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An approach for inclusivity:

This law firm’s tech solutions help every team member stay productive

The facts

The customer
Hall Booth Smith, P.C, USA
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Philips partner
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Fast-paced, demanding and competitive are words often used to describe working in the legal field. It’s simply the nature of the industry – firms are challenged to meet ever-expanding client expectations and an accelerated pace of business. 

Therefore, it’s critical to utilize innovative tools to do so, and to enable every member of the team to be as productive as possible. Here we explore how Atlanta-based law firm, Hall Booth Smith (HBS), achieved that through a commitment to inclusivity and collaboration with a trusted technology partner. 

New tools for increased agility

Founded in 1989, Hall Booth Smith has grown over time to include 18 offices across the Southeast. Members of the firm’s administration and IT teams had worked with Philips Dictation for many years, and when their longtime voice technology consultants, Jim Payne from Milner and Tim Palmer from Speech Processing Solutions, approached them with a new dictation software solution, firm administrator Cathey Turner and IT director, Randy Hooper were intrigued. “What really appealed to me about the SpeechLive solution is that we wouldn’t have to install a program – all anyone needs is a web browser,” she explains. 

Flexible and compatible with a wide spectrum of commonly used office applications, SpeechLive made an immediate positive impact on the firm’s workflow efficiency. Being cloud-enabled, the SpeechLive solution also offered a way to securely share and store data with no burden on Hall Booth Smith’s IT teams for software support and management. “We did a pilot with 10 users and instantly realized how quick, easy and simple it was to install, use and maintain, so we quickly expanded our implementation,” Turner says. “This put us ahead of the game when soon after adopting SpeechLive, most of our staff began working remotely due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.” 

What really appealed to me about the SpeechLive solution is that we wouldn’t have to install a program – all anyone needs is a web browser.

Cathey Turner
Firm Administrator

Empowering the vision impaired

Inclusivity and diversity are a part of Hall Booth Smith’s culture and heritage, inextricably woven into the very fabric of the firm. And that’s why they took their implementation of SpeechLive even further. While most of the team was able to take advantage of using the solution right away, some creative thinking was needed to make the solution work for Scott Cruce, one of the firm’s legal secretaries. Cruce’s extensive industry experience, unflagging positivity and professionalism make him one of the standouts in the firm’s team – and he also happens to be blind. 

To complete his transcription work, Cruce had been using alternate transcription software in tandem with Freedom Scientific’s JAWS screen reader and navigation program, which is designed to help the vision-impaired navigate the Internet, read and write documents, create presentations, and more using key strokes. Palmer worked with Cruce to employ another innovative Philips solution, SpeechExec Pro Transcribe, to enable Cruce to use commands and keyboard shortcuts to navigate through different parts of the firm’s systems and attorneys’ digital dictation folders. “The implementation with Hall Booth Smith demonstrates one of the advantages of SpeechLive,” says Palmer. “It’s extremely flexible and agile, so we were able to easily add SpeechExec Pro Transcribe to make the solution work for Scott. It was very educational to work with him, collaborating to discover how we can make sure technology serves everyone on the team.”

Enhanced workflows, improved efficiency 

As he uses the combined SpeechLive and JAWS solution more, Cruce says he is certain it will become second nature, but he has already seen significant benefits. For example, instant notifications alert him via email when there are recordings ready for transcription: “With SpeechLive, I don’t need to go into a separate program to know I have dictations to pick up. No matter what else I may be doing or what other programs I might have open, I get automatically notified, so I can be sure I haven’t missed any.” 

“The SpeechLive solution also locks dictations when another team member is accessing it, and it indicates if transcription has already been completed,” Cruce continues. “The system I had previously used would allow more than one person to be working on a transcription at the same time, so this is a huge enhancement in terms of mitigating human error and avoiding duplicated efforts or wasted time.” 

Cruce is able to output finished documents, whether they be memos, letters or any other format, and quickly get them back to the appropriate attorney or legal secretary. In a field such as law where authoring, editing and filing various documents represents a substantial portion of a firm’s work product, it is clear why these types of automated features are so crucial to operational efficiency and optimized throughput. 

To Cruce, this successful implementation is illustrative of the commitment of the Milner and Philips team. “I truly appreciate the enthusiasm Jim, Tim, and the Philips support staff have brought to addressing accessibility issues, and the responsiveness they’ve had in working with me to make the transition to SpeechLive successful,” says Cruce. Turner agrees wholeheartedly: “The Milner and Philips teams have been very invested in making SpeechLive work for the visually impaired and helping us uphold our standards for speed, accuracy and productivity. Our firm is truly a family, and we want every member of that family to have the opportunity to do their best – Scott is a star player, and this solution helps empower him as a high performer while our business evolves.”

More satisfied customers

“With SpeechExec Enterprise, the way we work in and outside the firm has massively improved. Using speech recognition, we no longer have an overflowing pile of dictations, our team members‘ work speed has significantly increased, and we are also on the safe side when it comes to data privacy.“

Andreas Nörr, IT and data privacy expert, Möller Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB, Rosenheim

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“Solutions like SpeechLive are the wave of the future. We got up and running with minimal training and we can make changes and adjustments as needed very easily.“

Julie A. Gorney Manager, Information Technologies

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“This mobile way of working can be efficiently handled with the Philips SpeechExec Enterprise solution. The site managers dictate on the construction sites and the documents are transferred online. This makes us much faster than before and makes it easier for us to prioritize customer requests.“

Marco Strittmatter, Master Plasterer and Site Manager, Soyez Stuckateur GmbH

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“The evolution to SpeechLive has been extremely smooth, and accomplished with very minimal training.“

Gale Kicinski, Records Administrative Supervisor, Port Huron Police Department

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