On this week’s Wealthy Woman Lawyer® Podcast, we speak with Lourdes Fuentes Slater, the CEO of Karta Legal, a legal operations and law firm management consulting firm. She has been named Trailblazer by the New York bar journal for being an agent of change, a thought leader, and an innovator. Lourdes provides independent advice to both law firms and legal departments on how to innovate not only by using technology, but also examining the way they do things and improving legal processes. 

Lourdes says, “What I advocate for is to look at how to eliminate waste by automating processes. When you automate certain processes, your need for the human workforce is reduced, and the money that you save more than pays for the technology itself. It provides opportunities for people that want to create their own businesses to be able to do so with the comfort and the understanding that there is a technology out there that will assist them in doing so without a huge capital investment.”

We discuss her innovative approach to litigation, as well as:

  • Setting up processes to improve efficiency, increase caseloads and drive profits
  • Intro to Lean Six Sigma and Agile systems thinking and tools
  • Necessity of maximizing systems and technology regardless of size of firm
  • How systems can help attorneys meet ethical obligation to offer the best representation
  • Overcoming resistance to technology and systems
  • And more

Listen now…

Mentioned in this episode:

Transcript

Davina Frederick: Hello and welcome to the Wealthy Woman Lawyer podcast. We believe all women lawyers deserve to be wealthy women lawyers. Our mission is to provide thought provoking powerful and practical information to help you in creating your own sustainable wealth generating law firm without overwork or overwhelmed so you can live your best life. I’m your host, Davina Frederick, and I’m so excited for you to meet our guest today. So let’s get started. So let’s welcome Lourdes Fuentes Slater, Founder and CEO of Karta Legal. Karta Legal is a legal operations and law firm management consulting firm. And Lourdes has been named Trailblazer by the New York Bar Journal for being an agent of change, a thought leader and an innovator. So I’m really excited to welcome Lourdes today to the Wealthy Woman Lawyer podcast.

Lourdes Fuentes Slater: Welcome. Thank you, Davina. It’s great to be here with you today. Thanks for having me. I always enjoy conversations with other women leaders in the industry. So I am very excited to be here today.

Davina: Wonderful. I’m excited to have you here too. And lots of questions. So I want to start out talking about just, you could just tell us briefly, what law what cartia legal is and what it does, I know that you blend law and tech in a really interesting way. So if you could just share with everybody what that is.

Lourdes: I will. So Karta Legal is a consulting firm, we provide independent advice to both law firms and legal departments on how to innovate not only by using technology, and what type of technology they need to be using now, but also by looking at the way that they do things, and improving upon those legal processes. So my consulting firm is a little different from other consulting firms. Because one, we do not own any proprietary technology ourselves. We have a preferred vendor list, but we also work with any technology vendor out there that could be a potential fit for our client. And second, because we have a very particular expertise in legal project management, and Lean Six Sigma, which is a process improvement methodology, I have a black belt in Lean Six Sigma. And I use those methodologies, including Agile Project Management, to improve processes, because I think the key to any successful innovation is to follow the what I call the Carter path, which really includes innovating your people, innovating your processes and innovating your technology. So is a holistic approach.

Davina: Wonderful, I definitely want to dig more into that and learn more about it, and how it can help our listeners. But before we do, I’d like to know a little bit more about you personally, and your journey to being the founder of this company. So what led you to create this business? And how did you discover that there was this need?

Lourdes: Well, it’s a pretty long story, let me I guess break it down into little components. When I graduated law school, many moons ago, Lawyers really practiced law without using much technology at all. And back in the early 2000s, when discovery really was the first piece of a process or face of the legal industry that was the main target of technology companies. Because when discovery became what documents were all digital discovery became extremely challenging. And that was my first sort of involvement with law plus technology. I started becoming an E discovery expert. And if you know what that means, is basically using document review platforms to do due diligence to review your clients files to make productions to prepare your case or factual deposition and for expert deposition and ultimately for trial. So my journey really began first as a litigator and then as an E discovery expert When I had already been doing a discovery for a while, and when I started the discovery there, we didn’t call it a discovery, we didn’t have a litigation support department, we still had not created the processes that we have today, where we have the vendor plus a law firms litigation support department close the lawyers working together. So I started sort of understanding that to be able to provide the best services for our clients. 

We needed not only lawyers, but we needed technology experts, and we needed paralegals and other litigation support personnel that were trained to use technology in a way that lawyers had not been trained to do so in law school. Okay. Subsequent to that, I was retained by the beta trustee, and his count, to create a discovery management team with a select group of people. And that was the first time where I separated litigation duties from legal operations and logistics. The discovery management team in the made of case was a brilliant move by my lead counsel and the trustee because it allowed the litigators to focus on the substantial claims of the case and sort of carved out the processes that could be carved out. And were handed to a discovery management team. And by doing so, we were able to really move the ball pretty fast and create tracking tools and mechanisms and virtual discovery document review platforms and claim forms online for people to file their claims and create a different process, you know, created contract attorney teams to handle the very heavy volume litigation component of that case. 

And I think that sort of opened my eyes to the need for me to upskill myself and become an expert in project management, and an expert in process improvement. And I did so by getting certified and legal project management and going through the steps and ultimately becoming a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, I fast forward a little bit, I became the creator of the logistics and the handling of the residential mortgage backed securities cases that filed by my firm, Grayson Ellsworth. And that firm was really an amalgamation of lawyers from big law that got together to sue the banks. So we created this particular litigation firm, and the head of the firm wanted the firm to remain very lean and very small, and do a lot with less. And that sort of became my job. We do this case with, you know, 25 attorneys going up against all of the major investment banks in the world, and then the big major law firms in New York City, with the team that we had, and we indeed did that, and were extremely successful in those cases. 

Our clients were the FDIC and a couple of Federal Home Loan Banks. So it was another sort of successful experience in what technology can do and what the ability to separate litigation itself or loitering itself from from the logistics where you require a different type of expertise and skill set.

Davina: Right, right. So you did you, were you doing this in working in the through your law firm and the boutique firms setup? Or have you already started Karta Legal?

Lourdes: No. No. Karta Legal was launched about a year and a half ago. Well, now it’s going to be close to two years. So it was after I did this for two big law firms into really large cases, which is I think the reason that I was named a trailblazer was really for my work in those two big cases. And what I thought is, instead of finding another firm with one big case, one big problem like NATO for our guests, where I can be the lead, you know, Chief Innovation Officer, I want to be able to provide those services and lead departments that are interested in innovation posed to, you know, when when when you join firms and your role is to really innovate from within. Some firms may or may not be ready. And there are a lot of challenges that are involved with that. And I also thought that that would limit my ability to, to impart everything that I have learned to a broader audience. 

I mean, really, my goal is to educate the broader audience, it’s not really to help one particular client and one particular problem is really to to make the pitch and and the the statement that we as lawyers must have as our mission, to improve our processes and innovate the way that we practice law, because technology, the technology that is available right now, will allow us and is allowing us to provide services in a much more efficient and speedily manner than we ever did before. And for the most part, lawyers are not really cut up with that technology at all. And that’s my goal with Karta.

Davina: Right, right. I do think, you know, as attorneys, it is, it is going to be has been, and is going to continue to be, the challenge of the future is out, we have to start rethinking how we how we function, as business owners, when and that’s going to require something different than the lawyer mindset, right. So you have lawyers, if you’re owning a business, you’re growing a business, you have to start looking at things from that with that CEO hat on and saying how can we continue to innovate? Beyond? I think most people, when they think of technology and lawyers, they think of, you know, I’m gonna, I’ve got the laptop and I can do everything in the cloud. And, and, you know, these are, everybody has a cell phone, and these are innovations, right. But we’re talking much deeper than that, where you’re looking at your systems on a systemic level, and saying, how do we use technology for our fulfillment and production? Right?

Lourdes: Right. So it’s a very broad topic. And it’s a very broad concept. But you mentioned something when you were talking that I want to emphasize wishes. And this is related to when you’re starting your business, or when you have a small farm and you want to compete with the bigger fish. I think ology is the great equalizer. And that is one thing that we cannot lose sight of, because I think, in my own personal experience, we have proven in our cases, how we can litigate, being a small firm against all of the major institutions and law firms in the world by really instituting efficient technology and methodologies. It really levels the playing field, and for any woman or minority owned business or smaller business that wants to compete and wants to get those types of clients. It’s something that cannot be ignored the return on your investment on technology innovation, from you know, document management, contract management, automation, the return on investment that you can have on that is enormous not only in terms of saving money, but in terms of allowing you to compete at a speed and at an efficiency level. As the big firms do, and sometimes more leanly, and you’re more agile and flexible because you’re smaller, and you can make quicker decisions.

Davina: Right, right. I couldn’t agree more. I think you are definitely in the hot spot right now. I want to talk about the system that you use. So let’s dive into Lean Six Sigma, and talk about that and tell us what that is. For people who don’t know, tell us what that is.

Lourdes: Lean Six Sigma is really a process improvement methodology. It is a way and it really started in manufacturing. Because the car manufacturing companies for example, needed to become more active. And, and is based on a lot of Japanese lean thinking as well. And when Six Sigma really means to try to eliminate defects to 3.4 defects in 1 million units, that is what Six Sigma actually means, wow, the lean is a process whereby you remove all of the waste in your process so that you can add value to your client. And value basically means anything that your client is willing to pay for. And when I say your client is willing to pay, I mean that your client knows exactly how it is that you’re doing your work, and your client is willing to pay for that. 

So we need to eliminate the waste in your process so that the service that you are providing the work product that you’re providing to your client, removes those waste components and tries to make it as precise as possible. Of course, in law, you know, 3.4 defects per 1 million units is not really even realistic or makes any sense, right, because even not producing, you know, three documents in error in a million. It’s a very expensive challenge. But it’s sort of looking at where you can reduce error by improving systems and, and Lean Six Sigma gives you different tools, we use, we’re a big fan of the Kaizen event, which really means a team meeting, cross functional team, even if you’re in a law firm, you would include your IT people, the you know, the people in your the lawyers in your case, maybe paralegal, paralegals or litigation support personnel, everyone getting together and sort of mapping out anything, it could be how you file a complaint, it could be how you do due diligence, it could be how you produce documents, figure out what a pain or pressure point in your work, daily workload or project is, and try to map it out. 

So we actually it’s a very, it’s a fun exercise, there’s brainstorming techniques that we use, and we map out the process the way you’re doing it. And then we start challenging the different components of that process to see if there are ways to make that process better. And by doing so, we find out where mistakes are happening, and why. For example, in a document review process, you may find out that the document review is taking too long, because you may not be using the right document review review platform, you may not be using analytics or artificial intelligence that you may already be paying for. And you are not even aware that you’re paying for that. You may have too many contract attorneys reviewing documents, but not enough of your own attorneys doing the QC process. So there may be too too many errors. Errors need to be caught early so that the artificial intelligence tool can learn from the way that you want to do things. So there’s all kinds of things that we discovered by doing this, this Kaizen meeting, or is really a team meeting with the right people involved. And the right people involved is also very important, because we need a collaboration.

Davina: Mm hmm. So tell me what, what size law firm? At what stage in your growth? Should you be doing these kinds of analyses? Like, you know, this is not this is not for solos, or maybe attorneys with, you know, it’s them and some paralegals, if at what stage of the growth of your firm, are we talking about firms that are making $500,000? a year million dollars a year $10 million dollars a year?

Lourdes: No, I, I think that anyone can benefit from technology. And it doesn’t matter the size of your firm, you need to pause and think about how you’re doing your daily activities. For example, there was a very busy local litigator that was doing a lot of divorce cases. And we figure out that by having an automated intake process, and by having templates that were automatically filled out and using the deal, but it could be many other things. As a tool, we were able to make this client a lot more efficient, be able to take a lot more cases because his secretary and his paralegal we’re not overwhelmed with all the paperwork we reduce the the cycle time that it took from cases to get from the door into his hands and even then, we created processes, including You know, using document management, and contract management tools to really make him more efficient so that he could do a lot more. And these are things that are not very difficult to implement, they’re not very costly to implement. And I want to make that point because it’s not that you need to be a big firm to acquire some of these technologies. 

A lot of the licenses and subscriptions are based on users. So you really need to consider the possibilities within your own law firm regardless of size. Of course, if you have a really large matter, you can then you know, ramp it up and use more sophisticated tools and, you know, do Kaizen event and process mapping and do all kinds of analysis that are more sophisticated, but at any point, I think you can benefit from upskilling your people reviewing your processes and make them less wasteful. And considering what technology you should be using.

Davina: Right. Right. I think that’s wonderful advice. And the reason I asked that is because I think we’re seeing a change happening in the industry with, we’ve already had so many women law firm owners who choose to start their law firm, because they want that flexibility in their schedule and control. And now with the pandemic covid happening, and people walk and sit in various states being kind of forced to work virtually and have distributed teams, I think it’s really opened up a lot of people’s eyes to alternative ways to function as opposed to the traditional, you know, let’s have a building and all be in that building. And that’s, that’s our law firm. And so I can really see people having a strong need for not only leveraging their technology, but really, uh, examining and creating processes and systems to deal with people working as distributed teams with remote workers, you know, are you seeing that?

Lourdes: I am seeing that I think the pandemic is truly the tipping point for legal innovation. I don’t think there’s any way back, the changes that I have seen happening during this pandemic, were changes that I have been advocating for, for years, and still are not happening like esigning. You know, as a matter, of course, using themes and video conferencing, being able to work from home, you know, FaceTime not being so important and being able to prove that you still can do it. All of these changes are happening at a really fast pace. And I think it has opened up a really great opportunity to be able to be more mobile. And for women to have flexibility that they didn’t have in you before this year, even because it’s some firms, unless you’re there, six days a week, 12 hours a day, they don’t think you’re doing anything. So this is showing the companies how productive their workforce can be from out of the office. And it also has shown and it’s something that has to be spoken about even though it is not an easy thing to say it has shown to the law firms, how their administrative staff can be cut down and reduced dramatically by using technology in the right way.

Davina: Right, right. And so you’re finding instead of having a whole lot of what quote unquote, warm bodies, which is what a lot of people are, you know, looking for your hat use can really be selective and have a players on your team, and, you know, maximize your technology and run much leaner and be more profitable.

Lourdes: Right, exactly. So in many ways, what I advocate for is to look at how to eliminate waste and a way to do so is by automating processes. When you automate certain processes, your need for the human workforce is reduced and the money that you save and that more than pays for the technology itself. So you have to consider all of these things and it provides, I think, an opportunity for people that want to create their own businesses to be able to do so with the comfort and the understanding that there is a technology out there that will assist them in doing this. So without a huge capital investment in people or resources.

Davina: So let me ask you this, I imagine that, for instance, using myself as an example, I’m an attorney. And Right, right, and right now I don’t have a law firm. I have a wealthy woman lawyer, my coaching and consulting business, but I think that I don’t think in systems, right, so I’ve had to, I’ve had to cultivate that skill to be able to think, in a systematic way, because it’s just sort of not my natural inclination. I think there are a lot of lawyers. I know there are because I’ve had conversations with so many and the work we do together, who don’t have a natural inclination to think in terms of systems and processes. We’re, you know, we want to jump in and get excited about the case, we want to do the work and all of that. But obviously, when you become a business owner, you have to start embracing, you know, learning these skills. But if you have people who are not systems thinkers, where do you suggest that they start with their law firm, and improve those products or procedures?

Lourdes: I suggest they either hire a consultant that can help them with those processes, or they become process experts themselves. But either or you need to look at a law firm as a business enterprise. And for that, you need technology, and you need systems in place, and you need processes that work and work well. And this is not peculiar to you, or the people you’re talking to, I think lawyers, we have not been trained to be efficient in the way that I’m speaking about. Because we are rooted in the present, we are rooted in not making mistakes, we are never taught practical skills in law school, everything is about law and precedent and regulations. And then we are trained to, you know, figure out the causes of action or file a complaint or do a licensing agreement. But we’re never taught the technology that can be used to do any of that. So we have to, you know, law schools are starting to get the memo. 

Some law schools have progressed quite a bit in providing at least their third year lawyers, some of these types of classes, but we have a long way to go. And law firms have a long way to go in terms of accepting that it is, in my view, unethical to ignore the availability of technology, and what it does to your case, and still provide services in the way that you did you know, 10-20 years ago, when you look at the model rules of professional conduct, or you look at the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, you will find in many places, that you as a lawyer are required to provide competent representation, you need to be technologically technologically competent to do so. And if you’re not, you need to associate yourself with someone that is.

Davina: So speedy representation, efficient representation, I think you bring up something really interesting here with our ethical obligation. And I bet it’s something that a lot of people a lot of attorneys and law firm owners have not considered is that by not embracing and, and researching and making discoveries with technology, that they may not be able to provide the level of representation that their competitors do.

Lourdes: Exactly, and I think is very important to think about our duties as lawyers and our professional duties and responsibilities and our ethical obligations. That is really one of the two elephants in the room. The second elephant being the billable hour.

Davina: Right, so tell me about that.

Lourdes: Well, the billable hour, promotes inefficiencies, right? If you can have a team of 20 attorneys reviewing documents for 10 months to produce documents and your client is paying for that. What is your incentive to make your process last six weeks, which you absolutely can do if you listen to what I have to say. So that really has been a problem. The elephant in the room as I call it, something that also goes back to our ethical obligations and responsibilities because we are in the business Law and the business of law is not for profit, it is for profit, but is not to make money, we are there to provide the best representation for our clients. And that sometimes means that you have to relook and rethink about how you’re doing your work and how you are providing those services?

Davina: Well, I think it is about making money. But I think there is a, there is a, you know, this is why we have our ethical rules is because their obligations were self regulating industry. So, yes, you can make, but you also can make money just because you don’t keep a case for, you know, much longer. And instead you incorporate technology, and you improve efficiency. And you’re moving cases through more quickly. This is where it’s gonna allow you the capacity for a lot more cases. Right?

Lourdes: Exactly. That is my whole pitch is that you are not looking at the big picture. If you’re only thinking about one case, you are milking a client. Yeah, yeah, the big picture includes volume. And it includes your ability to bring in more clients among cases and do them more efficiently and more quickly, and get them to resolution so that you can get paid. So absolutely.

Davina: We are also using audit, we’re also using automation. There’s got to be a process for generating leads and a process for intake and a process for you know, so you’re talking about automating from end to end, you know, do incorporating and setting up systems from in? So, yeah, I can definitely, I can definitely see that. So I want to ask you before, we’ve got a few more minutes here. But before we end, I want to ask you, what do you what do you see when you go in and you’re meeting with law firm owners for first time, and you’re talking with them, some of the mistakes you think they’re making, or maybe not mistakes, but way of doing things that you think they need to would be good for them to start shifting the way that they think about it? So what are the challenges you are seeing

Lourdes: The first challenge that I see is the inability to think outside of the box. So one phrase that comes up over and over again, it’s we’ve always done it this way. And we have always done it this way is the kiss of death for innovation. And the issue with saying that is that you will be left behind. And I want to touch upon that point. Because with data and big data growing exponentially, and with technology, and the competition in the legal industry also growing exponentially, including alternative legal services providers, and with the new regulations in Arizona and Utah that will allow for non lawyers to own law firms. And with the Big Four accounting firms invading the legal space, there are so many reasons why the time to innovate is now and why you cannot say we’ve always done it that way. Because of the exponential changes that are happening. 

Think about the iPhone, only think about the iPhone, we did not have an iPhone until 2007. Do we imagine a way of functioning today without a smartphone? We can’t. Yeah, and this is how fast we are moving in technology and for lawyers to put their head in the sand and think this is not happening. And I’ve always done it this way. And my clients are okay with it. It is absolutely the wrong way of thinking about this. And if they want a profitable business, then they have to get their head in the sand and look around and make the changes for a true digital transformation. And for that you need a very specific strategic plan. And you need to map it out and you need to write it and you need to execute it. 

So one is always I’ve always done it this way, there’s one mistake and to think that, you know, picking things at Hawk was that we need a better budgeting system or we need I just need you to tell me how I do the discovery process better. So all of that is fine, I can help you do that. But what we need to do is create a legal Technology Roadmap is look at your firm, holistically and look at how you’re doing you know administrative tasks, and look at how you’re doing legal processes and figure out what things you need to innovate this tasks and in what priority and then hidden them one Time with the strategic and very precise methodologies. So I think that is also one. One mistake, a second mistake. And a third mistake is thinking that is too expensive.

Davina: Right. So talk about that a little bit more.

Lourdes: Well, technology is really not that expensive. You can. And I think I mentioned this already, a lot of the software, as a service is provided as a subscription base based on the number of users. So for example, you can automate your email management system and get time entries pulled straight out of your email for, you know, maybe $20 – $30,000 a year. And if you do that, you will be accumulating so much more time that you never write your time for. Because there is no time to do it, you know, we live in such a fast paced world, that we do a lot of work that never even gets registered in our time entries. 

For example, if you are billing by the hour, if you are doing a document review, if you get a litigation and your client says your budget is x, but you’re spending 70% of that budget in discovery, then you’re short, cutting yourself with not having the money that you need to take the case to trial, which is the most important part of the case. So if you can allocate instead of 70%, of discovery, 30% of discovery, then you’ll have the money to do a much better case. So technology itself is not expensive. It is how you use it appropriately. And he’s expensive if you buy it, and nobody uses it, which is why you need to train your people and fix your processes and have everyone on the same page before you acquire technology, which is another Lean Six Sigma principle is to have everyone understanding what it is and why so that you have buying from within? How many times have you heard, Well, I bought that piece of software, and no one in my office is using it. That was a waste of time and a waste of money. And I’m never doing it again. But it was not brought in properly. So you need to to find the right technology, you need to implement it the right way and you need to have adoption. And these are steps taken.

Davina: Right and you you will you bring up a good point about people you know, this is part of your, this is a cultural thing, you know, if you have a I always say this, if you I take in survey, you know, seven course meal on a beautiful tip, you know, out table outside and the sun is setting and we have a white tablecloth and, and candles and I serve it up to you that way, you’re going to just think it’s the most amazing meal ever, I could take the same meal and put it on the garbage can lid, and you would be repulsed by it. And I think sometimes that is with leaders wanting to get, you know, use new technology and incorporating systems. Oftentimes, it’s the way it’s served up to your team, and how you’re going to serve it up and how you’re going to say to them, this is something that we’re going to do and how you get that buy-in into what they’re doing to participate in. In other words, you can’t just buy it, put it in and go, Okay, this is what we’re doing now. and expect that everybody’s going to be on board with that on your team. 

So that’s part of it as well. And I do want to I do want to touch Sorry to interrupt, but I want to touch on whether the point that you made that have you addressed is when you’re talking about the cost of technology, if you are a business owner, you really if you are still thinking of expense expense expense expense, and you’re not thinking of return on investment. That is a mindset shift that you have to start making as a business owner. If I’m investing in this, what is going to be the return on it. And what you’re talking about are very, you know, the examples you’ve given are very significant returns. Right?

Lourdes: Right. Right. Absolutely. And I think that it has, you know, there’s case studies, we have data on what money or monies can be saved on different types of technologies. And the return on investment is huge. And a lot of times it’s not only the return on the investment itself, but it’s your ability to reduce the expenses on your human workforce piece. So those people are either you’re either going to place them into doing more productive tasks that are higher billable hours, or you find out that administrative costs can be cut down and you may not need as many people as you were hiring before to do certain types of tasks. outsourcing, IT outsourcing the Junior and mid level attorney work. Outsourcing a lot of the technology consulting outsourcing a lot of these aspects of your law practice can save you a lot of money. And you have to, that’s why I think you have to think of it as a strategic plan. And you have to look at the numbers, and you have to look at your priorities. But undoubtedly, using technology is more efficient and more cost effective.

Davina: Right. And you’re also talking about getting your own time back, which is huge for people because as I pulled women in my community and ask them, why did you start your law firm, and women law firm owners across sport, the highest number one reason was because they wanted flexibility, and they wanted more time for your family, or, you know, whatever other personal interests they have. And then we get into the doing and the work. And because we don’t stop and take time to look at the big picture and look at our processes and our systems and our team. And try to think of ways to do things more efficiently and how to automate and how to leverage ourselves. We often find ourselves ranking more than ever. Right.

Lourdes: Exactly. And it’s planning and it’s not being penny wise, but pound foolish. Right, right, is both of these things.

Davina: I thought you brought up something interesting earlier, when you said that attorneys, you know, we live in this world of tradition and precedent. Let me set a precedent like, Oh, yeah, this is so true that attorneys are especially when you talk about more established law firms that have been around for a while, you know, there’s that older partners that have turned over to new partners. And there’s this, there’s such in the legal profession, there’s such a legacy of tradition and traditional way of doing things. And the whole when we look at the law, it’s built on precedent. So we’re always going back and going, Well, what did they do? And you know, in that case, and 1937, you know, so this is how we’re sort of trained to think but if we’re, but as a business owner, you have to always be looking toward the future, and what’s going to be coming down the pipeline. And we’re seeing, as you said, some seismic shifts, in some states, where now people who are not lawyers are being non lawyers are being allowed to give legal advice. And, you know, LegalZoom was a huge seismic shift. And I think it really shook a lot of people to the core. In you know, but that’s a perfect example of somebody who leverage technology, and completely changed the way legal services are brought to clients.

Lourdes: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it really levels the playing field. And I think, when you think about change management, and why change management is so hard, there’s many reasons that we already addressed some of them. But the fact that Generation X is still leading the charge, in a lot of large law firms. And even if you go on your own, you’re probably at this stage that you’re very senior and you haven’t been trained this way. So we need to change the way we think we need to embrace technology to really be competitive in this new world. And I think it is very, for women, business owners and law firm owners to understand that just because in you know, the big law firm things are done this way. 

And they may not be done as effectively and efficiently that you cannot do it better and faster and more effectively, by using technology and leveraging different types of skill sets. And I think it is going to be eventually everyone will end up changing. I think that a lot of the challenges to innovation that come from not having leaders that embrace technology and change. As more and millennials get to that position where they can affect change management, they will do so because a leader is the most the key to success to any Innovation Initiative is whether the leader of the firm of your project is fully in it or not. So if you have a leader that gives gifts, innovation, lip service and doesn’t really mean it and it’s not for him, you go do it is never going to work. You really have to have a culture change, meaning not only what you encourage but also what you tolerate. You have to say we are not doing things this way anymore. 

And but not that top heavy. But what you have to really change the way things are done by having the leaders understand why and then imparting their own leadership into the whole organization and saying, this is how we’re going to do things. And this is why and explaining, you know, we typically have at the beginning of any project, a half a day workshop, talking about why we’re thinking of doing whatever change or implementation we’re doing, and listening to what the team says about that. And then taking those things into consideration to make the implementation and the adoption work. So you must be able to do that. But in every case, where I can tell you, you know, without any doubt, this initiative was a success. In every case, I’ve had the full backing of the leader of the law firm or the legal department. So that the number one person has said, yes, this makes sense. Yes, let’s do this.

Davina: Right? Absolutely. It begins and ends with you. With you, oh, you own the law firm. And I am. So I want people to leave this with an understanding that I think so many of us when we think we have generations that have grown up on social media, and, and so when they think of Oh, technology, you know, marketing my law firm, social media, right. And so that’s where, where a lot of people are thinking technology is, is in attracting clients and, and that kind of thing. And they may not be thinking about their fulfillment processes. And I really want them to leave an understanding today that there’s a tremendous opportunity here to be a pioneer and a leader in this area, and really leverage your services in a way that’s going to, to allow you to create a very profitable business. Would you agree?

Lourdes: Absolutely. Technology 100% is so much more than just using it for marketing technology is to be used internally to automate your processes for collaboration tools for document management systems, contract management systems. Business Intelligence is one of them competitive intelligence that is sort of related to marketing, but not quite the same, you know, having the ability to data mind what you have already done. So you know how long it took you so that you can provide not only a billable rate, but an alternative fee arrangement that may be more appealing to clients nowadays, there’s so many things you can do. I mean, that last year was the highest year that I have data for legal technology investment. And he was walked by the third quarter technology, legal tech investment in particular, was at $1.4 billion. 

And that represents an enormous growth and the year before, it was like a 700% growth. And this year, I only see that number bigger. So there is the availability and the number of tools out there to do so many things is mind boggling. So what I tried to do is to break that down into silos, you know, what type of collaboration tools can you use? What type of image management tools can you use? What type of document review tools can you use, and then guide you through those processes. So you can look at a bucket, look at your options, look at your budget, and pick what’s best for you. But there are many different buckets. Technology is not one, you know, isn’t is not using Salesforce for marketing technology is so much more than that.

Davina: Right. Right. So tell us how we can find out more about carta legal and get in touch with you if you want to do that?

Lourdes: Well, we have a website, of course, kartalegal.com. So we can send people there and they can take a look at what our services are. And there is a contact form and we can give you a call you’re interested in any of our services. Or you can reach me at [email protected] .

Davina: Wonderful, thank you so much. And we’ll definitely include that web address in the show notes for the podcast episode. So anybody who wants to follow up, that’s the way to do it. And Lord us I so appreciate you being here today and, and discussing this very important topic with us because I know it’s on the minds of so many people and as we go into 2021 I know it’s going to be a huge part of a lot of people’s annual planning. But thank you again.

Lourdes: Thank you so much for having me.

Davina: We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s episode of the Wealthy Woman Lawyer podcast. If you have, we invite you to leave us a review on your preferred podcast platform. The more five star reviews we have, the more women law firm owners will be able to positively impact. Your thoughts and opinions are so important. If you are a woman law firm owner and want to scale your law firm to a million dollars or more in gross annual revenue and do it in a way that’s sustainable and feels good to you. Then we invite you to join us in the Wealthy Woman Lawyer League. The league is a community of highly intelligent, goal oriented and driven women law firm owners who are excited to support one another on their journeys to becoming wealthy women lawyers will be sharing so much in the league in the coming year, including the exclusive million dollar law firm framework that until now, I’ve only shared with my private one to one client. For more information and join us. Go now to www.wealthywomanlawyer.com/league. We look forward to seeing you soon. We look forward to seeing you soon