I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Neil Squilante of Technolawyer and demonstrated our latest feature, TimeScribe, to him. I walked him through Smokeball and couldn’t wait to show him how TimeScribe 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. TimeScribe is the first step to free yourself from the stress of managing a firm so you can focus on your clients. TimeScribe 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. 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 of that data, TimeScribe 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 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 legal practice management software that gives you the business intelligence about every matter you work on. Click here to see the Technolawyer newswire on Smokeball.