Bernicky Law Firm dedicates itself to making a difference in the lives of the clients and suburban Illinois community it serves. When managing attorney James Bernicky started his firm, he focused on real estate and estate planning. Now, Bernicky Law has grown from one to eight attorneys and practices in several areas of law. James says this wouldn’t have been possible without Smokeball.
A Team of One
When James founded Bernicky Law, he used a combination of Word and Excel to run his practice. But after hiring his first employee, he sought a more sophisticated system to manage his caseload and bill clients. James wanted a solution that accounted for business operations and case management—unlike the legal practice management systems he’d used as a law clerk, which were basically a “glorified Dropbox.”
Growing with Smokeball
As one of Smokeball’s first clients, James chose the software for its ability to help integrate, automate and operate his firm. The Microsoft 365 integration ensured legal calendaring and email management were organized as Bernicky Law grew.
Although the firm has expanded beyond forms-heavy real estate, they still employ document automation to slash time and ensure accuracy when creating everything from closing documents and estate planning forms to applications for compensation in bankruptcy cases.
When it comes to running their best firm, James and his team use Communicate constantly. With clients checking their email less—or finding messages hitting spam—the attorneys use the encrypted messaging system to inform clients quickly and securely. They also use the feature for internal firm communication, easily looping in any team member on a matter. Bernicky Law staff also create tasks and reminders from Communicate messages, so they never miss a beat.
Saving time to serve
Over the years, the time savings add up. Bernicky Law continues to automate everything it can. “Investing the half hour up front will save you on every matter after. With one click, 25 pages can be ready in an instant. It’s so great,” says James. With Smokeball, Bernicky Law is more productive and able to offer a better client experience, which is what it’s all about for the firm.