Ensure that your staff are capturing all the important file information as files are being created in Amicus Attorney, while leveraging existing custom fields in the process. In this 20 minute webinar, we also review handy "Action Items" that can be engaged as part of your new file workflow.

 

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Welcome everyone and thank you very much for joining us for our free training Thursday's webinar. We'll be getting started in just under two minutes. So, plenty of time to go grab yourself a beverage, if necessary. Again, we'll be getting started in just under two minutes.

And again, a warm welcome to everyone to our free training Thursday's webinar. My name is Chris Tobber, and I'm a software trainer here at AbacusNext. The title of today's webinar — New File Intake Management in Amicus Attorney. Before I begin, however, I'd like to remind everyone that because of the number of people on this webinar, all attendees are muted upon entry. If you have any questions during the session, please submit them using the question feature in the GoToWebinar panel on the right side of your screen.

Every effort will be made to answer all questions at the end of the session. However, if we run out of time, or if there are any remaining questions that have not been addressed, we will respond to these via email. And with that, let's get started. Again, the subject of today's webinar, New File Intake Management in Amicus Attorney. Before we jump right in, probably a good idea to cover what it is that we'll be looking at in depth today.

Most of you will undoubtedly be familiar with the new file intake currently that comes with Amicus or a stock with your version of Amicus Attorney, where depending on how you're set up in terms of third-party integration, you're asked or required to put in a short file name, primary client, file type, file billing category, as well as file billing rate for all of your new files or matters in Amicus Attorney. Again, depending on whether or not you're using third-party integration, you may not be required to put in all of this information.

And essentially, what the new file intake management allows you to do, it allows you to add to these fields. So, basically, capture additional information at the time of file creation. In addition to that you can use the new file intake management function in Amicus to specify certain actions that need to be taken at the time of file creation, be it generating a retainer letter, generating an email, running a conflict check, et cetera.

Now, you can specify whether or not all of your files or file types will basically be required to go through these additional steps. So, you can make it so that all of your files, for example, will require you to add additional information above and beyond what is typically asked, or you can actually restrict it to certain file types. So, for example, all of our insurance files, we do require additional information that needs to be captured at that point, and we can actually incorporate that into the new file intake process.

Just a quick note. Everything that we're going to be doing today does require that you are an Amicus administrator. The Amicus administrator is able to modify the new file intake process. Of course, once those modifications are in place, all of your users will be subject to those changes. However, you do need to be an administrator in order to actually set this process. And with that, let's jump right into Amicus Attorney. So today, we're working in a fictional rather training environment, Bobby Donnell's training office.

Bobby is using the newest version of Amicus, so version 20. He is also an Amicus administrator, and his firm is licensed for Amicus billing. My screen might look slightly different from yours depending on what version you're using and whether or not you're using billing. First, let's have a look at what typically happens during the new file intake process. If I go to my files module over here on the left and select New File from the dropdown, we've already seen the screen just a few moments ago in the PowerPoint presentation, whereas I said, depending on what or how your Amicus is set up, you may be required to fill in all of these fields.

Or at the very least, you will be required to put in a short file name as well as a file type. Those are universal across the board. You always have to put those in, but you may not necessarily have to put in the other fields. And as I said, we can add to these fields in terms of additional information that we want to capture, and let's go ahead and do that. We'll go back to our office module or our home module, and from here, if you are an Amicus administrator, of course, you do have a number of options under Administration, and one of those options is New File Intake Management.

If I click on this, it brings up the New File Intake Management screen, and from here, we can do two of the things that we're looking to do. One, we can add fields or modify fields that are currently in place, and the second thing is we can go ahead and add action items. So, basically, triggering different actions in Amicus whenever we create new files in the program. First thing's first, at the top here, you'll notice that currently we're set to Modify the New File Basic Intake Form for ALL Files, which means that anything we change here will reflect on any file that we create in Amicus.

However, we do have the option to define the new file intake process based on file types, and you can see here are all of my firm's file types. And then I can select these different file types and either add or remove fields or add action items. For today, because we only have a short amount of time available to us, we're going to stick with all files. And under All Files, you'll notice that I have Basic. If I click Edit over here, you'll see pretty much the same screen that we saw before.

There's a little bit of blank space that you can use, and which we are going to use in a few moments. And then you have the same fields that we had before, right? As I said, these fields in my case are required, and that's why they're in red. They might not necessarily all be in red for you. Over here on the left, we have a number of fields that we can add, and those of you that have been using Amicus for some time will undoubtedly be familiar with most of these fields.

So, for example, client business type. That is an option on all of your files, where you can, basically for business development purposes, ask that your employees put in the client business type, and from that point on, you can generate reports and basically see where most of your business is occurring, and thereby, move your or leverage your marketing capabilities to that end. Other options, Matter Came to Us, again, more for business development purposes, and I'm just dragging and dropping them on to our screen here, where you can again basically say, "Okay, we want to know where did this business come from or originate from."

And then the last one we'll put in is ... Let's go with a text field. Let's go with Main Note. Also, as you're seeing here, we are able to move labels around. The labels are connected, but kind of by an invisible thread, if you will. So I can actually move depending on how I want things to be labeled as well as the feel itself and make them bigger or smaller depending on my needs. If I decide, "Wait a minute. I don't really want to put in Main Note," I simply select one of the two bounding boxes and hit Delete and then get rid of it.

In this case, let's put in a different one instead. We'll put in file summary. We can, again, drag and make things bigger or smaller and move things around, depending on our need. So, there we have it. In addition to those four fields that we have to or might have to fill in when we create a file, we've added three additional fields. So you'll see these in a moment. Before I do that, however, I just wanted to point out that you do have the option to make certain fields or all fields required.

So, maybe we don't want to have the file summary required. Not everyone knows exactly what the file is about when they're creating it, but we do want to make Matter Came to Us a required field. I'm going to go ahead and select Matter Came to Us, and I can select either the label text over here on the left or the field itself on the right. Right-click, Show Field Attributes, and really, all I'm concerned about is Required Field, True, and then OK. Save & Close.

Okay, and if we could go back to our files module over here and select a new file, you'll notice that now in addition to what we had before, we also have additional fields. One of these is Matter Came to Us, and you'll notice it is in red, which means that it is required. Amicus will not let me create the new file until I select one of our existing options under Matter Came to Us. And for those of you that are maybe not so familiar with Matter Came to Us, it is an optional component on files.

It is still a pretty important one, again, for business development purposes. Your firm administrator can add to this list. And so, if you wanted to add ad campaigns, bus campaigns, email blasts, et cetera, you can actually add to this list. And thereby, all of your employees or team will be able to select from that when they're creating a new file. In addition, rather to actually, before I jump ahead, let's actually go ahead and create a file just because I want to show you. I'm just going to fill in with some random information here.

As I said, we have a number of fields that are in red, and Amicus won't actually let me create the file until I have specified the matter came to us. Let's go ahead and fill in even the optional fields. Save & Open. You'll notice now the Summary has been populated with what we put in. So it's already captured that. If I go to the Admin portion of the file, you'll also notice that if I go to Accounting, we have Client's Business Type as well Matter Came to Us also already filled in. So we can basically control what is being captured at the start of the file, right?

And all of that information will immediately be added to the file. If we return to our New File Intake Management view here, and we're going to move on to the second part of today's webinar, which is looking at action items. It's actually not immediately or always completely obvious, but it is over here View Action Items. If we click Edit, everything becomes ungrayed out, and you can see here we have a couple of options. We can check conflicts against client, so basically, run a conflict check. We can apply a precedent.

And for those of you that are maybe not familiar with precedents, it's a more advanced feature in Amicus Attorney. We generally spend at least an hour going over that in our training sessions. Basically, it's established workflows. So you can basically capture a workflow that works on most, if not all of your files, and basically, apply that same workflow to subsequent files, thus saving time and ensuring that all of the proper steps and stages have been done. You can also generate documents. So, leveraging Amicus' document assembly or send an email.

What we will do is we are going to choose Apply Precedent, and of course, we are going to have to specify what that precedent is. My fictional law firm only has the one precedent. It's called Basic Workflow, so we'll turn that on or add that, and you can actually add multiple precedents to this field. So you can actually execute multiple precedents at once at the very beginning of the file creation. We can also choose whether or not to make this required. If we choose not to make it required, Amicus will simply ask us, "Do you wish to apply this precedent now when we create a new file?"

We can also say the same thing, but basically, force the user to click Yes and apply the precedent, right? So basically, making it required. Because we are looking still under Basics and we're looking at under New File Basics for ALL Files, it doesn't matter what file type we use. All of our files from here on in will ask us or require us really to apply a precedent when we create the new file. Let's go ahead and click OK. Now, let's have a look at how this looks or plays out in practice.

I'll go ahead and create another new file. And again, we'll just fill in with random information here. It doesn't matter really what we choose for these options: Matter Came to Us Existing Clients, Existing client, Save & Open. And now, you'll see that something new has occurred right now. Whenever we have a new file, there is a button to apply a precedent, which means ... and you can see there is a red asterisk, which means that it is required. We can we have multiple actions take place when we create a new file, and these would be listed here, and the red asterisk beside those would denote which ones need to be clicked before.

And you'll notice that Close is grayed out, and Close will only become available once we trigger all of the action items that we set as required. So let's go ahead and click Apply Precedent. This precedent has three different events. So, we would have to go ahead and schedule those, and of course, I'm just scheduling at random. You can go ahead and do the same thing and then later on you can always modify these events. As you're undoubtedly aware, events in Amicus Attorney are not set in stone. We of course understand that things move around, but we do have to give some dates to put in these three separate events as part of our precedent or workflow.

Click OK. And now, you'll notice that Close is available and the red asterisk has turned blue. And here, we have our new file replete with our ... In this case, we only specify that the matter came to us. We didn't actually put in anything for client business type, because that was optional. We didn't put anything in the summary, because again, that was optional. However, if I go to my events, we do have those three appointments that we also had set as part of a new file intake process.

So again, a reminder, everything that we did today does need to be created by your Amicus administrator, because that option New File Intake Management is only available to your Amicus administrators, but of course, all of the changes that you put in place will be reflected for all of your users. So, you only need to do this once for all of your users. And again, a reminder, in today's webinar, we did a very basic overview of the new file intake process just all of our files, but you can specify different action types, different fields based on file types.

So your administrative law files might follow a different process to your real estate law files, which would follow a completely different new intake process. That wraps up this webinar. Thank you everyone for joining us. We hope that you found this session informative and useful. Before I open up for to questions, just a quick reminder that if you are interested in a more comprehensive training that we do offer, one or two hour sessions, and these sessions can be booked via our website. The sessions are interactive, meaning you can ask the trainer questions in real time, and you can customize your training sessions to suit the specific needs of your firm or team.

If you go over to our website and select professional services, you'll have the option to select Amicus Attorney, Training, and from here, you can book as I said one or two-hour-long sessions. There are some suggested training topics, but as I said, these sessions can be fully customized, where you can specify exactly what it is that you're seeking to accomplish, and your trainer will endeavor to help you out to that end. As well, just a reminder that, this webinar rather is being recorded, and it will be available on our website, www.abacusnext.com/webinars.

It should be up in the next couple of days. And with that, let's have a look at some of your questions. And just a reminder, you do have the questions panel on the right hand or right side of your screen, where you can text questions rather to me. Unfortunately, as I said, everyone is muted, otherwise, it would be pretty loud in here. So again, a reminder, you can submit those questions via text. I do see a couple of questions. "Can you show how to make a field required again?" Yes, absolutely. It's very straightforward.

We'll go back into our New File Intake Management window, and we're going to go ahead and just click Edit for that same view that we were working on earlier. And to make a field required, and the fields by default are optional, so you do have to make them required if you're adding additional fields to your new file intake. You simply right-click, Show Field Attributes, and then make it required. So, True for Required Field. Excellent question.

All right. Next question. Can I set it to automatically email the client? Yes, absolutely. That is something we did not look at in depth. We just kind of glossed over. I'm just going to click Cancel here. Under our action items, if I select Edit, I do have the option to email to client. This will send an email to whomever the primary client on the file is. It is not going to email everyone, just those that are listed as the primary client on the file or matter. Send email to client. We will select a template.

Though you don't necessarily need to, it does, however, make a lot more sense if you have a pre-scripted email that you send to your clients, essentially welcoming them or thanking them for their business. You would set that up in document assembly, and then from here you would have access to all of your email templates. I don't really have an email template to thank them or New Account Email. There's one I've used in the past. And again, I can make this required or not and then simply click Save. And the next time I create a new file, Amicus, in addition, will require me to set my workflow or set my precedent.

It will also ask me if I wish to send an email, but because I didn't make it required, of course, it is not going to require me to do so. Just while we're on the topic, I did touch on document assembly, for those of you that are maybe interested in learning more about that. That is a more advanced feature in Amicus as well. We generally spend an hour looking at that. What essentially document assembly is, is you're basically pulling information out of Amicus Attorney and putting it into a Word or Word Perfect document template, basically automating your document generation.

Basically, with two clicks, you can generate a retainer letter. You can also generate emails that are also pre-scripted, where you fill in the clients', or rather Amicus Attorney will automatically place the client or file information into the appropriate places. And again, I do certainly encourage you, if you're interested in that feature to book some training as well as if you're interested in learning more about precedents and linked events.

Basically, workflows. Again, more advanced feature in Amicus, and it's a really powerful feature within the program, and I certainly do encourage you if you're interested in leveraging those two functionalities to book training via our website. All right. I don't see any additional questions, which is always a good sign. I'll leave just a few more moments and then we'll wrap things up. Again, you can submit them to me via the question box in your GoToWebinar panel.

All right. Well, I haven't seen any new questions roll in. As always, if you do think of something later on today that you wish you had asked, our email address, training@abacusnext.com, and we'll certainly endeavor to get back to you on any questions that may have arisen. Again, thank you very much everyone for joining us today, and we hope to see you at a future free Thursday webinar. Bye for now.

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