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We talk a lot about personal New Year resolutions, but do you set resolutions for your business too?To help you achieve your goals this year, on behalf of our Client Success team, we’d love to know what your firm is focusing on, and how we can help.Want to find more clients? Keen to branch out into different areas of Law? Looking to grow your team? Something else?Your success coaches are on standbyThe Client Success Team here at Smokeball are here to help you realise your business goals by helping you use Smokeball to your advantage.We also invite our community members to share learnings to help each other. Starting a conversation or simply posting your goals below is a good place to start.Whether you're planning on automating more of your processes to give you more time back or want to start tracking your profitability so that you know where to focus your marketing dollars, we are here to help support your success.Even if you aren’t sure what your goals are yet, we can share a wealth
Hello Smokeball Community!As we head towards the new year we are doing some research here in the USA and would love your feedback.We want to hear what kinds of things you think would help your firm be more successful or would have helped you get your firm rolling.Do you wish you had access to a place where you could buy/sell templates for common documents (wills, common petitions etc)? What about access to resources on how to run a firm from a business standpoint or best practices by area of law? Is there something else you wish you had now or that would have made your life easier?As a note, this is not meant to be a forum for Smokeball feature requests and we would love this to be a more holistic view of the needs you might have as a firm and/or as you were getting started. Drop a comment here with ideas for discussion or if you'd like us to reach out to you so we can chat.
Smokeball is full of features designed to place what you need to run your best firm right at your fingertips. Each area of law, firm, and employee needs something different. That’s why we have so many great features and customizations accessible with a single right-click. 1) Matter list view By right-clicking on the matter list heading, you can choose the information you wish to see at a glance when opening the matter list. Learn more about organizing your matter list.2) Matter detailsAdd more information you have on a matter by right-clicking certain fields in the Matter Details, such as multiple contacts. 3) Matter documentsRight-clicking on a file in a matter will present you with a plethora of different actions you can take. From sending the file as an attachment to converting it to a PDF, you can access everything you need from one place.Learn more about organizing your matter files and documents. There’s many other places where right-click can do it’s magic in Smokeball. Is th
Despite working for free, never getting tired and always showing up on time, robots still need to be set up for success—they require an occasional check-in! Automation, or “the robots,” is really just using specialized technology to quickly complete common legal tasks. It will never replace key components of the work: problem solving, mentoring colleagues, advocating for clients, or other things that drew you to the work. Automation will ensure you’re not burning hours on repetitive and tedious tasks. Take back your time In our free CLE Embrace the Robots: Automate Law Firm Tasks + Grow Your Practice on November 15, we’ll help you take the next steps in automating your firm. But to do it, we need to know where you’re stuck. We’d like to know your answers to any or all of these questions: What non-billable tasks are holding you up? What repeatedly appears on your to-do list and kills your profit margin? What tasks would you like help automating?
Trust yourself: how to properly manage your trust accounting to stay compliant with your state bar [on demand webinar]
Some of the most common sanctions assessed across states have to do with trust account violations. In her recent CLE, attorney and Smokeball legal technology advisor Jordan Turk gave a refresher on trust accounts and their ethical considerations, which you can watch here for free. She also shared four war stories and advice on how to avoid similar outcomes. Here’s how she broke out the session: Part 1: Trust Account 101 Overview of IOLTAs Serving as fiduciary of clients’ funds Watching out for bad actors Part 2: Ethical considerations Refresher on ABA Rule 1.15 and 1.5 Properly accepting credit cards (Hint: ensure you’re using a solution specified for attorneys) Three-way reconciliation (what it is and how to do it) Part 3: Storytime Four horror stories and ensuring you’re in compliance Jordan wrapped with eight key take-aways. One last reminder: a lawyer must maintain seven years of current trust account records. If yours are just paper files or saved to your
Before I joined Smokeball I worked in a law firm. When my firm moved from manual to automatic time tracking we quickly saw how much more we were earning and how much time we saved on admin. Here’s what I learned from making the move to Autotime and why I think you should too.Before: Manual time tracking & billing the old-fashioned wayMy firm and I tracked everything using a timer and a new spreadsheet to log the time for each matter.It was completely manual and I remember how much time I spent recording tasks and calculating the totals when it came time to bill. Smokeball research with clients showed that firms that track time manually underestimate billable hours by up to 30%.That was my experience too. It was hard to be sure I had captured everything that was billable. I know we missed a lot.As a Client Success Manager here at Smokeball, I’ve seen how many firms are under billing and under valuing their work. Some of these clients would record their time entry in an Excel spread
Happy holidays!After a busy year, many of us here at Smokeball are taking a break between now and new years day. Don't worry; some of us are sticking around to chat if you need help during normal support hours (excluding public holidays).Ask a question here in the community Check out our help articles Or -if you're still stuck-do send our support team a messageWe wish you all a happy holiday and a prosperous new year!
Automation opportunities: watch how they help save time, reduce errors and remove stress [on demand webinar]
Automation can sound overwhelming, but Jordan Turk and Chelsey Lambert broke it down into three manageable parts in their recent CLE, which you can watch here for free. They also connected automation practices to ethical considerations. Afterall, automating one's practice doesn't just save time, reduce errors, and alleviate stress; it also helps ensure excellent client communication, protected information, and other top ethical concerns.Here's how they broke down automation opportunities across a firm:Getting the workLead generation Intake SchedulingDoing the workDocument automation Workflows Utilization reports Unified calendaring Expense trackingBilling the workCapturing time Invoicing Payments Profitability reportsDon’t try to tackle all these areas at once! Think about where you're losing the most time and money, or where you’re experiencing the most stress. Prioritize automation at those points and build from there.Smokeball's free Getting Automated guide walks you through the abo
Lead intake is a vital part of any family law case. Smokeball has partnered with Settify, a comprehensive family law intake and lead generation tool. Settify helps firms capture information from prospective clients and create a clear overview of the case, including a concise timeline of events and balance sheet of assets. On Friday, Nov 4, join Senior Trainer Sara Sultan for a 30-minute training webinar. She'll demo how Settify allows you to send intake forms to your client for completion and how that information then seamlessly creates a matter in Smokeball. With Settify you can also use a customized button on your site to generate more leads; educate clients earlier with Settify's intelligent AI; and focus on relationship-building, with much of the info gathering already out of the way before your first meeting. Settify is currently available for Illinois firms only.
There's no end to the ways that paralegals contribute to law firms. In celebration of National Paralegal Day (Oct. 23), we’re honoring paralegals who go above and beyond every day. Now through Friday, November 4, nominate your paralegal for their chance to win great prizes and bragging rights! Just fill out this short submission form, including the name of your paralegal and a short description of how they go the extra mile for your practice. We’ll select one grand prize winner and nine runners-up, to be announced November 14. The 2022 National Paralegal Day Winner will receive a $250 Amazon gift card, a giant personalized tin of Garrett's popcorn (Chicago's favorite!) and a blog feature on Smokeball’s website. We can’t wait to read your submissions!
@AmandaLittle is the CEO of the Family Law Education Network of Australia (FLENA) a network built specifically for Australian Family lawyers looking for wellness support, great FCFCOA ready Precedents, CPD training, a family law community and a whole lot more.We’re lucky enough to have Amanda sharing her family law precedents as part of our new Precedents Marketplace. Subscribing through the marketplace also gives you access to everything else that a FLENA membership provides. If you’re interested in signing up, but would like to know a little more about FLENA then this is the space to get the details you’re looking for. Ask away in the replies below!
We’re about to go live with a webinar on how to make the most of the data Smokeball gathers and shares with you about how your firm is running. Ask your questions hereWe’re on standby to help you put the lessons learned in this webinar into action. Whether you’d like help using firm insights in Smokeball or you’re not sure how to interpret the data, this is the place to get help.
As a former Smokeball user myself, I did not discover or utilize the Firm Insights Tab in Smokeball until I had been using Smokeball for over a year. Yikes!The Firm Insights Tab is available for the account owner, but if the account owner would like other firm members to have access to this tab they can reach out to the firm’s SB account manager.Here is one of my favorite webinars covering Firm Insights: Using Firm Insights to Manage Your Business Enjoy!
Hey PI attorneys, If retrieving medical records drains a significant portion of you or your staff's time and energy, I want to make you aware of Smokeball's integration with YoCierge. Right now, your firm might be calling every medical provider, tracking down the right person, individually requesting records, wasting time on follow-up, saving incoming records to the file, and more. Instead, you could hand this off to YoCierge who manages it all and saves all associated records directly to the related Smokeball matter. A laborious, multi-step process streamlined and humming in the background without your oversight! Zach Meeks of Meeks Impact Law says, "The YoCierge integration is critical to my practice. I will never go back to having an employee manually enter records." You can hear from Zach and Sette Law paralegal Kristine Stapleton directly in this webinar recording. They're joined by Smokeball senior trainer Sara Sultan who walks you through the Smokeball-YoCierge integration, demo
Ask an expert: get help marketing your firmAsk an expert
Marketing can be an expensive, time consuming effort that struggles to pay for itself. It doesn’t have to be that way.This is your chance to ask an expert how to market your firm. Ask your question now @Mel at Loyalest joins us to answer anything you’d like to know about marketing for small law firms. Are you not sure what the best approach is for marketing your firm? Do you need some help making sure your Google Business Profile is set up correctly? Not sure where to start or if you even need marketing for your firm? Just type in your question below! Feeling shy? Ask your question anonymously Watch Mel’s WebinarWatch the recording of Mel’s webinar now and learn how to:Avoid spending marketing dollars where you shouldn't in the first 5-10 years Focus on one place where more genuinely interested clients can discover your services Monitor your efforts in one place (that is free!) to learn what is working and what isn't; and Spend as little as 5 minutes a day on high-yielding
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