getting started

The basics

Updated: June 15, 2021

Welcome to Afterpattern University. This resource will help you learn how to build legal products, document automations, and practice management systems on the Afterpattern platform.

If you have legal expertise and a vision for a better way to practice law, you have 90% of what you need to build with Afterpattern. This University will help you with the rest.

What is Afterpattern?

Afterpattern is a "no code" development platform. Afterpattern provides you with tools (app builder, database, and portal editor) to create web apps. These web apps are hosted in "the cloud" by Afterpattern.

You have full control over how your web apps are hosted by Afterpattern, and how / if they are accessible to others online.

You create new web apps by either building it yourself or hiring an Afterpattern expert.

What are common use-cases for Afterpattern?

Read our guides to see how other legal professionals are using Afterpattern to create legal products and custom practice management systems. Explore the Afterpattern Marketplace to download projects made by others.

Intro to projects

Afterpattern is used to create projects. A project includes apps, a database, and portals.

Intro to apps

An Afterpattern app is a mobile-friendly web app, hosted by Afterpattern, and accessible to whoever you share it with via a web browser.

From the end-user's perspective, apps look like a robust online questionnaire:

An Afterpattern app is not a general purpose web app; it is used to perform a few specific functions: 

  • Collect information with questions;
  • Auto-populate document templates (Word or PDF);
  • Send emails;
  • Perform logical reasoning, e.g. apply a legal rule to the information collected with questions;
  • Send data to / pull data from a database;
  • Collect payments.

After you activate your app, you can share it with others via a shareable link (which you can use to create a button on your website) or by adding it to a portal.

Learn how to create apps with the app builder.

Intro to databases

Every Afterpattern project includes a database, though you don't need to use it (how or whether your apps save data is entirely up to you).

Your database is made up of tables, each of which is essentially a spreadsheet:

Your database is "relational" and this is important. This allows you to design data structures that make sense for how you work.

Learn more about databases.

Intro to portals

A portal is an online account system that you create in order to share your apps and data with others. Individual users of your portal will only have access to the data that you allow them to.

Learn more about portals.

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