Creating a connected legal team with LawVu
Buckle is the inclusive digital financial services company serving the rising middle class and providers to the gig economy. Buckle has seen an explosion of growth over the past year. With scale comes the need to remain connected and its in-house legal team has done exactly that through the adoption of legal tech.
In the four months the LawVu legal workspace has been implemented, the team has saved two days a week on administrative work and is turning contracts around in three days instead of two weeks.
“LawVu was exactly what we needed from a legal team perspective,” says Matt Brasch, Associate General Counsel at Buckle.
A new landscape for the insurance industry
Buckle is pioneering a new way of providing insurance. Its founders identified a need to support folks who don’t have the typical nine to five jobs — starting with drivers for Uber and Lyft and the delivery services they’re providing through the likes of Favor, Amazon Flex, and DoorDash.
Conventional insurance policies don’t track with this new model. “There’s a need, there’s a niche, it’s a problem we’re trying to solve. And as far as we’re concerned, it’s a great problem to solve because we really do need the growth of a middle-class in the US. We view the gig economy as the future middle-class and we’re happy to be there with our Buckle gig auto insurance and other products,” says Brasch.
The company received its Series B raise at the end of 2021 and continues to scale rapidly. Its in-house legal team sits at the heart of this growth and needed a way to scale with the rest of the organization while staying connected.
A solution to support high growth
Prior to LawVu the team of four attorneys and three legal support staff were using a combination of Gmail, spreadsheets, and shared folders to manage their work. “But as we’ve scaled we needed to start putting up legal walls for confidentiality and privilege. It was critical.”
The first priority for the team was finding a contracts management tool, which led them to the LawVu legal workspace.
“When we found the LawVu Contracts piece we really liked how it looked, but then when we started to really understand LawVu Matters we were like, ‘this is wonderful’. It was hard to turn around and look at anything else.”
With the speed of growth and demanding workloads, the need to increase efficiency and create value while managing costs was critical for Buckle.
“Matters and Contracts in one workspace is also just more cost-effective; it’s less effort and time to implement, and it’s one simple interface where both the legal team and the business work more efficiently. No one wastes time duplicating work, looking for information in multiple places, or consolidating reports… everything is right there.”
One of the biggest priorities for choosing software was fast implementation — it needed to be able to keep up with the pace of the growing business around them. “Since LawVu was cloud-based, it was basically a few clicks to import everything from shared folders and we were off and running,” says Brasch.
It was also critical for Buckle to find a partner who truly understood its needs and matched its ongoing operating speed. The user’s ability to create new matter types and customize fields in the workspace was particularly appealing. “If we’re changing and creating a whole new area of business, we may need a whole new Matter type to cover that and it won’t be a month-long project to reach out to LawVu to get this created. We can do it ourselves in a matter of minutes, seconds.”
“We’re running, we’re fast, we’re quick-paced and we need to make changes quickly, and LawVu really gives us that opportunity.”
A connected legal team
As a result of a good change management strategy, the new workspace has been well received by the team. “I grabbed a couple of the people who saw the value from the beginning and really encouraged them to build out the Matters and build out the workflows. We were able to do that with our small group, who demonstrated to the rest of the team and the business the value of what we were doing and what it could do for us. Since then, we’ve had much more adoption.”
Another key goal for implementing legal technology was to improve the team’s collaboration. Being 100 percent remote work is constantly going back and forth with tasks assigned within the Matters. Having one system of record provides the structure the team needs to collaborate effectively on work. “We know that we can rely on each other and work with each other through the one system.”
And now that LawVu is implemented, Brasch has full visibility over the team’s workload. “As a manager, I can go into a View and see the status of different Matters, and you don’t have to spend more time than you need on zoom calls or get emails from people getting updates and reports.”
“LawVu has really helped pull us all closer together and kept that feeling that we’re working closely without having to be in an office together.”
Getting time back to focus on high-value work
Buckle is leading by example by invigorating the often archaic and time-consuming processes in the insurance industry. When operating in 50 different states, there are 50 sets of rules to comply with. Before LawVu, each time something changed, the in-house legal team at Buckle would have to make manual updates to spreadsheets for each State. “With LawVu the efficiency becomes much greater because you don’t have the step of modifying spreadsheets, you basically create a new Matter — that could be a new consumer complaint — and then all you have to do is go to the Views functionality where you can see, for example, how many consumer complaints you have, sort by State, and export a spreadsheet.”
This functionality removes the drudgery of spreadsheet management because the changes to the data are happening directly in the Matter.
“To me, that’s an incredible shift and benefit to having a system like this. It saves us so much time. You’re simultaneously doing the work and it’s being updated for you.”
In an industry so heavily regulated comes a lot of due dates for lots of different things. Having them all on a View has given the team time back.
“Our team has saved two days a week on administrative tasks as a direct result of using LawVu.”
The next step for Brasch and the team has been to further expand the team’s use of the platform to connect out to the wider business allowing them to use self-service wizards and track status updates. The team has been an early adopter of the new LawVu Business Portal and developed a workflow that allows business users to generate their own NDAs.
“Contracts used to take at least two weeks to review and now they can take as little as a few days. Unless there are any questions or redlining, the legal team no longer touches NDAs.”
Ultimately, this has allowed the team of attorneys to focus on the high-value work they were trained to do. It’s a result of finding efficient and innovative solutions to do the work where an attorney’s touch is not necessarily needed.
A digital-first, proactive in-house legal industry
Brasch is excited for the future of a digital-first in-house legal industry. One of the things that attorneys commonly talk about is the high volume of work and the lack of time to think strategically. “When you have a tool like LawVu, it gives time back. We can now take an hour and a half to whiteboard, come up with a strategy, and actually think about a project instead of always having a knee-jerk reaction. I think that’s invaluable.”
“There’s a reason I left law firm practice and it was because I wanted to get into a place where I could strategize; I could stop problems before they happen.”
With the adoption of legal technologies, in-house legal teams are able to step outside the legal box and become true partners to the business. “If we can find tools to do the low-value work for us, we’re going to truly become a digital legal team — which is what I think we need to be at Buckle, a digital and innovative financial services company.”