Tucker Cottingham: There’s a California access to justice report, I’ll put you in touch with.  But no, they’re very incentivized to help as many people as possible without sacrificing quality. And so, in our experience, they are very motivated to try to help as many people as possible and be efficient.  Now that’s — not saying that all legal aid organizations are super technology savvy or that the people that worked there are really — even interested in technology.  But I do think that they’re aligned with wanting to be able to increase access to legal services.

 

And so, again kind of having convenient and user-friendly ways to do that is really a hugely powerful benefit for legal aid and for society, sort of spared you that part of things.  But yeah, I think it’s really critical and we definitely have seen a ton of legal aid organizations coming through to Lawyaw especially since COVID.

 

Jared Correia: Well that’s a good segue to another question I wanted to ask you.  Like, this pandemic is still ongoing, right? Everybody’s talking about it all the time to the point where it’s nauseating.  So, like, in terms of legal technology, are you seeing now? Like the last five months, law firms really diving in and adopting technology or are they just turtling and they’re like in shock and they don’t know what to do? What’s been your experience?

 

Tucker Cottingham: No, definitely diving in.  I think we will almost double in size in the next few months.

 

Jared Correia: Nice.

 

Tucker Cottingham: So yeah, it’s been a huge influx of people wanting to get their systems in place.  Whether that’s because they have time now because there were court closures or whether that’s because they want to tighten their belt and they need to kind of fortify.  Or in some cases, they want to grow and kind of use this technology as a growth mechanism but we’re seeing a huge amount of increase.

 

(00:30:01)

 

And a lot of times, it’s stuff that people have been wanting to do forever, like saying — a very common conversation I have is some attorney says, “This is something that’s been on our radar for a long time.  We’ve known we wanted to do this, we just have never really had the time to do it or enough motivation and now it makes sense.” So, I think that I do think that right now is a really interesting kind of inflection point for the legal industry, especially for a small firm attorneys and small firm organizations.

 

Because there are really practical solutions to allow them to collaborate remotely and to make their services more accessible.  And to do all of these, standardize their brand when you’re not in the same room as somebody but you know that everything that’s coming out the door is consistent because you’re using the same templates and you know exactly what’s changing the documents, you can easily see what’s changed.  So, I think that I’m seeing — well, I definitely am seeing a huge increase in interest towards a lot of the technology.  But I’ll say that I think a lot of the motivation is around efficiencies that sort of always made sense but now seems to be a particularly motivating time as opposed to “I’d never thought about this before and now it’s going off in my –,” you know?

 

Jared Correia: True.

 

Tucker Cottingham: So, I don’t know how many new — and I just don’t know the answers.  It may be a lot better.  I don’t know how many totally new attorneys are thinking about technology for the first time as much as “Okay, now I’ve actually got to act on this.” And we’re seeing those things happen.

 

Jared Correia: And I think when you referenced tightening your belt before that must have been a figurative metaphor and not a literal one.  I don’t think anyone’s tightening belts.  I think I have like five scones before I came into this podcast.  Just because I sit at home and eat all the time.

 

Tucker Cottingham: Right.

 

Jared Correia: So, I complimented your beard earlier.  So, may I also say that you’ve got a pretty sweet name as well.  Like, my kids hate my last name because it’s got more vowels and consonants and they’re like, “We can’t even spell our name.” And my wife’s last name is “Foster” so they’re like, “You should have just taken mom’s name when you got married.” And I’m like that’s not traditionally how it’s done but I like how you’re thinking outside the box.

 

Tucker Cottingham: Right, that was on the new frontier.

 

Jared Correia: Yeah, I feel like –you probably are a knight or a lord somewhere in your family’s history, right? So, like, let’s shift topics entirely and like tell me Game of Thrones, last season, how would you rate it on a scale of one to ten? Feel free to go into negative numbers if you want.

 

Tucker Cottingham: You know, I was disappointed when I was watching it, I’ll say that.  But upon reflection, I liked more of it than I did in the moment.

 

Jared Correia: Oh, all right.

 

Tucker Cottingham: So, I’m not as negative.  Like if you would have talked to me and maybe it’s just the whole pandemic where now it seems like a new episode of Game of Thrones would be so exciting.  That I have more appreciation for it but I’m not as negative as some people were.  I thought the CGI could have been a little better at points but, you know?

 

Jared Correia: Time heals all wounds my friend.  All right, we’ve reached the end of yet another episode of the old Legal Toolkit Podcast.  This is the one where we talked about the inefficiency of legal processes and we’ve been chatting with Tucker Cottingham of Lawyaw.

 

Now, I’ll be back on future shows with further insights into my soul, the soul of America or what’s left of it and the Legal Market.  If you’re feeling nostalgic for my dulcet tones however you can check out our entire show archive anytime you want at legaltalknetwork.com.  So, thanks again to Tucker Cottingham of Lawyaw for making an appearance as my guest today.  Tucker, can you tell — oh this is a lot of fun.  Tucker, can you tell everyone how they can find out more about you and about Lawyaw?

 

Tucker Cottingham: Absolutely, thank you again for having me.  This is great and if you want to learn more about Lawyaw, you can go to www.lawyaw.com.  That’s L-A-W-Y-A-W dot com and we have ways to get in touch with us there.  You can chat us or send us an email from the website.  That’s going to be your best bet.

 

Jared Correia: Check them out.  I’m sure Tucker also has a Game of Thrones blog out there somewhere, I bet if you dig you could find it.  So, thanks again, Tucker Cottingham of Lawyaw was my guest today.  Finally, thanks to all you out there for listening.  This has been the Legal Toolkit Podcast where the Red Wedding never happened.

 

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.  If you’d like more information about today’s show, please visit legaltalknetwork.com.  Subscribe via iTunes and RSS.  Find Legal Talk Network on Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn or download the free app from Legal Talk Network in Google Play and iTunes.

 

[Music]

 

The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of nor are they endorsed by Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders and subsidiaries.  None of the content should be considered legal advice.  As always consult a lawyer.

 

(00:35:02)

 

[Music]

 

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Episode Details
Published: August 18, 2020
Podcast: Legal Toolkit
Category: Practice Management
Podcast
Legal Toolkit
Legal Toolkit

Legal Toolkit highlights services, ideas, and programs that will improve lawyers' practices and workflow.

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