Monday, December 6, 2010

Social Wok and Marlowe Law Office

Learn how Marlowe Law Office streamlined their client management and improved their office collaboration through Google Apps and SocialWok to increase billable hours, decrease inefficiencies, and manage real-time crises.

Socialwok is a project management and team collaboration service for businesses on Google Apps to share ideas, files and Google Docs within their organizations in their own secure and private workspaces.

Marlowe Law Office is a personal bankruptcy law firm based Tipp City Ohio that helps people find debt relief through bankruptcy protection. Most of its staff (three interns, a paralegal and three lawyers) are working remotely and connected using laptops, smart phones, Google Apps, Google Voice, Twitter and Socialwok. This allows the firm to handle matters as far away as Kentucky and Indiana. Marlowe Law Office is set up in “the cloud” and Socialwok is a critical component of that go cloud strategy.

Before Socialwok, lawyers in Marlowe Law Office would have to constantly email or call their clients in order to keep their clients up to date on cases. A lot of time was spent consolidating information from various places to maintain client files and updating clients’ contact information. Marlowe Law Office was using labor intensive and data-entry oriented solutions like Basecamp and Google Sites to collaborate with its clients. Often, clients had real adoption problems with these programs because they found the programs to be too troublesome or user-unfriendly.

Stephen Marlowe, the lead attorney, uses Socialwok as a “Facebook” like case-management tool that is tightly integrated with Google Apps to share and archive information regarding his clients. His law office uses Google Apps Mail and Google Docs for all its email messaging and document management needs. The first step in Marlowe Law Office’s client intake process is to create a Socialwok feed. Socialwok has become the law firm’s front-end dashboard for Google Apps. Socialwok is a very user-friendly, intuitive way to collaborate, share emails and manage Google Documents.

Stephen’s staff has been able to collaborate and archive all emails, documents, calendar events, notes to case files, voicemails, client contacts and questions into Socialwok’s private client feeds. Marlowe Law Office is able to automatically create an interactive timeline that serves as a perfect record of the law firm’s relationship with its clients. Clients can also access and collaborate with attorneys of the firm on their cases using these private feeds.

Marlowe Law Office has increased billable hours and eliminated phone-tag with clients because lawyers are able to share Socialwok feeds with their clients.
With Socialwok, lawyers are able to create email filters in Gmail that allow them to forward emails from their clients into specific Socialwok feeds. Lawyers are able to scan paper copies of legal documents related to a client directly into a private feed that the client can access. Lawyers can now view all the information related to a client by searching for his last name, or by hashtags. Socialwok lists all messages, emails, files and meeting notes related to the client in chronological order.

Here is a true story from Stephen:
“Recently, we stopped a foreclosure that had proceeded in error. The client shot us a frantic email, which was forwarded immediately to the client's Socialwok feed. We intervened to stop the sale of the family’s home in minutes--not hours or days--to the client’s benefit. There were no voicemails waiting to be addressed, no emails stacked awaiting attention. Socialwok made us nimble. Socialwok has saved the law firm an immense amount of frustration and time, allowing us to take on more clients. If you’re in business and you use Google Apps and don’t use SocialWok, you’re a fool.”

Original Story with Marlowe Law Office is available on the SocialWok Blog