“With competition fierce, law firms can’t afford disjointed processes and procedures tied together by a knot of Excel spreadsheets, paper trails, and antiquated case management programs,” said Eric Sanchez, chief product officer of Durham-based GrowPath.
GrowPath is a legal software platform designed to help firms identify high value leads, close more cases, increase productivity and grow their practices.
“Law firms often rely on software that is clunky, slow and unsecure. Even modern programs are built by developers who have limited understanding of the challenges law firms face, or they try to be all things to all lawyers. Different practice areas require different approaches to technology, work- flows, and communications,” said Sanchez.
GrowPath’s software was designed by Sanchez based on his 17 years as the chief operating officer and vice president of the Durham-based Law Offices of James Scott Farrin. The firm was involved in the claims administration In re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation, one of the largest civil rights cases in U.S. history. The firm needed an efficient way to manage a class size of nearly 100,000 claimants. When they couldn’t find a software solution that met their needs, they developed their own system. It evolved into GrowPath’s client intake software.
“People from law firms around the country would visit Farrin’s office to see how high volumes of cases were handled in an efficient manner,” said Sanchez. “They would ask if they could buy our intake software. At first, we said it’s not for sale, then seeing the need we decided to sell it.”
GrowPath was spun off from Farrin’s firm. “We were built on Jim’s entrepreneurial spirit. But we are a separate entity,” said Sanchez. “The opportunity to leverage Farrin’s law office as a beta user to identify and test new features has been invaluable.”
Farrin has been using various versions of GrowPath Intake since 2014.
GrowPath launches its software nationwide this year. It’s client intake software, GrowPath Intake, is available to law firms now, and it plans to launch its case management software later this year.
Security is Key
Security is a key consideration for Grow- Path. “We already have a patent issued related to cybersecurity and several other patents pending. We are the only intake application in the country with patents awarded and pending of which I am aware,” Sanchez said.
“One of the key features of GrowPath Intake is its customizable case value scoring algorithm, which empowers staff members conducting an intake to identify high-potential cases based on how the prospective client answers questions about the incident that led to their injuries,” said Sanchez. “We work with our law firm clients to assign values to subjective input such as the amount of property damage, the cause of the accident, the severity of the injuries, or the need for continued medical treatment. The resulting score informs the law firm as they prioritize their follow up with potential clients.”
GrowPath Intake’s reporting capabilities allow law firms to measure the return on their marketing activities. “Firms no longer have to blindly trust the marketing agencies and vendors selling them services to also measure their efficacy,” said Sanchez.
AI in Action
Improving operational efficiency for law firms is a primary goal for the software. Algorithms and reporting capabilities are designed to enable law firms to use their data to make business decisions.
In recent beta tests, the company has had success in predicting the probability of a case’s successful outcome and the size of the award by comparing the information collected at intake to the firm’s prior experience with similar cases.
“Lawyers and law firms hear a lot about AI and how it is changing their practices, but they don’t know where to start,” said Kevin Lee, associate professor at Campbell Law School and an adviser to Evolve Law, an organization of legal tech entrepreneurs like GrowPath. “GrowPath Intake’s use of AI provides tangible benefits to user firms from day one by streamlining and automating business processes and using machine learning to identify high-value clients from their first interaction with the firm.”
“You can think of our software as having two essential functions – intake and case management. But it’s more than that,” said GrowPath VP Ginny Allen. “From the time a potential client contacts a law firm, to the time they go in for their disbursal check or take their case to court, our software guides firms through the process of handling client interactions, interactions with third parties, and other aspects of management efficiently. Lawyers are equipped to practice law, not necessarily to run a business – GrowPath fills that void.”