This blog was authored by Jimmy Evans, Principal and Founder, Evans Law Family Group
When I started Evans Family Law Group after having been a prosecutor for many years, I wanted to bring more professional and higher-quality representation to the Latino community. Latino clients are all too often underserved and don’t have access to quality legal services. After several years of developing the practice, I realized that family law was an area I wanted to focus on. I felt that top-quality legal services with the highest ethical standards could definitely make a difference for all kinds of clients, so I decided to broaden our reach to a larger population.
Clients come first
In our family law practice, we try to be as close and responsive to clients as possible, keeping distractions and unproductive time to a minimum. From the firm’s earliest days, we have been fortunate to find team members who share our same commitment to clients. All of us feel that the traditional ways of working are too restrictive. When you work on adoptions, custody disputes or other family law scenarios, standard business hours aren’t always practical. Clients often need to talk early or late in the day or on weekends, and sometimes you need to be able to draft or review documents outside the office.
We decided to explore virtual working to help us take better care of clients and work more efficiently with the courts, and give us a better balance of work-life and work.
Enjoying mobility without compromise
After a somewhat disappointing experience with another hardware solution, we connected with Dell Technologies. When we heard about a new Latitude laptop, we decided to try it out. The Latitude 9510 device sounded promising because it could do double duty as a tablet and a laptop with its 2-in-1 configuration.
The look and feel of the aluminum is striking. The hinges are very sturdy, and overall the Latitude feels solid and well-designed. It’s great to have a device that gives clients an excellent impression of our firm.
We immediately took advantage of the built-in mobile broadband option, which is rock solid. Many people have told me that they would never pay for the service and would rather use hot spots, but the difference between trying to log onto a hot spot — which may not be available everywhere — and having LTE as part of the laptop, at a reasonable price for an unlimited data plan, makes complete sense to me. For example, recently the Wi-Fi went down in our Bastrop office. Our associate attorney, who was meeting with a potential new client, kept right on working. He pulled up a contract on the Latitude 2-in-1, flipped the screen, and used the Dell Active Pen when it was time to sign.
The battery life is fabulous. A lot of worrying about finding places to charge — and how long you could function between charges — simply vanished. We also got Dell Notebook Power Banks for everybody, just in case charging the battery after a long day got in the way of work. It also helps that the Dell laptops are comfortable to carry around and look elegant and professional.
Another feature I enjoy is the Express Sign-in with the proximity sensor that allows me to quickly log into my laptop without wasting any time waking the system up or typing in a password. And the audio quality is first-rate as well.
Giving free rein to innovation and creativity
Very quickly, we found that we could use the Dell Latitudes more creatively and with greater flexibility than our previous hardware. For instance, when the device is in tablet mode, we can use the Dell Active Pen to highlight documents for clients. The tablet mode also comes in handy when we’re reviewing and annotating complex documents and want to be comfortable wherever we are working.
With the Latitudes, we also purchased Dell UltraSharp 34-inch curved monitors for everybody, along with one Dell 75 4K Interactive Touch Monitor for collaboration at the office. We use that large monitor with a Dell OptiPlex desktop computer.
The laptops on their own are outstanding, and combined with the monitors, they help us become even more versatile and inventive. It’s extremely easy to display multiple documents and discuss them — without struggling with a cluttered screen of multiple tabs that we have to keep switching between.
For instance, one of my clients recently asked for my help in evaluating six different retirement plans. In the past, this would have been a frustrating, lengthy exercise. We met over Zoom video conferencing and displayed documents side by side on the shared screen. Half an hour later, he was comfortable making a decision.
A new way of being there for clients
Everybody on the team has stories about helping clients on the fly and moving cases forward quickly. Some are dramatic, such as my work with a busy surgeon who signed off on documents and next steps in between operations at his hospital.
Overall, we find that our client relationships are stronger. People know they can reach us practically anytime, and we’ll be able to provide guidance and have productive conversations without having to prepare. Working from anywhere already removes a lot of productivity drains, like traffic and parking hassles. And the Latitudes are so dependable that nobody ever feels nervous about connecting to our applications and documents.
Honoring our promises
Not so long ago, it was hard to imagine that we wouldn’t be able to see clients or judges in person. We would have never had the personal presence and visibility to do business and develop relationships before. Now, however, the expectations are changing, and many attorneys I know are struggling with this. Evans Law Group has a unique wealth of expertise when it comes to working remotely and virtually with clients and courts, but it took the right devices to help us make full use of our skills and deliver the high-quality services we promise our clients.