Practice automation is not a household word yet, but it soon will be. So what is it, exactly? Practice automation refers to software that streamlines legal services which do not require a human lawyer. From incorporating a company to scanning a document during litigation, software can tackle many legal tasks much more effectively than human beings. These tasks have traditionally been handled by legal professionals, but that’s about to be a vestige of history. For in the near future, basic legal services will be performed by smart, efficient software.
To really understand how important practice automation is, you need to understand what risk means in the context of building a company. When you build a company, you need to:
> Incorporate that company in a particular state
> Comply with that state’s reporting and regulatory requirements
> Ensure that your company has an official point of contact, also known as a registered agent
At each of these steps, there are a lot of ways to make a mistake. A legal professional hired to oversee these steps might fail to provide the right company name or fail to follow through with assigning a registered agent. These failures not only translate into significant fines, they also can have a negative impact on pending litigation. And this is just the risk associated with forming and maintaining one company.
When the volume of filings increases, so too does the risk. To effectively manage this risk at scale, powerful software is needed. That software needs to be well-designed, efficient, and capable of being expanded to address pressing new challenges. In other words, practice automation software must evolve continuously so that an entire array of risks can be mitigated or eliminated.
Legalinc believes in three fundamental software design principles. The first relates to scalability: Always build software so it can support all of your services reliably and without preventable error. The second principle relates to delighting your clients: The best software is designed to become part of the natural workflow of your customers. The third and final principle relates to dynamic evolution: The most useful software is designed so that it can be expanded to address new problems in the future. Let’s dive into each of these design principles.
Our technology partners, enterprise clients and professional services customers all rely on Legalinc to provide scalable software to handle a high volume of transactions. All communication with stage agencies must come through immediately, every document must be processed without material error, and each byte of mission-critical data needs to be directed to its proper home. Legalinc achieves these ambitious goals by:
> Using best-of-breed software languages and methodologies
> Pressure testing new features with mock data prior to release
> Crafting redundant communication protocols ensuring that compliance information always reaches the right parties
Even the best technology needs to be usable and intuitive. This is precisely why Legalinc builds software solutions that integrate seamlessly into the workflow of our clientele. Using user-experience lessons gained from legal services and software development, Legalinc has crafted a software suite that is easy to use. Incorporating a thousand companies is just as intuitive as submitting a Google search, which means our clients can reclaim the time ordinarily spent on managing basic legal services. By liberating time for our clients, Legalinc becomes a key partner in their efforts to efficiently allocate internal resources.
Scalability and usability are essential. But what really makes software truly shine is its ability to evolve. Legalinc understands this insight, and in fact was built on the principle that the best software operates like a living, breathing organism. Step back and consider the following metaphor. As threats in the environment emerge, the most effective organisms undergo significant change so they are better able to cope with and overcome those threats.
The Legalinc platform is continuously undergoing change to make it better adapted to a dynamic, ever-evolving legal environment. After all, legal services software must contend with a rich, varied ecosystem in which 50 different jurisdictions impose complex, byzantine rules. Only by building evolutionary software can a company achieve the kind of effective, error-free delivery to which Legalinc is committed.
In the very near future, there will be a new division of labor in the legal world. Intelligent, well-designed software, humming in the background, will automate tasks once in the exclusive purview of legal professionals. Liberated from having to perform these basic services in a manual, labor-intensive fashion, our practice automation clientele will reallocate their attention and resources to pressing, mission critical activities.
How exactly will this work? Well, practice automation clients will be able to view a range of health metrics that show how their managed entities are doing. All compliance metrics will be easy to access and share, making it easy to keep a finger on the pulse of compliance for even large accounts with hundreds of thousands of managed entities. In this future, weak spots in compliance will be as easy to identify as a small storm in an otherwise calm and orderly weather system. What’s more, fixes for compliance challenges will themselves be automated in a way that respects our clients’ various goals and unique pain points.
Where once it was necessary to hand-crank activities like business formations, now each basic legal service is part of a large stream of similar services. Each droplet in the stream is important, but only those who appreciate the power and momentum of the stream will find effective ways of managing it. That is essentially who Legalinc is, a company committed to managing legal services at scale with a single high-level objective — to prevent compliance problems from ever occurring.