In this episode with Conor Malloy, we talk about some of the technologies Conor has built into his firm, and how those tools have changed the structure of his law practice.
Conor Malloy is a partner at Chi City Legal, a law firm dedicated to serving small and medium-sized landlords in Chicago. He merges his knowledge of technology and legal processes in order to reduce friction between his clients and the court system. Conor a recent recipient of Meritorious Recognition of the 2018 Louis M. Brown Award for Legal Access.
Listen & Subscribe
To listen to the podcast, just scroll up and hit the play button (or click the link to this post if you are reading this by email).
To make sure you don’t miss an episode of The Lawyerist Podcast, subscribe now in iTunes, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast player. Or find out about new episodes by subscribing to our email newsletter.
This transcript was prepared by Rev.com.
Speaker 1: Welcome to the lawyerist podcast with Sam Glover and Aaron Street. Each week lawyerist brings you advice and interviews to help you build a more successful law practice in today’s challenging and constantly changing legal market. And now here are Sam and Aaron.
Sam Glover: Hi, I’m Sam Glover.
Aaron Street: And I’m Aaron Street and this is episode 161 of the Lawyerist podcast part of the legal talk network. Today we’re talking with Conor Malloy about building an automated law practice.
Aaron Street: So one of the things I love about our show over the last three years is how we’ve done I think a pretty good job of balancing a variety of topical themes. So we’ve had lots of practicing lawyers talking about their interesting practice niches and we’ve had a number of leaders in the open access to law movement and the legal librarian movement talking about those topics. And we’ve had Ed Walters on a number of times to talk about robots.
Sam Glover: I don’t think we’ve actually used the word robots between this episode and dozens.
Aaron Street: That’s shocking because I think for our first 50 episodes, we mentioned it almost every time.
Sam Glover: Totally.
Aaron Street: I don’t know where my one solo episode about bitcoin fits into these collections of themes but another theme has been us trying to really engage with what’s often called the legal hacker movement which is really tech-savvy lawyers who are doing their own software coding and tech projects to build tech tools. And that’s where this one fits and I think it’s cool that we’ve got this mix of topics and that we recognize that in our community there is a broad spectrum of tech savviness and we certainly have our own thesis on the fact that small firm lawyers need to be somewhat tech competent but we are not of the expectation that lawyers need to learn to code but this is one for sure for people who do this is for them. And even if you don’t … I Think there’s some really cool ideas and projects to think about here.
Sam Glover: I think everybody is going to like this one but there’s a moment towards the end where Conor says, “I think everybody can do this stuff.” And I think what you hear it you’ll realize that I don’t think he’s right. I don’t think most lawyers can build their own and host their own secure MySQL databases full of client data and then access them using API and things. Like this is not … I think would struggle to do that. And that doesn’t mean you’re not going to enjoy this podcast. But I don’t want people to think like oh, you’ve got to. What’s cool though is like Conor can do these things and it really opens doors to the way he can structure his law practice. So he doesn’t have to go work on a word template. He can go and build out a new system and code for serving his clients. And so for working on his practice means for him is different than what it might mean for somebody else. And I think it’ll be neat to be exposed to how he thinks about this as opposed to how somebody else might think about it.
Aaron Street: So sometimes we talk about meditation and sometimes we talk about business. And today we get to geek a little bit and here we go.
Conor Malloy: My name is Conor Malloy and I’m a partner at a two-man law firm based in Chicago called Chi City Legal which is a firm dedicated to representing small and medium-sized landlords across Chicago.
Sam Glover: Hey Conor, thanks for being with us today. So you said two men, so is it just you and your partner then or do you have staff as well?
Conor Malloy: It’s just my partner and I and then I guess we have some staff because we do virtual receptionist and then I also have an artificial intelligence that does a lot of my scheduling.
Sam Glover: Does your AI have a name?
Conor Malloy: Yes, it’s Amy. It’s from a company called x.ai.
Sam Glover: Oh, yes. Absolutely cool. So two humans virtual receptionist service and a robot. That sounds awesome. Very 2018.
Conor Malloy: You better keep it in 2018.
Sam Glover: And you said it’s just landlords?
Conor Malloy: Yes, it’s just landlords. The landlords that we represent … And just to throw it out there my partner’s name’s John Norsk got a firm out there. The landlord that we represent though they’re probably the landlords that you would find that if they didn’t have us by their side they would usually just go self-represented in court.
Sam Glover: Oh, interesting. So you’re really targeting the small-time landlord.
Conor Malloy: Yes exactly. So we have anybody from … It could be the pensioner renting the second floor in their two flat in order to make ends meet. Also with somebody that maybe just honest to goodness came to this country with a little bit of money in hand, started investing in property and just leaving the dream.
Sam Glover: I should offer by way of disclaimer here that I have always been a tenant’s rights advocate and I have strong feelings about landlords but I’ll grit my teeth and bury it and we can keep going.
Conor Malloy: We’re the same way. My partner John he did a lot of his work when he first started practicing with the lawyer’s committee for better housing and the way we like it with passionate, John says this all the time is that we’re trying to tackle the housing crisis from our side. And so we can work in conjunction with the tenant’s rights groups and things like that. We’re going to make the playing field a lot more level and hopefully avoid a lot of the conflicts and avoid court. That’s one of the end goals here.
Sam Glover: Well, say more about that. Say how does that affect your approach to representing landlords then?
Conor Malloy: A lot of times the eviction … Some people just see it as a means to an end and that the end would just be evicting somebody. But the way we try to look at it sometimes you just got to evict somebody. It is what it is. But sometimes we just want to be able to heal the relationship between the landlords and the tenants and you’re in court, all right? That’s your venue in order to resolve conflicts at least the way it’s drawn up and we try to make the best out of it and the vast majority of our cases we end up settling because we are able to find a middle ground and if there’s a lot of education of our clients on the process and just understanding where the other side’s coming from and seeing if we can find something of a middle ground.
Sam Glover: One of the things that I have noticed in working on landlord-tenant issues and honestly in many other sort of consumer-level legal issues is that most of the time people end up in court because they aren’t talking to each other.
Conor Malloy: That’s exactly-
Sam Glover: Like a landlord leaves a letter somewhere and the tenant just that’s the last thing they heard about it and so they decide that it needs to go to court or vice versa. And sometimes the problem is as simple as the letter never got to its destination but sometimes it’s just that people are making all kinds of assumptions about what the other person is doing or saying or thinking or intending and there’s either no communication or it’s completely broke down. Is that your experience too but also how do you kind of approach that and try to solve that?
Conor Malloy: And that’s a big one. In my background, before I partnered up with John because he’s the landlord-tenant guy, is I did a lot of family law and so you had litigation that lasted a very long time and there’s a trust that’s built up around the family versus just a contractual relationship between a landlord and a tenant. But that’s the biggie is once we get them summoned to court, you walk through the courtroom, and is so and so here? Somebody raises their hand and you come out in the hall and talk with me, you know why you’re here today? What are you looking to do and just open it up with an open-ended question and that might be the first time the landlord heard something like I want to stay. I just need to be able to do this or to do that. It’s big just you hear from the horse’s mouth and get people talking.
Sam Glover: So let’s talk about your client service model because that’s what we’re here to chat about and it sounds like what you’ve done is you’ve taken the less desirable section of the landlord market right? Like big property management companies have plenty of firms willing to represent them. You’re going after lots of smaller landlords and so like how do you start thinking about how to do that effectively and for an affordable fee?
Conor Malloy: Sure. So one of the issues that you run into is when you’re dealing with maybe a larger management group and you have a certain amount of attorneys that may earn probably that practice area. When you deal with the client you’re dealing with maybe one attorney dealing with one property manager who manages hundreds and hundreds of units. So if those units are defaulting you have a ratio of many units to one point of contact to be able to handle that. And so what’s going on on eviction cases if you to give them a deep briefing it’s very easy to communicate all that. The issue that we run into is we have a very low ratio of legal issues to points of contact. And so that’s one of the big things that we need to bridge is if we have 100 active cases, we might have 90 clients for those 100 active cases versus somebody who might have 100 active cases and have one point of contact. So the technology that we employ and it’s really all off the shelf stuff that we’re seeming together and to be able to open up communications, increase transparency and a lot of the people it might be their first eviction. So you really have to be hands-on as you can without tying up the phone lines all day or bringing people into the office and chatting about things that pretty matter of course.
Sam Glover: So this is a bit of a tangent but something you just said made me wonder. Let’s say somebody is dealing with their first tenant problem and they think they need to evict them. How do they find you?
Conor Malloy: We do a lot of online advertising. The other thing that we do is we do a direct mailing. So just to give you a lay of the land in Cook County every year there’s probably between … It’s down now since the crisis but it’s down around maybe 25000 evictions filed every year. Then when you deal with the Daley Center right in Chicago the amount of evictions there is probably about 80% of that. But then you have as far as self-represented tenants filing cases it’s probably between 80 and 120-
Sam Glover: So as soon as the landlord files an eviction do you send them a letter then?
Conor Malloy: Yes. Exactly exactly. But the other thing that we do as well is for the people that we have e-mail addresses for that are going through this process we manage it and a lot of the stuff is automated. We manage it so that we’re constantly listening to the court activity to see where they’re at so we can potentially intervene at any given point because we know a lot of choke points where somebody is not well versed in the process that we can intervene. And so it’s a very … I try to make this process as seamless as possible for us to just jump right into a case with like limited skill representation and document automation. I’ve had a call at 9: 29 to hire us for a 9: 30 port call and we came in ready to roll.
Sam Glover: So you’re monitoring the dockets in general and even if somebody hasn’t already hired you, you may reach out to them based on a trigger that comes later in their process.
Conor Malloy: That’s exactly it. We’re just so heavily intertwined with what’s going on in Chicago that a whole lot that gets passed at-
Sam Glover: Is that automated or are you every day combing through the court records to see what’s new?
Conor Malloy: For the new cases, there’s a high level of automation to do the filtering. Unfortunately, the state of technology in Cook County really isn’t as you said be in the conversation 2018. So you do have to have boots on the ground over at the Daley Center to be able to pull that data off the computers and things.
Sam Glover: So do you do that then or is it somebody else?
Conor Malloy: Sometimes I do it, sometimes we have every so often we might get look an intern that goes over and can bang away at the computers.
Sam Glover: So back to the client service model, are you doing evictions for less than somebody who might be representing a big property manager or are you just having to deal with the fact that it’s actually less cost effective for you to represent one person at a time because of all the extra communication you have to do?
Conor Malloy: That’s a big thing. My partner and I were just talking about this last night and for some of these very run of the mill routine conversations that people always have the same questions, I’m going to start employing various chatbots that can deploy at certain instances where people have questions to see how far that takes us. The model that we have … The pricing that we do we sort of parse it out based upon the point they are in litigation. So they are flat rates so it covers depending upon the phase you are in they cover an unlimited amount of court dates and drafting paperwork and client communication and like. But what we’re looking at is just trying to provide something that’s affordable for people and it kind of is what it is to be able to get in there. So we don’t do sliding scales. It’s just one price for people because we think we have sort of a sweet spot.
Sam Glover: Are you promoting it as a more affordable arrangement than they might get if they went to one of the lawyers who’s representing property managers?
Conor Malloy: Without a doubt.
Sam Glover: Okay, and that’s what I was curious about.
Conor Malloy: But the biggie is for people is you’re speaking to the lawyers who represent property managers the biggie for us is because once upon a time in Chicago, they passed the Chicago landlord-tenant ordinance. It was designed very well to deal with the problem they were dealing with in the past where you have some lords and people were doing some pretty nasty stuff at their properties and like the Wild West. But over time you would have maybe some of these property managers, who knows? Maybe they were sued out of business but then some of them would get compliance people and be able to adapt right. So some of these more stringent regulations for the people that really couldn’t adapt readily are these small homegrown Chicago landlords. So the big thing that we look at for people is our subscription model where … Okay, you’re in court, that’s how we found you.
We’re going to put that fire out sort of like the emergency room, deal with the triage. And then once we’re out, we’re going to try to put you on a subscription plan where you’re going to pay it could be a few bucks per unit per month and be able to provide you with that compliance, provide you with those leases. All these other things so you don’t get things under the ordinance. So is taking care of people in and out of court which I think is a bigger trend. And I know that there’s some places that do this stuff on a macro level for sort of these prepaid legal services are sort of insurance but we just keep it very very nichey where I think we’re pretty decent at what we do. And we hope that our clients appreciate especially the compliance and stuff.
Sam Glover: So you’ve mentioned you’re doing everything from come in in the middle of a court case to pay a subscription and we’ll help you stay in compliance. Deal with whatever comes up. I mean what’s the ratio like how many people are coming in on non bundled service basis or limited scope basis, how many people are coming in to hire you to handle a court case and how many people are on subscription kind of across your client base?
Conor Malloy: If I had a ballpark and I ran these numbers awhile ago when we started doing some analytics but for cases that we’re intervening on that are brand new cases, remind you this keep shifting because the signs that we intervene on are becoming clients that are giving us new cases. So you keep seeing that shift but if you would’ve asked me six months ago, I probably would have said we’re intervening on maybe two-thirds of our cases and one-third of them are probably new filings.
Sam Glover: And then how many subscriptions?
Conor Malloy: For the subscription clients at this point, we’re probably covering north of 300 units across Chicago.
Sam Glover: I mean is that like one or two clients or is that 150 clients?
Conor Malloy: It’s a lot of clients. But we have people that … Still, small-time landlords, I would say, they might have like a couple dozen units. People get these … Somebody passes away and overnight you’re a landlord right. So that kind of stuff where people fall into.
Sam Glover: So we’ve got to take a quick break to hear from our sponsors and we come back, I want to hear about some of the tools and technology you’re using to enable you to do this small landlord representation at scale. So we’ll be right back.
Speaker 1: Did you know that attorneys who accept online payments get paid 39% faster on average than those using traditional payment methods? With Law Pay, the only payment solution offered through the ABA Advantage program you can accept client payments online via email or in person. No equipment needed. Visit lawpay.com/lawyerist to sign up and get your first three months free. Trust the only payment solution developed for attorneys and recommended by 47 state bars, Law Pay. Being a self-employed lawyer is hard enough. Which is why dealing with your day to day paperwork on top of it all shouldn’t have to be.
Fresh Books makes ridiculously easy to use cloud-based time and billing software that will help you work smarter, get paid faster and become more organized. With Fresh Books invoicing, you can create and send polished professional invoices effortlessly in mere seconds. Fresh Books can set you up to receive payments online which can seriously improve how quickly you get paid. You can track your time either by using their mobile app or your desktop meaning you’ll always know what work you did when you did it and who you did it for. There’s also a super handy deposit feature so you can invoice for a payment upfront when you’re kicking off a project. To feel the full impact of how Fresh Books can change the way you deal with your paperwork, Fresh Books is offering our listeners a 30-day free trial. To claim it, just go to freshbooks.com/lawyerist and enter lawyerist in the how did you hear about a section.
Speaker 2: Ruby receptionist is a live remote receptionist service that is dedicated to helping lawyers win clients and build trust one happy caller at a time. From their offices in Portland Oregon, Ruby’s friendly professional receptionist ensure exceptional client experiences by answering calls live in English or Spanish, transferring calls, taking messages, collecting new client intake, addressing common questions, making outbound calls for you and more. Just like an in-house receptionist at a fraction of the cost. More importantly, they sound like they’re sitting in your office. For a special offer, visit callruby.com/lawyerist2018 or call 844-715-7829. That’s 844-715, RUBY.
Sam Glover: Okay we’re back. So we’ve talked about kind of the big picture how your various representation looks like between limited scope or representation in cases subscriptions. This is all based on you trying to be really really efficient so that you can bring the price down to a rate where small landlords can afford. So what are some of the tools you’re using to do this and what does that actually look like for a client to work with your firm?
Conor Malloy: The big tool that we use for our practice management, we use a Trello board. I’ve had experience with various practice management tools even when I was waiting for my bar exam results. I created my own practice management tool in vb.net which worked for me for a while. But right now because of the amount of cases that were handling and the flow of cases, Trello just seems to be the place to go. But what comes with Trello though on the back end which really drives everything as far as our infrastructure is … And I know you and I talked about this Zapier. Am I doing that right?
Sam Glover: It is Zapier.
Conor Malloy: Okay.
Sam Glover: I believe. Because it is an API or.
Conor Malloy: But that’s what drives a lot of things. So with the integration that we have built in, you go on our website you can draft an eviction notice for free. And that eviction notice you plug in your information that things going to go through a gravity form that connects with Zapier and then reaches out to web merge creates a document and sends that document over to your email. At that same time it’s creating a card on our Trello board where it’ll set up a date that if it’s a five-day notice, we’ll reach out to you within five days if you need legal assistance. And we can intervene and pick up from there.
Sam Glover: You do need eviction letters as sort of a way to attract leads to your site. And then you can follow up with them and hope to make them into clients?
Conor Malloy: Exactly. And because one of the things that we’ve noticed obviously and it works for us it’s just a nice service to provide though because I have a lot of people that just use our website. You see him come on there all the time drafting notices and they never want to use our services. But what I know is that when they’re out there in the world, they’re not one of the people that we intervene on and we find out that they either did no notice or their notice was deficient in one-way shape or form.
Sam Glover: Right, if they ever did become a client then you’ve actually got a better client.
Conor Malloy: Yes, and we can walk right in the case and I can pull up the five-day notice and I know we’re ready to rock.
Sam Glover: And so let’s say they bring you on after that. What are some of the tools you use during the ongoing representations?
Conor Malloy: One of the things that we use for our back and for all our data is I have a MySQL server kind of locked up and when we’re drafting documents we use a form tool Doxsera. So that’s drafting all our documents. So that was a big one because we don’t have any staff that’s pumping this stuff out is we had to make sure that whether we’re drafting one complaint package to file with the court or 10 that we can pump these out and we’re wasting no time with your classic copy and paste job.
Sam Glover: So you’ve dropped a couple of things now that the typical listener probably isn’t aware of. You said you’ve got a MySQL server who’s built that and who’s maintaining it?
Conor Malloy: The MySQL server sits on Google Cloud.
Sam Glover: Right but I wouldn’t even know what to do with that and I bet a lot of our listeners don’t either. So I’m curious what does that mean, What do you do with it, How does it work with your systems and who maintains it?
Conor Malloy: Sure. So what happens is when data’s coming through on these Gravity Forms and Gravity Forms, I love it because we use a WordPress site. There’s so many plugins that you can do with it. The WordPress site is taking all that data and that’s the big thing is that once you get that data that use it over and over again because otherwise, you’re just bogging yourself down with double, triple, quadruple data entry. It’s taking it and then throwing it into MySQL database so it could be an Excel spreadsheet. It could be … I was doing it with Google Sheet for a little while-
Sam Glover: Did you set that up?
Conor Malloy: I set that up in the background. Yes.
Sam Glover: And that’s just the database that holds all of the form entries and associates all the documents with them so that when you need to deal with a client you’ve got a database of all of the interactions you’ve had with them?
Conor Malloy: Right at my fingertips. And a lot of that stuff is constantly updating with the Trello board. So I have a lot of little triggers built into the Trello board that just makes the process transparent to the clients.
Sam Glover: How do you read the data off your server? Do you have a web-based front-end for it or are you always interacting with it through something like Trello or how do you find out if you wanted to look out how many times has this person filed something with us. Where do you go to do that?
Conor Malloy: So there is a call that we can do from Google Sheet. I don’t like the stuff sitting out there on Google Sheet but we can do a call just like a simple query to it. But the one thing that I had to do especially to take it off the Google Sheet is the Doxsera program doesn’t for the people that use it out there it doesn’t read off of Google Sheets. It can’t really pull off of the cloud in that way. So since it sits inside of Microsoft Word, you have to have a connector and that connector will just reach out to a MySQL or SQL server type of database in order to populate all of our documents.
Sam Glover: How did you know how to do that?
Conor Malloy: I just kind of when I was 18 I did what everybody else did and I started learning Microsoft Access and-
Sam Glover: Literally nobody else did that.
Conor Malloy: But I-
Sam Glover: Hey, because nobody uses Microsoft Access in the first place because nobody does that.
Conor Malloy: So I come from what a lot of people argue with me about this new generation where that forward on trail generation. So I grew up … I remember my brother for high school graduation gift. He got a Commodore 64 playing around on that thing and when we got our first computer playing around on that building it, building PCs through the 90s and so all this stuff just kind of intuitive to be able to do these patchworks. Obviously, the people that were doing that sort of high-level stuff, I can’t hold a conversation with you for more than five seconds but some of these little things where you get this what you see is what you get Zapier connectors and stuff that I can jive with.
Sam Glover: So I’m curious how do you ensure the security of the system?
Conor Malloy: So the first thing is when we’re transacting data on the website … If you were to go on our website you’re going to get the green certificate. We had to pay the extra bit of money to be able to get the SSL certificate for the website. So I feel pretty confident that our data is pretty safe when it’s transacting through the website.
Sam Glover: But that doesn’t have anything to do with your MySQL server.
Conor Malloy: But then the MySQL server itself is locked up on the back end. I had to throw that and my brother who’s sort of a whiz with these things he does odd jobs for computer work and everything helped me lock down the SQL server a lot better.
Sam Glover: Got you.
Conor Malloy: Than off the shelf Google cloud services.
Sam Glover: So to bring it back to the bigger picture essentially what you’re doing day to day is you’re collecting all the information you can from people who use your website, who hire you and most of the representation it sounds like involves generating documents and going to court. What if you just want to look up information about a customer rather than using it to generate a document? Like if I’m a Clio user I can look at a contact record or a matter record that shows me everything that we’ve ever done in this case and all of the tasks, all the calendar appointments all that stuff. I’m wondering if there’s something equivalent in the system as you’ve put it together.
Conor Malloy: So the way our Trello cards work … So if you have a legal matter then it’s going to come off as a Trello card. So and for people who don’t use Trello, it’s really just a computerized version of post-it notes. So you click on that or you do a search for the person’s name and it’s pretty fast to grab and that will open up the Trello card and really all we have is a sequence of either communication between my partner and I that are on the cards.
Sam Glover: So you use comments on the card for your internal communication?
Conor Malloy: Exactly. And then if we have to comment with the client rather than opening up an email, we have certain hues that we could put into Trello card that Zapier’s listening for and can draft an email. Actually, there are several ways that we do it because our clients are very tech savviness. So for some of our people that don’t have email obviously it makes life a little bit more difficult but or don’t like email, we can do our updates via SMS but for the people that don’t even have cell phones, some of our clients are elderly. I set something up to be able to do a voice dial and give somebody a ring with an automated scripted message to let them know what phase we are in their case. That goes out through Trello.
Sam Glover: Interesting. How often does your system need maintenance? As somebody who is also a tinkerer, I’ve built some pretty interesting things on my own but I often come to the conclusion that I’m spending more time fixing broken connections and things than I’d like to.
Conor Malloy: Are we talking about how often it needs maintenance or how often I tinker with it?
Sam Glover: Both.
Conor Malloy: How often it needs maintenance, it’s chugging along. I noticed one little formatting issue for example on one of our automated documents that I fixed yesterday. But as far as tinkering goes, it’s just sort of a never-ending process for me because I’m always thinking of different features to add on to it or like I said earlier with talk with my partner last night for some of these communications with clients that well, let’s deploy chatbots for these certain phases that they’re at in the case and see if that takes care of that issue. So we’re not getting calls on this stuff. We’d love to talk with them but if I can deal with an issue and you can deal with an issue just hanging out you don’t have to worry about getting a hold of me, I think we both come out better for that.
Sam Glover: And are you checking with clients to see if they’re happy about stuff like that? I mean I know Net Promoter Scores become pretty popular, we’ve advised a lot of people to use that to find out because I think the push and pull is obviously if it makes you more efficient but it puts off your clients then it’s maybe not the best solution. So how will you know if that’s happening?
Conor Malloy: The clients that will reach out will give us feedback on it. I used to work in the restaurant industry. And I remember talking with the owner one night we’re watching some people walk out by the hostess table and she says “Well, have a good night. How was your meal?” And they say “Oh, great.” And he says see that they’re always going to idea. So sometimes we just wait for somebody to see one of our automated messages and say “Oh, thanks for the update.” And this is just stuff that’s pumping out because the way we update people is … The moment we open up a new matter inside Trello there’s about 14 different steps inside an eviction case and we just click the box and that’s an internal information for us that we need in order to prosecute the case. But on the back side, it’s informing the client that this has happened in the case or this hasn’t happened in the case. This is when the next court date is all that good stuff.
We do probably run into borderline maybe too much communication. For some of our clients where they might have more units they don’t want something like that, they want it more aggregate. And I think that’s what I’m going to work on next. But that’s a biggie. But one of the other things that it does too is right from the Trello board being able to generate invoices straight from the thing. So if something happens in the case, hey this has happened in the case and now to go straight to accounting software we use zero generate invoice send that out and then get us rolling. So we’re not having to mess around with jumping from system to system.
Sam Glover: Well and it’s interesting because on the one hand I am sure people are listening going I don’t know how to do that stuff and some other people maybe are thinking well that doesn’t sound much like lawyering. What’s interesting about what you’re doing though is you’re essentially programming a system for client service that delivers the same consistent level of client service across the board and has automated away some of the things that really aren’t lawyering and aren’t an effective use of your time so that you can focus on the stuff you do. And to the extent you’re tinkering and fixing what you do is you’re maintaining your client service machine monitoring it and making sure that it continues to receive high marks from your clients.
Conor Malloy: Because here’s what’s going to happen. To take care of the back office stuff if we can do that and roughly automate most of it … I was at a conference not too long ago. And when you go there and you hear from people that are driving certain technologies you have some people that are driving technologies for lawyers to employ but then you also have another side of technology that instead of lawyers employing it sort of employs lawyers. The Uber model and something that hangs over you. And that’s what makes me nervous is I want to be able to find tools and I want to be able to create little models. And that’s one of the big things that was so interesting with all the different that flew Sam Brown Award.
A lot of the different players that came into it.
Sam Glover: So what is that? Most people don’t know what that is.
Conor Malloy: Sure. So it’s the American Bar Association’s award for legal access. Developing tools or developing new programs things like that to be able to … I don’t want to say it because … Well, I will say it because it’s just kind of gets played out. But it is an important thing just to deal with the justice gap and to deal with these legal access issues. So one of the biggies that they’re looking for on the criteria is it has to be replicable. So what I want to be able to do is create certain things and let people look under the hood to see how we do stuff to be able to employ this in their own firms if you’re a solo out there. All right, what about streamlining this one process and in that helps make you just a little more tech savvy, efficient and competitive. It’s coming where we’re going to kind of be cogs in the wheel to be able to meet a certain end. We go out to court in the morning, we litigate, we spend an hour or two in court and hash it out and then we’ve got to sort of decompress when we get back to the office and start churning things out and the easier we can make that and get back into court the next day and be home in time for dinner. That’s a plus.
Sam Glover: Very cool. Thanks so much for being with us today Conor. I really appreciated getting kind of the peek under the hood of what you’re doing. It was very interesting.
Conor Malloy: Thank you for having me. This is fantastic.
Speaker 1: Make sure to catch next week’s episode of the lawyerist podcast by subscribing to the show in your favorite podcast app. And please leave a rating to help other people find our show. You can find the notes for today’s episode on lawyerist.com/podcast. The views expressed by the participants are their own and are not endorsed by Legal Talk Network. Nothing said in this podcast is legal advice for you.