When law firms build products, they’re largely doing so to offer their expertise without the traditional level of effort or support required — selling a document directly rather than drafting and advising on finalizing a document, for example.
Many lawyers are just now starting to take advantage of this approach, and the options beyond documents are continuing to expand.
In this edition of the Non-Eventcast, host Jared Correia talks with Sankeetha Selvarajah of Selvarajah PC about how legal products can be leveraged for varied types of clients.
Read on for this excerpt (lightly edited for length and clarity), in which Jared and Sankeetha discuss what the future may hold for developing new legal products.
And while you’re here, feel free to browse prior editions of the Non-Eventcast in the Law Practice Management Software, Legal Document Management Software, and Legal Operations Contract Lifecycle Management rooms of the Non-Event.
Jared: What do you think are some alternative ideas for selling products in a law firm environment? And what do you think people are going to start selling in the future?
Sankeetha: So I started doing this, and I’ve seen other people do this, too, where I offer a “VIP Day,” where we can actually go through all of their concerns in one day.
And then we address it either through counsel or through any sort of complementary document that applies to that specific type of situation.
[For example], this is a growing company, but they’re looking to expand, but they have many different issues and they just want to make sure that all their ducks are in a row. So we sit down with them and we go through all of that. And that’s a service and a product together.
Jared: Sort of like a hybrid, which is really clever.
Sankeetha: I’ve seen some people do it in a “Legal in a Week” or a “VIP Day” or things of that nature, where they’re very time-crunched or just really don’t want to deal with legal more than a day or a week. They just want to get it out of the way.
Jared: That’s a good idea. And so you see that working in your environment where you’re dealing with business clients, but that could work in any number of other environments.
Sankeetha: It could. And if I had to extrapolate this, I wouldn’t go as far as saying “Divorce in a Day” or something of that nature, but perhaps something that is more formulaic, maybe “Will in a Day” or “Trust in a Day,” or “Trust in a Week.” There would be caveats and follow-ups to that “day,” quote unquote, but the idea is that the major bulk of the work is done on that specific time period.
Jared: Yeah. And so you use estate planning potentially as an example, right? Like estate planning documents, you could generate those online as well. People have been meeting in parking lots during the pandemic and signing like that — that could theoretically be done in a day, if it needed to be.
Sankeetha: I have a close friend, who’s an estate planning attorney. I’ve talked to her about some of these things.
Basically the client would start the background work by searching out and filling in the answers. Then we have a basic form to start off, and then the customization could happen in that day.
We’ve done it where if a client purchases five documents, we give them a complementary hour consult, where we sit down and walk through all of their documents together to make sure they’re complementary to each other and they don’t conflict with each other.
Jared: Right. And I’ve gone a little bit off script here, so forgive me. But in terms of, why you decided to go this route, was part of it related to the fact that legal services, in some cases, in terms of document generation, have become a little bit more commoditized now than they were like 20 years ago?
Sankeetha: So I had this idea five years ago, and I didn’t have the tech available. And then I was searching all this time. It’s only been the last year and a half, where I found the right tech.
- Productization in legal – 1:44
- The difference between services and products – 2:01
- Alternative ideas for selling products – 5:17
- Using estate planning documents – 7:01
- Making sure that customers are happy – 9:22
- A whole experience for the client – 10:13
- Setting expectations – 14:21
- There’s nothing wrong with launching a product – 16:08