Documentation

VrtuLaw works on desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

Create an account

Create your account on vrtulaw.com by signing up for a free trial of the Creator account. You’ll be able to use your Creator account free for 14 days with no credit card required. 

On sign up, we’ll ask for your name, email address and let you create a password. From there, you’ll create your first team and set your organization.


Let’s get started!


Visit vrtulaw.com and click on Start Creating.


Enter your email address, name and set a password, then click Sign Up.


The next screen lets you set up your first team and set your organization. This step is important as it creates a permissions network. 


A quick primer on permissions:

As the the person creating the organization and team, you’re both the initial Creator account and Administrator for your team. These can be changed at any point, so don’t sweat over it! 

Your team is anyone who works with you towards the end goal for the consumer - your client. Team members can be people like lawyers, legal assistants, business development managers, clerks, accounting team members, researchers and interns. 

When you create a team, you invite your colleagues in and set a role. This can be changed later, too! Roles help later in assigning work, so they’re just a general grouping. We call this initial team the Org Team, as it’s the team connected to everyone in your organization. You can just call this team “Everyone” if you’d like.

Members of your team are Contributors, who are:

  • Able to see and use any workflow Templates you create for them to contribute to for client and other projects
  • Connected to other people through team networks
  • Able to view project details for any Work they are assigned to
  • Able to view client Participant details for any Work they are assigned to

Clients and others who are outside your organization are Participants in the process. These may be individual acting for themselves, or on behalf of corporations. In both cases, Participants have limited access and can only see their own data.

Data for Participants is connected to their account within VrtuLaw, giving them control over their own information. Access to Participant data is then granted to the legal Team which needs it in order to complete service. Participant data is collected as needed through forms which create data points attached to the Participant account when the Participant requests a new service. When those data points are required to be viewed by an assigned legal professional, generate a document, send data through an API or some other necessary reason, that information is pulled from the Participant record.

Q: Can a person move between account levels?

A: Yes. Anyone can move freely between account levels. Data is attached to its owner’s user account and granted permission through Teams connected to Work, so any user can be any account level without it impacting the process.

  • A Creator can drop down to a Contributor if they don’t need to create templates 
  • A Contributor can drop down to the free Participant account 
  • A Participant who needs to run legal processes can become a Creator

Create a team

Team Name

Even if you work alone, create a team for your company. Team names aren’t visible outside of your team, so feel free to get creative! You can just name your team “Everyone” or “Team XYZ” too, if that’s more your jam.


Organization Name

Enter your company’s name here. If you’re just playing around with VrtuLaw for yourself, you can enter your own name as the Organization name.

Note: The Organization name is used in the default email templates to identify what law firm or organization is doing work for a client. It can be updated anytime by going to Settings and then clicking Organization.



Invite colleagues

Now that you’ve created your organization and first team, you can invite your colleagues. Enter their details, and we’ll send them an invitation.

We collect their name and role at this step so you can get started assigning them tasks and work. Each user will be able to update their own name and other details from their own account once they register.

We will send your colleague an email, inviting them to collaborate with you on VrtuLaw. The email will say something like:

“Your colleague Jasmine invites you to the VrtuLaw platform.Click on the link to proceed to registration”

Once you’ve added anyone who you’ll be working with, or if you don’t want to add anyone right now, click Continue to VrtuLaw.

Using VrtuLaw 

Whether you’re working solo or have a team with you, VrtuLaw can help you manage your work better. 

Overview

After creating an account, you will be taken to the Overview page. 

The overview page is just like it sounds - an overview of your work, tasks and account.

In the centre of the screen is a section for messages from VrtuLaw to help you use it most effectively. These cards will update any time we have important information from you. It also has our contact info (which is support@vrtulaw.com, by the way!)

On the right side of the screen, click Getting Started to look at a quick checklist to get you going with VrtuLaw. Or, read on!


Work

Think of the Work tab like the home base for all your projects, whether that is client work or internal projects. 

 

Network

Your network contains the Organizations, Teams and People connected to you. Connections are made manually by inviting individuals into VrtuLaw, or automatically once a client purchases one of your legal products. 


Manually Adding a Participant 

If you have a client who is an individual, you can invite them to VrtuLaw by clicking Invite Participant. Enter the client’s email address and name. We’ll send them an email with an invitation to connect with you on VrtuLaw.


Manually Creating a Team or Organization

If your client is an organization, you’ll need to create their Organization in VrtuLaw before inviting individuals. 

Click the Create/Team Organization button and enter the corporate name for your client in Organization Name. Organizations can be external or internal and act as a team for anyone in that organization. 

Select the Create Team option to create sub-groups which connect individuals across organizations. Teams can consist of individuals from your organization and other individuals and Organizations within the VrtuLaw network. 

Once you have created a Team or Organization, click on the name to open the Team or Organization Information screen to invite individuals.



Tasks

Everyone works differently, so the Tasks screen contains three different views - Overview, List, Calendar and Tiles. 

Each screen displays your open, closed and upcoming tasks in different ways. Select the tab which suits your style best.

To see details of any task, click on its name. 

If the task is Upcoming, click Start to change its status to Open. When you’re done, click Finish.

You can have multiple tasks open at once. Tasks are how VrtuLaw looks at your costs, so if you find your task spans multiple days, you probably should break it into smaller tasks for better data. 

 

Create a New Task

To add a single task, click on Create New Task. You’re able to create an independent task for yourself or someone else, or connect the task to existing Work. 

Enter a task name and description. If you select existing Work, the task will be connected to your existing project and to the team assigned to that Work. Otherwise, the task will only appear for the person you assign the task to, whether yourself or someone else.

Tasks with Static Timing are like calendar entries - they have a defined start and end date and time. You can use these to block your time and for general activities you need to perform outside client work. These tasks stay in the Upcoming state until you Start the task.

Tasks with Variable timing are dormant until triggered by another task. This can be very powerful! Set when you would like the task to appear by selecting timing. For example, you can set a task to send an email to request a Google review to the client 1 day after a filing task is completed, or 0 minutes after a purchase step to act as a confirmation.



Reports

Rich reporting visualization features using any data input into VrtuLaw will be available soon. If you have suggestions for reports you’d like to see, let us know!


Templates

Templates are the basis for how VrtuLaw distributes and automates work. Creating a template allows you to create any workflow, email or document you need to create a standardized legal product.


Service Workflows

A workflow is a series of tasks which delegate aspects of a project. Tasks are assigned to people and technology resources and are set on a schedule determined by triggers within that workflow. 


Client Work

In the case of client work, a workflow will often begin with a trigger to create a project (matter/file/whatever your org calls client work) such as paying for the service on your website. Additional tasks would include things like:

  • Sending an email with a receipt and a message from you
  • Doing a conflict check to your existing CRM with an API call or webhook
  • Scheduling an appointment with on your calendar
  • Sending the client an intake form
  • Generating a document based on the client’s information, etc.

Internal Work

Work can also be assigned with your organization as the client, or even to certain departments within your company.

For example, if you are a corporate legal department, there will be several different areas of the corporation who may require your services - sales, customer success, partnerships, etc. Each of these departments has responsibility for their own budget, and you may have an internal process to ‘bill’ these departments for services you provide them.

In VrtuLaw, you can set up each department as its own Organization. When you select that Organization as the Participant of a particular Work project, you can set the colleagues who request those services from you as Participants. 

Like with a law firm website, you can direct your colleague Participants to an internal web page where they can request your services and trigger the appropriate workflow. Even if no currency is exchanged, you can use these type of workflows to make your internal legal processes easier and more collaborative.


Quick Start

Info coming soon.

 

Library

Info coming soon.

 

Emails

Much of the world still lives in email. Although VrtuLaw is designed to reduce your inbox size by containing work-related communication to the platform, sending emails is still a useful and necessary business tool.

VrtuLaw makes it easy for you to set up automated emails. A number of emails are set up and ready for you to add to tasks now. Click here to see a list of the currently available email templates and examples. 

In our next release, we’ll introduce you to our email creation tool. This tool will let you create email templates with dynamic fields, allowing you to insert any data fields you might need. This tool will help you create consistent, branded emails which keep your people updated automatically based on the conditions you set.


Forms

Using online forms is an easy way to collect information from relevant parties. 

This version of VrtuLaw uses Google Forms. Google Forms is a secure, private and feature-rich way to gather information which is usable by other applications.

For instructions on how to create a Google Form, click here. 

This is where it gets a bit messy (more for us than you, but you may be interested!). Google Forms creates a column which collects the response of each participant who fills our your form. These columns are data types which are then created in VrtuLaw, with the participant data for each being saved as well. 

In the first version of VrtuLaw, you are free to create any fields you need. This creates a data standardization issue for these initial form templates and the fields created from them. It means that we could end up with several version of the same field, which isn’t ideal from a data-cleanliness standpoint. We can easily change the field on our side later, but it does mean there will be additional work required do map things to each other.

There are a few ways to minimize this. The goal is to set out the standardized fields you may require. This is a task (for us!) with a lot of variation in area of law, jurisdiction, common language and other areas. We’re looking at sets of data standards, and want to ensure that we have as much interoperability as possible while maintaining as few duplicated fields. 

We’re also working on a Data Dictionary to help define these standard fields. 

If this is something you’re obsessed with, hit us up! We’d love if there was a data science community with interest in this area.


Q: Is data safe in Google?

A: Yep.


Documents

Our next releases of VrtuLaw will introduce two new features related to forms - one being a nocode form editor, and the other detailing an open source code initiative


Creating a Workflow Template

From the Templates tab, click on Create in the custom workflow section in the middle of your screen. 

There are two parts to creating a workflow template. The first part collects standardized information about your template in order to categorize it. The second part allows you to add and configure tasks for people and technology to perform in a sequence.


Create a Template

Template Name

The template name appears in several places both internally within VrtuLaw, and externally through publishing tools to your website, in emails and documents. The template name should describe the goal of a particular legal service or project.

  1. Canadian Trademark Application

Introductory Consultation

Residential Real Estate Purchase


Practice Area

Select the practice area for the legal product, and any specialization. This allows the product to be grouped with other products for the same practice areas.

If the project is not a legal product (for example, is contained to the marketing department or is an internal process), a selection is not required. You may wish to create a tag to group like projects - more on tags shortly!


Description

The description is a detailed overview of what the product or workflow you’re building consists of. 

Future:

If you’re creating a legal product, the description will be visible to your client on the legal product’s page on your website or Vrtu profile. It should include any details as to what your service provides.


Tags

Another way to categorize your legal products are through tags. Tags are user-created and can be used to generate reports, create groupings of templates, documents and departments. 

To create a tag, click the + sign. Enter a tag name, and then click the Create button. After you’ve created the tag, click in the field and select the new tag from the dropdown which will appear.

Once you’ve created a tag once, it will be available again in the dropdown for you and your teammates. Good tags to add proactively on projects include information relating to jurisdiction, industry segments and internal departments.


Fixed Fee


If your workflow is a legal product - that is, a service your client will pay for - then you can set a flat fee for that product here. 


Q: What if there is more than one option for pricing?

Think of each pricing option like a package with a slightly different workflow to create the service. Accordingly, create a new service workflow for each pricing option.


Q: How do I know what to charge?

Pricing is science and art. Start with cost plus value - what does the service cost you to produce, and what is the value it provides to your client? For a deep dive into pricing, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter and YouTube channel for future training.


Template Status

If you’re working on a complex workflow, set the status to Draft. This will keep the Template private to you and your team while you work on it. Draft templates are not able to be selected as the basis for Work, but remain on the Templates tab until published.

Active templates are available to be selected for client or internal work.


Estimated Work Time

This is your best guess of the amount of people time for the entire project timeline, and will be used to help forecast capacity in the future. Enter a value and then select the number of days, weeks or months the project will span on average.


Estimated Completion Time

Many industries have SLAs - Service Level Agreements, which are guidelines for how long something will take to complete. Enter a value and the estimated number of days, weeks or months before you expect to deliver the product or service to the consumer.

For external clients, this would be how long it would take before you complete their legal service. For internal workflows, this number would represent how long the process is estimated to take.

Having this estimate allows VrtuLaw to calculate an approximate delivery date for the product or service you offer. You can include this date in things like notification emails so your client or colleague can set expectations. 

Check it out in action in the built-in “xx” email template!


Add Task to the Template

Click on Add a Task to get started with your first task! You can select an existing task, or enter a new Task Name to create a new one. Existing tasks can be modified by changing the preset options.


Preset Tasks

VrtuLaw is built with a number of preset tasks. To see a complete list of the preset tasks and what they do, click here.


Examples:

  • Email name
  • Email name
  • Send a form
  • Send an email
  • Make a payment
  • Generate a document
  • etc

Task Name

The first task is the trigger for the workflow, so think of what the first step a client or consumer would take in engaging your services. The first task is the only one which doesn’t have a duration involved. 

For external legal products, this will be some kind of contact. Think about the particular client or consumer who will need the specific service you’re creating a template for. You can easily create variations on your templates, so use as much segmentation and customization as you like to ensure the best process for you, your clients and your colleagues.


Examples: 

  • Contacted by Email
  • Contacted by Referral
  • Website Contact Form
  • Online Purchase

Task Description

Write the description as instructions for the person the task is for. If the task is for your client to complete a form, include as much detail as the client will need in order to complete the form. If the task is for your colleague, provide any background information they may need to help them complete the task.

 

Configure Task

If you selected a task to send an email, complete a form or generate a document, this step lets you connect the right email, form or document template to the task.


Emails

Select from the preset email templates included in VrtuLaw. See the bottom of this documentation for preset email content.


Current

If you have another email you’d like to send, forward it to support@vrtulaw.com and we’ll add it for you. 


Future

In our next release, we’ll include an email editor where you can create your own email templates using dynamic fields.


Forms

Current

In our initial release, we are currently using Google Forms to gather information and save it to our (AWS) database. 

Create a form in Google Docs, and copy the form response link. When you select the automation to send a form in VrtuLaw, paste the form response link in the field which asks for the Google Form link. 

When this action is triggered in the workflow, the form link will be sent to the client or internal participant by email. Their responses will be saved to your connected Google Sheet, as well as to VrtuLaw.


Future

Form creation will happen within VrtuLaw in the future.

 

Documents

Current

It is possible to automate the generation of documents using Google Documents.


Future


Assigned Team

The team is the group of people who will be performing the work involved in the service. You will need to make sure that the team you select has a person with the role you need for each task assigned. 

To create a new team, click the + sign, create a team name and add any internal or external people to the team which your workflow requires to complete the service for the consumer. 

For example, your team could have a lawyer, a clerk and an articling student. 


Assigned Role

Now that you’ve selected which team is responsible for the task, select the role of the person from that team who will complete it.

If there is only one person who will complete the task, make sure they’re the only one assigned to the role on the selected team. Otherwise, the task will appear for everyone with the assigned role.


Timing

For any task other than the first task, you’ll be able to set when the task should appear in the workflow. This timing will be dynamic based on when the workflow was triggered.

Each task depends on a previous task in some way which triggers the event. For each task, set a timing and a variable for the task to depend on.

For example, your second task may be to send a conflict check to see if you can take on a client after they’ve contacted you. That task may appear as “0 minutes after Contact is Completed”. 

Add as many tasks as you need to your workflow.


Save Template

Once you are satisfied with the tasks you’ve added, close the Add Task popup and click the Save Template button.


Your Templates

Any templates you’ve created will appear on the templates tab in VrtuLaw, sorted by into workflows, emails, forms and documents.

Click on any template’s name to see details of that template. Changes made to the template will be made in real time once saved. You can also Save as New to create a new version of the template.

Templates can be deleted by selecting the row and clicking the trash icon.


Resources

Resources is an admin-level management tool. Only administrators can view contents of this page - all others will see a message that the page requires administrator access.


Resource Cost Report

This report shows your total resource costs by period, divided into People, Technology, Services and Fixed Costs.


Adding Resources

Knowing your costs is an important and necessary part of any business. VrtuLaw helps you break your costs down and tracks them across projects to help you better understand how your resources are being utilized.

Click on New Resource to define resource costs for any people, technology or things which your business needs. On the popup, select the type of resource and fill out the required fields.

 

People

In order to be selectable here, first add your colleague to your network on the Network tab. Select their name in the user list. You can then add their salary and the term for how they’re paid, whether it’s hourly, weekly, yearly or just once.

Technology

Enter the name of the technology/software you’re using, and how much it costs. Configure how often you’re charged (monthly, annually, once, based on use) and the number of seats or subscriptions you have, then Save Resource.


Future:

Any integrations you’ve added will appear in the dropdown for technology. You’ll be able to select the plan pricing of the integration if applicable. You’ll be able to monitor use of the technology resource by task, practice area, even time in reports.


Services

Enter a name for any service you use and how much it costs. Assign that service to a department by selecting a tag to help segment it in later reports.


Fixed Costs

You may have costs outside people, technology and services which also need to be accounted for. In 2019, the main fixed cost you’d see would be rent. Other examples may include things like the cost of your web domain, marketing budgets, etc.

Add a name, cost, frequency and segment it to a department or tag.



Settings

Depending on your account level, you’ll be able to adjust your personal and organization settings on the Settings tab. 


Personal

As the name implies, this is all about you! Set your name, default role (we all wear many hats, so you may have more than one role on different teams!), current city (update it as you travel!), your main team and organization, and update your personal biography. 


Future

For now we’re keeping it simple. In the future, expect to see ways to express yourself and control your professional profile within your network.


Password

You’ll be able to set your reset your password here. 


Future

Look out for two factor and OAuth authentication options.


Email

Need to update your email? You may be surprised to find that field here. Or, maybe not!


Notifications

A future update will include notifications settings. We believe people should spend less time in email, and so we want you to be in control of your notifications. Look for things like individual notification control, time of day settings, and other-than-email options.


Firm/Org

If you have an admin role, this page is where you’ll update your firm or organization’s profile. For now, this is private just to you.


Future

You’ll be able to create a public profile for your firm or organization, which will link your consumers to your legal products. You’ll eventually be able to build your entire online presence from VrtuLaw with our publishing tools, bringing the the services experience online from start to finish for all parties involved.



Publishing

Our company name is VrtuLaw for a bunch of reasons, but the main one is to make it clear that we want to make law, virtual. Our logo is followed by three dots, which represent an ellipsis. This has become popular in chat apps to show anticipation for a future message. We also think to the future. We believe that future spans consumers, service providers and technology, and so we’ve represented each of them in our image. 

We believe that by augmenting people with technology, that we can work less, create more value for our customers, and create a better world.

Currently it is difficult for the average consumer to find and engage legal services. There are a lot of barriers put in place, even for the most innovative law firms. 

VrtuLaw is built to address those problems backwards, by making the process build towards what the consumer sees and experiences.

In order to provide the best consumer experience on the front end, we must first make the process run better on the back end.

In the future, we will make it easy for consumers to find, contact, pay for and receive legal and other professional services just as easily as they shop for a physical product. Imagine instead of a law firm, you can create a law brand which commercialises your professional knowledge and services as easily as starting at Etsy or Shopify store. (Ask our founder - she’s had both!)

You can also publish services on your current website (like Wordpress, Wix, Squarespace or Shopify), and either manually trigger the workflow or connect individual services to buttons on your website.


Inbox

Coming soon! The ability to message anyone in your network directly, as well as from within Work and Tasks. Keep your outside email tidy and control your work day by keeping all your work-related correspondence in one place. Never file another email to a clunky DMS, as messages are tied to the correct person, organization, project or team automatically. 

Oh, and it’s searchable, too.


Notifications

When you’ve been added to a new team, assigned a task, someone has accepted your invitation or a number of other actions have taken place, they’ll be recorded in your notifications.


Feed

Like notifications, but for people! 



Included Emails

We’ve built-in a number of emails to which you can send as part of your workflow. These emails include:


Conflict check

Email to: client


Attention: Jasmine Gavigan

Trademarks R Us


A new client has requested engagement.


Service: Canadian Trademark

Assigned: Jasmine Gavigan

Canadian Trademark Agents


Client Information:


Full Name: Flon Dusk

flon@supermegarich.com


Organization: SpaceY

100 Mars Way

San Mateo, CA 90210

U.S.A.


Phone: 555-555-5555


Please log in to VrtuLaw to review the request in detail.


Work confirmed


Hi Flon,


Trademarks R Us is getting started on the Canadian Trademark for SpaceY.


We estimate completion of service in 5 days, or on about April 28, 2021.


If you have any questions, reach out to me at email@email.com


Sincerely,


Jasmine Gavigan

Admin

Trademarks R Us


Send a Calendly link

Hi Flon, 


Jasmine with Trademarks R Us would like to set up a meeting regarding the Canadian Trademark for SpaceY.


Click the link below to be directed to our calendar system where you chan choose a time that is convenient for you.


Trademarks R Us


Follow-up on Calendly link

Hi Flon, 


It's been a couple days, so we're checking in.


In order to make progress on the Canadian Trademark for SpaceY, Jasmine with Trademarks R Us would like to set up a quick meeting.


Click the link below to be directed to our calendar system where you chan choose a time that is convenient for you. 


If you have any issues, please reach out to Jasmine at email@email.com.


Trademarks R Us




Request client review

Hi Flon,


Jasmine with Trademarks R Us has made some progress on the Canadian Trademark for SpaceY and requires your review.


Please log in to VrtuLaw and review the work.


If you have any issues, please reach out to Jasmine at email@email.com.


Trademarks R Us


Request a payment

Flon Dusk

SpaceY

April 22, 2021


Trademarks R Us has sent you an invoice for - Canadian Trademark.


The invoice amount is $330.


Please log into VrtuLaw to review the invoice and make a payment.


If you have any questions, please reach out to Jasmine Gavigan at email@email.com.


Trademarks R Us


Service complete

Hi Flon,


We are pleased to report that the Canadian Trademark for SpaceY is complete.


A copy of any documents can be downloaded from VrtuLaw. You can click here to review the work.


It has been our pleasure to assist you in this matter. We hope you think of us for your legal needs in the future.


Jasmine Gavigan

Trademarks R Us


Request a review




Hi Flon,


We hope you were satisfied with Trademarks R Us’s service for the Canadian Trademark for SpaceY.


We’d love for you to leave us a review!


Click here: _______


Trademarks R Us

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