October 21, 1998: The three lawyer New York firm of Allen, Morris, Troisi & Simon reaped some great publicity last week for its budding extranet, set to begin operation by the end of the month.
The New York Law Journal wrote very positive story about the small firm's ambitious web vision under the apt headline: Small Firm Sets Sites on Competition
The essence of the story concerned how this three-lawyer firm with a commitment to change traditional law practice is getting ready to out-maneuver much larger firms when it comes to serving clients. (Judging from the favorable article, they've already outmaneuvered them on the public relations front.)
The Allen, Morris firm represents large lenders in mortgage and cooperative loans and mortgage loan payoffs. That type of practice involves paperwork, approvals, and coordination among a number of interests working collectively on a transaction. Conventionally, lawyers initiate and receive a stream of faxes, letters, overnight deliveries, and telephone calls, designed to keep everyone on track toward consummating the financing or sale.
But Stanley Simon, an Allen, Morris partner, "saw a better way," according to the New York Law Journal article. His solution involved the building of a secure extranet site -- one that allows clients to find out the most current status of their matters and "simplify the process."
Simon tackled the project himself, reporting dissatisfaction with earlier technology consultants' knowledge about how law is actually practiced. Later, he involved an outside Internet firm "to link everything together."
A few excerpts from the article reveal the compelling arguments in favor of jumping on board the Web bandwagon, not just for "marketing" but to accomplish real work for clients:
"[W]ith a bit of foresight, a small firm can use the Web to turn the tables, to provide an added service -- and, it is hoped, an added value -- that will help even the playing field, to make the underdog a contender with it comes to luring new business."**********
"[T]he firms, large and small, that have best exploited the Web are the ones where a techno-talking attorney ... can be found walking the halls, trying to convince the partners that efficient technology means efficient service, which can translate into more service, for more clients."*****
"For a small firm [this is] a tremendous investment," Mr. Simon said. But one that would allow him to compete with much larger firms. The rule of thumb, he explained, was simple: "Those who can provide more service, faster service, will succeed."
We told those who attended our presentation at the Minnesota Law & Technology Show last month that if they do not have a web strategy in the next few months, they are going to be in trouble, whether they know it or not. Articles like the New York Law Journal article featuring the Allen Morris law firm illustrate why that is becoming truer with each passing month.
Out of the thousands of law firms in New York, Allen Morris is distinguishing itself in the right ways.
The complete article featuring Allen Morris' extranet and how the firm plans to use it is at http://www.nylj.com/tech/101398t2.htm. It originally appeared in the New York Law Journal's October 13, 1998 edition.
If you want to redefine the equation under which your firm attracts clients, call us.
We're in the Web-driven innovation business.
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