Written by Marc Chia | Edited by Amelia Chew

Legal marketing platform Asia Law Network recently launched an end-to-end practice management solution for lawyers called Tessaract. In line with the industry push for adoption of legal tech, most recently through the Tech Start For Law Programme, the ALN team is offering a special limited time promotion of only $10 per user per month until 31 October 2018 for law firms. The promotional price represents a drastic fall in cost of adoption even before taking into consideration the availability of grants or subsidies.

What is Tessaract

Tessaract is one of the four practice management solutions featured by the Law Society of Singapore, alongside CLIO, Affinity and CoreMatter. Each system supports the day-to-day operations of legal practice in varying ways.

Tessaract purports to handle all aspects of legal practice starting from the first meeting with a client all the way till billing is completed. Tessaract’s cloud-based solution not only includes workflow management, client management, and knowledge management but also includes a whole suite of tools such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR) functionality and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls, designed to address the most most pressing pain points of law firms.

Despite the seemingly impressive suite of features, the team is pressing forward with making more functionalities available for lawyers. Testing is already underway on an integrated full-fledged accounting module for Tessaract that might just make this the one-stop solution for a law firm’s core tech needs.  

Why Tessaract?

It would appear at first glance that the practice management solution bears no real relation to Asia Law Network’s mission to make legal advice affordable and accessible across the region. Is Tesseract simply a completely different product designed for legal professionals rather than to help those in need of legal aid? We certainly thought so. However, we found there is more to it than meets the eye.

Tessaract’s story begins with Asia Law Network’s curated S$49 Quick Consult service. This allows the public to quickly request a 15-minute consultation with a lawyer to answer specific legal queries. However, when lawyers came back with feedback that there were too many Quick Consults to handle, it got the team thinking that more was needed.

According to the Law Society of Singapore, there were 5191 lawyers in Singapore in 2017. In the same year there were 5,612,300 Singapore residents, putting the ratio of lawyers to residents at 1 per 1081 residents. By comparison, the UK’s lawyer to resident ratio is 1 per 459 and the lawyer to resident ratio in US stands at 1 per 245.

As Sharon Tan from the Client Success Team comments: “Access to justice is more than simply enabling the public to reach out to lawyers. Part of the question that needs to be answered is how we can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of legal practice so lawyers can handle more cases. We believe that technology has the potential to help streamline processes in a way that while effective and efficient, also makes legal practice more sustainable both physically and mentally for lawyers.”

This was the impetus behind the Asia Law Network developing the system behind its Quick Consult service and building it into a full-fledged practice management solution, handling processes that previously may have required several different solution providers. Despite this, the team is challenging perceptions of how much it costs to implement new tech in an old industry with its competitive pricing.

Is it time for Tessaract now?

The current #TessaractNow sales promotion makes Tessaract available at only SGD10 per user per month. In contrast, practice management software provider Clio will cost you USD59 (approximately SGD80) per user per month.* Clearly that is a significant difference which begs the question: Why?

As Anna Tantushyan from the Business Development Team puts it:

“Technology is meant to be an enabler. Price should not be the primary stumbling block when it comes to the choice of adoption. We would much rather law firms sit down unconcerned about price and instead look closely at their own internal processes. There is certainly much room for innovation and we want to be there to help lawyers and their clients ensure quicker, better service in a sustainable way.”

Apart from the price alone, the team has shown their commitment to enabling their clients. We understand that the team has been constantly taking in feedback from its users, developing more functionalities off the feedback of its users. The upcoming integrated accounting module was a suggestion from a client that the team is now making a reality. Speaking fondly of the early adopters of Tesseract, Sharon shared that “Our partners have been invaluable in giving us feedback and helping focus our efforts to develop an end-to-end solution. We view every law firm that signs up with us as a valued partner and we have and will continue to work together with them in developing solutions for the future.”

With more and more legal tech solutions coming into play within the Asian market, Tessaract’s approach to development and pricing based on enabling access to justice and sustainability is certainly a refreshing take to the usual narrative focused on only effectiveness and efficiency. At only SGD10 per user per month, Tessaract looks to be a worthwhile investment for law firms looking to streamline and enhance their processes in the 21st century.

We wish the team the best of luck and look forward to hearing whether it truly is time for #TessaractNow.

Tessaract can be accessed at www.tessaract.io

*At the time of this article, pricing for other commonly used practice management software such as Affinity and CoreMatter were not publicly available.