The Slack App boosts efficiency by tapping into a team’s experience and knowledge while avoiding the dreaded “death by meetings” – which can bring a productive day to a screeching halt.
By Christopher Casserly, Family Lawyer
“Never a dull day” is the refrain you will hear around our offices as we work to anticipate, prevent, plan for, and/or solve the various and constant family law issues faced by our clients. As anyone who practices family law will tell you, its very nature does not always lend itself to the calm rhythm and routine of a pre-planned day. I will often sit down at my desk and start working down the day’s “to-do” list, only to have the phone ring with a call from a client or team member redirecting my attention to a time-sensitive issue that requires me to set aside my planner and dive headfirst into something new altogether.
Simultaneous with the several client needs that require attention each day is the need to focus on the firm’s growth; acquiring new clients, exploring and developing marketing and branding efforts, maintaining a strong presence on social media. Although it can be easy to lose sight of these considerations on a whirlwind day spent in court, they do not disappear. As our firm grew, we found ourselves in need of a centralized hub for information, discourse, scheduling, and everything else that makes a firm run smoothly. This is where Slack has come in.
Slack Allows Your Team to Communicate and Collaborate in Real-Time
Slack is a web-based application that allows our team members to communicate in real-time throughout the day and take inventory of what’s being done not only with regard to the practice of law, but also with the business of running a firm. The name “Slack” is an acronym for “Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge,” and that is truly the best way to summarize the value it has provided our firm. Team members subscribe to several custom-made “channels” within the Slack App based on the projects and/or cases that they are involved with. For us, these channels range in topic from “Legal Education” where team members share updates to case law and statutes as well as post helpful articles and CLE materials, to “Social Media Content,” where we can upload articles and draft blog posts for publication to the firm’s Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts.
Since we began using Slack, the ability to constantly communicate and collaborate on all fronts has de-cluttered our email inboxes and cut down on meetings and conference calls which can disrupt workflow and curb productivity. Instead, by answering questions in real-time, collaborating on projects simultaneously from multiple different locations, and addressing scheduling conflicts as they arise, we have increased our workflow tremendously through Slack.
Slack App Pros and Cons
The easy-to-read user interface lends itself to even our most tech-weary team members. Still, the program is not without its shortcomings. Although Slack is compatible with several third-party web-based apps for calendaring events or delegating tasks, it is primarily a forum for intra-office communication. Transitioning between Slack and these external applications can sometimes be clumsy, and the experience would be streamlined by incorporating these features directly into the app itself.
As Slack continues to grow and expand its features, it becomes more and more a centralized hub for information and discourse that we use to move cases forward while devoting time and attention to growing our practice. Very simply, we are able to accomplish more each day by tapping into the cumulative wealth of experience and knowledge possessed by each of our team members while avoiding the dreaded “death by meetings” than can bring a productive afternoon to a screeching halt.
Christopher Casserly is a partner with the Law Offices of Gregory P. LaMonaca, a family law firm based out of the greater Philadelphia region. Chris and his team pride themselves on anticipating and meeting clients’ needs using the latest in technology coupled with a unique team-based approach to each case that they handle. www.LaMonacaLaw.com
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