Apple is profiling a southwest regional law firm, Fennemore Craig, in an effort to demonstrate how the iPad can change the way a client-based business runs. Fennemore Craig is thrilled with the device, indicating that it has “revolutionized the way [they] communicate with [their] clients and resolve cases.”
It may start with a few less paper copies of documents that will later need to find their way to storage, but using the iPad in this manner makes the device every bit as useful as a briefcase-ready personal assistant.
When asked to describe their use, the firm states:
Gone are volumes of paper and 24-hour wait times for a client to get a return call. Now, legal materials live on a fleet of iPads that Fennemore Craig pre-loads and loans to clients and adversaries. Communication with lawyers occurs instantly through built-in FaceTime or Skype apps.
Two lawyers from the firm, Marc Lamber and James Goodnow, provide iPads to their clients in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases. They feel this allows for easier collaboration including the sharing of photographs, statements and video but also for the sharing of documents and provision of signatures as required. This up-to-the-minute style of communication makes cases move faster and more efficiently, which is in the best-interest of all parties.
Other uses such as “video settlement demand packages” that can be sent and presented to opposing counsel and a variety of apps designed to be courtroom and boardroom companions round out the usefulness of the iPad for these professionals.
Clients of the Fennemore Craig firm are pleased with the use of iPads, with one saying that, “I can reach my lawyers instantly anytime, anyplace and spend less time in their office.” While on the surface this change in business practice may seen unwise from a billable-hours perspective, those clients seeing their cases handled efficiently and with responsive representation makes are going to be happier and more satisfied… and I would expect a lot less likely to contest their final bill.
Besides, with less money spent on overhead items like paper and postage, and communication with clients expedited and easier, lawyers are able to focus their attentions to more important matters like settling your case.
The only thing I didn’t see addressed in this evaluation, is how lawyers can manage the expectations of their clients who are now able to reach them so easily with instant messaging and video conferencing at their fingertips. If you would like to learn more, you can view the Fennemore Craig case study on the Apple website.