Fall 2017 User Symposium Wrap-up/Recap

//Fall 2017 User Symposium Wrap-up/Recap

Symposium-SignWe just wrapped up our biggest User Symposium yet and we couldn’t be more thrilled! We had attorneys, paralegals, and staff members from the Chicago-land area from an array of practice areas, such as criminal, family, real estate, and personal injury. Many of our users had never met each other before, but they all had one thing in common – their love for Smokeball.

We started the morning with a general session sharing with our users recently released features, such as TimeScribe, matter templates and then revealed some new and exciting features, such as Amplify and VOIP phone integrations. If you haven’t heard of TimeScribe – it automatically tracks all of your activities, such as emails, documents, and events contemporaneously and associates them to the matters. With that data, TimeScribe gives you the profitability of each matter.

Amplify, which is a new feature to be released in a few weeks, provides firms with amazing reports and data to analyze productivity, profitability, and insights into firm operations never seen before. You can say it’s “Moneyball” for small law firms. We are giving firms the ability to gain insights into their practice areas, referrals and even staff productivity. It’s time to look beyond the old school stats of realization and utilization rates for firm profitability and operations. Keep your eyes open for more information on Amplify.

I then presented a one hour CLE on Best Practices in Timekeeping and Accounting. Normally, a CLE on timekeeping and accounting is a mundane and dry topic. But with TimeScribe and Amplify incorporated into Smokeball, our users were able to see how everyday data collected by Smokeball allows them to see firm performance from all angles. Not only did they learn how to track their activities more efficiently, they learned how to stop time leakage and get paid for all the work they perform. Also, we discussed proper record keeping per the Rules of Professional Conduct and how proper accounting can mitigate risks. The most exciting part of the CLE for me was the interactive Q & A, where our users shared with each other what their best practices were and how it benefited them. You can click through the full presentation embedded below.

After a delicious and interactive lunch, we broke into sessions covering document automation and time and billing using Boost Billing.  For document automation clients brought their own laptops and documents they wanted to automate.  We had our trainers, account managers and automation specialists working with each client to train and answer all their questions. Our clients walked away confident that they could automate documents on their own and learned how document automation can help their firm produce consistent documents without errors in seconds. In the Boost Billing sessions, clients shared how Boost Billing has made their accounting simpler and were also excited to hear about our integration with LawPay, allowing users to accept credit card payments.

Something amazing happens when you bring a bunch of people together that are eager to learn and share their experiences about Smokeball.  You could feel the energy, excitement and joy that our clients and Smokeball employees shared together. Clients were volunteering their knowledge and teaching other clients, clients wanted to personally meet our help desk staff, and some clients just wanted to hang out in our office. It was a great event to see how Smokeball was part of everyone’s success.

If you missed this User Symposium, in addition to the updates rolling out in our next 4.2 release, you can find what we covered here and be on the look-out for an announcement about next year to learn, share, and meet other Smokeballers.

By |October 18th, 2017|

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.