Smokeball’s “Killer Feature” on TechnoLawyer NewsWire

//Smokeball’s “Killer Feature” on TechnoLawyer NewsWire

Smokeball TechnolawyerWe recently had the pleasure of speaking with Neil Squilante of Technolawyer and demonstrated our latest legal time and billing software feature. We walked him through Smokeball and couldn’t wait to show him how Smokeball’s automatic lawyer time tracking software is transforming the practice of solo and small law firms.

Solo and small law firm attorneys spend too much time on the non-billable and administrative tasks that take them away from practicing law. The amount of time spent on non-billable administrative tasks can take up to 50% or more of an attorney’s time. Also, law school never taught us the business aspect of law, marketing, or even how to effectively keep track of our activities and why it’s important.

Smokeball was invented to help attorneys do what they do best – practice law. Smokeball’s time and billing features are the first step to free yourself from the stress of managing a firm so you can focus on your clients. Smokeball’s automatic legal timekeeping software feature (formerly known as “Time Scribe”) tracks everything that you do in Smokeball – every document you create, edit, or review; every email sent and reviewed; every event; and every task. Every activity is associated to a matter and it’s all done for you.

Why is it so important to track everything you do?

Let’s talk about the obvious. Many attorneys bill hourly, which means that you must account for every activity you want to bill for. The problem is, attorneys are terrible at tracking time. We all know that the best practice to timekeeping is contemporaneous timekeeping, where you would document the activity and time you took immediately after you complete it. However, this is tedious and rarely done.

Instead, attorneys “reconstruct” their time by looking back through their email inbox, calendar, or task list to figure out how much time they spent on a matter. This is how a lot of attorneys keep time and it’s extremely inefficient. You are throwing away billable time or in other words, throwing away money.

If you bill fixed or on contingency, it’s still important to keep track of your time whether using will and trust software or your family law app.

How do you know whether you are charging the right amount? How do you know the value of the services you are providing? Also, you need to have a log of your activities just in case you have a disgruntled client complaining that didn’t do enough to earn the fee. How can you objectively prove that you earned that fee?

With all the data it collects, Smokeball will give you the profitability of each matter. Smokeball will calculate the hourly cost of each staff member and then provide you the projected profitability of each matter based on the amount billed or charged to the client. This data provides you the law firm insights and information to determine which matters make the most money, where you should concentrate on your marketing efforts, which referral sources give you the best clients, and where you can make efficiency improvements. Don’t guess or rely on hunches to determine the future of your firm. Use data to make informed decisions.

Smokeball is the first and only law firm practice management software that gives you the business intelligence about every matter you work on.

By |September 21st, 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.