In order for a law firm to begin the process of deciding what type of model for online delivery it needs and how to integrate online legal services, it must first take a step back and look at its existing practice areas and the services it currently provides to clients in a traditional manner. The firm should start with one practice area at a time and analyze the typical intake and management procedure for the case through to the termination of the relationship with a client. Noting which individuals at the firm are responsible at each step and stage in a case is also important as well as what technology, if any, is used at each stage.
The following list of questions may be a useful starting point:
- What are the processes and procedures for the creation of new cases?
- What is the client intake process and how is data collected from the client regarding the matter?
- Who in the firm works with the client first and how is the matter processed through to the work with associates and partners in the firm?
- What technology platforms or systems are used with the matter? For example, does the firm rely on a document automation and assembly technology system or use a document management system to pull similar legal documents out for repurposing by the firm?
- What is the process for meeting with the client? Is this done in the office, by phone, video conferencing, or through a combination of communication methods? With matters such as complex litigation, this task may take more time and be more complicated.
After the firm has answered these questions and gone through this analysis, it will have a better handle on what type of technology, support staff, training, and additional administrative procedures will be needed to add online legal services to the firm’s existing operations.
[This is an excerpt from Chapter One of Online Legal Services for the Client-Centric Law Firm (http://www.managingpartner.com/bookshop/online-legal-services-client-centric-law-firm), by Stephanie Kimbro, Published by Managing Partner, Ark Group, 2013