Consultations, Case Management, and Clever Ways to Combine Them

Today’s blog is courtesy of our “On the Road” Guru, Kathleen Judd. Software and Technology cleverly applied can provide a truly productive and transparent solution to common needs. For example, Consultations provide an opportunity for an attorney to meet face to face with their clients and gain a clear understanding of their situation and needs. Documenting this communication in a way that provides clarity to the client and information for the decision making process can be accomplished using different methods.  The classic legal or steno pad may be a favorite of many attorneys, but what other options should you consider? I have found that some of the most creative solutions come directly from attorneys in the field who find unique ways to apply technology in their practices.  I often learn so much from our innovative and clever clients!  Some of my most enjoyable days on the road are when I’ve visited a law firm that is using their case management system to the max. One example I’d like to share is the office arrangement thoughtfully designed by a managing partner who typically meets face-to-face with his clients.   I was interested to see that this attorney used his laptop positioned on his desk so that he faced his client during the initial consultation.  Behind the attorney, facing the client, was a large duplicate screen displaying the same image as on the attorney’s laptop screen.  When I asked about his set-up, he explained his consultation procedure.   When the prospective client arrives, the receptionist creates a Consultation process and escorts him/her to the attorney’s office.  After a brief chat, the attorney opens his case management system to view the prospective client’s electronic file and proceeds directly to the Case Overview tab.  On this page, with the client observing all that is written, the attorney documents every detail of the consultation.  Included in the documentation is the fee quote.   At the conclusion of the consultation, the potential client receives a printed copy of the entire Case Overview.  This arrangement and procedure works great for this attorney and eliminates several potential consultation hazards. If you have an interesting story of your own on successful case management practices, I invite you to add a comment and enlighten us!