Lexicata’s Disruptive Technology
A few months ago, I helped host a “Disrupting the Legal Industry” meetup in San Francisco where tech folks and lawyers discussed methods to make the legal industry more efficient and effective. One of the key takeaways was that lawyers are worried that technology is trying to eliminate the need for their services. However, based on our discussion, that is not the case. Lawyers are simply trying to find tools to make us more effective and better at our jobs. Some of the things that get in the way of our productivity are daily tasks and business management that law school does not necessarily teach us. Simply managing client intake forms and engagement letters can take away hours that we could devote to our clients’ matters. The point of the “disruption” is not to eliminate lawyers, it’s to make us better.
That’s exactly what Lexicata is doing. Lexicata offers a way to streamline leads to clients with a system that allows you to keep in touch, track, and provide easy-to-use administrative tasks that saves hours of paperwork. When I owned my own firm, I was working 16-hour days for about 18 months trying to get everything done from managing my caseload to managing my finances and the business. Looking back on it, having the technology of today would have cut down my workload significantly and made me a more productive lawyer. Specifically, having Lexicata would have made my life easier from the get-go.
What is Lexicata and who are the masterminds behind it?
Lexicata is a customer relationship management software (CRM) founded by Michael Chasin and Aaron George. Michael and Aaron met in law school at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. Aaron has a background in iOS App development and design while Michael has a background in business and finance. They previously founded LawKick.com, a marketplace for finding legal services. Through lawkick.com, they noticed that lawyers were not doing a good job of converting leads into clients. After more research they realized that it was because they did everything manually and had no software to assist them with client intake (I was guilty of doing the same).They built Lexicata at the request of the LawKick lawyers. (Kudos on the design to the Lexicata team).
How does it work?
So how does Lexicata turn your leads into clients? It’s pretty simple. It streamlines the process of keeping track of leads by keeping in touch with the leads, tracking the source of the lead, and takes care of all the administrative tasks before the attorney-client relationship is formed. Michael took me through the demo of Lexicata and I got the inside scoop on what’s coming up.
What are the key features?
The key features of Lexicata are:
- Easy Engagement Letters: You can automate all the pre-engagement tasks that can take hours of your time, such as sending engagement letters (either the Lexicata template or import your own) with a customized e-mail, and setting reminders and automating corresponding emails for you and your client to sign the engagement letter.
- Client Intake: The ability to import all of your clients’ or leads’ information, tracking the source, setting tasks and reminders for each contact, and adding notes to each client.
- Dashboard: This may be my favorite feature. You can see everything from your pipeline revenue, the top grossing types of cases, upcoming deadlines, conversion rates and your latest activity all in one place.
- Task management: You can create or use pre-made checklists for each client, whether it’s to follow up, create or send an intake form, or simply call them. It’s all in one place. If you like to cross things out manually (some of us still do), you can even download your checklists and tasks as a PDF and print them out for your marking.
- Form builder: No more taking notes and searching through them during your intake process. Automate it by using templates or creating your own intake forms and questionnaires as shown below, and set up reminders and automated emails to ensure completion.
- Can be used from any device! Lexicata can be accessed and used from computers, tablets, and cell phones making contact with leads accessible at any time.
- Security! Security is a huge concern these days, so Lexicata uses industry-standard security to ensure everyone’s data is protected. 128-bit encryption, Wildcard SSL, as well as killing links to forms and signed documents after they are submitted. Lexicata does not allow users to store documents on its cloud outside of ones sent to/returned by clients through our platform (e.g. signed engagement letters and completed intake forms). However, the cloud servers they use are some of the safest in the world and far safer than a law firm hosting their own servers in-office. Also, all the information that is stored is not accessible to the Lexicata team via their admin platform. They can see that a lawyer sent a form, but they cannot see who it was sent to or any of the contents of the form including questions and answers.
Who are the target users?
Lexicata’s target users are law firms of 1-40 people in any practice area. Michael and Aaron are only using social media and word of mouth to promote their product and already have 600 law firms waiting to get started with the Beta version. They will slowly allow firms to sign up through the wait list, so sign up now! Once they onboard everyone, they will launch to the public in late summer.
What are the biggest challenges they are facing?
Michael pointed out that the biggest challenge is helping lawyers to understand that there is a solution for their need. “We are essentially creating a new space in the legal market and education is always the hardest part. Once lawyers know we exist, they are usually sold before they even see the product.”
How much does it cost?
Lexicata currently charges $499/year for a solo office. The price increases depending on the number of users. To put it in perspective, if you spend on average 1 hour per day (and that’s being conservative) managing your leads, sending out emails, tracking engagement letters, setting up reminders for every client, keeping client notes, and scanning and faxing any of these documents manually, you are essentially losing 1 hour of your billable time. Multiply that by 5 days per week, 52 weeks per year, that can add up to thousands of dollars in revenue lost just managing your leads and clients, and potentially losing many of them because you missed deadlines or forgot to follow up. $499 is cheap in comparison.
Is anyone else doing this?
Currently, Lexicata is unique and the only company that handles all your pre-engagement needs. There are alternative solutions out there that just do forms, or just do signatures, or are just a CRM…but Lexicata is the only comprehensive platform that handles the entire intake process for law firms.
The best part is, your relationship with your client doesn’t end with Lexicata. They currently integrate with Clio, and all the data and documents are easily transferrable to Clio. They are also launching Lexicata 2.0 to integrate with your e-mail providers., your email marketing services and are also importing social data into the platform to give you more information on leads you track in our system.
Like any startup, they’re working on making their product better and would appreciate everyone’s feedback. I am blown away by the product, so I have no suggestions (this rarely happens).