Smokeball Hosts Annual Real Estate Symposium

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CHICAGO – This week, and for the second consecutive year, Smokeball hosted two Real Estate events in Chicago and its suburb, Schaumburg, to help real estate attorneys using Smokeball practice management software get ready for the busy summer season.  The events could not have come at a better time, with real estate firms getting their practices organized and updated before the rush of business that comes with the warmer months and with Smokeball’s incredible new integration with Chicago Title Insurance Company coming right around the corner.

Both events kicked off with introductions of the Smokeball Team and lunch.  Ian Sperry, Smokeball’s Product Specialist, then presented some exciting new features that Smokeball’s Product Team have been perfecting for months.  Ian introduced Matter Stages, a new way to track where each file stands procedurally.  He also introduced Communicate, a secure client portal that allows messaging and document sharing within the Smokeball platform and, more importantly, outside of email.  Finally, Ian revealed a new File Preview system within Smokeball that allows lawyers and staff to see and re-name documents without downloading and opening them – a whole new level of efficiency and transparency within Smokeball.


Also in the name of unmatched efficiency, Chicago Title representatives were present to tease a brand new integration between their Castle Connect website and Smokeball.  When live, the integration means that Smokeball real estate users will need to enter information only once for their files, and that information will transfer over to Chicago Title for all of its services relating to a real estate file.


The highlight of the afternoon was Smokeball Trainer extraordinaire Sara Sultan, who took the group through important best practices for using Smokeball through the busy season.  Sara covered changes within the software and the automated documents related to the new 7.0 Contract.  She discussed organizing the form library and workflows for greater efficiency.  Though the entire group are already Smokeball clients, some still did not realize the power and access delivered by the form library, which houses thousands of public real estate forms.


The day concluded with several small-group workshops on document automation, closing statements, marketing campaigns, workflows, and general Q&A.  Please join Smokeball again as it hosts various symposia like these around the country in the coming months for different practice areas.

By |May 10th, 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.