Smaller firms or start-ups can also benefit greatly from the productivity and efficiency offered by the correct dictation and document workflow solution. Such an example is Bryan-Eric Lane who founded his Montreal, Quebec-based real estate and business law firm, LANE, Lawyers and Business Advisors Inc. (LANE), in 2006.
At the time he was the firm’s only attorney. Eager to grow the firm quickly while still delivering excellent client service, Lane selected voice technology from Philips to facilitate a productive workflow supported by the most efficient dictation and transcription tools available.
Prior to launching his own firm, Lane was a lawyer at one of the largest law firms in Canada, Stikeman Elliott LLP. While there, Lane dictated on analogue tape recorders or typed his own documents, both of which he felt decreased his productivity. Analogue tapes required him to handwrite notes about the content on the cassettes and physically hand them to an assistant for transcription, which was especially inefficient if he was dictating away from the office. Typing was also disruptive to his workflow and not the best use of his skills, and is still, he said.
Now, as his own firm has grown to four attorneys, and is still growing, Lane has continued to utilize voice technology to maximize productivity. Specifically, he uses Philips PocketMemo 8000 handheld recorders for dictation, the latest version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech recognition software (professional version) for short transcriptions and emails, the Philips Recorder app to enable secure dictation and document exchange on mobile devices, and the Philips SpeechExec Pro software for complete workflow management.
With these tools, LANE can securely utilize voice technology inside their office or from any location to create documents and share important information, saving attorneys hours every week and improving service to clients and efficiency.
“Our business is changing,” Lane said. “It’s more competitive than it was 30 years ago — and even 10 years ago — so law firms need to find ways to learn and work as a team more efficiently. Using Philips voice technology has helped us do that.”
Experience leads to digital voice technology
When Lane started his firm, the decision to dictate was not just about enabling productivity — he also felt he could be an overall more effective lawyer by delegating typing to an assistant.
“If I spend two, three hours or more hours typing a document, it takes away from the energy I can dedicate for the higher-value legal analysis I can deliver for my clients,” Lane said. With voice technology, Lane can oftentimes draft a multiple-page letter or document by dictating for 20 to 30 minutes and then spend the same amount of time finalizing it, after the document has been transcribed by an assistant. “That leaves me sometimes at least an hour, and sometimes an hour and a half and even sometime more that I would have spent typing that I can instead spend using my analytic skills or work on other files.”
Before selecting the solution, Lane reviewed the options available, and ultimately chose Philips for its quality, features and design. The devices and software were so intuitive and easy to operate that the other attorneys and assistants required no formal training after implementation.
Since then, Lane has incorporated dictation for much more than just document creation. As the managing partner of his firm, he needs to delegate tasks to assistants or remind other attorneys about business or client matters. Rather than typing an email, Lane will dictate a voice memo into his Philips Recorder app for the iPhone when he’s on the go, and securely transfer it to the relevant assistant, colleague, or sometimes even to other opposing attorneys involved on a case.
“I can deliver much more information in less time,” Lane said. “The LANE team members receive my vocal memo then just have to listen to what I say, which I think gets the meaning across much better than an email.” Lane also adds, “Voice technology facilitates and encourages team work, which we value highly in our firm, and helps us reduce the total time spent on a task by all team members. It makes us much more efficient, which not only benefits us, but benefits our clients, as well.”
Efficiencies beyond the office
The ability to create documents in less time through dictation and transcription has helped LANE deliver a higher level of service than clients may expect from a firm its size, Lane said. For example, a client recently called Lane with a legal emergency and needed a letter written immediately. From his iPhone, Lane dictated the letter while traveling to downtown Montreal from his suburban office, and sent the file to his assistant from the dictation app to SpeechExec. In approximately an hour following the call, the project of letter was delivered to the client.
On another occasion, Lane was on the other side of the world in New Zealand for vacation, and he was able to complete an urgent client request thanks to the mobility offered by Philips Recorder app integrated with the SpeechExec Pro workflow management system in the office.
“Those are just a couple ways we use mobile voice technology and teamwork to upgrade our performance,” Lane said. “We can deliver much better service in less time from anywhere.”
Client information is confidential, so Lane and other attorneys need to be certain information exchanged online, including dictation files, is protected. The secure Philips Recorder app for iPhone, Android and Blackberry offers 256-bit file encryption capability and seamless integration with the SpeechExec workflow management system. In addition, the application itself can be locked with a PIN code for added security.
Increased productivity in less time
Although Lane Legal continues to grow and add more employees, one essential ingredient will never change: voice technology. After using these tools to help the firm complete more documents and capture more information in less time for several years, Lane said he would never go back to typing again.
“I recommend voice technology to every lawyer I know,” Lane said. “Dictation allows me to focus on valuable and important tasks and legal analyses. It’s made me more efficient, and I think it would help them be more efficient, too.”
Contact us now for an obligation-free demonstration to learn how you will improve your efficiency and productivity through the use of our products.