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Emma Rucker is the Managing Paralegal at Cohen Family Law, a tech-savvy firm that has been around for nearly 40 years.
The firm started using Clio to get away from their previous legal software, which they considered too old and antiquated. They’ve since adopted Clio’s full set of products: Clio Manage, Clio Grow, and now, Lawyaw—giving them a fully integrated platform of solutions that keeps them organized and working more efficiently and streamlined than ever.
How Cohen Family Law used Lawyaw to reduce the time spent on menial document tasks
1. Being customizable to specific case scenarios
Cohen Family Law wanted a document automation solution that was adaptable to the firm’s typical workflows and allowed staff to customize documents to specific case scenarios.
“For something like a Consent Decree, there is no shortage of conditional scenarios that require specific language, and inputting these specific terms can be time-consuming. Not to mention, a decree typically contains various agreements attached as exhibits, so the challenge was finding a solution that would not only offer various conditional inputs depending on the scenario at-hand, but also carry over for a set of corresponding documents.”
“We do family law exclusively, so when drafting case documents, there are certain conditions that we need to account for that could alter the language within the document itself—such as whether the case involves children or not.”
2. Conditional fields make it easy to customize
Lawyaw allows Cohen Family Law to customize and create conditions for text fields in their document templates.
Emma and her team knew they wanted an interface that offered conditional fields. For a Motion to Continue, for example, there are several reasons to request the court for a continuance, and the easiest way for them to find the right language for a specific situation meant searching through past documents.
“Using Lawyaw’s template builder, you can create a condition card containing the standard reasons for requesting a continuance. At that point, that’s the last time anyone has to find that specific language—because now it’s all there!”
3. Lawyaw is incredibly easy to use
Emma likes that Lawyaw’s interface is very simple and that there’s not a lot to deal with. It’s also incredibly easy to use with Clio Manage and Clio Grow. “Lawyaw’s document template process is incredibly streamlined. It’s easy to understand and learn.”
“There are no complex codes. To convert a pre-existing document into a form using the Lawyaw template builder, it’s as simple as highlighting a word or phrase and inserting the corresponding merge field. And since Lawyaw integrates with Clio, the data from Clio Manage can auto-populate into Lawyaw’s merge fields.”
It’s easy for any firm to get bogged down in creating and managing case documents across all their clients. Finding ways to cut down on time drafting each document means big gains on overall productivity.
“I actually enjoy creating documents because it’s so easy to do. Before, it was just a painstaking process.”
“Before the switch to Lawyaw, creating a document from a template could take 20–30 minutes, which adds up if you’re drafting multiple in a day. Cumulatively, that’s hours of lost time that we could otherwise put toward productivity and billables.”
5. Creating document sets in minutes, not hours
Being able to manage documents in sets was an unexpected benefit for Cohen Family Law.
“One of the document sets we have is for a standard Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. Along with the Petition for Dissolution, you have to file a Sensitive Data Cover Sheet, a Preliminary Injunction, Summons, Notice regarding Creditors, and Notice of Right to Convert Health Insurance.”
“Prior to our switch to Lawyaw, we would have to do each one of these documents individually. Of course, then we need to ensure the formatting is correct. Each one of these documents takes anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour, depending on the complexity of the case. With Lawyaw, each one of those forms is a template within a set, and that process—at most—takes ten minutes now.”
“That’s hours saved. Those are hours that we can use to be more productive and bill more in other areas.”
“Normally, you’d draft the documents one by one, and of course, for each document, you’re entering the same monotonous, case-specific information into each document. But with Lawyaw, you enter the information once, and then all the documents in the set are ready to go. It’s so easy!”
6. Lawyaw works with Clio Manage and Clio Grow to keep everything connected
Cohen Family Law runs a hybrid office model, where staff rotate working in office and at home. With Clio, everyone at the firm has access to the same case information at all times.
“The process starts with Clio Grow. We use that as our intake software. After we get a new client, we’ll transfer the client’s data to Clio Manage, and from there, we’ll fill in the custom fields with case- and contact-specific information, which can then flow into Lawyaw.”
“Rather than switching from one program to another, Clio and Lawyaw integrate seamlessly, allowing for more streamlined management throughout a case. As a result, we’ve optimized our workflows to be smoother and more efficient than ever before—so that we’re spending less time on monotonous tasks and more time on working cases for our clients.”
“When using three different solutions, there’s a chance that pertinent case information from one doesn’t integrate to the other. Interconnectedness is essential when using multiple types of software and, in some cases, a lack thereof can be case-breaking. Clio and Lawyaw gives us the tools necessary to manage cases, and stay organized at that.”
What’s next for Cohen Family Law?
The staff at Cohen Family law are always trying to find new solutions to optimize their practice and streamline processes—so that they spend less time on menial tasks and more time billing for more substantive casework.
Their next step will be to transition their processes for document signatures to Lawyaw.
“The courts are opening up more to the use of technology in the procedural aspect of the law. Getting wet signatures is becoming a thing of the past, and there appears to be few signature-gathering options specifically targeted to legal practice. Lawyaw is paving the way for legal document automation, and with the capability to collect e-signatures, we hope to further optimize our case workflows.”
“The most valuable thing is time. The less time we can spend on procedural tasks like preparing documents, the more time we have to dive deeper into cases, which of course means more billing and more successful client outcomes.”