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Alexis Lynch knew she would quickly get bogged down wearing multiple hats as a solo practitioner providing conservatorships. Utilizing time strategically was critical for growing her practice and helping families in need. “Depending on the county, there can be around 17-20 judicial council forms required per case in conservatorship,” she says.
As a team of one, Lynch was working on every aspect of her business, and couldn’t afford to lose time and focus on work that didn't require expert intervention. "Any time I spent filling out forms took away from meeting prospective clients, networking, and doing all the legal work,” she explains.
Keeping all components of her firm aligned as a solo practitioner would have been an uphill battle, but thanks to automation, it wasn’t nearly as hard as it might have been. “It's very tedious to sit and fill out tons of forms over and over again. Lawyaw makes it so easy and convenient that it's not something that bothers me anymore.”
Using automated documents and court forms, Lynch has freed up a big chunk of her routine and redirected her time toward helping families with children that have developmental disabilities solve their conservatorship issues.
“Lawyaw makes it easy to complete forms without manually entering the same information. I’m using Lawyaw every day,” she says.
Finding a Lightweight Solution for Legal Drafting
Initially, she had tried using a court forms solution that came on a CD-ROM but retired it quickly because of its archaic model and poor user experience. "I spent at least twice as much time making court forms there. It was quite frustrating. They also didn't look very nice when I printed and sent them to clients. When you're giving documents to a client to sign, and they look like they were produced on an 80s computer, that's not impressive," she explains.
“A lot of the responses to these judicial council forms are the same in every case. Lawyaw makes it easy to complete forms without manually entering the same information. I’m using Lawyaw every day.”
Lawyaw's user-friendly interface, Lynch adds, allows her to create sets of forms required for different counties in California. This has allowed her to quickly scale her solo practice to serve clients across a dozen counties in the state. "I just fill in the areas that need client-specific information. It's like a dream come true for me."
Streamlining for Speed and Work-life Balance
Since starting in 2014, she has expanded her practice into 12 counties – all without the help of additional staff or support. “I have grown my business every year since I launched and that includes giving birth to my daughter and raising her. Even with all the client growth I've experienced, I still can pick her up from school,” says Lynch.
“I charge flat fees, so saving more time means I can be more responsive to my clients and be available for them. I have truly achieved work-life balance, and Lawyaw has played a big part in making that happen," she explains.
The experience of remote communication was another bonus for Lynch and her clients. "Often, my clients are parents of kids with severe disabilities.” Having the flexibility to communicate with them remotely means parents can continue supporting their child's daily needs without missing critical details on the conservatorship process. "I just download and upload documents to Dropbox and share with them. It's that simple and way faster than using the mail," she highlights.
“I have grown my business every year since I launched and that includes giving birth to my daughter and raising her. Even with all the client growth I've experienced, I still can pick her up from school… I have truly achieved work-life balance, and Lawyaw has played a big part in making that happen.”
Taking Action to Improve Access to Justice
Time savings earned from automation aren't just helping Lynch grow her firm. She's able to dedicate more hours to educating families in California about limited conservatorship, and helping those who might not be able to afford legal help. This includes launching a new project, 'DIY Limited Conservatorship,' which provides resources for families trying to understand the processes required in California, in addition to hosting workshops around the state. "As I was hosting these workshops, I realized that there were no resources educating people about conservatorship. This can be frustrating for families that need support but can't afford an attorney."
Lynch stresses how access to resources can help restore stability to the lives of those seeking limited conservatorships for their loved ones. "Many low-income families can't afford attorneys and have to go through this process themselves.” Her course aims to empower these families with helpful information about conservatorship requirements and navigating the complexities of the legal system such as form requirements, what to do after filing documents, what to expect at a hearing, and next steps.
As a solo practitioner, Lynch has made impressive strides to expand her practice and connect individuals with resources through education and support. Lawyaw plays a big part in how she envisions her firm's future.
"Because I have templates in Lawyaw that are easy to use, I can easily bring on a staff member who can take over doing forms and documents for me. That's a huge benefit."
It's an extension of the kind of culture she aims to inspire within her practice as she plans for the next chapter of her career.
"I remember when my old firm trained me to do these forms, it seemed like a laborious process. All of that manual work is not required with a solution like Lawyaw."