Update: I recently spoke with Matt Spiegel, Lawmatics’ founder, about the software. I’ve added more about our conversation below.
Yesterday I made it to ABA TECHSHOW for a couple of hours to scout out software for my new firm. Though I was a bit surprised by my experience at the expo, I had some great conversations with the guys behind the tech.
One of those guys was Roey Chasman, Chief Technology Officer at Lawmatics. I was particularly interested in Lawmatics as intake and CRM software—a fairly new category in legal tech with few competitors. As an estate planning and elder law attorney, having a smooth intake process and managing ongoing relationships are going to be critical. I’ve looked at Lexicata (disappointingly absent from TECHSHOW); I was hoping to evaluate alternatives.
Roey and his software definitely compete with Lexicata. Lawmatics has a bevy of intake, CRM, and marketing features:
- Track leads (Potential New Clients or “PNCs” in Lawmatics lingo) by source and by marketing campaign
- Move leads through stages in an intake process (like Lexicata, this is presented visually like Trello or a Kanban board)
- Create custom forms and send them to potential clients to collect information (forms are mobile-friendly)
- Everything is encrypted and secure, of course
- E-signatures are integrated at no extra cost (via HelloSign)
- Extensive automatic workflows can be created, with multiple actions taken automatically on certain triggers
- Mass emailing
- Lots of data, analytics, and reporting—including setting targets for prospects and analyzing ROI and conversion rates
Lawmatics’ feature set was impressive. When asked what makes it different from Lexicata, Roey emphasized that Lexicata lacks the marketing automation and analytics features Lawmatics has. The product’s focus is squarely on automation and data analysis. And it did indeed look like a powerful piece of software.
Being a day-one product (it literally launched that day), however, meant not everything was perfect:
- Lawmatics does not currently integrate with any practice management software. Integrations with PracticePanther and Smokeball are coming very soon (perhaps one month); Roey said there might be an integration with Clio in the next six months, but he sounded uncertain.
- Without integrations, you might want to get data out of Lawmatics by exporting to a CSV file—but that’s not possible, either. Again, it’ll probably be a feature, and probably soon.
- Clients cannot save their answers in forms and come back to finish them later. Roey seemed surprised when I asked him this; he hadn’t thought of it before.
Overall, I had a great conversation with Roey and was generally impressed with Lawmatics.
Update: Then Matt Spiegel Called
This post originally continued with the pricing I got from Roey. It was more expensive than I expected—more expensive than Clio, or Lexicata, or both of them put together. In fact, it shocked me. Enough that I basically threw up my hands, said We’ve had a great chat, but this is out of my ballpark, and that was that.
After publishing this post, however, Matt Spiegel—founder of Lawmatics and, before it, MyCase—emailed to say I didn’t get the full story on pricing. He asked for a phone call. I was happy to oblige.
Three things came through to me during our conversation:
- Matt cares very much about making his product affordable for solo/small lawyers;
- The pricing for Lawmatics is, in his words, “100% not set in stone at all”; and
- He believes his product is worth a lot more than the other products out there—that it’s on a different playing field.
That last point is key. Matt’s ambition for Lawmatics is to be Hubspot for lawyers; it’s much more ambitious than something like Lexicata. Matt’s vision has all the marketing for a firm taking place within Lawmatics—things like sending text messages to clients, putting on webinars, and scheduling social media posts. And, of course, crunching the data on everything to give you actionable insights.
Even more than that, Matt said Lawmatics is “as much about content as we are about the software.” That is, Lawmatics is going to act like a marketing consultant. They are going to help lawyers set up a marketing system.
To be clear, Matt didn’t walk back any of the pricing that shocked me. The specific prices may change, but clearly a lot of thought has gone into setting those prices and I doubt they’ll change drastically. Instead, Matt did a better job of communicating why he believes Lawmatics is worth a high price. I came away from the conversation seeing how, indeed, it might be.
The fact that I couldn’t see that from the start is, I think, the big challenge facing Lawmatics. In Matt’s mind, Lawmatics is a cheaper Hubspot for lawyers—a huge value. In my mind, Lawmatics was a more expensive Lexicata. I had to Google “Hubspot” to get a better idea of what Matt was talking about. If I had to do that, many other lawyers will too. Matt will have to make the value of Lawmatics clearer.
For me, it’s still not entirely clear. I’m still leery of paying a high onboarding fee, because I have to take the value on faith (with software, I can see the features I’m getting); maybe a satisfaction guarantee would help. I’m not sure automating online marketing is necessary for a business primarily driven by referrals. I wonder if spending the same amount of money on something else—like advertising or a fantastic website—would get me more. I also wonder if automating my marketing is the wrong direction; if, as Nate Kontny has been saying, I should follow on instead of follow up.
These are all concerns the Lawmatics team will have to address. They have their own marketing problem, similar to the marketing problem most lawyers have: charging a high price for a service of unclear value to the potential client. The task is to make that value clear.