updated on 09 March 2015
I am perhaps best known in my professional capacity as a lawyer and I am very proud to have become something of a media representative for my profession. These days, I am fortunate enough to be asked to share my views and my story through speaking events, and I am passionate about promoting the idea that law should be an accessible profession for all.
My background is that I am a qualified solicitor specialising in family law, which includes divorce, matrimonial finances, separation, domestic violence and children law. I wanted to make a real difference and am passionate about achieving the best outcome for my clients. I was prepared for being put through the mill emotionally, especially when dealing with cases involving children, but the amount of time spent on keeping everyone in the loop came as something of a shock. It was a daily battle to keep up with the constant emails, phone calls and letters going back and forth.
I have always been interested in business. Having completed a business graduate scheme with a global company prior to qualifying, I saw myself as a bit of an entrepreneur and was using these skills to dramatically increase the turnover of my family law department. I was convinced that there must be a better way for lawyers to communicate with their clients – this is, after all, the 21st century! After listening to the continued grumblings of my colleagues, I had my ‘eureka’ moment and The Link App was born.
It can be so difficult to keep on top of everything when running busy caseloads and I wanted to make life easier for my fellow lawyers. Simple to use, The Link App is designed to reduce regular interruptions from clients during the course of the day, something which stifles productivity.
At present, The Link App is aimed at the private client sector. So how does it work? Each morning the lawyer enters his/her user name and password into our desktop app, logs in and is presented with an alphabetically ordered list of current clients. When a client is selected, their case(s) appears and when one of those cases is selected, a list of case updates they have sent are shown. There is the option to use pre-populated case updates to send everyday notifications to the client at the click of a button; for example, “Drainage search back – no issues” or “Contracts exchanged at 10:00am, completion due in seven days”. However, in understanding that sometimes lawyers can’t always work within pre-defined options, bespoke case updates can be used to suit any given circumstance. It’s a simple but effective way of keeping clients up to date without the need to email or phone, or even write a letter.
Clients benefit too. The app saves them time as they don’t have to keep requesting updates about their case. All the information they need to know is there at the touch of a button. Their unique login only allows access to their case(s) and communications via the app are encrypted. This takes care of any confidentiality issues. Clients will be able to see exactly what is happening on their case. But if they still feel the need to talk to their lawyer, they can request a call back via the app. There are many other additional features which will benefit both lawyers and clients alike. The app is free of charge for clients to use, while firms pay very reasonable costs varying dependent on usage, to appeal to firms of all sizes, plus a nominal annual fee.
This is just the start for The Link App; I have so many exciting ideas of how to take it to the next level and make it a truly indispensable tool for all firms. It will also prove to be a valuable marketing tool, where in an increasingly competitive marketplace clients shop around. The app will help to keep the firm one step ahead of its rivals.
One of the major advantages of The Link App is that, a bit like myself, it doesn’t beat around the bush. There’s no need for small talk or hunting around for files; the app gets straight to the point in a professional, effective manner.
I am enormously proud of, and passionate about, The Link App; the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and I firmly believe that it will revolutionise the way law firms interact with their clients.
Lauren Riley is a solicitor, creator of The Link App and starred in the 2014 season of The Apprentice. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices, from the App Store and Google Play respectively.
For more information please visit www.thelinkapp.co.uk.