Managing email is among the most frustrating problems lawyers face. ZERØ, launched in 2018, is a mobile app that uses artificial intelligence to target lawyers’ email woes, automatically capturing billable time spent on email, automatically filing emails to the proper folders in a firm’s document management system, and guarding against inadvertently sending sensitive emails to the wrong recipient.

Today, ZERØ is releasing a new “lite” version of its product, targeted at smaller and mid-sized firms. ZERØ Lite provides virtually the same functionality as the flagship product, except that it lacks the flagship product’s ability to integrate with and file emails into the DMS systems NetDocuments and iManage.

Otherwise, ZERØ Lite is much like the product from which it is derived. It uses AI to help lawyers organize their emails into appropriate Outlook folders, capture time spent interacting with client-related emails from mobile devices, and automatically detect potential wrong recipients before an email goes out.

“Once we started with our flagship product, we started getting a lot of requests from mid-market firms and even larger firms that do not have the DMS platforms we support, but nonetheless wanted the benefits of our product for email mobility,” ZERØ CEO Alex Babin told me in an interview earlier this week.

“Now, attorneys and legal professionals do not have to have a DMS to get the value that ZERØ provides,” he said.

Specifically, ZERØ Lite performs three key functions:

  • Email management. ZERØ Lite predictively files emails into corresponding Outlook folders, without the lawyer having to manually drag-and-drop them into the appropriate folders. The app can also prioritize emails by importance or sender.
  • Mobile time capture. ZERØ Lite automatically captures the time lawyers spend interacting with client-related emails on a mobile device, creating draft time-entry narratives tied to emails and specific activities.
  • Prevents data loss. ZERØ Lite prevents users from sending emails containing sensitive information to potential wrong recipients by warning them before the email goes out.

Babin says that both ZERØ and ZERØ Lite help law firms make more money by capturing time that might otherwise be lost emailing from mobile devices. It also helps firms be more compliant by helping users store emails in the right locations.

Although Babin did not specify the price of the new product, he said it will be lower than for the full product, in part because it does not require set-up of the connection to the firm’s DMS. If a firm purchases the Lite product and later decides to upgrade to the full product, the transition would be smooth, Babin said.

The company has already signed up three firms to use ZERØ Lite, two of which are Canadian firm Cox & Palmer and Missouri firm Lewis Rice. (Babin declined to identify the third.) For its flagship product, the company recently signed the law firm Holland & Knight as a customer.

Longer term, Babin’s goal is to make ZERØ the standard for mobile email management in the legal profession, not just for time capture and compliance, but as a general email application.

While Apple’s native iPhone email app is currently the most widely used, it is a consumer app not designed for the needs of professionals such as lawyers, he noted.

Babin wants to see ZERØ become the standard mobile email app for legal professionals, with all the attributes professionals would want, including security, compliance and productivity.

In fact, pointing to ZERØ’s integrations with timekeeping tools such as Intapp Time and Aderant iTimekeep, Babin believes the product will become more a platform than a standalone app.

“We’re making it a hub of productivity management,” he said.