Product Design, Better Documents, Client Service, and Ethics, with TBD Law Sponsors


At TBD Law, sponsors were invited to share their knowledge, not to sell. Ed Walters from Fastcase, Barron Henley from Affinity Consulting, Nicolle Schippers from ARAG Legal, and Joshua Lenon from Clio each took a turn into the “hot seat” to discuss product design, better documents, client service, and the difference between attorney-client confidentiality and data privacy.

Product Design, with Ed Walters from Fastcase


Fastcase 7 is rolling out soon, and Ed Walters treated TBDers to a sneak peak as well as a lesson in user-centric design and hiding complex features behind simple design elements.

Here are some of the ways Fastcase 7 will change the legal research user experience:

  • Soon you’ll be able to search everything at once, rather than limiting yourself to just cases or statutes in discrete databases.
  • Infinite scroll means you won’t have to click to a new page after seeing only some of your results.
  • An interactive timeline where the most used, most authoritative cases will be highlighted.
  • A semantic word cloud so you can easily visualize your search results.
  • Bad Law Bot is now front and center so you always know if the case you are reading is good law.


Fastcase also has an exclusive integration with Clio that lets you track research time and print cases directly to the client file.

Confidentiality, Privacy, and Lawyers’ Professional Obligations, with Joshua Lenon from Clio


Sam and Joshua Lenon talked about the important distinction between confidentiality, and data privacy and security. All lawyers have a similar rule on confidentiality, but different states and practice areas have different rules about what to do in the event of a data breach—and what constitutes a breach in the first place. Information is being deemed private by government entities, and few lawyers know how to deal with the implications of those decisions.

Privacy, Lenon pointed out, is only as good as people using the tool. For example, Clio encrypts data both at rest and in transit—which means data is encrypted when it is going back and forth between your computer and Clio and when it sits on Clio’s servers. But if you use a weak password or fail to use two-factor authentication, you are undercutting your own privacy protections.

Better Legal Documents, with Barron Henley from Affinity Consulting


Barron Henley (who has written some very helpful Microsoft Word posts for Lawyerist) from Affinity Consulting talked with Aaron about document assembly, case management, software training, lean six sigma analysis, and much more.

Barron’s teaches people how to master their documents by creating rule-based drafting, templates, and interactive forms, so lawyers are not reinventing the wheel every time they need a document.

One thing that is important for lawyers to realize, Barron pointed out, is that you just aren’t going to learn to use Microsoft Word—which is such an essential tool for lawyers—just by using Word. You need a structured class to dig into the guts of the program and make it bend to your will. (TBDers will get three no-strings-attached classes to learn to do just that.)

Client Service, with Nicolle Schippers from ARAG Legal


Legal insurance is not the same as prepaid legal plans. Nicolle Schippers from ARAG Legal explained that legal insurance is a highly regulated industry that is pretty similar to medical insurance. Plans are often included as employment benefits (especially in Europe, where legal insurance is more common), and they get access to a lawyer when they need one. For lawyers, especially those in cities with a lot of competition, working with ARAG can be a good way to get new clients.

According to ARAG’s research, the number one complaint about lawyers is poor customer service—lawyers who don’t pick up the phone or have a website. Clients want an easy way to reach a high-quality lawyer, and insurance plans can make that easier to get, which makes it a lot more likely they will use a lawyer in the first place.

Thanks again to all the sponsors of TBD Law!


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