Ulrichsen Rosen & Freed LLC
DocMoto has also saved the firm a lot of time through its online file sharing functionality
Managing the documentation involved in family law cases places particular demands on law practices. At a time when lawyers need to be focused on the law, the last thing they need is a technical problem to solve.
And finding the right document management solution for a firm operating Apple computers, iPhones, and iPads was always a challenge for New Jersey's Ulrichsen Rosen & Freed.
Managing Partner Derek Freed explained: “Almost every family law case is highly document intensive, covering issues relating to support, division of assets and liabilities. Also, if a divorcing involves a family-owned business, there will be numerous documents relating to the business.”
The firm began using Apple computers in about 2010 to support its 10-13 IT users. However, it soon identified document management issues:
“There really wasn't a fully-fledged document management system for Apple computers. We were using a nested folder system created in-house and different types of software. There was nothing we really loved,” he said.
Other challenges included a lack of version control in the previous nested folder system when working collaboratively on documents. This meant draft settlement agreements were shared in Microsoft Word so different attorneys and even clients could mark up changes. An absence of version control presented challenges to the firm to track the most current version of a particular document.
In addition, system users could accidentally drag folders into the wrong place and make them difficult to retrieve.
Following a demonstration of DocMoto, document management system for Apple Mac, the firm was sufficiently impressed with its functionality and its dedicated Mac design to sign up and roll out the software in 2014.
Derek Freed recalled: “After roll-out, everything with our document management became more orderly. It meant there was a lot less risk that documents could be misplaced or misnamed. The DocMoto team also set up a template so every document we imported was named in a particular way. This allowed us to reduce friction and standardize the approach among users.”
The DocMoto software also enabled the firm to search for files across large databases in a way they couldn't do previously.
Referencing the importance of having version control in DocMoto, Derek Freed added: “It meant we could use a master document functionality to push out changes to document templates and know that the end product would be correct regardless of who was editing it. It made collaboration much easier.”
The firm also saw the value in the fail-safe functions of DocMoto: if a user tries to move something, such as a folder, the system prompts them multiple times to confirm whether this is an action they really want to take. This support embedded in the system protects people who are less confident in their computer skills and ensures that nothing gets misplaced.
DocMoto has also saved the firm a lot of time through its online file sharing functionality, which replaces the former method of burning files to a CD and sending via FedEx.
Moving to the cloud
In 2018, Ulrichsen Rosen & Freed moved its document storage to DocMoto's cloud-based service.
Derek Freed explained: “With more of our team working remotely because of balancing work and family commitments, having access to DocMoto in the cloud has made the sharing capability available to everyone. This gives all of us the ability to see an entire case file while working from home. It has also enabled easier collaboration.
“Also, if we're going to an off-site meeting, we just bring a laptop or other device to access our files online instead of having to remember to check out documents and save them to the computer desktop. This gives us more time to think about case strategies and the law in our preparation rather than the technicalities of accessing documentation. As long as a document is in DocMoto I can get it wherever I am, which is crucial.”
“And the transition to DocMoto's cloud service couldn't have been smoother. Everything was done behind the scenes by the DocMoto team within the working week.
Increased efficiency and an evolving software as a service
Four years of using DocMoto has made the firm more efficient, spending less time fixing technical issues and allowing lawyers to focus more on the content of documents.
Derek Freed said: “The DocMoto team has been fantastic throughout. For example, prior to moving to the cloud, when we couldn't figure out why one of our in-house servers had 'died', the DocMoto team connected remotely and diagnosed what we could do to access the most recent back-up.
“We have put our trust in them because of the confidence we have in their people. Relationships are important to us and it's vital to know there's an actual person who will respond to an email.”
“And, as a user, I want to see a product that is actively developed. So, it's been encouraging to see DocMoto rolling out new features. This gives us the belief that the product is going to be around for the long term and worth training our lawyers on.”