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DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED – Defining “Driving”

As always, we begin our analysis by reviewing the relevant law, N.C.G.S. 20-138.1: “A person commits the offense of Impaired Driving if he drives any vehicle upon any highway, any street, or any public vehicular area within this state: While under

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DRUGGED DRIVING IN NORTH CAROLINA

Drugged Driving – or Drug DWI – is a form of “Impaired Driving,” under N.C.G.S. 20-138.1. This is the same law that the State uses to convict drunk drivers. In other words, the same law governs drunk driving and drugged driving. But, operating under the influence of drugs, and operating under the influence of alcohol, are two very different things.

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Business Card for Attorney Derek R. Fletcher
Serious cases require serious representation.
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FORMS & DATA

Fletcher Legal helps Solo Attorneys and Small Law Firms automate routine practices by developing advanced Forms and Data Gathering Tools in order to eliminate redundant tasks, reduce client expenses, and free-up attorney time so that you can focus on what matters: expanding your practice and generating better quality leads.
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FLETCHER LEGAL IS A CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA BASED LAW PRACTICE DEDICATED TO CHANGING THE GAME FOR SOLOS AND SMALL FIRMS. BigLaw has us out-cashed at every stage in this game; after evaluating the options, I determined that the best way to level the playing field – and to accomplish my long term career goals – was to automate as much of my practice as possible. In just 18 months it’s changed my life; allow me to show how I can help increase your profitability and help your law practice become the type of Firm you always dreamed it could.
SUPERVISING ATTORNEY DEREK R. FLETCHER IS THE FOUNDER OF FLETCHER LEGAL, A WEB DEVELOPER, DIGITAL FORM ENGINEER, AND FOCUSED ON ELECTRONIC MARKETING SOLUTIONS. I spent the first five years of my solo practice without a website, relying only on client testimonials and word-of-mouth referrals. I eeked out a living, but certainly wasn’t getting ahead. After leaving the field, reevaluating my life, and deciding whether I ever wanted to practice again, I concluded that automating as many routine tasks as possible is and was the only true way for a solo attorney to come out ahead. I taught myself web design, built the first law firm in North Carolina to automate the Expungement process, and now offer my skills to other like-minded solos.
DO YOU HAVE A WEBSITE? WHAT DOES IT SAY ABOUT YOU? AND WHY ISN’T IT DOING MORE OF THE HEAVY LIFTING? Your website says a lot about you: it’s the face that choose to present to the world. Prospective clients increasingly search for counsel online, and make decisions whether to retain your services sometimes based on the appearance of your homepage alone. Obviously, small law firms lack the resources of BigLaw; all too often, their single largest marketing resource – their website – looks sad, dilapidated, and outdated. For me, things will never be the same again: aside from moving to an entirely paperless law practice, I learned how to harness the power of web forms and dynamic PDF generation. These are crucial, cutting edge technologies that automatically avail my Firm an advantage that places me on level footing with BigLaw. My time has been freed-up to focus on what I want to do with my Firm. I’m no longer bound to the monotonous, routine tasks that consumed so much of my valuable time, and I am here to share those skills with you.
WE NEVER ACCEPT CASES, ONLY CLIENTS. My job is to prepare your digital launch, giving you all the tools you need to succeed in the process. The goal is to make your practice easier; automation tends to make the Firm run itself. In the process, we reduce client fees, create a strong image with a branding campaign, take control of online reputations, and give your law firm the greatest likelihood of success with a client-focused, results-oriented mentality. We strive to showcase the best aspects of your practice, using gorgeous web design you’ll be proud to show to both prospective and current clients alike! For a free digital campaign evaluation, enter our Virtual Lobby now, or book an appointment online to speak with Attorney Fletcher at no cost, with no obligation.
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"MAXING-OUT" IS INEVITABLE AND UNAVOIDABLE AS A SOLO ATTORNEY ENGAGED IN THE PRACTICE OF LAW.

I WANTED TO CREATE A METHOD OF EXPUNGING NORTH CAROLINA CRIMINAL RECORDS ONLINE. Several years ago, I had a vision: users should be able to expunge North Carolina criminal records online. Everything can be done online – I can repair my credit, buy a home, sell a car on eBay, and even conduct transactions using virtual currency. Yet, I could not expunge a North Carolina criminal record over the internet.

I KNOW TOO WELL WHY SOLO ATTORNEYS DO NOT HAVE THEIR OWN WEBSITES. I don’t fault solo attorneys for not having websites; I spent my first five years practicing law in my own small firm without a website, relying on client referrals and word-of-mouth only. The problem, as I saw it, is that at a certain point, a solo attorney becomes “maxed-out;” they simply cannot create any additional work product during any given period. Maxing out was a foregone conclusion, assuming the attorney wishes to continue growing their business each year, and was inevitable unless these tasks could be:

1. Outsourced;

2. Delegated;

 

3. Eliminated; or

4. Automated.

ELIMINATION. For me, elimination wasn’t really an option. This means either stop offering this service or provide a sub-standard service to clients. As a perfectionist, yet also a new attorney needing every piece of business available, this was unrealistic. Delegating tasks often fail for one of two reasons: first, is that certain tasks require an attorney. Obviously this includes appearing in court and rendering legal advice, but can also include drafting pleadings if the lawyer’s assistant is more of a receptionist and less of a paralegal. The second reason delegation often fails is that the subordinate is frequently swamped and overwhelmed with work, or that it takes more attorney time to train their assistant than for the lawyer to do the task themself!
OUTSOURCING. Outsourcing is becoming a better option with each passing day, although it wasn’t even on the table five or ten years ago. Websites like fiverr.com help businesses connect to freelancers offering digital services, whether on a one-time or recurring basis. But the legal field is fraught with confidentiality issues and providing confidential client data to a stranger on the internet sounds ripe for disciplinary action. Thus automation – or the technology by which a process or procedure is performed with minimal human assistance – became the de facto supreme option, by process of elimination.
AUTOMATION. But before we can really decide if automation is the best answer, we first must determine the question. For me, I first had to determine exactly what my long-term career goal(s) was/were before I was able to answer the question of what the best way was to achieve them.

DEFINING OUR LONG-TERM GOALS FOR OUR SOLO LAW FIRMS

IF WE COULD GO BACK, WOULD WE HAVE GONE TO BUSINESS SCHOOL INSTEAD? I believe that all solo attorneys and small firm lawyers have likely found themselves asking this exact same question: it’s probably fair to concede that the actual practice of law is significantly different than most of us expected. Speaking for myself, I went to law school because I wanted to have a middle-class lifestyle from which I could comfortably provide for my family. And although the amount of work required to effectively run a solo practice is exponentially larger than I ever could have imagined, I truly don’t mind because – now, more than ever – I love what I do. But throughout our careers, at some point, I’m sure we’ve all found ourselves asking the same question: what’s our long-term goal? After a significant amount of time pondering this question, including what direction to take my practice, and how to maximize the amount of time doing the things I truly want to do in life, the answer I came up with was this:

MY ULTIMATE GOAL IS TO BUILD A PLATFORM I’M PROUD OF AND LOVE WORKING ON, THAT WILL RUN ITSELF AND GENERATE INCOME WITHOUT MY DIRECT AND CONSTANT INVOLVEMENT AND SUPERVISION.

AUTOMATING AS MUCH OF MY LAW PRACTICE AS POSSIBLE BECAME THE BEST METHOD OF ACHIEVING MY LONG-TERM GOAL. With that goal in mind, it became clear that building the proper foundation, and automating my law practice as much as possible, was in fact the best solution. I considered the Expungement Generator (as it’s known around the office); If I could build the foundation for users to input their data, pay online, and have an auto-generated PDF sitting on the printer, then the only step remaining would be to place the completed Petition in an envelope with a cover sheet addressed to the Clerk of Court saying “enclosed for filing…”
FREE-UP EVERY MINUTE YOU CAN. Even if the ultimate goal is not to automate every aspect of one’s practice, every minute that can be freed up to spend on a task that generates income for the firm is one that’s better spent than tweaking a form.

SO: HOW DOES ONE GO ABOUT AUTOMATING A LAW PRACTICE? LET’S START WITH A DISCUSSION ON FORMS.

THE IMPORTANCE OF MAINTAINING PERFECT IN-HOUSE LEGAL FORMS

As a legal professional, you already know what I’m about to say:

FORMS ARE CRITICALLY IMPORTANT TO THE PRACTICE OF LAW. They’re absolutely essential. If you happen to be a non-lawyer, it’s easy to miscalculate the full scope of this assertion – to sell short their importance to us lawyers. But I promise you this: it would be completely futile and hopeless attempting to manage, or even practice law, in any sort of professional organization that failed to develop and possess its own library of pre-made legal templates and forms. Forms are used in every single aspect of the legal profession, from client intake to closed file procedures; from missed-call note-slips to Records on Appeal; from Expungements to Estates, Easements, emancipations, and ejectments – forms are found everywhere; they’re impossible to escape! Even the State of North Carolina recognizes just how important quality legal forms are.

N.C. ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE COURTS (NC AOC)

MORE THAN FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS IS ALLOCATED TO NCAOC EACH YEAR. In FY 2017, the General Assembly appropriated $52.3 million dollars to NCAOC. While the vast majority of this funding is used to pay the salaries of NCAOC’s 146 full-time legal staff and employees, including the 144 technology staff whose duties include maintaining the state-managed online court-calendar, uploading local dockets to their very thorough website, and – you guessed it – developing and uploading forms for use by legal professionals all across the state.
NCAOC HAS CREATED AND SHARED MORE THAN 1,000 LEGAL FORMS. As of the 3rd Quarter of 2020, NCAOC had 1,017 PDF legal forms available for public use . That’s in addition to the untold number of written appellate court opinions, local rules, business court opinions, Publications, Instruction Manuals, Reports, Statistics, and other various court-related documentation . The purpose of all these state-sanctioned forms? To make the court system more uniform, consistent, and streamlined. The state, however, is simply unable to create generic forms for every need or purpose, hence the need for every firm maintaining their independent library of templates, forms, and documents.

IN-HOUSE FORMS BOOKS

BETTER LEGAL FORMS DELIVER SHARPER RESULTS IN LESS TIME. Here’s why all this talk about forms matters: the better a form is designed; the better results can be obtained in less time. Imagine if lawyers were forced to redesign the wheel each and every time they had a new client: hours upon hours of research and drafting would be poured in to something another lawyer had already created once upon a time. In fact, it’s quite a discovery to learn that large portions of law libraries are simply real estate for the housing and maintenance of forms books. Not only does every lawyer, and every law firm, have their own in-house forms book, but massive companies exist that compile tried and true forms that they sell in subscriptions. An entire internet business exists simply for people who wish to incorporate without hiring an attorney!

THE EVOLUTION OF LEGAL FORMS | A BRIEF RECOUNT OF MODERN HISTORY

LAWYERS, AND THUS THE PRACTICE OF LAW, REVOLVES AROUND THE EFFICIENT USE, STORAGE, AND RE-USE OF PROPERLY DRAFTED FORMS. Once upon a time, there existed countless paper forms by which attorneys, and the law firms that employed them, managed their practice. These forms were used for everything from gathering client information during routine intake practices, to registering divorce decrees. This list went on ad infinitum. More often than not, users of these forms would come across unscored spaces or empty boxes with labels like “name,” “address,” and pre-defined values like “male” and “female.” Multiple lines sought long, descriptive responses. These forms would have to be completed and submitted manually by hand or mailed back through the U.S.P.S. to the original sender.

THE PERSONAL COMPUTER AND EARLY WORD PROCESSING SOFTWARE

WHEN THE PERSONAL COMPUTER REPLACED THE TYPEWRITER, PAPER FORMS EVOLVED TO ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS. With the advance of electronic technologies and the personal computer, attorneys migrated their ancient paper forms to electronic formats, typically using a word processor software such as Microsoft Word or WordPerfect. Lawyers on the cutting edge learned and understood the inherent power of this new technology and were some of the first users to wholeheartedly adopt the PC. Now, documents could be tweaked and edited easier than ever before, but a common problem lay at the center of virtually every software solution that the P.C. sought to eliminate: documents drafted on one computer would almost always display differently on other machines. The first word processor created and marketed at the legal professional was WordPerfect, by Corel.

WORDPERFECT BECAME THE FIRST WORD PROCESSING SOFTWARE AIMED DIRECTLY AT LEGAL PROFESSIONALS. During the 1980’s and 1990’s, law offices converted en masse to P.C.-based word processing with WordPerfect at the very core of their experience . Many legal professionals preferred WordPerfect as their go-to word processor because of features such as meta-data removal, automatic paragraph numbering, Table of Contents, Table of Authorities, and add-ons like Black’s Law Dictionary and citation software. It was one of the first software programs to offer recordable macros (simple recordings of keystroke tasks; the ultimate step in the “personal” computer revolution). Features added later like Address Book, Templates, and Quickcorrect virtually cemented an entire generation of attorneys into lifelong WordPerfect Users.

MICROSOFT WORD OUT-CORNERS WORDPERFECT IN THE WORD PROCESSING MARKET. Microsoft was late to the PC word processing game; MS Word only started to take off following Windows 3.0, which was introduced in 1990. Microsoft’s dominance in word processing (as well as internet browsers, operating systems, and virtually everything else they’ve developed), 

combined with a handful of critical errors made by WordPerfect management, and the adoption of MS Word by most major Universities, contributed to WordPerfect’s demise. Ultimately though, it was the pressure from clients already using MS Word that drove most legal practitioners to adopt Word. While most users and markets only require light-weight word processing, the document factories of the legal market require some of the most powerful document editing tools on the market. Today’s result is that even though MS Word is perfectly capable of drafting legal documents, it is woefully inadequate of being used as a stand-alone word-processing software solution. In my office, it must be used in conjunction with Adobe Acrobat Professional.



THE PDF REVOLUTION. In 1993, a new file type, known as the Portable Document Format, or “PDF ,”

solved the central problem that had been plaguing word processors for years: it ensured that documents drafted on a computer displayed exactly the same on any other computer used to view the file, regardless of whether the word processing software or even the fonts themselves were installed on the viewer’s machine. The PDF has risen to the top of its field and has been considered the absolute gold standard for several years, in not only document creation, but especially Form creation.

THE PDF REVOLUTION & THE IMPORTANCE OF PDF's TODAY

THE SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPORTANCE OF PDF DOCUMENTS CANNOT BE OVERSTATED. What makes the PDF so incredibly useful is that documents saved in this format always display exactly the same, no matter what operating system the user has, the size of their monitor, or whether the user has the same fonts installed on their computer that were used to create the document initially . Contrast this to a Microsoft Word document: if I emailed you a document saved in .DOCX format (or, a Microsoft Word Document), in order for the file to look the exact same on your computer as it did on mine when I created it, all of the following must be true:

  1. You must be running the same operating system that I did when I created the document (presumably, Microsoft Windows);

  2. You must have Microsoft Word document software installed on your computer;

  3. You must have the same fonts installed on your computer that I used when drafting the document;

  4. Depending on how specific you want to go, you’ll likely need the same (or same size) of computer monitor.
A FILE FORMAT THAT COULD PRESENT DOCUMENTS, INCLUDING TEXT AND IMAGES, IN A MANNER INDEPENDENT OF APPLICATION SOFTWARE, HARDWARE, AND EVEN OPERATING SYSTEMS. When Adobe developed the PDF in 1993, the goal was to create a file format that could present documents, including text and images, in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems . Although PDF was standardized as ISO 32000 in 2008 and no longer requires royalties for its implementation , when the format was proprietary to Adobe, a free download was available for any PC user called “Reader,” which allowed users to view – but not edit – any PDF document. And although a slew of professional grade software solutions now exist for editing PDF documents, the gold standard is – and has always been – a program named Adobe Acrobat Pro.
ADOBE ALLOWED DEVELOPERS TO CREATE FILLABLE FORMS BASED ON PDF PLATFORM. Adobe’s ability to make a document look exactly the same, no matter which hardware of software the user was viewing it from, was certainly important, but just one of many advanced features. Another advanced feature available with Acrobat Pro was the ability to create fillable form fields, and insert them into documents. Thus, rather than the constant spacebar / backspace tweaking and editing required during the standard document editing process, if properly configured, users could simply tab through form fields to enter text, select dates, use dropdown menus, select checkboxes or radio buttons, or even enter multiple lines of text in paragraph form while the remainder of the document stayed fixed and wasn’t changed.
FILLABLE PDF FORMS; A QUICK EXAMPLE. Take a look at a simple CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE fillable PDF form, by downloading a copy from this link. Users can quickly tab through the fields to enter the information relevant to the case at hand, then fire off a final draft to staple to the last page of their Motion. Minimal editing is required, and when a user enters the name and address of the recipient, notice that the other text on the page does not need to be reformatted: it stays exactly where it’s supposed to on the page.

THE ART OF CREATING FILLABLE PDF FORMS THAT STAND THE TEST OF TIME. Once we wrapped our heads around the power of the fillable PDF, we began converting all of our frequently used forms from MS Word format to a fillable PDF format. There is, however, an art in designing these types of forms: one must design a fillable PDF in such a way that it can be used in the highest number of future cases, but may be tailored to the exact situation for which it will be needed in the future. It must be generic, yet have the ability to become specific. Take a look at our MOTION TO STRIKE FAILURE TO APPEAR AND ORDER FOR ARREST using this link. Did you notice that rather than provide a single explanation for why the defendant was unable to appear on their scheduled court date, several options were presented instead, allowing the user simply to check the appropriate box? This ensures that the form will not need to be redrafted or redesigned for every possible future scenario that might arise. What we’ve now accomplished is that we’ve designed:

1. A form that looks identical on every machine from which a user interacts with it – even a mobile device;

2. We’ve “future-proofed” our form as much as possible, reducing the need to redesign the wheel when we next need this form; and

3. We’ve made this form extremely user-friendly, and virtually impossible to mess up!

THE FINAL STEP THAT PUTS OUR FORMS ON AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT LEVEL. Updating a law firm’s forms book from MS Word documents to fillable PDF forms is a major step – and one that has proven worthy of the time investment required. But it hasn’t been our last step – which has entirely changed the game, placed us on a different level than anyone else we know, and elevated both user-friendliness and efficiency to an entirely new level.

WORDPRESS COMBINED WITH ULTRA-PREMIUM PLUGINS HAVE AGAIN REVOLUTIONIZED LEGAL FORMS

THE FREE SOFTWARE USED TO BUILD MORE THAN 35% OF THE INTERNET. WordPress.org (“WordPress,” or “WP”) is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) written in PHP and paired with either a MySQL or MariaDB database . Originally created as a blog-publishing system, the platform has evolved – substantially. WP now supports other types of web content, including more traditional forums, websites, media galleries, membership sites, learning management systems, and online stores. The numbers speak for themselves: more than 60 million websites have been built using WordPress, including 33.6% of the top 10 million websites as of April, 2019 . WP is a factory that makes webpages; it stores content and enables users to create and publish webpages with nothing more than a domain name and a hosting service.
WORDPRESS THEMES AND PLUGINS. The full scope of WordPress features and capabilities is well beyond this article, but put simply, WP Themes allow users to change the look and functionality of a website without altering the core code or site content. Plugins allow users to extend the features and functionality of a website or blog, allowing developers the ability to tailor their sites to their specific needs. These customizations range from search engine optimization (SEO), to client portals, content management systems, and display features, such as media galleries, navigation bars, and widgets. Premium WP plugins can also serve as the foundation of a new method of creating the most advanced legal forms available.
WORDPRESS POWERS BOTH OF OUR FIRM’S WEBSITES, AND IS INCREDIBLY POWERFUL AND CUSTOMIZABLE. In other words: WordPress powers 39% of the entire internet ; and developers can tailor their sites using themes and plugins for their specific needs and achieve extraordinary results! I spent 18 months researching, developing, creating, and building fletcher-legal.com and fletcherlitigation.com using WordPress, and the results I’ve been able to achieve – the features I’ve been able to add to my practice – are nothing short of groundbreaking! It’s become one of my most important skills, one of my favorite hobbies, and will change the way solo attorneys and small law firms run their practices if adopted by mainstream legal practitioners.

SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES UTILIZE WEB FORMS ALL THE TIME - WHY NOT LAWYERS?

IF YOU’VE EVER ORDERED A PRODUCT ONLINE, YOU USED A WEB FORM WHEN PLACING YOUR ORDER. Not only are web forms necessary for users to receive information, goods, and services they are interacting with or buying, but they’re crucial for the businesses that create them and embed them on their sites. Without web forms, marketers would have a difficult time tracking purchaser data, obtaining customer feedback, chasing new leads, following survey responses, or even taking a credit card payment via the internet. In a highly digital world, it’s hard to think of a successful business that doesn’t have at least one web form on their site. Yet, only 57% – just slightly more than half – of all solo attorneys in the United States even have a website at all.
BIGLAW HAS SMALLLAW BEAT AT EACH AND EVERY METRIC. BigLaw, with their teams of in-house I.T. professionals, have solos and small firms outplayed at every level! They have (better) websites, with more client-focused features, which allow them to spend more time on the things that matter (like client outreach), rather than tweaking and editing that same form for the millionth time! While we’re tied up in our solo practices focused on the piddly tasks that require our valuable attorney attention, BigLaw has automated their practices to focus on bringing in new/more/better clients! We’re still deciding whether we should have our own website.

GENERATING PDF's FROM WEB FORM SUBMISSIONS

THE FORM THAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING. Before telling you how it works, let me first show you that it works: so far, I’ve shown you two quick examples of our Forms: a fillable PDF CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE and a MOTION TO STRIKE A FAILURE TO APPEAR / ORDER FOR ARREST. The last example will provide you with the clearest idea of what it is that we do (and help others to accomplish).
Click this link to open the PREVIEW – MOTION TO STRIKE FAILURE TO APPEAR AND ORDER FOR ARREST (FTA / OFA) form. This form will open in a new tab, and you’ll be redirected to fletcherlitigation.com – a website we’ve created strictly to serve as our forms book. With such sensitive client data, we’ve moved the majority of our webforms to a domain that sees much smaller levels of traffic and is housed on the internet’s most secure hosting platform.
ACTIONS ON SUBMIT. Initial thoughts are probably something along the lines of “this seems like a pretty simple interface,” or “I wonder what the vertical buttons down the right side of the form are.” Play around with this form as much as you’d like; enter as much fictitious data as you can. Try it a few times if necessary – you’re not going to break it. Once complete, hit the SUBMIT button, and watch what happens. Pretty awesome, right?

There should be three different “Actions upon Submit,” or actions that occur once the Submit button is pressed:

1. You should be given the option to view the newly created form through your web browser;

2. You should be given the option to download the newly created form in PDF format; and

3. You should be sent an email to the address you entered at the bottom of the page. This email will contain a standard default message and contain a PDF attachment of the newly created Motion.

IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES. Once reality sinks in, if you’re anything like me, your brain might be running a million miles a minute: consider for just a few moments – what would you like to use this technology to accomplish? What forms would you like to automate? How much easier would that make your day to day practice? Before we move on, take a few notes if you’d like; put some questions together. This is a dialogue, and I promise that I am here to help you accomplish your goals.
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CALL, TEXT & BOOK APPOINTMENTS ONLINE
Designed for maximum useability. Zero phone-tag. Zero missed messages.
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HOW WEB FORM PDF GENERATION WORKS

HOW IT WORKS. Now that you’ve seen the results, let me briefly explain how it works, followed by a few examples of what we’ve been able to successfully automate already. Fletcherlitigation.com, along with fletcher-legal.com, are both domain names owned by my Law Firm, hosted on Google Cloud, with the newest versions of WordPress installed on the host servers. After 18 months of learning this platform, as well as weeks of trial and error involved with building the foundation and creating form templates, we’ve successfully located the portions of the code that were already assembled, and coded those portions that were brand new, in order to generate completed PDF documents. Briefly stated, the process works like this:
1. CREATE THE FILLABLE PDF FORM. First, we will create the fillable PDF Form in Adobe Acrobat Pro; we will upload this copy to the website for any users that prefer to download the PDF version instead of using the web form (or, we may just save a copy on our server in our electronic forms book);
2. DRAFT WEBFORM QUESTIONS. Next, using a very expensive, top tier, premium WordPress plugin, we will create a list of the questions that the web form must ask, which in this case would be items such as “County,” “Court Division,” Defendant Name,” etc. Once a successful outline is drafted, and our questions elicit the entire amount of user information necessary to complete the web form, we will draft these questions in our WordPress plugin. While drafting the questions, we must also include several additional pieces of information wherever necessary:

A. FIELD TYPES. Our Form software includes at least 35 different types of Form Fields for designers to select; some of the most popular include:

  • Text Input

  • Paragraph Input

  • Checkboxes

  • Radio Buttons (True/False)

  • Dropdown Menu

  • Hidden Fields / User ID’s / HTML
  • Date and Time Selectors, including hidden Date and Time fields

  • Numbers, Phone Numbers, URL’s, Email Addresses, and Passwords

  • Credit Card Credentials; and

  • (my personal favorite) Electronic Signatures that can be completed using a stylus on a laptop touch screen. I use this feature for engagement agreements that are automatically emailed to clients upon signing.
B. PLACEHOLDER TEXT: (inserts explanatory text into the form field itself, but the text vanishes when users begin typing field responses).
C. FIELD DESCRIPTIONS: insert explanatory text or instructions below the field to provide the user with guidance on the specific data requested.
D. PROPERTIES: Field visibility can be restricted, label position may be changed, and validation messages can be altered. Custom CSS may be applied, custom HTML, and the width of each field can be designed to leave you with a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing form for users to interact with.
3. UPLOAD THE FILLABLE PDF TO WORDPRESS. After our form questions are drafted, we must upload the fillable PDF into WordPress in order to properly map and configure where our form data will be generated. This is a tedious task, requiring a lot of patience and skill – being off by simply a pixel or two can distort the entire look of your final PDF.
4. TEST, TEST, AND TEST AGAIN. Once the form fields are mapped to the uploaded PDF, it’s necessary to run a bunch of false data through the form to see where it lands on the generated PDF. These tiny tweaks ultimately lead to a beautiful document where once the user Submits, all text is the correct size and format, and perfectly blends in exactly where it belongs.
5. CONFIGURE ACTIONS ON SUBMIT. In my office we have a networked printer, which is assigned its own email address. Just as you received an email with at attached PDF, so too does my printer on the forms which it’s included on. This means that once a user hits Submit, the document automatically prints in my office – of course there’s also an identical copy in my email, but to make sure that nobody misses anything, I have configured the settings in a way that automatically print the newly created PDF.
6. ADD NEW WEBPAGE. The Form must reside somewhere, and one of the final steps involves adding a new webpage and including the Form’s shortcode in a text editor.
7. TEST AGAIN, THEN IMPLEMENT!
THIS IS THE LAST TIME YOU’LL EVER EDIT THIS FORM AGAIN! I know this seems like a lot of work – but that’s what I’m here for. As a client, you’ll have access to our full range of user tutorials and videos so that if you’re ever lost or confused, I’ll walk you right through the process myself. On top of that, you can always have a seat in the virtual lobby, and a friendly professional with be with you shortly to answer any questions you may have.
Remember this one thing when this task seems overwhelming: THIS IS THE LAST TIME YOU’LL EVER DRAFT THIS FORM AGAIN!

WHERE WE GO: GEOGRAPHIC PRACTICE AREAS

Although we travel across the entire State of North Carolina – to each and every District and Superior Court – we are based in Charlotte. You could say that our home base consists of the following:

Serving: Mecklenburg, Union, Gaston, Cabarrus, Iredell, Rowan, Cleveland, Lincoln, Stanly, Davidson, Catawba, and Anson Counties, as well as Charlotte, Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Lake Norman, Mooresville, Troutman, Statesville, Matthews, Mint Hill, Harrisburg, Weddington, Waxhaw, Indian Trail, Monroe, Wadesboro, Wingate, Polkton, Concord, Kannapolis, China Grove, Salisbury, Lexington, Thomasville, High Point, Denver, Lincolnton, Newton, Conover, Hickory, Belmont, Lowell, Mt. Holly, Lowesville, Gastonia, Dallas, Bessemer City, Kings Mountain, Shelby, Pineville, Midland, Locust, Albemarle, Rockingham, Asheville, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Wilmington.

FLETCHER LEGAL HELPS CLIENTS JUST LIKE YOU!

SERIOUS CASES REQUIRE SERIOUS REPRESENTATION. If you or someone you know has questions restoring their firearm rights, or to begin the process of restoring your gun rights now, call FLETCHER LEGAL at 704-747-7262, shoot that number a text, step into our virtual lobby for a video call, or book an appointment now for your free case evaluation. Fletcher Legal has helped clients restore North Carolina firearm rights, appeal from pistol purchase denials, and challenge concealed carry decisions. We conduct independent investigations in every case we take, which reduces denials, and ensures a smooth hearing.
VIRTUAL SERVICES REDUCE CLIENT EXPENSES. Schedule an appointment today to speak with Attorney Fletcher, either by video call, text message, or phone call. We offer flexible payment arrangements, independent investigations, and 24 x 7 emergency services. Book an appointment online now to begin building your defense.
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FORMS & VIEWS

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Serious cases require serious representation.

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Fletcher Legal helps Solo Attorneys and Small Law Firms automate routine practices by developing advanced Forms and Data Gathering Tools in order to eliminate redundant tasks, reduce client expenses, and free-up attorney time so you can focus on what matters: expanding your practice and generating better quality leads.

FLETCHER LEGAL ASSISTS SOLO ATTORNEYS AND SMALL LAW FIRMS BY AUTOMATING ROUTINE TASKS, MANAGING DATA, AND DESIGNING BEAUTIFUL WEBSITES THEY’RE PROUD TO SHOW THE WORLD. Your website says a lot about you: it’s the face that choose to present to the world. Prospective clients increasingly search for counsel online, and make decisions whether to retain your services sometimes based on the appearance of your homepage alone. Obviously, small law firms lack the resources of BigLaw; all too often, their single largest marketing resource – their website – looks sad, dilapidated, and outdated.

WHAT DOES YOUR WEBSITE SAY ABOUT YOU? During the first decade of managing my solo practice, I chose not to have a website rather than having one that looked cheap and thrown together. When I did finally choose to incorporate a website into my practice, I spent a year teaching myself how to design, brand, build, and integrate cutting edge tools in to my site, rather than outsourcing the job. I invested a year of my life into learning this skill because I knew I couldn’t afford to hire a professional designer to build the website I knew my practice deserved. And I refused to settle for a website that looked sloppy, unprofessional, and amateur.

THE SKILLS I HAVE LEARNED WILL FOREVER CHANGE THE WAY I PRACTICE LAW. Things will never be the same again: aside from moving to an entirely paperless law practice, I learned how to harness the power of web forms and dynamic PDF generation. These are crucial, cutting edge technologies that automatically avail my Firm as advantage that places me on level footing with BigLaw. My time has been freed-up to focus on what I want to do with my Firm. I’m no longer bound to the monotonous, routine tasks that consumed so much of my valuable time, and I am here to share those skills with you.

WE ACCEPT CLIENTS, NOT CASES. My job is to help small law firms focus on the things that matter, by making their jobs easier and reducing client expenses. With a client-focused approach that’s results-oriented, I want to help your law firm succeed and show off the best aspects of your practice to prospective and current clients.

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FORMS & DATA

WHAT WE DO AND HOW WE DO IT. We constantly push the limits of what’s possible when it comes to integrating technology into solo practice with the goal of reducing client fees and expanding access to law. We believe in treating people the way we want to be treated. One of the most important ways we’ve accomplished these lofty goals is by investing our time and energy into learning the skills necessary to showcase our brand in the best possible light.

THE PRACTICE OF LAW REVOLVES AROUND FORMS. Think about how often you use forms as a Solo or Small Law Attorney: from Client Intake Questionnaires, to timesheets, form letters, Motions, Checklists, and Billing Documents, Forms are at the very center of every small law practice in America.

THE EVOLUTION OF FORMS IN MY OWN LAW PRACTICE. When I first began practicing law over a decade ago, I used Microsoft Word to create reusable documents that I could print and use as Forms. Although Microsoft Word is an excellent piece of software for creating and drafting content, it’s hardly the optimal piece of software for designing professional forms for regular use in a law firm. Before too long, I taught myself Adobe Acrobat and learned the power of the PDF.

PDF DOCUMENTS MAINTAIN THE SAME FORMATTING ON EVERY DEVICE USED TO VIEW. The problem with Microsoft Word, or virtually any software program other than those that create and modify PDF documents, is that the documents you create look differently on every device on which they’re viewed. For example: I use quite a few custom fonts when I create a document; if I were to send you the same Microsoft Word document that I drafted using my custom fonts, and you do not have those same fonts installed on your computer, the document you view will look much different than the document I created. PDF documents look the same on every computer, thus ensuring the document I created and am looking at is exactly the same as they document you’ve received and are viewing. PDF documents are essential in the practice of law to guarantee both the sender and the recipient are looking at the same exact document.

ADOBE ACROBAT PRO ALLOWS USERS TO EDIT PDF DOCUMENTS AND CREATE PROFESSIONAL FORMS. PDF documents are very different than Microsoft Word documents when it comes to editing: in order to edit a PDF document, you’ll need an expensive piece of software. Virtually every professional content creator agrees that Acrobat Pro is the gold standard of PDF editing. On top of that, Acrobat Pro can be used to create fillable forms that allow users to enter their dynamic data in form fields, and simply tab to the next field when they’ve completed each field. PDF Forms create extremely professional looking documents; each completed form looks like it was designed for this one-time use, when in fact, a well-designed PDF form can be used over and over again with every different client. Once I discovered the power of Acrobat Pro and fillable PDF forms, I thought that I’d never need another piece of document creating software again.

COMBINING THE POWER OF FILLABLE PDF FORMS WITH WEB FORMS AND PDF GENERATORS IS UNBELIEVABLY POWERFUL. The problem with fillable PDF documents is that they must be sent to the client, then returned at their leisure. By creating web forms with simple fields, such as “first name,” “last name,” “email address,” etc., you’re able to shift the burned of completing routine documents from yourself onto the clients. And, by uploading your custom PDF documents onto your website, you’re able to distribute your documents to clients simply by providing a URL address for their use. Let me give you an example:

FLETCHER LEGAL USES WEB FORMS THAT GENERATE PDFs FOR CLIENTS THAT RETAIN OUR FIRM FOR PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAIMS. Rather than presenting a client with a complex fee agreement requiring them to fill out their personal information, the name of their insurance company, and sign a 10 page contract, we built a simple web form with fields for these same questions. Once a user hits “SUBMIT,” the data that they entered is inserted into the mapped fields of the custom PDF that we uploaded. The client doesn’t see the complex, 10 page contract until after submission when the PDF generator emails a PDF attachment of the completed document to them, to us, and to our Firm’s office manager. We simply share the URL of the webpage that contains the web form, and ask our clients to complete the simple web form when they are able.

IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES OF INTEGRATING AN ONLINE PDF GENERATOR IN TO YOUR PRACTICE. Imagine the time you’ll save. Imagine eliminating the mundane and routine tasks that take up so much Attorney time that could be much better spent doing the things that help grow your business. At Fletcher Legal, we use PDF Generators for:

  • Fee Agreements

  • Client Questionnaires

  • Expungements

  • New Client Intake and Registration

  • General and Limited Appearance Forms

  • Waivers of Appearance

  • Tracking Leads
  • Firm Financials, including Income and Expense Trackers

  • Motions

  • New Client Registration

  • New Client Letters

  • Closed File Letters

  • Discovery
    Requests

PUT THE TEAM AT FLETCHER LEGAL TO WORK FOR YOU. If you’d like to learn more about Automated PDF Generation, and the skills we use to create the most advanced forms in the legal industry, contact the team at Fletcher Legal today for a free assessment.

FLETCHER LEGAL HELPS LAW FIRMS JUST LIKE YOURS DESIGN GORGEOUS WEBSITES, AUTOMATE ROUTINE PROCESSES, AND MANAGE CLIENT DATA.

SERIOUS LAW FIRMS REQUIRE SERIOUS WEBSITES. If your web presence is lacking, your website isn’t much to be proud of, or you would just like to learn more about the power of web forms or how Fletcher Legal can help you with PDF Generation, step into our virtual lobby for a no cost, no obligation video call. Fletcher Legal doesn’t take cases; we take clients. We focus on building long term relationships to help clients achieve their long terms goals.

VIRTUAL SERVICES REDUCE CLIENT EXPENSES. Schedule an appointment today to speak with Attorney Fletcher, either by video call, text message, or phone call. We offer flexible payment arrangements, independent investigations, and 24 x 7 emergency services. Book an appointment online now to begin building your brand.

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