Attorney Spotlight: Barry Kaufman

//Attorney Spotlight: Barry Kaufman

When Barry Kaufman started his solo family law practice, Kaufman Law Office, in 2005, he was relatively new to the legal profession, with only five years of law experience under his belt. After 10 years as an army officer, Barry decided to enroll at Florida Coastal School of Law at the age of 40. Four years and another job later, Barry was ready to set off on his own.

As many entrepreneurs do, Barry attributed his law practice’s early success to the fact that he ran every facet of the firm by himself. Unlike most family law attorneys, he chose to work without legal assistants, and he liked it that way. But there was one problem: as Kaufman Law Office continued to grow, Barry needed a practice management solution to help him keep up with the odds and ends of his firm that he couldn’t (or shouldn’t) manage himself and could keep his firm running even when he wasn’t working. Barry himself says it best.

“When you work by yourself, you’re by yourself. If I’m standing at the coffee machine, I’m not doing work.”

Finding the Right Fit

Smokeball was not Barry’s first practice management rodeo. He tried multiple other software solutions–some of which he saw potential in and some of which held him back. He found that certain programs were geared toward practices with large teams and required him to be on a network with other attorneys. And with some of the practice management solutions he experimented with, Barry still found himself printing, scanning and filing away paperwork into his growing collection of manila folders.

As he grew increasingly tired of juggling multiple systems to organize his caseload, Barry stumbled upon a Smokeball advertisement in a legal newsletter. One click and a phone call later, Barry was convinced. He signed up and was completely onboarded by Smokeball’s Client Success team shortly after.

The Solution

After implementing Smokeball, Barry quickly began to find solutions to common pain points he experienced every day. One of the most time-consuming daily tasks he was able to eliminate right away was manual form and document creation. Smokeball’s document automation functionality took all of Barry’s client information and used it to seamlessly fill in every letter, court form and fee agreement, without errors or omissions, in under 5 minutes per document. This was a time saver Barry had not been able to take advantage of with such ease on other platforms.

Smokeball’s matter management and mobile application also gave Barry the ability to access his appointments, client communications and documents on the go without having to have his folders and calendar on him at all times. This was a welcome change from his old calendar system, where he would find himself missing calls and meetings by not having everything in one place.

He also finds himself spending much less time on administrative tasks, which has allowed him to better manage his time, stay productive and take on more clients. And Barry’s manila folders?

“I haven’t opened a manila folder in months and everything is all here,” Barry said.

Are you interested in learning more about Smokeball’s practice management software? See how it works and watch a demo here.


By |August 23rd, 2016|

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.