Recently, I had the opportunity to ‘sit down’ with Brandon Fuller, co-founder of the legal services business Docketly, an ABC Legal company.
What Drove you to Found Docketly?
An accomplished software developer, Brandon previously worked on Unified Communication as a Service (UCaaS) and video conferencing applications such as Latitude, MeetingPlace and BlueJeans. Having an entrepreneurial drive and enthusiasm for software development, Brandon recognized a demand that wasn’t being met in the legal market at that time.In 2010 technology was heavily influencing and changing the workforce. “The digital, internet revolution hadn’t hit the legal services space yet,” says Brandon. “Companies were still coordinating these types of services with fax machines, phone calls, spreadsheets and emails, making this type of legal service very limited.” He goes on to explain, “Law firms and agencies that practice primarily in creditor’s rights, needed a better, more efficient way to schedule and retain high quality attorneys to attend short procedural hearings in multiple jurisdictions, across different locations.” Partnering his software development background with an attorney/business partner, Brandon modeled Docketly after the rapidly growing gig economy in 2011. Brandon states, “Docketly’s primary focus is in local appearance counsel, regulatory compliance, and information security. Here, attorneys could easily benefit from working in a gig marketplace.”
Gig Economy and its impact on the Legal Service Industry
A recent study quoted at Forbes.com by Mastercard and Kaiser Associates released in May of this year anticipates "double-digit annual growth for the industry over the next five years." The obvious shift to a digital world--from food delivery, transportation, pet grooming, real estate and yes, legal services shows the massive scale that technology brings to the gig economy. Thanks to technology and emerging digital platforms, freelance workers are finding it easier to work from anywhere, anytime. While the gig economy was originally driven by ride-sharing services, traditional full-time employees in expanding markets are trading in historically stable work situations for the freedom and flexibility provided in the gig economy. It’s important to note that over one third of US workers (approximately 57 million) work in the gig economy.
Technology is the driving force behind Docketly – with a smartphone and a data plan, attorneys could work from just about anywhere. “When it comes to the gig economy, legal is no longer left out,” says Brandon. He further points out, “By enabling attorneys to sign up for stand-in, freelance work with Docketly, they manage their cases using the mobile app, texts and push notifications, all while maintaining a flexible schedule.”
What is Docketly's position in the legal service market?
Today, Docketly is the nation’s leading appearance counsel provider, offering proprietary software solutions and in-house technical support. Docketly has enabled a workforce of more than 15,400 on-call attorneys across the U.S. capable of providing legal counsel when and where it’s needed for customers--mainly law firms representing creditors and banks. In 2015, Docketly was recognized as one of the fastest growing private companies by .
Docketly’s ability to take attorney services to the gig marketplace, similar to the way ABC Legal offers process of service through it’s process servers and their unique mobile app, meant Docketly and ABC Legal “created a perfect marriage of nationwide legal services addressing the entire value chain of a lawsuit,” states Steve Carrigan, Chief Executive Officer at ABC Legal Services. Capturing the attention of ABC Legal Services, the companies completed a merger in 2019. “By combining these services under one legal umbrella, we are able to enrich the services we offer our clients. We can easily track cases through their entirety ensuring full value, transparency and accuracy in regards to compliance and regulations,” Carrigan explains.
How does Docketly fit under the ABC Legal umbrella?
As ABC Legal and Docketly progress towards the future, Carrigan sees, “a greater ability to bundle our services and offerings to customers by providing nationwide, comprehensive access to a variety of data and legal services.” Brandon sees this union as an opportunity to become the “market leader of legal services where we can add value and service all of our customers legal needs, providing them access to data through an integrated software as a service platform for the legal industry.”
John Elvert, appearance council for Docketly in Festus, Missouri states, “The best part of my job is the flexibility. I can make my own schedule, and maintain a healthy work-life balance”. When I asked John his thoughts on the advantages of pairing Docketly legal services with those provided by ABC Legal, he responded, “The bottom line is that effective appearance representation is of utmost importance. Being adaptable (as ABC Legal and Docketly are), and able to handle both the virtual and the in person appearances provides greater overall service to our clients.”
Together, ABC Legal and Docketly form a synergy, allowing the lifecycle of a case to be controlled on a custom built digital platform through the gig economy. Realizing they can do better together, Brandon’s daily objective remains committed to his roots in software development. Maintaining technical leadership of Docketly’s services and applications, he’s built a great team and company culture and opened new opportunities and services for both ABC Legal and Docketly clients alike.
About ABC Legal Services
ABC Legal is the nation’s leading process of service and court filing company and is the official process server to the U.S. Department of Justice. Docketly is a subsidiary of ABC Legal providing stand-in appearance council on a digital, custom built platform that smoothly integrates with our applications and services. ABC Legal’s applications are cloud-based and compatible for use on desktop, browser and smartphones. Our solutions and digital approach ensure process server partners, law firm customers, and their clients save valuable time and resources when serving legal notices safely and with maximum compliance, control and transparency. ABC Legal is based in Seattle, WA with more than 2,000 process servers throughout the U.S., as well as internationally in more than 75 countries. To learn more about ABC Legal, our solutions and subsidiary company Docketly, visit www.abclegal.com.
Written byTonya Hottmann