Let’s take a deep dive into the world of legal content!
Alexandra Kelly is the highly-driven General Manager of the content department here at LEAP. Over the course of 16 years, she’s made it her personal mission to help law firms become more efficient and profitable. Alex is a natural born leader whose can-do attitude inspires her team of content experts to continually strive for excellence.
We had the pleasure to spend a few minutes with Alex and truly understand what drives her passion for legal content and our clients.
Scroll down to the full interview below, as Alex talks about the content team and their role within LEAP, fondly reminisces her career highlights to date and reveals the one thing that really ignites her passion.
Interview with: Alexandra Kelly, GM – Content, LEAP
Biggest passion: Legal content and automation!
Work ethic: It’s all about the personal touch.
How did you start your career with LEAP?
My career began in a law firm that was using LEAP at the time – that’s when I got my passion for practice management solutions, specifically automation of retail leasing documents, and sought a career here.
I left the firm and joined LEAP initially focusing on installing LEAP Documents and assisting our clients with HelpDesk queries. I then worked my way through different positions ranging from establishing LEAP’s growth into beautiful Queensland (I still support the Blues) to managing a highly motivated team of sales professionals.
So, after 16 years I find myself managing the content team, and in this role I’m responsible for the maintenance, automation and innovation of legal forms across Australia within LEAP. It makes me proud that we have nearly six thousand automated legal forms that we manage. Six thousand! It’s really exciting.
What do you mean when you say all forms are automated?
All our legal forms are automated, which means you enter your client and matter information directly into your LEAP matter and this data populates through to the forms and precedents. Essentially the matter then becomes ‘one source of truth’, which significantly reduces the risk of possible mistakes.
Some of the forms which we call ‘signature documents’ are actually quite smart and they will, based on the matter information that has been entered, intuitively work out what to put in the document itself. These signature documents also take automation to the next level and offer complex calculations such as simplifying the process of calculating adjustments for settlement.
This saves lawyers and their support staff a significant amount of time.
So, tell us a little about what it is that your team actually does?
My team are a group of content experts, including forms editors and content developers, who are responsible for managing a portfolio of legal forms. We love client feedback and the team are passionate about implementing this feedback where possible. Our content developers are continually working to innovate our signature documents and are currently working on new projects to deliver more content solutions for our clients.
I also manage a team of productivity specialists whose main role is to visit our clients once they’ve got LEAP up and running and educate them on how to effectively use our legal content in their practice. Now I might be a little biased in saying this, but I truly believe that the biggest benefit LEAP has on offer is the incredible level of automation and the constant form updates.
The specialists also provide training to our clients on best practice for utilising the By Lawyers Guides & Precedents.
Similarly, we show them how to import and automate their own precedents in LEAP, which many clients find a lot of value in.
You mentioned By Lawyers, can you elaborate on what it is that they offer?
In LEAP our clients can utilise the integration with By Lawyers, who are a team of more than 30 practicing solicitors that draft legal precedents, commentaries and matter plans for common areas of law across Australia. There are currently more than 145 matter plans, ranging from your common areas of law and advancing to your less common areas such defamation, neighbourhood disputes and the recently added immigration guide.
By Lawyers are constantly adding new content – the team actually have a saying “if it’s new in the law, it’s new to By Lawyers”. It’s part of our role to ensure our clients are aware of all the new matter plans, updates to commentaries and precedents that are coming through By Lawyers and taking advantage of the available benefits. I can’t emphasise enough just how valuable By Lawyers can be to firms.
What do you love most about managing the content department?
I have had around 10 different roles at LEAP, and while all of them have been wonderful I feel like I found my happy place in content. I understand the benefits of precedent automation first hand; my previous LEAP life was about the automation of documents, so, I have an understanding and knowledge there but I also have a passion for getting in front of people and helping them move forward with their businesses as well.
It sounds like there is plenty to keep you busy!
Absolutely! And it’s important that we keep progressing forward. When Christian Beck designed the content server 25-odd years ago it was revolutionary at the time, so it’s important that LEAP keeps evolving. We have so many new innovations that we are working on to help clients with automating their precedents and saving them time. Watch this space!
Besides a great product, how do you personally make sure you deliver value to clients?
I love talking to our clients and educating them on the best practice for saving time with document production. I am genuinely invested in seeing our clients succeed. Maintaining an open channel of communication between my team of content experts, productivity specialists, the By Lawyers team and our clients goes a long way towards seeing that happen. It’s all about that personal touch.
Alex, what has been your biggest accomplishment since starting at LEAP?
Honestly, being able to help firms acquire LEAP and experience the benefits such as automation, is probably one of my biggest and on-going highlights. I also absolutely love working with such a smart group of people that truly want the best for our clients. That, for me, is amazing. I love getting up for work and coming in every day knowing that we’re making a difference.
You’re obviously passionate about content, but you must have a favourite feature?
I can be very specific on this one! My absolute, number one favourite thing about LEAP is the Family Law Financial Statement. Content is such an important aspect of LEAP as it’s such a unique offering, but it’s the Financial Statement that really makes me proud.
Can you tell us a bit about that?
The Financial Statement is a document that is prepared when you have two parties that are trying to agree on the separation of assets in a family law case. It requires a lot of data to go in and is quite a complicated document to complete.
However, LEAP delivers comprehensive automation where it formats the document based on specific case requirements. For example, let’s say you have ten superannuation accounts but the document only accommodates three. With LEAP you simply adjust the number you need, and it will add in ten rows of data and calculate all the totals for you!
These documents can end up being extremely long and is a very laborious process without automation. The process of completing one can be extremely time consuming, however LEAP not only hurries the process along by calculating all the totals automatically, it is smart enough to input ‘Nil’ in all those places where there is no figure.
What do you wish other people knew about LEAP?
It is definitely how much we care about the work we do and our clients. From the HelpDesk response times, to the implementation and transition process and our passion to ensure our clients have the most up-to-date content. The team at LEAP are here because that’s where we want to be, and we want to help. We want to provide our clients with the best.
Alex, I have another question on that. I think a lot of lawyers who don’t use LEAP or have seen a demo five years ago think they know what LEAP is. Do you have anything to say to that specific group of people?
That’s a very good point. There is a new version of LEAP coming out every three months – we’re always innovating. For LEAP to have been the market leader for so long, innovation is key.
So, for firms that saw LEAP six months ago, it’s a different product now. The software evolves so fast that there will always be new features and time-saving components.
Firms should always be revisiting LEAP. If they don’t have time for a demo, that’s fine, but even something as simple as engaging with our social media will provide them updates on what’s happening with LEAP.
Also, By Lawyers run a great Obiter blog, where any lawyer or support staff can register to it and stay on top of what’s happening in the law.
Finally, what is your advice to clients who have just started with LEAP?
LEAP does a lot for your business and when clients first come on board with LEAP there’s a lot of information to take in. I recommend that you take the time to learn the software and accept the support that’s offered.
Read the emails that come through when you first sign up with LEAP. They contain a lot of useful information about new features that will save time and boost your productivity.
We have our productivity specialists go out at three months, and not all our clients take that session, which is disappointing because it’s an opportunity to learn more and to get the most out of LEAP. You’re investing in a premium product which, when used correctly, can really change the way you engage with clients. So, when you have your training session absorb as much as you can – you will benefit from LEAP sooner!
The training sessions with our productivity specialists are complimentary. Also attend our webinars, they count towards your CPD points and are a wonderful way to educate yourself and your staff.
- LEAP provides an extensive range of up-to-date automated forms which you can modify to suit your needs, making document production easy, accurate and fast. Users also have the flexibility to import and customise their own precedents.
- LEAP users can utilise integration directly from their matters to the By Lawyers commentaries and legally drafted precedents contained in more than 145 matter plans for common (and not so common) areas of law across Australia. This content is continuously updated by a team of more than 30 practising solicitors. This integration is provided as a companion arrangement with LEAP for an additional monthly amount.
- LEAP is constantly innovating which means every three months users get access to new time-saving features. Keep up-to-date and ensure your firm is taking full advantage of the available benefits by attending complimentary training sessions with our productivity specialists, registering for webinars and emails or subscribing to our social media channels.
About By Lawyers
By Lawyers is Australia’s leading library of practical legal guides and is a companion product of LEAP. With over 15,000 forms and precedents and more than 145 end-to-end matter plans, they offer practical and professional guidance for all major areas of law.
A team of over 30 legal professionals update content to reflect legislative changes, so you can be confident that you’re working with the latest forms, precedents and matter commentary. Learn more about By Lawyers.2