Cloud, Automation & Efficiency, Legal TechMarch 15, 2024

Mastering Legal Tech: Insights from Matt Schad on Navigating the Digital Frontier

In his insightful webinar, legal professional Matt Schad, founding partner of Schad Law, takes us on a journey through the evolving landscape of technology within the legal field, offering valuable perspectives and experiences from his 25 years of practicing law. From harnessing the power of AI tools like Chat GPT and NeosAI to the strategic selection of case management software, Schad provides a comprehensive guide on successfully integrating technology into law firm practices—and ensuring your technology is working for you, not the other way around.

Choosing the Right Technology

Schad begins by emphasizing the critical importance of selecting the right technology and acknowledging the potential disruption and costliness of significant changes within a law office. Changing systems can bring staff productivity to a standstill and cause stress and frustration among employees—an undesirable outcome with negative repercussions and consequences.

Every technological decision he makes is based on a specific criterion: whether it will help him sleep better at night. It’s an easy rule of thumb to follow and helps guide him through difficult decisions that will impact the entire firm. He believes the right technology choices should enhance productivity and make him a better lawyer by ensuring organization, efficiency, and reliability in his practice. The goal is to strike a balance between leveraging modern technology for organizational efficiency and maintaining control and work-life balance, which he delves into later.

Must-Have Technology for Law Firms

While the organizational power of case management software and the collaborative benefits of environment software are king, he also touches on strategic hardware choices.

  • Case Management Software: Schad highlights the importance of case management software in organizing cases, storing documents, tracking activities, managing contacts, and generating tasks. Such software serves as a centralized platform for standardizing work methods and enhancing efficiency within a law firm.
  • Collaborative Environment Software: He values collaborative software such as SharePoint-hosted Word documents and internal communication within his case management platform, favoring it over traditional methods like email for efficient team communication and teamwork.
  • Hardware Choices: Schad touches on the importance of making hardware choices, such as computer hardware and workstations. He discusses the evolving nature of hardware interfaces and the potential shift towards voice and spatial computing in the next five years.

Case Management Software

Above all, Matt Schad recognizes the crucial role of case management software in making legal workflows more efficient and boosting productivity. He points out that this software helps with tasks like organizing cases, storing documents, tracking activities, managing contacts, generating tasks, and more. It acts as a central hub, ensuring everyone in the firm follows standardized procedures, regardless of individual preferences. He suggests doing thorough research and consulting with other attorneys when choosing case management software to ensure it aligns well with the firm's needs and promotes efficiency.

How Schad Law Uses Neos Case Management Software

During the initial 90 days of the Covid lockdown, Matt and the team could adeptly navigate unforeseen challenges by embracing Neos case management software. Everyone made a focused effort to familiarize themselves with Neos, facilitating the seamless transfer of two decades' worth of data and establishing it as a template for future organizational efficiency and connectivity. Schad attributes the firm's resilience during this challenging period to their strategic implementation of Neos.

For Matt, Neos has been an indispensable tool. Schad is a big fan of Neos’ workflow automation, automatic updates, and robust document accessibility. He loves the seamless integration with Microsoft Office, the ease with which he can generate documents, meticulous tracking of time and expenses, adept management of medical records, generation of case closing documents, projection of settlement scenarios, address book functionality, precise tracking of intakes and phone calls, provision of client portals, sending reminders, and executing advanced accounting functions. Schad unequivocally emphasizes that the myriad benefits of case management software, particularly Neos, significantly outweigh any potential limitations, solidifying its status as an indispensable asset in the toolkit of legal professionals.

Cloud-based Software Choices and Supporting Hardware

Matt explores the changing software landscape in the legal profession, noting a shift towards web-based applications and a decline in desktop versions. He highlights major providers like Microsoft moving towards browser-based solutions, emphasizing the importance of considering a computer's RAM for real-time information handling. As SaaS platforms grow ever more robust, they will require more computing power, and the hardware (and internet connection) needs to keep up.

Emerging Technology

Matt Schad emphasizes the need to stay updated on new technology in the legal field. He points out that even though some technologies are old, they can still be effective and shouldn't be ignored. Schad also discusses the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on his practice, noting its significant changes and foreseeing its continued influence on the future of law. While he acknowledges concerns, he highlights AI's potential to revolutionize legal processes and improve outcomes for lawyers. In summary, Schad encourages embracing new technologies, recognizing the value of both old and new tools, and proactively leveraging technology to enhance legal practice and adapt to industry changes.

Using AI

Schad emphasizes the imperative for legal professionals to acquaint themselves with AI language models like Chat GPT, stressing the significant competitive edge it affords. Drawing from personal experience, he narrates how nimble use of Chat GPT has revolutionized his workflow, enabling rapid generation of diverse legal documents. Schad champions the groundbreaking nature of AI tools, urging legal practitioners to invest time in mastering these technologies for heightened productivity, efficiency, and streamlined access to information in their legal endeavors.

Matt Schad shares how Neos AI has impacted his legal practice during the Beta testing program. He notes that Neos AI efficiently creates custom documents by extracting information from various sources, improving the analysis of case details, summaries, and contact information. Using Neos AI, legal professionals can quickly generate personalized content, making document creation smoother, improving efficiency, and enhancing overall case management workflows.

Security Measures

Schad emphasizes the importance of security measures, particularly in the context of data storage and protection within a law firm. He discusses the risks associated with server intrusions, highlighting a scenario where a local hospital with multiple facilities had its operations halted due to a server hijacking incident. Schad underscores that on-site server intrusions pose significant security risks and can bring an organization to a standstill, impacting productivity and operations.

He also addresses common concerns about client confidentiality and privacy related to data encryption and online security, emphasizing that encryption protocols are generally secure, with stringent measures to protect data integrity. He dispels misconceptions about the security of online data storage, emphasizing that encryption protocols and secure practices make it a viable and safe option for law firms. Schad is adamant that legal professionals can trust that their files and sensitive information will be safe in the cloud.

Balancing Technology and Work-Life Balance

In navigating the delicate balance between work and personal life in the age of technology, he shares insights into his love-hate relationship with the digital realm. While appreciating technology's role in enhancing productivity and connectivity, he acknowledges the challenges it presents in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Schad unveils his strategy for achieving equilibrium, detailing a month-long sabbatical in his van each summer as a deliberate effort to escape the pressures of technology. By prioritizing this dedicated time away, he underscores the importance of setting boundaries and finding effective ways to disconnect, offering a practical guide to achieving and maintaining a harmonious work-life balance in our technology-driven world.

Continuous Learning and Adaptation

Continuous learning is crucial in the legal field. Legal professionals can enhance their efficiency, productivity, and competitiveness by staying informed about emerging technologies like AI and adapting to new tools and strategies. Schad emphasizes the need to invest time in learning and utilizing AI tools to stay ahead in the evolving legal landscape. Continuous learning enables legal practitioners to leverage innovative technologies, streamline workflows, and improve client outcomes. Embracing new tools and staying abreast of industry trends through continuous learning empowers law firms to adapt to changing environments, enhance their services, and maintain a competitive edge in the legal field.

Watch the entire webinar on demand.


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Legal professional Matt Schad, founding partner of Schad Law, shares insights on incorporating technology into law practices in his webinar. With 25 years of experience, he discusses using AI tools like Chat GPT and NeosAI, selecting case management software, and ensuring technology enhances firm practices.

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