Smokeball is a legal software that combines all elements of things actual lawyers in solo and small firms need and ask for: email management and integration with Outlook; case management with tagged files; an intuitive workflow that doesn’t let users miss a step; automatic time-tracking within the software; and billing, trust, and invoice capability so that lawyers can not only track their funds, but more easily move to collect them.
Smokeball, after all, is a software company for lawyers designed by lawyers. Our CEO, Hunter Steele, is the son of a lawyer who got the idea for the company after watching his dad struggle. Our company currently employs approximately 50% of employees who have practiced or worked in the legal field.
And our software itself is directly informed by our lawyer clients, whether they explicitly ask for features or if they simply described their challenges and asked us to help them address them.
Legal Billing Issues
Billing is obviously at the top of most lawyers’ pain points, and our Auto:Time feature helps lawyers track their time to uncover unbilled hours so that the work they do is compensated fairly.
Since its rollout, Smokeball clients have billed over 14-hour’s worth of billable time that may have otherwise fallen through the cracks. But lawyers helped us make it even better.
We now feature Auto:Time email grouping—adding the subject line and splitting out entries—as a direct result of client feedback. Likewise, as we continue to improve our billing, we are looking to address payment plans, again as a result of client feedback.
Document Management and Automation
After billing, lawyers consistently tell us that managing their cases, and the documents within those cases, is their biggest concern. Everything from tagging relevant files to keeping them all in one place (including related emails) came about through client feedback.
Likewise because we help specialized areas of law—like family law and personal injury—we include matter stage workflows so that legal professionals can work their way through a matter and rest assured that they won’t overlook a key step.
And of course we don’t just manage documents, we help clients automate them. Last year alone we added judicial and court forms to our private library which now stands at over 17,000 forms ready to be browsed and used. We automate personal documents, and we operate in over 700 matter types, no matter your area of law.
Finally, our Communicate tool is at first blush merely a client portal. And it is, especially as it relates to helping lawyers keep all of their matter documents in one place that can be easily shared with clients as needed.
But it’s so much more: a downloadable mobile app that allows clients to talk to lawyers without the need for a phone call, a secure channel for sharing documents and information that surpasses even basic email security, and an unlimited file size sharing platform that keeps clunky web-based client portals out of the picture.
And as we continue to push Communicate into new areas, we’re driven by client feedback to make it as valuable internally as it can be externally. In the future we’re looking to make internal matter conversation capability upgrades so that lawyers can talk to their partners about a particular matter within the matter itself, keeping everything in one place.
No matter the feature, lawyers had a direct hand in making it unique for Smokeball. And Smokeball is honored to make it specialized and unique for all of our clients.