Talented cook, experienced family law litigator, active volunteer, world traveler, and Victorian-era mystery novel fan — Client Success Manager Ruchie Chadha is the ultimate renaissance woman.
Ruchie was drawn to a Smokeball career because of her own practice experiences and working closely with the tech industry during her time in Santa Monica and “Silicon Beach”. “I was living in Santa Monica and looking to leave the traditional practice of law,” she recalled when we spoke. “I was introduced to a lot of people in tech, and it made me start thinking ‘where is innovative technology in the legal industry?’” She did what any good lawyer would and started researching that question. After coming across Smokeball and what it was doing in Chicago and Sydney, she was pleased to see that a former opposing counsel from her days as a family attorney in Chicago was now working at Smokeball. She reached out to that employee, Smokeball’s Product Manager Becky Bloom, and had an exciting conversation about what the company and software does for small firms; she was convinced, and now more than a year later, Ruchie is an integral reason why Smokeball’s larger firms have more profitable and successful practices.
She enjoys coming into Smokeball’s downtown Chicago offices each day because each day looks different. “The thing I like most about working here is working across departments. I can help on various projects outside of my team, from drafting new documents for our Content Team to reviewing changes in the law to working with the Product Team to refine features.” The big draw at Smokeball for Ruchie is that she learns a lot every day.
“The thing I like most about working here is working across departments. I can help on various projects outside of my team, from drafting new documents for our Content Team to reviewing changes in the law to working with the Product Team to refine features.”
Of course, Ruchie’s expertise is sought after by several teams due to her exceptional educational background and extensive small firm experience. She holds two B.A.s (History and South Asian Studies) from the University of Michigan, or as Ruchie would say, “the greatest school in the world.” (Sorry to all you Ohio State fans out there.) She received her J.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and moved to Chicago upon graduating to open her own family law practice. “Owning my own practice was very challenging and very rewarding at the same time,” she said. “I was basically self-taught, and I learned to be confident and resilient.” Ruchie’s pro bono work with domestic violence survivors led her to her next practice experience when another volunteer lost his associate and invited her to join his firm. Ruchie continues to be active in her volunteer work, helping non-English speakers faced with difficult and dangerous legal situations.
Given her work at Smokeball and her slate of volunteer work, I asked Ruchie what she most enjoys doing in her free time. “I read a lot. I love historical fiction and Victorian mystery novels, actually.” She is also a talented cook who cooks every day because she finds it so relaxing. She cooks recipes from and fusing several continents thanks to family influences in India, America, and Japan. She also plays tennis and loves to travel the world in her time away from the office. Finally, she noted that she is a big Chicago foodie: “I keep a spreadsheet of what restaurants I’ve been to in Chicago and where I want to go broken down by style and type,” she said, laughing. Her favorite Chicago spot? “Nico Osteria,” she said, “because it’s the perfect place to share a meal with friends.” Being a world traveler and cook, I wanted to know her favorite place she has ever visited. “Bali,” she answered. “It was so enriching and relaxing, lush and peaceful.” She was also incredibly impressed by a spur-of-the-moment visit to Chile, where she found out that, at sunset, mountains truly can turn purple.
“Workflows just simplifies the repetitive work we do as attorneys,” she pointed out. “They are systematic, chronological, and let you link to templates so you never forget anything along the way!”
Smokeball and its clients are so lucky to have Ruchie on their team, but she also notes how lucky she and practitioners like her are to have Smokeball as a practice management option: “By not implementing technology into your practice, you are doing yourself, your clients, and your business a disservice—the world is moving fast and lawyers have to keep up.” Having lived the small-firm practitioner life, she noted that Smokeball is the most robust and complete software that can bring more profit to a firm she has seen. Her favorite feature is Smokeball’s Legal Tasks & Workflows. “Workflows just simplifies the repetitive work we do as attorneys,” she pointed out. “They are systematic, chronological, and let you link to templates so you never forget anything along the way!”
When Ruchie is not at Smokeball and not traveling the globe, you’ll likely find her with a good single-malt in one hand and a book in the other. That, or walking with her husband on the Chicago lakefront or unskillfully (self-admittedly) doing yoga. Ruchie’s vast world and legal experiences make her a terrific employee to rev up the Smokeball Spotlight Series again. Keep checking in to learn more about the amazing Smokeball staff that can help make your firm more amazing.