Nearly everyone has felt the impact that technology can have, and now more than ever that is especially true. We sat down with some of America’s top attorneys to discuss how technology has affected their legal practice in their respective areas.
Carolina Curbelo, of Curbelo Law said:
“Over the past few years, I’ve become quite tech savvy, though I never utilized those tools for the practice on a regular basis. The populations I serve are usually lower income households, who used to come into the office. Now they mainly use their cell phones and so once we shut down our office,we went virtual and never looked back.
Hiring a Latin American fully bilingual team was extremely helpful to assist new clients in downloading Zoom and a scanner to download documents, which has proved to be very effective and something I never thought of before.
We’re seeing the “new normal” now, running our practice virtually and using technology like Zoom and MyCase – it’s been hugely beneficial and I’m not sure if things will ever go back 100% to the way they used to be.”
Frank Scahill, of Scahill Law Group shared:
“We were able to adapt and allow everyone to work remotely via VPN networks and have all 130 staff members continue working while they were at home.
All of our clients (who are major insurance carriers), have also been working remotely as well. We now have about 10% of our work force back in the office and we expect this formula to continue.
Working remotely has saved our employees commuting time, and made life simpler for those with families and overall is working well for us.
Moving forward (we have 30,000 square feet here), we may move to a hybrid situation allowing staff to work both from home and from the office. Thankfully we have the technology now in place to facilitate that.”
Laura Hauser, of Hauser Law shared:
“There are two ways our practices have changed as attorneys. First, we’re now forced to embrace technology today even if you don’t want to.
You have to embrace technology and I believe we’re going to be in this situation for a long time. Zoom depositions have become the norm.
I believe in embracing technology while not forsaking the paramount interest of personal relationships. You also need to be creative to find new ways to develop the relationship with your client.
The second thing is, The relationship aspect of providing client services has changed. We have to be more creative in ways to foster relationships. You see some firms blogging and that’s good but I think it misses the mark. Technology can be tough for older clients.
I think the tech is here to stay and I think the biggest transformation will be in the way law firms will adapt. Smaller firms have found out how nimble they are and larger firms have realized how to become more efficient in the way they operate.
The delivery of legal services has been forever impacted.”
Rob Morello, of Hoagland, Longo, Moran, Dunst & Doukas shared:
“The biggest opportunity for us is on the client side of things. Our firm is using a VPN based system and using tools like Zoom and Facetime, which has helped us generate new client business.
Court functions have changed substantially shifting to a virtual mode. I went from driving 30,000 miles a year and thanks to Zoom, I’m able to work remotely – simplifying life for everyone involved.
I think larger firms have realized some of the benefit of working remotely and I think there are permanent changes to the industry.”
Ari Kresch, of 1-800-LAW-FIRM said:
“Our clients are much more amenable to technology today than ever before. Specifically, we like to use texting and your communication does not get interrupted when doing so. Tech is changing things very rapidly. We intend to implement more Zoom meetings on a client level. We want to keep client relationships on a more personal level and Zoom is the perfect way to do that.
Things are not going to stay the same – thanks to technology, we can and will connect with others through tools such as Zoom.
Instead of sending mail, email or phone updates, some firms are using a mass video conferencing to share updates on certain types of cases such as mass torts.”
Traci Combs-Valerio, of the Law offices of Traci Combs-Valerio said:
“Previously, the majority of our courts in our area didn’t utilize Zoom or technology to hold hearings. We had to be at the courthouse everyday and for evidentiary hearings like trials and motions hearings we had to be in person. Now, most of our pre-trial meetings are done by Webex or Zoom and occasionally via teleconference.
This has driven up the costs for us as attorneys and I noticed some of our older clients have struggled with technology and have had to come into the office. This has increased our staff’s exposure and has increased our operating costs.
Before all this, we had a travel time we were billing for, but in the past few months we haven’t had the travel time but it has allowed me to spend even more time on each file, helping me to be more efficient and get even more work done in less time. My work hours are better”
Jennifer O’Connell, of Queener Law had this to say:
“Our office tried switching away from paper and to move to digital before the situation occurred and because of that we’ve been able to have a jump start on embracing technology.
One of the things we struggled with is not being able to have people come into the office as much as we did before and holding client meetings over Zoom and the phone. We’ve done a lot of Zoom calls and its enhanced our ability to communicate. We’re doing more virtual face to face meetings though we are missing the actual face to face. We’re getting more “facetime” with our clients albeit virtually though.
I see a lot more use of technology moving forward. More and more people have the apps on their phones and I think people will expect to use technology, especially with the rise of virtual face to face meetings.”
Ray Richards Jr., of Richards & Associates said:
“This situation in the last few months has been life changing, representing clients all over the state to working from home for the last five months. Zoom technology has taken over our practice – you either adapt or you lose.
I’ve been able to appear in three courts via Zoom in an extremely condensed period of time which has been very convenient, but I’m looking forward to being back in the courtroom and getting back to the way things were, where I could be in the courtroom advocating for my clients.’
Eldonie Mason, of Mason Law shared: “Because I’m an entertainment and fashion lawyer, my clients normally are hard to peg down for an appointment, so I realized that a long time ago and started using Zoom years ago before Zoom exploded.
In the past few months, clients have become accustomed to using tech like Zoom, though a few years ago they had to be coached through it a bit. I have always embraced technology, so when the current situation occurred, I was already prepared. “