Advances in voice technology allow lawyers to provide faster and better service to clients, while improving efficiency and profitability. US law firm had a ‘gadget guy’ partner who explains how ‘voice solutions’ have helped the firm grow
With over 145 years of experience, Eastburn and Gray, PC is a law firm operating in Pennsylvania since 1877. However, the law firm’s long history does not mean that it has shunned the latest technology to pursue its growth in its three offices and developing the company’s ability to more effectively serve its local and national clients.
Marc Jonas is a firm shareholder, a recognized legal expert with a 2023 “Best Lawyers in America” designation, and a self-proclaimed tech enthusiast and “gadget guy” who had used various innovations at a previous firm to make the day work more smoothly and to get more done.
Upon joining Eastburn and Gray, he immediately noticed the opportunities to streamline processes and workflows by harnessing the power of advanced voice solutions. It was difficult to keep pace with the increasing volumes of client projects, as well as quickly and accurately record billable hours (the most critical part of tracking and improving an attorney’s productivity), with the obsolete technologies that the firm’s teams were using.
Mini-cassettes and similar recording options are dependent on the availability of a specific physical device and come with additional issues such as unreliable audio quality, rush for clean tapes, maintenance and replacement of the hardware and keeping files organized between them.
Jonas knew there was a simple and very feasible way to overcome the challenges associated with outdated technology. He lobbied for the company to adopt modernization measures. Just as the most gifted athletes need the right shoes to win races and the greatest chefs need quality ingredients to cook delicious meals, the lawyers at Eastburn and Gray needed the right tools to help them. optimize their working day in an increasingly digital world.
Research + serendipity = solution
In an effort to lead by example, Jonas began exploring new vocal solutions on his own. He knew Philips’ reputation as a provider of high-quality technology. Then, at a local American Bar Association (ABA) event, he chanced upon a Philips solution provider who demonstrated the use of the cloud-based Philips SpeechLive (which also works in combination with the software SpeechExec Pro dictation and transcription system).
Jonas began the process of implementing the system in his company.
Connecting authors and paralegals, SpeechExec Pro is an enterprise-grade digital application that
facilitates communication, configuration of individual workflow settings, and organizational flexibility to help save time and resources. Provide workflow management and automation in each [the attorney, the firm, and the client] in the interests of exploiting the capabilities of advanced voice technology. »
Efficiency and flexibility that “speak” for themselves
The firm’s lawyers, paralegals and administrative staff have seen compelling positive impacts in their workflow, under Jonas’ leadership, which optimizes every aspect of the Philips solutions implemented within the firm.
The resulting efficiency and increased work output did not go unnoticed by the Eastburn and Gray’s Doylestown office, which had continued to experience issues with legacy dictation tools. Soon they also implemented SpeechExec Pro and SpeechLive, and now around half of the firm’s lawyers and paralegals use a combination of the two solutions.
Some of the key benefits the company has realized include:
Flexibility and mobility:
Jonas works to optimize time and track billable hours. SpeechLive allows him to do this easily and seamlessly throughout his working day.
Writing memos as he leaves a meeting with a client, recording notes from his car after a town meeting (which may be late at night), referring to steps to take when cross-examining a a witness at a public hearing – these are all examples of how he is removed from the confines of the traditional office and traditional office hours and can send the work to the transcriptionist or his assistant at any time, from n anywhere.
As the legal world evolves, like most industries, to include more remote and hybrid working arrangements, it is important to have tools with all the functionality available on a desktop…ready to use. from any device or platform.
Being able to do more with less staff is a challenge facing many businesses today. Intuitive apps from Philips empower attorneys and help support teams get more done in less time.
At Eastburn and Gray, floaters (legal assistants not assigned to specific lawyers) can assist when and where needed, so the firm can adapt to fluctuations in workload. Since the files are accessible 24/7 from any device, the ebb and flow of work is absorbed by the assistant with the bandwidth and is not a cause for panic or confusion.
Burnout is common in a high-pressure, high-stakes field like law, and it’s an industry that has typically been marked by long hours that intrude into evenings and weekends.
Although the billable hour can be described as the bane of a lawyer’s existence, Jonas points out that text-to-speech technology is a significant help in reducing stress while improving results. Especially for emerging talent, it’s important to learn how to manage time, use automation where appropriate, and delegate effectively to reduce time spent on unnecessary tasks.
“As you progress in your legal career, you’ll take on more clients, have an increasing number of engagements, etc.,” he says, “and master the art of assigning work to the right people in support and using technology to make the most of every pocket of time is how you can do it – while protecting your personal time.
Recognized by the Best Lawyers in America four times in his area of practice, and most recently for 2023, Jonas speaks from experience, advising future generations of legal professionals to learn early to give themselves an edge.
“Being a lawyer is hard work, and I owe much of my success to how I was able to use technology to my advantage,” he says, adding, “What I hope to have illustrated to younger like to more seasoned (and well-established) colleagues is that understanding, appreciating and integrating the right technologies into your professional practice establishes work habits that allow you to advance your career.