A Small Legal Team Gets by Without Administrative Staff

Joey Blanco
Joey Blanco / December 20, 2017

If there's one lesson to take away from Marvel's Daredevil, it's that running a law firm, Nelson and Murdock, Attorneys at Law, with next to no administrative staff is hard work. That and dressing up as a vigilante to protect Hell's Kitchen will impact your career as a lawyer.

Two attorneys at Chicago's Chi City Legal opted to try something different: automation. While automated workflows might not quench your thirst for justice (although maybe they can…), automation can carry the administrative load.

To help them pick up the slack, they use app automation tool Zapier. With Zapier's efficiency, Chi City Legal can focus more time on their clients and their cases than on the busy work often associated with the law.

Automate Your Client Communication

Until we master the ability to stop time or add more hours to the day, there will be a limit to how many emails people can write and respond to. And yet, despite being a two-person operation, the clients of Chi City Legal receive timely updates on their cases. With Zapier, these attorneys are everywhere their clients need them to be when they're needed.

Using a multi-step Zap—a workflow that connects multiple applications—the Chi City Legal team automates customer communication without sacrificing casework:

"With the click of a checklist on Trello, [Zapier] calls out to Google Sheets with related scripts to send clients automatic updates," Conor Malloy, Attorney and Partner at Chi City Legal, explains.

Chi City Legal relies on Trello for project management, so a lot of their Zaps revolve around creating cards and triggering actions when cards update.

They use Gmail to send the email itself, building a template from case information in Trello and pre-written scripts in Google Sheets. Even if you don't need to auto-generate scripts for emails, you can use this Zap to update clients and coworkers.

We included a few related Zaps, too, so you can customize this workflow to meet your needs.

Automatically Create Proposals, Documents, and Forms

Integrated into the Chi City Legal website is a form for potential clients to fill out. Clients request services with these forms, providing Conor and his partner with specific details of their case, too.

When a new client enters their case information and submits the form, Chi City Legal's Zap takes off. This workflow creates case documentation, schedules a conversation with the help of a friendly AI, and creates invoices in Xero.

With each new Gravity Forms entry, Zapier creates a new card in Trello. That card contains case and client details, which is also sent to a new row in Google Sheets.

Once the client's information is in both systems, the Zap creates a matching person in Xero and builds an invoice. Finally, Zapier sends an email via Gmail, to set up a phone call.

There's a lot to take on with this Zap so we also broke this one up. Pick and choose the pieces that work with your process and try some you hadn't thought about yet:


By automating some of their most time-consuming tasks, the team at Chi City Legal have been able to take on more clients and give more attention to cases. They're able to keep their costs low without the need for a massive administrative team and do more with less.

All images courtesy of Chi City Legal.

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