The Analytics Advantage: Transforming Legal Practice with Data Insights

The Analytics Advantage: Transforming Legal Practice with Data Insights

The Analytics Advantage: Transforming Legal Practice with Data Insights

Driven by data and technology, the legal industry is undergoing a profound transformation, eagerly embracing the formidable force of analytics. Within the esteemed walls of law firms, a realization is dawning—a recognition of the boundless potential that lies in the art of harnessing data for enlightened decision-making, elevated client experiences, streamlined operations, and, above all, the rocket fuel for unprecedented growth. In this article, we share how legal professionals can harness the mighty powers of data and analytics, propelling their practices to unprecedented heights of success.

Understanding the Power of Legal Analytics

Understanding the Power of Legal Analytics

Legal analytics involves analyzing large volumes of legal data to derive meaningful insights. These insights can range from predicting case outcomes, understanding judge, and opposing counsel behaviors, identifying trends in legal disputes, to assessing the likely success of specific legal strategies. By tapping into legal analytics tools and platforms, law firms can gain a competitive edge and make data-driven decisions. And there’s no question they are because legal analytics adoption rates are on the rise.

A study by ALM Intelligence found that over 70% of law firms with 50 or more attorneys use legal analytics in some form1. Legal analytics is not limited to law firms. In-house legal teams are increasingly leveraging analytics to optimize legal spend, manage risks, and streamline operations. A survey by Blickstein Group revealed that 62% of in-house legal departments utilize legal analytics2. This speaks to a collective industry awakening, where the embrace of data-driven strategies is becoming the norm.

Enhancing Legal Practice

Enhancing Legal Practice

Legal analytics provides multifaceted advantages that significantly impact how legal professionals operate. Here are some ways in which analytics is transforming legal practice:

  • Leveraging Predictive Analytics for Case Outcomes: Predictive analytics utilizes historical case data to forecast likely outcomes of legal disputes. By analyzing patterns and trends from past cases, law firms can advise clients with more accuracy and plan their legal strategies accordingly. This not only builds trust with clients but also improves the success rate of cases, contributing to the growth of the legal practice.
  • Optimizing Client Services and Retention: Data analytics can shed light on client preferences, behaviors, and satisfaction levels. By analyzing client feedback, response times, case outcomes, and communication history, law firms can tailor their services to meet client expectations. Satisfied clients are more likely to provide referrals and become repeat customers, fostering organic growth for the practice.
  • Improving Operational Efficiency and Efficacy: Efficiency is key to any successful business. Data and analytics can help identify bottlenecks in processes, enabling law firms to optimize their operations. By streamlining workflows, automating routine tasks, and allocating resources efficiently, legal practices can significantly improve productivity and cost-effectiveness.

Rapid Legal provides user data and reports that enable you to analyze productivity, spend, and value
Rapid Legal provides user data and reports that enable you to analyze productivity, spend, and value

Furthermore, data and analytics aren’t limited to the law firm’s own data. Firms should seek and leverage analytics and reports from their third-party vendors to gauge performance and ensure accountability. For example, to foster a partnership of transparency and accountability, Rapid Legal conducts quarterly business reviews with key clients and shares data metrics and insights on staff productivity, eFiling performance, service of process success rates, county court filing distributions, and more.

Equipped with these analytics, law firms and legal departments are using them to manage staff productivity, minimize filing errors, achieve faster court-document turnaround times, and cultivate greater accountability for their own teams and their vendors.

Ensuring Compliance and Risk Management

Legal analytics can also assist in monitoring and ensuring compliance with various regulations and ethical standards. By analyzing data related to compliance protocols, law firms can identify areas of potential risk and take proactive measures to mitigate them. This helps in maintaining a solid reputation and avoids legal complications that could impede growth.

Harnessing the Power of Data and Analytics for Law Firm Success

Harnessing the Power of Data and Analytics for Law Firm Success

While legal analytics offers immense potential, it’s not without challenges. Privacy concerns, data quality, and the need for skilled data professionals are among the hurdles that need to be addressed. However, the legal landscape is evolving, and data-driven decision-making is becoming increasingly essential for growth and success.

Legal analytics, as we’ve explored, is a transformative force for the legal profession, offering multifaceted advantages that revolutionize how legal professionals operate. Predictive analytics stands as a beacon of precision in advising clients and planning legal strategies. In the client-centric realm, data analytics illuminates preferences and satisfaction levels, enabling tailored services that foster trust, referrals, and repeat business. Efficiency and efficacy soar as legal practices optimize operations through streamlined workflows, automation, and smart resource allocation.

Yet, the power of data and analytics doesn’t stop at a firm’s threshold—it extends to third-party collaborations, promoting transparency, productivity, and accountability. Moreover, legal analytics emerges as a stalwart guardian of compliance and risk management, identifying potential pitfalls and enabling proactive measures to preserve reputations and avert legal entanglements.

In this era of legal evolution, the marriage of data and analytics isn’t just a strategy; it’s an imperative. It’s the North Star leading legal practices towards a future where success is measured by informed decisions, delighted clients, streamlined operations, and a resilient foundation built on compliance and trust. The potential is boundless, and for those who embrace this transformation, the trajectory of success knows no bounds.

A Data-Informed Law Firm Requires a Data-Driven Litigation Support Service Partner

A Data-Informed Law Firm Requires a Data-Driven Litigation Support Service Partner

Rapid Legal has deep industry knowledge and experience with physical court filing, eFiling, and service of process combined with technology expertise and solutions to address the needs of today’s law firms. Learn how we can help your firm streamline litigation document workflows, leverage data, integrate systems, and more. Book a demo or schedule a call with us today to discuss how we can best support your firm’s needs.

AI + The Lawyer

AI + The Lawyer: Keep Calm and Practice On

AI + The Lawyer

It’s safe to say that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here. While the stunning technology used to be reserved for Sci-Fi concepts, OpenAI’s Chat GPT, propelled by its biggest investor, Microsoft, is seeking to revolutionize the capabilities of AI, our expectations of it, and its uses. AI is being applied in virtually every industry, so it’s no surprise that the legal industry is learning how to apply it to the practice and business of law. The AI deluge raises an immediate question for lawyers: how is this going to affect my job?

This article explores the nuanced relationship between AI and law firms, examining whether it acts as a disruptive force or a valuable augmentation. We’ll examine how AI is affecting the business of law, how the role of the lawyer will likely evolve, and what skills the lawyer of tomorrow may need.

Keep Calm and Practice On

Before we get started, let’s make one thing clear: lawyers are not going anywhere anytime soon. The same can be said of legal assistants, paralegals, and legal administrators. Thus, law firms are not going anywhere. In fact, both lawyers and legal assistants/paralegals both have healthy job outlooks, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as they’re expected to grow by 10% and 14% from 2021 to 2031, respectively.

AI and the law firm - efficiency AI

While the supercharged efficiency AI creates has the potential to drastically reduce operating costs for law firms, how law firms generate revenue is still relatively the same. That’s because the law firm’s most precious commodity remains unchanged: judgment.

Danielle Benecke, the founder and global head of Baker Mackenzie’s machine learning practice, said on’s podcast, Legal Speak, that the “ultimate driver” in the legal industry is a lawyer’s judgment. Benecke went on to state AI is a “significant advance along this continuum of technology advances that drive and grow our business model.”

Rather than replacing a lawyer’s judgment, Benecke and other lawyers see AI as a tool to “enhance” their judgement. For example, a novel use of AI that is being considered is using AI as a tool to predict legal outcomes, or the likelihood of the success of a case, which allows a lawyer to decide if they want to take a case on contingency or if they should advise their client to settle and more.

Tomorrow’s Lawyer: With Great Technology Comes Great Upskilling Required

AI is already being used to make legal professionals more efficient by automating simple yet time-intensive processes such as discovery, research, and drafting motions. What normally takes hours could be performed in a matter of minutes, which will allow both paralegals and lawyers to focus on higher-value tasks. In essence, AI will enable legal professionals to get more done in significantly less time using fewer resources, thus reducing operational costs.

A spike in efficiency and productivity throughout the industry will also create an even more competitive environment between lawyers. Ben Allgrove, the Chief Innovation Officer at Baker McKenzie, stated in a New York Times article that AI will force everyone, “from paralegals to $1,000-an-hour partners, to move up the skills ladder to stay ahead of the technology.” In layman’s terms, everyone is going to have to step up.

AI and the law firm - technology

Breakthrough technology brings a Darwinian dimension to any business arena it affects: adapt or die. Such is the case with the legal industry. If lawyers are to have a bright future practicing law, it behooves them to understand AI.

If a lawyer is going to be proficient in AI, there are two major skills he/she should learn: prompt engineering and explainable AI (XAI.)

Prompt Engineering

Prompt engineering refers to the practice of fine-tuning and optimizing the inputs or queries given to an AI system to elicit desired outputs or responses. It involves carefully crafting instructions or prompts to guide the behavior of the AI model and achieve specific goals. The focus is on understanding how AI models interpret and respond to different inputs.

A lawyer with a strong grasp of prompt engineering will know what questions to ask a language model and how to word those questions to contextualize their situation. They would be able to ask a language model about a specific client’s needs, their scenario, and legal implications within which they’re working so the model can help them strategize.

For example, if a record label wanted to mint NFTs for a debut album of one of its artists, its in-house attorney would be able to ask a series of questions and provide a list of parameters to an AI model that would, in turn, produce say, a contract that covers royalties, IP law, and copyright law in just a few minutes.

While many in the legaltech space see prompt engineering as the next critical skill in the practice of law, the framework around how AI is regulated and taught still needs to be created. Regulations governing AI and the use of language models in law will develop as the market evolves, which will lay the foundation for legitimate curriculum law schools and colleges. Some universities and third-party services offer certificate programs; however, few accredited universities and law schools offer courses on prompt engineering.

Explainable AI (XAI)

Explainable AI (XAI)

Explainable AI (XAI) is a set of techniques and methods that help us understand how AI systems make decisions. It provides a window into the “mind” of the AI system, allowing us to see the reasons and factors behind its decisions. XAI aims to make AI more transparent and understandable, so we can trust and verify its decisions.

It may be a surprise to many, but AI has biases just like humans, so it’s critical for users to understand the steps and logic AI uses to reach a decision. Lawyers who use AI in the future will need to understand its biases so they can create more accurate work and minimize errors. XAI helps us trust and understand the decisions made by AI systems and the lawyers who will use them.

The buzz around XAI is not as intense as prompt engineering, and one could make a strong argument that XAI is more complicated and technically harder than prompt engineering, however, it is still immensely valuable. Lawyers with a strong grasp of XAI will be able to identify problems in AI’s logic and then solve them. A stout understanding of XAI will even augment a lawyer’s skill to engineer prompts.

AI and the law firm - AI becomes ubiquitous

Of course, once AI becomes ubiquitous, the most successful law firms will be the ones who utilize it in the most creative, practical, and critical manner. AI may be “smart tech”, but it is only as savvy as the practitioner using it, and how they use it to improve business outcomes for their law firm.

Third Party Legal Support Service Providers

Like law firms, third-party service providers will also be seeking to benefit from AI by enjoying increased efficiency, greater output, and greater accuracy. For Rapid Legal portal users, that will mean fewer court rejections, more intuitive commands in the ordering workflow, and a better customer experience. Stay tuned.

Rapid Legal is now integrating with law firm systems to help automate legal processes related to litigation support services.
Rapid Legal is now integrating with law firm systems to help automate legal processes related to litigation support services


There’s a lot about AI and how it will ultimately affect the legal industry that we don’t know today. It’s in its nascent stages. But like the smartphone’s radical effect on modern society, AI will be a game-changer in the legal industry. And despite lawyers being famous for not adopting technology on the cutting edge, the benefits they will enjoy from AI are monumental. Yes, legal professionals will have to level up their skills, but the advantages AI will bring will far surpass any cost or challenge.

Contact Us Today

To learn more about Rapid Legal’s technological innovation and automation initiatives in the law firm, schedule a call or book a demo with a Rapid Legal team member today. Rapid Legal can also help your law firm with all its eFiling, court filing, and process serving needs.

How Safe Is Your Law Firm’s Cybersecurity?

Is Cybersecurity Limiting The Modern Law Firm?

How Safe Is Your Law Firm’s Cybersecurity?

In the digital age, cybersecurity is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. This sentiment doubles for law firms, which are being bombarded by ransomware attacks, data breaches, and a litany of other data-related issues daily.

As cyber threats continue to get more sophisticated, the methods firms need to take to protect themselves grow more complex, time-intensive, and expensive. As if running a practice and protecting themselves on the digital front weren’t enough, lawyers nowadays must go through technology training simply to stay current with data security practices.

cybersecurity limiting

If that all sounds like a lot, it’s because it is, which begs the question: is cybersecurity limiting the modern law firm? This article will explain the host of obstacles with which modern law firms grapple to cover their digital bases, what security capabilities law firms should look for in third-party vendors, and how third-party providers such as Rapid Legal are stepping up to give them peace of mind.


The Complexity of Cybersecurity:


One of the biggest challenges law firms face when implementing robust cybersecurity measures is the cost. Cybersecurity solutions can be expensive, especially for smaller firms with limited budgets. A survey from the International Legal Technology Association found that firms were increasing their spending on cybersecurity and security assessment software by 40% and 44%, respectively.

This increase in spending is substantial for big law firms that have the millions of dollars and resources to afford cutting-edge cybersecurity, but smaller firms with limited funds can easily find themselves shelling out more significant portions of their budgets if they’re to have top-of-the-line cybersecurity. This reason is why small firms are the most vulnerable to cyberattacks.

The cost of implementing and maintaining these solutions, as well as training staff on how to use them effectively, can add up quickly. Moreover, these costs can limit the ability of law firms to invest in other areas of their business, such as hiring additional staff or upgrading their technology.



Employing cybersecurity measures, including training, is neither a simple nor an easy task. It requires technical expertise and knowledge that oftentimes requires law firms to get from an outside consultant. Law firms need to work with cybersecurity professionals to develop a plan that meets their unique needs and requirements, while small firms must sacrifice precious resources to protect themselves.

Regardless of the scope of the law firm’s needs, these security plans almost always require some sort of training for the legal staff. While this training is important to the overall data hygiene of the law firm, this process can be a time-consuming and complicated process that limits the productivity of legal professionals.

Technology training has become so commonplace in the legal industry that 75% of respondents in the 2022 Survey from the ABA reported having technology training at their firms. According to the survey, 100% of the firms with over 100 attorneys that responded to the survey had technology training available for their attorneys.

Interested in cybersecurity and other technology-related matters?

Check out this thought-provoking article:

Technology By Itself Does Not Make a 21st Century Law Firm

user error

User Error

One of the most critical weak points of any enterprise’s cybersecurity is user error. Even with strong cybersecurity measures in place, law firms are still vulnerable to data breaches and cyberattacks due to user error. Human error may seem like an anticlimactic or even silly source of error, but studies have shown it can be difficult to remedy as scams and phishing emails have become increasingly sophisticated.

These errors can include everything from employees falling for phishing scams to leaving their devices unlocked and unattended. While it is becoming an industry standard to train legal professionals to spot scams, human error will be a constant weak point so long as humans are using their devices.

While there are many different types of breaches and cybersecurity threats to be aware of, phishing is the most common. The 2021 Verizon Data Breach Investigation report found that phishing was present in 36% of all breaches.

Even more daunting, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA,) found that 90% of all cyberattacks begin with phishing, Intel’s International Security Quiz found that a staggering 97% of email users cannot identify a phishing email.

Compliance and Regulations

Compliance and Regulations

Law firms also face other obstacles when implementing cybersecurity procedures, such as compliance requirements, regulatory changes, and evolving cybersecurity threats. Compliance requirements can be complex and time-consuming to follow, and failure to comply can result in costly fines and legal action.

Cybersecurity has also affected the California state’s legislation. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) are two of the most notable pieces of legislation affecting law firms.

The CCPA applies mostly to mid to large-sized firms as it applies to companies and for-profit firms that gross over $25 million, firms that sell the personal information of 100,000 or more California residents, or firms that derive 50% or more of their revenue from selling consumers’ personal data.

To be compliant with the CCPA, a law firm must implement certain measures, such as ensuring transparency in their data collection practices and providing customers with the right to access, delete, and opt out their personal information.

law firms

These businesses and law firms must also have clear privacy policies that outline their precise use of the customer’s data, as well as train employees to understand CCPA requirements and undergo regular audits and assessments.

The CPRA builds off the CCPA and imposes additional obligations to protect the privacy of personal information. Sometimes referred to as “CCPA 2.0,” CPRA shares the same revenue criteria as CCPA, although it is far stricter and more thorough in its auditing of a firm’s data collection, processing, and storage practices. Failure to comply with either act will result in costly penalties for the firms.

Regulatory changes can also impact the way law firms handle client data and require them to update their cybersecurity policies and procedures accordingly. Cybersecurity threats are constantly evolving, which requires legal professionals to stay up to date on the latest trends and best practices.

Court Rulings and Liability

Court Rulings and Liability

Recent court rulings are making companies and law firms more liable for data security practices. In September 2022, the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals remanded a putative class-action lawsuit against ExecuPharm, a pharmaceutical company that suffered a data leak due to a phishing scam.

What’s notable about this ruling is that the District Court had previously dismissed the case due to its speculative nature since the lead plaintiff’s information had not suffered any identity theft. Upon review of the case, the Appellate Court ruled that the plaintiff still had a substantial risk of imminent injury due to the intentional nature of the cyber-attack.

The case, which was sued under the Class Action Fairness Act for negligence, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of confidence, also determined that intangible injuries such as having your data stolen and the emotional distress of having your data leaked are sufficient to file suit against a corporation. Now more than ever, companies and law firms are liable for the security of their client’s data.

Third-Party Risks

Third-Party Risks

Law firms often work with third-party vendors, such as eFiling service providers, court reporting services, and e-discovery providers, that may have access to sensitive data. If these providers have access to your firm’s system, their vulnerabilities can become yours.

Ensuring your third-party vendor has up-to-date security and is compliant is critical when choosing providers. For DLA Piper, who suffered a massive ransomware attack in 2017, their leak was caused by a compromised supplier.

Key considerations to verify when working with third-party vendors include:

  1. Data Encryption: Does the vendor encrypt data both in transit and at rest? Encryption ensures that if data is intercepted, it is unreadable.
  2. Compliance with Industry Standards: Does the vendor comply with all rules and regulations about data privacy and personally identifiable information (PII), cardholder data, and more?
  3. Regular Security Audits: Does the vendor conduct regular security audits to identify and mitigate potential security risks?
  4. Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans: Does the vendor have disaster recovery and business continuity plans? These plans ensure that if there is a security breach or other disaster, your data is safe, and your business can continue operating.
  5. Access Controls: Does the vendor use strict access controls? This ensures that only authorized users have access to sensitive data.
  6. Redundancy: Does the vendor store their data in multiple data centers? Having their data stored in multiple data centers will ensure your data will be available and secure in the event one of those data centers is compromised.

hacker mind

How Bad Are Data Breaches, Really?

The recent high-profile data breaches have underscored the need for robust cybersecurity measures in the legal industry. For example, in 2016, a Panama-based law firm, Mossack Fonseca, suffered a significant data breach, which led to the leak of 11.5 million confidential documents. The Panama Papers leak exposed the financial dealings of some of the world’s most powerful individuals and companies, resulting in significant reputational damage to the law firm.

Similarly, in 2017, DLA Piper, one of the largest law firms in the world, suffered a significant ransomware attack that affected their systems in the United States, Europe, and Asia. This cyber-attack was so severe that it required the firm to shut down its systems entirely.

Aside from the massive reputational blow data breaches deal, there’s also a crippling cost element that comes with a major data breach. A 2022 report by IBM and the Ponemon Institute calculated the average cost of a data breach to a US company to be a staggering $9.44 million. Suddenly the exorbitant cost of cybersecurity doesn’t seem so steep.

When it comes down to brass tacks, cybersecurity is indubitably a critical part of any law firm’s digital infrastructure. While staying current with cybersecurity regulations and technology is difficult and time-intensive, practicing good digital hygiene can save your law firm from a catastrophic data breach or malware attack.

Security and Compliance

Rapid Legal’s Portal Delivers Professional-Grade Security and Compliance

As a certified eFiling service provider with 35+ courts in California, including the largest court system in the nation, Los Angeles Superior Court, Rapid Legal’s litigation support service portal is used daily by thousands of legal professionals to file and serve their legal documents. That’s why it’s built with security in mind. We follow industry best practices to ensure the privacy and security of our client’s data.

Professional Grade Security and Compliance

  • Advanced Firewalls – military-grade data encryption
  • Rigorous registration and authorization protocols
  • Certified Electronic Filing Service Provider (EFSP)
  • PCI Compliant

Industry-Leading Technology Integrity

  • Amazon Web Services enabled
  • Highly automated, redundant, and scalable
  • On-Demand availability 24/7

Rapid Legal is now integrating with law firm systems to help automate legal processes related to litigation support services.
Rapid Legal is now integrating with law firm systems to help automate legal processes related to litigation support services

Ultimately, cybersecurity is both a nuisance and a salvation for the modern law firm. One cannot overstate its importance to the security of a firm’s and its client’s data, however, the growing complexity of these practices, training employees, and staying current with industry-standard practices and compliances is a massive undertaking.

Perhaps the more critical issue is how sophisticated scams are becoming. It almost seems that the moment a breakthrough security innovation happens, a new malware or hacking program cancels it out. Thankfully, with blockchain technology, AI, and even quantum computing (which is on the far horizon,) law firms and their IT partners will be able to combat these malicious issues and hopefully solve them once and for all.

Do You Care About Cybersecurity? So Do We.

If you’re interested in a vendor that offers secure, reliable eFiling, court filing, or process serving, schedule a call or book a demo with a Rapid Legal team member today!

We also have an extensive resource library where you can find guides, checklists and other resources to help you eFile documents according to the local court rules in each county as well as what qualities to look for when selecting an eFiling service provider or process serving vendor.

Process Serving

Process Serving: Is Rushed Service Worth the Price?

Process Serving

In today’s fast-paced world, time is money. This is especially true in the legal industry where clients expect law firms to resolve their cases as quickly as possible but at a cost-effective price. As a result, litigation support services that promise supersonic process serving are often seen as paramount, but are rushed services worth the price you pay?

In this article, we’ll explore the true cost of rushed litigation support services and help you evaluate whether the urgency you think you need is worth the price you pay. We’ll also show you how reporting data can help you identify where you’ve been losing money on difficult serves or unnecessary on-demand services, and help you decide whether it’s really worth it.

A Need for Speed

A Need for Speed

Before we dive into the cost of speedy litigation support services, let’s first define what we mean by “speed.” In the legal industry, speed is typically measured by the time it takes to serve legal documents or the time it takes to complete a legal support task related to a case.

Litigation support services that promise faster turnaround times and more efficient processes are often more expensive than those that offer slower service levels.

Not Every Matter Is Urgent, And That’s Okay

However, not all legal cases require ultra-fast service. For example, a routine document retrieval task may not require expedited service, and choosing a slower service level could save you, and thus, your client, money. On the other hand, urgent matters such as restraining orders or emergency motions may demand immediacy requiring you to pay a premium for expedited service.

Different circumstances call for different levels of urgency, so it’s important to evaluate your needs and determine whether the exigency you think you need is worth its steeper price tag.

Do you think you know a good service of process provider when you see one?

Test your knowledge here:

What to Look for When Hiring a Process Serving Company.

To help you evaluate your options, we’ve included a table that shows how Rapid Legal’s service levels differ and what a law firm can expect to pay for each. This table can help you determine which Rapid Legal service level is right for your needs and budget.

Service LevelAttempts TimeframeCost*
Standard1st attempt within 5 days$80
Priority1st attempt within 1 day$110
UrgentUrgent (Same Day Attempt, if received by deadline$170
On-DemandImmediate processing**$245

*Prices are based on services up to 50 pages. For services over 50 pages, Rapid Legal charges a document set-up fee of $.50 per additional page.

** Attempt must be received by 1:00 PM PST within California and 10:00 AM PST outside California.

Please note: Services, prices and deadlines are accurate as of this posting. For the latest information, please visit our prices and deadlines page.

As you can see, the cost of litigation support services increases significantly as the attempt’s timeframe decreases. While faster service levels may be necessary for urgent legal matters, it’s important to evaluate whether the cost is worth it for routine tasks.

Things to Keep in Mind

It’s also important to understand that the level of service does not guarantee the process server will complete a process serving order on their first attempt.

While selecting a rush service means the process server will attempt to serve the legal documents sooner, a host of variables exist that can slow down service, from providing the case participant’s incorrect address to the defendant evading service entirely.

location tracking

However, on average, legal professionals should expect their litigation support service provider to complete a service of process order and deliver the proof of service back within a week.

Is your process server fumbling your legal documents?
Is your process server fumbling your legal documents?

In addition to evaluating your service level needs, you should also analyze your reporting data to identify where you’ve been losing money on difficult serves or unnecessary on-demand services.

Rapid Legal conducts Quarterly Business Reviews with our clients to share service of process success rates, proof of service turnaround times, and other insightful user and order data to help you manage the productivity of your staff as well as the performance of our services.

data report

While speedy litigation support services may be necessary for urgent legal matters, it’s important to evaluate whether the urgency you think you need is worth the price you pay. In many instances, your firm may be overpaying for a service that doesn’t require rushed service.

By analyzing your needs, evaluating service levels, and tracking your expenses, you can make more informed decisions about how to allocate your resources and save money on litigation support services.

If you would like to learn more about Rapid Legal’s superior process serving performance or reporting and analytics that deliver transparency and accountability to our law firm clients, schedule a call or book a demo today.

eFiling Hacks

8 eFiling Hacks You Need to Know

eFiling Hacks

Ever caught yourself thinking, “I can’t possibly work any harder?”

We may not be able to help you work harder but we can help you work more efficiently, and some days that may be all you really need to manifest your inner eFiling rock star.

To help you get there, we’ve hand-selected eight hacks that unlock time-saving features when you eFile court documents in the Rapid Legal portal. Read on, bookmark this page, and use it like a get-rich-quick scheme for your productivity.


8 eFiling Hacks

1. Concierge Service

Our Concierge Service is the ultimate shortcut for the world’s busiest legal professionals. Hand over the entire eFiling to a Rapid Legal expert who formats and assembles your document. This personal service includes checks and corrections to verify:

  • Documents are not corrupted or password-protected.
  • Font size and style are correct.
  • Pages are paginated correctly.
  • Summons matches the complaint.
  • All mandated forms are attached.
  • Exhibits are electronically bookmarked.
  • Text is text-searchable.

This service may be the fastest headache reliever available for many legal professionals. However, Concierge Service is only available to registered account owners, so if you’re not yet a Rapid Legal account owner and you know you’re going to need capable and experienced backup, create an account now.

Concierge Service Does More!

See all of the services you get with Rapid Legal’s Concierge Service on our website.


2. Fees Tab: Your eFiling is less likely to be rejected by the court if you pay close attention to the Fees Tab, so take charge of this seemingly small detail. Even if the rest of your eFiling is bulletproof, an improper fee amount will send your efforts off the rails.

Each time you see the fees tab, remember:

  • You must enter the correct fee amount in the Fees tab. If your fee amount is incorrect the order will be rejected.
  • Selecting the option to authorize Rapid Legal to advance the fees does not automatically pay the fees to the court.
  • Subpoena Witness Fees can trip you up. If you’re not sure when a Subpoena Witness Fee is required check The Code of Civil Procedure of California.


3. Document Management System Integration with iManage and NetDocuments: Use this new integration to upload and download documents for your eFiling orders directly from the Rapid Legal portal. If you’re a high-volume eFiler this will save you hours of time over the long haul.

Using this streamlined feature is simple:

  • Log into the Rapid Legal portal for direct access and use the search tool to locate a specific document.
  • To place an eFiling order, select documents from your NetDocuments or iManage account once it’s time to upload the documents.
  • Court-stamped documents are automatically saved to your NetDocuments or iManage account.
  • The document(s) the courts return will transmit directly to your DMS account — and you don’t have to do a thing.

And just like that, you eliminated the need to download, import, and rename files on your local computer.

See it in action! Watch the video and discover how legal professionals use this integration for seamless document transfer.


4. Expert Review: Our in-house experts spot errors prior to court submission to increase the likelihood that the court clerk will accept your eFiling. This service increases your court eFiling acceptance rate and helps you reclaim the time you’d spend doing a detailed review yourself.

Each expert review places a laser focus on your documents to verify that:

  • Signatures and dates are entered as required.
  • Document titles are correct.
  • Court locations and addresses are entered correctly.
  • Names and parties on the documents match.
  • Case numbers match and documents are conformed (if applicable).
  • Correct document titles are selected (this assures fees are correctly paid to the court).

There’s more to the complete Expert Review audit that we can list here. Visit the Expert Review page on our website to see what the full scope of this premium service offers.


5. Stand-alone eService: Get exactly what you need, when you need it. Place stand-alone eService orders on the Rapid Legal portal independent of a court eFiling order.

Here’s how it works:

  • Party A sends an email to Party B, notifying Party B that a court document(s) has been served.
  • The email identifies the court document(s) by the document’s specific name.
  • The email contains a secure link Party B can use to view and download the court document(s).

Stand-alone eService is available in two workflows:

  1. Workflow for California courts that have eFiling.
  2. Workflow for California courts that do not have eFiling.

Better eFiling Pricing? Yes, You Can.

Find out how many large companies drive down vendor prices and get preferred treatment by How Law Firms Can Get Better Pricing and Service with a Single, Preferred Provider on the Rapid Legal blog.

manage cases

6. Manage Cases: A simple solution to track the status of your orders for any of your cases in your Rapid Legal portal.

To navigate the Manage Cases feature, follow these simple steps once you log into your Rapid Legal account:

1. Click on Manage Cases and search your case by its name or by its order number.

manage cases

2. Search for any case that has been active over the last 90 days either by case name or case number.


3. Select the green plus sign to expand the case, then select the order for details.

place order

Manage Cases is where you can also find your conformed copies or proofs of service. Select the Documents tab to locate and view all documents related to the specific order.

Case not found?

If you receive a “Case not found” error message when attempting to place an eFile order, check other filings you may have done for the format of the case number. Most cases have letters at either the beginning or the end of the number.

Rapid Legal provides user data and reports that enable you to analyze productivity, spend, and value
Rapid Legal provides user data and reports that enable you to analyze productivity, spend, and value

7. PDF Preparation: Alerts from the Rapid Legal portal can help you stay on top of potential errors when you’re creating a PDF. Still, you want to strive to create an error-free PDF before it leaves your desktop, so use these tips to keep your eFiling on track and out of the rejection bin.

  • Make your PDFs searchable.
  • Compress PDFs correctly.
  • Do NOT make PDFs locked or fillable.
  • Do you have a fillable document that’s giving you fits? Print the document to PDF or print and rescan then upload on the Documents tab.

Received a “corrupted or invalid PDF” error message?

error message

If this happens, check the top left-hand corner of the screen to see whether the document is locked. The court will not accept locked documents.

locked document

You can resolve this error by:

  • Printing and scanning the document and saving to desktop or
  • Saving the document to .pdf then saving it again to the desktop.

PDF larger than 100 pages?

If you’re working with a particularly unwieldy PDF remember this important rule: the deadline for court documents that exceed 100 pages is 1 hour earlier than the normal deadline.

8. Support: You have several options to work through issues that may crop up when you eFile, including email and phone support. You may also use Rapid Legal’s chat feature as a time-saver when you need to connect with a member of our operations team.

Regardless of the method you select, use the table below to find a hack that will get the fastest, best results from your support session.

When using our chat feature:

Be sure to include your account number or order number while asking a question. If there is a document with which you need assistance, you may attach the document to the chat so the operations team can review it while the chat is in progress. Attaching the document will make your chat process more efficient.

Order or case numbers:

Any communication with our operations team members should include a Rapid Legal order number or case number.

No email links, please:

To keep our systems safe and minimize security risks, our operations team members do not review links that are sent in emails. Please do not send a link inside an email to team members.


You’ve only scratched the surface!

We’ve got even more resources to help you develop your eFiling expertise. Tools such as our Infographic: 5 Secrets to Successful eFiling and [Updated] The Complete Beginner’s Guide to eFiling in 2022 and Beyond can improve the results you’re getting from your eFiling no matter your experience level. The Rapid Legal blog also has exclusive content tailored to sharpen your expertise for the litigation support services you use most. You’ll get the best in technical guidance, professional development, and roadmaps to visualize how your law firm will leverage technology in the 21st century.

It’s all there to view, download, and share for free. If you’re a bargain hunter, think of it as the best deal you’ll find for leveling up your career.

Get started now with our recommended reading list:

Visit the Rapid Legal blog for our complete library of content created especially for the working legal professional.


Need more information?

Is there a hack you want to know more about? Be sure to check out our after-hours support or how we can provide data about your performance and our performance to help your firm operate efficiently and save money.

Contact us today to find out more. Schedule a call or book a demo today!

Courts compress pdf

How to Properly Compress a PDF the Courts Will Accept

Courts compress pdf

What do a hippopotamus and a PDF have in common? Both can be obedient and sort of cuddly when they’re small, but at full size, they become hard to manage and a little dangerous.

Fortunately, the magic of file compression can keep your PDFs from turning into unwieldy beasts that exceed the size limits courts place on electronically filed (eFiled) legal documents.

Here’s This guide will teach you how to use compression to transform any PDF into a well-behaved, right-sized document the court will accept.

Portable Document Format - PDF

Why the Portable Document Format (PDF)?

PDFs are everywhere. Approximately 2.5 trillion PDFs are created each year. They’re used by everyone from NASA to the IRS to the Girl Scouts of America. Their global footprint is so ubiquitous PDFs even have their own ISO standard (in case you’re wondering, it’s ISO 32000).

So, what’s behind the PDF’s popularity?

PDFs are simple and utilitarian: they travel well, you can pack a lot of stuff into them, and just about anyone can create one.

Created by Adobe Inc. in 1993, the Portable Document Format (PDF) has also aged well.

As of 2023, some of the current versions of the applications that allow you to create, view, and edit a PDF—such as Adobe Acrobat Pro—now allow you to place text, images, music, and video into a single type of file that can’t be edited or altered (unless you want to.)

That means you can send that PDF to a law firm on the other side of the globe where it can be opened and read—just as you intended—by someone you’ll probably never meet.

However, while the PDF architecture is stable, reliable, and easy to use, PDFs can also become quite large. An oversized PDF is likely to clash with strict size limits set by California courts which, in turn, will cause a court eFiling to be rejected.

Compressing a PDF to meet the court’s limits solves that problem.

Files Too Large

What Makes Files Too Large?

In most cases, the cause behind an improperly compressed PDF is one of two things: either the images included in the PDF were scanned incorrectly or the scans were attached to the PDF without being compressed.

Here are a couple of points to think about before you open the lid on your scanner:

Resolution and Color

To properly prepare and compress a PDF you’ll want to pay attention to the resolution and color settings on your scanning device. That’s because problems with a PDF’s image file sizes typically develop for one of two reasons:

  1. Images haven’t been compressed.
  2. Images were scanned in color.

Color settings: Making a color scan of an image or document that is black and white creates an image file size much larger than it should be, which unnecessarily increases the overall size of your PDF. Make sure you select the “color” setting when you scan color images and the black-and-white setting when you scan documents or images that are black-and-white.

Resolution settings: When you scan an image or document pay close attention to the resolution at which you are making the scan. Choose the resolution setting that creates a clear and legible image, but does so at a minimal file size.

To illustrate the effect that resolution has on document size, Table 1 demonstrates the results of an 8.5” x 11” black-and-white document scanned at four different resolutions:

Table 1.

ResolutionFile Size (approximate)
72 ppi45 KB
300 ppi524 KB
600 ppi3 MB (3,000 KB)
1,200 ppi9.5 MB (95,000 KB)

As you can see, file size escalates quickly once you set the resolution higher than 72ppi, so be sure the resolution you select isn’t overkill.

For best results, always keep one eye on your color and resolution settings. This may be especially important for civil case types that are known to use large numbers of images, such as:

  • Accident cases
  • Health-related cases
  • Elder abuse
  • Medical malpractice

Helpful Reminder

One way to protect your eFilings from being rejected because of improper PDF compression is to know the court’s requirements. Pay close attention to them when preparing a PDF.

Rapid Legal is now integrating with law firm systems to help automate legal processes related to litigation support services.
Rapid Legal is now integrating with law firm systems to help automate legal processes related to litigation support services

Your PDF is Too Big. Now what?

When a PDF sent to Rapid Legal for eFiling exceeds the court’s maximum document size and maximum envelope size limits, the Rapid Legal portal issues an error code when the sender presses the “Submit” key.

That error message informs the user sender that the file size is too large (see Figure 1 below).

Figure 1

figure 1

The error message stops the eFiling process and at that point, no extra costs are yet incurred. This is also a point at which the customer may fix the compression problem before it leaves the desk and resubmit the eFiling order.

If a document reaches Rapid Legal and still has a file size problem, oftentimes a member of the Rapid Legal operations team will step in to help. In some cases, the team member can quickly teach the person who ordered the eFiling how to compress the PDF properly so they can correctly save files themselves moving forward.

Helpful Reminder

Did you know you can protect against a too-large PDF in your eFiling by using Rapid Legal’s Concierge Service? In addition to reviewing your eFiling order for other potential errors as part of Concierge Service, our operations team members will optimize your PDF and make it text-searchable.

Find out more about Concierge Service now!

How do you avoid it?

Compressing a PDF is a simple process. The key part is to know which version of Adobe Acrobat you’re using and follow the instructions for that version.

If you’re saving your PDF correctly you can make it text-searchable and optimize it at the same time.

There are many tutorials published on the internet that can help you with this. Performing a search on Google or YouTube with keywords such as “compress pdf” or “reduce pdf size” is likely to yield good results.

compress PDF

How to compress a PDF the courts will accept

To get the best results when you’re trying to compress a PDF to submit to Rapid Legal for eFiling, follow these simple steps:

First, be sure you’re using the proper tool for the job. There are more ways than one to create a PDF but, for the California courts, be sure the tool you use is Adobe Acrobat. There are several versions of Adobe Acrobat that operate on Windows or Mac.

Adobe offers a free version of Acrobat as well as subscription versions such as Adobe Acrobat Pro, which has many advanced features. Each version has different capabilities, so be sure the version you use offers file compression.

The steps below apply to Adobe Acrobat Pro

  • Launch Adobe Acrobat Pro.
  • Open the PDF you want to compress.
  • In the toolbar on the right side, navigate to the More Tools selection. Click on More Tools..
  • Scroll down to the Protect & Standardize section.
  • Find the Optimize PDF option.
  • Double-click on Optimize PDF.
  • Your document opens automatically.
  • In the ribbon at the top of the page select Optimize Scanned Pages.
  • The Enhanced Scanned PDF window appears.
  • Click OK.

This same process also makes the PDF text-searchable.

PDF Expertise

Show Off Your PDF Expertise

What better place to demonstrate your command of all things PDF than eFiling with Rapid Legal? Once you’ve prepared your PDF to the court’s size standards, Rapid Legal will get your order completed in any California court where eFiling is available.

We’re confident your PDF expertise combined with our unrivaled eFiling service makes a powerful team. In fact, we put that confidence in writing with the Rapid Legal Satisfaction Guarantee: Your work is done right or you don’t pay.

Get your court eFilling started now! Or, if you want to learn more about our full range of litigation support services, schedule a call or book a demo.

How Law Firms Can Get Better eFiling Pricing and Service with a Single, Preferred Provider

How Law Firms Can Get Better eFiling Pricing and Service with a Single, Preferred Provider

How Law Firms Can Get Better eFiling Pricing and Service with a Single, Preferred Provider

It might sound counter-intuitive because competition and using multiple vendors drives down prices for customers, right? Think again.

We didn’t invent the supply chain, but we’d like to settle an important question about it: For eFiling services are you better off using a single, preferred vendor or multiple vendors?

The question is as old as supply chains themselves and the answer may be a simple one in many industries, but in the world of law firms the choice is more complicated. Law firms stand apart from other industries because of the complexities that permeate legal processes. Likewise, those intricacies transfer to the eFiling “supply chain”.

Selecting a good eFiling service provider is a critical decision for law firms. A poor-performing vendor can rob a firm of precious time and money as well as damage its reputation.



­Percentage of organizations that achieve significantly above-average revenue growth because of superior supply chain capabilities.


Good vendors are good for growth.

To help guide you toward the right choice we’ve created a short list of advantages for the two models you’ll want to compare. First is the single, preferred vendor model, in which a firm selects one vendor from among many that provide similar services. Second is the multiple vendor model, in which a firm selects two or more vendors that provide similar services. As you learn about these models, consider how each one complements your firm’s business goals.

Rapid Legal delivers unrivaled process serving for law firms and legal departments
Rapid Legal delivers unrivaled process serving for law firms and legal departments

Single, Preferred Vendor Advantages

Pricing Discounts

Strategic buyers spend to win, and they know that getting discounted prices on eFiling services helps achieve success. When a law firm spreads its dollars among multiple vendors, it can make volume-based discounts difficult to earn. In contrast, directing that spend to a single, preferred vendor substantially increases your firm’s value and makes it more likely that vendor will offer you a volume discount.

From a strategic standpoint, amplifying spend not only places you in a stronger position to ask for volume discounts, but it also makes it more likely you’ll receive additional perks such as hands-on, personalized customer care, or first access to new technologies.

But why restrict pricing discounts to eFiling? A normal business day for your firm probably includes process service, document retrieval, courtesy copy delivery, county recording, and more. Finding and using a single, preferred vendor who excels across the board in litigation support enables you to manage many services easily from one account.

And, more importantly, because of the volume of your work is spread among several different services, you expand the number of services on which you may receive pricing discounts.

More Time for Billable Tasks

Billable hours are the lifeblood of any law firm and every minute that staff members spend on overhead tasks drives up the cost of doing business. Over time, a law firm may lose significant amounts of billable hours to activities associated with the multiple vendor model. Those activities include time spent managing vendors, inefficient communication, system incompatibilities that hinder integration, and monitoring the quality of work from several sources.

There are also short-term and startup activities that cut into billable hours such as conducting vendor interviews, soliciting bids, and learning a new vendor’s systems. Using a single, preferred vendor model dramatically reduces billable hours lost to these activities.

Another important advantage to working with a single vendor is that litigation support staff train only once on a vendor’s system and can repeat those tasks many times. This makes each staff member more efficient, and thus, productive over the long run improving the firm’s return on investment.

Many firms may also find it difficult to reconcile billing with multiple vendors, which will drain billable time from staff, in addition to time lost to managing the operational details of each vendor relationship.

Visualize Better Performance through Partnership

Selecting a single, preferred vendor means both the firm and the vendor commit for the long term – participating in a true partnership. That commitment provides an incentive for the vendor to optimize every aspect of the customer’s experience, from the online portal interface to customer support and billing. And, when you choose to work with a vendor who sees you as a true partner, you unlock the potential for system-to-system integrations that will save you even more time and money.

How much more? The answer depends on your needs and creativity, but here is an example: You make reconciling invoices and expenses for fee motions so efficient that it saves the cost of one full-time employee.

How is that possible? One way is to pull data directly from your single, preferred vendor’s litigation support services platform directly to your own law firm’s system. If you’re using a multiple vendor model chances are slim those types of synergies will be offered to you.

eFiling is just one point on the compass where the benefits of a single, preferred vendor partnership begin. Firms can use this relationship to automate workflows, automate cost control and visibility, eliminate data duplication of entry, and improve many different business outcomes.

The net result for your firm is a consistent level of service, quality, and favorable costs that set up your own clients for a high level of satisfaction. If you have a vision for improved performance across the board, this model can help make it real.


Benefits of Using Multiple Vendors

There is a lot to like about partnering with a single, highly efficient vendor, but there are also distinct advantages to working with multiple vendors. Here are three that deserve a close look.

Safety Net for Your Work

Service disruptions lurk in the shadows of every industry and tend to appear when you least expect them. Natural disasters, power outages, and ransomware attacks are just a few examples of events that can at least temporarily bring your eFiling vendor’s productivity to a screeching halt.

Using multiple vendors for eFiling can minimize the risk of service disruptions by enabling a law firm to transfer its work from one vendor to another. This can be helpful not only as a response to a hurricane or ransomware attack but in the more likely event that a vendor’s service, quality, or performance falters and threatens your eFiling supply chain.

While having multiple vendors spreads out the risk of service disruption, it’s important to ask yourself which is more probable: a disruption caused by a force of nature, technology breakdowns, or a business closing shop? If you have a single eFiling vendor whose services are web-enabled and operate in the cloud, chances are your eFiling will continue uninterrupted regardless of the weather or server-side attacks.

Get a Better Bargain

Pitting rivals against each other is a time-tested business strategy that has survived simply because it works. When several vendors know they are competing for your firm’s business, each one must offer a compelling reason for you to choose its brand. Many times, that reason is price, and a vendor that offers a favorable price likewise offers you a tool you can use to drive a competitor’s price lower.

In the long run, however, this strategy may backfire if a vendor that delivers jaw-dropping low prices in the beginning becomes complacent and allows those prices to rise—or allows its quality to slip. It’s important to monitor price-driven deals over time to make sure the quality and value of service remain consistent.

Give Yourself Room to Move

In the same way that multiple freeway lanes help smooth the flow of traffic, stacking your supply chain with multiple vendors safeguards against bottlenecks. Protecting against jammed workflows is especially important for eFiling but it is also vital for litigation support services that may require human intervention, such as expert document review, process serving, or skip tracing.

For these types of tasks, the multiple vendor model provides a built-in safety valve that allows firms to simply shift work from the underperforming vendor to an alternate vendor. This is done without jeopardizing capacity, and the transition is undetectable to the law firm’s clients. Such a move may, however, may force you to use eFiling providers that are difficult for you to manage or do not offer data you can use to benchmark their services.

Rapid Legal provides user data and reports that enable you to analyze productivity, spend, and value
Rapid Legal provides user data and reports that enable you to analyze productivity, spend, and value

Best of Both Worlds

Firms that like the flexibility of multiple vendors but also want the reduced administrative costs and potential volume price incentives of a single vendor may find a middle ground by using a single, preferred vendor that excels in several areas. This “best of both worlds” scenario may be attainable from a single provider that has an established history you can confirm independently.

So, how do you make those confirmations? It’s simple; just ask the vendor and its current clients about the following:

  • How many courts does the vendor eFile with directly?
  • Can you place multiple order types though a common workflow?
  • Does the vendor have a high eFiling court acceptance rate?
  • What is the vendor’s accuracy of service?
  • Does the vendor have world-class hosting capability that offers scale, performance, security, and compliance?

If you need even greater assurance that a single eFiling vendor can provide the reliability you need, look for one that offers a satisfaction guarantee. A vendor confident enough to say, “If service is not done right, it’s free,” is a vendor that takes client satisfaction seriously.


First Time eFiling? Download This Guide

The transition from traditional paper filing to electronic filing is easier than you think. Download our eFiling Beginner’s Guide to learn:

  • How eFiling Works
  • How to Prepare for eFiling
  • How to meet court eFiling requirements

It is recommended for eFiling beginners as well as those with experience.


Your Choice in a Nutshell

At the end of the day, the best way to understand which vendor is right for you is to clearly understand your own firm’s needs. Then, determine which vendor can fulfill those needs at a sensible and sustainable price. Once you make your choice, monitor the relationship to make sure the vendor delivers as promised.

To help you prepare for your vendor interviews be sure to read 6 Things to Look For In An Electronic Filing Service Provider (EFSP) for insightful questions you can ask about service performance, domain experience, software capability, and more. If process serving will also be a consideration in your vendor search you’ll find a battery of helpful tips to guide your interview questions in What to Look for When Hiring a Process Serving Company.

The best vendor model to choose will almost always be the one that aligns with your firm’s business strategy. Regardless of which model you choose, 21st century law firms that select an eFiling vendor with whom they can leverage innovation and common goals is the one with whom they most likely will experience a win-win.


You’ve Just Scratched the Surface
Our sales team can help find even more ways to transform your court eFiling into a strategic asset for your firm. Book a demo or schedule a call with a Rapid Legal team member to learn how the full scope of Rapid Legal’s portal capabilities can work for you.

6 Things To Look For In An Electronic Filing Service Provider (EFSP)

6 Things To Look For In An Electronic Filing Service Provider (EFSP)

6 Things To Look For In An Electronic Filing Service Provider (EFSP)

In cases where eFiling is mandatory or permissive, courts in California typically require legal professionals and self-represented litigants to electronically file legal documents with them using an electronic filing service provider, or EFSP. EFSPs are expected to follow proper procedural requirements in a timely and accurate manner, otherwise, their client’s hearings could be delayed, or worse, their cases could be jeopardized.


What is an EFSP?

An EFSP is an Electronic Filing Service Provider that has been authorized and certified by a court, or the court’s technology provider, to integrate its software with the Court’s Case Management System (CCMS) or Electronic Filing Manager (EFM) to transmit and receive data, legal documents, and payments on behalf of end users – law firms, corporations, and the public at large.


EFSPs offer varying degrees of services, technological capabilities and expertise, including the number of court eFiling integrations, customer support, and breadth of litigation support services. It is critical to choose one that can mitigate risk while driving your firm’s innovation forward.

In this buying guide, you will learn six important factors to keep in mind when evaluating an EFSP and finding the right one for your organization.


#1: Service Performance

  • Has processes and technology in place that maximize eFiling court acceptance
  • Returns court-stamped documents and proofs according to the company’s Service Level Agreements on a consistent basis
  • Shares performance metrics with customers such as eFiling Turnaround Times, Serve Success Rates, User Behavior and Order Data

Why It Matters: An EFSP that delivers reliable and transparent litigation support services ensures your filing and serving needs will be well-supported.


#2: Domain Experience & Expertise

  • Possesses deep knowledge of CA state & local court rules, industry eFiling systems, and eFiling procedures
  • Has several years of experience in your particular geographic location
  • Offers complementary services and expertise in other areas such as courtesy copy delivery, records retrieval, and court research

Why It Matters: Where you are eFiling matters, and an EFSP that’s experienced in your area’s specific court rules and policies will be able to better serve you.

Rapid Legal delivers unrivaled process serving for law firms and legal departments
Rapid Legal delivers unrivaled process serving for law firms and legal departments

#3: Customer Support

  • Offers multiple ways to contact customer support such as live chat, email, and phone
  • Provides expert review of all documents to ensure proper formatting, filing, and more
  • Delivers regular updates on the status of your legal documents
  • Partners with clients and focuses on long-term client success by continually earning client trust in every interaction

Why It Matters: An EFSP that makes customer support a top priority ensures your documents will be filed & served correctly and reachable when you need it.


#4: Future-Ready Technology & Software Capability

  • Is integrated with all eFiling courts, not just a few of them
  • Provides an intuitive portal that is easy-to-use and delivers court-stamped documents and proofs of service back quickly and reliably
  • Delivers custom reports and analytics
  • Has the ability to integrate with accounting, practice management systems and more, to automate legal workflows and leverage data

Why It Matters: An EFSP that delivers more than just an eFiling portal, but also can leverage data, insights, and integrations to automate and better run your business means it can support you now and well into the future.


#5: Billing Processes

  • Has clear and timely billing procedures
  • Offers a seamless payment process tailored to a customer’s needs
  • Provides in-depth itemized invoices including available payment methods, amount owed, unique invoice reference numbers, and more
  • Answers any outstanding questions regarding service and court fees

Why It Matters: Detailed invoices and timely billing from an EFSP delivers greater cost visibility and control for your firm.


#6: Social Proof & Industry Reputation

  • Has a proven track record of customer success and satisfaction
  • Shares client testimonials on website and social platforms
  • Has industry recognition from legal professionals and organizations who have partnered with the EFSP
  • Offers case studies that showcase the EFSP’s former work

Why It Matters: Positive reviews from customers and other legal professionals prove an EFSP’s ability to provide reliable services.


Let’s Get Started

Now that you know what to look for in an EFSP, you’re ready to begin your search. For those needing to deliver legal documents fast and reliably, Rapid Legal is here to help. Create an account and start the eFiling process with us today.

6 things to look for in an EFSP - social

CA Court eFiling Requirements – Part Three

CA Court eFiling Requirements – Part Three

CA Court eFiling Requirements – Part Three

This is the 3rd and final post in our 3 part series created to answer the question, “What CA courts are moving to eFiling and when?”

Here in Part Three, we bring you the current state of eFiling in San Diego County Superior Court, Alameda County Superior Court and two other honorable mentions: Sacramento and Stanislaus Counties.

San Diego County Superior Court

March 4, 2013: eFiling opened up in San Diego’s Central Division.

June 30, 2014: eFiling opened up in San Diego’s North County Division.


San Diego Superior Court requires the following actions to be eFiled:

    • Provisionally Complex (Antitrust, Construction Defect, Mass Tort, Environmental/Toxic Tort and Securities Litigation Cases)

A couple of caveats exist:

Self-represented litigants are not required to eFile or electronically serve documents in a mandatory eFile case. If they choose to do so, however, they may eFile and electronically serve documents; or they may otherwise be ordered to eFile and/or electronically serve documents by the Court.

A party may, in writing and by ex-parte application, request an exemption, which can only by granted by Court Order. This request must be made to the judge or department to which the case is assigned.

For mandated eFiling cases, San Diego Superior Court has designated One Legal as the court-approved eFiler. For all other cases, Rapid Legal can assist you.

Rapid Legal provides user data and reports that enable you to analyze productivity, spend, and value
Rapid Legal provides user data and reports that enable you to analyze productivity, spend, and value

Take Note! The following filings or case types are NOT ELIGIBLE for eFiling, and must be filed in paper form:

  • Name Change (Safe at Home) Petitions
  • Civil Harassment TRO/RO
  • Workplace Violence TRO/RO
  • Elder Abuse TRO/RO
  • Transitional Housing Program Misconduct TRO/RO
  • School Violence Prevention TRO/RO
  • Out-of-State Commission Subpoenas
  • Undertaking/Surety Bonds
  • Requests for Payment of Trust Funds
  • Writs, Abstracts, or Warrants to be issued
  • Notice of Appeal of Labor Commissioner
  • Settlement Conference Briefs (to be lodged)
  • Confidential documents lodged conditionally under seal Interpleader actions pursuant to CC2924j

Okay, so maybe you’re still not sure which documents need to be eFiled in San Diego? Feel free to give our team a call at 800.366.5445!

You can also view the Court’s FAQs here.

What’s next for San Diego?

The Court is striving to do more to build out its technology and infrastructure to support e-Filing for all Civil Actions. We’ll keep you posted with new developments as they arise.

Alameda County Superior Court

Alameda Court is preparing for the launch of a new Case Management System for juvenile, criminal, family, civil and probate case types. Juvenile and criminal case types are expected to launch in December 2015, with the remaining to go live December, 2016. The Court intends to implement e-filing concurrently.

How about other Counties in California, you may be asking?

While they are not expected to go to full-fledged eFiling right away, there are two other Counties which show some indication of moving in that direction:

Sacramento County Superior Court

Sacramento County has allowed eFiling for Unlawful Detainers (UDs) and Small Claims for several years now. They have made no other provisions, though, as of this writing. Rapid Legal continues to monitor Sacramento for further developments in e-Filing.

Stanislaus County Superior Court

It is projected that by 2016, Stanislaus will look to roll out eFiling.

Rapid Legal will continue to stay in contact with the Courts. Our aim is to continue providing eFiling to our customers to the fullest extent possible, and as each court makes eFiling available.

eFiling vs. eDelivery and eSubmit

Did You Know? eFiling vs. eDelivery and eSubmit Are NOT the Same!

eFiling vs. eDelivery and eSubmit

Most of us in the legal industry are familiar with, or have at least heard of, “eFiling”, but have you heard of “eDelivery or eSubmit”? More importantly, do you know the difference?

Before we dive into what eDelivery/eSubmit is, it’s important to understand some of the history of how legal documents have been transmitted to U.S. courts throughout the years.

Prior to the digital age, court submissions were done in one of two ways: 1) legal documents were physically filed at the court and 2) they were sent via mail. Later, with the introduction of the fax machine in the 1990’s, fax filing was born. This changed the speed and ease of how documents could be transmitted.

With fax filing, a user would send their legal documents to a Fax Filing Service Provider who would review, prepare, and physically deliver the documents directly to the court or transmit the documents via facsimile to the court. All three of these traditional methods, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, are still being utilized today. The other two methods are eDelivery/eSubmit and eFile, which we will cover a little later.

Methods to File Documents with the Court:

All icons with text

People Still Use the Fax!?!

Believe it or not, there are a number of reasons why we are still using the fax machine in 2020. The fact is, we don’t know if it’s going away anytime soon due to user familiarity, ease of use, and legacy requirements. But it isn’t a method without flaws. What a user may not know is that once a fax transmission is received by the court, there is an entire manual workflow that takes place behind the scenes by court personnel and the timeline varies by each court.

For example, once the fax is received, a court clerk has to manually check the documents for accuracy and completeness, accept them or reject them due to errors, and then manually input them into the Court’s Case Management System (CCMS). This manual effort takes time, is subject to delays due to data entry or workflow bottlenecks and can result in human error. Thus, eFiling and eDelivery/eSubmit were introduced to solve these shortcomings.

Rapid Legal is now integrating with law firm systems to help automate legal processes related to litigation support services.
Rapid Legal is now integrating with law firm systems to help automate legal processes related to litigation support services

What is Electronic Filing (eFiling)?

Electronic filing, or eFiling, is the method of electronically submitting your legal documents to the court via the internet. It typically requires the user to select an approved eFiling Service Provider (EFSP) to eFile their legal documents. Federal, state, and municipal courts have varying rules and regulations for eFiled documents. In many courts, electronic filing is mandatory and they do not allow in-person physical filing.

The biggest advantages of eFiling over traditional filing methods are that it is significantly faster to process, it reduces the amount of paper/manual processes and it’s much more cost-effective, i.e., a physical filing costs $65+ vs. $10 for an eFiling. Traditional filing meant that law firms needed to have a court runner to deliver multiple paper copies of legal documents and pleadings to the corresponding courts and parties.

eFiling is a truly integrated, end-to-end data exchange solution, connecting law firms and EFSPs directly to the courts. This diagram gives a high-level overview of how eFiling works:

EFSP eFiling order court workflow

Currently, 36 out of 58 counties in California have enabled some level of eFiling in their courts. Starting in 2008, many individual county courts in California such as Orange County, Contra Costa, and Sacramento had begun piloting programs for eFiling.

Because eFiling is a fully-integrated technology solution, the cost/investment, time and expertise needed is significant for the court. Some county courts also don’t have the case volume to justify such an investment. Bear in mind that fax submissions at this point are still actively being used, likely suppressing the need to modernize and go fully digital. Thus, for courts that don’t have the budget, expertise or infrastructure to support eFiling, a new solution called “eDelivery” was developed.

What is eDelivery?

More recently, some county courts that were not ready to make the full transition to eFiling have implemented an interim solution called “eDelivery”. Essentially, a platform – or web portal – allows parties the ability to submit electronic (PDF) versions of documents in place of the original directly to individual courts, similar to how fax filing works.

How Does it Work?

  • Electronic (PDF) versions of documents will be submitted by the filing party through a web portal
  • Upon receiving electronic document(s), a “Notice of Receipt of Documents” will be sent to the email address provided by the user
  • This notice will contain the eDelivery submission number and will confirm that the Court has received the document(s)
  • Provided the information supplied is complete and the fees paid are correct, the document(s) will be accepted by the Court and will be filed with the appropriate courthouse as if it had been filed in person
  • Upon the acceptance of the document, an email notifying the submitting party of such, along with an electronic conformed copy, will be sent
  • A notifying email will also be sent if the document is rejected


  • Not a fully-integrated, automated solution
  • Like fax filing, it still requires court clerk to manually input into court case management system
  • Speed – receipt of filing is dependent on court
  • Separate logins per court
  • Fees may vary and a credit card is required for each filing
  • Credit card is the only accepted method of payment

So far, four county courts in California are using an “eDelivery” solution: Imperial, Placer, San Joaquin, and Riverside. The latter two mentioned, San Joaquin and Riverside, have implemented their own instance of eDelivery portals. It is important to note, to avoid confusion, that although San Joaquin calls it “eFile” on their portal, that it is essentially an eDelivery portal. Riverside, on the other hand, refers to their portal as “eSubmit” so you might see these two terms used together or synonymously.

eFile vs. eDelivery/eSubmit

Although the terminology may sound similar, eFile vs. eDelivery/eSubmit are completely different processes as the latter is not a fully integrated solution and there is no data-exchange taking place. Essentially, eDelivery/eSubmit is really just a step above fax filing. With eDelivery/eSubmit, once the court receives the submission, the process is essentially the same as fax. A clerk will still need to review the documents, accept or reject, then manually input the information from the PDF into the court case management system.


To help compare some of the other differences between eFile vs. eDelivery/eSubmit, please refer to this chart below:

PDF delivery of documents to Court’s Case Management systemYesYes*
Receipt of FilingWithin minutesUsually within 2 business days
Integrates with court policiesYesNo*
Single log-inYesNo; separate login per court
Email notificationsYesYes
FeesAn electronic filing service provider (EFSP) pays all fees in advance and sends a single itemized invoice at the end of each transactionVaries (depending on court, usually convenience fee + credit card processing fee). A credit card is required for each filing
Payment MethodsCredit card, eCheck/ACHCredit card only
 *Requires court clerk to input into court case management system

Which Courts in California offer eFiling or eDelivery/eSubmit?

CountyeFileeDelivery/eSubmitPhysical Filing-only
Contra Costa
Del Norte
El Dorado
Los Angeles
San Benito
San Bernardino
San Diego
San Francisco
San Joaquin2
San Luis Obispo
San Mateo
Santa Barbara
Santa Clara
Santa Cruz
1 Riverside refers to their eDelivery portal as “eSubmit”
2 San Joaquin refers to their eDelivery service as “eFile” on their website

Last update: June, 2023

Do you still have some questions on the difference between eFiling and eDelivery/eSubmit? Schedule a 15-minute call with a Rapid Legal Account Manager today – we’ll be happy to answer all your questions!

About Rapid Legal

For more than 25 years, Rapid Legal has helped to define and transform the legal support services industry with its vision and commitment to customers, the courts, and a party’s right to due process under the law.

Trusted by thousands of law firms, government agencies and companies, Rapid Legal leverages its deep industry and technology expertise, and a best-in-class legal services cloud management platform, LegalConnect®, for delivering premium legal support services including electronic filing of court documents (“eFiling”), physical court filings, and service of process.