Smokeball Makes a Big Impression on ABA TECHSHOW 2019

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CHICAGO – The City of Chicago was once again the center of the legal tech universe at the end of February for ABA TECHSHOW 2019.  The show is the premier event for legal tech companies, lawyers, and law firm staff to interact and show off their latest and greatest new features.  For Smokeball, it was a chance to differentiate itself from a market full of cheap “practice management” competitors.  Smokeball succeeded in setting itself apart as the only Legal Productivity Software on the market today, meaning that it is the only legal software focused exclusively on making small firms more efficient and productive.  TECHSHOW was the perfect opportunity to carve out this distinction, to great response from the industry and legal tech shoppers.


Smokeball’s TECHSHOW presence this year was focused on building on its powerful yet approachable brand.  Smokeball launched the “I Invented It!” campaign, featuring a famous former TV lawyer.  The new campaign and a behind-the-scenes video played at the booth on a huge TV, while Smokeball staff showed the product to lawyers, industry insiders, and other legal professionals.  The key to this year’s TECHSHOW was finding a fun way through the new ad to get in front of busy small-firm professionals for a few minutes.  The ad was meant to make the legal software shopping and educational experience entertaining and less-than-serious.  For small firms, seriousness and gravity takes up 99% of the day, so Smokeball’s new campaign was meant to break through the rest of the market’s noise in a stress-free fun way.  We were so pleased to have the industry buzzing about the new campaign as TECHSHOW began.

To highlight its industry-leading features, Smokeball hosted a lunch and learn session on automatic time & activity tracking.  The session featured a panel of Smokeball clients and Smokeball’s CEO, Hunter Steele, discussing the value of time and how Smokeball helps you track it.  Smokeball client Nancy Shafer, a time-based billing family law attorney, spoke about how tracking time meticulously is important to her business.  She elaborated on being one of the worst timekeepers prior to Smokeball, which was cheating herself and her staff out of valuable billable hours.  Elina Golod, a Smokeball client and real estate lawyer, spoke about how automatic time-tracking gives her insight into her flat fees and provides a clean record of time spent to show to her clients.

As the only Legal Productivity Software on the market, Smokeball delivers tools to drive small law firms to more than just “managing.”  With Advanced Matter Management, Smokeball provides productivity in the form of over 500 unique file types for all different practice areas and jurisdictions.  With Document Automation thanks to a tight integration with Microsoft Word, Smokeball helps law firms produce more documents in less time and with greater quality control.  With automatic time and activity tracking, law firms are no longer cheating themselves out of the only knowledge that matters at the end of the day – where they spent time.  Smokeball’s focus on productivity means that it is the perfect software for small firms to pair with.

TECHSHOW was again a great success, and all these important productivity features were outlined in Smokeball’s main handout during the show, a newspaper titled the “Tech Tribune.”  The newspaper highlighted Smokeball’s features, company culture, and even a law and technology crossword puzzle.  Other giveaways included the “I Invented It!” t-shirt, exactly like the one worn in the new advertising campaign, and a much-needed winter hat with the Smokeball logo across the front.

With TECHSHOW in the books, we at Smokeball want to thank everyone we spoke to and hung out with during the three days.  We look forward to many more great years at the ABA TECHSHOW and many more great years providing productivity tools to small firms.  Check out our new ad here, and book a full free consultation on how Smokeball can help your team.

By |March 7th, 2019|

About the Author:

For years, Josh has helped lawyers become more organized, productive, and profitable. A trained litigator, Josh came to Smokeball from a large east-coast law firm where his practice focused on franchise, insurance, marine, and general litigation. His work with Smokeball, and his continued passion for what he does each day, is driven by a desire to help lawyers and their staff do better in every way. Knowing well the stress and strain put on today’s legal professional, he regularly focuses on improving work and life in the law. He has traveled the country working with and learning from lawyers and their staff. Josh speaks regularly to bar associations about successful law firm practices and other legal topics. Recent notable engagements have been with the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, and the Missouri Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference. In addition to his work at Smokeball, Josh serves on the Writing Resource Center staff at The John Marshall Law School. Besides legal technology, his research interests include judicial decision-making, jury decision-making and psychology, and legal writing. He has written and overseen research exploring causal effects of sex/gender on federal appellate court decision-making, and assisted with research for a forthcoming textbook on judicial decision-making. Additionally, Josh sits on the Board of Directors of Chicago-based Community Activism Law Alliance and on the Board of Directors of Chicago Fringe Opera Company. Josh holds his J.D., cum laude, from Washington University in St. Louis, where he served as a Senior Editor of the Wash. U. Law Review, held the prestigious Thompson Coburn Research Fellowship, served as Research Assistant to then-Vice-Dean (now Chancellor) Andrew D. Martin, and clerked at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a B.M. in Music Performance with Honors Scholar distinction from the University of Connecticut, making him a Huskies basketball fan through and through. Follow Josh’s activity on LinkedIn, and keep up with new articles on the Smokeball Blog.