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If Your People Can’t Unplug, Turn Off the Power

“I know we’re on vacation, but let me just take a few minutes to check in.”

It’s a phrase I’ve said too many times to my family on what is supposed to be our vacation. Unfortunately, today’s technology and 24-7 business cycle often mean that vacations aren’t time away from business. There is no respite. Knowledge workers find it difficult to detach from work. Many times, these employees take a vacation with the best intentions, but feel the gentle tug of work calling at them. They find themselves simply working from another location instead of truly taking time away from their day-to-day job.

Yet, the benefits of taking time away from work are compelling.

Understanding the Need to Unplug

Recent studies have supported findings that being able to psychologically detach from work is “linked to lower levels of burnout, fatigue, and physical discomfort, and higher levels of vigor, sleep quality, and overall well-being.”

In another study conducted by the University of California, Irvine, researchers found those who take time away from their technology are likely better at being creative and problem solving.

I know from personal experience that I often have amazing ideas about our business a few days into my vacations. I love coming back from a week away feeling excited and ready to tackle the next problem or capitalize on a new opportunity.

Today’s Vacations are Falling Short

For years, we’ve encouraged our team to take advantage of time away. We have systems and processes in place to help team members think through tasks and responsibilities to ensure everything is covered while they are gone. We document the basics of everyone’s jobs in our operations manual so that we can jump in and cover things as needed. During their time off, if we see them jump into a team chat or respond to an email, we’ll gently remind them that they are expected to “unplug” and that we have things covered. We also remind the rest of the team to be respectful of someone’s vacation and avoid reaching out unless it really is an emergency.

But, as a leader of the business, it can still be a challenge. So, I find myself “just checking in” for a few minutes here and there just to make sure everything is ok. I realized that I’m not modeling good behavior for the rest of my team. Instead of leading the way, I’m part of the problem. My behavior hurts both me and the team. This conundrum was top of mind when I revisited our paid time off policy late last year.

Mandating the Entire Team Take a Week Off

I knew that I wanted to create an easy path for the entire company (including me!) to take time away from work and really have a break from work. Our answer was to simply declare 15 days when the entire company would be shut down for business. Yes, most of those days are the Federal holidays when many businesses in America close shop, but we added four additional days during the July 4th holiday. The result is an entire week when the company is closed (when July 4th falls on a weekend, we will close the first week of July).

That’s right—we’re shutting down for a week!

Addressing Concerns: Why This is Our Right Choice

I’ll be honest: Not everyone was excited when they first heard the news. Those that spoke up didn’t like the idea of being “forced” to take vacation during that holiday week and suggested that costs may be more during an already busy travel time. We reminded them that they don’t have to travel that week and that our very generous flexible paid time off (PTO) policy encourages them to take ample vacation. In fact, they certainly can (and should) take other weeks off as well. So maybe those folks can just enjoy a week unplugged at home.

In the end, we valued everyone knowing they could have a week without any expectations of work because we closed the entire business and decided to go forward with our plan.

As we are getting closer to the first shut down, most people seem to be excited and are discussing how they plan to spend the week away from work.

How We Plan to Ensure a Smooth Transition

Of course, we aren’t just going to close shop and hope for the best. We have been discussing the shut down for six months to ensure we didn’t schedule any important client work during the week of July 4th or during the beginning of the following week. We have also discussed our plans with our clients. We know most (if not all) of our clients share our values and have been understanding and even inspired by our move.

It’s easy to tell ourselves that something like this will upset clients, but that is our own story and our own fears and excuses talking. We are choosing not to make these assumptions about our clients. Of course, if anyone is concerned, we will address it with them directly and create a plan.

Returning with Renewed Energy

I’m excited to report that my family is planning our first family trip to London, Edinburgh, and Paris. We are in the throes of looking at a ghost tour and a Jack the Ripper tour (I have a 13-year-old) and planning day trips to castles and museums. The other night, my husband noted that one of the hotels didn’t have free Wi-Fi and I simply shrugged and said “Okay. I won’t need it!”

While this is more of a “trip” than a vacation where I’m sitting at the beach for a week (I love those, too), I am confident I’m going to return with a renewed spirit and focus ready to work. I’m excited to hear how my team will return as well.

One thing I’m pretty sure about—no one will be too angry for being forced to take some time away. They might even surprise themselves! I’ll make sure to write a follow up story with our findings.

Steps Your Firm Can Take to Create Unplugged Time Off

Even if you’re not ready to close for a week, I encourage every firm leader to consider these steps to ensure your team can take a much needed break away from work this summer:

  1. Check in with each team member to confirm they have PTO scheduled—just having you ask them reinforces the idea that this is not just allowed but expected!
  2. Create a checklist team members should follow before taking PTO that includes who will cover their tasks. This allows them to step away more easily knowing work and tasks are covered. You’ll also know who to go to if something does come up while they are away.
  3. Have everyone on the team create a 1–2-page document of things someone should know about their job. This is a great reference for when team members are out unexpectedly.
  4. Tell your team you expect them to take unplugged time away and not check-in; remind everyone else on the team they must honor everyone’s PTO (including yours!).
  5. Create client-facing communications reminding your clients of your firm’s values and how you treat paid time off for your team. Request that clients honor your policies and connect with a designated person when their contact is away (like this article—see what I did there!).

With a little preparation, you can set your team and yourself up for time away this summer and throughout the year.

Here’s to some great respites from work leading to renewed energy, focus, and health benefits!

Bon Voyage!!

 

Coaching for Growth: Lawyerist’s Innovative Approach to Employee Development

In 2024, Affinity and Lawyerist restructured our employee-first approach. In a concerted effort to improve at the individual level, Robin Carberry, Paco Roman, and Natasha Evans joined the team as professional development coaches for all employees. “This program was introduced to help folks enjoy a meaningful place to work. To help them find more joy in what they do and remove blocks in the way of that,” said Robin.

Coaches Provide Crucial Guidance Throughout the Company

Affinity and Lawyerist offer a coach for every employee. In biweekly one-on-one sessions, coaches work through the goals and issues of each team, focusing on the perspective of each member. Coaches function as members of their team to ensure they can understand problems unique to that domain. Coaches contribute to meetings and conversations, allowing them to provide better insights and advice later.

What are you trying to achieve? How could your team help you? Coaching questions are naturally aimed at the individual, giving them a platform to freely share their thoughts about their team’s progress. In turn, coaches advise them on their next steps, guiding the whole team in a more productive direction.

Practicing What We Preach

The vision for internally directed coaching wasn’t clear at the start. It began as a plan to replace managers, who were also subject matter experts, throughout the company. Robin led the first experiment, coaching Affinity’s practice management team. During that process, she discovered that while a coach cannot fully support a team through their technical challenges, she still saw potential. The direction of the experiment changed, and coaches were added to every team as additional members, transforming the program into its current form.

Our internal coaching initiative reflects Lawyerist’s mission to guide healthier small firms. Lawyerist Lab, a coaching service for legal professionals, enlists a team of experts who can help law firms develop a solid foundation for growth.

While Robin understands the purposes and benefits of each coaching program, internal and external, she sees an important distinction. The difference lies in the clientele. While in a coaching session, Robin focuses on asking the right questions to build self-awareness and understanding. “It’s about partnering with somebody to bring out the answers that they already have inside themselves,” she said. Lab coaches do a lot of mentoring too. “But they’re also teaching people. They’re also giving them information. They’re providing them with resources.”

Overcoming Bias with Hands-On Experience

Many people are reluctant to be coached, many times due to misunderstanding of what coaching offers. People have preconceptions of coaching from sports and therapy contexts, but the reality of business coaching is much different.

Robin’s strategy for hesitant clients is simple: build a strong relationship with trust. In her sessions, she has an unwavering commitment to privacy. “It takes time to build a relationship with people. And confidentiality is a hugely important part of that relationship. The conversation that happens in our coaching container is not shared with anybody outside that container,” said Robin.

If you want to give coaching a try and start building a healthier, client-centered, tech savvy law firm, apply to Lawyerist Lab. On top of Lawyerist’s team of expert business coaches, you will get access to resources tailored to small law firms and a like-minded Lab community.

Less Effort, More Clients with Law Ruler

Clients have more ways to find and communicate with attorneys than ever before. For attorneys, this represents an opportunity and a challenge. As an opportunity, it’s easier to directly target potential clients when they need your help. Compare the potential “right time, right place” effectiveness of a Google Local Services Ad versus an old-school yellow pages or billboard advertisement. As for challenges, attorneys face increased inquiries (which is wonderful!) that they need to manage and work to turn potential clients into paying clients.

The most effective way to track and manage referrals is with tools purpose-built for the task. This type of program is called client relationship management software (“CRM”). A CRM helps you plan, control, review, and report on the entire client intake process, from initial marketing to signed engagement agreement.

A CRM Built for Law Firms

Think about the steps you take from receiving a lead to signing a client. You’ll see several types of interaction. Some may require a personal touch, while others could be systematized and automated, freeing time for other work. Law Ruler is a CRM designed for these types of workflows and how law firms engage prospects.

Capturing and Engaging Leads

While word of mouth remains a powerful recruitment vehicle, digital tools help keep you in mind when a would-be client is ready to engage.

Suppose you are an estate planning attorney and you conduct an educational presentation for seniors in your area, you might collect attendee names and email addresses. What now?

Traditionally, you may set that list aside or keep a record to see if the event generates business. More sophisticated firms may send a follow-up email or letter with a brochure. Law Ruler lets you do much more.

Law Ruler lets you take that list of names and email addresses and start them on a series of informational emails you design—a “drip campaign” in marketing terms. You could design a series of automated emails that Law Ruler sends out, one a week, on the “core” estate documents—will, trust, power of attorney, and healthcare directive. These four emails build on or reemphasize your points. A fifth email is a summary reminder of your services and link to schedule a consultation.

You provide valuable, expert information to the prospect, stay front-of-mind with the attendee, and make it easy to take the next step.

Law Ruler’s drip campaign tools support multiple approaches, including texting with pictures and videos and pre-recorded voice calls. Law Ruler’s platform integrates texting, so messages originate from a central firm number and are stored and visible to other Law Ruler users in the firm.

Tracking and Reporting on Outreach

Marketing emails and text campaigns only work if they’re read by the recipient and that recipient becomes a client. Naturally, Law Ruler provides robust analytics in a dashboard view to see relevant information. Instantly know key metrics like:

  • click-through rates (e.g., what percent of email or text recipients click on a link in a message);
  • conversation rates (e.g., what percent of prospects become clients); and
  • average time to conversion (e.g., how long does it take a prospect to become a client).

Law Ruler lets you schedule these as recurring reports, as well as design custom reports in a “code free” interface.

Managing Lead Qualification

Once your outreach spurs a potential client to act, Law Ruler helps you evaluate and qualify the lead to see if the prospect’s needs match your expertise. With Law Ruler, your intake coordinator could:

  • use Law Ruler’s form builder, featuring on-the-fly, adaptive questionnaires to collect matter facts;
  • feed form-collected data into custom fields in Law Ruler, simplifying staff work to review and filter prospects, while avoiding the error-prone process of retyping previously entered details; and
  • ease key steps of the onboarding process via automated documents, such as engagement agreements, generated with form-collected data, and send for digital signature via email or text message.

Powerful CRM, Made Even Greater with AI

Law Ruler includes the talents of ChatGPT to speed up everyday marketing and client communication. ChatGPT and Law Ruler’s AI Email Assistant streamline routine marketing communication tasks, alleviating burdens while producing better, repeatable results in less time.

Law Ruler users can take advantage of ChatGPT integration to:

  • generate potential social media posts that match custom SEO guidelines;
  • produce first drafts of client communications, like welcome letters, questionnaire instructions, and meeting, deadline, and appointment reminder; and
  • even create initial drafts of actual legal documents for attorneys and staff to review, edit, and revise.

Additionally, Law Ruler users benefit from using ChatGPT within a product purpose-built for law firm customers. Law Ruler designed its ChatGPT integration with security top of mind. When using ChatGPT inside Law Ruler, ChatGPT has no access to client data and is prevented from saving and “learning from” any information you enter as a prompt. This structure lets firms use AI and still maintain compliance, preserve privilege, and fulfill ethical obligations to clients.

Systematize Great Marketing and Powerful Lead Management with Ease

Visit Law Ruler’s website to learn more about how their legal-specific CRM helps law firms save time by eliminating manual processes and streamlining their client intake process. If you’d like a hands-on walk-through of Law Ruler, including its phenomenal AI features, click here to schedule a demo.

Avoiding Trust Account Errors with CosmoLex

Mishandling client money is among the top client complaints about attorneys. When we think of mishandling, we often think first of misappropriation—taking client funds to spend on oneself. But such actions, however sensational, represent a distinct minority of trust account problems. More commonly, problems with law firm trust accounts, also known as IOLTA (“interest on lawyer trust accounts”), arise from errors of expediency and neglect rather than nefarious intent. Still, such errors may prove a serious threat to your firm, your reputation, and even your law license.

Fortunately, legal technology has advanced well beyond ledger books. Today, approachable, feature-rich, web-centric programs make managing law firm trust accounting simpler. CosmoLex, a leader in online law practice management software, includes robust tools that help attorneys address potential trust accounting pitfalls. Furthermore, since these capabilities are built into CosmoLex, you have access to all matter facts and finances in a single, integrated experience.

Guard Against Trust Account Mishaps

Prevent Commingled Funds

Ethical rules require law firms to separate trust account money from operating account money. Money you receive but have not earned, for example, a retainer from Client 1 or a settlement check for Client 2, must go into the trust account. You can move that money from the trust account to your operating account as you earn it, such as working hours on the matter (Client 1) or paying yourself the 30% contingency fee (Client 2). You must also document such movement appropriately.

Each client’s money in trust must be separately accounted for. Using the example above, Client 1’s retainer and Client 2’s settlement amount are not a single pool of money, although they could reside in the same bank account. If your work for Client 1 exhausts the retainer, you cannot continue to withdraw money from the trust account even if there is money in the account from the settlement check. The settlement check money belongs to Client 2. If you continued paying yourself, you’d overdraft Client 1 and misappropriate money owned by Client 2.

Proper trust accounting necessitates coordinating client, matter, and money data. CosmoLex holds all three and automates individual client ledger management to prevent commingling and overdrafting.

Ensure Proper Payments and Timely Disbursements

Building on our example above, when Client 1 signs an engagement agreement and pays your retainer, that payment must be paid into and reside in your trust account until you earn it. Assuming they’re like most Americans, Client 1 may want to pay with plastic.

Your credit card infrastructure must understand the unique complications of trust accounts. CosmoLex’s credit card processing handles tricky situations like chargebacks and disputes, and allocates money, fees, and service charges appropriately for an IOLTA setting.

Similarly, you must timely disburse funds. For some situations, the desire for timeliness is obvious—Client 2 would like his settlement money. In other cases, the need for timeliness is less stark, but no less true. With Client 1, you should move money from the trust account to the operating account as you earn it.

In both cases, you must document the transactions. CosmoLex makes it easy to record disbursements as they are made. Documentation’s value for Client 2 is obvious. But it’s also important for Client 1 because:

  • you have an obligation to separate the firm’s money from client money;
  • regular, timely transfer of earned money to the operating account smooths firm cash flow; and
  • transferring earned money from Client 1’s trust to the operating account promptly informs you when you have exhausted the retainer. It’s then time to send a replenishment request or begin billing Client 1.

Examples of other CosmoLex features that streamline trust account management include:

  • Automatic trust-to-operating account transfers;
  • Tracking and disbursement of third-party lien claims; and
  • Importing of electronic bank statements.

Many of the activities described above affect both the trust account and operating, or general business, account. One of CosmoLex’s great advantages is the ability to present a holistic picture of your billing system (e.g., invoices sent to clients), your trust account (e.g., money you hold on behalf of a client), and your operating account (e.g., your general business ledger). Your view of the business benefits from a compressive portrait possible only with an integrated solution.

Integrated Data Produces Powerful Reports

CosmoLex’s reporting tools make both the tracking of and reporting on trust account activity easy and intuitive. Additionally, CosmoLex provides simplified reporting for recordkeeping and auditing. With CosmoLex, you can run bank reconciliations, including the critically important three-way reconciliation, in just a few clicks, and archive financial data reports for safe-keeping and later review.

Complete trust financial reports include:

  • Account balance reports
  • Ledger activity summary reports; and
  • Ledger transaction reports.

CosmoLex’s effortless trust reconciliations and audit-ready tools ease mandatory trust accounting obligations. Having these trust reports on hand ensures attorneys are prepared in case of an audit.

Avoid Errors and Alleviate Trust Account Burdens with CosmoLex

With comprehensive trust accounting baked into its law practice management software, CosmoLex provides a complete picture of your firm’s matters and activities, helping to:

  • Preventing common trust account errors;
  • Simplify precise online payments;
  • Facilitate prompt distributions;
  • Properly record transactions; and
  • Effortlessly produce the reports you and your accountant require.

To learn more about using CosmoLex’s legal-specific accounting tools to stay ethically compliant with client money, visit their website.

Efficiency, Security Made Easy with ShareFile for Legal

ShareFile is well known for secure document sharing and external collaboration capabilities. It provides an easy and secure way to send and receive client or third-party files. Built on that strong foundation, the newest ShareFile for legal innovations give law firms the power to create unparalleled document and client-centric efficiencies.

ShareFile for legal builds on the core features you’re familiar with, adding capabilities that expedite client onboarding, ease document workflows, and better protect business and client information without the need of complex, IT-managed security protocols.

Many legal professionals (75%) spend more than 20 hours a week on non-client-facing work. Reclaim some of those hours with the powerful features of ShareFile for legal.

Share Files Securely

When we think of exchanging documents over email, we often think of file size, but not always file security. ShareFile for legal handles both easily. There is no file size limit like email has for attachments. The Outlook or Gmail plugin makes attaching documents and entire folders to an email easier and more secure. The attached documents are uploaded to and are secure in ShareFile, and you can send links to only download the file. You can monitor the downloads, password protect them, and limit the number of times and how long the download links work. Receiving files works similarly. Provide the client with a secure link and they can upload documents via a web portal. ShareFile notifies you of newly received documents.

  • Projects: When you and the client collaborate on files, ShareFile for legal offers a centralized client management space for each case or matter that helps simplify, organize, and secure common document workflows. This helps give more visibility and control on who has access to what and when they last accessed files, all in one spot.
  • Document Requests Lists: For a list of documents you collect frequently (e.g., the same five documents for each deed you prepare), ShareFile for legal includes digital document collection to create and send requests to clients, explicitly listing each document and the date you want to receive it by. A blanket “upload everything here” link often works, but for specific or discrete items, document requests tell the client what you need. You can review what the client uploaded, comment, and even reject a given document, state why, and request the correct files (e.g., if the client uploaded two years of tax returns but not the most recent two years).

Keep Track of Tasks

Even when you tell clients exactly which documents you need from them to proceed, you or someone at the firm often has to follow up repeatedly. You may be able to bill for the time, but it’s neither effective nor rewarding. ShareFile for legal provides two helpful tools.

  • Task Tracking: You can configure ShareFile for legal to track matter-related tasks. Statuses include “yet to start,” “in progress,” “overdue,” and “completed.” You can create tasks for individual documents (as in estate plan drafting), or entire classes of documents (as in discovery or due diligence work).
  • Keep the Client Informed: As part of task tracking, you can easily share task access with clients. When granted access, which is discretionary, clients can receive prompt status updates that detail all work for their matters.
A screenshot of the ShareFile web portal showing a breach of contract matter with tasks in different stages of completion

Security First

Although document scanning and safety have improved in recent years, they can still be a vector for malware and infection. This fact is even more pronounced among lawyers, where 2023 statistics reveal that 69% of attorneys rely on email, often unencrypted, for client communication and document exchange. ShareFile for legal proactively scans document contents and provides suggested actions or automated actions for mitigating threats.

ShareFile’s security capabilities include alerting you to unusual sign-in and authentication attempts and monitoring file uploads for malware.

Works within Your Tech Stack

ShareFile knows that firms rely on multiple programs to perform different functions. That’s why ShareFile for legal integrates with key tools like Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Salesforce, and more to reduce tech complexity and help your firm boost efficiency.

Digital documents workflows can help improve your firm’s speed, accuracy, and security. ShareFile for legal makes transmitting and collaborating on documents easy and secure. Whether your clients upload dozens of discovery documents, a discrete list of enumerated files, or a collaboration space for ongoing engagement between the client and the firm, ShareFile has you covered. Learn more about ShareFile for legal by visiting their website.

Measure Your Time, Don’t Just Track it with TimeSolv

A product that makes time tracking simple benefits attorneys irrespective of practice area or fee structure. For attorneys who bill by the hour, easily entering, editing, and reviewing times holds obvious advantages.

But what about flat fee and contingency firms? While those practices need not always record time (unlike hourly attorneys, time is not directly the product you’re moving), it’s still worth doing. Why? Recording time reveals profitability. Hourly billers get a sense of profitability with every pre-bill, discount, or write-down they give a client.

Flat fee and contingency firms lack that regular “check-in.” By recording time and knowing, for example, that a $10,000 flat fee estate plan takes $5,000 to prepare (i.e., comparing the fee charged against staff salaries and other expenses), the firm gains a profit margin “snapshot.”

TimeSolv, a web-based law practice management system (LPMS) with deep roots in the business of law understands the importance of time tracking. TimeSolv understands that making time entry simple and quick ranks of first importance.

TimeSolv Delivers Comprehensive Time Tracking Tools

Track Multiple Events

With TimeSolv, users can have multiple timers available simultaneously. Starting one timer automatically pauses the currently-running timer. For example, if an attorney is drafting a document, and a client calls on an unrelated matter, clicking to start a new timer for the phone call automatically pauses the document-drafting timer. When the call ends, the attorney can stop the phone call timer and enter it. Or perhaps the attorney expects to look something up and make a return call to the client later that day, they can pause the phone call timer and resume the document drafting timer.

Track Time Anywhere

This feature is key. A great solution works on the web, laptops, tablets, and especially smartphones. TimeSolv meets this need. It even works offline; no internet connection necessary! And, of course, TimeSolv includes powerful sync capabilities. If you make a time entry in the desktop app, it syncs with the TimeSolv servers so that entry saves to the cloud and is visible to others. If you’re away from the internet when you make a time entry, TimeSolv automatically syncs the next time you launch the desktop app when connected to the internet.

Draw Meaningful Conclusions

There’s no value in entering a bunch of information if you can’t use that data to make decisions. TimeSolv excels here too. Users and firm administrators see metrics on time entry and time entry behavior (e.g., contemporaneousness) for each timekeeper.

Speed Up Time Entries with Abbreviations

When creating time entries, speed and consistency rank among the top requests. TimeSolv addresses both concerns by supporting custom abbreviations for text fields, including time entries. Rather than sending a client a bill where some phone calls read “call with client,” a few read “phone call with client,” and still others “called to [or from] client,” create a simple TFWC abbreviation. When a user types “TFWC,” TimeSolv expand that shortcut to “telephone call with client.” The same activity reads consistently on bills, across all users and clients. Plus, it saves a bit of time too.

Manage Matter Budgets

While many LPMS vendors offer matter budgets, these are often overall dollar amounts for the matter. TimeSolv provides a more effective, timely, and granular version of budgeting. With TimeSolv, you can set limits on the hours billed on tasks. Such finely tuned control and tracking of expended effort means that no bill or overage surprises you or the client. If someone views a matter with overbudget tasks, TimeSolv displays a prominent banner alerting the viewer that “Plan Task Assignment fees and hours budget exceeded.” By using matter plans to set task budgets, both you and the client can keep a close eye on the meter.

Start Tracking Time for Productivity and Profitability

If you bill hourly and hate tracking time, you’re probably working for free, at least part of the time. If your work is flat fee or contingency, knowing your “cost of goods sold” requires knowing how much you expend in providing a service. TimeSolv gives you the tools to painlessly record and review time entries. Learn more about this feature and everything TimeSolv offers by visiting their website.

 

Best Law Firm Websites 2024 Winners

Every year, the Lawyerist team sets out to find examples of the best law firm websites from our vast community. Once again, this year saw submissions from all over the world, spanning countless practice areas. And, once again, the submissions are becoming increasingly difficult to separate in terms of quality. Obviously, the website, as a marketing tool, isn’t just for Personal Injury attorneys anymore. 

If this year is indicative of anything, though, it’s that we are seeing a crowding market. Things like clear branding, high quality technical SEO, and thoughtful CTAs are table stakes now. Firms must do more than just present an aesthetically pleasing, functional website to grab a potential client’s attention. As such, it was difficult to find ten sites that stood out above the rest. There was so much quality in this year’s cohort, we had trouble deeming certain ones “exceptional” above the others.  

Below are the top eight websites of 2024—and one honorable mention.  

Obviously, our choices are subjective. However, we try to introduce as much objectivity into the process as possible. First, we run each site through a performance and accessibility grader that rates each site from A to F. Then, we rate the highest performing sites based on branding, marketing, accessibility, and technical SEO. This year, we invited judges from the Lawyerist and Affinity Consulting teams and averaged these opinions to come up with the results below. 

Output Law 

Designer: Caleb Ellis 

What Makes Them Special 

It is obvious that Output Law caters to creatives, the design is sleek, sophisticated, and modern. The “Let’s work together,” section pulls back the curtain on hiring a lawyer a bit. 

JVAM Law 

Designer: Firesign 

What Makes Them Special 

JVAM combines the accessible with the aesthetically pleasing. They provide a site that pops off the page while still allowing users to navigate with just the keyboard or a screen reader. 

Filippatos PLLC 

Designer: Postali 

What Makes Them Special 

This site provides multiple ways to travel the same CTA path—contact the firm. Visitors can use the chatbot to get more information or make a call to the firm directly from the website. As a bonus, it’s mobile-first, not just mobile friendly. 

Sobirovs Law Firm 

Designer: GNGF 

What Makes Them Special 

Sobirovs Law Firm makes it easy to see what working with them will be like with loads of educational content. They go the extra mile, however, by making a Fee Calculator front and center for potential clients. 

The Fine Law Firm 

Designer: iLawyerMarketing 

What Makes Them Special 

This site is branded. A visitor knows exactly where the firm is located without reading a word. By the time a visitor gets to the “8 Reasons to Choose Our Firm,” they’re as comfortable as their favorite pair of denim jeans. 

Ruane Attorneys 

Designer: BluShark Digital 

What Makes Them Special 

The Ruane site is a top-quality DUI and Criminal Defense site. What sets it apart, however, is its creative lead magnets. It requires some digging, but users can generate living wills, lease agreements, and even powers of attorney on their own time. 

Nichols Liu 

Designer: Sujai Chandrasekaran 

What Makes Them Special 

Beyond being easy to navigate, and client-centric, the Nichols Liu site uses imagery to its full effect. They obviously help navigate difficult regulatory waters worldwide. You can read more to learn specifics, but you get the idea from first glance. 

Clancy and Associates 

Designer: Katie Clancy and Ruben Digital

What Makes Them Special 

Clancy & Associates is a niche firm—and they know it. It’s obvious that they have experience guiding families with unique and special needs. Their branding says, “we care, and we can help.” 

Honorable Mention – Connecticut Trial Firm 

Designer: Hennessey Digital 

What Makes Them Special 

A few years ago, Connecticut Trial Firm would not have been too big for this contest. But they are now. However, they are still a great example of Personal Injury marketing that shows how they got to where they are. 

Learn More about Law Firm Websites 

If you want to learn more about what makes a law firm website great, check out our Law Firm Website Design Guide. You’ll learn why user experience is important, and how a website fits into a law firm’s overall marketing strategy. 

 

Dan Wade Brings Strategic Communication Expertise to Lawyerist

Lawyerist is excited to welcome Dan Wade, Marketing Lead, to the team. Dan is an expert at strategic communications and brings seven years of marketing experience with him. He will spearhead efforts to increase brand awareness for Lawyerist and Affinity Consulting, ensuring the right message reaches the right audience.

Dan resides in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he lives with his wife, daughter, and two cats (Avery and “the boy”). He’s a sports fan to his core and is even a community owner of Minnesota Aurora FC, a local soccer club.

“We are excited and lucky to have Dan join the team,” said Lawyerist CEO Stephanie Everett. “In addition to being a great marketing mind, he has a journalism and sports data background, and loves craft beer—all the makings of an interesting team member!”

Dan Brings Small Market Experience

Dan knows how important marketing is for business growth. In multiple stints at startups, he led efforts to build marketing teams and strategies. As he joins a larger team, Dan expects those experiences to help him tackle new challenges.

“At its heart, marketing is prioritization,” said Wade. “The thing marketers need, above all else, is empathy. It allows you to really understand your customer’s problem at a deep level. And I think my background at startups gives me some affinity with Lawyerist’s audience.”

Dan’s Plan for Directed Messaging

As a part of both Lawyerist and Affinity, Dan will focus on finding and reaching key audiences for each brand. He recognizes how difficult it can be to reach lawyers given their busy schedules. To that end, Dan hopes to add urgency to communications, so that business investment and enhancement stay at the top of their minds.

Sometimes process optimizations can be forgotten, neglected, or pushed down the road, but it’s important for law firms to be conscious of ways to improve. Dan emphasized the importance of creating actionable messages for potential clients. “Once you get people to understand that the future can be better than the present, everything gets easier. Marketing, sales, and implementation work together to create a vision you and the client share,” Wade said. Adding, “Everyone is excited for the future and how it will change their business.”

Welcome to the team, Dan! If you want to work with Dan and the rest of our amazing folks, check out current openings with Lawyerist or Affinity.

Seize Your Day with Rocket Matter’s Office Management Tools

One of the strongest cases for law practice management software (LPMS) is that it understands how legal professionals work. Practice management software excels where Outlook or the Google Suite fails because an LPMS works within the concept of a “matter,” something unique to the legal market. An LPMS combines a host of otherwise disparate data—emails, notes, documents, phone messages, calendar appointments, and more—under the umbrella of one collective (e.g., Smith v. Jones or the Thomas estate plan).

If an LPMS stopped there, it would nonetheless be a boon to legal professionals. But great, innovative practice management software like Rocket Matter reaches beyond the mere recreation of a casefile folder. Rocket Matter includes comprehensive LPMS features and supercharges those features with robust project management and reporting, available to Rocket Matter Pro and Premier customers.

Manage Matters Visually with Kanban Boards

For example, in a family law practice, one might have the following stages (i.e., columns) arrayed left to right across the screen:

  • Prepare Initial Filings
  • Temporary Relief
  • Discovery
  • Mediation
  • Pre-Trial Discovery
  • Trial
  • Closing

As you work each family law matter, you move the card from left to right across the Kanban board columns as the matter progresses toward a conclusion. Experienced family law practitioners may notice a couple of things immediately: (1) these seven stages are excessive for some cases (e.g., an amicable “no kids, no property” dissolution) and insufficient for others, and (2) matters may “bounce” back and forth between stages—it’s not a linear path forward. Rocket Matter’s Kanban boards address both concerns.

You can customize the respective stages for each matter type. A family law attorney likely has several matter types, such as divorce, dissolution, custody, post-decree, and more. Each matter type possesses its own unique set of statuses, all customizable by the firm to meet how they work. Additionally, the Kanban view accommodates a matter card moving from any one status, which Rocket Matter calls “swimlanes,” to any other status. You could move a matter’s card directly from discovery to trial or flip back and forth between discovery and mediation a dozen times, if necessary. Rocket Matter built its Kanban boards with the flexibility to manage matters how you work.

In addition to managing your matter workflow visually, Rocket Matter’s Kanban view also lets you:

  • filter the displayed matters by primary the attorney;
  • view the total days a Matter has been in its current status;
  • filter the board to see matters by client;
  • filter the board by matter health (has “sat” in a status too long, based on timeframes you set); and
  • jump directly to a matter’s dashboard by clicking its card.

These boards, part of Rocket Matter’s robust legal project management platform, offer a visual snapshot of case statuses, promoting efficiency and collaboration with their easy-to-use, customizable layout.

Project Management and Powerful Reporting

Kanban boards are but one part of Rocket Matter’s strong toolbox of legal project management capabilities. Other project management-specific features available to Pro and Premier customers rely on the matter status to:

  • make calendar calculations unique to each status;
  • add custom tasks that appear when a matter reaches a status; and
  • display specific custom data based on the matter status.

These and other powerful automation capabilities rest on understanding and using matter templates.

Rocket Matter pairs advanced reporting and business intelligence along with these status-based workflows. As a Premier customer, dive even deeper into your matter and project management data with Rocket Matter’s Business Intelligence Module (BIM). With the BIM, your firm can review all types of data across matters, activities, contacts, and billing information. Using simple “drag and drop” steps, you can easily create reports that offer remarkable insights into your firm, its processes, case handling, and financials. Read this earlier article on Lawyerist to understand more about the BIM and how it can help you see more clearly.

Get Started with Kanban, Project Management, and Advanced Reporting

Rocket Matter offers an unrivaled combination of robust LPMS functions, project management tools, featuring user-friendly Kanban boards, and highly capable business intelligence reporting to draw meaningful, actionable conclusions to boost your business. If you want to build a better practice by elevating your firm’s productivity and strategic insight, visit Rocket Matter’s website to learn more about their comprehensive solution.

Measure What Matters with Lawmatics’ Custom Dashboards

Your legal practice produces abundant data from many sources. What happens when you have to search two or three places within a program or website to find what you seek? Or worse, when you must combine and massage information from various locations to see a complete picture of your business? Frankly, you’re less likely to retrieve and act on that information. Instead of illuminating and helpful, the experience becomes frustrating and time-consuming. And you can’t make informed decisions on data, even if you have it, because it’s not presented conveniently or timely.

Previously, a law firm needed a database or tech guru to sort through its data to craft meaningful, visual reports. Hiring such a person, or tasking the techiest staffer with that responsibility, leads to inefficiently cobbling together disparate data, eating time and money that could have been better spent serving clients.

Lawmatics knows this pain and created its Custom Dashboards feature to address the problem. With Custom Dashboards, you now have a way to see meaningful data, make an informed decision, and act promptly.

Custom Dashboards are the Place for Your Data

Custom Dashboards allow Lawmatics users (on the Team tier and above) to consolidate their firm’s metrics. Furthermore, customization tools let you pick the information that matters to your firm and display it in relevant ways.

Custom Dashboards serve as your firm’s new homepage, putting key data at your fingertips. System administrators, and authorized users, can view, create, and edit as many dashboards as they’d like. There’s no limit!

Building a dashboard is an easy and flexible “point and click” process. Lawmatics knows that each firm, and practice areas within a firm, rely on various data points to gauge business health. They haven’t tried to guess what yours are. Instead, they’ve taken a toolbox approach, allowing you to display what you want, how you want it.

Here’s a sample Custom Dashboard with data panels displaying values in several formats and a header dividing “top-level” numbers from marketing-specific numbers.

Users can easily drag Panels and Groups to relocate and resize them. Simply click, hold, and drag to move. Resize a panel by clicking on the panel’s corner, holding down the mouse button, and dragging to expand or contract the panel.

Building Dashboards Customized to Your Firm

Custom Dashboards can provide firm leadership with views on how areas of the business are operating, such as marketing, client intake, and billing. Depending on who creates a dashboard, that user may want to review marketing success, such as referrals and return on investment, team performance, or countless other metrics.

Examples of business metrics you could track on a dashboard include:

  • E-signature completion statistics
  • Upcoming tasks
  • Staff performance and productivity
  • Upcoming appointments
  • Progress towards established goals

Dashboards’ options and flexibility give you a holistic and clarifying view of what’s happening at your firm. All dashboards are visible firmwide to users with permission to create and edit dashboards.

A user builds a dashboard with four types of panels:

  • Text: This panel is the easiest to understand. It’s a simple note area. Use it for teamwide memos, inspirational quotes, or other messages.
  • Data: This panel displays information from myriad data sources. It could pull records from standard metrics (e.g., appointments, esigning activity, invoices, tasks, or time entries) or from a Lawmatics custom report.
    • Standard metrics behave similarly to Lawmatics’ existing analytics page, and offer basic calculations like new leads, conversion rate, cost per lead, and cost per client.
    • A custom report data panel can draw from either a custom report you create specifically for the dashboard or from custom reports your firm previously created; ones they already know and use.
    • Dashboards visualize data panels as number values (e.g., the total number of matches from a given custom report), pie charts, bar charts, and gauges. The choice of presentation rests with the dashboard’s creator.
  • Headers: This panel type divides a dashboard into sections with helpful labels for collections of text and data panels
  • Groups: Use this panel type to cluster several data panels together. Combine as many data panels as you like. Move them around as a unit for the perfect dashboard layout!

Get Started with Custom Dashboards for Your Firm

Custom Dashboards help keep everyone in the firm on the same path toward the same goal. How might you use Custom Dashboards?

  • A marketing specialist follows how many new leads the firm has and their potential value.
  • An intake specialist tracks new cases opened by practice area and engagement agreements returned.
  • An attorney keeps track of upcoming matter appointments and tasks.
  • A bookkeeper follows paid and outstanding invoice amounts for the month.

Whatever your practice area, you have numbers that mean success to you. Lawmatics’ Custom Dashboards make it easy to create and review the data that powers profitable results. Visit Lawmatics’ website to learn more about making the most of this new feature.

 

Lawyerist Lab Unleashes the Power of AI with Lasso the Lab Coach

Lawyerist Lab was recently upgraded with the addition of a Tology-powered chatbot: Lasso the Lab Coach. It’s vital to keep up with the times, and that means embracing the power of AI and leveraging it for clients. “Lawyers don’t have time to become experts in AI. Our job is to experiment with tools so that we can teach our community,” said Stephanie Everett, Lawyerist CEO and Lab Coach.

Convenient Business Coaching Powered by AI

Lawyerist Lab is a business coaching program designed for small law firm owners looking to grow and scale. It features a team of expert business and legal technology coaches and numerous courses built with small firms in mind.

Lasso blends seamlessly into Lawyerist Lab, acting as a virtual coach for members of the community (also known as Labsters). Built directly into the Lab coaching portal, Lasso pulls from Lawyerist’s extensive content library to simplify and expand the learning experience. And with unlimited availability, it can address critical issues at any hour of the day.

Of course, Lasso wasn’t built to replace Lab coaches. The AI tool will supplement small law firm owner’s learning and improve the quality of coaching sessions. Stephanie envisions Lasso helping coaches and Labsters to “get to a more thoughtful discussion.” In the past, answers that were available, but not readily found, in Lab materials, took valuable time away during coaching sessions. With Lasso’s ability to quickly find and summarize information, coaches can focus on the unique issues each Labster faces.

A Glance at Lasso’s Capabilities

Lasso provides a convenient interface for Labsters to ask any question that comes to mind. In just a few moments, the chatbot provides a thoughtful answer, which spares no detail. Discussions are stored in Lasso’s window for future access, and they can easily be copied into a user’s personal notes. If the results of a query are insufficient, Lasso offers a follow-up button to continue any conversation. This allows Lasso to build on a previous answer without repeating information.

Shows a screenshot of Lasso the Lab Coach in action returning a list of suggested software products from a Labster's question about trust accounting help.

The Dos and Don’ts of Lasso the Lab Coach

AI can be a little scary. It seems like each new breakthrough comes with another discussion about data privacy and security. As a result, many people have reservations about using AI technology, especially with sensitive data. To better understand how Lasso should be used, here are some dos and don’ts for the tool.

  • Do: craft business strategies that align with company values. Lasso was created to work alongside Lawyerist Lab, which means helping law firms develop and grow according to their visions.
  • Don’t: share client data or request legal guidance. Lawyerist saves prompts to improve Lasso, so don’t share private data! Coaches will monitor questions to stay in the loop on common interests or concerns for Labsters.
  • Do: find software tools for success. Lasso has access to hundreds of resources and articles covering the latest and greatest in legal technology. Labsters can use Lasso to find multiple options for their technical challenges.
  • Don’t: use Lasso for IT support. While Lasso is an amazing piece of technology, it can’t save Labsters from their other software challenges. Lasso’s sole focus is helping law firms build solid foundations for business operations.

Leveling Up Law Firms with Lawyerist Lab

Lasso is just one small part of Lawyerist Lab. Access to coaches, materials, and the Lab community are invaluable resources for any small law firm. No matter what stage your small law firm is in, Lawyerist Lab can help it succeed. Apply to Lab today to start your journey to a healthier small law firm.

CosmoLex Trust Accounting is Anything but Basic

Do you know the largest source of client complaints about lawyers? Communication—unreturned calls, unanswered emails, etc. The second largest source of complaints? Money. More specifically, how attorneys handle their clients’ funds.

Law Firm Accounting Complexities

Accounting plays an essential role in any business. No matter the industry, a business tracks profit and loss, tax events, and other financial measurements. Law firms do all of that while also precisely accounting for receipts and disbursements on a per-matter basis.

In some respects, trust accounting—tracking the funds we receive from or on behalf of clients, but haven’t earned for ourselves yet—is easier than standard business accounting:

  • We don’t have to monitor profit or loss;
  • We don’t record depreciation of physical assets or amortization of intangible assets; and
  • We don’t worry about interest earned or tax events.

If law firms only had to worry about their trust account (also called an IOLTA, IOLA, or escrow account, depending on your jurisdiction), they might have it easier than a generic business or non-profit. Unfortunately, a lawyer’s trust account burdens exist in addition to general business accounting requirements.

Software Simplifies the Situation

Fortunately, the additional needs of trust accounting match what computers are good at:

  • Tacking client funds on a per-matter basis;
  • Matching each receipt or disbursement to supporting documents; and
  • Painlessly reconciling numbers between the firm’s electronic ledger, the bank’s reported amounts, and the trust balances for each matter.

General purpose accounting can do some, but not all, of this. Maybe it could hold “audit-important” documentation and reconcile between itself and the bank, but it lacks the core tools lawyers need. In the same way firms benefit from law practice management software to keep matters organized, firms need accounting software that understands trust accounts, matters, and their unique roles in legal.

The right legal-specific accounting software alleviates much of the stress.

CosmoLex Offers the Right Trust Accounting Tools

CosmoLex’s robust, approachable trust accounting makes it easy to record and report your trust account activity properly.

Leverage Tools to Do it Right the First Time

The money-centric client and disciplinary complaints mentioned above don’t stem from attorney malfeasance. Most disciplinary complaints result not from deliberate misappropriation but from negligence. A solution, like CosmoLex, that encourages (and can compel) good recordkeeping, promotes compliance and prevents problems.

If your firm relies on a “general purpose” accounting program and a separate matter management program for case information and billing, that split introduces unnecessary complications. Using separate programs creates a gap for human error to seep in. If you maintain both an electronic and paper calendar, and they disagree, you lose time determining which is correct. Similarly, no one should play a “financial telephone” game, relaying numbers between products and hoping no errors arise.

CosmoLex provides practice management and full, general ledger accounting in one place. Manage case details, bill clients, and track and reconcile business and trust accounts in one web-based, mobile-friendly product.

Beneath that single-source umbrella, CosmoLex:

  • Collects all necessary transaction reference information in an audit-ready fashion;
  • Separates trust account money and transaction activity by matter and client, preventing commingling of different clients’ funds;
  • Supports computer-printed checks to prevent duplicative check numbers or writing checks from the wrong account;
  • Guards against overdrawing not only the overall trust account, but also overdrawing any individual matter’s trust balance;
  • Allows you to “close the books” on a matter or time period to prevent further edits or alterations; and
  • Connects to your bank or financial institution to directly import transaction data for you to review and confirm.

Quickly Run Reports to Verify Accuracy and Completeness

Meaningful, actionable reports begin with good data. Quality reports depend upon quality bookkeeping. CosmoLex produces reports that keep you informed and compliant with jurisdictional obligations. Core, insightful reports include:

  • Trust Ledger Balance Report: This report, known to Canadian practitioners as a Trust Listing, shows trust balances for each client by matter, the last date of any activity, and whether the matter is open or closed.
  • Client Trust Ledger: This report is a mini bank statement for each matter. It shows credits and debits for the matter, complete with a running balance. If you have a single matter’s funds in multiple trust accounts, it also accommodates that variation.
A picture of a client trust account ledger showing transactions and a final zero balance
  • Reconciliation Report: This report compares the bank’s ending balance to your recorded ending balance. It also reveals uncleared transactions, such as uncashed checks.
  • 3-Way Reconciliation Report: This report builds upon the reconciliation report, showing the bank’s numbers, your trust account’s overall numbers, and client ledger numbers. 3-way reconciliation reports ensure that bank totals match trust account totals and that both totals agree with what matter-level ledgers report. Auditors love this report.

Best Practices Produce the Best Results

The fundamentals drive stress-free trust accounting.

  • Run the reports monthly and act on issues. Closed matters shouldn’t have trust balances. Investigate dormant accounts and uncashed checks. Relocate unassigned funds to their proper matter.
  • Know your audit requirements.
  • Keep records, including copies of deposit slips, canceled checks, and statements, for the relevant time period.

Make accounting more effortless by doing the right thing promptly with easy access to relevant, verified financial information. CosmoLex helps your firm’s trust accounting keep the proper records, meet jurisdictional and audit requirements, and generally run smoothly. Learn more and schedule a demo at CosmoLex’s website.

More Intake, Less Headache with Smarter Staffing Solutions from Get Staffed Up

Running a small law firm is hard. Between client work, administrative tasks, and business growth efforts, managing limited time and resources can be a challenge for even the best practitioner. That’s why law firm owners are turning to Get Staffed Up. Offering remote assistants ideal for client-facing administrative tasks, Get Staffed Up (GSU) finds the fit from the top 1% of degreed, professionals from Latin America and South Africa. Since Get Staffed Up was founded by two attorneys, they understand the unique staffing needs of law firms. GSU sets its services apart with their propriety match making process.

For any lawyer, getting the phones to ring and then the phones ringing is a challenge. That is why GSU offers Marketing Assistants and Intake Specialists.

Generating Leads

The time and energy you spend practicing law is time and energy you don’t have to run and grow your business. Adding a Get Staffed Up Virtual Marketing Assistant (VMA) to your team increases your bandwidth for marketing strategies. These proactive problem-solvers provide needed support and can work on a variety of tasks to bolster your marketing campaigns.

Reaching modern audiences requires creative, tech-savvy minds thinking on your behalf. Get Staffed Up’s VMAs are equipped with a wide range of digital marketing skills, and can help with anything from sending email newsletters to managing your podcast. Other potential marketing hats include:

  • Content Creator
  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Video Coordinator
  • Graphic Designer

Growing Your Firm

Even with the best marketing, a lackluster client intake process can ruin your efforts. New clients want to feel valued, without sacrificing attention to current ones. A Get Staffed Up Intake Specialist can help shoulder the burden by employing a customer-first onboarding process.

A Get Staffed Up Intake Specialist will work directly with you or your office manager, learning your existing procedures for client intake and helping streamline them. After mastering the details of your firm’s policies, they can address potential clients’ questions and concerns with a smile. Intake Specialists help with these crucial tasks:

  • Screen out bad prospects
  • Retrieve medical records
  • Refer incorrect prospects to your referrals and keep track
  • Keep your referral partners updated on matters they’ve sent you
  • Set paid consultations and take the money
  • Follow up with all prospects who are a great fit
  • Prep for each consultation
  • Keep track of all calls and prospects in the CRM

Confidently Delegate to Top Talent

Modern remote and hybrid work models allow you to hire diverse, qualified candidates wherever they are. Get Staffed Up makes the process even easier, bringing you top talent from around the world while managing HR and payroll for your virtual positions. Their meticulous vetting process identifies important qualities that ensure these professionals exceed expectations.

Get Staffed Up focuses on specialization in their recruitment strategy. Each assistant comes to you with a deep knowledge of their job responsibilities. As a result, you receive the highest quality candidates, dedicated exclusively to your firm and working the same hours as everyone else.

Get Back to What Matters

Get Staffed Up brings top talent to your doorstep and alleviates added stress on your firm. With their legal-specific Marketing Assistant and Intake Specialist positions, they have made it easier than ever to acquire and impress new clients. Learn more about what Get Staffed Up can do for you by going to the Get Staffed Up Website. See why customers call Get Staffed Up a “game changer” for their firms.

 

Call for Nominations: 2024 Best Law Firm Websites

Nominations are now open for the 2024 Lawyerist Best Law Firm Website Contest!

This annual contest showcases small and solo law firms that demonstrate excellence in legal website design. Past winners have gone above and beyond with their websites, creating an exceptional user experience and attracting new clients. They also serve as a valuable platform to educate and inspire, communicate with current clients, and grow their brand.

So, how does it work?

We encourage our community to nominate eye-catching, innovative legal websites that stand out amongst the crowd. Multiple submissions from the same person are welcome. We just ask that you nominate your website only once. Nominations will close on Friday, February 9, 2024.

Websites are assessed based on four main categories:

  • Functionality – Easy navigation, search feature, mobile-friendly.
  • Accessibility – Alt text, headers, keyboard interaction, media alternatives.
  • Marketing – Aesthetics, content marketing, images/video.
  • Technical – SEO, page load time, scroll time.

Judges will use these categories as they fill out the grading rubric. Websites with the highest average score win.

Contest Rules

Read these rules before submitting your nominations:

  1. The website must reflect a small or solo law firm (firms of 15 lawyers or fewer).
  2. Past Lawyerist Best Law Firm Website winners are ineligible to win.
  3. Websites that don’t align with the above grading categories will be omitted.
  4. If you submit your website multiple times, we have the right to omit your submission.
  5. If the website has a low GTmetrix score, it will automatically be omitted from the competition.

Are you looking to spruce up your website?

Are you looking to spruce up your website? Take a look at the 2023 Best Law Firm Website winners to find inspiration. Or, check out our Guide to Law Firm Website Design to learn how to enhance your website and drive traffic to your page.

FirmPilot Pioneers a New Era in Legal Marketing with AI

If you have engaged a “law firm marketing agency,” you know that phrase can encompass everything from defining your firm vision and ideal client, to font and logos, to the technical mechanics of website building and ad buying. Maybe you’ve felt that the end goal—more prospects and, ultimately, more clients and more revenue, gets lost in the shuffle.

FirmPilot understands that feeling and has “flipped the script” on law firm digital marketing. They start with data instead of design.  By synthesizing data and marketing, FirmPilot provides law firms two benefits: hard numbers that give you a framework for decision-making and the ability to  turn reams of facts and figures into actionable marketing intelligence.

FirmPilot’s AI and Marketing

One AI strength lies in data analysis and summary. FirmPilot takes advantage of AI’s data audit and summary capabilities to analyze your competitors and automatically improve your firm’s marketing to attract clients. Traditional marketing firms rely on basic tactics, gut feelings, and many “manual adjustments” to tweak marketing campaigns. In contrast , FirmPilot uses cutting-edge AI to automate law firm marketing.

FirmPilot’s decision engine, which can modify search engine optimization (SEO) keywords, pay-per-click (PPC) ads, social media ads, and more, synthesizes two valuable data sources. FirmPilot not only looks at your own marketing data, it also looks at your top competitors’ data. The combined sources drive FirmPilot’s software to predict and deploy effective marketing to reach your ideal client. That data-driven, predictive algorithm is FirmPilot’s “secret sauce.” Instead of simply writing a website post, publishing it, and hoping for the best, FirmPilot precisely targets prospective clients with the highest conversion likelihood.

How FirmPilot Produces Results

Your existing client data powers FirmPilot’s AI. Think about what you know about your past and present client population. You know where they live, what concern brought them to you, the resolution they sought, and the resolution they got. Depending on the practice area, you may have insightful demographic data—married or single, number of children, financial well-being, etc. FirmPilot relies on this sort of data to profile and identify ideal, high-value clients.

Once FirmPilot’s software knows who it’s trying to find, the AI then reverse engineers where these lucrative prospects are searching online by studying the content and keywords of competitor law firms already attracting them. FirmPilot algorithms then suggest website edits, content optimization, and other steps you can take so that your firm appears prominently in search results when these would-be clients perform a web search.

These three legs of the stool—your data, FirmPilot’s intelligent recommendations, and the results they produce, work as a continuously improving system. The client-result data from your first set of changes informs future changes and so on. The AI makes ever-better recommendations by learning which content and tactics performed best. As you use it, FirmPilot constantly refines as retargets so that, over time, its lead generation delivers for your most profitable segments. Ultimately, FirmPilot’s AI-powered marketing engine starts with your existing client data and, through a series of finely-tuned iterations, attracts and converts prospects that drive law firm growth.

A New Marketing Approach to Law Firms

Many people think that marketing is all hunches and instinct, and there’s certainly some of that, particularly with visuals and word choice. But there’s plenty of data too, more now than ever before. Data tells marketers to air commercials for “product A” during evening news programs and “product B” during college football games. Data ties your web search for a product to the subsequent ads you see for that product, its accessories, and its competitors. FirmPilot’s technology marries sophisticated, AI-powered analysis to the needs of your firm’s marketing.

FirmPilot’s AI creates and optimizes marketing assets to achieve profitable results. Furthermore, its performance tracking mechanism, powered by continuous results analysis, gives unmatched visibility into the return on investment that FirmPilot brings to your firm.

Visit FirmPilot’s website to learn how modern, data-driven AI marketing benefits your firm.

Understanding Local Services Ads for Lawyers with Postali

Google launched Local Services Ads (LSA) in 2015, starting with home services-type businesses. Google made LSAs available to attorneys in 2021. Jim Christy, President of Postali, spoke with Zack Glaser, Legal Tech Advisor, about how law firms can use LSAs and their potential rewards and risks. 

LSA Primer 

LSAs differ from Google’s primary advertising tool, pay-per-click (PPC), in two ways. First, instead of displaying in line with organic search results, LSAs display above the traditional results list. LSAs are prominently set apart. Second, Google prices LSAs on a “pay-per-lead” model. 

Under a PPC model, which Google still offers and should have a place in firm advertising budgets, clicking the ad costs money, irrespective of what the user does afterward. Clicking the ad and closing the browser tab costs the same as a user clicking the link, spending an hour on the attorney’s landing page, and completing a contact form. 

The LSA model is different. Google does not charge the advertising attorney merely because a user clicked on the LSA. The user must contact the law firm. Only a successful connection costs money. 

Making LSAs Successful for Your Firm 

The LSA algorithm also differs from PPC in how Google chooses which LSA to display for a search. With PPC advertising, prominence flows from spending. Paying more puts the firm’s ad higher. In contrast, Google selects LSAs based on many factors, including user (i.e., star) ratings. A firm must have a particular number of Google reviews to be eligible for LSA inclusion (Google requires up to 5 reviews depending on profession & practice area). Beyond that, location, business hours, responsiveness, profile quality, and, of course, marketing budget, play a roll in an individual firm’s LSA ranking.

Pay Only for Leads, Not Clicks 

Google charges firms for contacts, not clicks. When configuring its LSA profile, the firm sets practice areas and geographies. If a user reaches out through the LSA but doesn’t match your practice area and geography, the firm can dispute the charge with Google and seek a refund. 

Unlike PPC ads, Google offers limited specificity concerning practice areas and keyword matching. Jim gave the example of a personal injury firm that only represents wrongful death matters. While PPC ads could tightly target this niche, LSAs could run too broadly (e.g., all personal injury searches). 

With LSAs, a firm may get calls that aren’t disputable but not a great fit, so they might pay the higher LSA cost. With PPC, Google charges the firm for every click, but the ad may get more desired exposure because of the additional specificity and targeting tools PPC has. 

Costs of LSAs 

When LSAs initially launched for attorneys, ad prices were relatively inexpensive and predictable. Both benefits are fading. For example, some specific personal injury locations, LSA prices have climbed 300% since 2021. In some categories, the return-on-investment of PPC ads may now exceed that of LSAs, even though LSAs promise higher quality leads. 

Using LSAs as a DIYer 

While Jim encourages firms to engage professional assistance when running PPC ad campaigns, LSAs are something a solo or small firm can experiment with on their own. For the inspired DIYers, Google’s LSA profile provides three tools. 

  • Category: The firm tells Google its areas of practice. Family law is a category, for example. The firm must have at least one category and can have more than one. Google also permits excluding categories, mediation, for example. That’s about the extent of LSA granularity. An attorney could seek auto accident injuries, but if the firm specialized in auto accident head injuries, LSAs could not be that specific. 
  • Budget: The firm must set its LSA budget weekly; that’s the only option. Google presents two options: Maximize Leads and Manually Set a Max Bid. Setting the budget to Maximize means the campaign uses the current market rate for that LSA placement to serve the LSA to the most viable users at the most viable time to optimize for getting leads. Setting the budget to Manual means that the firm controls the amount they are willing to spend per week, the price is still as variable as with Maximize, but fewer or no users may see it due to the price cap. 
  • Geography: This option controls who sees the ad based on a user’s state, county, city, or ZIP code. Users see LSAs based on their location when searching, so it’s possible firms may receive “out of area” contacts (e.g., if someone searches while at work versus home). 

Getting Started 

Jim advises that LSAs involve some strategy, and he’s happy to discuss strategy with you. Once the firm decides on a direction, “pulling the levers” is much simpler than Google’s PPC tools. The LSA area of Google search results is prime real estate. If you have not set up Local Services Ads yet, Jim encourages you to do so, even if you don’t intend to run ads immediately. 

To learn more about Postali and why you should use LSAs, visit their blog

Automate Beyond Algorithms with PatternBuilder MAX

While ChatGPT and other “consumer grade” generative AI tools fail to meet the needs of legal users, AI still plays a powerful time-saving role in law firm workflows. AI represents a tremendous opportunity for legal professionals to scale up their work. 

Scott Kelly, senior manager at NetDocuments, spoke with Zack about PatternBuilder MAX, NetDocuments’ first product in its ndMAX suite of generative AI tools. According to Scott, the purpose of PatternBuilder MAX is to take generative AI and build a “fit to purpose tool for legal.” 

Secure AI for Law Firms 

Hosted on Microsoft’s Azure platform, PatternBuilder MAX respects data privacy and meets compliance requirements like data sovereignty and GDPR. PatternBuilder MAX then builds upon this “standard issue” NetDocuments security with AI-specific protections. 

  • No company uses data entered into PatternBuilder MAX to train an AI model; 
  • Microsoft employees do not monitor and cannot access PatternBuilder MAX data; and 
  • PatternBuilder MAX enforces a zero-day retention policy on any information entered into it. 

For these AI actions, no data enters the public sphere. The team designed PatternBuilder MAX to put the needs of legal professionals first. 

Time-Saving AI for Law Firms 

Having established PatternBuilder MAX’s security bona fides, Scott walked Zack through a real-world scenario where PatternBuilder MAX saves a legal user an impressive amount of time. Even simple use cases bring tremendous value when pairing generative AI with your documents. 

AI summarizes a deposition. 

Scott played the role of a firm associate who called to prepare a deposition summary memo. Traditionally, this task required reading hundreds of pages and manually extracting key data points and facts. The process could take weeks. 

PatternBuilder MAX’s Deposition Summarizer Studio App cuts weeks to minutes. The app replaces hours of slogging with three simple steps: 

  1. Upload the deposition from your computer or select it from within NetDocuments. 
  1. Pick how long you’d like the summary to be from a list of options. 
  1. The Deposition Summarizer app produces a summary for your review. It notes facts like the deponent and deposition date. Most importantly, and more impressively, it summarizes the deponent’s actual statements, complete with citations to the source text (e.g., page 72, lines 1-4). 

Scott demoed one deposition document, but he said you could upload an entire folder of files from your computer or point the app at a folder in NetDocuments. The Deposition Summarizer would do each deposition in the folder. 

PatternBuilder MAX is more than a solution for a fixed set of problems.

The software market, even narrowed to legal software, overflows with vendors proclaiming new AI products and solutions. That’s part of the problem. As Scott stated, so much AI technology in legal is “just a solution.” A company creates it to meet a single identified need or a set of needs, and any customization or enhancement happens at the developer’s whim. 

PatternBuilder MAX provides pre-built apps to address common use cases, but also makes the full set of tools available to firms and departments to customize those apps to meet their specific needs and even create powerful applications of their own, all in a no-code environment.

Scott built the Deposition Summarizer app in 30 minutes. The build process is simple, much of it point-and-click. The “magic” lies in the prompt one gives the AI. Think of the prompt, in Scott’s words, “as like a set of instructions to a smart intern.” 

The tools Scott used to create his app are available to all PatternBuilder MAX customers. PatternBuilder MAX provides templates and templated apps, like the Deposition Summarizer, that you can use and modify out of the box. 

Approachable AI for Law Firms 

One of the key benefits of PatternBuilder MAX is that it enables you to securely and responsibly leverage documents your firm or department already stores in NetDocuments. If you have templates, samples, or model documents, PatternBuilder MAX can use those as guidelines for what a new document it creates should look like. This is critical to driving accuracy and ensuring outputs from AI are valuable.

Scott’s example starts with a new commercial lease agreement and asks PatternBuilder MAX to create a lease summary that follows the firm’s model lease summary. One can state the prompt PatternBuilder MAX relies upon as “do this to that.” Take the summary sample and summarize this new commercial lease, filling in the data requested in the summary with data from the new lease received. 

Much of what you’d like to automate with traditional document automation is fact-intensive, making predetermined logic extremely difficult. But you can predetermine the instructions you would give a smart human: “Here are examples from the past. Here are the new facts.” 

PatternBuilder MAX, the first of NetDocuments’ suite of ndMAX tools, lets you do “this” to “that” in every area of law. 

Getting Started with AI for Law Firms 

Visit www.netdocuments.com to learn more about ndMAX and PatternBuilder MAX – plus see nine studio apps (pre-built apps included with PatternBuilder MAX) by requesting a demo. Some of the world’s largest law firms are utilizing PatternBuilder MAX and seeing incredible results. PatternBuilder MAX is now available globally.

 

The American Legal Technology Awards Return

The American Legal Technology Awards return to Nashville, Tennessee on October 8 to honor those spearheading advances in the legal field. After receiving 190 submissions in ten categories, the 28 judges have chosen 30 finalists to celebrate at this year’s conference.

Expanded Categories Allow More Space for Industry Accolades

This year, the founders of The American Legal Technology Awards, Cat Moon, Patrick Palace, and Tom Martin, made three improvements to give the legal community the merit they deserve:

First, to honor university educators who are transforming legal instruction, organizers introduced a new “Education” category. Nominees in this category are Jonathan Askin from the Brooklyn Law School, David Colarusso from Suffolk University Law School, and Carla Reyes from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

Second, because of the volume of outstanding nominees in the Access to Justice (A2J) category last year, leaders divided this category into three subcategories: (1) Individual, (2) LegalTech, and (3) Legal Aid. This division allows more individuals to receive the accolades they deserve; each subcategory will have a winner and runner-up.

The last noteworthy change is the addition of a “Lifetime Achievement” award. Judges will bestow this award on an individual who has demonstrated a lifetime of dedication to advancing the legal field.

The complete list of finalists and categories appears below:

Award CategoryFinalists (alphabetical)
A2J: IndividualsQuinten SteenhuisNoella SudburyAlex Guirgis
AJ2: Legal Tech¡Reclamo!SixFifty
AJ2: Legal AidEveryone Legal ClinicNorth Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center
CourtsInmediationJudicial Innovation FellowshipLSC’s CCDI
EducationJonathan AskinDavid ColarussoCarla Reyes
EnterpriseFree Law ProjectUnicourtWolters Kluwer ELM Solutions
IndividualMatt KerbisSandra SandovalKelly Twigger
Law DepartmentARMDiscoFarrah Pepper
Law FirmsAbogado TICArent FoxClifford Chance
StartupEstateablyRASA LegalZAF
TechnologyDisco’s CeciliaGavelGlobalNDA
Lifetime AchievementTBA
Nominees for American Legal Tech Awards

Embodying the Mission of Belonging

The theme of this year’s conference embodies the mission of The American Legal Technology Awards: belonging. This theme captures the spirit of the legal technology community. Founder Tom Martin encapsulates this theme by describing the event as “three friends coming together to throw a party.” He continues, “What sets us apart is our heart. There is something inspiring and rejuvenating about coming together as a community and belonging. When we did come together last year, it inspired me to see everyone and their energy.”

Mitch Jackson and the founders of The American Legal Technology Awards will host the “Oscars” of the legal tech field. Event sponsors include Clio, ARAG Legal Insurance, MyCase, LawPay, and GNGF.

Find more information about the Gala and purchase tickets at https://americanlegaltechnology.com/.

Omnizant Makes Quality Websites Affordable with OneFirst Legal

Legal websites run the gamut from simple “electronic business cards” to richly interactive sites. However, building the site is not enough. A website is not a Field of Dreams; it’s not enough to build it and they will come. Success means site visitors ultimately become clients.

A Website to Meet Your Goals

Building and promoting a website often seems complex, expensive, and unnecessary to firms that earn most of their business from referrals. Understandably, if the firm derives over 90% of its business from referrals, leadership hesitates to spend $1,500 per month, or more, on a website, digital marketing, or search engine optimization (SEO).

Victoria Silecchia, chief marketing officer at Omnizant, sat down with Zack to explain why all firms need a professional website and how to create one affordably. OneFirst Legal, a new division launched by Omnizant on September 1, is the key to an affordable, modern website.

Fundamentally, a firm without a website or one that puts no effort into SEO finds itself at the mercy of chance and competitors. Attorneys running referral-based practices still need a professional web presence. It need not be elaborate, but it must exist. Nor does the site and its essential marketing need to cost thousands to create or maintain.

Prospects Do Research

Even referral-based practices must consider what information prospects find online when searching for a firm or attorney. Having a website means the firm controls its image, its first touchpoint with would-be clients.

Referrals will research the firm. The question is who controls the information they see. The firm may not care about its Google Business profile or reviews, but others will.

Affordable SEO Marketing Achieves Defined Goals

In addition to the website, OneFirst Legal collaborates with the firm on what Victoria termed “branded visibility,” a targeted form of SEO.

In this context, “good SEO” is not optimizing for better Google rankings for highly desirable and expensive keyword combinations like “car accident” and “New York City.” Instead, OneFirst Legal’s branded visibility concentrates on simpler and more meaningful goals, like ensuring the firm’s site is the top hit when someone searches specifically for the firm or attorney’s name.

Without a website and absent branded visibility, the top hit for a firm or attorney is often an aggregated attorney directory showing both the firm and its competitors side-by-side. In some cases, unscrupulous law firms may bid for their competitors’ names, paying web search engines to show the result “Smith Law Firm” higher in the list than “Jones Law Firm,” even when would-be clients expressly search for “Jones Law Firm.”

While Omnizant has helped law firms with full-service digital marketing capabilities since 2006, OneFirst Legal delivers the essential website tools a firm needs at a budget-friendly price.

OneFirst Legal creates and hosts solutions for solos and small firms wanting a modern, secure, and accessibility-friendly web presence. For firms of five attorneys or fewer, OneFirst Legal charges a one-time $199 setup fee and $199 per month after that.

OneFirst Legal designs its WordPress-based templates with flexibility and modularity in mind. Victoria likens their templates to prefabricated home blueprints. The design is tested, perfected, and quickly deployable. Website “floorplans” may be similar, but customization remains key. Continuing the analogy, each firm’s site has unique paint colors, siding, landscape, and furnishings.

OneFirst Legal understands that attorneys desire speedy results with minimal meetings. A firm can go from zero to launch in under three weeks, in five simple steps:

  1. Use the self-scheduling tool on OneFirst Legal’s website to grab 15 minutes. Learn if the OneFirst Legal approach suits your firm.
  2. Complete a single enrollment form to sign up.
  3. At the kickoff call and design meeting, 3-to-5 business days after enrollment, you select the site blueprint, practice areas, colors, and images.
  4. OneFirst Legal professionals customize your chosen blueprint with layered colors, retina image-grade photos, moving elements, and text.
  5. You review the website’s first draft 3-5 business days after the kickoff meeting, make any changes, and launch.

Creating Visibility for Your Modern Site

Once launched, OneFirst Legal handles monthly updates. They continually refine Google Business Profile optimization and branded visibility SEO. They work with the firm on review generation, ongoing postings, and site maintenance. OneFirst Legal does not limit support or update time.

Getting Started

Visit http://onefirstlegal.com/getstarted to see how affordable, vibrant layouts bring legal websites to life and how versatile templates work for different practice areas.

 

Lawyerist Lab Brings Coaching Sessions to ClioCon 2023 Attendees

You aced your law exams, mastered the intricacies of legal practice, and can argue a case with finesse. But nobody told you that running a law firm would feel like navigating a maze without a map. You didn’t go to business school, and now, the complexities of managing a firm, from financial planning to marketing, leave you feeling overwhelmed and lost along the way.  

While your legal prowess is undeniable, the business side of law is a different beast altogether. This is where the transformative power of business coaching steps in, and Lawyerist has an exclusive opportunity for ClioCon 2023 attendees to experience it firsthand. 

The Power of Coaching for Business Owners

At its core, coaching is a collaborative process. It’s a partnership between the coach and the coachee, aimed at unlocking potential and driving growth.  

For law firm owners, this can translate into a multitude of benefits:

  1. Clarity: As a business owner, you are inside the bottle. And it’s hard to see the label on the bottle from inside. A coach can help you see the bigger picture, potential blind spots, and identify what is holding you back.    
  2. Plan: Coaches help owners create a plan with actionable strategies. This allows businesses to work smarter and achieve goals faster and with less friction.  
  3. Accountability: While a coach can’t do the hard work for you, they are there to help you stay on track and maintain momentum. When you veer off the path, a coach can help you quickly course correct.  
  4. Resources: Sometimes you simply lack the information or tools you need to move forward. A coach can help fill in the blanks or streamline the learning curve—no need to get bogged down researching or trying to become an expert in all parts of your business.  
  5. Confidence: As the owner, you are making decisions every day that impact your team and your business. It can be unnerving and uncertain. Too many business owners get stuck in a cycle of second guessing themselves. Working with a coach to process business decisions allows you to make better decisions and feel confident you are on the right path. 

A business coach is not just an advisor but a strategic partner in your journey towards sustained growth and success. 

Common Misconceptions About Business Coaching

As with many transformative tools, however, business coaching is often shrouded in misconceptions.

  • “It’s Just for Struggling Businesses” or “It’s Only for Startups”: Coaching isn’t a remedy for failure or just for new businesses. Businesses at all stages—including many thriving law firms—engage coaches to scale, innovate, and stay ahead of the curve. 
  • “It’s a Sign of Weakness”: Some believe that seeking a business coach implies they can’t handle their business on their own. Even the most successful entrepreneurs often have coaches to help them reach new heights. 
  • “It’s Like Therapy”: While coaching can be introspective, it’s not therapy. Business coaching is focused on actionable strategies and goal attainment rather than emotional healing. 
  • “I Don’t Have Time for Coaching”: Busy professionals might feel they can’t fit coaching into their schedules. Yet, the time spent with a coach often leads to greater overall time savings through enhanced productivity and streamlined processes. 
  • “I Can Just Read a Book Instead”: While books offer valuable insights, a business coach provides personalized guidance, accountability, and feedback that a book cannot. 
  • “It’s Too Expensive”: Think of coaching as an investment, not an expense. The ROI, in terms of growth, efficiency, and personal well-being, often far outweighs the cost. (And Lawyerist Lab is intentionally priced to be accessible to more businesses.)

If you’ve had these thoughts (or others) about business coaching in the past, maybe it’s time to give it a fresh look.

An Exclusive Opportunity at ClioCon 2023

Lawyers attending ClioCon 2023 in Nashville, TN will have a chance to experience the transformative power of coaching and engage in a complimentary coaching session with one of our amazing Lawyerist Lab business coaches. It’s not just about getting a taste of coaching; it’s about experiencing firsthand the potential shifts in perspective, strategy, and growth. 

Whether you’re a solo practitioner looking to expand, a partner in a growing firm, or simply curious about the benefits of coaching, this is an opportunity you won’t want to miss. See you in Nashville!

Sign up for your free business coaching session at ClioCon! 

Keep Clients Plugged-in with the Case Status App

Clients have many options for contacting their attorney: phone, email, text, client portal, and more. This situation creates more places to check, eating time and delaying responses for the firm. 

Case Status solves this problem with tools to channel client communication through a focused mobile app. How does this differ from a practice management client portal? Immensely successful client adoption. While most portals go unvisited by clients (30% usage), Cases Status firms see 80% adoption of their mobile app. 

Six Benefits of an App-Based Client Communication Tool 

Paul Bamert and Jose Figueroa outlined six challenges facing law firms and how Case Status addresses them. 

Client Portals 

Most web-based practice management systems offer a client portal, but most are web-based. In contrast, Case Status provides a native mobile app for iOS and Android, which earned a 4.9 out of 5 rating from thousands of user reviews. With a mobile app, firms meet clients where they are; 93% of the five hours a day the average person spends on a smartphone, they spend in apps. 

Offering a client portal that clients use reduces scattershot client interaction and prevents time-consuming “case update” phone calls. Additionally, Case Status integrates with many practice management vendors, providing a single source of truth for information. 

Time 

With Case Status, a firm can automate repetitive tasks and communications. Jose demonstrated how a customizable in-app experience walks clients through their matter stages. With automated triggers, the firm provides client updates in-app. This includes scheduled “no-update updates” telling the client that the matter is in process, but nothing changed recently. Background updates boost firm efficiency, with one mid-size firm saving 366 hours in nine months and decreasing related inbound phone calls by 51%. 

Client Communication 

Clients choose their preferred approach—phone, email, text, or portal—causing craziness. The average firm takes 48 to 72 hours to respond to a client’s outreach. With Cases Status, the delay drops to 6.5 hours. How? Case Status firms channel all client communication to the mobile app. Funneling allows the firm to respond faster to client requests, improve its client communications, and exceed client expectations. 

All employees can read and respond to in-app client messages and send the client files and do this in a way that syncs with the firm’s existing practice management system while providing better security than email or SMS offers. 

Language Barriers 

8-9% of people needing legal services don’t speak English. In some client communities, the number exceeds 40%. Case Status uses Google’s Neural Machine Translation (GNMT) system to translate in-app messages in 138 languages. This works in both 1-to-1 messages, between a client and a firm employee, and 1-to-many, such as a templated message sent to many clients. GNMT allows an English-only attorney to read foreign language messages translated in real-time. GNMT translates both inbound and outbound messages. 

Client Satisfaction 

Law firms often guess what the client thinks. One-half of legal services providers fail to measure client satisfaction at all—the other half measure only at a matter’s conclusion. Systematizing client feedback, especially early in the representation, brings big wins in client referrals and reviews. 

With Case Status’ tools, the firm can ask the client to rate the representation on a scale of 1 to 10. Think of a bad rating as a “check engine light” for the matter. Learning of an unhappy client early gives the firm time to fix the problem. By analyzing client surveys, the firm discovers where its processes or communications failed and revises procedures to create a response playbook. For clients who rate the firm a nine or ten, that list tells the firm whom to solicit for online endorsements. 

Sustainable Growth 

A great reputation flows from providing great service. Case Status helps firms build sustainable growth by identifying happy clients, being front-of-mind with clients, and asking satisfied clients to write reviews or refer friends. Efficient communication leads to good client surveys that the firm can ask for reviews on Avvo and Google. The app also contains a referral button to send the lawyer’s electronic business card to friends and family. 

Getting Started 

If your firm wants to transform client engagement and meet clients where they are, visit www.casestatus.com to schedule a demo.