‘I loved the simplicity!’: the Anderson Lloyd team reflect on building in-house automation tools

Anderson Lloyd are pretty big fans of Josef’s Designer & Builder Program

Legaltech enthusiasts worldwide are continuing to enrol in Josef’s Designer & Builder Program (DBP). With interests in legal design, automation, UX and more, participants from students to seasoned law firm partners are carving out new, innovative spaces in the world of legal services.

We spoke with lawyers Elizabeth Bing & Madison Martin and Applications Trainer Mel Black from New Zealand law firm Anderson Lloyd to learn about their experience with the program. We were curious… what did they build and more importantly, why?


Describe your experience with the program

Elizabeth Bing:  I loved the simplicity! It was so easy to pick up for someone from a non-coding background and it encouraged me that I could do it.

Mel Black: Josef was really easy to use, so you didn’t need to be an IT expert to create a useful bot. I really enjoyed the process of putting a bot together, and testing the different functions within Josef to see what they could do.

Madison Martin: I enjoyed building the bot, and figuring out how the different links and instructions could fit together.

What bots did you build and why?

Elizabeth Bing: A chatbot for compliance. I found myself answering the same questions or constantly having to flick through guidelines for an answer. I programmed 3 bots to have all the answers and to point users in the correct direction.

Mel Black: My bot will form part of Anderson Lloyd’s revamped on-boarding and induction process for new staff which is currently being developed. This bot is a Microsoft Office Survey which will be used to assess the level of experience new staff have with various functions in Microsoft Outlook, Excel and Word. […] We will use the [bot] to help identify any gaps in knowledge which we can then fill by providing individualised training.

Madison Martin: I built a practice client intake bot. The practice bot was intended to be used by new or existing clients who would either like to update their existing will and/or enduring powers of attorney, or those clients who need these documents prepared from scratch.

“At the end of the program you could see [...] how you could use automation to save time, improve processes, and generally make work life easier.”
– Mel Black, Applications trainer
Elizabeth Bing, Lawyer

Elizabeth Bing, Lawyer

Bot built: IRD NZ Compliance

Mel Black, Applications trainer

Mel Black, Applications trainer

Bot built: MS Office Survey

Madison Martin, Lawyer

Madison Martin, Lawyer

Bot built: Will and Enduring Powers of Attorney

Tell us a little more about your builds

Elizabeth Bing: By having a bot that has all the answers, it gives a consistent answer that is approved by a partner which saves me time and other users when it comes to answers about compliance.

Mel Black: We developed a list of skills we think new staff will need to know and incorporated those into the bot. New staff will receive a link to the bot. It will ask for the name, position and start date, then ask them to indicate their experience with each of the skills listed using the following scale: 1 = Little or no experience, 2 = Moderately experienced, 3 = Highly experienced.  Each section (Outlook, Excel, and Word) calculates a score which will give us a general indication of skill level based on points. But the most important part of the bot is that it sends us a one page report at the end showing an overview of the answers provided throughout the survey, scores for each section of the survey, and an overall score. 

Madison Martin: The idea behind the practice bot is it could benefit workflow, by getting clients to undertake an interactive questionnaire with basic questions about these documents, and then their answers would then be sent to the legal team to review. This bot would help maximise the effectiveness of the legal teams’ first in person or telephone contact with the client, as the team member would already have a basic idea of what the client is going to require and can then ask more directed questions around this.

What would you say to those interested in doing the DBP?

Elizabeth Bing: [The program is] eye-opening. It will change the way you work and how you think about work.

Mel Black: At the end of the program you could see possibilities on how you could use automation to save time, improve processes, and generally make work life easier. I’m looking forward to using Josef again on a more complex automation project.

Madison Martin: The program makes automation fun, and it is really great because no background in any automation or coding is required. The bot builder is easy to use and the Josef team have developed a step-by step module system to guide users along the way.

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