At HelloSign, we’re guided by one core value above all others: making users awesome. That’s why we jump at every opportunity to share stories about how our incredible users are using HelloSign to level-up their business.
We sat down with HelloSign user, web developer, and attorney Ric Gruber Jr. of Openlegal – a service of law firm Pasky Gruber Scatchell LLC – to chat about his firm’s unique model for lowering the costs of legal services and how he and his team are using technology to beat out the competition.
Prioritizing Technology to Stand Apart From the Competition
As lawyers and nonlawyers alike know, the legal industry isn’t exactly known for being paper-free. Nor is it known for being cheap. But Pasky Gruber Scatchell partners Jonathan Pasky, Ric Gruber, and Gianna Scatchell knew they wanted to stand out from the competition while also offering corporate and intellectual property legal services at a reasonable rate.
How’d they do it?
As COO, Ric has implemented digital tools to resolve both process and cost concerns he and his partners had discovered over years of client interactions and being on the startup side of the table.
Ric’s been a user of HelloSign since 2012, but he’s long been dedicated to using online tools to streamline his workflow. For years, Ric’s been using services like Dropbox and Google Docs to cut down on the time it takes to process cases and trim down the time spent on paperwork. The firm now uses those services, too.
By using online services, the firm can offer legal services for a pre-determined fixed rate rather than bloating the cost of necessary legal spend by charging per hour. The result of the legal team of Pasky Gruber Scatchell’s hard work and strategy? Openlegal, a service offering a range of flat-fee legal services for outside general counsel, VC & angel investment, patent, IP, data security & privacy, social media and litigation.
Openlegal Used HelloSign to Optimize Document Workflows, Resulting in a 30-50% Increase in Office Efficiency
As you can imagine, lawyers can only be as speedy as their fastest clients. Court notes. Case paperwork. The sheer weight could crush a person less dedicated to getting through the paperwork.
Most law firms solve the timeline issue by employing an admin staff to keep them ahead of all the paperwork. But Ric and his partners viewed the excessive paperwork as more than a simple frustration; They saw paperwork bottlenecks as a legitimate hindrance for success.
That’s why (motivated by Jonathan’s vision), Ric dedicated himself to integrating technology to overcome paperwork processes that have long dictated the speed and cost of legal cases. But their approach goes far beyond using cloud storage for docs.
Ric has built and incorporated modern technology at every level of the process in order to keep their business lean. This includes integrating online tools and services into the existing business model and adopting Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) for many of the steps along the way.
Ric explained his strategy for keeping ahead of the trends:
“Using SaaS, we’ve been able to run a very lean law firm. Lean law firm instead of just a lean lawyer. We’ve eliminated substantially the need for an extensive administrative staff.”
This optimization of workflow has been a differentiating factor. Openlegal is proud to offer fees that are 30-50% less expensive based on 30-50% increased efficiency. Further, the design of Openlegal makes it easy for clients to request legal services online and complete all steps digitally to get the legal services they need.
Along with using services like Clio and Google Docs, their team has used eSignatures to streamline paperwork flow. Not only did eSignatures tighten up the signing timeline and remove the need for an admin staff, they also helped to track client paperwork.
Prior to teaming up, Jonathan, Ric, and Gianna had all experimented with different services.
But Ric said a few things in particular stood out about HelloSign’s service:
- Ease of use. Dealing with so many sensitive documents and high-level clients meant Ric needed an eSignature solution he could trust. HelloSign’s simple design was a big plus. Ric shared, “I’ve never had any errors with HelloSign. That’s huge. Especially when you’re sending out documents to be signed for a startup’s Series A raise. There’s really is no room for error.”
- On-brand. The branding of HelloSign was also on par with the Openlegal standard. This made Ric and the team feel comfortable linking their firm to the brand when sharing HelloSign docs with clients.
- Easy integration and automation. HelloSign also integrated smoothly with their existing workflows, something that was especially important to Ric. “That’s everything now with tech companies: the API. What integrates into what? [HelloSign] syncs to GoogleDrive, Dropbox, etc., which means we can often access documents without having to open up HelloSign they’re already in Clio for our practice management.”
- Audit-trails.audit-trails. “From beginning to end, you’ll see HelloSign audit trail forms inside of our client transactions and lawsuits. So anyone and everyone with permitted access can see exactly what has been done and why.”
- 3rd-party service removes technical hassles. Ric’s an experienced web developer, so creating an eSignature solution was something right up his alley. But even with his expertise, he’s a busy guy. Ric says he likes having a 3rd-party company take charge of maintaining the service so the team can stay focused on making the business even better.
- Low cost. Finally, the low cost was an appealing factor. As Ric sees it, working with a company that’s dedicated to wading through the technical side also reduces the operational costs. “It’s always ROI and then opportunity cost,” Ric says. “I pay $70 a month for a HelloSign/HelloFax business plan. To put it in context, most law firms would bill their clients more than that per hour for their paralegal or paper clips and photocopies.”
Using SaaS to Stay Ahead of the Tech Curve
Though Ric recognizes the value of eSignatures, he admits there’s still wariness in the legal industry. But as eSignatures pick up steam, he’s confident other law firms will wise up. Until then, his team is on the cutting edge of the field and excited to be pioneering the way.
We’re grateful to have Pasky Gruber Scatchell LLC join our team at HelloSign and trust us with their Openlegal service! If you’re interested in connecting with Ric and running through the streamlined flow, head over to Openlegal (and tell him we said hi!).