Just say the words to cut the cost of legal administration
Tim Bishop, senior partner of the Bonallack and Bishop solicitors group shares his account of why he decided to move to Dragon speech recognition and what the outcome has been...
"We love the Dragon software provided by Exonera".
Why did I start using it?
At least 10 years ago now as a solicitor producing a lot of paperwork, and at that stage being a ham fisted typist, I relied heavily on my secretary. However, I was left without a regular secretary for an extended period and necessity being the mother of invention I decided to give Dragon a go.
I was amazed it worked straight out of the box. Ever since then I have produced ALL of my own typing -- which has saved me a small fortune in support staff wages and gives me complete and immediate control over my paperwork.
When I originally started using Dragon, and I did take on a new assistant, she was happy too -- I designed an entirely new role for her which didn’t involve any typing or dictation at all.
I no longer run legal cases myself, but as the owner of a law firm with around 65 staff, I do produce a huge number of emails and other documentation – all dictated on Dragon
What about outsourcing typing?
Before Dragon, some of my dictation was sent to India to get typed. With Dragon, however, there's no need. Moreover, by the time I got the typing back, a few days later, it inevitably had mistakes, and I had to spend time correcting it and trying to remember what I was writing in the first place. Hopelessly inefficient. Why bother sending typing out when you can instantly do your own, more accurately and without additional cost. Really why does anyone bother outsourcing dictation?
But how does it really compare to a fast typist? Surely, they are quicker and more accurate?
Good question – so I decided to test it. I found an online typing test and got one of my trainee solicitors, who is actually a really fast typist to take the test – and I did it using Dragon. He took three different tests, one minute, three minute and five minutes, and his results were pretty good – fast at between 70 and 87 words per minute with between 97.4% and 98.4% accuracy. I was impressed. Now admittedly I do speak quickly, but he was amazed with my results on the same test. I managed 160 words per minute at 99% using Dragon.
How Dragon has saved me lots of money
It’s simple – it’s reduced the need for secretaries. Plus 10 years before the lockdown made working from home essential, it allowed me and many of my lawyers to spend days working from home -- resulting in higher work output, and happier lawyers with a much better work/life balance.
How easy is using Dragon?
Very - you can get Dragon running highly successfully after just 15 minutes, although to make the most of Dragon, I would recommend professional training. Exonera showed us Dragon's full capabilities by creating personalised commands and generally passing on their expertise during the one to one training sessions.
Why isn't everyone using Dragon?
I have absolutely no idea. Using Dragon is just a no-brainer. It's simply the world’s best kept business secret.
What’s the downside to Dragon?
Like any typing, you need to proof read. And you can’t rely on spellcheck – because Dragon always spells words perfectly. But even with training, it does sometimes type the wrong word. My favourite mistake was some years ago, when I was about to send an email out to various business contacts inviting them to wine tasting. Fortunately, I proofread in time and made the appropriate correction – or else I would have invited them to “a urine testing”. Honestly!
Tim Bishop owns Salisbury solicitors Bonallack and Bishop.
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