image credit.

Why do we do it?

If we were furniture makers we wouldn’t send half-finished furniture to a client for feedback and further instructions. We would want the furniture to stay in the one place during its manufacture.

Yet as legal practitioners we send half-finished documents back and forth by email.

We send documents by email because we are focused on delivery and not on the most important part of the process – communication.

It is exciting to finish an important update to a legal document. We want to show it off to the client. Our impulse, maybe from years of habit, is to attach and send.

By focusing on delivery and not on communication we end up with the following dilemmas:

Who has the latest version? Why were those changes made? Who made those changes? When were they made?

If you need to go back to an earlier version, you’re in trouble. You may end up having to use sophisticated comparison software to unravel differences in the numerous copies that have been created.

Meanwhile, the document has been travelling from one person to another and you have to worry about its security every step of the way. When it comes back to you the next time, is it going to set off a virus attack and bring down your whole firm?

The above scenarios have been known issues for some time and a number of disparate software products are available to help.


A better way

 

Above image: Law firm Her Lawyer using LawConnect client access on firm’s website

Users of LEAP have the advantage of turning to a single service that addresses all of the issues and more. The name of the service is LawConnect. It is embedded in LEAP so you won’t have to worry about putting together piecemeal solutions.

For example, you won’t need to move your document to another service to take advantage of sharing and collaborating features. LawConnect lets you keep everything where you expect to find it in the first place – inside your LEAP matter.

Above image: LawConnect easy to view and access files from any device

According to Richard Hugo-Hamman, the Executive Chairman of LEAP Software Developments, no LEAP software enhancement has enjoyed such a rapid and enthusiastic uptake as LawConnect.


This is what’s making the difference:

• The ability to easily share documents from within LEAP and to revoke access at any time and the ease with which clients create a LawConnect account;

• The fact that all shared documents are organised in a structure that clients can instantly understand;

• Real-time collaboration with Comment and Reply capabilities anchored to specific text that can be used with internal staff, clients, barristers, the other-side’s lawyers and any party, whether or not they are LEAP users, eliminating the mess involved in having multiple parties comment on a draft document;

• Access and version tracking;

• Protection against document viruses, ransomware and misdirected emails and private unsophisticated clients not being able to find emails that you know you sent;

• Mobility: the ability to do all of the above on iOS and Android mobile devices by you and your clients

Above image: comments and replies added instantly to documents

Your clients can access the LawConnect login from your website, transforming your website from what may have been an online brochure into a useful information hub. Clients will keep coming back to your website as the entry point for the repository of their most important personal and business documents.

LawConnect helps you change your focus from delivery to communication. Clients will perceive your firm as technologically up-to-date, operationally efficient and easy to work with. To find out more, contact LEAP at www.leap.com.au


© 2017 Legal Practice Intelligence

[This article has also been published under the title: We wouldn’t build anything else the way we build documents – so why do we do it?]