In the latest episode of Wildly Successful Law Firm, Nermin Jasani talks about “hiring before you automate” and why it’s important for law firms to embrace technology. Here are our top 3 takeaways from the episode:

1. The importance of exploring other technology options beyond basic tools like email and Microsoft Word, including scheduling apps like Calendly over Acuity.

2. The efficiency of legal practice management software and how it can save time and money before hiring additional staff.

3. How relying on technology instead of human employees can improve efficiency and profitability for law firms.

Don’t miss out on Nermin’s insights and recommendations for improving your law firm’s technology in this episode of Wildly Successful Law Firm. Check out the full episode, hosted by Moshe Amsel, on your favorite podcast platform today! #WildlySuccessfulLawFirm #LawFirmTechnology #HiringBeforeYouAutomate.

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Transcript

Nermin Jasani [00:00:00]:

Hello and welcome law firm owners, to another episode of the wildly successful law Firm podcast. This is your host, Nirmin Desani, aka Nerms, but not Germs. That's not nice to call someone that, although people do jokingly call me that sometimes, but only friends can call me that. But you can call me Nurmin or Nerms. Let's get into today's episode and it is personal pet peeve of mine and that is about how you all hire before you automate. Now, before I go into the contents of today's episodes, I just want to know from you all, is it just me? I have this really weird irrational fear. I live in a condo building, and I'm pretty high up. And every time I go to throw the trash out if I'm going somewhere to my car and then I go take the trash out before I go to my car, I am so worried that I am going to drop my keys into the car, into the trash chute, and then it's going to end up in this abyss of garbage, and I'm never going to be able to get my keys back.

Nermin Jasani [00:01:13]:

And all of this just sort of runs through my head and I have like really weird anxiety when I go to throw trash out. So I will keep my keys in my jeans pocket, I will put it on the floor. I've done all sorts of things so that I'm not opening the trash chute with my keys in the same hand as my trash. I can't imagine that it's only me that has this weird fear. So if you have any weird irrational fears about your keys, please let me know. I am always thinking about this and I've wanted to talk about this for a really long time and I was like, you know what, I'm going to talk about it on my podcast today. So if that's you send me a message. Email is best or LinkedIn because I'm really not on the other platforms anymore.

Nermin Jasani [00:02:02]:

So, yeah, I want to hear from you. Okay, so let's go into today's episode that is all about my pet peeve with hiring. All right, hiring is good. Hiring is valid and you will need a team at some point. However, most of you hire too soon. Most of you hire without having a three month salary. Most of you hire without thinking about how it impacts your profitability and your bottom line. And most of you hire are thinking that if you hire, you are now going to have this person be able to do more work for you and they will bill more for you or take away work from you.

Nermin Jasani [00:02:50]:

So that you are going to be able to do more of your important tasks and have time for them and bring on new clients and become a millionaire overnight. I think that that is the story that you have been told when it comes to hiring. The other thing I really want to point out is that hiring is something that was emphasized for a lot of law firms when they first opened back in the 80s, back in the 90s, back in the 2000. And today's hiring philosophy does not take into consideration automation and using technology. And before you hire someone, I really want you to think, can I automate this? Am I hiring for my ego? Why am I really hiring? I see so many of you who are like, I just need a really good paralegal. Do you know how hard it is to find a really good paralegal? Do you have any idea how difficult it is? And even then that paralegal is only truly going to be able to help you with the legal work. They're not going to send a thank you gift to a client who has just signed on with you. They are not going to ask your client for a Google review.

Nermin Jasani [00:04:15]:

They are not going to do all of the necessary business functions that will keep your business growing and blooming. Really, they're just helping you with the legal work, filing online for you, researching for you, all of those things. And you focus so much on this paralegal and this admin and you think that having them is going to be the thing that takes your business to the next level. But that's actually not true. And I have been able to show many of my clients that having a paralegal is not somehow going to bring in more business for you and that it's not necessarily the thing that you need to focus on. I would rather you get some systems and processes in place. I would rather you have your schedule worked out before you go and hire a paralegal. Because if you've got a messy schedule where you are working until 09:00 at night and you're not eating lunch and you're picking your kids up and then you're working after you pick your kids up, like that is a messy schedule.

Nermin Jasani [00:05:36]:

You're working on weekends, you're sending me emails super late at night. You have not worked out your schedule, my friend. And I would rather you do that before you hire someone. There are so many more efficient things that you can do as a law firm owner before you hire someone and there are so many tasks that are going to have to be done that take a lot of time for someone to do when you don't have automations. Look, I have seen the steps that Cleo and Smokeball and all these other legal practice management software do to send out a contract, to send a text message, to make a case. Note the number of clicks that you have to go down. I want you to count the number of clicks that you have to go through before you can send a contract, before you can send a text to a client, before you can put in a case note in each of those cases. It is at least 15 clicks because I have gone through it and I've counted it.

Nermin Jasani [00:06:38]:

It is wildly inefficient and you will never be wildly successful if you are making people go through that many clicks because they're just not going to remember to go through that many clicks. They're going to be interrupted by click number five with another phone call and they're never going to put in that case note. And then you're going to be like, WTF is going on with this case? Right? I have this system and nobody uses this system. And what was the whole point of me paying all this money? Man, do you know how many times I hear that from lawyers? Listen, most legal no, every single legal practice management software sucks. I do not recommend it for lawyers. There is not a single one that I would recommend. However, I know that most of you use them, although I don't really understand why you use them because I can do everything and more that the legal practice management software, quote unquote offer. Inside of notion, inside of Airtable, inside of Esignatures, inside of all these other tech platforms.

Nermin Jasani [00:07:44]:

I know that they are sold as an all in one solution. But in truth, legal practice management softwares were designed for case tracking. The actual legal work going from petition to discovery to settlement. They are designed for tracking the lifecycle of the case, going from requesting medical records to doing a demand letter to going to mediation. All of that is structured for the lifecycle of the case. Then these legal practice management software started adding in things on top of that like contract signatures and sending text messages to clients and client communications and client portals. These softwares are bandaged solutions with these extras. They were not built into it naturally and that's why it takes so many clicks.

Nermin Jasani [00:08:53]:

I want you to think about, especially if you're an iPhone user, how easy it is. It's user intuitive. You never have to think multiple times how do I open this app? How do I delete this? How do I do that? It is so insanely easy to use because it's designed based on how human beings respond to things. There's a lot of user research that goes into any app that iPhone builds. The same is not true for legal practice management software because if it was, it would take me two clicks to send out a contract. But it doesn't. I have to find the client name, I have to edit it in Word, then I have to download it onto my computer. Then I have to upload it as a PDF into the practice management software.

Nermin Jasani [00:09:43]:

Then I have to send five more clicks and I have to write a description in the email. Then I have to hit send. Do you know that in that process your admin has gotten three phone calls and that's why your contract doesn't go out until the end of the day or the next day. And that's the scary thing about these practice management softwares. It takes up so much time for your team. And that's why I say it's so important for you to go through and use technology, the right technology, before you hire automate before you hire, okay, and I've created two different things for those of you who are like, okay, narine, but say more. Like, tell me more about this technology stuff. Like, how do I get better with technology? You get better by just being open to using technology.

Nermin Jasani [00:10:37]:

So many of you are like cremudgeny, like 60 year old white male attorneys and they're like, I dictate on my phone and this is just how I do things. And that's great for you, but you're just going to spend a fuck ton of money in hiring people instead of having technology do the work for you. And that just means you're eating at your profitability and you're creating more people problems for yourself. And by the way, as soon as you have more than three people, you got people problems. Someone's not going to show up. Someone's going to be going through a health crisis, someone's going to be going through a wedding and they're not really doing as much work as they normally do. Someone could be going through a divorce, someone could be part time. You're going to have so many people problems that I would rather you focus on the stuff that you can control and that's technology, and just by shifting your thinking about, okay, well, what if I am open to technology? And what if I do focus on this thing? And what if I do allow myself to have a learning curve with technology and give myself 90 days because I'm going to give myself 90 days with any new hire.

Nermin Jasani [00:11:46]:

What if I gave myself that with new technology? Give yourself some time and you'll get there. Okay, so the two things that I have for you. Number one, I created a tech manual. In this tech manual, I am going through all of the tech products that I personally use and use for my clients. This includes the calendar, the email app that I use. I do not use fucking Outlook, I do not use fucking Gmail. I use superhuman. And I explain to you exactly why I use these platforms.

Nermin Jasani [00:12:28]:

This thing that I have created, this tech manual is really going to help you understand how much technology is out there in your mind. You're probably just thinking, okay, email, a phone app. If you use Ring Central or whatever and then Zoom and legal practice management software and Microsoft Word. You probably think that's all you need to run your law firm. But there is a whole world of options out there on other technology that you can use, like scheduling apps. I prefer Calendly over Acuity, and I tell you exactly why I prefer Calendly over acuity I'm going through in this document and explain to you what is great about this app, why I use it, and a link on how you can get it yourself. Okay, so the tech manual right now is $45. That price might change.

Nermin Jasani [00:13:34]:

I'm just saying it in transparency. I'm not trying to urge you to go and buy it now. I'm just being honest because my prices do go up the longer I have it out there. The second thing is working with me on Automating, your law firm. Now Automating, your law firm, is a longer process. It is five to six months. It's very hands on. We are completely changing your processes.

Nermin Jasani [00:14:03]:

We might even change how you do consults. You're going to have forms, you're going to have scheduling software. You're going to have a task manager. You are going to have so much. Right now, Automate is starting at $7,500. I do offer a six month payment option on that. That brings it to 1250, which is basically three billable hours of your time. And Automate starts at 7500, but it can go up a lot.

Nermin Jasani [00:14:34]:

When I started doing Automate, your law firm, I think about twelve or 18 months ago, I don't remember exactly when it was, but when I first started doing it, I was charging 2500. I will never again charge that amount ever again. It is a lot of work. And all of the technology and all of the systems that I'm introducing are intended to save you 1015, 20, $30,000 a year. So there's no way that I would charge 2500 when your value is basically 30 to 100 X. So I really want you to be open to technology, right? That's the whole point in this conversation. I want you to automate and use technology before you hire. There are so many things that law firm owners are not doing and they are just losing leads.

Nermin Jasani [00:15:34]:

And it pains me to see how many leads you are losing. Not having calendar scheduling options, not having a command center for your business, not having a proper system to review your finances. By the way, your bookkeeper might be sending you books, but if you're not looking at them and you don't have a technology system that kind of flags things for you, that's a problem. That's a really big problem. And when you are sitting here and saying, I need to grow, I want to make more, I've been doing this for a really long time. And I ask you what technology you have, and you say, cleo, I'm going to cry. I'm going to cry a little bit, and then we're going to work on fixing that. So again, thank you for listening into this episode.

Nermin Jasani [00:16:30]:

I have linked the tech manual and Automate right below. Take a look at it, and if you have any questions, you know I'm here for you. Just reach out to me. All right, friends, that's everything for this episode. I'll see you in the next one. Bye.

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