Finkelstein & Partners

Finkelstein and Partners Deploys RingCentral to Offer Legal Counsel From Home Without Interruption
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We moved to RingCentral because of the ability to natively connect into Salesforce at a price point that made sense to us.

Franz Kistner

CTO, Finkelstein & Partners
Most law firms, especially personal injury firms, like to settle their clients’ cases out of court. To bring a case to trial can be costly and last for months, leaving many firms to suggest their clients take a settlement. But Finkelstein and Partners Law Firm, led by Andrew Finkelstein, is anything but typical, fighting for their customers to get what they deserve, even if it means going to trial.
In addition to his preference for trials, Finkelstein promotes a technology-driven workplace that is further ahead than most. In an attempt to reduce their carbon footprint, the firm allows some remote work and keeps digital files, in an otherwise paper-heavy industry.
The firm’s CTO, Franz Kistner, is responsible for the technology needs of more than 300 employees across several firms in the New York and Tri-state area. When the time came to retire their 30-year old case management system with a new Salesforce-integrated option, Franz also wanted a cloud-based telephone platform that would sync with Salesforce to simplify their communications. But he struggled to find a solution that was either in their price range or could combine the integrations the firms needed.

After some research, Franz learned of RingCentral’s Salesforce integration as well as the complete suite of cloud-based features and technology their staff could use to work remotely. Their implementation began as most would, but once the shelter-in-place policies from coronavirus began to unfold, Finkelstein’s firms transitioned their teams to work remotely rather quickly. Thankfully, they had the technology mostly in place and just needed to train their employees. But even with a new system, there will always be hiccups you can’t predict, as the firm realized they still needed to physically solve for notarization of legal documents.
The bulk of their legal documents require in-person witnesses and notaries to sign off on the validity of the files. To solve the inability to see a client sign a document, Finkelstein’s team deployed RingCentral Video to enable “in-person” meetings between clients and attorneys to personally witness signings for notarizations.

“When you prepare for trial, there are a lot of legal documents. We started utilizing DocuSign, which has an electronic notarization feature, and now RingCentral Video allows us to get permission and see the clients sign the documents,” Kistner said.

RingCentral Enables Firm to Communicate at their Fingertips

In addition to the videoconferencing, Franz appreciated the cloud phone system for their employees spread across multiple office locations during a time when everyone began to work from home. Because of their RingCentral offering, they were able to implement a cost-effective solution that combined telephone capabilities, video and communications all from the cloud.
“We’re using the team messaging feature, the softphones and RingCentral Video. Everyone has a phone, and if they don’t need all the features, at a minimum they have an app with their home computers. They can make and receive calls, do joint conference calls, and get voice messages. Everyone converted to the new system within just a couple of days,” Kistner said.

New Telecommunications Systems is Easier than Employees Imagined

Prior to the mandatory work from home, a majority of the firm employees weren’t immediately comfortable with remote work and the technology that enables it. But now, between the supervisors and staff, there is a new level of comfort with the systems.
“Although I didn’t have a desk phone before, there were probably only 20% of the staff who would have been comfortable without one, prior to our migration,” Franz said.
Because so many had to work from their homes, he was grateful for the smooth implementation, minus a few minor issues, which his implementation team solved rather quickly. Franz also credits RingCentral for helping bring his teams out of their comfort zones to really take advantage of the opportunities remote technology can solve.

“Before we had RingCentral, it would have started a small revolution to take away phones from their desks. But now, after having everyone work from home and using these tools, they’re more familiar with them,” he said. “Within a week, everybody knew how to install the app on their mobile devices and had the applications on their PCs at home,” Kistner said.
Migrating to RingCentral worked out well beyond my expectations.

Franz Kistner

CTO, Finkelstein & Partners

Remote Tools Inspire Trust Across the Tri-State Area

In addition to the technology success, the level of trust that exists between the firm’s employees is high, in part to the continued productivity of staff without physically being in the same space. Finkelstein is a believer that just because he can’t see his team in the same room, they don’t need to be in the office full-time to prove they are working. To further reduce his carbon footprint after the pandemic ends, he is encouraging his attorneys and staff to alternate working from home and coming into the office.

The firms now stay in touch with social calls over video, something they’d never done prior to their move to RingCentral. In fact, there are teams who enjoy virtual social happy hours to continue to use RingCentral Video and get to know them without the pressure of the client on the other side. With everyone working from home, they have become more comfortable with the technology, something Franz hopes they’ll continue to use long into the future.

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