Online Law Firms – Lessons Learned On The Way to 500,000 Documents

We Saw a Problem

Two years ago we launched the predecessor to DraftOnce, FormLizard. Today, FormLizard is used by companies, schools, non-profits, and governments around the world. Our first paying customer, a BMW dealership in Australia, continues to use FormLizard. As the number of subscribers grew, we noticed a lot of attorneys started to use FormLizard to add the convenience and efficiency of online law firms to their practice, but didn’t get far with it. So, we wrote to them, called them, and went to see some of them to learn what we needed to do to make FormLizard a better app for them.

Online Law Firms- Convenient and Efficient

The attorneys with whom we spoke told us that they know they need to compete with online law firms, but they don’t want to lose the face-to-face connection with their clients. They said the recession has slowed the pace of new clients calling, and said that their time spent networking to get new clients was lost billable time. They wanted better ways to attract new clients. We heard real concern about how the combined forces of online services, outsourcing, over-supplying law schools, and un-bundling of services will change the profession of law.

Armed with this knowledge and more insights from Erin, our co-founder who was at the time making her way through law school (she’ll be licensed in Indiana in two weeks), we began designing how we could use the proven FormLizard platform to better serve attorneys. We had learned, and often reminded ourselves, that the app must to the following:

1. Empower attorneys to be more convenient for clients to work with.
2. Empower attorneys to be more efficient by spending time on legal matters not filling out forms.
3. Reduce mistakes in legal documents such as those caused by search and replace and not clearing meta-data
4. Be low-cost, easy to use, and 100 percent web-based.

DraftOnce for the Online Law Firm

Some months later, after meeting these and other requirements, we released the beta of DraftOnce to support online law firms. Today, it’s the only totally online, simple-to-use, document assembly tool for attorneys to work directly with their clients.

It’s not just for completing forms, it’s a way to communicate securely online with clients. DraftOnce is a platform that adds new dimensions to legal practices. It allows attorneys to deliver professional legal services all online, all in-person or some combination of online and in-person. In short, it’s a tool that helps attorneys more efficiently engage their clients and better serve more of them. We like to say, it empowers attorneys to be as convenient as Amazon.

Today, our attorney customers have used DraftOnce to prepare over 500,000 documents. We are continuing to add the most asked for features including custom CSS styling, client dashboards and more field formats. If you have thoughts about what you want to see, just let us know. Write to us at