Effortless Legal Management with Dashboard Legal

Oct 20, 2021

Patrick Carver

Hi, I’m Patrick Carver / CEO, Constellation Marketing

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Is your law firm drowning in inefficiency and missed opportunities?

Imagine a world where every task is streamlined and every process is optimized for maximum efficiency. That’s not a distant dream—it’s a tangible reality with Dashboard Legal.

By focusing on the core challenges of legal practice management, Dashboard Legal offers a suite of tools designed to simplify your daily operations, enhance client satisfaction, and significantly reduce overhead costs.

From automating mundane tasks to improving client communication and document management, the benefits are immediate and impactful.

Are you ready to elevate your law firm’s performance and profitability? Explore how Dashboard Legal can make it happen.

Let’s dive into the future of legal practice management together.

Welcome to The Optimized Law Firm Podcast, where we chat with legal pros who can help you run a more profitable and enjoyable business.

This week, we’re talking with Mat Rotenberg, who works at Dashboard Legal. He’s created a really smart product that helps lawyers run their day-to-day operations more efficiently, effectively, and profitably. As an attorney, Mat was spending an absurd amount of time sifting through emails, hunting for documents instead of doing the actual legal work: and that’s why he created this solution.

Listen in as we talk about how to improve your daily workflow, deliver a better client experience, and save money on labor costs.

What’s in This Episode?

  • Who is Mat, and what is Dashboard Legal?
  • What tools can small law firms and solo practitioners use to save time and ease the challenges of running their firms?
  • What’s the current landscape of legal technology?
  • How should attorneys go about choosing the right legal technology for their firm?

 

Episode 1

 

[00:52:22.440]
Patrick:

I think the issue is not so much all-new tech products, and incorporating them is not necessarily bad. I think it’s just that you have to pick the ones that have the most impact and not try to have something for everything. Right. And that’s a challenge we’re dealing with literally today. We were talking about it earlier that you kind of want to figure out; the way I try to think about it as well in my own work is what are the things that I’m doing on a daily basis that’s the same thing; it’s a repetitive thing. Right.

And can I find a solution that will either aid me, do some of the prep work, or do it all in that process? And I think if you think about it and kind of what’s the thing that I do every day that sucks up my time is relatively binary in terms of a decision. It’s either a yes or no kind of thing. That may be checking the deadlines of cases. Are you doing that manually, or could it better be done with a Trello board with notifications or something?

So, I think it’s just an equally kind of mindset shift. And then you do have to kind of find the right tool, though, because we’ve gone through four different project management tools, right? Until we found the one who worked in our system and worked for different people. Some people like this column structure that Trello does, and other people like it in other ways.

So I think if you’re looking to improve your technology stack, it goes a long way to look, kind of try it out for yourself and think about your workflow, what you put is the highest value in terms of the functionality, and go from there instead of relying on what somebody else uses. Because I think even if we’re friends, right, you’re going to organize your thoughts in a completely different way. It’s got to be custom.

Mat:

To match your workflow. Yeah. And I think you’re right that it does differ based on workflow, and finding a tool that helps the way you work makes the most sense. And then we’ll succeed. I liked it when you asked what you do every day. What are the tedious tasks that you’re doing every day, which was the core of Dashboard Legal? I’m dragging and dropping emails into different folders. Why am I spending my time doing that? We automate that process. Why am I spending my day searching my inbox, toggling between folders, trying to find that piece of information, and doing that every single day?

Why am I doing that? What’s the solution? Well, just how’s it in the different boards so you can find it. That’s where we started, too. And I think that’s where lawyers who are looking to embrace legal tech should be asking themselves, as well.

Are you finding yourself buried in busy work and losing your cool? You may be interested in learning about meditation; it’s been found to be beneficial for lawyers, and it is easier to get started than you might think!

Patrick:

Very cool. So kind of on this thread with productivity and work, you know, just work life, how you deal with it on a daily basis. Are there any thought leaders or just people out there who have influenced you that you would recommend other attorneys? You know, they should be interested in reading if they’re kind of looking for some of the benefits we’ve been talking about.

Mat:

Yeah, there are a few that I think are really that are really hitting the mark in terms of what we’re talking about and thinking about the future of legal practices and how lawyers can improve their processes. The first is the most preeminent legal tech scholar in the world, and his name is Richard Susskind. and he’s written a whole host of books from the 1980s talking about how email would displace paper communications. Interestingly, there’s a great story where The Legal Academy of Wales denounced him when he made that pronouncement that email would be the future of client communications.

They said that he didn’t know what he was talking about and that he was bringing the profession into disrepute. I mean, that’s a sidetrack, but he’s got a great book out there. He just wrote a book on the future of the court system happening virtually in virtual courts. So he’s been forward-thinking for 30 years. I think that’s the first stop.

There are a few others. The CEO of Clio, actually Jack Newton, came out with a book called The Client-Centered… Make sure I know what it’s called here before I get this wrong. The Client-Centered Law Firm. He speaks about the importance of the experience, which is what I referenced earlier: the experience of the client interacting with your law firm. His premise is that for most legal services, the product is the same: you’re getting the document, you’re getting the will, and you’re getting whatever it is. The experience is the difference maker. And to the extent that lawyers can improve that experience for the client, that’s where they’ll succeed in the future. So I would encourage that book as well.

And then one more. There’s an author named Michelle DeStefano who does a lot of really great writing and research on collaboration, how lawyers can kind of break the mold of being tech resistors to innovators, and how to innovate for the future lawyer. Yeah.

 

Patrick:

Speaking of tech resistors in Wales, that made me think of, you know, that it was going to denounce the profession. I know some of my dad’s friends who just can’t stomach the idea of having a website, where I think the olden times…there were just more stringent, I think, guidelines about not being able to advertise and stuff like that. But it’s just I think there’s a set of people who kind of pine for the old days and are not interested in dealing with the market as it is today.

You mentioned the attorney who helped you with your incorporation and getting that set up and kind of his process around flat fees. Are there other attorneys working attorneys and people you’ve seen that kind of influenced you to build these systems and build a solution? Are there any out there that come to mind that have a kind of very forward mentality in terms of, I guess, the operational side of their practice?

 

Mat:

Yeah. I mean, speaking with lawyers every day now, multiple lawyers every day. There are a lot of forward-thinking lawyers out there, ones who understand conceptually that innovation can help their practice. That innovation is driving the legal profession forward, not replacing lawyers. The problem is they haven’t seen enough products that actually do anything. They’re still relying on email.

What I found is there’s this kind of amorphous understanding that legal tech is the future and that it’s there to help, but there is a lack of concrete developments. So, unlike the tech space generally, where there are a ton of innovators and people coming out with things all the time, there are much fewer attorneys who are actually making the break from law to develop legal tech products.

I think it’s going to become more prominent, but it is rare at the moment. There are a few… Haley Altman developed this Doxly product. She came from a partner; she’s a partner at a law firm in Indiana. Another article about this lawyer was published on Law.com. I don’t remember her name at the moment, but we connected on LinkedIn. But she is developing wills and estates tech product where you kind of just pop in the information and it pops out the will. So, I think lawyers are thinking about it, and there are innovators in the space. However, the more important piece of it is that more and more lawyers are aware that it can be helpful. They’re just waiting for that actual product.

 

Patrick:

Make sense. Cool. So I’ve got kind of last question for you, and it’s really kind of going on this; I think what I’m taking away a lot is that the right tools, the right solution can have a big impact and improve these, like tangible and non-tangible benefits or aspects of our life. I guess with that in mind, is there anything we didn’t talk about that you feel your product addresses or just that you think is important to bring up for solo, small firms who are kind of in that challenging position that we laid out?

 

Mat:

Yeah. I mean, I think that we’ve covered most of it. But what I’d say is that lawyers, solo practitioners, and small law firms need to think about innovation in their firm and how to improve the processes to deliver to the client. At the same time, it doesn’t need to be revolutionary. It doesn’t need to be this crazy, transformative program or process that changes the way you practice law. It’s really the incremental process improvement that will make a difference to your clients. And ultimately to your law firm.

And if you can focus on those processes, you will be able to compete in the future. So, if it’s automating those day-to-day tedious tasks, it’s finding a better way to stay organized and collaborate with clients, which is what Dashboard Legal does. It’s harnessing new tools to ease the flow of both information and friction between you and your client. DocuSign, auto bill pay, maybe even a shared drive where you share documents. Or I can look at the same document edit in real-time. There’s a whole host of ways that you can make these subtle, incremental improvements to really enable your practice to compete in the future.

 

Patrick:

Very cool. Well, I really appreciate your time and I thought this is a really fascinating conversation, made me think differently about a couple of things in services and products we might do in the future as well for attorneys. Yeah, I want to get you on record, though. Will you do the podcast intro? Since you’re a music man?

 

Mat:

Of course, I will definitely compose and produce the intro for Constellation Marketing podcast.

 

Patrick:

Well, so you can probably the only we’ll see, but the only guest I know of that’s going to come in that you can find them on Spotify, but you can also find them at Dashboardlegal.com.

And where are you at? I know you’re looking to get people into the what’s the best way to connect and just make sure they’re staying up on what you guys have going on and get into that pipeline so that they can take advantage of Dashboard Legal solution right now and kind of what it’s going to become over the years, for sure.

 

Mat:

Yeah, I can be reached at Mat with one T at dashboardlegal.com. And I love hearing from lawyers. I love talking to lawyers about their tech stack, about how they handle the client delivery experience, and for innovative lawyers who are out there who want to take advantage of some of the really lightweight benefits the Dashboard Legal can provide. I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to reach out. We’re taking lawyers to participate in the beta, we have a really solid foundational program up and running.

You can connect your email, you can use the board. You can chat with colleagues and store documents there, so the product is up and running and we’re looking for people to come and try it out with us. So if you’re that forward thinking lawyer, reach out. Very cool.

 

Patrick:

I appreciate it. And thanks so much for coming on.

 

Mat:

Awesome. Great chat with you as always. Patrick, let’s talk soon. Alright.

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