Karl Seelbach: Slow Down to Speed Up

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Karl Seelbach discuss:

  • The way you do one thing is the one way you do everything.
  • Building out and being consistent with expectations through SOPs and accountability charts.
  • Setting aside time specifically to work on your business, not just in it.
  • Hiring a coach to remove your blinders.

Key Takeaways:

  • Focus on the solutions – if something goes wrong, look at why and see how it can be fixed.
  • Everyone and every firm is a work in progress. The little things that are sometimes forgotten are the things that need the most attention because they will make the biggest results.
  • You don’t have to be the one to wear every hat. You don’t have to execute on every idea. Delegate what you can’t (or don’t want to) do.
  • Attorneys are responsible for the work they file with the court. If you utilize AI the same way you would utilize a paralegal or law assistant, you can let the tech work for you.

“You can’t just keep doing the same thing, it’s not going to change, and you’re going to burn out and end up in a bad spot. You have to hit the brakes and say, ‘Okay, look, I’ve got to figure out how to solve this.’” —  Karl Seelbach

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Episode References: 

About Karl Seelbach: Karl Seelbach is a LegalTech founder and seasoned litigation attorney with over 17 years of experience in the courtroom, representing clients in personal injury, business, and employment litigation. He is a skilled advocate and a tenacious fighter who handles cases with precision and an eye toward trial from day one. His adversaries describe him as “skilled” and “whip-smart.” But Karl’s legal expertise doesn’t stop there – he’s also the founder of Skribe.ai, a software platform for capturing testimony that’s changing the game for attorneys and their clients.

Prior to launching his own law firm in 2015, Karl worked as a litigation partner at one of Texas’ largest law firms, Winstead PC, where he was mentored by some of the state’s top litigators, including former appellate judges and veteran trial lawyers. Karl received his law degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston and his undergraduate degree from Stephen F. Austin State University. In his free time, Karl enjoys spending time with his wife and daughters in Dripping Springs, Texas as a #GirlDad who proudly cheers on his kids in volleyball, basketball, and more!

Connect with Karl Seelbach:  

Website: https://skribe.ai/

Email: karl@skribe.ai

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kwseelbach/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/skribe-ai/

Twitter: https://x.com/KarlSeelbach

Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Instagram: @fretzinsteve

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.

Website: Fretzin.com

Email: Steve@Fretzin.com

Book: Legal Business Development Isn’t Rocket Science and more!

YouTube: Steve Fretzin

Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911

Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.


[00:00:00] Steve Fretzin: Hello, my Be That Lawyer friends. Before we dive in today’s show, I have a small favor to ask. My mission in the legal industry is to help legal professionals like you take law practice growth seriously. I hope you’re finding value in this podcast and it’s aiding you in growing your law practice. Now, it only takes a moment to make a positive impact on someone’s life.

[00:00:19] Steve Fretzin: If you’re enjoying the show, please help us spread the word. A kind review or five star rating would go a long way in helping us reach more of your amazing colleagues. Thank you for your support, and now, let’s get on to the show.

[00:00:35] Narrator: You’re listening to Be That Lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author and lawyer coach, Steve Fretzin, will take a deeper dive helping you grow your law practice in less time, more efficiently. Well, 

[00:00:57] Steve Fretzin: hey everybody, welcome back to the Be That Lawyer with Fretzin podcast.

[00:01:00] Steve Fretzin: We are pranking them out here twice a week, every week, hitting 400 plus episodes in a very short amount of time, about two weeks. Now, about four years, four and a half years, Carl, what do you think about that? That’s a lot of episodes, not enough episodes, not enough of me. What do you think? 

[00:01:16] Karl Seelbach: I mean, they say to do it right, you need to do it frequently.

[00:01:19] Karl Seelbach: That’s what I’ve always heard. And it’s probably why I haven’t started my own podcast yet. You have to really deep end and constantly generate, generate content. So I think you’re doing it right. 

[00:01:29] Steve Fretzin: Also a way to save a marriage frequently. All right. Moving along, moving along. Really, really great to have you here.

[00:01:36] Steve Fretzin: We are going to get into the weeds on growing a law practice and legal tech and a ton of other stuff that we had talked about ahead of time. Love to start off with our quote of the show, Carl, which is, The way you do one thing is the way you do everything. Do you know who said that, by the way? Goodness gracious.

[00:01:52] Steve Fretzin: Other than yourself? 

[00:01:53] Karl Seelbach: Other than me, I use it all the time and I, and I try to give it proper, uh, you know, credit where credit’s due and I’m blanking on it. I think you just take credit for it, 

[00:02:00] Steve Fretzin: man. 

[00:02:01] Karl Seelbach: I think I should just take credit for it. 

[00:02:02] Steve Fretzin: All right. All right. So great quote that you came up with, by the way, tell us more about that quote.

[00:02:08] Karl Seelbach: Yeah. So, I mean, I think it can be difficult, particularly when you get really busy as an attorney and your docket tends to pick up whether you’re doing transactional work or litigation, but sometimes you really do want to slow down and just. Or that when you’re, no matter what the task is, you know, if it’s a small letter or a small set of discovery or a big brief and really put the level of attention and detail into the small projects for the smaller clients, just the same as you would for the large cases.

[00:02:38] Karl Seelbach: I think there’s something to be said for that. I think it helps establish your credibility. It also helps establish your reputation with your colleagues and your peers. Um, that, hey, this person clearly cares about what they’re doing, you know, I kind of think about it takes a lot of work to do it right, but it also takes a lot of work to clean up a mess when someone does it wrong.

[00:02:57] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, yeah, I mean, I, I hear that the way you do 1 thing is the way you do everything that if you’re lazy and you’re, you’re a procrastinator and you’re not doing good work, you know, that you can sort of get a sense that if you do that thing, we’re like people that are late. Yeah. Like, if they’re late for your meeting, they’re probably late for all their meetings, or if they’re talking negatively about one person, they’re probably talking negatively about a lot of people, like, or on the other side of it, like, if they’re really strong in one area, they’re probably strong in all the areas.

[00:03:27] Steve Fretzin: Like, do you, is that part of it, you think? Because that’s what I’m kind of taking away. 

[00:03:30] Karl Seelbach: Yeah, I mean, I, I think that’s part of it. I think that, you know, I, I’m focused in my brain on kind of the role of a litigator. And when I think about that quote in the context of being a litigator, it’s like the deep of it.

[00:03:45] Karl Seelbach: And the way that you show up matters every single time. And if you can be very consistent in the way you show up to meetings, the way, you know, the way you argue in court, the way you deliver work product timely, you know, one of the things that we try to do, for example, at my firm and, you know, You know, we have this SOP standard operating procedures kind of almost become a book that I’ve that I’ve written over the last, uh, 10 years or so.

[00:04:10] Karl Seelbach: And, you know, we try to always avoid surprises for our clients. So we just part of the SOP is anytime we get discovery, we send the discovery immediately to the client. And within 2 weeks, we send them drafts and it just helps to show. And it’s always always like that. Every single case across our entire firm.

[00:04:27] Karl Seelbach: And I think that when you can give a client that level of trust and confidence that I know when this person says they’re going to do something, they’re not only going to do it timely, they’re going to do it right 99 percent of the time, and it’s going to be high quality. So, I think it can be. Easy when you get busy to start to put less effort or focus less on some of the smaller things or take for granted, even something is like, I’ll give you one example.

[00:05:00] Karl Seelbach: I had an associate recently who responded to a client in a way that wasn’t intentionally rude, but it was extremely short and came very terse. It came across as. A little bit flip it and I immediately just coached the associate privately and sent them and said, Hey, you know, keep in mind the way that we talk to clients matters.

[00:05:24] Karl Seelbach: And, you know, I know it takes a little bit of extra time to write that extra sentence or two of thanks so much with your help so far on this discovery, you know, I understand you’re looking into issue XYZ. I can’t wait to hear back from you on that. So I can finish these up, you know, those little types of things do matter.

[00:05:41] Karl Seelbach: And I think that the way we communicate with each other. The attention to detail on drafts that we send out, you know, regardless of whether it’s, you know, just a standard set of discovery or a very complex motion to me. That’s what I look for in trying to decide which team members I want to promote, which people I really want to work with, you know, I want the ones where the way they do 1 thing is the way they do everything.

[00:06:03] Karl Seelbach: So I don’t have to worry, you know, are they going to give this report the level of attention it needs? Mhm. Just because this is a smaller case compared to one of our death cases or one of our catastrophic injury cases. So that’s kind of the way I think about it. 

[00:06:17] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, but when I hear SOPs and I hear, you know, client service and the way that we respond and doing things right away, it leads me to believe and understand that that’s become a part of your culture, that’s become the way your firm is run.

[00:06:33] Steve Fretzin: And people need to kind of get in line with that because that’s the right way to do it. And I think what we’re really getting to is consistency. You’re just being consistent with the way that you’re doing things in a positive way versus haphazardly where it can be good sometimes and bad other times.

[00:06:49] Steve Fretzin: And I, we all know that that’s not a good way to be, but that is the way people are. 

[00:06:54] Karl Seelbach: Yeah, I mean, we on this, we didn’t even talk about this potential topic when we were getting ready for this podcast, but this seems to be pretty on point. So one of the things we’ve recently done at my law firm is roll out accountability charts.

[00:07:08] Karl Seelbach: So if you’ve ever read traction, yeah, love traction. So we have implemented that at my firm. And when we implemented it, not only did we go through the process of defining each role from the partner. Across the entire team, partner, associate attorney, litigation, early goal. We have legal nurse consultants on our team as well and tried to get pretty granular.

[00:07:30] Karl Seelbach: Like this is what’s expected of a partner, everything from how to manage clients to reporting on the case, to, you know, making sure that we see the forest from the trees. You know, the timing that we expect things to be done from team members. Like after you take the deposition, the client should get an update within X, you know, a day or two.

[00:07:48] Karl Seelbach: Yep. And. Documented how we’re going to track that stuff, right? We have action plans where they’re going to live, what we expect from not only communicating with clients, but also what we expect from communicating with each other. And obviously they’re called accountability shards for a reason that we’re going to use them and hold each other accountable.

[00:08:08] Karl Seelbach: And, you know, I think the first big admission for your podcast is no one is perfect. And I certainly have strayed from the accountability chart myself. But that’s the reason we’re a team and we’re there to hold each other accountable. So I kind of always tell the team, you know, you should remind me and hold me accountable if I stray from it as well, because we’re there to kind of help each other do better.

[00:08:32] Karl Seelbach: And if we can have that mindset, we always one of the things that Treg Doyle is my law partner. He’s who I founded the firm with one of the things that he’s been so good about. And it’s kind of inspired the way that I coach people the way that I work with people. Is we are very solution oriented. So if someone makes a mistake, obviously we hope that no one makes a mistake.

[00:08:54] Karl Seelbach: That would be great. But when someone makes a mistake and we really try to live this out through our own actions, the way we talk to people, the way we respond or react when a mistake is brought to our attention, we’re not throwing our laptop or, you know, throwing a file on the ground. And trust me, I have seen attorneys that have behaved like that in the past.

[00:09:14] Karl Seelbach: When someone makes a mistake. We’re just trying to find out, okay, tell me exactly what happened. And then we start to analyze how can we fix this, right? That’s the first thing. How can we fix this? Yeah. Is it something we need to tell the client? And if so, how should we tell the client? And then three, and this is perhaps for me, the most important is one of the business owners.

[00:09:35] Karl Seelbach: How can we make sure this doesn’t happen again? So, and then it, and then I decide, is this something that should be one of our SOPs, right? Should this actually go into the SOP? So, 

[00:09:46] Steve Fretzin: but it’s just, I mean, we’re already on a, on a kind of a track of what many law firms are missing, which are not only the SOPs and processes.

[00:09:55] Steve Fretzin: But how do we identify things that are not working and or that have gone wrong and making those improvements and again, I’m I’m a huge as you know, as a business development coach for lawyers and and all that. I mean, it’s it’s all about. Incremental improvement. It’s all about making mistakes and not, you know, Hey, I got punched in the face today and tomorrow I’m going to get punched in the face again.

[00:10:15] Steve Fretzin: And the next day I’m gonna get punched. I mean, that’s not a smart way to, to, to live. You know, at some point you got to duck or you got to move to the left or the right. And, and how many times do we need to get hit in the face before we duck? So it should be as few as possible. That’s right. The answer, right?

[00:10:30] Steve Fretzin: Um, so, so we really want to think about, you know, how do we make improvements, and not just in ourselves, but to your point, with the group, with the team. Yeah, and, I mean, Again, I’m a work in progress myself, like my role. That’s not now. Is that you, or is that your wife 

[00:10:44] Karl Seelbach: talking? Yeah, she would, she would agree.

[00:10:48] Karl Seelbach: I’m getting better at it, but it’s still a struggle for me too. So I am trying to be a better managing partner. I’m trying to be a better founder on the loft on the, uh, legal technology company scribe, and I know we’ll talk about that more later. Um, but you know, what I continue sometimes have to remind myself is, you You know, what do they say the definition of insanity is?

[00:11:09] Karl Seelbach: It’s doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. And so, you know, if you are, Struggling with your firm, whether it’s your workload or hiring the right people or finding more clients, whatever it is, you have to change something. You can’t just keep doing the same thing and hope that one day it’s magically going to solve itself.

[00:11:33] Karl Seelbach: It could, it’s not impossible. It’s just not likely. And I would bet that it won’t. What I, some of the advice that I got, and actually the person who gave me this advice is, is Tom Irby, who’s my co founder of scribe, who’s also historically been a business coach and mentor. You know, he said, look, I, he came, he actually coached me a couple of years ago and he came into my office and we talked and we talked about issues I was facing and ideas that I had and problems for, you know, everything from law firm management to marketing and how are we going to do this and who’s helping, who’s helping you do this.

[00:12:07] Karl Seelbach: And he said, Carl, it sounds like you are working a ton for the business, but you aren’t carving any time out to work on the business. And it took me a second to grasp what he meant, but he’s like, look, you’re, weren’t you have such a heavy caseload and you’ve got a lot of really good ideas, but you’re constantly getting pulled into a different case to help manage whatever the problem is of the day.

[00:12:33] Karl Seelbach: And if you’re ever going to be able to advance your business, you have to set aside time. You know, he recommended one day a week at a minimum. That is just a day of working on the business, not for the business. Right. So I thought that I thought that was a pretty clever quote that if you’ve never heard it before, really does kind of make you stop and think if you’re, if you’re in this, particularly if you’re in the services business, right?

[00:12:58] Karl Seelbach: And attorneys are that, are you spending all of your time of every week just doing the work? For your business and if you, if you are and you’re not carving out any other time to think more high level to not build the hours, but to focus on whatever it is your business needs to solve, then you’re probably doing yourself a disservice and you’re probably never going to grow.

[00:13:19] Steve Fretzin: I feel like that’s a, that’s a Michael Gerber email quote because that whole book is about people working in the business versus on the business. And it’s really, it really, what happens is people get sucked into. You. Wearing every hat. I’m the administrator. I’m the managing partner. I’m the hire. I’m the main, main rainmaker.

[00:13:38] Steve Fretzin: I’m the guy who can handle all the cases and they just get, they just, and that’s where things get totally You know, bogged down and it’s a trap. It is absolutely a trap. I was in it. 

[00:13:50] Karl Seelbach: I was in it. I had to get out of the truck when we first, you know, when we first lost, I was the it guy. I was, I bought the stuff to stock the kitchen, you know, like everything HR, everything.

[00:14:01] Karl Seelbach: I mean, I was 

[00:14:02] Steve Fretzin: Costco run, man. Make the Costco run. Yeah, 

[00:14:04] Karl Seelbach: it’s crazy. You know, another, another, you know, I know we’re gonna talk book stuff later, but, uh, this, this discussion got me thinking about a book I’m listening to right now called, uh, who, not How Yeah. By Dan Sullivan. Yeah. Yeah. So I’m, I’m not, I’m not even halfway into it yet, but it’s an, and that’s an interesting concept too, which is, you know, you kind of tried out all these things you want to do.

[00:14:24] Karl Seelbach: And a lot of attorneys are very smart people. They have great ideas. They don’t have a lot of time. And so the ideas just end up sitting in a, you know, notebook or on the computer and no one executes them. And so now I’m really starting to think more and more in both of my businesses. You know, if I’ve got a great idea, just because I don’t have time to do it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t find someone else to execute it for me.

[00:14:50] Steve Fretzin: Hey everyone, ever wonder where your real inefficiencies are hiding or how much more business you could be bringing in? Take the Be That Lawyer challenge today. We’ll meet for 30 minutes to discuss your practice. If I can’t identify where you’re losing time and money, I’ll pay your hourly rate for the time we spend together.

[00:15:07] Steve Fretzin: Are you ready to be challenged? Just visit my website at www. Fretzin. com slash VTL challenge and select a time to meet with me. It’s that simple, and I’m looking forward to seeing you soon.

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[00:16:45] Steve Fretzin: Now I could narrate that myself and maybe there’d be some people that would. Enjoy that. I don’t know, but I’m not going to, you know, I’m not going to sit and go over it again and again and again to get it right, because that’s what I would do. I’d rather just hire a professional. And, uh, and so I did it, right?

[00:17:00] Steve Fretzin: So in the idea that people are missing the boat on bookkeepers, they’re missing the boat on BAs, right? Getting administrators and marketing people and just like, you know, who can do it, not how. It’s, that’s, it’s becoming more commonplace, but not enough and, and also managing partners need to figure out like what hats do you want to wear?

[00:17:18] Steve Fretzin: Are you wearing every hat? Are you going to pick two or three that you’d enjoy and that you seem to have a proclivity for and, and focus on them and, and delegate the rest? And I know a number of lawyers, Carl, that they’ve gotten out of the work. And, and I know that that’s tough because it, you enjoy it and, and it’s, you know, that’s your, that’s, for some people, that’s their, um, you know, their persona of who they are is, you know, lawyer.

[00:17:40] Steve Fretzin: But ultimately, if they want to grow business, they realize, look, I got to stop getting involved in all these. I can mentor the other people to handle the cases, but I don’t need to be in court, you know, and I don’t need to do all the heavy lifting on this stuff. Everybody’s got to pick their lanes. 

[00:17:53] Karl Seelbach: It can 

[00:17:54] Steve Fretzin: be hard to let go 

[00:17:55] Karl Seelbach: and, and, and frankly, sometimes you worry, like, what are my team members going to think if I’m not the one doing this?

[00:18:02] Karl Seelbach: I’ve always been the one that did this, whatever this is. And, you know, are they going to think that I’m just on the golf course or what, you know, whatever. Maybe you should be, maybe you deserve to be on the golf course every once in a while. I don’t golf personally, but no, I, I think it’s, it’s super important and it’s something that, you know, again, I, I meant it when I said it, you know, I’m, I’m trying to get better at those things.

[00:18:21] Karl Seelbach: And I’ve noticed that when I do it, when I do let go and hire someone to help with whatever it is, firm administration, HR. Marketing, uh, virtual assistant. I’ve had a business coach in the past. Every time so far, knock on wood, it’s worked out really, really well. And it’s helped take things off my plate and actually improve, you know, the business, improve the, the quality of what I’m, what I’m doing, what I’m offering.

[00:18:46] Steve Fretzin: And I, and I think it directly relates to burnout, right? I mean, if you’re doing every job, only you can do it and it’s perfectionism and all those things that lawyers are associated with. And you’re wondering why you’re so burned out or why you’re not getting enough sleep or you’re not eating well or all the things you’re not, you know, I do exercise classes.

[00:19:03] Steve Fretzin: I play a lot of sports. I just can’t imagine a life where I’m not active because I don’t have time. I have or I haven’t made time. So what are some things that you do? Or that you would suggest to lawyers to not burn out. I think we’ve covered some of it, but what what are a couple of the thoughts on that?

[00:19:18] Karl Seelbach: I mean, I did 1 today, which is I have a personal trainer. I see twice a week to get a solid, you know, lifting workout. And yeah, could I go on my own? Sure. I could, but I’d probably be a lot more likely to find an excuse. I found that having a trainer helped me 2 times a week ends up meaning that I’m more likely to work out probably 5 to 6 times a week.

[00:19:39] Karl Seelbach: Because I’ll work out on my own on the days kind of in between and, you know, he’s holding me accountable asking, did you get your other workout in and have you been eating healthy? And so I think that 1 of the things, particularly for business professionals that certainly can afford those, because that is a luxury, obviously, but business professionals that can afford it.

[00:20:03] Karl Seelbach: I think you’ll be so much better for it. Like mentally, I joke with my trainer. You know, I’m really getting almost like three types of training here. I’m getting physical fitness, but we also talked a little bit about mental health while we’re working out. And he actually just coincidentally has history of, uh, software B2B SAS.

[00:20:22] Karl Seelbach: And so we even talked business a little bit. And I’m like, man, you should, you should be charging me more. I’m getting business coaching here. We’re talking mental health issues and, and we’re working out all at the same time. Yeah. 

[00:20:32] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. That’s really great. And so, you know, I, I know that there’s a lot of moving parts with, with what we’ve hit up, like, you know, You can’t do everything.

[00:20:43] Steve Fretzin: You got to delegate. You got to figure out, you know, SOPs, create processes that streamlines things to, to make, you know, to allow other people to do things that they couldn’t do before because now they have a process for it. You know, having that, that opens up then gaps of time to work out and to sleep and to eat and to have family time and, and not get the burnout.

[00:21:03] Steve Fretzin: So, It’s it’s, I wish I could say it’s like a one size fits all or that it’s just one, one direction for everybody. Everybody’s different, but you, but you have to clear the decks on a lot of the administrative and a lot of the low level stuff that you’re doing in order to then be able to do the high level stuff and high level could be that workout.

[00:21:23] Karl Seelbach: Yeah. And you know, my, my take on it is you almost have to be willing to slow down to speed up, like, you know, if you, if you find your, your career, your business slide. Reaching the point of just stressed out all the time, less happy than you used to be heavy workload, you know, can’t find enough people to help you.

[00:21:45] Karl Seelbach: You know, again, you can’t just keep doing the same thing. You’re going, it’s not going to change and you’re going to perhaps burn out and end up in a bad spot. And so you kind of have to hit the brakes and say, okay, look, I’ve got to figure out how to solve this. And I think, and this is not necessarily to tell you just on your podcast, but I think the concept of a business coach, regardless of who it is.

[00:22:07] Karl Seelbach: Is a really healthy way to think about it. And it’s an analogy, right? So like a personal trainer on getting stronger or getting leaner or whatever your, whatever your goal is. Having someone to talk to about it, to help hold you accountable, to help you maybe even define the plan. Like what is, you know, what is your why?

[00:22:26] Karl Seelbach: What does a when look like for you? Well, for some people it may be, you know, I’ve got plenty of work. I don’t even need any more clients. I just need more me time. Okay, well, let’s figure out how to make that happen. You know, maybe you could take every Friday off and, you know, we could. Hire someone to help you manage this client or this case or whatever it is, while for others, you know, maybe they want to conquer the world and they do want, you know, 100 clients of their own and they want to grow a really big team.

[00:22:53] Karl Seelbach: There’s a lot of different potential paths, but I think having them. A coach help you is extremely important and you know, I’ve used one in the past and probably should hire one again. I just, my coach became my co founder of scribe. So 

[00:23:09] Steve Fretzin: now more of a friend than a coach, but you know, I started off thinking I was, you know, I was in sales and franchising and I thought I was the bomb and making great money.

[00:23:18] Steve Fretzin: And I did. But until I met a coach, I, I had blinders on, like you can’t believe I just saw everything, you know, I had a hammer and everything was a nail. And this coach said to me, look, you know, and evaluated me, evaluated what I was doing, and just saw all these deficiencies in the way that I was doing business development, the way that I was doing marketing, networking, and.

[00:23:39] Steve Fretzin: And I was so grateful to, to, you know, hire him and pay him a ton of money because it was for me game changing life altering and got me into coaching. Right? Ultimately. And now I’m able to sit down with someone. I met me with, you know, lawyers all all week. And in some cases, everything that they need and the gaps that they have directly relate to what I solve and what I teach and what I can help them with.

[00:24:02] Steve Fretzin: And we, we take a slow move to that process. But more importantly, maybe, would be, alright, this person doesn’t need me. This person needs a leadership coach. This person needs a career coach. This person needs, uh, a software that I don’t, you know, have. But that Ultimately, we’ll save them time or geez, if this person just had a VA, you know, for 20 hours a week could completely change that individual’s life and they’re not going to need me, they just need that time open.

[00:24:31] Steve Fretzin: If they have a time open, they can go own the world, rule the world, you know, so, so really, I think it’s about finding people that you can trust. That can give you constructive feedback and find your gaps and point you in the right direction with sincerity and honesty and truthfulness and that doesn’t exist everywhere, but it does exist.

[00:24:48] Steve Fretzin: I mean, most of the people I engage with are the best people I know. So it’s, it’s, I know I can count on them if I have a question or a need or anything. 

[00:24:57] Karl Seelbach: Yeah. 

[00:24:57] Steve Fretzin: I think that was your experience too. 

[00:24:59] Karl Seelbach: Well said. No, absolutely. Absolutely. 

[00:25:01] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, it was a little bit of a rant there. Okay. Anyway, move it along, Carl.

[00:25:05] Steve Fretzin: It was good. Thank you. Thank you. You know, I, I just had the most sort of surreal thing. I took a, I took a bunch of the legal tech experts that I’ve had on my podcast. And I said, Hey, why don’t we all get together in a network and, and, and round table legal tech. And literally that happened, you know, an hour, an hour and a half ago, I had some amazing top level.

[00:25:26] Steve Fretzin: And it was just like, I was a little bit, I was like the, the slow kid in the class. Unfortunately, they were talking about things that went over my pay grade. But the point of me it was like the things that I’m involved in with legal tech are mostly around saving lawyers time saving me time but saving lawyers time and I’m happy to share a couple that I’ve that have really made me and the clients I work with super efficient.

[00:25:47] Steve Fretzin: What are a couple of the legal tech tools that you sort of embrace that have helped you serve your clients better and save your firm time. 

[00:25:56] Karl Seelbach: Yeah. So I will say I’m still in the research and testing phase. So the ones that I’m going to mention haven’t, I have not fully deployed them firm wide. I, I plan to later this year, probably after the summer, but the ones that I like that I have been using and seeing kind of how well they work.

[00:26:12] Karl Seelbach: One is one of the most common. It’s the one that everybody’s heard of. It’s chat GPT. Um, now it’s, you know, it’s an enterprise license, so it has some privacy protections built into it. It’s not free. It’s paid. Uh, which I would highly recommend for legal professionals to pay the extra money and set up an enterprise license.

[00:26:29] Karl Seelbach: So I use, I will call that light drafting, helping me draft letters, helping me draft emails, helping me draft objections to discovery responses. You know, I will often have an idea of, you know, the gist of what my objection is, but I can now just say that, either dictate it or type it in real quick, and GPT cranks out a pretty decent objection that I can just drop in.

[00:26:51] Karl Seelbach: To my discovery, so I’ll literally have GPT up on one half of my screen, Microsoft Word up on the other, and I’ll just use it for helping. I don’t use it, and I don’t recommend using it, for anything related to citing the law, or a case, or a statute. At least in my testing, it, you know, continues to hallucinate on cases.

[00:27:12] Karl Seelbach: Now, maybe it’s gotten better. I haven’t tested that in several months. Um, you know, they just released the 0 model. So maybe that’s improved it. I don’t know. Yeah. Um, another one that I’m. But 

[00:27:23] Steve Fretzin: that’s, but that’s definitely a check your work situation. Don’t you, you can leverage it, but don’t count on it. I think that’s a fair way to say it.

[00:27:29] Karl Seelbach: Yeah. I mean, I think of it as the same way. I just talked to another attorney about this concept of what, if anything, should the state bar in Texas issue with regard to the rules on AI. And I said, well, either encouraging attorneys to use it or nothing like attorneys are responsible for the work product that they file with the court, right?

[00:27:47] Karl Seelbach: You should be, you can’t rely on just like you can’t rely on a legal secretary or a paralegal to draft something and you don’t file it without vetting it, checking it, making sure you’re familiar with the facts. You’re familiar with the law. I mean, the same should be true for a, I, you shouldn’t just file something that I drafted without vetting.

[00:28:05] Karl Seelbach: You know, what it says and making sure you’re comfortable with the cases. The other one that I’ve used that I like quite a bit, there’s two, one is case text has a, an AI feature co counsel, that’s the name of it. You know, they required by Thomson Reuters. So hopefully that ends up. And I don’t know, sometimes large companies acquire startups and it sours, but we’ll see, we’ll keep it, we’ll be positive and hope that that ends up really well for, for the product.

[00:28:31] Karl Seelbach: But 1 looks very promising and, you know, you don’t have to worry about hallucinations as much if at all with their tool. And so you can add legal questions and get pretty darn good answers with case law and, you know, statute, citing and support. Lexus AI, I thought was pretty good quality as well. When I test, I haven’t decided which of those two I’m going to roll.

[00:28:53] Karl Seelbach: One of those two, we will roll out at my firm, probably. Case text, because we already have their base subscription. So this would be an add on to add co counsel, but Lexis AI was really good too. I liked it when I tested it. You know, obviously we use scribe for depositions at my firm. That’s, you know, the company that I co founded scribe.

[00:29:11] Karl Seelbach: ai and it’s fantastic in all sorts of ways. I say that. Obviously as the founder, I’m drinking a little bit of my own Kool Aid, but I’m also using the tool. So I think that adds a different perspective, probably a really healthy perspective. Um, I’m on a weekly basis testing some of our new features, giving the dev team feedback on.

[00:29:34] Karl Seelbach: What I like, what I don’t like before it ever ends up in the hands of any of our customers. So, yeah. And for your listeners who have may never heard of scribe, you know, scribe has basically two product live and library scribe live is a non stenographic alternative to old fashioned court reporting. So instead of hiring a stenographer to sit there and type on a funky looking keyboard via record everything, it’s recorded in a redundant way and very secure.

[00:30:02] Karl Seelbach: And then it is transcribed with, um, ASR, automated speech recognition, and then proofread by a professional transcriptionist and legally formatted. So you end up with a very high quality formatted transcript video, um, for about half the price of what a court reporting agency charges. And you get, you get the access to the video synced, uh, record.

[00:30:27] Karl Seelbach: Uh, the same day as the deposition and then you get the final transcript within five days. So it’s also very fast. 

[00:30:34] Steve Fretzin: Nice. Nice. Well, really cool stuff, man. Great legal tech and let’s wrap up with our game changing, uh book, which is Unreasonable hospitality and I have not heard of that. So I was very curious what that was all about 

[00:30:48] Karl Seelbach: Yeah, so that is by Will Guidara.

[00:30:50] Karl Seelbach: He, I may have butchered his last name, but it was, I really enjoyed that book. It’s about the restaurant 11 Madison Park, uh, in New York. And it’s taking the perspective of kind of the general manager and the chef who worked there as well, of this really nice restaurant that he wanted it to be one of the top.

[00:31:10] Karl Seelbach: Well, then when he first joined it, it certainly wasn’t. And so obviously the way to do that was to elevate the food, which they did, right. We hired a really great chef and quality. The food went up significantly, put them over the top and they ended up becoming one of the top, if not the top ranked restaurant in the world.

[00:31:29] Karl Seelbach: Was this concept of unreasonable hospitality and the story that he, one of the stories, many stories that he tells in that book is it’s, it’s the little things that sometimes can have a really big impact on. A client or a customer and so the example that he gives in the book that resonated with me at least was one of the waitstaff overheard a family talking about they had this great trip to new york they did this and that and but you know, and they were headed to the airport they left their suitcases with the with the host but they didn’t get a chance to have one of those hot dogs from the hot dog stand and they just they wish they could grab the hot dog when they were in new york.

[00:32:12] Karl Seelbach: And so the way the waiter heard this. Immediately went to the manager, told him. And said, hey, could we run out really quickly and get one of these hot dogs from one of the hot dog stands and bring it in? And so they quickly ran it by the chef and who said, okay, we’ll do it. They run out. They get this hot dog.

[00:32:29] Karl Seelbach: They bring it back. They slice it up, you know, kind of dress it real fancy, you know, like a chef, my dining restaurant, and they bring it out and the family was just like blowing away, you know, it’s something that they’ll talk about for probably, you know, years and years and it cost the restaurant. What? 15 at a time.

[00:32:49] Steve Fretzin: Right. Right. I love that. I love that. Well, it’s, it is a little things that we, we need to go sometimes above and beyond to, uh, to make an impact. Awesome stuff. Hey, as we wrap up, Carl, we got to thank our sponsors. Love Laumatics, great automation tool. Uh, Processing contracts for keeping in touch with your database, you know, working with your current practice management system.

[00:33:12] Steve Fretzin: Of course, get staffed up. We’re looking at, you know, talking about, you know, VAs and delegating. No one better than get staffed up. And, and Carl, if people wanna get in touch with you, either for the legal side or for the scribe AI side, what, what are the best digits for them to reach you 

[00:33:26] Karl Seelbach: so they can reach me?

[00:33:27] Karl Seelbach: I’m gonna give the shorter email ’cause it’s probably the easier one to remember. carl@scribe.ai. So that’s with a K. Carl with a K. And scribe with a K. carl@scribe.ai. Yep. Shoot me an email on either side. I’m happy to talk. Whatever legal tech. I also love law firm management, marketing stuff, so happy to share ideas or make referrals, you know, however I can help and any of your listeners that are interested in trying scribe for a deposition or uploading a past deposition because the library product is for audio and video files, getting them transcribed and then clipping them and we have an AI tool coming out very soon that will help analyze them.

[00:34:04] Karl Seelbach: Be happy to give your listeners, uh, their first, uh, deposition, 500 off their first deposition or their first upload. If they mention your name, 

[00:34:12] Steve Fretzin: Hey, all right. Mention my name. Um, awesome, man. Thanks so much for coming on the show and sharing your wisdom. Um, just, uh, a lot of great, you know, things that lawyers can, you know, that you’ve sort of figured out over time and some, some pain, right.

[00:34:26] Steve Fretzin: Uh, that they can emulate and they can improve. And that’s what it’s all about. Uh, so thanks so much, Carl. 

[00:34:31] Karl Seelbach: Thank you. Appreciate you having me on. 

[00:34:33] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Yeah. And thank you everybody for hanging out with Carl and I today on the Be That Lawyer with Fretzin podcast, uh, helping you to continue to be that lawyer.

[00:34:40] Steve Fretzin: Someone who’s confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. Take care everybody. Be safe. Be well. We’ll talk again soon.

[00:34:49] Narrator: Thanks for listening to Be That Lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website Fretzin. com for additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and more. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.