101. Pratik Shah, EsquireTek Discovering the Power of Automation

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Shah is a fierce advocate for technological innovation. Having experienced the impact tech can have on the legal process first hand, he set out to streamline one of the most tedious jobs lawyers and paralegals face

Discovery.

In this episode, Pratik talks us through what exactly it means to automate discovery, its life changing impact, and the security measures that go alongside it. We also look at how tech can revolutionize the legal industry in general, and future plans for Pratiks company EsquireTek.

Whats In This Episode?

  • Who is Pratik Shah?
  • How did Pratiks early career impact his perspective on the value of tech?
  • What does it mean to automate the discovery process?
  • How tech is helping solos and small firms compete in larger arenas?
  • Why is technological innovation crucial in the legal space?
  • What security precautions need to be taken when developing and using tech for legal work?

Transcript

Pratik Shah

We asked a hundred paralegals and lawyers out of all these pieces of the litigation process what do you spend your most timing? And over 70% say written discovery.

Chris Dreyer

We’ve heard many guests say that when it comes to technology, the legal industry lags behind. Thankfully, people like Pratik Shah are stepping up to lead the revolution .

Pratik Shah

So what EsquireT
ek does is when you get the discovery from opposing counsel, you upload it right into the platform extracts the questions for you, and then it sends your client a text message link and an email link that’s fully HIPAA compliant.

Chris Dreyer

You’re listening to Personal Injury Mastermind, the show where elite personal injury attorneys and leading edge marketers give you exclusive access to grow strategies for your firm. Whilst building his own successful practice, Pratik Shah came to the realization that hiring more staff wasn’t the only way to increase output. Investing in the right technology was also essential to increasing efficiency. Focusing his sights on the discovery process, Pratik founded EsquireTek to pioneer a new approach that would save lawyers and paralegal and their clients time and energy. Pratik swung by to share his own experiences of building a practice, describing what it means to automate discovery and discuss tech competency at an industry. I’m your host, Chris Dreyer, founder and CEO of Rankings.IO. We help elite personal injury attorneys dominate first page rankings with search engine optimization. An important first step for any lawyer is to really understand the people around them. So let’s get to know our guest. Here’sPratik Shah, CEO of EsquireTek.

Pratik Shah

I grew up in Norwalk, California, which is a small town. My first kind of few formative years were. Koreatown downtown LA a few years before the riots, we moved out. So it didn’t grow up in the most affluent neighborhoods. And my family never had access to a lawyer. The idea of talking to a lawyer or engaging with the lawyer was just looked down upon. But the reality was lawyers had a lot of access and a lot of power and something the community needed. And it’s something I was always interested in. I was always one of those little kids watching law and order when I came home from school, instead of cartoons. Of course, the OJ Simpson trial that was on every day when you came home from school, definitely helped get me interested in seeing what was going on. And helped motivate me. And so that those early years of just growing up in LA county, having a major trial like that, be televised watching all the trial shows really made me interested in the area of law. And as I learned more and more about it as I got older and was. That interest just kept going into a passion.

Chris Dreyer

That’s fantastic. And yeah, definitely. I remember the trials and I was hooked just like everyone else. And that’s amazing. You know, straight out of law school, you went over to the Sacramento county, da office and you’re there for about a year and then you went on your own. So it was actually a very quick trajectory. Most people, they go work for another firm for many years and then finally get the courage. Strike out on their own. So tell me about that experience of making the leap.

Pratik Shah

Yeah, so right out of law school, you know, I went to law school to be a da. I wanted to be a da. I got a job at the Sacramento county district attorney’s office. I was a da, I was up there for about a year, just a little bit over and got a bunch of trial experience, which was awesome. Exactly what I wanted to do. Try cases, take them to court. But I always had that entrepreneurial spirit, you know, even in law school, I used to buy old iPods and sell them on Craigslist, just for fun, just because it scratches a certain itch. And so that was always in my blood. My mom was a little bit of a small business woman. And so that was always who I was growing up. And that it’s just got bigger and bigger. Once that decision gets made behind your brain, that you can do it. And it’s possible. It’s hard to, it’s hard to quell that voice. And as I was working at the DA’s office, enjoyed my time there. Worked with some great people, still friends with them to this day, but that desire to just try it and go for it. Just got bigger and bigger became all consuming. And so moved back to LA and started my practice there. And just went for it.

Chris Dreyer

That’s amazing. And you went out on your own and you know, so many people talk about it. They’re the want-trpreneurs, not the entrepreneurs. And you did it yourself. Was it during this time that you know, you’re wearing a ton of hats at the beginning, when you start, you go out on your own. Was it during this time that you started looking at software, looking at automation to try to?

Pratik Shah

Yeah. So obviously when you start, you have no money and you can’t afford any software, you just do everything manually because every penny counts you’re worried about, Hey, I got to get a website up. I got to go meet people for lunch. I got to take people out to dinner. I got to go to all these events that cost money, everything costs me. And so every little place where you can save a few bucks, you try to save it so that you can actually put it back into the business and invest. And as you, as I started building the practice cases started coming in money started flowing a little bit better than it was like, Hey, how do I get more efficient? The things that are manual processes that can be automated? How, where do I find the things that can. The initial solution to all these problems is hire somebody, right? Cause I was a true solo, no paralegal, no secretary, nobody. So the initial solution is let me hire somebody and take the really time consuming, menial tasks off my plate and make them do it. But then as you start getting payroll, you realize this ain’t cheap either. There has to be a better solution. And the time that my paralegals and legal assistants are spent spending, doing these manual tasks, if there is a software or if there’s a program that can do. That’s even better for them because I’ve got so many other things that they need to do and we can close cases faster. At the end of the day, it’s better for our clients. Number one complaint that clients have is why is my case taking so long? lot of times it’s because the process of getting through litigation is slow and just takes time. Some there’s some things you just can’t speak to. And so the things that we can speed up, we try to look for those things. Or if they don’t exist, we build them ourselves.

Chris Dreyer

And you know, so many people talk about leverage in different ways and you’re exactly right. They always talk about another body. Like you have this giant pile of rocks. You want to move it more quickly, you get another person to move the pile of rocks, and then they come around. And then having a full-time employee, you get more control, but it’s also a lot more maintenance. You’ve got to train them, you got to hire the right people, give them raises all the culture things you can outsource, but then you have less control because they already know how to make a widget. You can’t tell them how to make the widget. And then you start looking at software and AI, and I think. It’s interesting because it is leverage, it does make you more efficient. And in many times in many situations like, like we’re really going to dive into, I mean, there’s a lot of margin there in the costs. It’s like an arbitrage between human vs AI.

Pratik Shah

Yeah. And a big, important thing just to jump in there Chris is that it allows us small and solo firms to compete with larger firms. There’s a strategy on opposing counsel. They look you up. I researched who I’m going up against. As far as who the attorneys are on the other side, they look us up too. They want to know who they’re up against. They’re not dumb. And when they look and they see, oh, the law firm was founded a year ago, he’s running a single person, he or she is running a single person practice. They don’t really have a team. Hey, let’s bombard them with paperwork. See how they respond. See if they make a call and let’s see what they actually do. And when you’ve got AI and software that can help take those menial tasks off your plate, it allows you to step to the plate and say, bring it.

Chris Dreyer

If you ask any attorney to list the most tedious and time consuming parts of their job discovery is likely to be in the mix. However, it doesn’t have to be. Pratik and his team at EsquireTek are completely revolutionizing the process. So I asked him to explain exactly what it means to automate discovery.

Pratik Shah

Yeah. Thanks, Chris. So EsquireTek is this discovery automation platform we created and it’s weird always saying discovery automation platform. There really isn’t another discovery automation platform. So every time I say, Hey, we help automate discovery. The response I get is what does that mean? Because it doesn’t really exist. It’s not like we built a car and there’s a million other cars out there, and everybody knows what a car does. So what this does is there is a manual process in discovery and every state’s a little bit different. Some states they use pleading paper where we’ve got these numbers down the side, which we need to convert to word and Adobe can’t handle it. So paralegals are doing that process. In other states that don’t use a pleading paper, they then have to take those questions are in both states. They have to take the questions, get the client’s answers, and then start putting their objections in, get the client’s signature on verifications or certificate of service. Some states call it a certificate of service. And that process is also manual. When we’re getting these answers from our client, we’re talking emails, phone calls, meetings in person. That can take forever. It can take, I mean, I know that I’ve been on three hour phone calls. I know my paralegals have been on four hour phone calls with clients getting basic information and there had to be a better way. So what EsquireTek does is when you get the discovery from opposing counsel, you upload it right into the platform extracts the questions for you, and then it sends your client a text message link and an email link that’s fully HIPAA. So the client can answer it on their own time. And of course, if they have questions, you don’t have to, let’s say you get a hundred questions from opposing counsel and you send 50 to your client and your client answers 30. Okay. You still have to call and get those last 20 and you can still talk to the client, make sure the answers are correct the way they like it. But at least that initial process where you’ve got these basic questions of where do you live? What’s your full name? What’s your full legal name? What high school did you go to? Have you ever been in any prior car accidents? Have you ever been in any worker’s comp claims, those basic questions, client cancer it on their phone. There’s no reason for paralegals lawyers, legal assistants to be spending hours and hours of valuable time on the phone. And the reality, the best part about that is the clients prefer it. The clients don’t want to be on three, four hour phone calls with their paralegal or lawyer. And the reality of kind of the world we’re in today is everybody’s mobile first.

Chris Dreyer

Something popped in my head when you’re talking about this. And I I think that’s fantastic that’s extremely efficient and of course they can lay on their bed, start filling out some of these and now I have to roll into the firm or set on a long phone call. And, but let’s talk about this and I’ve heard this in a different manner. Have you ever heard the saying where you put different tonalities and there’s different inflections and interpretations of written words? So the common one you’ve heard is ‘I didn’t say my neighbor killed his wife’, ‘ I didn’t say my neighbor killed his wife’, you know, where you emphasize different words and you can interpret it differently. Are you saying like the very factual. It extracts that, and maybe you get on the phone where some of those things can be a little bit of the interpret.

Pratik Shah

Exactly. Yeah. And I’m not we’re we don’t believe that the phone calls with clients are going to be completely eliminated or should be completely eliminated because of part of what you’re talking about, is that sometimes there’s nuance that doesn’t come across in text. We’re just saying that those three hour phone calls should be 30. Hey, Lisa. Thanks for answering all our questions via text. Can you jump on a 15 minute phone call next week so I can confirm your answers? Make sure everything’s good. And we can get your case moving forward. Sure. 15 minutes? Absolutely.

Chris Dreyer

Let me try to ask a question to paint us in a visual aspect. And first of all, forgive me, I’m not an attorney, so I may be a little off in my question and I’m trying to make the comparison here, you know, when we’re doing, let’s say a hundred rear end collisions, very common accidents. You know, what are we looking like from a staffing perspective of how many paralegals would you need?

Pratik Shah

Yea that’s a good question, what we can see. And I hate to frame it this way, but what I believe is that the paralegals of today are doing the work equivalent of three paralegals from the 1980s and the 90s. Right between case management, softwares, cloud computing, template creation, all the things that we’ve learned in the last 30 years from now until from 1990, paralegals are doing the work equivalent of three paralegals back then. And I think what we’re talking about five years, 10 years from now is that a paralegal then is going to be doing the work of five paralegals from 1980 to 1990. So that means a couple of things. One, the cream will rise. Those that are really good at superstar paralegals and legal assistants. They’re going to move up the ladder. There’s more money to pay them because there’s less money going to people that aren’t very good. So there’s a benefit there for the people that are really good. And for the law firms that are growing and embracing tech and scaling, the other thing is it just makes them more. It makes them more efficient, right? I’m not really going to say that, oh, law firms can get rid of their staff or anything like that, but they can have their staff handle more cases.

Chris Dreyer

That makes sense. And that’s what it’s all about. That’s where you create margin. That’s what everyone’s looking for. That’s why there’s so many different ways to create margin. And whether, you know, I was talking to a firm recently, we were talking about. They were considering hiring a marketing manager and they’re in New York city. I’m like have you ever thought about opening up remote? I was like, because there’s pricing arbitrage, ordering or hiring a marketing manager and say Tennessee then compared to New York city. Absolutely. And one of my other questions here is it’s, you know, for a lot of our listeners, maybe aren’t as tech savvy, maybe they aren’t maybe they like their use of the paper. They’re used to old school way of doing things. A lot of times in a CRM, whether it’s a lit, a fire or whatever, it’s intimidating to implement and adopt this new technology. So what’s the process look like, say you got to affirm, it’s doing a lot of cases. They got a lot of paralegals doing these discoveries. What’s the process to, you know, bring these paralegals up to speed, to implement EsquireTek?

Pratik Shah

Yeah. Great question. One thing I want to backtrack on something you were talking about finding that arbitrage. I think an important statistic that every firm owner needs to know within their businesses, profit per full-time. How much profit am I making on how many full-time employees and how do I increase that? Does that mean give my staff the tools needed to handle more cases? Does that mean more cases, but bigger cases? I might just going to overwork them and just, you know, not provide them any tools that they need, but just give them more cases. How do I increase profit per full-time employee is a metric that we look at every year and we think about every year as we move forward what can we outsource? What can we keep in house? What tools can we give them to be more efficient? What training do they need? Things like that. So that’s I think an important statistic for law firm owners to keep in mind is profit per full-time employee. But to answer the question on onboarding and things like that, one thing that annoyed me as a firm owner is software that’s complicated because nobody has time. I don’t have three hours, 10 hours to look at a piece of software and go through three hours worth of training to figure out how to use it. Unless it’s going to really 10 X my business, there’s just no time. And paralegals have even less time. They’re even working more. And what we were adamant about as we built this, as this thing needs to be easy to use. And it really is. It takes 20 minutes to see the demo. And what I tell people is once you run two cases through there, you’re just never going to go back to the old way. It just won’t make sense. So if you commit the 20, 30 minutes to putting the two cases through the system within six, seven clicks, your discovery is going out to your client. Instead of having a copy and paste 15 questions, or put it on a word document and email the client. It’s literally like six, seven clicks put in the client, phone number, client name, case information, and boom. The client gets an email and a text message. The answers come right back. And even one of the other things that’s a little time consuming as a lawyer is when you’re answering discovery, we have to put objections into certain answers. So we get a question we’re like, add a question’s a little funky. I don’t really want to give that information. I’m going to put this objection. I’m going to put that objection and the way lawyers do it now is they’ve got like a master list on. Or they find like an old case that was similar and say, Hey, pull that Johnny Smith case that was similar, pull the objections from that case. And let’s put it in this case and they copy and paste and it’s a nightmare. And there’s a limited universe of objections. Maybe there’s about 50 objections that we really use. So we just put them all into the program. And now there’s a little button that says objections, you just click the button, the menu. And you just click the ones you want and all the language just auto-populates and you can customize them if you don’t like the language that we have in there as the default language, totally change all that. But it, those kinds of manual processes that we’re like should be done in clicks and not in copying and pasting.

Chris Dreyer

It makes me think of like a living style guide. And a couple of things. First, I had a question I wanted to follow up on, you know, do you know what’s the average full-time in employee profit that you’re looking for per employee? And I’ll say this, we do track that. I think it’s a phenomenal metric for our industry. For digital agencies. It’s 200 K per FTE is like the minimum. And the legal space, what’s that number look like?

Pratik Shah

Yeah, it should be higher. I think it should be around four to 500 K, but I also think it depends on the kind of firm you run. If you’re running a, just a high level trial for. Yeah, it might be a little bit higher because you have less cases, so you need less people, but your profit per case is higher. And if you’re running a volume from maybe that number is a little bit lower, but I’d like it to be in the four to 500,000 per employee. That sounds about where it should be because of the kind of cases we deal with. But you know, every firm’s a little bit different. Some are a little bit lower, some are a little bit higher. Depends on the business. Because you’ve got high volume firms that don’t want to try cases that don’t go into litigation, nothing wrong with that. That’s just the business model. And then you’ve got firms that don’t do any, pre-litigation only go into trial, nothing wrong with that. That’s the, that’s their business model. So I think depending on the business model, the way there should probably be an industry standard, if there is, I’m not aware of it but maybe it would want to be broken down by business.

Chris Dreyer

Makes sense. Makes sense. That’s super smart. One thing, just going on a little tangent here that I just, when I see it this blows my mind is the settlement versus the trial attorneys. Like everyone lists case results, but if you’re a settlement firm and you live, and your biggest case is 200 K why would you list your case results? I’m going to hypothetically go get a medical procedure and I have two doctors and one’s done the procedure 2000 times in one’s done it one. I’m going to go to the 2000. So for any of the settlement attorneys listening, which has no problem with this particular model, I would hear your social proof, maybe doing volume, as opposed to trying to highlight case results like you see every other firm.

Pratik Shah

Yeah. I think that’s a phenomenal advice. I mean, I think everybody needs to look at their business model. As much as marketing as there is in the personal injury space. I think if I feels very still premature, not premature, but it still is in the infancy stage where we haven’t taken it. We as an industry, haven’t taken that next step in really deep diving into how we market. If we look at the way tech companies market, or we look at the way, you know, large businesses or hospitals there isn’t, there seems to be one way to market personal injury firms, and everybody does that. And I think what you’re saying is pretty brilliant in that you need to look at your business model, what message you’re trying to send to your customer, your public, whoever your target audience is and tailor that message for that particular audience. I tell people all the time, you know, we talk about like core values and stuff like that. If you’re not an integrity, Then don’t put integrity as a core value. Just put when it all costs. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just that’s your firm. I mean, that’s okay. Just embrace it.

Chris Dreyer

You know, I was immediately thinking about your software. I was thinking there’s a Alex, Hormozi wrote a book recently called A Hundred Million Dollar Offers, and he talks about making a perfect offer and it says it’s like likelihood to achieve dream outcome the quicker, the better. That’s why a personal trainer may only make a thousand dollars a month where, you know, liposuction, maybe one procedures, 40 grand. And I was thinking of the big one for your software is like effort and sacrifice, right? So the least amount of effort is better. And having the 20 minute video and two to basically pilots or trials or whatever you want to call it. That’s a quick ramp-up. That is very little effort and sacrifice, which is fantastic because it sounds very intimidating on the outside.

Pratik Shah

And it’s there’s almost no learning curve to it internally. We don’t like to use the word learning curve. We like to use speed bump because I think learning curve makes people feel like this is going to take forever for me to learn. I got to dedicate this amount of time. I mean, really we train, we offer unlimited free training, but 99% of people never ask us for training because once they’ve seen it, they just don’t need any more training. It’s a pretty simple program.

Chris Dreyer

Esquire tech is doing an awesome job of optimizing the discovery process, but that’s not the only area of the legal industry that can benefit from technological innovation. I asked Pratik why tech competency in general is so important.

Pratik Shah

As far as why attorneys need to be tech competent. One you’re required to. The ABA has a rule now that says you are required as an attorney. It’s an ethical obligation. For you and your clients to be up to speed on tech because they, the ABA has recognized and a lot of states have adopted it locally. I think California recently adopted it last year and they were the 18th or 19th state to adopt it. So it’s getting out there that you’re required as an attorney to be up to speed on what tech has available, because at the end of the day, it better serves your client. If you’re billing on an hourly basis, I know most of the listeners here are personal injury lawyers, but for those that are billing on an hourly basis, If you’re not being tech competent and not understanding how you can be more efficient, you’re stealing from your client. And a contingency fee model, your clients want cases closed faster. And if you can do that by finding, by dedicating 30 minutes to finding the right tech solution, whatever it may be, maybe it’s not EsquireTek, maybe it’s something else, but finding the right tech solution that can help you close cases faster, then that’s what you should be doing because it’s better for you as a lawyer and it’s better for your clients. So it’s a total win-win there. The only thing it takes is a small little bit of investment. The other reason why it’s super, super important for law firms and law firm owners to be tech competent is because of what you just said. Tech is going so fast that by this time, next year, you’re not going to be one year behind. You’re going to be three years behind or five years. Because of the tools and things that come out and how much they improve and how much faster they make other people’s practices that unless you’re going to retire in the next three to five years and you just are checked out, got senior-itis I guess. If you’re, Hey, I’m going to be doing this for 30 years, 20 years, whatever. Then it’s imperative that you start learning now and you don’t want that gap of what you need to figure out to get any bigger. Cause it just it’s exponential.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, you hit on something I want to circle back to EsquireTek that we didn’t touch on. So you mentioned like frequency and speed. So everyone talks about more leads from the marketing agency. They want us, they want the SEO agencies or whoever to generate more leads and, you know, there’s conversions and win rate. And then there are, you know, increasing your fees, getting more from your trials, but then you talk about frequency. So you’re settling cases more frequently. You’re getting the cash. You have better cash flow. Let’s talk about that comparison. What’s the comparison look like doing the manual back and forth long phone call. Versus what AI, the owl does it impact frequency wherever you know, what have you seen there from a speed component?

Pratik Shah

Yeah, absolutely. Great question. So what happens in a litigation of a case? I know you’re familiar with it, even though you’re not a lawyer is like you filed a complaint, you get served discovery and then written discovery after written discovery, they take your client’s deposition. If it’s a pretty straightforward case, you can get into mediation and settle. If not, you got to start taking depositions, start getting experts in preparing for trial. But what happens in that written discovery process? We actually ran a survey. We asked a hundred paralegals and lawyers out of all these pieces of the litigation process between written discovery, oral discovery, complaints, motion writing. What takes, what do you spend your most time on? And over 70% say written stuff. Because it’s time consuming and manual. And what happens is you ask for extensions, you get discovery from opposing counsel, you get 30, 35 days to respond between there. But what happens is because it’s not enough time, your clients can’t find time to set up a four hour phone call. They’re not getting the answers back to you via email, you got busy, your paralegal didn’t have two hours to create the word conversion. So then you asked for an extent. Now you get extension number one that kicks it out to three weeks, you get extension number two that kicks it up to three weeks and everything starts getting delayed. And now that case that should’ve settled in 10 months is not settling in 15 months because everything up. And so what we can see when we’re closing cases, if your average case fee is $10,000 or $15,000, if you can close three extra cases a year, just three, you’re making an extra 30, $45,000 a year, just like that, because you invested a couple hundred dollars a month into the right software.

Chris Dreyer

Wow. That, that, that really adds up big time. And the other thing too, so does that eliminate us killing the trees\?

Pratik Shah

There’s a lot of that too right? Yeah, sure. Yeah. I’m not gonna, you know, I’m not captain planet, but I’m not gonna take credit for big captain planet, but absolutely. There’s a big component to that too. What happens all the time? What happened to me when I used to go to the office all the time is I’d work on stuff at the office. I’d want to make it home on time to see the kids have dinner. So I print some documents, put it in my bag, take it with me, or I’d email myself the document. Then I’d get home, have dinner, go sit down to work again and realize that I emailed myself the wrong document. And that a little bit of that’s been eliminated because of cloud software services and client and case management software. And also, you know, just there are some partners that are still old school that say, Hey, if I’m going to make corrections, I want you to print it, put it on my desk and I’m going to highlight and send it back to you or. You can’t get everybody to change, but hopefully we get the new generation to do things a different way. And so that for the next 30 years, when they’re practicing, it’s done in a much more efficient and much more you know, climate friendly.

Chris Dreyer

I’m very familiar with the red line, from a competition perspective and, you know, especially on the PDF and it’s not on word doc, and then I gotta take the PDF and copy it over. The other thing I was thinking too is, you know, even, so I do a little bit of real estate and it’s geez. I got to go into these signings and sign them in person. And I’m going to assist, in doing on DocuSign. What are we doing here?

Pratik Shah

And we took it even one step further. So another thing just to you’re giving me a perfect segue is some states require a verification. Most states require what’s called a verification, which is once your client’s answered discovery. They got to sign a little paper that says all the answers I gave are true and correct. I reviewed the answers and I declare that they’re true and correct under the penalty of perjury and they got to sign it. And the old way is, Hey, Mr. Or Mrs. Client, I need you to come into the office and sign this buy page or sign this paper by hand, then there’s okay. DocuSign and send it to email. But if you work with clientele that maybe aren’t so sophisticated, we get a lot of clients don’t have. They don’t know how to use DocuSign. They never used it before. But you know what? Everybody knows how to use a mobile phone. I think there’s like I was looking at a statistic recently and there’s 7.3 billion or 4 billion people on the plan. And there are 6 billion cell phone providers or 6 billion cell phone subscribers. So like pretty much everyone is going to have a cell phone. It’s just the way it works. And so what we do for these verifications instead of being we send it by email, but also you use what’s called tech sign within our program and it goes right to their phone and they just click the link, they just sign with their finger and it comes right back to you. And the verification. And the clients love that because they can do that on the sidelines, whether their kids are playing soccer.

Chris Dreyer

Incredible. And for any of those listening that have any cell towers that they want to sell to me and critique, I’d love to invest. Yeah. Just hit us up.

Pratik Shah

I mean the phone is the future. It just is. It’s the present and the future.

Chris Dreyer

Let’s talk about security. You know, it’s consolidated, it’s tech. You know, what precautions are you taking for yourself and your clients for data breaches and any type of security.

Pratik Shah

I’m glad you brought that up. I’m the CEO and co-founder. My CTO and co-founder is really the brains behind us. He’s really brilliant. His name’s Dr. Slim Souissi. He likes to stay in the background, but he’s really the genius that brought this up. And I want to bring him up for a second because his resume is incredible. He’s got 40 plus patents under his name. He’s worked for Motorola. He’s in the Georgia tech university hall of fame. He was the president of NovAtel wireless. If you, if anybody hears, ever use those, my fight jet packs that gave you, you know, internet and a hotspot, he’s the one who invented that. So he’s brilliant. And he, when he was president of NovAtel wired, He was getting his software and his products into cities and government organizations and things like that. So security is obviously always going to be number one when we come from that angle. And that was a very important conversation we’ve had and we continue to have, as we build, this is we want to make. People’s information secure. We understand how important this is. We understand how serious this information is, and it’s not a joke on what we’re dealing with. You know, we can all joke around and laugh about older people that don’t want to embrace tech, but it is a very serious concern. We’re fully HIPAA compliant. We get audited every quarter by an outside third-party security firm that comes in and make sure that we’re going to stay HIPAA compliant. We’re also working on what’s called SOC two compliance, which is the next level of security. And we hope to have that before the end of Q1, ideally into Q1 probably by mid next. Because there’s, it’s a deeper process, but that’s even more secure than HIPAA. It’s like the next it’s even, it’s like really the next level. That’s like the kind of compliance that government agencies, if you’re a software company that wants to work with the federal government, that’s, what’s required by them. Everything is, we have redundancies built in. So if anything goes haywire, a wall, everything is protected because we’ve got all the redundancies built in. So there’s backup to everything. And then at the end of the day, we let the user control. So you have the ability that once you upload your discovery and you work through it, there’s a button in there that says shred discovery. So once you print it and take it on your computer, you can click shred discovery. And not only does it delete it from your vision at your platform, it deletes it from all our. So it just no longer exists in our system. Once you click shred discovery. So we take security very seriously, and we’ve built these precautions and these systems in place to let the user control their data, but also us protect it for people that do want to trust us with it.

Chris Dreyer

Incredible. So a couple quick questions. Let’s let’s shift to like the advanced let’s talk about integrations API zaps, where can we go there?

Pratik Shah

Our kind of roadmap is to make sure we’re in all 50 states before we start the integration. So we are in California, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, and Nevada. We’re hoping to be in Missouri, Minnesota, and Georgia before the end of the year. And then Cal, excuse me, Washington, Oregon. We’ll be working on in January and we hope to be in all 50 states by Q3 of next. That’s really our internal goal. We’ve already been in talks with file vine liquefy case peer to integrate so we can move documents back and forth instead of having to type any information again. So that’s those conversations I’ve already been started. The balance there is if we integrate there with one of those case management softwares, every time we release a new state, we gotta like re-integrate. And so there’s a balance of when, once we reached that critical mass of state, Then it makes sense to say, okay, let’s move this forward so that it makes sense for as much as it makes sense for us.

Chris Dreyer

I like it. I think that’s super smart because you can grab you acquire and then you optimize extend the value and the, you know, to those customers. Yeah. I didn’t know where this was going to go. And I’m not an attorney, but this sounds like a, just a very efficient, very smart way to do depos and to speed things up, to improve your cashflow.

Pratik Shah

Yeah. And one thing I always tell attorneys is that we just want to treat our clients the way we treat our friends. When we go home at night, we don’t email our friends and say, let’s go with. We don’t even call them. What was the last time you called a group of you called one by one and said, let’s set up a dinner. No, you put a group text together and you say, Hey guys, let’s go to dinner or, Hey, let’s go watch this movie. Or I’m taking the kids to the park. Do you want to join me? Everything is done this way, but for some reason, even younger lawyers, they walk into the, they open up the doors of the law office and they forget how humans communicate and they want to communicate the way lawyers commuter. Which is phone calls and emails, but we always have to remember that our clients are not lawyers, they’re humans, and they want to communicate the way they communicate with everything else. Like how many? I mean, I wish I could do everything by text. I wish I could, you know, I haven’t, my barber has an app and I click it and I set an appointment. I don’t have to call in for that anymore. My, anytime I want to book a restaurant, I go to open table and just do it straight from my phone. I’m not calling restaurants and studying reservations anymore. Even you can order pizza through your fault. Why can’t we answer these basic question? And that’s what we’re trying to do is what you said at the very beginning of this podcast to bring it full circle is the legal profession was pushed. With nobody knowing zoom, and now suddenly everybody knows zoom. The courts are using zoom. The legal profession was pushed forward. And so these are the tools we need to help ride that wave and move forward and say, how do I become more efficient?

Chris Dreyer

Incredible, and being transparent. I’m the exact type of a person that you described. If I see a phone call and I don’t recognize the number it’s going to voicemail and the time I don’t even listen to the voicemail. I look at the transcription. I’m like, oh, okay. That’s I need to call that person back. And using apps and using whether it’s Snapchat or Instagram or whatever. Texts. It’s just huge. And I think that. Consumers are adapting and that’s how they want to communicate. It’s just more efficient. This has been fantastic. So I have one final question here. What’s next for EsquireTek? I think we already talked about the roadmap a little bit. What’s next and where can people go to learn more?

Pratik Shah

Great question. Yeah, like I mentioned earlier, we’re expanding quickly into all these states. If you’re in a state, we’d love to partner with law firms that can help us get into those states. We just need samples of discovery. Currently we’re in California, Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Nevada. And we should be launching Minnesota, Missouri, and Georgia. So if you’re in any other state, we’d love to partner with you and let you beta test it and use it for us. Use it for free for 90 days in exchange for working with us to the next part is we want to start working on the other side of written discovery, which is propounding. Which is when we send discovery to this is to help respond to discovery. When we get questions from you to decide, and we’re working on a module that can help send questions to the other side. So we’ve all got templates. If you’re a law firm, you’ve found your subspecialty in you, either you do motor vehicle accidents, premise cases you’ve found your niche and you’ve got your templates to send you. But we should be able to do it all electronically, clean things up, have documents created automatically and send things up. So that’s what we’re working on. We’re hoping to release that by mid next year. And then any where to find us is going to be where Esquire tech that’s Esquire and then T. On all social media, Twitter, Instagram, everywhere. Www.esquiretek.com. You can request a demo right there. Sign up is free. There’s a free trial. You don’t even need to put your credit card in if you want to check it out. And that’s it. That’s the easiest way to find us.

Chris Dreyer

Pratik thanks so much for coming on the show. It’s fantastic.

Pratik Shah

Thanks, Chris. Really appreciate you.

Chris Dreyer

To echo what Pratik said, failing to advance your tech competency does a disservice not only to yourself, but also to your. It’s clear that Pratik really has his finger on the pulse when it comes to technological innovation and the legal space. So if you’re looking to increase your firm’s efficiency, I highly recommend you check out the work Esquire tech is doing. I’d like to thank Pratik Shah from EsquireTek for sharing a story with us, and I hope you gained some valuable insights from the conversation. You’ve been listening to the Personal Injury Mastermind. I’m Chris Dreyer. If you’d like to see episode, leave us a review. We’d love to hear from our listeners. I’ll catch you on next week’s PIMM with another incredible guest and all the strategies you need to take your personal injury practice to the next level.

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