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Virtual Law Practice & Gamification of Legal Services


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These are the slides from my presentation to the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services. I covered the basics of virtual law practice but also gamification, games, and online engagement for legal services. The video for this presentation is here:

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Virtual Law Practice & Gamification of Legal Services

  1. 1. Virtual Law Practice & Gamification of Delivery Methods StephanieKimbro,M.A.,J.D. Fellow,StanfordLaw CenterfortheLegalProfession PresentationfortheABACommissiononthe FutureofLegalServices January30,2015
  2. 2. About the Presenter Stephanie Kimbro, MA, JD, is a Fellow at Stanford Law School Center for the Legal Profession in Palo Alto, California. She is the author of several books including Virtual Law Practice: How to Deliver Legal Services Online (2010, 2nd ed. forthcoming 2015), Limited Scope Legal Services: Unbundling and the Self-Help Client (2012), Consumer Law Revolution: The Lawyers’ Guide to the Online Legal Marketplace (2013), and Online Legal Services for the Client-Centric Law Firm (2013). Her current research at Stanford involves the use of gamification to increase productivity in law firms and to improve online engagement between lawyers and the public. She is a member of the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services and a member in the BlueSky Thinking Group in the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services. • Stephanie Kimbro, M.A., J.D.
  3. 3. Overview • Basics of virtual law practice • Case studies of law firms delivering legal services online and the technology used (with a side note on unbundling) • What is effective online engagement between lawyers and the public and why does it matter? • Gamification techniques to increase online engagement • Future of online legal service delivery Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro
  4. 4. Secure Client Portal Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro
  5. 5. Most Popular Virtual Law Firm Business Models • Completely Web-based - “pure-play” • Unbundled or limited legal services • Integrated into a traditional law office • Unbundled and full-service Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro
  6. 6. Unbundling Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro
  7. 7. Sample Unbundled Services • Drafting pleadings, briefs, declarations or orders • Document review • Conducting legal research • Negotiating • Making limited appearances • Advising on court procedures and courtroom behavior • Coaching on strategy or role playing • Preparing exhibits • Organizing discovery materials • Drafting contracts and agreements • Providing legal guidance or opinions • Online dispute resolution Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro
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  9. 9. Multijurisdictional Virtual Law Firm Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro
  10. 10. Virtual Law Office - Home Office Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro
  11. 11. Multijurisdictional Virtual Law Firm Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro
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  19. 19. Online Legal Conversations Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro Where are the law firms? Consumers LegalZoom Rocket Lawyer Avvo Other Branded Networks Press Bloggers
  20. 20. Engagement Comes First • How? • Educational, self-help resources available online • Web advisors, web calculators • Expert systems, checklists • Document Automation and Assembly • Free legal forms with instructions • Video tutorials • Online tri-age methods to identify the existence of a legal need • Matching legal need of consumer with appropriate service – whether that’s the law firm, unbundled, self-help, legal aid, etc. Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro
  21. 21. • Positive experience – Removing the intimidation of working with lawyers – Identifying legal need in the first place See “Accessing Justice in the Contemporary USA: Findings from the Community Needs and Services Study” by Rebecca Sandefur, American Bar Foundation; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Department of Sociology; University of Illinois College of Law, August 8, 2014 at – Encouraging people to learn the law and their legal rights BEFORE something happens – Creating better prepared, educated clients Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro
  22. 22. What We Know • Easier with a personal or law firm brand in place and an online presence • Human contact is still necessary • Middle-person, virtual assistant or receptionist • Minimal handholding before transfer and/or conversion from lead to paying client • Consumers still prefer to find lawyers by referral from friends and family Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro
  23. 23. Gamification Increases Engagement By this year, more than 50% of organizations that manage innovation processes will gamify them. • A report by Gartner Inc., an international IT research and advisory company, showed 70% of Global 2000 organizations would have at least one application that was gamified and predicted that by this year 25% of workplace processes that have been redesigned with have some form of gamification designed into them. • See Gartner, Inc., April 2011 at Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro
  24. 24. What is Gamification? • The use of game mechanics in non-game applications. • Game mechanics • Levels • Rewards • Exploration • Progressions • Feedback • Storylines • Quests • Challenges • Achievements • Others Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro Photo © The Strong, National Museum of Play
  25. 25. What could you gamify in law? • For in-house • Increasing law firm productivity • Pro bono participation • Associate retention • Logging associate hours efficiently • Turning in associate review • Increasing collaboration & mentorship among lawyers of multiple generations • Training and onboarding of associations and firm members • Encouraging use of technology platforms and behaviors on those systems • For clients • Filing out an online client intake form or any legal form online • Walking the client through the unbundled steps needed to handle a case as a pro se litigant • Preparing the client for a hearing or a trial • Motivating them to read emails, status updates, pay bills, or respond to requests for information or documents • Educating the client about other processes involved in their legal need Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro
  26. 26. Why Games for Access? • Positive ENGAGEMENT • 2014 LSC Report of the Summit on the Use of Technology to Expand Access to Justice mentions games and gamification • Kimbro’s International Report for Ark Publishing Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro
  27. 27. Flow “the satisfying, exhilarating feeling of creative accomplishment and heightened functioning” •Csikszentmihalyi His TED talk Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro
  28. 28. Fiero • Primal craving for challenge, to explore, and to conquer and succeed • A neuro chemical high • Designing failure so that it rewards Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro
  29. 29. Games for Social Good Other fields and professions, including education and medicine, are developing games to help their clients. There are civics education games (iCivics) for teacher use in the classroom and other games that help law students learn the law and justice system (lawdojo). But there aren’t that many non-flash-based, actually FUN legal games for the general public. Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro
  30. 30. Legal Game Development We could be developing games that educate and motivate the general public: – PREVENTIVE games that give them the tools they need before a legal need arises. - DIRECTIONAL games that provide DIY resources and point to the appropriate legal assistance whether that’s a legal aid office, self-help center, law firm or other. - Well-designed games (not flash-based!), not necessarily card games or simulations, great art, calculated game mechanics, connects to real-world legal services, social sharing components for wider-spread, collaboration with professional game designers, artists and developers, dedicated funding for these projects, freedom for risk-taking in the design (ie, not all positive or cookie- cutter storylines) - See NuLawLab’s Simulation: for-self-represented-parties - See Lien Tran’s Make a Move (immigration law): - My experiments with legal games (estate planning, eviction law): Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro
  31. 31. Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro Future innovations in the delivery of legal services will include more applications to allow the public to directly interact with a lawyer online. Learning how to create positive, online engagement through gamification and other methods will be an important component.
  32. 32. Other Resources My Books: • Virtual Law Practice: How to Deliver Legal Services Online, ABA/LPD (2010, 2nd edition forthcoming spring 2015) • Limited Scope Legal Services: Unbundling and the Self-Help Client, ABA/LPD (2012) • Consumer Law Revolution: Lawyer’s Guide to the Online Legal Marketplace, ABA/LPD, (2013) • Online Legal Services for the Client-Centric Law Firm, Managing Partner, Ark Group Publishing, 2013 • ABA Unbundling Resource Center • Games for Change Copyright 2015 (c) Stephanie Kimbro
  33. 33. Contact • Stephanie Kimbro, M.A., J.D. • • @StephKimbro