2013 Year in Review and 2014 Predictions
There is something hopeful about a new year. It’s a clean break, a fresh start, and an opportunity for us to reflect on the past year and make goals for the upcoming year. Most resolutions come in the form of getting healthier, be it in our personal lives, professional lives, physically, spiritually, mentally and financially. It is no different for a Company. It must be healthy in its finances, our environment of employees and clients we serve, physically in the space we inhabit and socially in what we stand for and what we contribute. This is my reflection on 2013 and prediction for 2014.
2013 marked the fourth year in business for Modern Law Mesa, and another year of huge growth. We expanded office space, added more attorneys and staff, and broke sales records for the three previous years. While all of this is exciting, the most exciting thing for me is the conception of Modern Law Forms. Earlier in the year I realized that in order to further our mission of creating affordable, accessible legal services we would need to better utilize technology and break out of trading attorney time for billable dollars. Modern Law Forms is a separate company that will offer to lawyers and end users professional, easy to use family law legal forms. The cloud-based solution will offer a dashboard that will save a person’s information for future use. This means if Suzy Q wants a petition, a motion, a pretrial statement etc, she will only enter her information (case number, address, etc) one time. The software will save her information and merge it into any document she needs for her case whenever she needs it.
For end users, this means you will have access to the most professional looking forms available. You will not be restricted to printing the self-help forms and filling them out by hand. Your documents will be created in Microsoft Word meaning you can change them to reflect exactly what you want them to say. Of course, legal forms are in no way a substitute for an attorney. In my opinion, self help forms are best utilized when working with an attorney who can offer advice and guidance on which forms to use and what information to include in the legal pleadings. In fact, as a law firm, we cannot ethically sell you legal forms. Therefore, a separate company and a whole lot of disclaimers are required in order to make them available to the public. Even with these restrictions, we strongly believe this is the right thing to do for the public, and we are taking the plunge to make it happen.
Modern Law Forms is also a game changer for attorneys. By eliminating monotonous tasks, we can reduce the time it takes to draft our client’s documents; therefore reduce the amount of time spent and saving client’s money. In our firm, we have incorporated a hybrid of flat fee and billable hour fee agreement. Unless otherwise specified and agreed, a Petition will cost $500. No copy fees, no administrative add ons, just a clean line item product for a fee. Clients are better able to budget and attorneys make more money by not wasting time double typing a case number. This is truly a win-win. I predict Modern Law Forms will launch in the first quarter of 2014 and go on to define the year. Modern Law will continue its mission of offering customized and affordable legal services and continue to grow in the number of clients we serve. Here’s to 2014!