When It Comes to Legal Technology, ZERØ Believes That Law Firms Should Pay Themselves First Without Waiting for their Internal Rate of Return (which may take years).
It’s a familiar story: Law firm meets technology solution. Law firm evaluates technology solution. Law firm decides to buy technology solution, often after a long and painful assessment period involving many stakeholders. But even after this extended buying process, solution is never fully implemented, yet law firm is stuck paying the bill. Solution becomes shelf-ware and collects dust, while the vendor who built it continues to issue—and collect on—hefty invoices.
While the vendor seemingly wins in this scenario, the truth is that everyone loses. The vendor misses the opportunity to learn from potential users of its technology and make meaningful improvements, while law firms are stuck paying for software from which no one benefits.
An Alternative Model: How Law Firms Can Pay Themselves First and Remove the Commercial Risk of Investing in Legal Tech
At ZERØ, we believe that our technology exists to provide immediate and tangible value to law firms and lawyers. This is why we’ve introduced the “Pay Yourself First” commercial model, which disrupts traditional commercial models, and supports the notion that users of our software must realize ROI first in the form of newly captured billable revenue in order for us to get paid each month.
With the introduction of Pay Yourself First, we demonstrate our commitment to developing and deploying technology that meaningfully impacts our clients’ bottom lines, and which wholly supports the new economic landscape our clients are facing. This commercial model also ensures that ZERØ is invested in the implementation process. *Since we won’t realize any revenue from your firm until your users are fully up and running with our software (and using it consistently), we’re incentivized to provide the best possible training and experience for your lawyers and timekeepers. *excluding modest fixed-fee professional services
How Does Pay Yourself First Work?
For those who are familiar with our mobile application, you are aware that the app has three core features:
- automatic, passive, and contemporaneous time capture for client-related emails from mobile devices, that are coupled with AI-driven draft narratives which flow seamlessly into your firm’s time entry or billing system for review, edit and posting; (if you’re not familiar with our mobile application, click here to learn more;
- the ability to file (or move) individual or bulk emails to document management systems (or to Outlook folders);
- wrong recipient detection in real time, preventing confidential data leaks and reputational damage.
ZERØ’s calculations for the Pay Yourself First model rely on the first point above: automatic, passive and contemporaneous time capture. This program mandates that each user capture a single billable unit, per month, to recoup the cost of the license. Only when that single billable unit is captured is the firm expected to pay for the license. Simple, right? That was the intent. If your user cannot capture a single billable unit each month using ZERØ, there’s no need to pay our fee.
Return on Investment and Cost/Benefit Analysis
The calculations below are based on a firm with an assumed $350/hour blended billable rate.
Newfound billable revenue per Lawyer = $2,340/month
Conservatively, a lawyer spends at least 20 minutes per day reading, reviewing, responding to, or drafting emails from an iOS device. This time generally remains uncaptured and unbilled, contributing towards incremental and daily time leakage—and ultimately eroding profitability. With ZERØ, this time (and revenue) is captured seamlessly, automatically, and contemporaneously without interrupting the user’s workflow. ZERØ also creates a draft narrative that is automatically uploaded into a law firm’s time entry system, meaning that the lawyer only needs to validate ZERØ’s transaction to bill for that newly captured time. The newfound revenue captured for this lawyer would equate to $585 per week, or $2,340 per month—with pretty much no additional effort required on the part of the lawyer.
How Law Firms Generate Revenue with ZERØ on Day One
For a law firm choosing the Pay Yourself First commercial model, the license cost per user per month is effectively amortized with the capture of a single billable unit. For our lawyer, this means that he or she will only need to capture six minutes of time from his or her mobile device, or the technology is free.
Pure newfound revenue hits your firm’s bottom line: no need to change lawyer behavior, and no risk of ending up with just another piece of shelf-ware.