Zack talks with Joyce Brafford, a lawyer and practice management expert at ProfitSolv, about incorporating AI into your firm’s workflows and automations. See how you can use Chat GPT to do the heavy lifting for template creation, client emails, and even internal brand research.
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- . Chat GPT as an assistive tool for lawyers.
- . Using Chat GPT to build an engagement letter with form fields.
- . Chat GPT in marketing.
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. Lawyerist supports attorneys, building client-centered, and future-oriented small law firms through community, content, and coaching both online and through the Lawyerist Lab. And now from the team that brought you The Small Firm Roadmap and your podcast hosts
Zack Glaser (00:35):
Hey y’all, it’s Zack, and this is episode 4 38 of the Lawyerist Podcast, part of the Legal Talk Network. Today we have a sponsored episode on using Chat, GPT and other AI in your office. I’m joined by Joyce Bradford of ProfitSolv, and we’re talking about how you can incorporate AI into your own workflows and automations.
Joyce Brafford (00:56):
Hi, I’m Joyce and I work for ProfitSolv. We’re a company that owns lots of software solutions, but I’m a lawyer, a practice management advisor and consultant with ProfitSolv, and my job is to help Lawyerist and law firms make good decisions about their legal technology.
Zack Glaser (01:13):
Joyce, thanks for being with us again on the show. We’ve had you here a couple times and it’s always been very informative, so I appreciate you bouncing back on the show for a bit.
Joyce Brafford (01:21):
Oh, it’s my pleasure. Thank you for having me.
Zack Glaser (01:23):
So a lot of times we talk to you about practice management and kind of the ins and outs of Lawyerist firms, kind of what they can do. So I really enjoy talking to you about practical aspects of this, and this is practical as well. Today, I want to talk to you about AI in our offices, specifically in our offices, how we can use that. I guess the big thing right now is Chat GPT, and we’re at Chat GPT four, which just passed a pseudo bar exam, probably did better than I did.
Joyce Brafford (01:58):
Yeah, it’s both terrifying and exhilarating, right?
Zack Glaser (02:02):
Joyce Brafford (02:04):
Yeah, we’re at the forefront of something. I feel like we’re all it. It’s like folks who were standing around watching Henry Ford put that Model T assembly line together. It is going to change the way the world operates for better or worse. And I hope that as a group of Lawyerist, all of us that make up our legal society or our friend groups or professional relationships, I hope that we are prepared for it, and I hope that we get to a place where we’re not scared of AI and are instead using it to our advantage. And I do think that there are lots of horror stories, and I think a robot passing the bar, honestly is kind of freaky
Zack Glaser (02:48):
It, right? So I love that you used the Henry Ford example because we think of Henry Ford as the guy that basically invented the assembly line for vehicles, but I do a lot of crossword puzzles. It’s ransom olds that actually brought it into vehicles. And so I think about we have this new technology and what is that second step? Who’s that person that’s going to take this thing and actually make it really work for us? That’s the fascinating part to me, is how do we use this Chat GPT or AI or large language models, and B, the Henry Ford as opposed to the ransom old here. Now everybody knows Oldsmobile, but still like Henry Ford gets the press,
Joyce Brafford (03:36):
Henry Ford gets the press, Henry Ford gets the press. So I think that’s actually pretty insightful. First of all, congratulations on that knowledge, and if you’re ever in town and you want to go to bar trivia with me, 100% drinks on me, I’m going to recoup my investment on that. But no, I completely agree with you about taking the learning that we are doing from these early iterations of AI and seeing what’s possible and then making it part of our daily lives. And one of the reasons I love the Henry Ford example in this is specifically going back to that all this Huxley book, brave New World, and this worshipful of Henry Ford and maximizing efficiency. And it’s are we going to allow ourselves to be fully taken over and fully reliant on ai? Or are we going to retain the ability to be creative and harness this new technology in a way that empowers and emboldens us and does not take away our personhood or what makes us unique and special and rational as people and instead enhances it? And I think that we are on a precipice, and we can kind of go one of two ways here, but I’m really, really excited about it. We’re talking a lot of theory. Do you want to talk about the practical applications of chat g pt?
Zack Glaser (05:09):
I was just about to ask that. So yeah, we’ve wedded the palette. How do we use it in our practices? What are your suggestions here?
Joyce Brafford (05:16):
Yeah, yeah, that’s a great question. So first of all, and foremost, I want to say chat. G P T is not a replacement for humans, but it’s a really, really great tool. So most of us are using a lot of tools that are form fillers right now. Yeah, document automation, document assembly. That’s not too far off from what we can expect to use right now today with Chat GPT, we’re taking bits of information to create a new document. So from a practical sense of how you think about it, right? Chat GPT is not creating language chat. G P T is not creating sentence structure, it’s just using things are already out there. So one of the ways that you can use these tools is to say, Hey, I need a welcome letter for my client, or I need for you to create a fee agreement that outlines an hourly rate, that leaves a blank for the hourly rate and the particular matter type. And folks, you can create and edit and edit and edit over and over again until you get the exact form that you want. And you can edit it in terms of length, you can edit it in terms of who it is marked or whose attention it’s to. You can edit in terms of the tonality of this. And if you want to get really creative and just start playing with Chad g b t, you can ask it a question and ask it to respond as a pirate and just see how much fun you can have.
Zack Glaser (06:44):
Yes, that would be a lot of fun. Well, okay, so when you talk about editing for people that haven’t actually kind of dove into and really use it, what are we saying? You can ask the platform to edit itself?
Joyce Brafford (06:58):
Oh yeah. I actually do this a lot. So as I mentioned in my little introductions, Zach, I work for ProfitSolv and part of what I do is talk to prospective clients of ProfitSolv and I help them evaluate software. So one of the things that I recently did was I ask Chat GPT to create a comparison between one software solution that I have and a competitive software solution. And it took actual examples and it was an accurate comparison between the two. I separately on another said time said, Hey, I need you to create an email to a perspective client asking them to reengage because we haven’t had any conversations in the past two or three weeks. And that’s not what we originally agreed to when we began our evaluation together. And it was kind of wordy. And so I said, can you make that email shorter by three paragraphs?
And it did. Oh wow. And I said, you know what? You’re a little too focused on this particular aspect of the software. Can you remove that and instead focus on this piece of it? And it absolutely did, and it’s highly, highly responsive. I’ve done another one, another email campaign through Chat GPT where I asked it to tone down the excitement and it really does. It’s not a perfect software. And folks, this is another thing that I want to say. It’s not perfect. You should not rely on it to draft your contracts. Absolutely, you should not. But if you’re looking for boiler plate language to start your documents, whatever it happens to be, the first documents you have when you engage with a client, right? Fantastic. You want to have basic language and a standard template that you’re using, you can do that. Chad g p t will pull things from millions and millions and millions of sources to get you really good information as a starting point.
Zack Glaser (08:46):
So to kind of take that to the next step, when we’re talking about automating our documents inside of our system, maybe we don’t have to sit there, say, I don’t have a library of documents to automate just yet. So it’s not worth it for me to go and start template izing making templates out of all this templating. Templating, yes. And importing that into my law practice management system and creating this document automation, this is the creation of those documents is difficult. A lot of times creating an engagement letter just to then put it in and make it into a template in something like Rocket Matter is not easy. But now this is another kind of automated step in that process.
Joyce Brafford (09:29):
That’s right. And so the whole thing here, when you’re looking at law firm processes and law firm efficiencies, the idea is how can I increase my output for the day and how can I decrease inefficiencies? What am I doing twice stop, only do once? What am I doing that’s slowing me down? How can I do those things faster? What can I offload or outsource to someone else who’s time is either less expensive than my time or valued in a different way so it makes it worth it for me to outsource it, right? I don’t want to be doing a lot of administrative work. I don’t want to be creating rote documents. If I can outsource that to a robot, you better believe I’m going to outsource that to a robot without a doubt all day long because I have actual clients who are calling me on the phone who need advice from me.
I have appearances that I need to make. I just don’t have time to build everything from scratch. And at this point, why would you? So yes, after you create those documents, it really is just a matter of uploading them into your system. Now, there’s a step in between here that I honestly haven’t tested Chat GPT on, but I bet you could do this. And I truly do believe that you could do this, especially with version four, where you ask Chat GPT to create an engagement letter for you or representation letter for you, and you say, include a list of these fields, or any of these fields should be fillable fields or create a document template with the following fields. First name, last name, address one address, two, I bet you chat G b T could do it. And if it can’t do it now, it’s going to be able to actually create your template and you can include the actual fields that are available in rock and matter for that. And if you have to do that step manually, it’s not the worst thing in the world. You need to put eyes on your documents anyway. But creating that rough outline in and of itself is exceptionally, exceptionally valuable. Let me pause there, but I do have a couple fun examples that I want to share with you, Zach.
Zack Glaser (11:29):
Well, so I’m glad you paused there because Chad g p t four is in the middle of writing a engagement letter for me with the client name, the firm name, the address, the city, state, all those things. Firm letterhead as not fillable fields, but as bracketed fields to create this. It has gone even further and has what’s say in the scope of representation area. It says, we agree to provide legal services to you in the matter of bracket description of legal matter in bracket. I didn’t even ask it to do that.
Joyce Brafford (12:06):
Brilliant, brilliant. It’s more powerful than we even knew.
Zack Glaser (12:10):
So on the fly here it is absolutely doing exactly what you said that it would do. And so that I’m sure, again, kind of iterating off that you could probably have it actually use the fields that Rocket Matter uses to, or whatever law practice management software uses to kind of mail merge that document. You can have it do it itself. That’s crazy.
Joyce Brafford (12:36):
What a time saver, right? What a time saver. Zack. In a matter of seconds, you just created an engagement letter with your template field that you can go and upload into Rocket Matter right now. How amazing is that
Zack Glaser (12:50):
Real time? The amount of time that we’ve been talking about this, it’s done it literally incredible just in that amount of time with all of this. Yeah. How do we know what to automate here? So kind of go back to the Al Aldos Huxley. This is a brave new world. Yeah, there’s a lot to think about here. How do we focus?
Joyce Brafford (13:08):
That’s a really good question, and I think that you look at which documents to automate first in real hierarchy, I would not automate my complex documents, even if I used those the most, I would not start with those. I would get very comfortable with how to ask and then refine the queries that I put into Chat GPT. And so I would begin with my very first documents that I sent to a client, all of my initial engagement documentation, that is the easiest part to review and to know exactly what you want to say, right? They’re short, they’re sweet, they’re easy to edit, easy to upload and change right? From there, I would then start looking at the documents that I use the most. And it does not have to be just documents that you’re creating in Rocket Matter. One of the amazing tools that I wish law firms and Lawyerist would use more often is templated emails.
Oh yes, you have a quick draft of so-and-so and so I’ve received your request. Someone will be back in touch with you quickly. Or here’s a common response to questions. You can use chat GTP for those templated emails. You can use it of course for the documents that we’ve been talking about. You can use it for content on your website, build your website out. Everyone talks about how they don’t have time to update your website. Well, guess what? Now you do right? Now you do. And if you want to get just some basic information, maybe don’t use chat G B T for your blog post. That’s disingenuous. But if you want to get it started there and then say, this is kind of my outline. Or even ask chat G B T for an outline on something, or how to create a persuasive argument or create a persuasive argument on why every grandparent should evaluate grandparents’ rights when their grandchild is subject of a custody dispute in a family law matter, right? Hello, right. Chat GPT. Give me a blog post with common words and phrases that pop up high on SEO searches about family law matters, right? Let’s just see what you need to be writing about on your law firm’s blog before you even create content, right? Let’s use the marketing brain that Chat GPT has because it’s just data. Use chat G B T to run analytics for you for what’s going to get clicks, what’s going to drive content to you. It’s an employee that you don’t have to pay,
Zack Glaser (15:30):
Right? Yeah, that’s exactly right. So why not use it in some way? Yeah. So that’s all kind of our professional content, the lawyerly legally sort of stuff. A lot of times, even in our email, can we use it even beyond that though? Is there a way to, I don’t want to connect a little better cause we’re not as, Lawyerist aren’t always great with bedside manner.
Joyce Brafford (15:55):
We’re really not. That’s absolutely true. We have things to do and we’ve got to get onto the next client. We’re just busy people. But yeah, chat, G B T is really powerful outside of just the written word. It can create visual art for you. You can ask it to create art, which is just fun and a nice creative expression. I’ve seen folks create incredibly complex Excel formulas. So if you’re trying to figure something out on an Excel spreadsheet and you’re looking at your firm’s data and you just want to parse something out and you cannot figure out how to get Excel to do what you want it to do, chat, G B T will write Excel formulas for you. But one of the most powerful things that I’ve seen it do recently, and this one Zach actually answers your question, is a very dear loved one of mine was recently diagnosed with cancer.
And when someone is going through something deeply personal that that will impact how other people perceive them and how they interact with the world, there’s this need to tell your tribe about it. And very frequently that storytelling happens via social media. But this person is a bit of an introvert and wasn’t sure where to start with this announcement. And he went to Chat GPT and he said something along the lines of Create a Facebook post announcing that I have this particular form of cancer and what the next steps are. And it created a beautiful post that was hopeful and inspiring, but honest in its assessment. He changed just a few things to make it more of his voice. But I read the post, I did not realize that 85% of that post was AI generated. I had no idea, and I’m just going to make this even more personal. It was my brother. Oh, wow. And I did not know it was an AI generated post, and we talk all the time. Oh, wow. So that was incredibly powerful. But on a more positive note, it’s also great around Valentine’s Day because it creates really good poetry. So give it a shot.
Zack Glaser (17:58):
It does. It does. I have tried it. So what are kind of next steps for people? How can they start to, we’ve talked about a lot of automation, we’ve talked about Chat GPT being able to be used in that automation, but I think on a basic level, all of this funnels into, at least for purposes of our conversation funnels into document templates, document automation and law firm automation. So that’s right. How can we take our next steps as Lawyerist?
Joyce Brafford (18:25):
Yeah. Next step is as Lawyerist, definitely. I’d love for everyone to take a look at Rocket Matter and the document template options that are available to you there. Any field in Rocket Matter can be pulled into a document template. So if you are creating communication for your clients, it is a great place to upload those templates and create those documents with very, very little effort from you. I mean, this has gone from a couple hours of a project, creating a few documents and reviewing them to 30 or 45 minutes of creation and reviewing and uploading into your system. So I’d look at chat G B T, and then I’d look at Rocket Matter. And even if it’s just in a trial account, I would start uploading templates today. See if you can create the documents that you want and make them look the way that you want for your clients. The whole purpose here, like we said earlier, is to maximize efficiency and to reduce the amount of time we’re spending on administrative tasks, and certainly reduce the amount of time that we’re spending doing things twice. So let’s all get more efficient, let’s all be able to provide better client service. And I think that for most of us, that starts with a look at Rocket Matter.
Zack Glaser (19:31):
Yeah. And I think those two things together are the way that we can start seeing ourselves as Lawyerist opposed to getting taken over by ai. I love it. You mentioned that people can set up a free account trial firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also get a free demo there, so they can absolutely check it out. And that’s Rocket matter.com. Joyce, as always, thank you for being with me. You always have some very, very practical information. This one was a little more on the cutting edge than, or the bleeding edge than we get into sometimes, but we still brought it back to a very practical place. So thank you very much.
Joyce Brafford (20:09):
Thanks, Zack. It’s as always. It’s my pleasure.
The Lawyerist Podcast is edited by Britany 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 Lawyerist.com/book. Looking for help beyond the book? Let’s chat about whether our coaching communities, are right for you. Head to Lawyerist.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.
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.
Joyce is an attorney in North Carolina who has worked in or around legal tech for more than a decade. In that time, she’s presented time-saving, money-making, client-satisfying tips to thousands of lawyers, paralegals, office administrators, and law students. Her goal is to help every legal professional find tools to build thriving businesses. She’s a mom of 2 and loves to cook.
Last updated April 4th, 2023