Episode Notes

In this episode, Zack talks with Kim Mayberry, the CEO of Knackly about building apps for your law office. They walk through tracking present state, and future state, and how to project manage your software building.

  • 04:04. What is Knackly.io?
  • 20:35. Effort vs Results
  • 26:30. Document automation

Transcript

Announcer (00:03):

Welcome to the Lawyerist podcast, a series of discussions with entrepreneurs and innovators about building a successful law practice in today’s challenging and constantly changing legal market lawyers, supports attorneys, building client centered, and future-oriented small law firms through community content and coaching both online and through the lawyers lab. And now from the team that brought you the small firm roadmap and your podcast host,

Zack (00:35):

Hey y’all I’m Zack Glaser, the legal tech advisor here at Lawyerist. And this is episode 376 of the Lawyerist podcast. Today. I’m talking with another industry expert for a sponsored podcast episode. In these episodes, I’m joined by a legal voice or company to discuss the newest features, happenings and trends in the legal world. As always, we’re excited to offer these episodes to our audience and we hope you’ll enjoy today. I’m joined by Kim Mayberry from Knackly and we’ll be talking about designing and automating the systems and processes in your firm.

Kim (01:07):

Hi, I’m Kim Mayberry and I’m the CEO of Knackly and have been in the document automation space for over 20 years. And today I think we’re gonna have a exciting conversation here,

Zack (01:17):

Kim. Thanks for being with me. It’s always good to, t have you with us. I don’t think a lot of people can say that they’ve been in the document automation space for over, over 20 years, but you guys, you, uh, Knackly y’all have a couple people. Yeah, I can say that. Don’t you? We do.

Kim (01:29):

Yeah, we do. Our co-founder has been in the documented space since college. So over 25 years. Yeah. Now, so we’ve seen it all from simple things to extremely complex things, um, and the space so

Zack (01:45):

Well, so one of the things I I wanted to talk about today is kind of leaning on a little bit of that experience of this document automation. Now we’re not talking about mail merge, you know, just taking something from a CSB and putting it into a template that we created in Microsoft word, which I don’t wanna say bad things about that. That’s great if you’re doing that fantastic. But what we’re talking about is creating more applications, more machines to create documents out of information that we input. And yeah, I mean, I think application is the right word there. That that’s where we are in this space. I wanna lean on your expertise on how do we do that? How do lawyers even think about creating that thing?

Kim (02:29):

Yeah. So usually it starts with understanding your current system, what you currently do. Right? Right.

Kim (02:37):

I like to go through the process of actually mapping out your current system where you can go through and you say, these are, are the parts to it. This is the inputs and the outputs. And personally, I like the whiteboard. Other people, you know, may like other ways, but I just like being on the whiteboard and just putting boxes and saying, this is what I do. This is the next step. This is the next step. And just kind of going through the entire process of how do you currently work? It’s kind of a starting base. Yeah. You know, you’re thinking about automation, you’re not sure. Does it really make sense? And is there the return on there, you know, just as a starting place need to know what is your end product?

Zack (03:25):

So basically saying like, let’s take somebody that creates wills. For example, I, I do, you know, estates and trust. And I assume what you’re saying is we could start as simple as we’re doing a basic will. How do I actually do that? Right now? We have client comes in the door, we ask them a series of questions. These questions go to a legal assistant or legal assistant asked the series of questions. And, and we’re talking about kind of like the steps as minute as that. And we’re not even talking about the automation at this point, we’re talking about literally what in your office.

Kim (04:01):

Yes.

Zack (04:02):

And so we, we map that out.

Kim (04:04):

Yep. We map that out at some batching, whether on a whiteboard, whether, you know, whatever is easiest, some people maybe Excel is easier. Um, just depending on how you think about it, the best way you think about it. So by understanding where you currently are, it becomes easier than to say, say what we’d call in, we’d call future state. So where do we wanna go to? So we have a current state that we’re at and we have a current system. Whether you say you have a system or not, you have a system, whether it works or not, that’s always a question, but there is a system in place whether it’s haphazard or not. But what we’re really trying to do is, is get to a end result where we actually have a solid system in place and we’re get seeing the ROI on that. So do, go

Zack (04:59):

Ahead. Do you think people could really get to, to that future? Say, cause when I think of this, I think people probably just jump right into saying, okay, what’s the future state, what’s the thing that I wanna build. Do you think people can get to that future state without knowing what their current state is?

Kim (05:14):

No,

Zack (05:15):

That’s what I figure. Um, that was the, I was thinking. Yeah.

Kim (05:18):

Yeah. But here’s what usually happens in this case is you walk through and you say, this is what I want it to be. And in your mind, you’re already there, but you didn’t take the steps to get there. Yeah. And so oftentimes when we go through and design, you know, we do that initial design, they say, oh, this is the way it’s supposed to work. And then someone in the room pipes up, no, that’s not how it works. Right. And so having that base of under really understanding what’s happening really helps us to move forward.

Zack (05:55):

Now, when, when people come to you guys at Knackly, do they generally have that? Do people generally walk in the door and say, Hey Kim, here’s what we’ve got. Here’s what I’d like to have. I’ve got my current state, I’ve got my future state. Let’s get started building this.

Kim (06:11):

No, rarely. Right. Because it’s a different, it’s a different skill that Yeah. Sometimes you have to think of things a little bit different you’re you’re used to your mind may not think of these things the same way. So sometimes you really need someone to guide you through the process.

Zack (06:30):

Okay. Kind of tease some of that out because these are, you know, I, I like to think that a lot of times lawyers and tech technologists get along, which they don’t necessarily, but I like to think that they do, because there’s a lot of the same thought processes. You know, these things are logic gates. If this happens, then we do this and we want to draw that out for our application. Right. But like you’re saying, we we’ve got that. Like literally if the mail comes in the door, we open it. Right. If this letter is from the court, we do blanks. So having those, those processes, uh, written down. So when you guys write those processes down and you said, you, you do a whiteboard, but right now we’re kind of doing things via zoom. How, how would you suggest for somebody to sit down and, and actually do that? If they’re in a remote world,

Kim (07:24):

I still use a whiteboard. Yeah. So it with a camera, but that’s me because I, I just like the, the ability to write things down on a whiteboard. I realize that some people may or may not, but visually I can just see it. So I actually turn on the camera and we, we walk through it and write it down. So if you, if you do have remote staff and you’re going through and doing it, that’s what I recommend. I mean, certainly you can, there’s certainly share programs out there that you can actually write whiteboard right. On the screen networks as well.

Zack (07:58):

Yeah. I think, I think there’s the Google draw. There’s MI I think Microsoft actually has something called whiteboard.

Kim (08:04):

They do. I just saw it a couple weeks ago and I just noticed it.

Zack (08:09):

And if you’re you’re real fancy, you know, you can put on the Oculus and, uh, I think you can, you know, feel like you’re there actually drawing on the whiteboard, but, but that’s, you know, I joke about that because that’s not really how fancy we have to get, or even how technical, I think a lot of times when people go into building these sort of apps and they are doing software design here, but they think it’s really, really fancy software design and they need to come into it and approach it from a really Uber technical standpoint. But we’re talking about really practical things here. I’ve seen you write these things down. I’ve seen, I’ve seen you work through this and it is almost surprising in the simplicity of what steps and processes we’re actually trying to get to.

Kim (08:51):

Right. And so having it on paper, looking at it, it becomes obvious what things are working and what things aren’t working. And so that, that helps you understand. Okay. So the things that are working and the things that aren’t working, you, you don’t have to worry about the things that are working. You can now focus in on the things that aren’t working and like your state planning example, a lot of times what will happen when we go through this process of mapping it out is that you’ll find out that you’re spending way too much time drafting your documents. You’re going back to your clients for information way too much and causing you problems there and the time delays. So if you think about how often do you sit down and work on something, if you and I have this conversation right now, and you are going to write something about it, if you wait a week, how much more effort and time is it gonna take you to go through and remember our conversation, then if you wrote it down right after, right? So time in between plays of part in how efficient you can be. So there’s different factors that you start look at when you think about your current process.

Zack (10:10):

So we’re, we’re not only writing down just with the steps are, but kind of like, do we wait 30 days? Do we back to somebody? Do we, and this doesn’t feel like, honestly, this doesn’t feel like application designed to me, you know, it’s it’s process,

Kim (10:26):

It’s process design. It. It is.

Zack (10:28):

So once we have that, I guess the, the kind of itching question with me is like, where does something like, Knackly come into this? Like, where does it fit into this process? Because from my standpoint, you know, sitting behind the desk at lawyers, I think everybody should have these written out. I don’t necessarily think everybody is, is in the place to automate things. Where do we start seeing the need to create this, these applications?

Kim (10:56):

There’s a point that the return on investment becomes logical.

Zack (11:00):

Okay.

Kim (11:01):

Certainly we, we talked a little bit about mal mech and those are fairly easy to get up and going, and you can get certain bits of information in there. And I think at a minimum level, people should be using mal merge. Okay. Um, with the CRMs. But then we start looking at, okay, I’m producing a set of documents. So where I have found to be successful in, when you wanna start thinking about automation is if you’re doing a, basically a similar set of documents, about 10 to 15 times a month, you should start at automation because using the estate planning, you could do this with family law. You could do it with any other area, but if you’re doing an estate plan, you’re doing a will trust, power of attorney, healthcare, power of attorney. You might be doing a summary letter, you might be producing 10 to 30 documents for your clients.

Kim (12:02):

And so at that point, you really need to be started to think about how is a system going to help me produce those documents faster. I have attorneys that me regularly. Oh, but it only takes me about a half hour to do the will. Right. Um, or it only takes me 10 minutes to do this document, but you’re not looking at it at aggregate. If you went back to your process, you would see, oh, I’m producing all these documents. And it really is taking me 10 hours, a client or eight hours a client, whatever that number is in just the document production site.

Zack (12:41):

Right. And I think one of the things we were getting at a minute ago is that we’re not just talking about this document production site, right. We’re talking about the intaking information as well, because that, to me, that’s not the difference, but one of the differences between building an app and building a, a document automation platform and just doing something like mail merge,

Kim (13:05):

Right.

Zack (13:06):

Mail merge is I’ve got the information, I’ve got it in a form, usually a CSV or something like that. And I wanna put it into it template.

Kim (13:15):

Right.

Zack (13:16):

And we’re talking about, I’m starting at zero. I don’t have the information yet. And I haven’t even had my client walk in the door. What, what is my process? And getting that sort of automation, bringing it all the way up to that front door.

Kim (13:31):

Correct. So collecting of information through our extra intakes, we can go through and start collecting the right information upfront through the whole process. If you think about collecting information, we have a guided intake process where we can actually say, if you’re gonna do this type of thing, we’re gonna ask you the appropriate questions. If we’re gonna do another, if I’m gonna do an affidavit, I’m gonna ask you the questions that are needed for that affidavit. And then we can work our way backwards from there of what information is coming right from the client. What information does my staff member enter? And so that you’re really starting to get it’s the collection of information before you really can produce a document that NA does for you so that you can really, it really speeds up the time in the process.

Zack (14:29):

And I, I can see here why we would want to have drawn out our whole process with the is, you know, because we’re not just talking about, okay, tick a box and we’re in this county, put a number of dependents in. And that way we’ll throw in this amount of clauses. What we’re talking about is when somebody comes in the door, what questions do you as an attorney, ask them to even process their matter. So, so a platform and an app that one builds out of something like Nale is going to go all the way up to, I kind of envision it as getting bigger in my office. It’s gonna go all the way up to the place where you even do your intake and the path it seems is going to change based on, on what the answers to their questions to your questions are. And so one, this gets back to our future state, our present state, future state, what are those questions that you ask?

Kim (15:35):

Right?

Zack (15:36):

Because everything is dependent on that. A again, we, I think it’s switching the mindset from, I wanna automate these documents maybe. And I, and I think you, you said this to me earlier, I wanna automate these documents. Do I wanna automate this process?

Kim (15:51):

Yeah, it is becomes interesting when you start thinking about it, because it’s taking you from a reactionary mode to a proactive mode. When you think about it, I mean, you could go into many law firms and you’re, you’re working with them in Lawyerist and try to help ’em quit this firefighting. There are, they’re all always in reactive mode, right, right. That they’re always trying to put out these fires. And by understanding where your current process is, you can start being proactive in how you approach things. Instead of so reactive, I mean, reactive means, you know, you’re collecting information. Oh, I forgot that. I gotta go back to the client now and get it. Well, how long is it gonna take you now to go back to the client and get it? You’ve gotta make one phone call. If you’re lucky, two phone calls, three phone calls, you’re having to go back to them and get more information. What does the client think when you’re having to go back to ’em for, you know, you’re calling ’em five different times through the process. When they’re thinking, I could have told you that up front now sometimes you have to dig and the client doesn’t know, and I get that, but it’s about the gathering of information. Before you start producing the, your end product, your documents really speeds things up.

Zack (17:11):

Yeah. Th this is beyond Knackly. I mean, not, not beyond what NA can do necessarily, but, but we’re talking about, you know, even in a firm that isn’t thinking about, how do I spit out 10, 15, 20 documents per client. This is something that firms need to be doing one way or the other. I, I like this proactive versus reactive, because how many times do you, you get the answer to these questions? Your assistant has a, an intake form, which by the way, fantastic. That’s better than somebody who’s just saying, okay, well, when a, when a client comes in the door, come grab me, you know? Right. That’s not helpful. So an intake form that’s step a, but we want to get to Z. And based on the answers to these intake questions, you have different questions. And what we’re saying here is that in current state, a lot of times maybe we’re we’re looking, or in, in reactive, we’re gonna go back to the client and say, what are the answers to these in proactive? We’re gonna say, okay, well, here’s the path we wanna take. Here’s the design for the whole thing. But I think it’s scary to talk about what your current state is. I think it’s embarrassing. When I write down my current state of any of my processes, it’s embarrassing because it is not efficient, no matter how efficient it is, there there’s something you can do

Kim (18:31):

Right there. There’s always something. I mean, if you look at Toyota, you know, took this to an whole new level, right. And, and developed a lot of the tools that are out there with lean and things. But I mean, they’re still looking at, even though they’ve been doing this for, I think they started this easily in the seventies and eighties. I mean, some of it actually started back after world war II. Yeah. But where they really started thinking through it, they’ve been doing this for years and they’re still working their systems to make ’em better. So it’s not a, you know, to say it’s a future state. That’s a nice, it’s a future state until you there. Then you have the next future state because you can always be improving.

Zack (19:15):

Yeah. So theoretically, okay. I, I like this. So theoretically, well, not theoretically, actually what you should be doing is you’ve got current state and that’s where it’s, and we’ve got future state, which is where we wanna go. We move future state in the current state. And then we’re, we’re still have a future state, which is where we want to go. Right. My trouble Kim is how do I literally document that here are my processes. And let’s say, I have them drawn out on a whiteboard, or let’s say, I have them on one note or on, on a Google document. However, somebody wants to have that. How do I have those two things live kind of differently? And how do I move from one of those places to the other? You know, what, what have you found in how your mind can get from one place to another and how you can kinda keep those two,

Kim (20:04):

Um, right. So if you think about it, you’ve got your current processes and your future processes. If you look at your current processes, if you look at time and things, you start looking at ’em and you can see that there are what I’d say quick wins. There are things that you can do to give you some quick wins because you like, you know, we’re doing this, but we should be doing this. Let’s just start doing, you know, I mean,

Zack (20:34):

Yeah.

Kim (20:35):

So there’s some quick wins to it, right? Other things are gonna take a little bit more time. And I, I learned this as kind of the effort versus results. So how much effort is it going to give you to your results? So if you think about how much effort, how much time is it gonna take? You start to categorize those things that take the least amount of effort with the most results, right? And so you can start thinking about which projects are going to give you your biggest bang to get to there. What I found is when we’ve automated the documents, you know, there are things that are less effort. I get that, right. But the thing, what I absolutely love about document automation is we can save you so much time. So if it was taking you 10 hours to produce a set of documents, we can now produce those. And we’re seeing 95, 75 to 95% reduction I can see in time that is now gonna take you. So let’s just say 90% of 10, if it was taking you 10 hours, it now takes you an hour. How much time did you just buy back to help yourself? And you do that 10, 15 times a month. I mean, do you just save yourself two weeks of time?

Zack (22:00):

Right. So kind of going to your effort versus results thing. Yeah. There there’s some effort to this, obviously. Yeah. A, I would say that a lot of this effort needs to be expended anyway, because you need to know your processes. But what we’re kind of saying is the, the ROI on this, the return on the investment is high. Yes. Because, and I, I think that’s a good point. When I think about automating things, it is difficult to automate physical movement. You can do it, people making cars, making, you know, they’ve automated physical movement, but it is more difficult to do that. Especially in a office, especially in a place where, where, what we’re selling is generally some sort of thought, you know, paper or, or something. It is reasonably easy to automate the digitization of something, the creation of something digital, you know, like it, it’s tough to automate taking the envelope from point a to point B.

Zack (23:00):

But the input of what was in that envelope, you know, scanning that document and, and getting the information off of that document. That’s something that can be automated. I don’t wanna say relatively easy, but much more easily than, than a physical motion. So in a law office, creation of documents is, is going to necessarily be digital right now. Now, I mean, it should be, if it’s not, we’ve got some questions. I think, you know, it needs to be very deliberate that it’s not digital. And so I, I can see definitely the ROI on document automation being high. The second thing I kind of saw in what you’re saying there is, or the way I envision this step from current state to future state is jobs creating and packaging jobs or projects. Right. And, and maybe you can keep track of them on an Excel spreadsheet. Maybe you can keep track of them on a, on a document or something like that. But being able to say, okay, this is the project that we’re working on right now. These are the projects that are gonna take us from current state to future state. And you’ll probably just work. All those future state, you know, wants

Kim (24:08):

Right

Zack (24:09):

Into there. And you can say, you can probably even say, what is our effort to our results? What is our, our anticipated ROI on this? Cause you’re never gonna be able, it should be all of them done.

Kim (24:19):

Yeah. And, and there’s some of em that, you know, maybe it doesn’t make sense to even worry about once you get down to it. Right. It drops it off. I mean, it’s a priority list of hundred things you need to do. It’s a one we’re probably never gonna get to a one.

Zack (24:35):

Yeah.

Kim (24:36):

And we shouldn’t because the ones, it is not gonna give you the results. You’re not gonna see the results out of it. So yes. So prioritization by having kinda circling back prioritization and just tackling one piece at a time, if you try to tackle too much at a time, it gets overwhelming and you stop, You really are better off taking that. I’m gonna improve by 1%, each month concept as a opposed to, I’m just going to try for a home run this month and hope it works.

Zack (25:12):

I think that’s a difficult concept. A lot of times, I, I don’t want to, you know, just kind of move right past that, cuz that’s a difficult concept for a lot of attorneys to internalize. You know, a lot of times you sit down and you root force through this thing until you get way past minimum viable product. And I think that constant iteration, uh, that’s certainly something that, that we push at Lawyerist but I know that you guys push as well. Well, and I, I wanna, again, you know, we’re leaning on your experience of automating things and, and creating processes, but I wanna lean on your experience. You’re a six Sigma black belt.

Kim (25:49):

Yeah.

Zack (25:50):

And so when I, as an attorney am doing this practically in my office and I’m creating the current state and I’ve got future state and I’ve got jobs. How do I set that up to make sure these jobs move from starting to gone

Kim (26:09):

Iteratively? So here here’s a thing that you’ve gotta start thinking about in law school, you were taught that everything has to be perfect. Right? Your clients rely on you being perfect. Right. When we’re talking systems, I hate to say it, but perfect is gonna get in the way of improvement because

Zack (26:29):

The good. Yeah.

Kim (26:30):

Yeah. So if, if you are always, if everything has to be completely perfect, then you’re never going to get there because your idea of perfect is gonna continue to change. We need to start taking iterative approaches to it. Okay. So a document example, when someone comes on with Naly, whether you are using our jumpstart services or you’re going at it on your you’re gonna do it yourself, take a simpler document that you use regularly. And start there implement that. That doesn’t mean that you’ve got everything done, but start with one document. And then each week set aside 30 minutes an hour or set aside something each and every week block your time. So that you’re working on it again every week. Because what if you say a I’m gonna do it at the end of the month. That means that you now have a whole, if you just did it, four, you’ve blocked out four, one hour blocks each week. That’s a whole lot easier to do than at the end of the month, trying to block off four hours to go after it.

Zack (27:38):

Yeah. Cause ultimately that that’s, that’s half a day at work

Kim (27:40):

Right.

Zack (27:41):

Per month, which is going to get you somewhere death. But one hour on a Friday afternoon, that’s I don’t wanna say that’s nothing because you know, plenty of people have, have a ton of, but that’s not unattainable. So let’s say I have an office and it’s me another attorney and three staff members. And I’m just kind of making this up, uh, randomly who do I have as the project manager? Because I, I probably need some sort of project manager. Does it need to be the attorney?

Kim (28:12):

I hope not.

Zack (28:13):

Okay. Yeah.

Kim (28:14):

It shouldn’t be. Yeah. In all honesty. And I get this question asked a lot when we’re doing professional services, like who should I contact be? And they’re sitting there thinking, oh, it’s gonna be me. It’s gonna be me. And I say, no, we don’t want you as, as the project manager, because you’ve got all sorts of other stuff. It needs to be the person that producing the work.

Kim (28:35):

Okay. So it, it really, I would prefer to be working with paralegal. Now, does the attorney need to be involved? Yes, of course, of course they need to be involved. Do they need to be the one that’s handling everything? No, don’t we don’t want that. Now if you’re solo, you’re right. You’re where you are. But if you have in your situation, I would have a, one of the members of your staff be the one to do it. Now as attorney I would wanna be on. And, and this is the way we do it. When we of professional services is we try to meet weekly with our clients and it’s a half hour conversation.

Zack (29:14):

Okay.

Kim (29:15):

And, and the reason is, is one. We wanna show you that we got done, what, what you expected so that in the end we deliver a product that you expect, the automation works the way you expect, because you’re seeing it all along the way. So if you were doing this internally, I would be doing the same thing. I would be having a weekly meeting saying, where did we get to this week? What are the issues that came up so we can solve that? And then we can go to the next week and it, over time as you do this iterative approach, you get a final product that works really well.

Zack (29:51):

And so what I gather from that, a yes, the iterative approach is gonna actually get us somewhere as, as opposed to just sitting down. I, I think there’s this romantic idea of going off into a cabin in the woods and just building the whole thing. Um, I I’ve had that idea and I’ve never been able to do it. A I’ve never really been able to take, you know, four days to go out in the cabin in the woods and, and do this, but also the owner of this, the, the project manager being one of those support staff. That doesn’t mean that they’re the person who is fully designing everything, right. They’re just leading this, they’re moving it from point a to point B. And they’re probably going to have a better idea of what the steps are, the overarching steps, but maybe not necessarily exactly what the process is and what certainly what the law is in that area.

Zack (30:48):

And so they’re gonna have to come to the, to, you know, me as the attorney and say, okay, well here, here’s what I need from you. You know, here’s the design portion I need from you, but the attorney not necessarily having to shepherd that whole thing, um, right. More being the intellectual property person on this, like the because. And I, I always like to harp on this, once somebody has created this thing, they have intellectual property here, you’re building a machine, you’re building an app. I kind of wanna kind of go back to where we started. This whole thing is building an app, building a piece of software, a process. And I know growing up, my father is an attorney. And growing up, I was always kind of told your, your law office is only as valuable as, as basically you working. But when you build this intellectual property talking about return on investment, right. Um, you know, you’ve got something and

Kim (31:40):

You have, and you have something in the end that you could vacation. I mean, how many conferences have you been to where the CLE, one of the talks is how to sell your practice? How many attorneys do you know that have really sold their practice without some sort of system in place.

Zack (32:00):

Right. Right. Because again, we’re, we’re not talking about just spitting out documents, right. We’re talking about the whole process in the system. You know, a lot of times when I think about selling your practice, I think about what is your lead funnel? Do you have a, a good lead funnel and, and that sort of marketing system is really valuable, but you know, we’re talking about the system inside at practice, kind of what does that marketing system hand off to? And that is also very valuable because you’ve created, you’ve built a thing, like you said, that that has saved 90% of effort. Yeah. And that, that has actual monetary value.

Kim (32:39):

Right. And when I think of a system, I think of, there’s kind of three pillars that I think about, is it repeatable? Is it trainable? And is it efficient?

Zack (32:49):

I’m going to repeat those. Is it repeatable? Is it trainable? And is it efficient? I think a lot of times we get caught up on one, maybe two of those. And I think a lot of times we don’t think about trainable.

Kim (33:06):

Yeah. If you have a paralegal that’s been with you for a long time, you’re lucky.

Zack (33:11):

Right.

Kim (33:12):

Because you know, you’ve got people that have had their paralegal for 10, 20 years. At that point, you can kind of read your mind. I mean, they can kind of read like done this enough. Great. But what happens when you lose that paralegal, you no longer have that institutional knowledge there, you need a system that can help train the new person on how to do some of this stuff.

Zack (33:39):

So the let’s kind of go back to the beginning. Current state is that institutional knowledge. Yes. You’re doing great. You’re, you’ve created this process that gets things done in your firm and you’re making money. You got people coming in, you’re spitting out documents, wills, you’re, you’re creating solutions for people. And write that down, get that on paper, get that on something to make it tradeable first or repeatable or, or efficient, like all, all of that. Well, Kim, so a, this has been very fascinating. Talk to me. I, I, I know it, it will be for, for people listening as well. So let’s kind of wrap, wrap it up with this. What would you say to somebody who’s G us starting to think I have a business I’m building my law firm. I want to think about automating things in that firm. What would you say to them? Initially

Kim (34:34):

One is, is start with your current situa your current situation. Make sure you understand what’s happening now. Certainly someone solo, that’s just coming out. That’s a different story. So if we can just take those that have been in practice for a little while, I’m, I’m starting to think about it.

Zack (34:52):

Yeah.

Kim (34:53):

Start with your fir your current state. Um, let’s get that. Let’s get understanding there. Then let’s look at, you know, everything we’ve talked about, but what are your goals? Where do you want to go? What is your future state? You know, so that you can understand that. And then you can kind of go through and work through it. We have developed, you know, some of the stuff that we talked about about today, and I actually have a PDF that you can go through and use that actually talks through all stuff. So if you go to Knackly.io/systems, you can download a copy of that PDF that actually walks you through the entire process that we’ve talked about today.

Zack (35:34):

And we’ll put that link in the show notes for this as well.

Kim (35:38):

Yeah. But that’s a way that you can then start planning it out and looking at it. It goes over. What is your current state? What is your future state? How do you wanna delight your clients and kind of the effort versus results? So it’s gonna actually walk you through all of those processes to help kind of get that on paper. So you have a plan, then it’s a matter of executing. Don’t try to execute all of it next week, make sure that you get into the iterative mindset. You’ll be far more successful in doing that as kind of a case study. If you look at in the, you had Intel and AMD, AMD was always shooting to, for the big thing, they would leap. They, they would go three years, then they could leapfrog Intel, but Intel was continually iterative. So Intel always was winning because they took a it dev approach, as opposed to, I’m going to go for the hail Mary and make this thing work. So iterative far exceeds any results that you’ll get with the hail Mary.

Zack (36:51):

All right. Well, so yeah, figure out where you are. Figure out where you want to go. And then small steps to get there. Kinda basic Kim, as always, thanks for chatting with me here. And if people want to learn more about, Knackly, how it can automate the document automation there, the process automation, they can go to Knackly.io and they can get in contact with you guys. And we’ve got a link in the show notes to all of that. Uh, again, again, thanks for being

Kim (37:19):

All right. Thank you.

Announcer (37:22):

The Lawyerist podcast is edited by Brittany Felix, are you ready to implement the ideas we discuss here into your practice? Wondering what to do next? Here are your first two steps. First, if you haven’t read the small firm roadmap yet, grab the first chapter for free at lawyers.com/looking for help beyond the book. Let’s chat about whether our coaching communities are right for you. Head to lawyers.com/community/lab to schedule a 10 minute call with our team to learn more. 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.

Your Hosts

Zack Glaser

Zack Glaser is the Legal Tech Advisor at Lawyerist, where he assists the Lawyerist community in understanding and selecting appropriate technologies for their practices. He also writes product reviews and develops legal technology content helpful to lawyers and law firms. Zack is focused on helping Modern Lawyers find and create solutions to help assist their clients more effectively.

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Build an App for That: Document Automation With Knackly.io, with Kim Mayberry (Sponsored)

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Last updated October 14th, 2022