I recently watched a video where the speaker lays out this framework whereby companies can connect with their employees and customers through their defined purpose. That got me thinking and questioning everything I’ve been doing since I started Precise Legal. It forced me to look deeply at why I started the company and, ultimately, my purpose.
I started in this industry almost 20 years ago. Like most of us, I found my way into the legal industry by accident. After college, I got a part-time job at a law firm. It was a ground floor, entry-level position, but from that vantage point, I learned so much. Consequently, I am so grateful for that time and opportunity. The focus was paper services, but very quickly, it moved to eDiscovery. Over time the complexity and volume of evidence involved in cases ballooned, but looking back, one thing that stands out to m: the how’s changed over time, but not the why.
From that job, I’ve moved through several other positions and companies in this space: court reporting, litigation support, hosting, and document review services. I eventually found my passion in sales. As I look back, I understand that my real passion was service. I was helping people solve problems and assisting attorneys in fighting for their clients. Many companies in this space have focused on being “big.” This new focus inadvertently causes some to lose focus on what matters: it’s not about technology and scale; it’s not about hundreds of reviewers or “margin contributions.” It’s about helping attorneys advocate for their clients. Technology is only a how- not a why.
Don’t get me wrong. Providing the right tools and technology options to support the needs of our clients is precisely what Precise Legal does. We are a legal technology service provider. However, our goal is never to lose our personal touch or underestimate the power of a solution tailored to a specific need. We aren’t a company with one or two investment-driven products claiming to solve 100% of our customers’ problems. Instead, we are a company that’s always looking to add the right tools to our technology toolbox. When our customers need help, we can bring the right people and technology solutions, not just push the products we built or bought. That’s not what drives us: whether big or large, our investments should always be of service to our customers, not become our customers’ problems.
All this brings me back to my “why” for starting Precise Legal four years ago. At the time, I’d seen and been a part of lots of mergers, buyouts, and acquisitions in this industry. Companies actively worked to achieve scale: increasing their economies of scale by standardizing people, processes, and technology in particular ways. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t have an issue with a company focusing on its bottom line. Still, when the goal stops being about the customers’ needs and starts being about external forces and actors, I think we lose something significant. We lose our purpose: helping our customers be the best advocates for their clients they can be.
As the founder of Precise Legal, it is essential to ensure our purpose is a part of our company’s DNA. Therefore, I designed our core principles to reflect what I’ve learned over the years:
- Service First: We are here to help. Our customers act to benefit their clients. We help them realize the higher purpose of making them the best advocates for their clients by being of service to them.
- Listen Deeply: So much gets lost in the quick calls and emails. Slow down, ask questions and understand the customer’s request before acting.
- Act Boldly: Our customers hire us to help them. Make sure that we are doing just that. Offer them solutions, alternative options, best practices, and ways forward, then execute. We would rather be known for our actions in service of our clients than inaction.
These are the principles we live by and why we continue to grow and provide value for our customers.
Founder, Precise Legal