Pratik Shah: Taking Your Business Development and Legal Tech to the Next Level

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Pratik Shah discuss:

  • Committing to the process, not just the result, of business development.
  • Tips to develop positive business development habits.
  • Looking out for everyone in your business network.
  • Going deep and wide in the right areas of your network.

Key Takeaways:

  • You should have a plan going into your networking event. There is more to it than just showing up and being in the room.
  • Have a committed schedule for progressing your business development routine forward. You can then plan around it if it is on your schedule.
  • Don’t be a professional taker – by helping others you will get so much more out of it.
  • With the way legal tech is developing, you will, eventually, not have a choice to switch or start using it. Don’t be afraid to jump in and start learning to help your clients and your employees.
  • Bring your team in to identify pain points and have someone review the tech options that could help to solve those problems.

“Put in inquiries. The more options you see out there, the more you will see what fits with your firm. Every firm is so different, it is impossible to say which tech your firm should have.” —  Pratik Shah

Find out more about the Mastering the Legal Clock and Thriving Event at: https://fretzin.com/events

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Episode References:

About Pratik Shah: Pratik serves as the CEO and co-founder of EsquireTek a leading technology platform used by litigation attorneys to help automate written discovery he is also the Associate Director of Litigation at Panish Shea Boyle Ravipudi where he focuses on business development for the firm as well as trial and litigation strategy.

Connect with Pratik Shah: 

Website: http://www.psbr.law/

Website: http://www.esquiretek.com/

Email: [email protected]

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pratik-shah-8916198/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/esquiretek

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thecloseresq

Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Instagram: @fretzinsteve

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.

Website: Fretzin.com

Email: [email protected]

Book: Legal Business Development Isn’t Rocket Science and more!

YouTube: Steve Fretzin

Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911

Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

[00:00:00] Steve Fretzin: Hey everybody, before we get to the show, I just want to share another amazing event we’ve got coming up called Mastering the Legal Clock and Thriving. And that’s happening on the 29th of February from noon to one central time. It’s me and my friend, Sarah Reeve Hecking, and we are going to help you reclaim control of your legal practice in one hour.

[00:00:18] Steve Fretzin: So if you don’t have time to come and join us, maybe you need to come and join us. I enjoy the show. Everybody.

You’re listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author and lawyer coach, Steve Fretzin will take a deeper dive, helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.

[00:00:50] Steve Fretzin: Well, Hey everybody, welcome to be that lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin as the announcer just mentioned. I’m Just so happy that you’re here and, uh, we are having a winter storm here in Chicago that is, uh, knocking out all the power and, not mine yet, but I had some flickering and then, uh, my wife’s a teacher and my son’s a student and they’re both out from school today, so the snow day that, uh, everybody hopes for.

[00:01:11] Steve Fretzin: Then they gotta make it up, right? Right, Pateek? That’s a problem? Pateek? Yeah,

[00:01:15] Pratik Shah: that’s right. You know, down here in San Diego, we get a lot of snow days, so. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. I’m very familiar.

[00:01:21] Steve Fretzin: Well, listen, everybody’s got their, their, their deal and their different, you know, areas of where they live and, and weather crisis season, all that.

[00:01:28] Steve Fretzin: But, uh, that’s not what this show is. This is not a weather show. We would like to think of it as, as a be that lawyer show, helping lawyers to grow their law practices, live their best lawyer life. We love to start with our quote of the day, and we’ve got one or two that we want to work. These are the Nick Saban.

[00:01:43] Steve Fretzin: Did something just happen to Nick Saban? He just like retired. He just retired.

[00:01:46] Pratik Shah: Yeah. Okay. Arguably the greatest coach of all, college football coach of all time. So

[00:01:50] Steve Fretzin: possibly very timely to have a nick saving quote here and here it is now try not to screw it up if you want to be successful you don’t have a lot of choices it takes what it takes to just suck it up right

[00:02:03] Pratik Shah: that’s right you know at the end of the day it’s just.

[00:02:06] Pratik Shah: You can’t worry about what everybody says about work life balance and all that thing. And if you’ve got a goal, there’s a reason why most people don’t ever get there.

[00:02:15] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. If they, you know, if winning was easy, everybody would win, right? I mean, if, if building a law practice was easy, everybody would be out on their own and it’s hard and there’s a lot of ways to do things different and better and faster and stronger.

[00:02:27] Steve Fretzin: That’s what this show is all about. It doesn’t necessarily make it easy. You could just, you’re just going to shortcut some of the pain that other people are dealing with. What was the other next statement? Oh, yeah, sorry. Just to jump

[00:02:36] Pratik Shah: in on that one, you know, anybody can open a law practice. It’s can you be successful?

[00:02:41] Pratik Shah: And what does that term mean for you? For some people it means make 200 grand and be home. And work 20 hours a week and some people want to make 5 million dollars, you know, what does that mean for you?

[00:02:52] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, I had a client, a potential client, I should say, that I spoke to this week and he, he, he thought one of my programs might be great for him, except that he didn’t really know like what he wanted to do, did he want to be a 5 person firm, a 10 person firm, did he want to just try to keep it really lean and high profit, I said, hey man, Either I can help you figure that out or you just need to like, have like a half a day to just go think and just be, what do you really want?

[00:03:16] Steve Fretzin: You know, what do you really want out of it? And then once you figure that out, let’s talk again. And he seemed pretty excited about just, you know, not the pressure of, of it has to be a certain way. Just the idea that he needs to just figure out what you want and then work down from there is, is typically a better play.

[00:03:30] Pratik Shah: Yeah, 100 percent I agree. And, and there’s no, there’s no right or wrong answer. Like you said, it’s, it’s what, it’s your life. Well,

[00:03:37] Steve Fretzin: the right answer is, I think you need to, you need to make money, you need to enjoy what you do if you can, and you need to make sure that you, you, you know, live a good life, because I think you only have one, I don’t think I know, uh, you only have one shot at this thing called life, and if you’re just spending your days unhappy and, and not getting, going in the direction that you need to go to live, You know, take advantage of this one shot opportunity, then, you know, shame on you, you, you need to step up.

[00:04:06] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, 100 percent agree. And what was the other Nick Saban quote that you told me? I thought that, I’ve heard that a bunch of times too, and it’s really solid. Yeah,

[00:04:13] Pratik Shah: the other Nick Saban quote I love is just, you know, mediocre people don’t like hanging out with high achievers, and high achievers don’t like hanging out with mediocre people.

[00:04:22] Pratik Shah: And, you know, I was talking to that. I’ve got a 12 year old son who’s turning 13 soon and getting to that age. And I’m telling him, Hey, there’s a reason why the students in your school that are the kids doing really well and achieving all these things don’t hang out with the kids that are smoking cigarettes behind, you know, the grandstand.

[00:04:38] Pratik Shah: Those two groups, that’s oil and water for a reason because they want different things.

[00:04:43] Steve Fretzin: Right. Yeah. That’s so, that’s so true. And I think that’s why when you have someone like, and I’ll just pick on Michael Jordan or any, any, you know, when you have anyone, Kobe Bryant, anyone that’s just so motivated to win and you’re not motivated to win the same way, it’s not going to work.

[00:04:57] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. You need to

[00:05:00] Pratik Shah: have, and what will happen is if you’re building a team, if you’re starting a firm and you’re building your team of employees and you’ve got one or two high achievers and you’ve got, you know, two or three mediocre people, the high achievers will just leave. Right. They’ll be like, this is not the team I want to be a part of.

[00:05:16] Pratik Shah: Yeah, right

[00:05:17] Steve Fretzin: on, right on. And I think that’s why law firm leaders, you know, they need to have their vision of what they want it to be. And their drive needs to be then replicated under them. That’s right. And if everybody’s not on the same page, you know, that with the same vision, shared vision, that’s when things go south.

[00:05:33] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, I agree. Prateek Shah, you are the CEO of Esquire Tech. And, uh, you know, I, I always kind of brag that I have these really outstanding conversations with people before we have the podcast. And I think I just do. I mean, I just spoke to a guy that does outsourced CFO work for law firms. And like, we couldn’t have had a better 30 minute call prior to the podcast.

[00:05:55] Steve Fretzin: And I know we’re going to do stuff together. I’ve already made an introduction for him and, um, I mean, it’s just, it’s just, I just really enjoyed what we, you know, are covering and you had me on your podcast too, which was, which was phenomenal. So tell everybody a little bit about yourself, your background as, as a lawyer and, uh, what you’re up to these days.

[00:06:11] Pratik Shah: Yeah, I’ll give the quick, you know, sports center highlight version here, essentially graduated, started as a DA, did that for just about a year. I enjoyed my time at the DA’s office, but I always had this itch in the back of my mind of wanting to start my own firm and run my own business. So I did. I left, started my own practice, ran my own practice for about 10 years.

[00:06:30] Pratik Shah: Uh, with a business partner for about 7 of it, uh, year 8, year 9, year 8 was like the pandemic 2020, litigation slowed down, um, and I always had this itch in the back of my mind of wanting to start this project, which was to help automate written discovery, because to me, that’s the most tedious process in litigation.

[00:06:48] Pratik Shah: And when the time, when I had more time on my plate, I built out and started Esquire Tech with the co founder who did kind of the CTO technical work. And then a year and a half later, I ended up selling my shares to my business partner, and now I do business development for a large personal injury firm out of California.

[00:07:05] Pratik Shah: And then I run Esquire Tech, uh, as the CEO co founder of that company.

[00:07:09] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And you have a background in business development, right? Prior to legal?

[00:07:13] Pratik Shah: Yeah. So I had about a six year gap between undergrad and law school. And in that six year gap, I did every sales job imaginable. I started selling cell

[00:07:25] Narrator: phones at a mall

[00:07:26] Pratik Shah: in college and went to selling cars and insurance and mortgage leads and shipping for DHL.

[00:07:34] Pratik Shah: You go down the list. I sold you name it. I

[00:07:37] Steve Fretzin: sold it. Yeah. Yeah. I sold shoes in high school. I sold ameritech yellow pages. No one even knows what that is. If you’re under 30, you don’t even what’s a yellow page. Why is the page yellow? It must be a legal pad. No, there was that’s how we got information. Um, I sold pagers, but right at the right at the twist between cell phones and pagers.

[00:07:57] Steve Fretzin: These were like the first two way pagers. Which I thought was kind of good, like that was technology before texting. Like we didn’t realize like I was texting back in the, you know, late nineties. It was, you know, nobody called it texting. It wasn’t a thing back then. It’s called two wage, two wage, you know, paging or whatever it was called.

[00:08:12] Steve Fretzin: Um, and so now, now you’re in, in a world of business development for, for legal and, um, have an expertise in that and business development. And I think also legal tech. Are challenging for a lot of attorneys. Why? Why do you feel or your experience of why those two things tend to be difficult for them to implement?

[00:08:32] Steve Fretzin: I

[00:08:32] Pratik Shah: think that there’s a lot of stress in the legal profession, and we’re constantly thinking about our cases, and we’re constantly thinking about our upcoming deadlines, and we’re constantly thinking about this client or or this court date or defense counsel or opposing counsel, whether whichever side you’re on, whatever may be going on.

[00:08:49] Pratik Shah: There’s a lot going on. It’s hard to put that on pause. And have this time where you’re like, I’m just going to go and be social because it feels like it feels unproductive to a lot of lawyers. You know, I had a business partner. I did a lot of the marketing and stuff for our firm and my business partner.

[00:09:05] Pratik Shah: He was like, to me, to him, that’s like a waste of time. And without understanding that there’s a, there’s a commitment to the process, right? The goal isn’t I’m going to go out and have a dinner and it’s going to generate business. It’s I’m going to have 30 events that I’m going to attend this year. This is my process for that.

[00:09:23] Pratik Shah: And that will eventually turn into business and committing to the process and not to the result. But for, for lawyers that I think a lot of times are used to this, like instant result, I’m going to file this motion and then this is going to happen. This, this process is not, it’s unique to them. They just have never done it.

[00:09:38] Pratik Shah: And I, and I think it’s. It’s not that they can or they don’t have the skills of, obviously they have the skills of very smart people, but it’s just, it’s just new and it’s different,

[00:09:48] Steve Fretzin: but they don’t have the muscle memory. But you said, but even before muscle memory, you said process and where are lawyers learning a process to attend and get success out of a conference, out of a networking lunch, out of attending a drink fest?

[00:10:05] Steve Fretzin: You know, 200 person drink fest event. They’re not, then they’re terrified of it because they either don’t want to do it and they’re afraid of it or they’ve done it enough where they realize kind of what a waste of time that is.

[00:10:17] Pratik Shah: Yeah, I totally agree. I think like the lack of plan, right? Like if I file a lawsuit as a plaintiff’s lawyer.

[00:10:23] Pratik Shah: I understand what my plan is in this case, and I know how I’m going to end up being successful in this case, or where it’s going to go, where I assume it’s going to go, assuming everything goes my way. I think a lot of lawyers don’t have, like you said, they don’t have that process of, oh, if I go to this networking event, here’s my goal when I go there, is I want to meet five new people, or seven new people, or ten new people.

[00:10:43] Pratik Shah: And then my follow up is I’m going to email them, I’m going to contact them a week from now, and I’m going to say XYZ, and that’s going to lead to a lunch, and then, And if they don’t have that plan because nobody’s ever taught them what that plan is, or they’ve never even sat down and thought it should be a plan, I think a lot of times, uh, lawyers are told, go network, and they go, oh, there’s a networking event.

[00:11:04] Pratik Shah: So they show up, they put on a suit, and it’s stuffy, and the food is terrible, and the conversations are stale, and they come home and go, that was horrible.

[00:11:13] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, I would, I would, I want to put myself through that again and then right, right. So there you go. But the easiest example for lawyers that resonates with lawyers is when you go and take three days or whatever to go to a conference right now, part of the conference is learning and part of the conference is networking and business development and you’re there.

[00:11:32] Steve Fretzin: There’s no planning, you show up, you attend things, you talk with people at your table, okay, great, maybe you even get a bunch of business cards that you walk away from, and it’s almost like a story, there’s a beginning, a middle, and an end, and if one of those three parts of the story doesn’t exist, that’s, that’s where, like, if you’re watching a movie, and you miss the middle, you’re in trouble, if you miss the end, well, how’d it end?

[00:11:54] Steve Fretzin: So, like, there should be a plan of how you’re preparing to go to a conference, how are you connecting, setting up meetings, there’s something to do when you’re there, what questions are you asking, how much you’re infomercial, how are you addressing people, how are you learning if they’re qualified for you to follow up or not, and then there’s the follow up, that stack of cards actually gets called, and what are you doing in those meetings, so, I think that’s, that’s such, to you and I, such a common sense obvious thing, but I think for many lawyers, that’s That’s that that kind of thought in and process.

[00:12:24] Steve Fretzin: It’s just that that’s just it’s a learned skill, but they haven’t learned it.

[00:12:28] Pratik Shah: Yeah, totally agree. And, and, you know, one of the things that always happens to me when I go to conferences, I agree. I always look at kind of the speaker list or the attendee list if I can get it ahead of time to see. Is there anybody that I specifically want to meet that’s perfectly, that, that’s gonna, that I can bring value to, and they can bring value to me, because I want to make it about them, because then that’s when I know that I’ll get value in the long term, is if I can make it about them, and if I can provide value to them.

[00:12:52] Pratik Shah: And so that, that’s step one. And then it’s, okay, when I go to the conference, I know that every day I want to meet at least five to seven new people. And instead of even waiting post conference, because I know I’ll forget, or I know I’ll lose the business card, or end up in my suitcase somewhere, I just send the emails from my hotel room.

[00:13:06] Pratik Shah: When I wake up in the morning, the next morning, I just fire off the emails, and nowadays with Gmail and stuff, you can even do schedule send. If you don’t want to send an email that day, and feel like that looks desperate, you can just schedule send it, so it sends on Tuesday, the next week. And it’s done and then it’s like, I don’t have to worry about

[00:13:22] Steve Fretzin: it.

[00:13:22] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. There’s just, I mean, there’s, there’s a lot to learn, but I think, you know, for the purposes of what we’ve got to cover today, I mean, the other, the other thing, you know, business development being. A really critical, you know, part of how a lawyer needs to, because you have to have business and then you’ve got the work, right?

[00:13:38] Steve Fretzin: But what if you don’t have the business, then there’s no work. So we’ve got it. We’ve got to figure out a way before we get it because I want to talk technology and AI with you as well. What’s like your number one tip for lawyers to try to develop positive habits on business development?

[00:13:53] Pratik Shah: Yeah, I would say have a consistent schedule, right?

[00:13:57] Pratik Shah: Like if you’ve never done this before, the easiest way to get started. Is to say I’m going to commit to one day, this day, let’s say it’s the third Thursday of the month, and that night I’m doing a dinner with another lawyer. And even if it starts off where it’s just, I’m, I’m going to dinner with my buddy who’s a lawyer and it starts off that way.

[00:14:19] Pratik Shah: It’s okay because you want to get into the routine of it. It’s like, you know, they say, like, if you’ve never, if you haven’t been to the gym in a while, just go to the gym and walk in for 10 minutes and leave. Just to get into

[00:14:29] Steve Fretzin: the routine of going, right? That’s an Alex Hermosi right there if I’ve ever heard one.

[00:14:33] Steve Fretzin: Yeah,

[00:14:33] Pratik Shah: right? It’s, it’s just, just get started. Yeah. And then once you get started, you’ll start seeing that, oh, and then if you, if you have it pre planned with the date and the location. Then you can plan your family schedule around it. You can plan your depositions and everything around it. You can kind of know that this is non negotiable the third Thursday of every month.

[00:14:52] Pratik Shah: That’s like, I think, a really basic raw starting point for folks. Um, and then I’ll just throw one more thing in there is, is, uh, one of the most important things I felt that has helped me the most is, is make it about them. When I go to these things, it’s who am I speaking with, who, how can I add value to this person, if, who can I connect them with in my network that’s gonna give them value, and, and if I just don’t even worry about getting something out of it, I just worry about how can I get them value, the rest will come.

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[00:17:16] Steve Fretzin: I mean, if you, if you meet with someone and ask a ton of questions and find a connection for them, find some value to add for them, you have to really have your radar up. Okay. It’s a, yeah, that’s a, that’s a, that, that is a skill like listening and, and trying to put pieces together.

[00:17:31] Steve Fretzin: And of course it helps you if you have a big network.

[00:17:34] Pratik Shah: And being genuinely interested, right? Like when I’m like, you don’t want to be, you don’t want to fake it. I

[00:17:41] Steve Fretzin: mean, take that. So take a non salesy approach, right? Sales free approach, go in to rebuild, build a relationship, ask a lot of questions, be genuinely interested.

[00:17:51] Steve Fretzin: And what tends to happen is when you figure out a connection for someone, they’ll say, well, how can I help you? Or tell me who you’re looking to meet. And then you have to articulate that. And you’ve got to maybe. Help them through an introduction that might be beneficial for you. But now you’re helping someone they’re helping you.

[00:18:06] Steve Fretzin: You’re walking away with something of value. And if you didn’t do in that, you know, 10 or 20 times a month, guess what? You know, you’re going to be, you’re going to be bringing in some business.

[00:18:15] Pratik Shah: I totally agree. And I will just, you know, let’s say you start off and you meet, you know, 10, 15 people and you’ve helped them by connecting them with somebody or referring them business or whatever.

[00:18:26] Pratik Shah: Now, next year, when you meet 10 or 15 new people and you go, Hey, I met somebody last year that can help you. Let me connect you. The old person you met is a lot more open to helping the person you’re connecting them with because you’ve already and then. You just build this network of, you’ve now networked with two people at the lunch because you just connected these two people that can be mutually better.

[00:18:46] Pratik Shah: I’ll give an example of like, one of my good friends from law school is an estate planning attorney, and I don’t do estate planning, I do personal injury, so we’re not even in the same niche, but him and I talk about it, I’m like, listen, I have a buddy, I met this accountant. My accountant and you would work out great.

[00:19:02] Pratik Shah: Let me make, let me get a lunch together and all of us can meet. Oh, you, you’re in a, oh, my nephew, by the way, does financial planning. Let me connect you with him and maybe you can talk to his client. And I just let them do their thing. Yeah. But it doesn’t have to be forced.

[00:19:17] Steve Fretzin: It’s all, it’s all in everyone’s, but when you’re looking out for everyone else that’s in your life, you can worry a lot less about yourself.

[00:19:25] Steve Fretzin: That when there’s all that good karma being built up. Things are going to come and go your way. Um, it’s the people that go out that just are takers. They’re going to, they’re going to find it hard to, to, to be sustainable. And people that go out and they just meet their professional meters. They just go out.

[00:19:40] Steve Fretzin: Hey, nice to meet you. You’re great. I’m great. Okay. Let’s keep our eyes open. And then it’s gone, you know, never to be brought up or mentioned again. So there’s a term.

[00:19:49] Pratik Shah: I haven’t heard that term before,

[00:19:51] Narrator: but it’s so true. It’s so true. We see that all. It’s ineffective.

[00:19:55] Steve Fretzin: Right, right, right. I mean, there’s something to be said about, about building your network wide and meeting a lot of people, but I feel like if you’re not doing that with intelligence and with systems and with some, you know, value add for others, uh, you’re not really building a great brand.

[00:20:10] Steve Fretzin: You’re just, you’re going to be a past memory of someone. That’ll never think of you twice in a year, you know, that’s right. That’s right.

[00:20:17] Pratik Shah: And it’s, and it’s, you know, you, you mentioned the term, you know, if you go wide, right. And, and I think the counter to that is going deep and I think you and I both agree, it’s much better to go deep with, let’s say you’ve got a network of 30.

[00:20:29] Pratik Shah: Versus 300. We barely know. And I’ve just talked to him passing. Yeah.

[00:20:33] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. I like, I like the idea of doing both. Like I liked the idea of having a wide network where I know a lot of people, because then I’m able to solve a lot of different problems that are things I solve, but then, yeah, like I need.

[00:20:44] Steve Fretzin: Strong legal recruiters in my camp right like jennifer gilman and, uh, and some of the others that I know and then I, I need to have some good legal tech people. I need to have some good legal marketing people and, and that’s deep. Um, and so you get the combination. It’s a good, it’s a good one to punch. If you will, I, I find myself writing something that I think is pretty good.

[00:21:06] Steve Fretzin: Then what I do is I, I, I throw it into into chat and sometimes it comes back pretty much better than what I wrote. And it’s still my writing, but it’s better. And I think that it’s, it’s becoming a pretty big deal in the world and in the legal space as well. What’s your kind of take on. AI and how maybe get more involved with it to help them run their practice and do the

[00:21:28] Pratik Shah: marketing.

[00:21:29] Pratik Shah: Yeah. Great question. So I think I want to draw a real clear distinction between just basic AI, quote unquote, basic AI and generative AI, right? Generative AI is like chat GPT. That’s actually generating new content. Pre Chat GPT, non generative AI, regular AI, has existed for a long time in e discovery where they’ll analyze your documents, they’ll scan them and read them and kind of give you reports of how many times this word is showing up or this company name is showing up, right?

[00:21:57] Pratik Shah: So they’re, you know, clearing that, that distinction there. In the generative AI space right now, which everybody’s so excited about because it is exciting and I think where it’s going to be in 5, 7, 10 years is, is going to be incredible. You know, it’s not there yet. And of course, there’s a lot of ethical pitfalls.

[00:22:12] Pratik Shah: And we, as lawyers, are still trying to all figure out where those, you know, landmines are. And I don’t want to be the test case. I think a lot of people don’t want to be the test case. Um, and so there are legal tech companies out there, including mine, of course. And, but this is, I don’t want to just make it about that.

[00:22:27] Pratik Shah: There are plenty of legal tech companies out there using AI and generative AI. They are doing it the right way because they understand security. They understand the ethical, you know, guidelines that are required throwing something in the chat GPT. They now keep that data. So, the basic kind of thing to be careful of is if you’re putting your client’s information in there, that could be a direct violation of attorney client confidentiality.

[00:22:50] Pratik Shah: Okay. When you’ve when you’ve got. Some of these legal tech tools that exist, Esquire Tech, Co Counsel is a big favorite of mine, I have no investment in that one or anything like that, that’s just a tool that I really like, and um, they, what we all do, is we anonymize the data before we run it through, because we understand that this is part of the process, and so, you want to make sure like, some of those things are in place, and you just got to ask them, like, how are you guys protecting the ethical rules, and they’ll tell you, yeah, any good company that’s actually doing it will tell you.

[00:23:17] Pratik Shah: So, very exciting for me. I think the hardest thing for attorneys is, again, changing their process, whether it be networking or how they handle their cases and, and stopping and saying, okay, we’re not doing it that way anymore. We’re doing it this way. But what I see with legal tech and the tech tools that are being invented, Okay.

[00:23:34] Pratik Shah: Is, it’s basically typewriter to computer. You just don’t have a choice. There’s a lot of folks that didn’t want to switch out from the typewriter. They’re like, we’re using typewriter. It’s working fine. I don’t need to use a PC. I

[00:23:46] Steve Fretzin: don’t know about you. I still have a two way pager. Like I mentioned earlier.

[00:23:49] Steve Fretzin: I’m not a cell phone. What’s that?

[00:23:51] Pratik Shah: Right. Everybody wanted flip phone. Nobody wanted to switch to the smartphone and right. But eventually those tools become so they drive so much value that you just don’t have a choice. Your clients are going to demand it. You’re the amount of business you can handle is going to go up.

[00:24:05] Pratik Shah: Your employees are going to demand it. We find that happening a lot. Our tech to and other tech tools is that. The employees hear about it and they go, why am I doing this manually? You got to help me do my job and they’ll go to their bosses and lobby for it. We’ve had employees say, Hey, look, just if the boss doesn’t want to pay for it, I’m just going to pay out of pocket because I’m just not doing this manually anymore.

[00:24:27] Pratik Shah: So, you know, what we solve is written discovery in the process of that, because it’s a very tedious process, but there’s tech tools that solve whatever is tedious in your

[00:24:37] Steve Fretzin: practice. And can you give me just, I mean, I know, again, I don’t have any, I don’t have any, you know, dog in the race or horse in the race or whatever for the remarkable two tablet, but I’m.

[00:24:48] Steve Fretzin: The biggest fan that exists out there for that tool and, and Calin Lee and acuity and some of the things that, that I like legal tech, but from an AI legal tech perspective, what are two or three of your favorites that you can kind of explain what they do, what they are, why someone would want to do

[00:25:03] Pratik Shah: it?

[00:25:04] Pratik Shah: Yeah. So my company Esquire tech is of course my favorite. That’s number

[00:25:07] Steve Fretzin: one. Number one,

[00:25:08] Pratik Shah: one on the list. Um, I’ll give the 10 second version of what we do is when opposing counsel sends you discovery, we extract the questions from the discovery. We send it to your client via text message and email so they can answer on their own time versus having to your staff having to be on the phone for 3 hours.

[00:25:24] Pratik Shah: And when the answers come back, you can edit them and instead of having to retype objections or copy and paste objections, we’ve got the objections in there that you can just. They auto populate for you and and then you can just serve opposing counsel. We’ll extract opposing counsel information from the document, create your purpose service all this stuff.

[00:25:40] Pratik Shah: That’s. An hour long process for your staff gets done in a minute. So that’s, that’s what our company does. One of my other favorites out there is co counsel, which was run actually by my buddy, Jake Heller. They just got, uh, purchased maybe about 6 months ago by Thomson Reuters. So, they’re now part of the Thomson Reuters family, but, but what they did is, uh, what you can do with them, they have a legal research database.

[00:26:05] Pratik Shah: They were a Westlaw competitor, and they had all the legal cases in there. And you could throw in Opposing counsel’s brief and say, hey, analyze the cases that are in here for me. Now, you want to be careful. You’re still going to want to double check. Right, right. At the end of the day, you as the attorney are signing off on it.

[00:26:22] Pratik Shah: But it would give you a great starting point. I mean, I remember I used it one time. I was reviewing a case that somebody wanted to refer us, and I wasn’t quite sure about Nevada law. And I threw it in there and I said, here’s a fact situation. The jurisdiction’s Nevada. And this whole universe of cases we have, what happens in legal research, you got this whole universe of cases.

[00:26:41] Pratik Shah: You’re really not sure where to start. You do some kind of searches and you narrow it down and narrow it down, narrow it down until you find the like five, six cases that actually are relevant. What this does is it brings you down to 10 cases in like an instant. And it says, here’s the cases you need to review.

[00:26:55] Pratik Shah: Now I’m not going to a hundred percent rely on the machine to do the analysis for me, but just giving me the roadmap of start here. You know, the way I look at it, the best analogy I can think of is. It’s like pre GPS, when our friends would tell us how to get to their house. They’re like, cross the railroad tracks, you’ll see the 7 Eleven, make a right on the 7 Eleven.

[00:27:15] Pratik Shah: And you’re like, what is happening? Now with GPS, it just tells you, go here, and go here, and go there. And it makes it super easy. And that’s kinda how I see it. You still gotta drive the car, but now the roadmap that they’ve given you shortcuts you to the point that you’re trying to get to.

[00:27:32] Steve Fretzin: Really cool stuff.

[00:27:32] Steve Fretzin: Um, I love that. And what’s the best way for a firm to implement technology and maybe even leverage it to get. Their staff excited about it because I think that’s I was talking with a lawyer the other day about that. His technology is outdated. He’s got, you know, servers and he doesn’t, he’s not in the cloud and he’s not, he’s not using any updated stuff.

[00:27:51] Steve Fretzin: And when he’s trying to recruit, like, that’s a negative, like people want to work from home and people want to have, you know, easy access to stuff. So, yeah, back to my early part of the goal with the best way to implement and get people excited about it.

[00:28:03] Pratik Shah: Yeah, that’s a great question. I think that depending on your size of your firm, either put one person in charge or create a committee.

[00:28:10] Pratik Shah: You have a larger firm, create a three, four person committee that can review these and then present you with a report once a month and say, here are the ones we reviewed. Here’s what we think would be useful, right? Number two. What, what the reason why Esquire Tech even got created is I would meet with my staff once a quarter.

[00:28:27] Pratik Shah: You know, we didn’t have a huge firm. It was like an eight person firm, a little boutique firm, but I’d meet with my staff once a quarter and I’d say, Hey, what is slowing you guys down? Here are the goals we want to hit. What it would help you hit those goals. And what’s slowing you down? And the consistent answer we got was written discovery, which is what led to this, but every firm’s different.

[00:28:46] Pratik Shah: If you don’t do litigation, it may not be written. It may be something else. And so depending on what you do, your needs are different. And you don’t know until you talk to your team and say, Hey, what is the bottleneck? What is, if you could wave a magic wand and automate one part of your job, what would it be?

[00:29:02] Pratik Shah: And ask your team that question to find out what kind of tools you should be looking for. But is that that and then have that one person that you assigned earlier the committee go review

[00:29:12] Steve Fretzin: those, but is it hard to know what’s out there? Like, I’m going to go to the ABA legal tech show in, you know, in Chicago, and I’m going to get to meet all the, all the people and just, you know, just see what’s going on.

[00:29:23] Steve Fretzin: Are there other places you can go or websites or things that, you know, that where you could identify, like, what are the newest technologies that we should even know about? Yeah, there’s

[00:29:32] Pratik Shah: a lot of cool places that review them. Um, there’s a website called lawyerist, like lawyer, lawyerist. Yeah, they definitely talk about it.

[00:29:40] Pratik Shah: There’s a, a well known tech blogger named Bob Ambrosie. Yeah,

[00:29:44] Steve Fretzin: probably. Yeah. The godfather of legal tech. Sure. Yeah.

[00:29:47] Pratik Shah: Yeah. And so, you know, he, he reviews a lot of legal tech, but, but I think it’s kind of just like networking, Steve. Like when you talk about, Hey, just get started and start meeting. I think the same is true in the tech space.

[00:30:00] Pratik Shah: Just start taking meeting, just start taking meetings with legal tech companies. It’s not a huge waste of time. It’s 30 minutes, you know, do two meetings a month. We’re not talking carve out a time in your calendar that this is a vendor time. And just. Put in inquiries, and the more you see, and the more options you see out there, you will see what fits for your firm.

[00:30:22] Pratik Shah: Every firm is so different, that it’s like, it’s impossible to say what you should have this Yeah, one size

[00:30:29] Steve Fretzin: fits all. Yeah, it doesn’t exist. Yeah. And shout out to our, um, our sponsor, Lawmatics, who’s there, and I’m using them every day and they’re continually making improvements to help, uh, you know, help with, you know, in particular that the pipeline and marketing function and automating doc, you know, uh, contracts and stuff like that.

[00:30:47] Steve Fretzin: And I, I just, I bless them every day because of how they’re helping and I’m not even a lawyer and I’m getting so much value from Lawmatics. Um, if, um,

[00:30:56] Pratik Shah: just to jump in on, on law Maddox, the CEO and founder, Matt Spiegel is a great guy. He’s down here in San Diego. I know. Yeah. He

[00:31:02] Steve Fretzin: was just on my podcast. Like not that long.

[00:31:04] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:31:05] Pratik Shah: He’s a great guy. And, and, you know, he’s. Been in the space a long time. So he started my case 20 years ago, which was one of the first CRMs. He built that successfully. So he just totally understands the space of how to make attorneys more efficient. And, you know, yeah, he there’s no there’s nobody I know that understands the space better just because of his experience.

[00:31:27] Steve Fretzin: And he’s pretty open, like he said in, not only on my podcast, but we did a webinar together, uh, not that long ago as well. And, hey, if anybody wants to reach me and he gives this email out, you know, Matt, at lawmatics. com or whatever. And, you know, that’s pretty, that’s pretty nice. I mean, that’s not, not everybody’s going to, you know, want to just.

[00:31:45] Steve Fretzin: Be out there for everybody. And I think he’s such a advocate for legal tech and for his company that he’s willing to do that. Listen to, we got to wrap up critique. I’ve got, um, our game changing podcast. I think it’s podcast, uh, the game, Alex Hermosi, who we’ve talked about him a number of times on this show.

[00:32:02] Steve Fretzin: I’m, I’m a big fan. Yeah, me

[00:32:03] Pratik Shah: too. Me too. I think he just kind of gives it straight. And, you know, I even went back. I enjoyed his podcast so much. I even went back and started listening to like the older episodes because, you know, sometimes I feel like, um, there was so much value in these older episodes that just get kind of hidden.

[00:32:19] Pratik Shah: And, you know, I think that’s a good thing to do. If you’ve got a podcast like yours or any podcast you feel is valuable, go back, listen to the old

[00:32:25] Steve Fretzin: episodes. He did his audio books on his podcast, which I thought was phenomenal because I look, I hadn’t, I hadn’t, I’ve read one of his books. I hadn’t heard the audio.

[00:32:36] Steve Fretzin: And I just, I’m in my car. And so I’m listening to chapter after chapter of him, you know, talking about leads and talking about, you know, you know, getting business. So really great stuff there. Um, one of course, thank our wonderful sponsors. We’ve mentioned already. Lawmatics now amazing. They are, we’ve got get staffed up.

[00:32:51] Steve Fretzin: So again, you know, leveraging the power of delegation. Through through them and then green cardigan marketing just helping automate and and really work on your website and your digital to, you know, get the most business you can get in the door and put out your best brand. If people want to get in touch with you, critique, they want to hear more about either your personal injury firm or Esquire tech, you know, what are the best ways for them to reach you?

[00:33:13] Pratik Shah: Yeah. Uh, Instagram at Esquire Tech, that’s Esquire. And then TEK, my email, uh, pshaw, PSHA [email protected]. That’s TEK. And then my, my personal Instagram, if you wanna follow that, is at the closer sq Ooh. I don’t that the closer. But I don’t know, you know, the creative back in like college and it just never changed it.

[00:33:34] Pratik Shah: So, you know, not college, I guess I created in law school and never really changed

[00:33:37] Steve Fretzin: it. Oh, man, there was a TV show called The Closer, very good show. And you maybe can get some money out of them for stealing. I don’t know. This is great, man. I just so appreciate you coming on, sharing your wisdom on the BD front and on the legal tech front, the AI front.

[00:33:50] Steve Fretzin: And I’m just so happy that we got to meet each other because I feel like, again, you know, there’s so much more we can do together beyond just sharing our. Our great ideas on the show. That’s what I think. Thanks again, man. Yeah. Thank you. Yes. Yes. Yes. And thank you all for being with us today. We’ve got, uh, more and more coming in your way to help you be that lawyer.

[00:34:09] Steve Fretzin: Someone who’s confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. Take care, everybody. Be safe. Be well. We will talk again. very, very soon.

Thanks for listening to be that lawyer life-changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website Fretzin.com for additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.