Tech tools to streamline and automate your law practice

Take stock of your law practice. Where should you be devoting your time? What common tasks drag you down? And most importantly, what can you do to make your law practice more efficient and profitable?  From advertising and intake, to billing and feedback there are lots of tools to help you automate and simplify your legal practice. This webinar was presented by Jordan Couch of Palace Law Office

This page contains the following materials from the webinar:

  1. Downloadable article by Jordan, Tech Tools to Streamline and Automate Your Law Practice. 
  2. Jordan's article Twitter for [Young[ Lawyers. 
  3. Slides from the webinar. 
  4. Video of the webinar. 
  5. By request, transcript of the chat discussion from the webinar. 
  6. About our speaker, Jordan Couch.

One Washington MCLE credit pending (law practice management). 

1 - Downloadable article.

2 - Twitter for [Young] Lawyers.

Originally published in Pierce County Lawyer, May/June 2017 Issue.

In the past fifteen years, social media has grown from a toy for teens into a driving force in economics, politics, and justice and the legal profession has not been exempt. There are many reasons for this change, but among the larger reasons are the simplicity of obtaining legal services online and the personal connection social media allows clients to feel with their attorneys. As a general rule clients hire, not based on the prestige of a firm, but on a personal connection they feel toward an individual attorney. 

This is excellent news for lawyers who are willing to adapt the way they work and especially for young lawyers who were raised into the social media culture. A strong social media presence is free, easy to manage, and can help you improve and expand your practice. 

Especially for young lawyers, Twitter is an ideal platform to promote their practice, draw in clients, and learn valuable skills. The 140-character limit mandates good writing skills and drastically reduces the time needed to maintain a strong presence. The open communication allows young lawyers to engage with leaders in the legal community comfortably and easily. And the modernity of Twitter gives young lawyers a rare advantage over older counterparts (many older attorneys have adopted social media, but we were born in it). For those lawyers looking to thrive in the legal twittersphere, here are a few tips. 

Watch & Learn

There are a million great legal blogs and publications across the world. And while it's important for young lawyers to invest in learning, the sheer volume of reading material can be overwhelming. Twitter can help reduce that volume by vetting material through curators you trust. 

Are you a Lawyerist (@lawyerist) fan or an Above the Law (@atlblog) devotee? Don't just follow the blogs, follow their great contributors like John Grant (@JEGrant3), Mary Juetten (@maryjuetten), Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC), or Joe Patrice (@JosephPatrice). Let them tell you about the best new content.

Engage & Be Engaging

In the excitement over self-promotion, many attorneys forget the "social" part of social media. Don't do that. There is a growing and highly engaging #legal community on twitter. (If you don't believe me take 3 seconds to search #AppellateTwitter). Reach out to people, ask questions, post valuable content, and engage people in their responses. 

Have a question about legal writing? Ask Bryan Garner (@BryanAGarner). Bored? Challenge the Florida State Bar (@theflabar) and Seattle U Law school (@seattleulaw) to a gif war. Curious about some new legal tech? Send out an opinion poll or ask Brendan Kenny (@KennyBrendan), Damien Riehl (@damienriehl), and Lexicata (@Lexicata) for their thoughts. 

Be Yourself 

Treat social media the way you would treat in person communications. People don't want to talk to or hire the guy who only talks about law. Post a comic you find funny, a photo of your family, or your latest 5k record. Above all, be a human. 

Some notable humans: Joshua Lenon (@JoshuaLenon) is the lawyer-in-residence at Clio (@goclio) and a food enthusiast; his Twitter is covered in his latest #peasantking cooking experiments. Justice Willett (@JusticeWillett) is a Texas Supreme Court justice who uses Twitter to make taco-related rulings and talk about his children. And of course we can't forget Washington's local legends like former WSBA #madamprez Robin Haynes (@GirlWonder34), resident #lawyerhuman ® Shreya Ley (@layyourroots), world traveling virtual attorney Greg McLawsen (@mclawsen), or legal guru Dan Lear (@rightbrainlaw).

I can honestly say that had it not been for twitter I wouldn't have found my current job @PalaceLawOffice. Twitter helped me learn new things, build a strong network, and establish a presence in the national legal community. Best of all, none of it cost me a dime. So take five minutes today and get started; reach out to one of the people in this article or try one of the suggestions above and use the hashtag #legaltwitter to join the new legal community. 

3 - Slides from the webinar.

4 - Video of the webinar.

5 - Transcript of webinar chat dialogue.

07/26/2017 11:55:42 Ann Guinn from Reno, NV: Audio is great!
07/26/2017 11:55:46 Jill Karmy from Ridgefield, WA: I hear you loud and clear
07/26/2017 11:56:34 (Private to Jordan Couch) - Greg McLawsen: Looks like you switched back to computer audio, could you say something to test
07/26/2017 11:56:58 Daniel Cairns from Tacoma: Yes!
07/26/2017 11:57:07 G. Kenneth O'Mhuan from Freeland: Audio is great, we can hear you loud and clear
07/26/2017 12:04:23 (Private to Jordan Couch) - Greg McLawsen: Forgot to mention: today's CLE has a one-credit accredidation pending review. I'll circulate our attendance form at the end of the talk so please stay tuned for that. 
07/26/2017 12:04:33 Greg McLawsen: Forgot to mention: today's CLE has a one-credit accredidation pending review. I'll circulate our attendance form at the end of the talk so please stay tuned for that.
07/26/2017 12:05:36 Paul Andre Barrera from Shoreline, WA: Thank you, Greg.
07/26/2017 12:07:12 Kevin Curtin from Seattle, WA: Will the powerpoint slides be available after the cle?
07/26/2017 12:07:54 Greg McLawsen: Yessir - along with video within 24 hours
07/26/2017 12:08:04 Paul Andre Barrera from Shoreline, WA: Superb.
07/26/2017 12:08:10 Kris Zucconi from Tacoma: awesome
07/26/2017 12:10:25 Brice Leahy from TACOMA: Hahahaha Thanks
07/26/2017 12:11:04 Greg McLawsen: Follow Josh at @JoshuaLenon
07/26/2017 12:11:10 Greg McLawsen: Super cool guy
07/26/2017 12:12:36 Greg McLawsen: Find Hoot Suite at https://hootsuite.com/
07/26/2017 12:12:52 Greg McLawsen: It has a robust feature set, but does sometiems feel clunky
07/26/2017 12:14:46 Shreya Ley from Seattle: I've heard of a new startup out of Bellingham that has that sort of a bot (and does Hootsuite stuff) called SimplyPosted. Haven't tried it yet...but maybe worth checking out for people? 
07/26/2017 12:15:18 Greg McLawsen: Shreya - haven't heard of it...
07/26/2017 12:16:01 Shreya Ley from Seattle: I went to a presentation at WeWork about it...and by "went" I mean that I went to the lunchroom area and someone was presenting about it.
07/26/2017 12:17:41 Greg McLawsen: As to whether lawyers should/could/can use SnapChat see http://kevin.lexblog.com/2017/02/19/snapchat-lawyers-really-happening/
07/26/2017 12:21:20 Shreya Ley from Seattle: Awesome! Love the calculator!
07/26/2017 12:22:46 Greg McLawsen: For another great signing platform see DocuSign
07/26/2017 12:23:55 Greg McLawsen: For a freebie option check out Google Forms
07/26/2017 12:26:29 Krista MacLaren from Lynnwood: Is Cloud Forms a company, or are you using it generically?
07/26/2017 12:27:22 Greg McLawsen: Highly, highly recommend www.scheduleonce.com
07/26/2017 12:27:44 Greg McLawsen: See my example at www.scheduleonce.com/mclawsen and our firm at www.scheduleonce.com/sound_consultations
07/26/2017 12:28:45 Kevin Curtin from Seattle, WA: Do you do a conflict check first before allowing someone to schedule an appt?
07/26/2017 12:29:42 Greg McLawsen: Kevin - For our standard immigration practice we screen after the booking (but before collecting information); for our litigation practice we screen before booking is allowed
07/26/2017 12:31:10 Greg McLawsen: We use Answer Net for phone-based scheduling intakes - they are bilingual with mutiple call centers around th eUS
07/26/2017 12:31:48 Karen Kruse from Seattle, WA: Personally, I really had these auto engagement pop-ups.
07/26/2017 12:31:53 Karen Kruse from Seattle, WA: hate
07/26/2017 12:31:58 Greg McLawsen: Karen - I'm totally with you on that. 
07/26/2017 12:32:32 Greg McLawsen: I think a clear Call to Action (CTA) can do much of the same work without being cheesy
07/26/2017 12:33:27 Greg McLawsen: This is www.lexicata.com
07/26/2017 12:37:46 Greg McLawsen: For more on kanban see www.soundimmigration.com/agile
07/26/2017 12:38:41 Brice Leahy from TACOMA: Who built the soundimmigration website?
07/26/2017 12:39:04 Greg McLawsen: This really good-looking guy I know. 
07/26/2017 12:39:14 Brice Leahy from TACOMA: he did a great job
07/26/2017 12:39:28 Brice Leahy from TACOMA: :D
07/26/2017 12:39:58 Greg McLawsen: Thanks, man. I used Wordpress. For the other firm we needed less complexity and I used square space, which I now *love*
07/26/2017 12:40:02 Greg McLawsen: www.i-864.net
07/26/2017 12:41:08 Kevin Curtin from Seattle, WA: Just a suggestin if you're a solo - using Trello, you can pick a card from each list and assign it to you as a member, then click your name, pick cards, and you'll see everything you want to do today
07/26/2017 12:41:15 Greg McLawsen: For a video introduction to use of Kanban boards see https://www.soundimmigration.com/video-agile-project-management-for-any-lawyer/
07/26/2017 12:41:43 Greg McLawsen: Updated version of that form a talk I did last week in Canada will be up by tomorrow (probably)
07/26/2017 12:45:03 Radhika Prabhakar from Seattle: Great hack, Kevin. I use Trello a fair amount and wasn't aware of that feature
07/26/2017 12:46:00 Greg McLawsen: So Kevin - do you find that easier than just having a "do today" collumn?
07/26/2017 12:47:01 Kevin Curtin from Seattle, WA: Yes, in that I can see all "do today" items for multiple clients in one display
07/26/2017 12:48:02 Brice Leahy from TACOMA: J, how do you get Client's file set up if they come into your office to sign up? Using paper forms? Client fill-out eform?
07/26/2017 12:48:04 Kevin Curtin from Seattle, WA: Plus, if I'm waiting for something to come back from a client, if I add myself as a member to that card, it shows up in my cards and I know that status of that case
07/26/2017 12:47:56 Greg McLawsen: So do you have a single board with all clients (card = client), or multiple boards?
07/26/2017 12:48:20 Kevin Curtin from Seattle, WA: Greg, I have multiple boards
07/26/2017 12:49:10 Greg McLawsen: Could you shoot me a screen shot of how you have boards set up? (Hopefully collumn headers have client data). greg@soundimmigration.com.
07/26/2017 12:49:19 Greg McLawsen: Happy to show you what mine looks like
07/26/2017 12:49:19 Kevin Curtin from Seattle, WA: Will do later today
07/26/2017 12:49:23 Greg McLawsen: Cool, thanks, 
07/26/2017 12:49:34 Greg McLawsen: Are you on th Agile Attorney slack channel?
07/26/2017 12:49:50 Greg McLawsen: https://agileattorney.com/join-the-agile-attorneys-slack-group/
07/26/2017 12:49:53 Kevin Curtin from Seattle, WA: No. Or maybe not yet.
07/26/2017 12:49:58 Greg McLawsen: (Free; highly recommended)
07/26/2017 12:50:01 Kevin Curtin from Seattle, WA: Thanks for the link
07/26/2017 12:57:18 Krista MacLaren from Lynnwood: is there a good tutorial for trello?
07/26/2017 12:57:31 Kevin Curtin from Seattle, WA: Haven't used anymeeting before. Is there a way to save the thread?
07/26/2017 12:57:41 Brice Leahy from TACOMA: J, how do you get Client's file set up if they come into your office to sign up? Using paper forms? Client fill-out eform?
07/26/2017 12:58:22 Greg McLawsen: https://agileattorney.com/
07/26/2017 12:59:33 Greg McLawsen: Here's our CLE form: https://goo.gl/forms/ainXZp04FxkiIznw2
07/26/2017 12:59:46 kelli schmidt from seattle, wa: Assuming some of are not as aware of these tools as you both are -- is there a one-stop resource that can help people set up an integrated system? It isn't exactly IT help, but not sure even how to describe the assistance I'd be looking for to create such systems.
07/26/2017 01:00:34 Kevin Curtin from Seattle, WA: Gotta go. Thanks to all for the informative presentation.
07/26/2017 01:01:09 Shreya Ley from Seattle: This presentation?
07/26/2017 01:01:12 Aliya Alisheva from KENNEWICK: It was very informative, thanks you!
07/26/2017 01:01:31 Greg McLawsen: Make sure to follow Jordan on Twitter at @jordanlcouch
07/26/2017 01:02:50 Brice Leahy from TACOMA: Thank you very much!!1
07/26/2017 01:03:06 Kris Zucconi from Tacoma: thanks!
07/26/2017 01:03:13 kelli schmidt from seattle, wa: Yes, it did - thank you!
07/26/2017 01:03:22 Shreya Ley from Seattle: thanks!

6 - About our speaker. 

jordan.couch

Jordan L. Couch is an attorney and cultural ambassador at Palace Law where his practice focuses on plaintiff's side workers’ compensation litigation. After graduating from Indiana University’s Maurer School of law, Jordan moved to Seattle where a career in law would not distract him from exploring the great outdoors (and the local breweries didn’t hurt). On those cold and rainy days when being outside isn’t that much fun, Jordan seeks out new ways to build a more modern, client-centric law practice. Contact him at jordan@palacelaw.com  or on social media @jordanlcouch.