This is the fifth blog in this series of posts where we’re discussing how lawyers and law firms are struggling to cope with the lockdown and what we can suggest to help them. Many aren’t set up for homeworking, social distancing or self-isolation. And it’s all happened so quickly there has been very little time to prepare. Yet this is when your clients’ minds are really focused on what’s important to them, and they’ll be looking to you for advice and to set contingencies in place.
How can you utilise technology to unburden your staff without making it complicated?
Cometh the time, cometh the hour for online legal services. We are shortly launching our online Wills product. Debate about the pros and cons of such products tends to be very polarised with some vendors suggesting that this is all that clients need and lawyers arguing the dangers of overlooking anything other than simple requirements.
It has long been my belief that the real value of online legal services is the blend of human and machine that the software can facilitate. It is not all about filling in an online form and printing your Will or other legal document, but rather automating what can be automated, saving the client time and being convenient, saving money too and reserving often hard pressed funds for what the client most values – the lawyer’s know how, experience and assurance.
On the other side of the coin, most lawyers are too burdened with archaic methods of processing work and no quality time to spend with their clients. Collaboration software overcomes this and is the perfect antidote to 80% unmet legal need, which research points to, and lawyers having no time for their clients and falling out of love with their jobs.
This is exactly the point of our online legal services, starting with Wills and which will extend to most other areas of legal services required by individuals and SMEs. The client is guided through the instructions that are required, can answer questions in any order they like, they are helped further with our machine learning chatbot that can answer legal questions. When the client submits instructions, the lawyer sees not only all data that has been entered, but also key points that require particular attention.
The Will is constantly being assembled and updated in the background according to the flow of instructions. When the lawyer has discussed instructions with the client and advised and taken further instructions, additional tools available to the lawyer automate the further drafting that is often then required.
This kind of service is an integral part of being able to service clients’ needs in the most trying of social circumstances. Imagine a client who initiates Will instructions online, who then has a secure video conference with their lawyer, who knows a lot about the client and their family and business circumstances already, having viewed the online instructions, who can then go straight to the heart of the matter. The client is reassured, has benefited from a streamlined process and, if the lawyer so chooses, from a financial saving too.
All without anyone having to venture out and endanger themselves or others with coronavirus.
What do you do? If you’d like to join the discussion, feel free to Follow Martin Langan on LinkedIn.
To keep up to date with what we’re doing with legal technology, why not sign up to our technology bulletin, Legal Workflow Decoded, here. Alternatively, we would be delighted to talk to you directly, just contact Paul Clyde – Paulclyde@legalworkflow.com.
You might also like to read:
Blog 1 in the series – For those with Document and Case Management Systems – where do you store all the documents you create?
Blog 2 in the series – How – and why – do you scan and save all documents to your Document or Case Management System?
Blog 3 in the series – How can you adapt for home working?
Blog 4 in the series – How do you manage meetings with your clients, when social distancing is an imperative?