Changing The Way Law Is Practiced One Task At A Time
The Importance of Process and Efficiency in Revolutionizing Legal Services

Leveraging a Lawyers Greatest Asset, Their Mouth

I have said repeatedly and often on this blog that I know that I am doing well when I am dictating a lot. It is no mystery why this is and must always be so. And, I am not talking about these blog posts. Sure, my big fast moving mouth is able to generate content at lightning speed since I am not the one that has to type these up.

What you need to understand is that I do a lot of dictation to my staff, to my virtual workers, to my clients, and even to my adversaries. I probably type twenty words a minute. Unfortunately this sad fact is made sadder by the fact that my accuracy is about 60%. My Dad would not let me take typing in high school or college, noting that typing was for secretaries. Now, here I stand in the emerging digital world, high-tech attorney, on the forefront of high-tech practice, without the ability to type. The cruel irony of it all.

But, boy can I talk. I don't know how many words per minute I can get in, but I would have to say that it must be at least 200. Perhaps it is 300 or 400. I don't know. But if I can talk four times faster than I can type, simple math tells me that I can get four times as much done talking information than I can typing it.

Let me give you an example of how this is working. Whenever I am on the phone with a client, or working on a project, I keep my legal extranet browser window open. As I am talking to my client on the phone, I am literally creating tasks in real time, or capturing notes, or starting discussion lists. With my typing limitations, I usually end up with a good rough outline of where we are going and what we need to do next. After I am done with this process, I pick up my digital dictation equipment and dictate all of the to-do items, their order, who they are assigned to and file uploads. I flush out message discussions, instruct people to be added to the extranet and craft the extranet into a perfect reflection of case strategy. But, I dictate all of this information which is then input into the extranet by our soon to be hired extranet manager. That person, also on a priority basis, keeps adding information and to-do items to the extranet at a pace that I could never achieve myself. The case manager is then able to reorganize and assign those tasks to appropriate people, or let those people claim tasks as appropriate. The case manager keeps the project and the various aspects of the project moving towards conclusion even when I am out of the office for three days at a shot taking depositions. The case manager can see what needs to happen and insures that it does happen even while I am not looking.

There is no question that we are practicing laws in ways that few lawyers have ever considered. There is also no question that it is working. We are able to do more in less time. We are able to think strategically because we have all of the information available to us that we need to make smart decisions. We determine how to accomplish the clients goals (whether contract negotiation, litigation or strategic planning) right out of the gate and we document that strategy in a variety of ways. The bricks of the path leading to the end zone are the tasks that are created and assigned. And, the client gets to see it all just by logging in. Could you imagine that?



What type of dictation software and equipment do you use? Why?

Greatest American Lawyer It is expensive but it rocks.

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