When I first met Brent Sibley, he was pouring over the details of how he uses Slack to the CTO and Co-Founder of PracticePanther at their legal technology meetup in Miami. He and his employees were wearing branded polo shirts adorned with Sibley Law logos, proudly sharing the different apps and processes they use to run their law firm. Each seemed happy, and eager to share granular details about the law firm’s use of technology.
As I listened to him explain the purpose of each application it was clear that the team had built a very specific system for each tool. So, I leaned in and asked if they would walk me through their processes, to see these ‘systems’ in action. About a week later, I was sitting in the lobby of a co-working space in Aventura, Florida where Sibley Law HQ calls home.
A personal injury law firm, in an incredibly competitive and litigious city where if you’re going to make it, you have to have your stuff together. The receptionist politely offered me coffee, water, tea and then escorted me back to Brent’s office.
Neat, very little paper, double monitors, and one binder with printed label on the front that says “The Bible.” Over the next hour, Brent walked me though each system and how work flows from person to person in the office. Practically jumping out of his chair with excitement. At one point, he mentioned “I always knew I would be more than just a lawyer.” He reached for the binder, and paged through the neatly organized sections.
This, is Sibley Ops.
The framework for a Personal Injury Law Firm Power Plant. Brent’s business model, which he began piloting with other personal injury law firms in 2017. The time he and his team have dedicated to creating a seamless experience for clients, and rock solid infrastructure to scale a law firm is impressive. “Now, that we have the systems and documentation in place, we can offer our back-office management and technology to other law firms who want to operate as efficiently as we do.” Brent explained.
Which is a brilliant and generous business model for any law firm who doesn’t want to try, test, and deal with the turmoil of switching systems repeatedly until they find a magic combination. By utilizing Sibley Ops back office infrastructure, Personal Injury law firms can focus on business development and scale as fast as they can bring in clients. Brent and his team have fought through the technology headaches that slow the growth process for most practices to screeching halt. Each law firm receives a set package of licenses, and back office services. Which include everything from case management, to document storage and personal injury trained paralegal hours.
Sibley Law didn’t just sign up for PracticePanther, they’ve made it their own. I want to call this out because this is the difference between using technology, and utilizing it.
When attorneys tell me they hate their current system, and ask what they should switch to I ask if they’ve spent the time to build it out to suit how they work. Custom fields, document templates, signature ready retainer agreements, online intake forms, etc.
He shared that it wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. They spent months refining every customizable option in the system until it was finally perfect. Which he says continues to adapt as the practice grows, or new features become available.
“I could go on and on about the various features that PracticePanther currently has that add tremendous value, but really, the best thing they do is constantly evolve and adapt. They understand that listening to their customers and building the features they ask for is the best way forward. Once you have the backbone in place (good database, clean user interface, great API, then all you do is add more and more features and remove ones they aren’t adopted. The PP team understands that a world class product is never finished, and each day brings the chance to make the product just a little bit better.” He explained as he walked me through some of Sibley Law’s customizations.
Brent keeps employees cheerful and engaged by allowing them to work a flex schedule from both home and the office. The team utilizes Slack for internal communication, and each client has their own channel. Documents are shared inside of the channel, and files are stored in Dropbox which syncs with the corresponding Practice Panther matter file.
Dropbox is used for general file storage, as it integrates flawlessly with PracticePanther matter files. Bi-directional sync creates folders from either location, and a redundant backup location for client files.
Team members have varying levels of access based on their role, which Brent can manage from the PracticePanther administrator section. Additionally, Brent is adamant about data security so every single device that stores client information must have password and/or fingerprint security. Finally, every cloud account and login has two-factor authentication required without exception.
What’s App – A secure, encrypted and easy to use messaging tool has been a life saver. Brent prefers this to a traditional client portal. First, many of his clients already have it, and two he can create groups, or send messages to his entire client base at once.
For example, when Hurricane Irma knocked out nearly all the power in Florida, Brent sent a message to all clients with each office location’s operational status. I was amazed, my home was still out of power and his law firm was functional within days of the storm.
A Client’s Perspective
Little did I know, a week later, I would become a client of Sibley Law due to a car accident while I was out running errands. I sent Brent a text message the evening of the accident after I left the hospital, and Sunday morning we had our consultation over the phone.
About a minute later I received an email with an embedded intake form, I filled it out, then a digital retainer agreement immediately followed. Both were sent from PracticePanther. I opened the email, tapped the link, and signed it on my phone. From the time, I hung up with Brent, to the time I became a client was probably less than five minutes. Then, a copy was automatically emailed to me, and saved in my matter file.
He instructed me to rest, and that he would provide details to a local orthopedic doctor, neurologist, chiropractic and physical therapist for an evaluation and any treatment I would need. I also received an invitation to What’s App, installed it and was added to a group message with Brent and members of his team.
They were all so friendly, and caring. Regular communication was abundant not absent. Now, whenever medical bills or insurance documents arrive, I take a picture of them using What’s App, and they are immediately shared with my Sibley Law case team.
Text Message Appointment Reminders
For any upcoming meetings or deadlines I have related to my case text message reminders will be sent to me, in addition to traditional calendar appointments. Which is a life-saver for me, as my schedule never seems to have white space to spare.
Overall, it’s not often that I run into a law firm who has not only embraced technology, but made it a fundamental benefit of retaining their services. When I was involved in an accident I contacted Brent because frankly, I knew he had his act together. I don’t like paper, because it takes time, and that’s something that I don’t have an abundance of. If I did, I would be on vacation right now using it up. So, out of the thousands of lawyers I have been fortunate enough to speak with over the years… Brent got the call.
Join the Sibley Ops Pilot Program
If you are looking for a turn-key technology system powered by a team of dedicated Personal Injury Law experts, connect with Brent. Not only will he practically clear his calendar when the words technology or systems comes up, you’ll learn a lot from the conversation.
Contact Brent, at Sibley Law by phone at 305-748-2087 or via their website: http://sibley-law.com.