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Is Your Firm Ready for Chatbots?

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on November 16, 2018 6:00 AM

Tom Martin, a lawyer and chatbot creator, is practically a chatbot himself.

He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, but manages a probate practice virtually in California. How does he do it?

Chatbots, which mimic human conversations to interact with people, help. Is your firm ready for one?

Reception Chatbot, Anyone?

Legal chatbots are not answering machines. They are artificially intelligent programs that can carry on conversations, typically via text but also through voice-enabled software.

Martin founded LawDroid last year to automate common tasks, like client intake, for lawyers by creating chatbots. For example, a reception chatbot on a firm website can:

  • Answer questions about the lawyers
  • Explain services the firm provides
  • Schedule consultations

Chatbots can also help with marketing, client management, and access to justice. Martin, who has been practicing law for 20 years, turned to chatbots when he saw technology changing the practice.

"When chatbots really exploded about two-and-a-half to three years ago, I thought it was a real sea change," he told the ABA Journal. "That's why I jumped on."

Free Enterprise, Everybody

Anybody with a computer and at least one-finger typing skills can create a chatbot. You can thank Joshua Browder for that.

As a Stanford student and tech-whiz kid, he created a chatbot that has beaten more than 375,000 parking tickets. Last year, he opened up the program for 1,000 more legal practice areas.

DoNotPay allows anybody to create legal bots for free. What's not to like about a free program that you don't have to pay to do client intake and other tasks?

Of course, the human receptionist might not like it.

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