Jackie Donner, co-founder of LawFlex speaks to us about flexible law practices.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jackie Donner: Other than going in and out of lock-down, we are doing well.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded LawFlex.
Jackie Donner: I began my career as a corporate lawyer in London at a Magic Circle law firm. I continued as a corporate lawyer at an Israeli law firm. I founded LawFlex after seeing that there was a real need for such a company – to offer both clients and lawyers a different way to practice and purchase legal services.
How does LawFlex innovate?
Jackie Donner: The Covid-19 global epidemic caught us in the midst of a large technological project, automating the vast majority of procedures at LawFlex. The quarantine around the world sped up the process, transforming LawFlex into not just an ALSP (Alternative Legal Services Provider) but also into a LegalTech company. Now, an attorney from anywhere in the world can answer a few questions, have a short video interview – and then be automatically categorized and transformed into a team member at LawFlex. On the clients’ side – we developed a full client portal that provides the client with full control and transparency about the process, landmarks, and financial status.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Jackie Donner: LawFlex has been working on a remote basis since i’s establishment, five years ago. Our pool of talented attorneys from around the world – more than 500 attorneys these days – are used to working remotely, providing top legal services while working from home, the office, or while traveling. In that sense, the Covid-19 pandemic just reaffirmed our capability to work with clients from around the world remotely and brought us many new clients and attorneys.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Jackie Donner: We were lucky enough to be on a hiring spree due to the increased demand. So we did not have to make difficult choices but witnessed with both family members, friends, and colleagues the havoc that Covid brought on. Our business was not affected, but our lives were.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Jackie Donner: Due to our automation, our customer relations went through a transformation – which although positive in the long term was an adjustment for some of our clients. Legal is still a traditional market, and sometimes, clients are looking to speak to someone, rather than work via a platform. We did our best to accommodate this but due to the growth in inbound work, this was a challenge.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Jackie Donner: The State of Israel came prepared for the crisis. Israel was one of the first countries to stop air transportation, one of the first countries to put the entire population under quarantine, and one of the first countries to actively vaccine the entire population. Israel is considered a huge ‘laboratory’ for Covid-19 vaccinations, and we are close to reaching a majority of the entire population having the 2nd vaccination shot. Besides, the Israeli government was (and still is) very generous with regard to grants and financial assistance to companies and individuals affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We did not qualify for any grants.
Your final thoughts?
Jackie Donner: Covid had a significant effect on New Law – and accelerated what was set to be a five-year growth process to a six-month process. Although positive, this sudden growth comes with lots of challenges as well.
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