NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of ReFocus AI.
Legal matters can get expensive FAST. Legal document automation may be the future, but it can be VERY difficult to implement (as you shall soon see).
In this article, we lay out the mistakes and successes we had bringing this product to market. It’s been an absolutely worthwhile journey because we have been able to help small businesses get the help they need for a fraction of the price while providing their trusted advisors with a steady embedded revenue stream. This is the SNAP Legal journey.
The Customer/Attorney Problem
We didn’t start our automation planning to scale it to what SNAP Legal is today. It actually started much smaller than that.
In the beginning, I strived to create a customer-oriented firm. However, I ran into a major problem.
Attorneys are expensive.
Their time is very well spent using their experience to draft complex legal documents. However, they also needed to spend a lot of their time trying to make customers happy. Without that, we wouldn’t be the customer-oriented firm that we were striving to be.
Something needed to change.
That started our road to automation.
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First Steps Into Automation
We started by hiring our first marketing professional, Joseph Yarrington.
He took an in-depth look and mapped out our customer’s journey. He also looked at the process we set up for our attorneys to do their work.
It turned out that our customers wanted to be kept in the loop. However, the attorneys didn’t want to waste large portions of their time calling and emailing clients all day long.
So Joseph & I got to work.
We automated all the interactions between me, the client, and the attorney that happened regularly.
We also added forms that attorneys could fill out quickly that auto-generated emails that would keep the client updated every week.
With just those few changes, we cut down labor costs by 18.75% across all of our attorneys.
Not only that, but our customer satisfaction increased dramatically. They knew what was going on at all times, and didn’t have to bug attorneys multiple times a week.
It was a success on both of our ends.
With that, we took things a few steps further.
The next biggest thing that ate up our attorney’s time was drafting documents. Legal documents can be quite complex, and there are a lot of different factors that play into what types of clauses, information, and boilerplate text go into each document.
However, since we learned we can create complicated workflows that can adapt to a wide variety of situations, we took a crack at solving this problem too.
We started with NDAs, which are significantly less complicated than some legal documents. We built out a form that customers could fill out, where the questions would change based on what they entered in the previous steps.
Once we built the form, we then completely automated all the billing & messaging. Then, it would compile all the client’s answers and determine which clauses, phrases, and boilerplates were needed for their NDA, and generate it.
It required a LOT of Zapier-ing programs together.
We then tested it. We used it for a few of our clients internally & found that the quality was up to par with an attorney’s work. With the product validated, we launched.
We launched the new service under the brand name SNAP Legal, and quickly expanded our offering to include copyrights and cease & desist letters.
We had some people right-of-the-bat interested in our “DIY Legal” services. However, we quickly ran into some problems.
For some of our clients, the cookies that were supposed to keep track of which client is at which step of the process didn’t work properly. So we had a lot of documents that were fractured and we didn’t know who they belonged to.
On top of that, our billing system kept breaking. So when people paid their invoices, they didn’t get what they paid for.
This obviously led to clients not trusting in our product. That was rightly so; it was not dependable.
So we had to scrap everything we had built so far and rebuild it on a different platform. We completely abandoned the 5 programs that we had “duct-taped” together with Zapier and went with a simpler CRM called Lawmatics.
So, after 2 long months of rebuilding, we relaunched the system. Without the glitches, the new software was a hit!
We quickly expanded our offering from 3 products to 12, which now include patents, trademarks, copyrights, licensing agreements, NDAs, cease & desist letters, independent contractor agreements, employee IP agreements, LLC formation, social media takedowns, website takedowns, and business wills.
After SNAP Legal became successful with our clients, we wondered if we could provide this value to other law firms.
With that, we took things a few steps further.
Shaking Up The Legal World
Once we saw SNAP Legal’s success, we realized we could not only automate OUR legal work but the legal work of OTHER FIRMS as well.
Everything started with just a form. If we could embed that form onto another firm’s website, our system could follow up, bill, and generate all the client’s legal work in our back-end.
So we rewrote our forms to capture everything needed from step 1 and made it as easy as possible for other firms to integrate it into their website.
Now, all it takes is ONE simple HTML embed onto one of your pages, and you can offer clients any of our 12 products. It only takes them a few minutes to set up.
We realized that most firms wouldn’t want to take on any risk when first setting up our White-Label SNAP Legal. So we made it not only as easy as possible but as risk-free as possible.
We have ZERO setup fees, nor any monthly or annual subscription fees. In fact, we won’t charge the firm ANYTHING. The only revenue we collect is a percentage of the revenue the firm generates. The firm will never owe us any money.
Expanding Into The Branding & Marketing World
We also noticed that a LOT of our customers are small businesses that work with design, branding, and marketing firms.
A lot of these firms offer logos, copy, slogans, and designs that could really use the benefits of trademark protection.
So we have expanded our reach to marketing agencies as well! Marketing Agencies can offer a trademark as a solo project, or as an add-on to their current packages.
Why it Matters to You
Many of our customers were initially interested in SNAP Legal because they wanted to add an additional low-touch revenue stream to their business. As insurance professionals, you know the value of strong legal documentation. If you would like to test out SNAP Legal with your audience, you can get started here or see it in action.
Future Automation Projects
We are always looking for opportunities to better our systems with automation.
One of our future projects includes automating how we create our content (having attorneys write blog articles isn’t particularly efficient or cost-effective). Feel free to reach out to me if you have an automation idea with the contact information below!
Special thank you to the author of the article, Devin Miller, the founder of the Patent & Trademark Law Firm Miller IP Law and Host of the Inventive Journey Podcast. As a multi-time founder, he is passionate about technology and contributing to the startup journeys of others. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org, (801) 829-8446, or through LinkedIn.