Lawcus: A Legal Startup Review

LAWCUS

Every time I go on Lawcus.com, they have a new feature, and there’s a lot more to come (I’m not allowed to talk about the details yet). Lawcus is an LPM (law practice management) and a CRM (client relationship management) tool (See Tech Dictionary for Lawyers for the definitions). There are companies that do just one, but only a few do both. I am not a fan of using multiple tools to try and get one job done, so this would be an ideal tool for me if I had my own practice.

Founders

Harry Singh and Bree Kaur are the founders of Lawcus. Harry has 5 years of experience in the legal industry working for Thomson Reuters, Latham & Watkins, Wachtell Lipton Lorez & Cats, Cooley LLP, and more. He also has a Masters in Computer Science from University of Southern California. His co-founder Bree Kaur also has a Masters in Computer Science from San Diego State University. She is a full stack developer with over six years of experience working with startups and large firms like HCL.

Users

Lawcus is built for solo practitioners and small law firms (1 – 30 lawyers). Currently Lawcus has 50 users using the product, and another 40+ on the waiting list. The best part is, Lawcus is FREE in Beta Mode. I would sign up now!

Features

Lawcus has standard features that most CRMs have (a dashboard, task lists, calendars, contacts, etc.), but the most important ones are as follows:

Kanban Methodologies: Kanban stems from Toyota’s “just-in-time” production system that allows you to see bottlenecks in your processes and address them early on. Harry and Bree applied this method to Lawcus so that you can see your process flow as you go, see every step of your case, and avoid any bottlenecks so that you can manage your time and practice better. To-do-lists are great, but you don’t see the bottlenecks till it’s too late. A visual tool is much more effective.

Harry and Bree believe that “as consumers are turning more and more toward low-cost, efficient, and alternative services, the legal professionals are feeling the pressure to keep up and have to cut the inefficiencies in their current processes by automating repetitive tasks. Agile methodologies will allow legal professionals to improve delivery time, product quality, and client satisfaction.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 9.44.09 AM

Deals: Lawcus starts any transaction as a possible “deal,” not a “lead.” For a “deal,” a lawyer enters details such as the name of the deal, which stage of the deal they’re in (i.e. initial meeting, signing of a contract), the status of it, a description, which lawyer is assigned to it, the practice area under which it falls, the source of the deal, the contact, any referrals, and an expected value of the deal.

Personally, I was a bit thrown off by the term “deal” instead of “lead,” so, I asked Harry to explain why they chose to start with a “deal” instead of a “lead.” Harry explained the difference to me:

Lead: lead is a contact information of a person or business, which in future can provide some business. This can be some person you met in an event, but there is no indication that this person is looking to provide you a case in near future.

Deal: A deal is a qualified lead. This means the lead has met certain criteria and intends to provide you a legal case. Lawcus is working to add tags on contacts that will allow users to tag contacts as leads. They choose to have both leads and deals in the CRM because attorneys have so many clients who are returning with more matter opportunities. With deals, you can track these opportunities that can’t be tracked with leads because you would already have them converted to a client from lead.

Tutorials: Lawcus has short tutorials on how to use its features. Most lawyers hate one-on-one training. It takes time, and we have more important things to do. In about 15 minutes, you can understand the key features of the entire product. The best part is, if you ever forget, you can always go back and rewatch it. No need to call a tech help desk.  The tutorials will be available on the launch date, sometime in November, until then it’s only available to Beta users.

Expenses: You can keep track of your expenses for your matters and your practice on Lawcus as well. Simply click on new, enter the expenses related to any matter or management of your practice, like vendors, and keep them all in one place.

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 8.50.30 PM

Progress: Next to your dashboard is tab for “progress” where you can see what you’ve done the past month. As you can see, I tested out Lawcus, and created a few stages. If you’re using Lawcus on a regular basis, your progress chart will be much more robust and detailed.

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 8.58.09 PM

Cycle Time: This is a new feature that allows attorneys plan a matter budget and identify bottlenecks in their processes.

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 8.54.31 AMSecurity: Lawcus is built on Amazon’s cloud platform to ensure users have secure access to their data. All data is sent via highly secure 256 bit SSL connections. All the data is automatically backed up in multiple locations.

Price: While Beta users can use Lawcus for free, the “best” membership is an annual one, which only costs $15 per month.

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 8.59.03 PM

Upcoming Features:

  1. Google Calendar Integration
  2. Zapier Integration
  3. Tags on Contacts and Tasks
  4. Client Portal
  5. An iPhone and Android app

Now, onto my favorite part: my Rating Scale!

Rating Scale

So how did Lawcus rate on my new scale for legal startups?

UX – Ease of Use

  • 5 – So easy to use, a 5-year-old can use it
  • 4 – Good with minor glitches
  • 3 – Needs some work
  • 2 – Needs a lot of work
  • 1 – I can’t use it

Like any new tool, it takes some getting used to. However, once you get going, it’s pretty straight forward.

UI – Appearance

  • 5 – This looks amazing. Clean lines. Legible. Organized.
  • 4 – Looks great. Minor corrections needed
  • 3 – Needs some work, but functions well
  • 2 – Needs a makeover
  • 1 – Too messy. Makes it difficult to use and understand.

Frequency of Use by Intended Users

  • 5 – I need this every day
  • 4 – I use it most days
  • 3 – I use it as I need it
  • 2 – I’ll use it a few times this year
  • 1 – I’ll never use it

Entertainment Value

  • 5 – Love it, can’t put it down. Tons of features.
  • 4 – Keeps me interested most of the time. Has some good features.
  • 3 – Not a whole lot to explore or keep me interested.
  • 2 – I don’t hate it
  • 1 – Yup, I hate it

I think the fact that they’re constantly updating Lawcus and adding new features keeps me interested even though I’m not their target user.

Disruptive

  • 5 – So disruptive, a lawsuit or angry publication is in your future
  • 4 – You solved a problem and made someone angry
  • 3 – Solves a problem, but not groundbreaking
  • 2 – There may be something to it, but not quite sure
  • 1 – Doesn’t really stand out or solve any problems

The only reason I gave it a 3 is because this is a crowded space. However, Lawcus does stand out though with their agile and Kanban methodologies and daily new features.

SCORE: 21 / 25

GRADE: B/B+

Contact Harry and Bree on Linkedin.

Follow Lawcus on Twitter @Lawcus

Site: www.lawcus.com


2 thoughts on “Lawcus: A Legal Startup Review

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s