What is Workflow Automation in Legal? A High School Internship

This fall I have been fortunate to mentor an internship with Blake and Joaquin, two juniors at Design Tech High School, “DTech,” in San Mateo, California. The subject of this internship was Workflow Automation in Legal. Blake and Joaquin did the research, wrote the copy, and created the graphics. They did an outstanding job.

Take a look. Do you now know what Workflow Automation in Legal is?

What is Workflow Automation?

Workflow Automation is the use of process improvement and software to increase productivity and efficiency.

What is Workflow Automation in Legal?

Workflow automation in legal is the use of software to automate legal processes,

“Workflow Automation in legal is the automation and optimization of the legal team’s workflows to maximize efficiency, eliminate errors, and provide more value to the law firm or legal department.”

Jake Link, bryter

What are Examples of Workflow Automation in Legal?

  • Client Billing
  • Scheduling Appointments
  • Client Intake
  • NDA Generators
  • Employment Contract Generators

What Companies Provide Solutions for Workflow Automation in Legal?

  • ActionStep – cloud-based, legal practice management and billing and accounting software
  • Centerbase – cloud-based, legal accounting, billing, and practice management software
  • Clio – cloud-based, legal practice management and billing software
  • Rocket Matter – cloud-based, legal practice management and billing software
  • Zapier – used to connect different applications and integrate their workflow into a single application
  • BRYTER – development platform for legal, procurement, and compliance to automate workflows, build applications, and digitize contracting
  • Matter Suite – cloud-based legal practice management software
  • Mobile Helix – encrypted mobile app for document workflows for lawyers

Why is it Important for Legal Teams to Engage in Workflow Automation? 

Legal teams should engage in workflow automation because of the major impact it can bring to a firm, especially when it frees up the lawyers to bill more hours with clients. In addition, with workflow automation, lawyers and other employees can engage in higher level work which leads to greater job satisfaction and less stress.

Is Workflow Automation a Good or Bad Thing? 

It’s definitely a good thing as it enhances the efficiency of a firm to allow for increased profits.

Blake and Joaquin made a one minute video about the internship.

Authors: Blake and Joaquin

If you like this post, please let us know at contact at mobilehelix.com.

-Maureen


Resources

“Legal Workflow Automation Explained: Examples, Benefits, and Solutions”. Bryter. Jake Link. April 13, 2022. https://bryter.com/blog/legal-workflow-automation-transforms-legal-departments/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic   

  1. “Workflow Automation in legal is the automation and optimization of the legal team’s workflows to maximize efficiency, eliminate errors, and provide more value to the law firm or legal department.”
  2. Its benefits are increasing time and productivity for the workers that normally have to deal with manual paperwork/data processes. Examples of workflow automation tools are legal intake tools, automatic NDA generators, and data breach reporting, and client billing. 

“Everything You Need to Know About Legal Workflow Automation and Why You Should Have It”. Centerbase. Chelsea Huss. Apr 5, 2022. https://centerbase.com/blog/everything-you-need-to-know-about-legal-workflow-automation-and-why-you-should-have-it/   

  1. Basic overview of workflow automation along with a list of legal practice management software that includes workflow.
  2. “Workflow itself is defined as the sequence of industrial, administrative, or other processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.”

“Why Legal Workflow Automation is Important to Law Firm Success”. Mattersuite. July 27, 2021 https://www. mattersuite.com/blog/why-workflow-automation-important-to-law-firm-success

  1. Goes more into the ROI and the positive worth it brings to a firm, especially down the line in use of automation. Includes useful graphics that may be used for inspiration for future graphics or to source a quote from Mattersuite.
  2. “Legal automation is designed to streamline the law practice operations smoothly. Automating document management to gaining more clients, everything can be achieved with legal automation.”

What IS the State of Diversity in Law Firms?

February is Black History Month. It’s a good time to look at Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in our own spheres, to take stock of how we are doing today. The common knowledge is that diversity is moving slowly at most law firms. But is there any data, particularly any granular data, over time?

Enter the NALP “2021 Diversity in U.S. Law Firms” report by the National Association for Law Placement, Inc. (NALP). I highly recommend this report for its detailed, annual data on diversity in U.S. law firms. The report is a free PDF download.

Source: NALP 2021 Report on Diversity in U.S. Law Firms

As you can see from the graph above, the growth in Black Partners has been modest. The percentage of Black Partners is 2021 is 2.22%, up from 1.7% in 2009. The NALP Diversity report shows data both for “People of Color” as well as for Black, Asian, and Latinx people. The granular view is essential as the growth of Black partners lags the growth of “People of Color.” The reality of these figures speaks for itself.

Source: NALP 2021 Report on Diversity in U.S. Law Firms

While the overall growth in diversity of Associates is improving, the growth for Black Associates is slow. From 4.66% in 2009 to 5.22% in 2021, with an apparent dip from 2011 to 2016, the percentage of Black Associates is on the slow rise again.

Below is the table from the NALP table with the detail on demographics in U.S. law firms.

Source: NALP 2021 Report on Diversity in U.S. Law Firms

I have barely scratched the surface of the rich data which the NALP report provides on diversity in U.S. law firms, including women, LGBTQ lawyers, and veterans by state and by size of law firm. My objective was to crystalize for myself what the current state of diversity for Black lawyers in U.S. law firms is today and the trend lines.

You can find the report here: National Association for Law Placement “2021 Report on Diversity in U.S. Law Firms.”

-Maureen

Good Read: “Virtual law firm FisherBroyles gets real”

By Jenna Greene in Reuters

Link to article

FisherBroyles is a 283 attorneys law firm whose attorneys and staff are “distributed” or remote, a model which is increasingly attractive to attorneys. In their model, attorneys take home 80% of what they bill. In traditional law firms, the take home is often closer to 33%. In 2021, FisherBroyles top-paid attorney took home $6,742,540.

Managing partner, Michael Pierson, says that their hourly rates are often two-thirds what a traditional law firm would charge as there is no real estate cost.

It’s definitely working for the firm. In 2021, FisherBroyers revenue was up 30% to $136 versus $105 million in 2020.

Read more at the link, including about two of FisherBroyles major engagements in 2021.

-Maureen