See How Slack Helps Lawyers
I set up a Slack group for the attorneys in the LawFirmCo-Pilot membership program and it’s been exceptionally well received, and for many lawyers it’s become indispensable.
Below are some selected examples of actual questions, and responses (sensitive information has been omitted to honor the privacy of users of the Slack group).
Posted Thursday, May 25th at 4:06 pm
“I need a referral to an elder abuse (financial) attorney in Hagerstown Maryland. If you don’t know of anyone there, then a referral to someone in Baltimore would likely work too.
The client is a 90 year old woman whose daughter has used a power of attorney to wipe out a couple of bank accounts and an investment account. The perp has assets, including a residence that her siblings tell me is large and has equity. Mom doesn’t want to pursue criminal action against her child, who she loves, but does want her money back. The theft occurred while mom was recovering from a broken hip and was on various pain meds, etc.”
Posted Wednesday, October 25th at 6:35 am
“A new ransomware attack called “Bad Rabbit” is masquerading as an update to Adobe’s Flash multimedia product. More info about this attack here [LINK]”
Posted by Ernie Svenson on Thursday, June 1st at 10:11am
“I’m at the conference hotel where the Indiana Solo & Small Firm event is being held. There is free wifi, and I will use it securely because I’m using a VPN service called TunnelBear that works across all my devices (if I use them on public WiFi). There are other VPN services, but this is one I know, like and trust. And you can sign up to use it for free (limited capabilities, but you can test it out): [LINK].”
Estate Planners Channel
Posted on Friday, June 2nd at 7:43 pm
“Does anyone use a software they really like for estate planning document prep? I use something by FORE that was reasonable and does trusts wills powers of attorneys etc. But maybe there is something better?”
Posted Monday, June 19th at 10:50 am
“@channel is anyone outsourcing data entry? I’m looking to outsource entering medical and financial information of clients and wondered if folks are using a VA or an agency or keeping it in house…thoughts?
Posted Tuesday, Sept 5th at 8:17 pm
“@channel I could use some help thinking through how to automate our client intake. I know there are form builder apps that we can use to collect data. How do you all handle intake, and what apps to you use to do it? (I use Rocket Matter and Infusionsoft, though not to the fullest extent possible.)”
Reply on Wednesday, Sept 6th at 10:47 am
“@[username-omitted] what does the system look like now and what do you want to change? In my practice the same details need to be collected repeatedly and it entails a lot of data entry, so I wanted to put some of that on the clients. Initially we have the call screened and we have about a 10 point criteria of what we will take. Data is collected in an email and forwarded to the handling attorney. Once they are cleared, they are offered a phone consult or in person meeting. Once the client signs, we forward the collected data to the intake paralegal. I’m looking to outsource all of this data entry overseas to the Philippines to cut down on this expense of data entry.
I’m a PI firm and we use a case management software called FileVine and it offers a link that a client can fill out and it will then auto populate the data fields that we need. This is a hit and miss proposition, we’ve worked with when we send the link (up front before talking, not so much, after an appt, much better) what the email says is also important. So, it works but clients are not entirely compliant in filling out the information. Our back up is having a paralegal conduct a introductory call and collecting data that the client needs to provide. We get our documents signed through RightSignature and we get a 100% cooperation with client’s on this app. My next step is to start automating the emails clients receive because they too tend to be repetitive – keep your settings on social media private, don’t talk to anyone about your case but your lawyer…etc. So, I’m not sure that is what you are looking for but there is a glimpse into our intake process.”
Clio Software Channel
Posted on Friday, October 6th at 1:16 pm
“Is anyone here using Clio for task management? If so, how is it working? We have Clio, and some of our paralegals use it to keep track of their tasks. We haven’t rolled it out to the entire firm yet, because I want to make sure it works before we implement a process and require compliance.
We do insurance defense, and have a helluva lot of tasks. It seems to me that the task list gets overwhelming, unorganized, and unmanageable really fast.
Andrew L. response at 1:52 pm
“My opinion on Clio’s tasks is that they have them just to say they have them. But as a task manager, it’s really ineffective. That said, I do know @keithmagness has implemented Clio’s “task automation” feature, so that if you’re doing insurance defense, you can create the basic task templates that you have (file answer, provide discovery, etc).
My solution is to use Asana for task management, but I use it for _everything_. It has personal tasks related to changing my car oil and renovating my house, to the legal tasks of draft documents, etc, and it includes law office management stuff like marketing. It allows commenting and liking comments, notifications, custom fields, etc.
The trick is integrating Asana and Clio using Zapier so that you have a new “project” in Asana for each new “matter” in Clio. From there, it gets more specific.
Either way, Asana is super powerful if you’re managing a team of people.”
Posted on Friday, October 20th at 5:41 pm
“We noticed a major Clio issue a couple of days ago. Beginning around October 10, a helluva lot of our timekeeper entries show “$0.00” as the hourly billing rate. We have rates set at the client level, and only some of our timekeepers and some of our clients were affected. Three days ago I called the Clio help desk and they wrote up a ticket. I haven’t heard anything back from them, and we still have the problem. It’s going to cripple us when November gets here and we have a new billing cycle. So, I would recommend checking your activity tab and making sure everything is working for you.”
Response on Monday at 7:39 pm
“I hope [Original Posting Member] has worked out that bug, here’s a warning for another bug: in several places in the “old” clio you could add time to, say, a communication, and add a matter, and if you did that in the wrong order (meaning time first, then matter) the matter wouldn’t associate with the time under billable clients or in the matter itself. Even if the matter showed in the communication. I encountered this in communications and after several hours of trying to convince support of the issue, they acknowledged it and not only that, told me they’d found the problem in some other places. I don’t know if they’ve fixed it in the new clio. Workflow impact: before you go to billable clients to run your bills, look at activities and sort by matter looking for blank matters.”
Practice Management Channel
Posted on Wednesday, May 24th at 9:39 pm
“What is everyone using for task management? I use outlook on my pc. The problem I’m having though is that I have an iPhone, and the only app that I’ve found that syncs well with my tasks in 0365 is Apple’s tasks app. Not a huge fan of the app, so I’ve been capturing tasks in Evernote or even emailing a note to myself to enter the task into outlook when I get to my pc. It’s a pain, and I’d like to find a better solution. I’m not married to outlook either. I just want something that will allow me to capture tasks on the go, sync across my devices, and allow me to sort and organize tasks (using a GTD-type system). Thoughts? Recommendations?
Reply at 9:51 pm
I’ve be using Nozbe for a couple of months. It’s based on GTD, so you might give it a look. The interface is pleasant enough, and it syncs well with iOS devices. You can create tasks from email by sending to a custom address, just like what Evernote does. The app allows you to delegate tasks to another user in the same project and also add non-Nozbe users to projects.
Follow up reply at 10:05 pm
Another nice feature is the ability to have conversations around tasks with your delegates. My paralegal and I have been using it that way, and while somewhat duplicative of slack, it works pretty well.
Posted Friday, June 2nd at 7:44 am
“How to get to a 10 on Avvo? Ask @[username-omitted] who is a 10 or ask @[username-omitted]. Or look at their Avvo pages and see what they have done.”
Posted on Monday, June 5th at 12:24 pm
“@[username-omitted] Here’s a good Avvo guide: [LINK] Specifically to get to 10, here’s what has to happen: profile has to be completely complete (takes some creativity if you don’t have speaking engagements / “published” works), you need at least 3 (ideally 5) peer reviews, and there’s a .5 reserved for installing the avvo badge on your website. Client testimonials don’t count towards your rating, but they do help attract other potential clients.”
Posted Monday June 19th at 2:38 pm
“Is anyone using Pathagoras for document assembly? I did the three month trial run and ended up purchasing a license. It’s excellent! If anyone else is using it, let me know. I’d be happy to share/trade clause libraries (aka drop down lists) and docs I’ve automated. If you haven’t tried it out, it’s a great add-in for Microsoft Word. You can do a 90-day free trial run if you’re interested. Here is the link: [LINK] Highly recommend it.
What Slack’s Interface Looks Like
You can access Slack from your browser or from the dedicated software for Macs or PCs. There are also well-designed mobile apps for using Slack on the go.
Below is a screenshot of Ernie Svenson’s view of the “general” channel as seen on his Mac laptop
Slack is powerful in terms of features, but it’s main value is the content you can share with other attorneys and technology consultants who have been carefully vetted.
If you want to join the Slack Group, sign up for the LawFirm Co-Pilot membership program.