13. Terry Dohrmann, Litify Streamlining Practice Management and Revolutionizing Efficiency

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Terry Dohrmann is the founding executive and chief revenue officer at Litify. Litify is a business transformation platform with a focus on law practice management that combines case management, marketing, analytics, and more into a single streamlined solution, which has been helping law firms and other businesses to simplify their operations since 2016.

On todays show, Terry shares with us how Litify evolved from a simple client request into the powerhouse of a management tool that is it today. Hell also explain how the system is helping law firm owners across the country, what makes the platform so secure, and how their new tool, Docrio, is changing the way lawyers generate and manage documentation.

Transcript

Chris Dreyer

There are a lot of moving parts to keep track in a law firm. Intake referrals, case management contracts… the list is endless. And when you’ve got a lot of processes to maintain, you end up using a ton of tools to manage them. And if your tools can’t talk to one another, the whole process can get pretty messy, but there is a solution at this problem. And my guest today invented it.

Terry Dohrmann

We we think of law practice management softwares as really a platform to manage your interactions with your clients, with your staff, with your partners, really with anybody in your, in your ecosystem. How do you really manage that the greatest way? And how do you, how do you actually create some, some metrics around it as well? How can you understand what’s working. What’s not where you should spend your time and understanding really what’s the best way to deliver, you know, the highest level of service, first and foremost, to your clients.

Chris Dreyer

My guest today is Terry Dohrmann, founder executive and chief revenue officer of Litify. Litify is a law firm management tool that allows practices to streamline and automate tasks, monitor client communications, provide data driven insights and so much more. Terry and Litify have taken what used to be a job of dozens of tools and packaged them into one convenient platform. On today’s show we discuss how Litify came to be, what makes the platform so secure and how lit if I can help you with referrals, advertising decisions and everything in between. That’s coming up on The Rankings Podcast, the show where founders, entrepreneurs, and elite personal injury attorneys share their inspiring stories about what they did to get to the top and what keeps them there. I’m Chris Dreyer, stay with us. Before we get into some of the amazing features Litify has. I wanted to find out where the idea for the platform came from and how he developed it into the management tool we recognize today.

Terry Dohrmann

If I was at, at Salesforce, uh, for a number of years and a law firm had, had come to me and said, you know, we want to really build our entire infrastructure on Salesforce because they were looking for a platform again that, that, you know, did a number of things. One, it was. Flexible. It was a secure, it could be used from any device anywhere. Uh, it had the ability to fold in other systems and services into that same, uh, platform. And, uh, that was very novel at the time for a law firm to be thinking that way. Uh, because what we had found was mostly in law firms, there was a bunch of point solutions. There was a need to do one particular thing so there was a software built for that. Um, uh, my co-founder, Reuven Moscowitz, likes to joke that if you asked a lawyer what his favorite, you know, what his phone should look like, it would be a payphone in, in a, in a knapsack that they could carry around. Like that’s really all they need. And we were really trying to change that mentality. So, thus Litify was kind of spawned out of that. We started working when I was at Salesforce with this firm, uh, and we realized pretty quickly that what we were building and what we were working on for that firm really could be propagated to any law firm, and any legal professional, really government, NGOs, whatever. Uh, because we were changing the language of, you know, a CRM to fit that to the legal landscape. So instead of forecasting and revenue and service tickets and marketing objects and things like that. We were talking about matters and cases and intakes and, and documents and motions and files and tasks. And so we, you know, we, once we saw that occurring, we were like, this is a great idea for a business. We should take this, this whole concept out to the, to the greater, um, greater ecosystem.

Chris Dreyer

So there are a ton of nuggets in there. So let’s, let’s break down some of those let’s let’s talk about intake first. How does Litify help facilitate the intake process?

Terry Dohrmann

So it’s the first piece that we built. We realized that in order to really understand what is a good case? How to take on a good case? You needed to go through a process of vetting that, that, that lead. And what we did is we relied on Salesforce as logic. They have basically built in logic where you can take, um, what we call questionnaires. We built out questionnaires and it’s almost like the old, um, uh, choose your own adventure books. If you remember, those were the, choose this, go, this, choose this, go that way. We use that same kind of log logic, which in many cases is done now from a script or from a, you know, literally yellow, legal pad, somebody just doing an interview. We tried it, we put some intelligence around it so we knew that if this question was yes, then we would ask that follow-up question, which would be this. And if it was no, we’d go in this direction. And we basically built that out in a very systematic way where now after five, six, seven questions, any intake person, uh, with minimal training could really understand the value of a case. Um, so we also put a lead scoring system on that. So with each successive answer, there was a value put against that. So we even have some firms today that if that value exceeds something, call it a hundred points in the first couple of questions, it immediately gets escalated to an attorney and, and they’ll take over that questionnaire and over that process based on the potential value of that case. Um, but then now you also have the ability to over time – are these questions working? Are these the right kind of questions? Are we getting responses that could spur some different type of, of action for the firm? Uh, kind of a data mining element because you’re capturing all that over time and you could see what’s again, what’s working and what’s not.

Chris Dreyer

I like that. So you’re using the data to, to help with the prioritization. You identify cases that are worth more, it escalates to the right people. The other thing that you mentioned that I personally like is the consistency component. You know, you wouldn’t go to a barber shop and get your haircut and you had a great experience and the next time you go there, they Jack up your hair, you would never go to that barber again.

Terry Dohrmann

Right.

Chris Dreyer

So having that consistency and, and having first of all from a scalability component, because you don’t have to hire additional intake representatives and then they just work off a script. So I love that. That’s, that’s really an important feature that I think many firms need.

Terry Dohrmann

Yup so it’s funny you use the barber analogy because my wife cut my hair.

Chris Dreyer

I need one right now.

Terry Dohrmann

We’re all struggling with that. Yes.

Chris Dreyer

Let let’s talk about transparency next. So when you, when you bring all these components together into the tool, how does the software help develop this culture of transparency?

Terry Dohrmann

That’s a great question. I think the thing you mentioned at the end or the culture of transparency is something that is really, it’s almost becoming prominent in our culture altogether. I think people are more used to being more transparent via social media, via their own actions, whatever it might be. Um, and, and with that, there comes the best practices around what to do. So, um, for us, as it relates to Litify platform, you have all this data that you’re collecting and gathering. You have this collaboration component that’s occurring within the system. Um, and you’re really showing to the rest of the, of the, firm everybody, from, you know, a receptionist all the way to managing partner, what exactly is going on. And you all kind of buy in on, on that mission. If the mission is to increase the number of cases that we actually take on, then great, that we all kind of build around that mission. And we all see what’s going on. We see that, you know, there were this many intakes yesterday from our lead sources and this many conversions and okay, that’s great. We need to do more of this. We’re looking to get more value out of the cases that we actually have. We look through the process and see from a task management perspective, again, where are things getting stuck? What, what needs assistance, where, um, you know, who needs assistance? If somebody is doing it much better than another person, it’s not just because this person’s inherently better, what are they doing? Do we need some training over here to bring everybody up from, uh, being a B and a C player to an, A player so that transparency and everybody seeing the data, uh, is very important for us because we want to get everybody on the same page. Um, for us at Litify we also kind of gathered best practices that we see from around, you know, the firms we work with, with their permission of course, we say, hey, is it okay if we share this methodology out to the rest of our community, because it’s really working and it’s something that’s very smart. So again, that, that level of transparency and within our own community, Um, to share. Cause we, we really do believe that, you know, that saying the rising tide lifts all boats within a firm, within a department, within a firm, within a firm and with the, with the, the plaintiff community, frankly, I think there’s a lot that can be done and, and, and improved upon if, if there is that level of transparency and honesty.

Chris Dreyer

Referrals are a big part of any practice, but a lot of the time when you are sending a lead to someone else, you lose track of them. Never knowing whether you’re a referral partner, took them or not. So what Is Litify’s solution to this? And how can it help firms to manage their referrals more closely?

Terry Dohrmann

I mentioned that the questionnaire was the second thing we built. The referral program was the first thing we built because we recognize that same issue where again, people were using legal pads or Excel spreadsheets to try to track referrals that they had either received or sent out more importantly sent out. Um, we had many firms that were struggling with that. Um, so what we’d set out to do was can you have a way to track what’s being sent. Can you have a way to confirm receipt? Can you have a way of, of saying yes, I do want to investigate this case further. I will take this on. Both parties are notified again, that level of transparency, where we all kind of know what’s going on with this case, we get up to the minute notifications. We understand, we agree on, on percentage fees, for example, um, you know, I could set something where I say, uh, Chris, I want you to this, some firms that’ll, that’ll take that seriously and review it. And some firms that will not. So you could set some time parameters against it. We’re going to give you four hours, eight hours, two days to review that and automatically transfer that to another person in another firm, if that person either doesn’t look at it or refuses it or whatever. Um, we just wanted to create that, that element of, of, uh, trackability and consistency, um, with that part of their business. And one of our, uh, Pond Lehocky, which is one of our early customers. They were doing this in a very, very manual fashion and this created a real business for them because they just generated so many leads that they were passing out with really no ability to track them. This became multi-million dollar business in and of itself. And frankly it paid for the rest of their Litify deployment. A few times over. Um, so just that one element of understanding the lead flow and, and being able to be a little bit predictive around it was, uh, was super important for a firm like them.

Chris Dreyer

That that is incredibly important. And then that leads to reciprocity. You’ll get those referrals back and there’s all kinds of revenue, you know, um, gains there as well.

Terry Dohrmann

Yeah. Yeah. And frankly, some of the handling firms, you know, they, they, they get a reputation out on their own for being, doing an excellent job with the referrals that are being sent to them. So those kind of are, you know, that becomes known and we’ve, we’ve thought about some enhancements of, uh, creating some judging systems or rating systems for some of those firms, but. Uh, yeah, there’s, there’s a lot there. We have some firms using it in very unique ways, but we’re, we are really, and it’s free. We were really happy to kind of put that out in ecosystem and have people use it.

Chris Dreyer

Being in the, in the marketing industry. One of the most powerful words is data. So what KPIs does solidify use to help attorneys make better advertising decisions?

Terry Dohrmann

We really wanted to give firms the ability to understand how is that spend actually translating into conversions and settlements or judgments. Um, so we really track from, from literally from a, whatever that leads sources be a Google, be it a, an ad buy, whatever it might be, we’re tracking and putting source attribution against that from the second that it hits the Litify systems. So you could see where that originated, how, how it was actually worked through the whole process and what the results were. So now you can, in an intelligent fashion, look backwards at your spend and understand, uh, what is working, what isn’t again, and then allocate, literally, we have custom customers that are doing it on a monthly basis. They’re looking at where to kind of shift and adjust um, so, you know, we, we don’t necessarily, uh, tell our customers where to advertise, but we can certainly show them over time what they’re getting the best results from. So we’re having a lot of firms find that really, really powerful.

Chris Dreyer

Awesome. Awesome. Earlier today I was in an interview and I gotta tell ya, so I’m, I’ve done several podcasts interviews now and I’ve asked them what their favorite tool was. And those that have mentioned Litify, and they’ve, they’ve told me about the many of the features we’ve talked about. Well, one of the things they’ve mentioned, it’s been a recurring theme and it’s kind of surprised me that this was up there for importance with security. So how does your platform, your tool, handle security that maybe a bit better than, than other tools?

Terry Dohrmann

Yeah. Um, we very deliberately set out, um, when we started Litify and built on the Salesforce platform, as we mentioned before, and you know, it wasn’t just because me and a couple of the other early Litify-ers were from there, but it was really because that’s that platform is literally managed and run by thousands of engineers who every day are trying to make it more secure. Uh, so there’s not only just, uh, uh, from a virtual or digital security perspective, the physical security elements that Salesforce puts in place, where you have your data residing in multiple locations, should there be some type of disaster, uh, encryption when the data is in transit or sitting at rest there’s there’s literal firewalls between every element of the data where we can provide permission sets to a law firm, not to the individual in, down to the individual field. Meaning that someone could log into Litify and see one piece of information on one case, and somebody else cannot see that piece of information on that case. So we can get extremely granular with what is visible and not visible to, um, to folks at the firm. And then from an overriding perspective, you’re, you’re sitting on literally the most, you know, enterprise-grade, secure platforms on the planet where, you know, there’s consistent tests, uh, penetration tests and, and other kinds of tests that are, that are meant to try to dismantle it. Um, and you know, when I get into sort of a tete-a-tete with a, an IT person at a law firm, I try to tell them like, I don’t want to get aggressive. I’m like, but I guarantee you that is more than your closet at the end of the hall with Bob, the IT guy, who’s got some firewalls around it. Just because it’s, it’s just not as robust. I mean, you have just people who are dedicating their lives to creating a secure environment, um, where, you know, the, the department of defense, NASA, the, you know, Bank of America, these are all really high-end very secure organizations that are relying on Salesforce to keep their data secure and separate. So, you know, that, that we, we take it very seriously.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. And I appreciate that. And everything you’re saying, it’s just. Just a tremendous amount of, of trust and, and, and, and feeling at ease, just knowing all those are in place. Yeah. Let’s, let’s talk about Docrio. So what is Docrio and how does that help?

Terry Dohrmann

Um, it’s one of those things in your career, you have to eat a little Crow. And that was me because when our team wanted to allocate millions of dollars and tons of engineering resource to Docrio at first, I was one of the people that kind of scratch my head and say, really, we could just utilize. You know, box and whatever, and Dropbox and, you know, just integrate with it because again, Salesforce is very integratable with different systems. Um, but I’m very, very happy that the team insisted that we go ahead and build Docrio and really, documents are what lawyers and legal professionals live in, right? This is their trade, right? That’s what they do. They write well, they create good documents. They, they represent their clients in that capacity. So we went ahead and we made this investment to build a document management system that lives entirely on, on the Salesforce platform. And what that means, and really none other exists like this, cause every other system that, um, uh, that you can use with, uh, with a Salesforce based system is some other platforms. So it doesn’t have the same exact permission sets, the same security measures we just mentioned, the same workflows. So we built within the Salesforce platform, uh, this, this Docrio management system. So you can do doc creation, doc merging, dock management. OCR searching a lot tons of search capabilities. Um, and what’s great is you never have to leave the platform that you’re sitting in. If you’re, if you’re working within Litify it’s not like your svivel-chairing to another document solution to cut and paste and drag and drop and do that kind of thing. You never have to leave the Litify instance to do all your document management. We released the first version of it a few months ago now. And our early customers that are on it are absolutely bonkers over it. I couldn’t be happier. Uh, the 18 engineers, again, I eat crow cause I was little concerned about it, but you know, now because of all the momentum around it, Um, we’re investing more in it. We’re putting, you know, we’re going to put more into the functionality, features that it has, um, enhanced products. So we’re doing another release at the end of April. Um, and then we may actually even release it as a standalone product, um, to within the Salesforce ecosystem. So even non-lawyers could utilize this as a product in and of itself because that’s, that’s really how powerful it is.

Chris Dreyer

Wow. Wow. Yeah. And that just brings it all together again for, from the efficiency component. And I think that’s, you know, the, especially with the attorneys, some of them that bill per hour and, you know, the contingency base, it’s just everyone’s time. So valuable, valuable, and just bringing that efficiency that’s really great.

Terry Dohrmann

Yeah. I mean, if you think about this for a sec, Chris, you have a document that gets sent out to somebody. It gets to a client, a client via one of our portals, sends it back in. You get a notification that’s been in, not only do you get notified, but tasks that kicked off internally within the firm that say we need to do, we need to file this particular motion based on this document coming back. A couple of calendar invites are created it’s to give notifications and reminders. The functionality is tremendous. It can really. Those things that it usually takes a paralegal or an assistant or somebody, you know, physically to go in and create all these tasks, you can actually automate a ton of that based on just some pretty simple rules that you set up when we do the Docrio setup.

Chris Dreyer

Hearing bbout the incredible functionality of Litify and Docrio is enough to get any law firm owner excited about the thought of switching their practice management platform. But with so much data to transfer, migrating to a new system can be daunting. So how can Litify help law firm owners to make the switch?

Terry Dohrmann

Yeah. I mean, uh, th the sale… the lifelong salesperson in me wants to sit here and say, Oh, it’s no problem. It’s lickety split. And, you know, no issue whatsoever, whatever, but I’d be completely lying. Uh, it, it, it does take some work. It takes commitment. It takes some work to transition, particularly from some of the real antiquated systems to get data out of there and to basically put it into a format that it could be ingested easily. It does take some work. Um, now if you asked me that question two and a half years ago, when we really first started doing these types of migrations, it would have take good and 10 X harder than it is now. We really learned a ton, uh, over the past two and a half years, our professional services team and really the best way to do it. So. It still is hard, but it’s not nearly as hard as, as when we started. Um, but it, it, it is a process. And that, that is the one thing. There’s two things you kind of touched on there that I always, when I’m in front of customers, I tell them, I say, listen, there’s the technology’s amazing, technology can do amazing things. Um, but it’s not like it’s pixie dust. I just sprinkle it over your, over your, you know, your law firm and all of a sudden you’re going to have all these efficiencies and such. So there’s two things need to occur. I said one the actual migration process, and then to the, the, the training and behavioral change that needs to occur with your staff. And that’s why I always ask for, you know, that, that top-down support that, you know, the, the managing. Uh, managing partners and, and really middle management as well. We need everybody’s buy in to really, you know, to, to make this change really smooth and happen well, but also, um, I put it on my staff to make sure that the end user, uh, really understands the value they’re going to get out of it. So we need buy-in from them as well, because you have that, that, you know, “we’ve always dunnit’ this way”. The five most dangerous words in business. We need to kind of get past that mentality. Number one, show them that why doing it this way is better for them personally, in terms of getting their job done. Uh, and secondly, for the firm as a whole, that transparency thing we talked about earlier, where. We’re gonna, we’re gonna all get better. The firm’s going to get better. We’re going to grow. We’re going to be more profitable, whatever the objective may be. If we all kind of do this, this behavioral shift, um, and back to the migration itself though, it, you know, we always joke that, uh, that when a joke we say, this will be the last migration you ever make. And it’s one of the reasons, again, we chose Salesforce because there’s a lot you can do once you’re on that platform. Um, but it’s very important that we, we understand exactly what a customer wants. It wants it to look like on the other side, there’s a lot, that’s out of the box that we provide for our client, but we leave that little. That last mile, so to speak intentionally open, because we want to match to some, some capacity, what their systems look like today, what that behavior looks like today. We can’t completely forklift everything out. Um, so, you know, we, we say, you know, we’re going to be doing this migration and here’s how we think it shall look, but you let us know how, kind of what you wanted, the, those that literally that last little bit to look like. Um, and then we work together. So it is a very collaborative project. Um, it is very, you know, intensive project when a customer says, I just want to scrap my old system and start a new, we do backflips. We love that because it’s the net that takes the, uh, implementation timeframe, timeframe down 90%, um, and just really concentrating on the training and the onboarding and such. Uh, but yeah, it’s, it’s difficult, but it’s. It’s it’s worth it, you know, times 10, because once you get that situated, all the things we talked about in terms of reports and dashboards and metrics and understanding, and that all makes it well worth, you know, that, that pain of transition.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. And the longer you wait, the more data and mess it’s going to be to make a transition to a new technology that’s continually improving. The other thing I think of as is the entrepreneur or the wantrepreneur. Where the wantrepreneur just kind of sets back and ruminates on everything. So, you know, if your CRM is not working properly, then, then you should probably take action to fix that.

Terry Dohrmann

Yeah. Yeah. The only better time to plant a tree than yesterday is today. So, you know, we always say that and it’s like, yeah, again, it’s you gotta be committed to make the change, but once you do it’s it’s well worth it.

Chris Dreyer

Terry. So one final question here. Why should attorneys use Lidl five versus other. Law practice management software?

Terry Dohrmann

If I had to summarize it, I mean, I think it really is that knowledge is power. Um, and I think, you know, I know with Litify, we’re going to provide, uh, an amount of knowledge and introspection into your firm that you’re not going to get anywhere else. Um, the other thing that we kind of bring, bring to bear is, um, we have a lot of very progressive firms that were early adopters. And we work together every day, literally every day to improve the system. Litify’s and iterative product. We’re already on the ninth version, ninth release of our product. And those, those upgrades and updates are pushed out to our clients. Um, it’s not something that they’re, they’re gonna be three or four versions behind on, and it’s not going to occur. We’re basically pushing it out to them because we recognize we don’t have it all figured out. We’re going to consistently make it better consistently, make it better and take the best practices from, you know, our firms and then also the best technologies that are out there and available, fold them into the system and literally have it be the last migration you ever have and just continuously get better on, on, uh, our our service.

Chris Dreyer

Terry and his team have managed to build something that truly serves the needs of law firms. And with all the features that Litify have bundled into it, I really don’t think you could ask for much more from your practice management platform. You’ve been listening to The Rankings Podcast. I’m Chris Dreyer. A huge thanks to today’s guest Terry Dohrmann for joining us. You can find all of the links from today’s conversation in the show notes, and we want to hear from you. What is your favorite Litify feature? Drop us a review and share your thoughts. Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you next time.

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