Wednesday, June 4, 2014


By the time I am writing this, it’s my 90th day, 12th hour, 46th minute and 17th second of my business trip to USA. This is my first trip and I almost travelled and landed over most of the known States/Cities – Florida, Atlanta, California, Las Vegas, Houston, New York, New Jersey...

It is an exciting and a fruitful trip where I am able to meet people from across the world not only the attorneys and counsels but many businessmen, storekeepers, cab-drivers, sheriffs, and the list goes on. One thing that amazes everyone here in the USA is the overall customer service one gets. I am too excited about the fact that I got many opportunities to meet the legal industry experts with whom, beside work, I could talk and gain knowledge about the real legal industry. As my profile talks about business development and marketing – “Yes, I may be one of them who had called or sent messages to you”, I am glad all my face to face interactions gave me a sense that senior attorneys and counsels were ready to hear my part of story as well. I may not know much about legal marketing and various social media tools and activities but whatever little I know they paid attention to and I am pleased that some of them implemented it by taking time out of their busy schedules and creating their profiles on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and some are giving a deep thought that how and when they should start working on this.

Why Social Media?
I know legal professionals still love the black and white features and show more trust on the paper work and word of mouth marketing but trust me social media will make it more powerful and will increase your reach from a community to society, city, state and to the whole world. We are living in a world where we have an amazing amount of information which we can gather and share at the cost of few clicks. The varied options - print, visual, and multimedia give us a chance to explore the diverse social and psychological behavior of people in most interactive and personal ways. This is an era where even computer systems are finding it difficult to make a place in our offices/homes. Everyone, now a day, talking about I-Pads, I-Phones, and Android systems. So why to question the credentials of Social Media…? No doubt it increases your reach, allows you to communicate better and is most prominent, quick and easy method to share information. So what are you waiting for?? Go for it!!

I believe by now you must have made your profile on LinkedIn, and if not you should do that. It’s a professional networking website which not only gives you a chance to network with like minded professionals but also allows you to know the latest trends in the industry/area of your interest. When it comes to the legal industry, it is one of the best and the most popular tools used by the legal professionals worldwide.
  • Connect with hundred, thousands of like minded professionals, share and gain insight from their life experience, knowledge.
  • Make your company’s profile there and post updates under your company’s name.
  • Create a LinkedIn group where you can invite your connections and other members in the community to join. This allows you to run your small networking/informative group by sharing your blogs, webinar, podcast, post and current updates of your business.
LinkedIn reports more than 277 million acquired users in more than 200 countries & territories and is getting paced among the legal professionals too.

Facebook & Twitter:
Facebook and Twitter not only makes you aware of people prospects and views but also help you to socially know your partners, clients and competitors. You are one post away to get likes, comments, re-tweets and get noticed from millions and billions. These platforms allow you to share your content to your connects, their connects and this chain goes on. Facebook also gives an option to promote your company page amongst your prospects.

For Facebook & Facebook Page:
  • Market your legal services by using blogs, real case studies, law association or government legal updates.
  • You can even run a contest for your prospects/clients and get ‘LIKE’. Example: Join our contest and get free legal consultancy.
  • Look for paid promotions, make groups, and engage your followers and keep interacting with them through your posts/comments.
For Twitter:
  • While using Twitter use Hashtags (#). Example: #Attorney, #PersonalInjury to make your content appears to relevant readers.
  • Interact and share information with people using their handles (@abc) – Be ethical and try not to be seen as a “Spammer”.
  • You can create a contest monthly, quarterly on Twitter to attract followers.
  • How can you forget the #FF (Follow Friday) messages? Use this to appreciate your audience for their involvement and say thank you.
I am sure in our lives there is one moment when we don’t ask questions from GOD. We get all our answers from “GOOGLE” (Just Google it down). Now, create yours and your company’s profile and use this platform to market yourself. Like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn you can share your posts, write blogs, connect with others and do your own SEO (Search Engine Optimization) at your level.
  • Make your Google+ profile, your Google+ company page.
  • Share updates, news, blogs.
  • Connect with people, join groups, and associations.

You all will be happy to know there are other such social media platforms which can schedule your 100’s of posts, updates, and tweets in advance and can launch multiple campaigns at one time, few of such websites are – Buffer, Scoop it, HootSuite, etc. Though there are multiple other tools which can be beneficial for today’s legal professionals for marketing and networking, I believe, if one gets active on the above mentioned platforms, in addition to the physical interactions, the very purpose of marketing and branding oneself and one’s organization will get fulfilled.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Summarizing a Deposition - Skills & Tools

Someone has rightly said, “Deposition is the core part of litigation”. An attorney heavily relies upon the testimony of the witnesses in order to prove the claim of the client and to demolish the claim of the opponent. The purpose of the testimony is to yield the truth. It helps in bringing out the actual veracity from the witnesses. The fate of the trial to a greater extent depends upon the depositions. Testimony is a technique to tacitly elucidate the correct version from a witness. Attorneys put across the questions to the witness so as to bring them to their desired statement in very scattered manners. This makes the deposition a lengthy affair.

As the depositions go to the root of the trial, it entails the demarcation of relevant part out of the deposition which further requires to be summarized. The correct summarization of deposition depends upon two vital factors:
  1. Legal acumen
  2. Ability to summarize
Each trial has its peculiar set of facts which mandate its course of trial. The testimony is expected to revolve around the issues involved in it. In absence of a legal acumen, the vital points of testimony are at risk of being missed. The selection of relevant text out of the deposition can be done only by a qualified attorney. Anyone other than an attorney / paralegal would be unable to actually understand and identify the required portion in the testimony to support the defense or otherwise. So the role of a person with legal acumen becomes vital in highlighting the selected portion. The legal acumen in summarization deposition requires the following skills:
  • Ability to identify the key points involved in the testimony in hand.
  • Skill to comprehend the legal issues lightly to be supported or demolished by the witness.
  • Selection of the key points including the supported / non-supported version by the witness.
Summarization produces a comprehensive and organized portion of testimony. It requires the real understanding of the highlighted portions by joining them with relevant connectors or other words. Good comprehension along with grammatical and analytical skills plays a vital role in conveying the same sense but in a more concise and articulate manner.      

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

“Everything must have a beginning”

Profits of the firms are going down whereas expenses are increasing with every passing day. Clients are becoming more demanding and the competition is getting intense like never before.

This has been a common scenario in the UK legal industry and it’s making it tough for the law firms especially small and mid size firms. There has been uncertainty, turmoil and a lot of speculations about the best way out under current circumstances.

Whenever there are talks about increasing profits, reducing inefficiencies and creating value for the clients, outsourcing is bound to draw a lot of attention towards it. All of a sudden, you’ll see reports coming out in number talking about outsourcing, forecasting its future, talking about its pitfalls etc.

You just cannot ignore the never ending debate on the issues like ethics, confidentiality, loss of control, patriotism and so on. But amidst all this, it’s the firms or organisations that are suffering as they are unable to decide whether they should go for it wholeheartedly.

Despite of so many examples of successful outsourcing, they always remain in doubt and even though they feel that this could be a way out for them, they remain cautious about it.

If you’re one of those firms or practises that want to consider outsourcing but are not able to decide, don’t just wait, call us for a free consultation with your queries, we’ll be happy to work this out for you.

Let’s work this out!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

LPO: Serving the Clients Needs

The practice of law is changing at an exponential pace and clients no longer accept automatic increases in billing rates and escalating costs without questioning. To retain existing clients and gain new ones, firms need to offer unique cost saving alternatives. One such alternative is to have best in quality, more routine legal work performed by fully licensed Indian lawyers charging few dollars per hour, in contrast to the hundreds of dollars typically charged by law firms for their associates and paralegals. Because the Indian lawyers are working in a time zone almost 12 hours away, USA’s “down time” is India’s “up time” and the work essentially continues around the clock. As a result, clients often get real results the next working day. The most commonly offered services have been document review, legal research and writing, legal transcription, drafting of pleadings and briefs and patent services.

Legal outsourcing allows both a law firm and a corporate in- house legal department to have their respective staffs focus on the core value work for which intimate knowledge of the client, its business, and the nuances of the legal specialty are required. Outsourcing not only better serves the needs of the client, but it also makes the practice of law more interesting. The legal process outsourcing in India has been growing at a faster pace and with higher growth rate and has been in a great progression during these many years. According to one of the latest surveys, at present, there are more than 15,000 professionals employed in various LPOs across India.

The growth rate of the LPO industry in India is quite faster in comparison to the other countries. Now, everyone at the management level is looking to invest significantly in the systems, security and process to ensure the most important aspect of running this business which is - Data Security and Confidentiality. Providing business confidentiality is the key consideration of any outsourcing firm’s security measures to build a strong and trustworthy relationship with the clients. The LPOs which had started with 4-10 professionals a year back have now grown to a large strength of 400. LPO industry is also passing through the same phase as like the BPOs which had multiplied significantly in  the recent past. The future of LPO can be visualized with the glance on the following facts:
  • Jobs in the field are likely to increase to 79,000 by 2015. (Source Forrester incorporation).
  • “LPO service providers in India likely to generate revenue of US dollar 960 million 2015-2016 (Source Evalueserve).”
  • “A USA based technology and Market Research Company indicates the current value of legal outsourcing is $80m (£40m) [about 3% of the estimated market] (Source Forrester incorporation).”
  • “A US based technology and Market Research Company indicates the current value of legal outsourcing is $60 m more than (£30 m) in India alone (Source Forrester incorporation).”
In light of Draft n Craft’s history of managing legal data for law firms and corporations, we are very sensitive to the issues of data security and client confidentiality, regardless of the actual content of that data. Draft n Craft treats client data with careful regard for the client’s confidentiality needs and concerns. The company has implemented comprehensive security measures to ensure that client data is not accessed by unauthorized personnel, and that data which is accessed is only utilized to the extent permitted by the scope of our undertaking with the client. Contact Us

Monday, October 1, 2012

Do you really know what’s hurting your practice

If you’re among the 100’s of law practices who want to outsource in order to control their legal expenses but are not able to figure-out what to outsource, here’s a tip that might be of help to you.

This is exactly where law firms need to work upon if they want to use outsourcing to the best of their advantage. Some tips that can help you identify what can be outsourced are:         

  •  Differentiate between core and non-core activities.    
  • Try and find out the processes which are less productive, monotonous in nature.
  • Evaluate the opportunity cost of your time spent on each process.
  • Evaluate the number of man hours spent on each process.
  • Set the objectives that you need to achieve from outsourcing.
  • Consult with vendor for any suggestions from his side.
  • Select the process which you need to outsource.
I’m sure you’ll agree that any firm considering outsourcing is actually willing to accept and implement change in its procedures, service delivery or any other functional area to be able to survive in this competitive environment. 

The process of change starts from identifying what is the function that actually needs to be changed followed by the rest. No matter how well the objective or the end result of the change is being defined but unless you know what is it that you need to work upon, pitfalls are inevitable.

At last, I just want to say it’s high time that the firms start considering re-structuring or innovative ways to steer themselves out of the hardship that they are into at present.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Steeple Chase Race for Law Firms

We have been talking about the ABS and its effects on to the legal industry at large for some time now.  However, the actual race full of obstacles which the law firms today need to run at is less talked about.  What to do, how to do and when to do is the top thought of the day.

The most affected from this are the private client practice law firms.  This means that law firms dealing with wills & estates, conveyancing, immigration, Family laws etc get to feel the brunt of this maximum.
We need to understand the ABS has three sides – the good, bad and the ugly. 

The Good – The Law Society of England & Wales has always been in favor of promoting open market, choice and competition in the legal market and the alternative business structure just makes that more stronger as the ABS comes as one of the most suited models for the future legal services market.  Let’s also acknowledge the fact that the budding lawyers will have more choices in terms of their careers.

The Bad – the ownership of legal services, which was so far restricted to lawyers, has now changed and now it’s open to one and all. 

The Ugly – the law firms which were anyways surviving the ever existing competition successfully are managing their ways out with this radical change and will continue to do so.  It is the smaller and mid size firms who are feeling the impact of this change.  While one cannot replace a solicitor’s advice to that off a non-solicitor, the commoditised legal services like conveyancing, wills & estates etc can be easily and are being taken over by the new Tesco’s and ASDAs in town.

The downside of ABSs creating new opportunities in to the market in terms of jobs is that non lawyers will also enjoy the same or similar benefits as a lawyer in some cases.

The Management of a law firms now needs to be on their toes to do some effective business planning. Solicitors need to wear many hats at the same time in order to beat this change.  In no way can we say that the traditional ways of practice are bad but we surely need to make modifications in the ways of practice looking in to the changing trends. It is very truly said, that "If you are not riding the waves of change – you’ll find yourself beneath them."

Friday, September 14, 2012

Legal Transcription – undiscovered challenges

A service like legal transcription (legal typing) attracts the skills attached within.  I wonder sometimes on how technology has helped us with quick solutions to remain competitive in this economic era. Gone are the days when secretaries used to take down dictations in shorthand and then type them out.  It has now become easier to just talk in to your smartphones or Dictaphones and dictate your notes, letters, and memo etc. and have that typed out by a secretary. But what happens in the case when you are taking a walk after your dinner; outside your house and you remember an urgent letter to be sent out first thing in the morning, what do you do in such a case? There is no option of calling the secretary, and the last resort is to get it typed by you.  Another, easiest answer here would be that you dictate the letter over your phone and send it to a vendor who is 4.5 hours to 11 hours ahead your time zone and get it typed at ease.  At least you can have a peaceful sleep at night and next morning before you reach your office, the letter would already be waiting for you in your mailbox.
Not only this, we must not deny the benefits attached to this service. Time taken to type number of pages can be best utilized in other core areas. With the advancement of technology, recorded dictation can be securely uploaded to the vendor’s website and the typed version can easily be received in your mailbox. The other option available is to upload the dictations on a platform which is a direct connection between the client and vendor such as working on FTP or client server. Vendors can give 4 to 24 hr TAT(turnaround time) which means at some urgent instances, even if you send any assignment by the end of your day, you can still receive it even before the beginning of next day.
There are still some undiscovered challenges lawyers feel whenever they think of getting their work done from someone who is out of sight. But I sincerely need to be convinced on the reasons given by them. I could summarize them as below:
  • Your company is unable to provide reference (Even though it is a valid question but a genuine reason of not showing the name of the client is signing of NDA with the existing client. The question of quality can be judged once a trial is sent to vendors).

  •  Next possible apprehension can be that, you are a small company and it is tough to build trust in you. (No one is big in the beginning. You have to take that first step in order to climb the ladder of success and be amongst the top. But without getting a chance to show your skills, you cannot move even a single step ahead. The initial trust is must). 

  • One of the prominent question which is a very vital concern for all is how their data will be secured.( Initial trust and maintaining supreme confidentiality are two of the chief pillars on which all the vendors endeavor to build on their clientele. Signing of the customer confidentiality agreement is another example of ensuring that vendor is making itself liable in case of any leakage of client’s information).

Are all above factors not enough to reach up to a level where one would be ready to try these untested waters and get ready to plunge in the ocean of New World? I strongly believe that anything which is a helping hand on the path of success must be taken into consideration.

Draft n Craft

Draft n Craft has developed a dedicated department for this herculean task and to meet the deadlines set by clients. Our transcription wing consists of personnel coming from the width and length of the nation. This is the only part of the office which works around the clock 365 days a year. Draft n Craft provides legal transcription services to law firms, solicitors and other legal organizations worldwide. Our experienced legal transcriptionists and quality analysts provide accurate and high quality support to ensure you can concentrate on core legal issues of your firm.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Does a lawyer need to be a manager also?

As soon as I hear the word ‘Lawyer’ an image of a gentleman in black coat with his briefcase or files in hand comes to my mind. In earlier days, when there was no trend of law firms, lawyers used to practice on their own. They were the experts in some areas of law and used to advise their clients on legal issues, represent them in courts and update themselves about the changes in the law like a doctor updates himself about the new medicines and medical researches. The United States established the model of law firms in the sense of a business entity consisting of more than one lawyer. The first law firm with two or more lawyers had come into view just before the American Civil War and this practice had given birth to a manager inside a lawyer.

Lawyer always have a vital role to play in every management be it a law firm or corporation or any other organization. Leading fortune 500 companies have lawyers in their management teams who give their inputs in laying down the strategies. They advise company’s board of directors on their responsibilities in an effort to keep the best interests of the company and shareholders at the forefront. On the other hand, when it comes to law firms, managing partners play an important role in the management. They are leading the business of law firms where hundreds of people are working. They set the example for other leaders at different levels within the firm and always keep an eye on the functioning of all the departments.

Management is required in every business and law firms being business entities are not the exceptions. Unlike lawyer, a manager’s role in a law firm is more defined and focused. When a lawyer is in the management team he does multi tasking and performs roles of a lawyer as well as of a manager whereas an office manager does not have to do the work which a lawyer is supposed to do. Irrespective of the firm size, managers have to deal with three major categories of administration i) personnel; ii) financial; and facilities. Though delegation of authority differs with the size of the firm. Usually lawyers are skeptical of non lawyers trying to tell them how to do their work and non lawyer managers often do not get that respect what a lawyer manager may receive from his colleague in the firm. This also raises a need of lawyers to become managers for the better coordination among the employees.

About Draft n Craft

Established in 2008, Draft n Craft is a cut to the chase Legal Process Outsourcing Company with strong and dedicated work force of professionals. Having established a brilliant track record, Draft n Craft has been partners of growth to many of the law firms and corporations in the UK and US. Draft n Craft’s supreme focus has always been on helping lawyers deliver the best value to their clients by working on process and technology optimization, and by devising ways to rationalize client’s operational spending. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Curious Case of Lawyering…

It’s a common nature of human which allows them to look for possibilities and opportunities to succeed in life. Every day people come up with new ideas and new approaches to implement in their day-to-day working and aim to accomplish their dreams. Lawyers too are not untouched with this very thought even though they may be doing quite good in their profession. Sitting back and giving a quick thought on what really made them choose the legal profession and how they want or wanted to see themselves after five or ten years, I think is a good way to start. Now a day, the legal industry is coming up with new practice areas and many other managerial levels and consulting opportunities. We can see the cases where solo practitioners are wearing the shoes of entrepreneurs and establishing their own boutique law firms and giving tough times to the established law firms. It is vital for lawyers to know ‘What’,Why’, ‘How’, they want to achieve the best, with all other crucial issues they face in their day-to-day life.

A lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a thousand men with guns. – Mario Puzo

Why should they look for options to improve their working style?

What is in store for them if they do?

I am sure most of my lawyer friends who are reading this blog will agree that
‘WHY’ indeed needs to be addressed before any other questions. As lawyers today want to explore about their value added assets with the skills of good lawyering and have vast knowledge and experience. When every now and than a new regulation and updated technology is coming into existence. Lawyers too are eager to update themselves and walk effortlessly with the new age of lawyering. Now, with a new thinking and approach lawyers are changing their working style accordingly and using the modern age tools to perform their best. Things have changed from desktop to palmtop, basic phone to smart phones, human efforts to the use of internet and different software, local media to social media, physical office to virtual office and many more. But questions which arise here are: 

Lawyers are now looking for every possible option and using every bit of information and support to do best for better Client Satisfaction and gain their client’s trust and maintain a healthy working relation with them. Every possible change and improvement a lawyer is implementing is towards bringing a smile to the faces of his/her clients and keeping their trust alive, protect the non guilty, and uphold the country and state law.

This look good, now the next step ‘HOW’. Let me tell you a small incident:

I was astonished to see a group of kids all dressed and equipped in sport gears all set to enter in a ground and kick the football as hard as they could. I was amazed, not because it was something unusual but it was rare to see a group of children, (ten to twelve years) cheering and walking on the lane with enthusiasm. Each one was talking about performing their best and to beat their opponent by large margins. I could not resist myself and went to give them my best wishes. One of the players excitedly informed me that they are going to play against junior high school boys and they are confident that they will win this game. As they have monitored every action of their opponent closely and have done hard work to plan a right strategy to face any difficult situation. With their optimistic approach, well planned strategies and key points, I was convinced that they will win the match. I wondered how easy and important is to learn from our day to day life and how much one can learn from these small kids. My mind got blocked between two words ‘organized vs unorganized’, optimist vs pessimist, ‘performing vs result’, ‘creeping vs to face’. In today’s competitive work culture whenever we think of performance we always seek to get the best results. But sometimes forget to plan or actually work on the task flow and end up losing our hope and vision to accomplish an easy looking task. So, to bring out our best, one should proceed with the right mind set, deep and regular research and planned analytical approach. This will help to plan ‘How’ effectively.

Whether a lawyer is representing a case/hearing or providing consultancy and/or doing a marketing activity to promote his/her practice area or firm, he wants to create opportunities to serve the society and live a better life. The days are gone when lawyering was only about representing the clients, providing consultation and winning cases for them and when lawyer were working as per the word of mouth strategy to reach their prospective clients. Today with the emergence of social media tools: LinkedIn, Twitter, Face Book, Blogs/Articles, attending Events, Webinars and Seminars as a speaker etc lawyers are branding themselves and attracting clients through these platform. With the emergence of professional organisation like ABA, NYSBA, SRA, Law Society, IBA the approach and thinking of legal fraternity has changed with the continuous practical training and rigorous improvement policies. Now, everyday lawyers are coming up with a strong and more planned strategies with a clear thought which helps them to improve their working style and thus upholds betterment of our society and indirectly helps in keeping the trust of people in the state and country law.

Draft n Craft specializes in outsourcing of legal and paralegal services. We have provided more than a handful of advanced solutions to various Solo Attorneys, General Counsels, Law Firms (Small to Mid sized)  in the U.K. and the U.S.A.; we take immense pleasure in serving all business needs, from the very basic legal undertakings to the most complex and farthest orientations. Contact Us

Friday, August 24, 2012

Task based billing: A way forward

Are you a law firm looking for ways to drive out in-efficiency from your firm in order to be more competitive and profitable?

Do you as a firm find it difficult to measure the productivity of your firm?

Are you losing out on your fortune setting up the compliances and then ensuring that they have been adhered to by your employees?

If the answer to the above questions is yes then probably the time has come to look for the innovative ways in order to be the preferred choice of your clients in today’s competitive world. Though, innovation has no end and there can be umpteen numbers of things that a law firm can seriously consider to achieve the desired results. Today as always I would like to talk about outsourcing in this article.

Outsourcing in today’s time is synonymous with the curbing of local jobs in order to increase the profits of an organization.  However, the only reason why it has been so successful is because of the model that it is based on rather than just the lucrative profits that come along with it. The model that I want to highlight over here is the concept of task based billing which means that now you pay once you get the desired output from your vendor.

It is no secret that the legal industry is going through drastic changes all across the world. This is bringing in tougher times for legal professionals especially in the US and the UK. The fact that the number of sole practitioner law firms have suffered the steepest fall since the financial crisis, as the lack of bank lending continues, tells the entire story. As a result, almost every law firm today is looking for ways to increase their efficiency more than ever. Usually the increase in efficiency means the increase in the productivity with no compromise on the quality of the work. This can be done by identifying the areas in which there’s scope of improvement and removing the wastage of time at every level.
Since, it’s the people who are doing work and are the moving force for any organisation, it becomes imperative that a firm ensures that it’s getting the optimum output from its resources and this is where task-based billing can just be a ‘rabbit out of hat” kind of a thing for the struggling law practitioners.

The best part over here is you’re paying for the final work that is being done and not for the time consumed for doing that work. Even if you hire a fixed resource from your vendor, usually the efficiency of that person is decided in the contract itself which again gives you an assurance for the amount of work that will be done for you no matter what. Also requirement for the supervision is at its minimum as there’s a sense of ownership among people for whatever has been assigned to them. And last but not the least, it leads to the promotion of entrepreneurship among people who are associated with the organisation and therefore can make vital contribution to the growth of the firm.

In the end, I would say that not only law firms but companies should look at this aspect very carefully as it is the way forward in the present scenario.