Dan Couvrette: Jordan Turk is a practicing attorney and the Law Practices Advisor at LawPay. She has given CLE presentations across the country on the subject of online payments and trust account compliance.
LawPay has grown tremendously over its 15-year history. There are something like 150,000 lawyers who use LawPay.
What does that say to you in terms of the acceptance of credit card payment and just the acceptance of using technology?
Jordan Turk: I was an intern for LawPay in 2010/11 and I can definitely say the growth has just been tremendous going from approximately 40,000  clients to 150,000 professionals in over 50,000 firms.
The bar associations have gotten on board as well. They see the opportunity.
We’re vetted and recommended by all 50 state bars and then we’re also endorsed by about 70 other local and specialty bars, including the ABA and the Canadian Bar Association.
As a family lawyer what do you see has changed in the past 10 years?
Technology and especially automation. There’s that HG Wells quote, “adapt or perish:” you need to adapt especially when it comes to automation, or you might see your numbers dwindle when it comes to PNCs.
I’ve noticed there’s now this new focus that’s been placed upon the value of your time. When I look at how I value my time, When I think about that and I talk to other attorneys about what they’re wanting in their practice, it is I either want to be making money or I want to be spending time with my family and how do I do that? I automate my firm.
I hated being at the office prepping for a trial only to realize, oh, I also have to go and email all of these clients that haven’t paid their invoices.
You’d think how much of this can I automate? When I’m thinking about it, I just spent 0.25 hours doing useless things that should have already been done. How can I make this better?
LawPay is connected to, different companies’ software programs. Is that why LawPay talks about efficiency, even though you are a credit card processing company?
LawPay wants to integrate with as many software programs as possible, we want to integrate because we want to make your job easier. The most frustrating thing for me as a consumer is when I’m going to buy something and something’s wrong with the website and they make it very difficult for me to pay. I am willing to part with my money, and you do not want to take it from me. We want to make getting paid easier. We want to make it as seamless as possible as far as the client experience goes, and as far as the experience for the attorney goes.
My wife and I moved into a condo a week ago and they asked us for a check, and we said, what is that? Nobody’s using checks.
According to the statistics from 2018, 65% of people no longer use checkbooks. If you’re saying, I only take cash or checks when the vast majority of the population do not have checks and don’t even know how to write one, you really need to sit down and reevaluate your law firm philosophy.
Anything else you want to say about client expectations?
Millennials are now half of the workforce and I, speaking as a millennial, have some sort of expertise in it. Digital, electronic, and online is our default setting. We grew up with social media. We are accustomed to the world adapting to us as opposed to the other way around. This means that I am used to being able to pay for everything in my life via credit card or via online payment and that is the expectation. If we are now half the workforce, then guess what we’re going to be half of your clientele.
Technology increases exponentially, and this is what clients are expecting of your firm. They’re not expecting to go into a law office and see an attorney drowning in paperwork and sweating at their desk. They are expecting a sleek, seamless process when it comes to hiring their attorney and you are going to lose out on clients if you are not offering that process to them.
If you’re not using technology in court, in mediation, or in a collaborative law setting, you’re going to be seen as a dinosaur. You might make it through the case with that client but when that client gives you a referral, that referral might come with a caveat that, yeah, they’re not up with technology. You’re going to do yourself harm in the long run, right?
I think about this example all the time when I’d be in court, and I would be arguing against the opposing counsel who was not good and did not know the law, and really was doing a disservice to his clients. But he always seemed to have a steady stream of clients and I always wondered why, because he was objectively terrible.
Then I started poking around and figuring out that it’s all marketing for him. He did blog posts. He had great search engine optimization, things like that to where legitimately, anytime you Googled, his website would pop up. He was getting clients strictly because he was spending money and doing good things when it came to marketing.
That’s another thing when you’re talking about what’s changed in the past 10 years, 100% marketing. It used to be word of mouth and referrals, and that would be your lifeline. Now, over the past 10 years, even the best family law firms, even the ones down here in Texas that are huge and obviously have millions of dollars in revenue have a very, very healthy marketing budget. You have to set yourself apart and marketing is now critical to your law firm.
I’m going to tie that into the free CLE courses that you folks offer at LawPay because I know some of them are about practice management. Why don’t you explain the range of CLE programs that LawPay offers?
Yes, all free. You do not have to be a LawPay customer to use them. Just come to our website and you can find them. Claude DuCloux is our Director of Education and everyone’s favorite lawyer at this point in the country. He started it in 2016.
We were trying to figure out what do our clients need? What would be the biggest benefit to them? A lot of it is CLEs because, for me, I’m always coming down to the wire on my hours and trying to get them in before the deadline. We knew it was going to provide value to our clients, and we knew that it was going to help lawyers better understand our clients too and connect us with them.
That’s a big thing because you want to work for a company that understands and actually cares about its customer base, which LawPay clearly does. The CLE offering was just a logical next step. Claude handles a lot of substantive CLEs such as rules of evidence base, boilerplate language for contracts, things like that. I focus more on practice management CLEs. There’s really honestly something for everyone.
What do you think family lawyers could be providing to their clients?
Your clients are always hungry for information, and they will read every single piece of paper that you give them. It’s a question of am I offering them these quality pieces of information that they can take with them. Same with our CLEs. Are we offering attorneys the quality of education that they need that will help their law practice? And I would hope that we are.
There are two more things I want to cover: technology and the great resignation in terms of where we’re going in the future. What’s going to change for family lawyers that they may or may not currently be aware of?
Lawyers need to adapt. There are a million legal technology companies out there. What you need to do is figure out what is going to have the biggest impact on your firm. A lot of times that does come down to automation, billing, invoicing, and how you take your payments. Not to obviously be a LawPay supporter, but truly that’s why we’re in business and that’s why we’ve done so well. We know how much we help attorneys and clearly proof is in on that.
When we talk about The Great Resignation, there are a lot of attorneys that are quitting their firms and either opening their own or they’re going to other firms. Why is this happening? A lot of attorneys that are happy where they are and are being paid market value typically aren’t going to jump ship.
It has a lot to do with work-life balance and about pay and taking a step back and reevaluating how you’re running your firm especially if you’ve had a lot of turnovers recently and figuring out how you need to fix it. But a lot of work-life balance issues can be solved just by using legal technology.
You have to be willing to adapt to the way the world has changed, particularly over the last two years.
Exactly, my billable hours have not suddenly seen a sharp decrease since having to practice from home. I think a lot of family law attorneys have not seen this decline that they thought they were going to see by allowing lawyers to work from home.
In fact, they’ve seen the opposite because you can save time by not having to drive to the courthouse and to the office and things like that. So, actually, they get more billable hours out of their staff.
Jordan, it’s been a pleasure talking with you. By the way, at Divorce Marketing Group, we use and only recommend LawPay. I didn’t know there was anybody else who accepted credit card payments and all of our clients have only had good things to say about LawPay over the years and I see them at all the CLE events. So, they’re entrenched in this market. Go to their website lawpay.com, you can learn more. Thank you again, Jordan for your time.
Thank you so much for having me, Dan. I appreciate it.
Jordan Turk is a family lawyer and a Law Practice Advisor at LawPay, which allows law firms to receive secure payments online in compliance with ABA and IOLTA guidelines. To learn more about how LawPay, visit: LawPay.com
 Jordan Turk made this correction from 10,000 to 40,000 after the recording.
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