Legal TechDecember 01, 2023

Future-Proofing Your Law Firm with Technology

Get ready to dive into the fast-paced world of legal tech! We interviewed two successful lawyers, Frank Nunes and Paul Hernandez, who have harnessed cutting-edge technology to turbocharge their practices, making them efficient, highly productive, and incredibly profitable. In this blog post, we'll unveil the dynamic tools reshaping the legal field and reveal the strategies that have propelled lawyers like Frank and Paul to success, including:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Virtual assistants and geographically dispersed workforces
  • Analytics and managing key performance indicators (KPIs)
  • Must-have legal cloud applications and essential case management features

Technology isn't just a buzzword; it's a game-changer for firms aiming to save time, boost revenue, and reduce costs. This post will deliver the knowledge needed to give your law firm a competitive edge in today's legal landscape. Let's dive in, starting with AI.

Artificial intelligence

Frank Nunes utilizes AI to streamline client interactions at his law firm. AI handles after-hours inquiries, transferring data into the intake system, saving time for staff who access complete client information the next morning. This efficiency reduces redundant questioning, enhancing client satisfaction and portraying a more attentive approach.

Frank estimates that his firm has enjoyed a 60% reduction in time spent mainly on remedial tasks like data entry with this approach. Additionally, AI prevents crucial errors, like mistyped contact information, preserving potential client connections—a vital but often overlooked benefit of this technology.

"To have AI do an automatic response when there's an inquiry after hours or electronically through our social media postings is key. And then to have that artificial intelligence take that information that we receive from these potential leads and automatically transfer into the intakes portion of Neos has just been a lifesaver. When staff come in the next morning they'll see the new potential intakes and the information is already in Neos so they don't have to ask the potential client the same questions over again; it's a massive time saver." - Frank Nunes

Paul Hernandez highlights the legal community's cautious approach to AI in legal research and writing due to past incidents like fake law citations. Despite AI claims by various legal research companies, his focus remains on utilizing AI for marketing, management, and enhancing client relationships.

Paul also recommends leveraging AI engines to distill legal ideas for blog entries and social media content. He stresses the supportive role of AI, not as a sole creator but as a tool aiding in generating catchy subject lines and simplifying complex legal ideas for better communication with clients.

The AI of the future

Paul seeks future AI tools that will enhance efficiency in his law firm, focusing on time-consuming tasks like pre-litigation medical record analysis. For example, he aims to streamline this process by employing AI to create comprehensive medical chronologies. Such an AI-driven system would distill records into a detailed timeline of diagnoses, treatments, and patient activities, reducing paralegals' workload significantly, saving around 90% of their time.

Paul emphasizes the dual benefits of immense time savings and consistent quality, ensuring dependable, uniform analyses crucial for litigation and expert reviews. This approach aims to optimize workflow and empower paralegals to prioritize client communication and care coordination.

Frank plans to optimize his solo practice in the future by leveraging AI to delegate menial tasks, allowing paralegals to engage in more meaningful activities like client meetings. His focus for 2024 involves implementing AI for medical record summarization, streamlining SEO strategies based on Google Analytics, and enhancing web content to attract more traffic.

He highlights AI as a supplement for document drafting and email composition, emphasizing its role in refining language and tone, sharing a transformative experience in which AI helped rephrase a demand letter, leading to a positive settlement acceptance and solidifying his belief that AI will be a boon to his practice. Frank anticipates future AI advancements centered on data mining and refining work products, foreseeing their pivotal role in effective communication within adversarial settings.

Virtual assistants and geographically dispersed workforce

Paul starts by addressing post-COVID labor challenges, including his struggles to hire skilled staff and attorneys who are adept at ignoring digital distractions and exhibit dedication to their craft.

To combat this, his firm turned to virtual assistants (VAs), initially utilizing them in the call center, primarily sourced from Central America. Paul’s VAs are enthusiastic and exhibit an exceptional work ethic, effectively managing tasks remotely, and have resulted in cost savings (his VAs are paid as a service, not employees, which eliminates payroll taxes and benefits). He praises their quality of work while stressing the need for robust case management and telephony software for seamless integration.

"What I've learned is they are providing tremendous value. They can't wait to work, they love to work, they they they beat the boss. I like to say they beat the boss to work every day. Right? And they're they're they're vigor for work. You have not seen that type of of attitude in in 10 years. Easy." - Paul Hernandez

Paul extends the use of VAs to administrative and paralegal roles, even employing VAs with legal backgrounds for specialized support. Though successful, he underscores the importance of constant communication and integration to ensure VAs feel like integral parts of the team.

Frank backs Paul's perspective on using virtual assistants (VAs) and discusses the challenges faced during test calls when VAs lacked familiarity with local geography. To address this, he’s considering leveraging Chat GPT to enhance VAs' knowledge of specific geographic details.

He emphasizes VAs' role in extending office hours, providing coverage across various time zones to maximize client reach during optimal hours, especially evenings and weekends. Frank also acknowledges VAs' potential in ensuring accessibility, forwarding calls directly to his phone when meeting specific criteria, contributing to competitive client service against larger firms.

Analytics and reporting

Paul is a big fan of analytics and uses Neos reporting to track various key performance indicators (KPIs) and monitor the health of his law firm. He emphasizes the importance of using dashboards to measure the temperature and quality of the firm. Paul closely monitors metrics such as the number of cases, calls, leads, and the size and status of litigation cases. He also tracks employee performance, including the number of cases each staff member handles, the life cycle of cases, and time efficiency.

"You have to love analytics. I mean, for years lawyers have just practiced law, and and as long as they're able to pay the bills they're happy with how their practices and that type of law firm is a recipe for disaster. You really need to be able to identify the temperature of your firm. You need dashboards to measure the health of your firm, becaus if you're not doing it, the guy down the street's doing it, and he's going to eat your lunch." - Paul Hernandez

Additionally, Paul uses analytics to monitor financial aspects such as case settlements and past due checklist items. Overall, he leverages analytics to gain insights into the firm's performance and make data-driven decisions to improve its operations.

Frank uses analytics at his firm to track the number of new cases, calls, and leads they receive. He also uses analytics to measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts and to track the progress of referrals. By using Neos dashboards, Frank is able to monitor key performance indicators, such as the number of calls turned into intakes, referrals, and follow-ups. This allows him to make data-driven decisions and identify trends in their caseload and business operations.

Critical case management platform features

Paul mentions several must-have features of a case management platform, including full integrations with industry software like Word, DocuSign, and Outlook, the ability to merge documents quickly and efficiently, and automation features.

For case updates, an automatic text and email gets sent out to the client to say what, where, when, why, and how—it's phenomenal! And again, this is added stuff that your staff doesn't have to do, and it keeps your clients aware of what is happening with their case. . .Our retainer agreement to the potential new client is sent while they're on the phone. It is so fast that in less than 15 seconds that they sign it, and it's already back into the system, thanks to Neos' integration with DocuSign." - Paul Hernandez

He also emphasizes the importance of dashboards for monitoring key performance indicators, such as the number of cases, calls, and leads, as well as employee performance and financial metrics. He ends with a brief recommendation for automations.

Frank recommends a cloud-based case management platform that makes it possible to employ remote workers and virtual assistants, a checklist to manage tasks and reduce mental load, and integration with the third-party software like DocuSign that's used frequently by the firm. He highlights the significance of analytics and technology, particularly using dashboards to monitor key performance indicators for the health of the firm. Finally, he advocates for SMS texting capabilities to easily communicate with clients and prospective clients during the client lifecycle.

In a legal landscape that's evolving at lightning speed, the choice to embrace cutting-edge technology stands as the defining line between rising above or falling behind the competition. The insights from legal experts like Frank Nunes and Paul Hernandez underscore the pivotal role technology plays in reshaping and revolutionizing law practices. AI, virtual assistants, analytics, and essential case management features aren't just trends; they're the essential tools reshaping the future of legal work. Embrace these advancements wholeheartedly to not just keep up but to surge ahead, empowering your firm to thrive and excel in the ever-evolving realm of modern law.

Watch the full interview on demand!


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