CallPlease was originally developed to enhance the collaboration between executives and their assistants, making it easier for both to know “what’s next?” Lawyers, Law firms, and other legal services organizations have embraced CallPlease for this purpose making it easy to replace paper message pads, flurries of emails, or sticky notes with names and phones numbers on them. Especially if your assistant works from home or the lawyer(s) are often in court, the combination of a browser-based app for desktops and mobile apps make call management easy and reliable.
Some firms have also used the customizations to find lots of very creative ways to improve workflows and keep everyone on the same page. We talk to our users all the time and they have shared with us many of their ingenious ways of using all the CallPlease Customizations to tailor CallPlease to their operations. We gathered some of their best suggestions here.
What CallPlease does for Law Firms and Lawyers
CallPlease, of course, does all the things you need around keeping track of calls – who called in?, who do we need to call?, where are we with this conversation? What lawyers also have in common is that these calls tend to be organized either around cases or practices. Casework can involve lots of different activities, but there are plenty of common steps and requirements that benefit from the use of Call Actions and Tags as process steps or status markers. Shared Logs and Tags also support workflows in practice areas or on cases that need specific attention or process.
In a law firm of any size, the lawyers themselves usually operate as semi-autonomous businesses that shares services and resources inside a larger business.
|Company Rome||CallPlease User Type||Connected to||Shared Logs||Notes|
|Partners and Attorneys||Executive||Assistants||All associated with their practice||Each Attorney should have a private log, hidden from other attorneys in the practice to maintain confidentiality|
|Paralegal||Assistant||Partner in Charge||Practice Area and Case shared logs||When a paralegal is focused on a practice area or a certain case load|
|Legal Assistants||Assistant||All Attorneys that they support||Practice Area and Case shared logs||Most Assistants end up supporting almost everyone. If you need additional privacy, use a Queue Log|
|Administrative Staff||Assistant (might be a shared account)||All Attorneys||All Shared Call Logs||Even those that aren’t involved with calls can use CallPlease to receive notifications and workload from the rest of the firm|
Shared Call Logs
CallPlease legal users have found a number of very creative ways to use Shared Call Logs in their operations. Shared Call Logs are a great way to enable people to work together, either as an on-going concern or temporarily.
The General Office Log
Especially with small firms, the Shared Call Log has been used to collect all the activities not assigned to the Partner(s). The assignments to individuals for attention can be managed by giving each person their own Call Actions or their own Tags, usually based on first names or initials. Examples: Call Action: Betty to call back or Tag: #Betty
Practice Areas Logs
Slightly larger and more diverse firms use Shared Call Logs for specific areas of legal practice to have shared work streams in a Shared Log. If portions of your practice focus on Real Estate, probate, citizenship or other areas that are highly procedural and specialized, a Shared Call Log can help keep those items together for consideration by the team that has to plan their time and assign responsibilities. As with the General Office Log, individual assignment of tasks can utilize either Tags or individualized Call Actions.
Logs for big cases
Shared Call Logs can be used for short-term projects and cases, as well. Firms that use Shared Call Logs for cases, often reserve this tactic for their larger or more complicated cases. Users are added as members of the Shared Log while they need access but then removed when they don’t.
|Shared Log Name||Function||Type||Members|
|Office||A catch-all log for things that don’t belong somewhere else but still need to be managed||Interactive||Everyone|
|XX Practice||Matters and cases handled by a specialty practice||Interactive||Partners and all those in the practice|
|Case#XX||All tasks and interactions associated with a case||Interactive||Everyone with responsibilities on the case.|
|Leads||Inbound inquiries from business development or marketing||Queue||All those in charge of intake.|
Call Actions for Law Firms
Customizing Call Actions is the most powerful way of utilizing the workflow functionality in CallPlease. Each Call Action can carry a number of attributes that make it easier to make certain the right, best things happen every day.
A few important topics to keep in mind as you think about Call Actions:
- Call Actions are unique to each Call Log, whether it is the private call log of a partner or one of the share call logs. This means you can break down your processes into small steps and use the logs to monitor progress.
- You can use Transfer Call or Assign Call as parts of a process that involves transition between logs.
- We call them Call Actions, but they are really calls or process steps or tasks or status changes or anything else that happens as part of a business process.
- You can apply multiple actions at once. For instance, if you have a paralegal who does all of the processing of documents to close a case file, you might apply the “Close Case” action and then Transfer Call to that person’s Call Log or a Shared Call Log for case work that is no longer active. Or apply the “Documents Sent” action and then a “Check on Documents” action. You can also give a “Documents Sent then Call” action a date in the future where it pops back up at the top of your list to remind you to call after them.
- You can have specific information as an internally stated requirement to be placed in the Notes section of an action. For instance, if there is an invoice to be sent, any special arrangements discussed must be documented in the action.
Some examples of specialty Call Actions:
|Call Action Name||Call State||Requires Exec to do something?||Show Note Page for this Action||Require Date/Time for Action|
|Awaiting Documents||Need to Call||No||Yes||Yes (for follow-up)|
|Court Filing||In Progress||Yes*||Yes||No|
|Documents Sent||In Progress||No||No||No|
|Awaiting Retainer||Need to Call||No||No||Yes (for follow-up)|
|Send Invoice||In Progress||Yes*||Yes||No|
|Create Case File||Newly Received||Yes*||No||No|
|Close Case||In Progress||Yes*||No||No|
|Case File Closed||Completed||No||No||No|
*Maybe handled by other staff and assigned through tags or specialty
Call Tags are particularly useful when you have a lot of items on your log. With a click you can use the tags, listed in the Call Log sidebar, to see a subset of all the calls and actions in the list. Law Firms use tags in many ways, especially depending on the Call Log they are being used in, but here are some consistent examples:
Tags for Individuals
Any log that involves more than one person can benefit from an easy way to sort out who owns the task associated with an item on the list. Law Firms has used names (#Erin), initials (#EB), and titles(#paralegal) to represent individual assignments.
Tags for Cases
This is an easy way to maintain association between calls and tasks and the materials in your case management or document management system. It also makes it easier to transition a full record to a Shared Call Log if required or to make it easier to archive a record of interactions around a case.
Tags for process steps
Especially in firms that specialize in a practice area that is procedural, a tag can be used to give a view of all the clients or cases that need to have a specific thing happen. Intake is a consistent example.
Special Offer for Law Firms
We know you are about 1,000 times more likely to use CallPlease for a very long time if we get a chance to help you set it up. So…
- We have a great team of people (called the Customer Success Team) that are very good at understanding the work flows of Law Firms and how to use CallPlease to make all the right things happen
- If you schedule some time with our Customer Success Team, we will give you access to special Law Firm bundles on licensing.