Sean, one of the creators behind Settlyd, sits down to answer some questions that we had about his career and the application.
So, we’ve heard that you have had a variety of different jobs over the span of your career. Give us a 30 second run-down.
I started my career as a photographer and worked with a wire service after college while I was in graduate school. After graduate school I had an opportunity to work as a leadership consultant for the international headquarters of my undergraduate fraternity. This gave me the opportunity to see the US and Canada over the course of two years. It also allowed me time to decide what I wanted to do when I grew up and during this time I rekindled a decade plus interest in law school.
After law school I went to work in the area of Family Law and while I’ve focused my work towards a couple of specific areas, alternative dispute resolution and guardian ad litem work, I’ve always had an interest in the interplay of technology and family law which lead, in part, to my work developing Settlyd.
When I don’t practice law, I write books, mainly fiction. My first book, a legal thriller, was published several years ago and the second is being edited for publication.
You’ve had some experience making lawyers’ (and divorced parents’) lives easier already. Can you explain the first app you created to us?
One of the areas that’s important in Family Law is child support. In South Carolina we use an approach called the income share model. In order to calculate child support the South Carolina Department of Social Services uses a set of standardized child support guidelines. I developed an app that was available through iTunes based on the South Carolina guidelines. It allowed users, on their iPhone or other iOS devices, to calculate South Carolina child support. The South Carolina Guidelines were updated in 2014 and my app became obsolete. My initial thought was to update the app, but as I began working towards this, I realized I had an opportunity to provide not only the child support calculator, but a number of other tools for family law practitioners as well. So my first app has evolved, in part, into Settlyd.
Name the top 3 reasons why you know investing in Settlyd will help family law attorneys every day.
The website provides one central location for family law attorneys to handle virtually every financial issue present in most cases.
It’s designed to allow family law financial information to be organized and analyzed from the initial client meeting on. This means from the first time an attorney looks at a case they can begin to think about resolution, settlement, negotiations and the like. While numbers may change and new facts be learned, with all of the financial information in one central app, it can be quickly modified and analyzed to avoid delay and surprises.
It’s a cloud based application that requires no local software or local storage and is designed by family law attorneys for family law attorneys.
What is your favorite feature in Settlyd?
It really comes down to accessibility. With the cloud based model, it allows virtually every financial and support issue in each and every one of a lawyer’s cases to be available from one central location whether the lawyer is at home, at court, in the office or on the road.
What was the main reason you hopped on board with the creation of Settlyd?
For me Settlyd represents a bridge in the continued integration of law and technology. It’s my hope that by using Settlyd attorneys can better streamline their efficiency making for a lower stress practice, a more attractive business model while at the same time providing the clients great service and value.
Now that you are wrapping up the development of Settlyd, is there another app in the works?
As Settlyd approaches the Beta version where we are seeing the functionality of the concepts we have only been talking about for near a year, we are focused on future additions and features to Settlyd to provide even more tools for users. One of the main points that I want users to be aware of is that Settlyd, from the start, was conceptualized to be an app that is continually evolving. A priority goal is to listen and understand users and their needs then to integrate features that have not even yet been considered. The current version has already seen the incorporation of features that were mentioned by other family law attorneys as to what they would like to see in the app. There will be a day in the not to far distant future when a user launches the app and is able to say, “Hey, they listened to my idea.”
The goal is to have the app evolve in keeping with our goal of making it by lawyers for lawyers.