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Hoffenberg & Block

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Area of Law
Family Law
Firm Size
13 employees
Chicago, IL
A family law firm grows its case volume 400% with Smokeball's help.

Hoffenberg & Block zealously represents their Chicagoland clients. The family law firm uses Smokeball to ensure they’re organized, meticulous, and accurate. Additionally, Smokeball legal software ensures the practice is efficient. As a result, Hoffenberg & Block’s case volume has grown by 400% to over 1,000 cases in the last five years—volume that would’ve been impossible to maintain with their old system.

An outdated system prevents collaboration and accuracy

In 2018, Hoffenberg & Block used a shared drive to open every matter, house case details, and store documents. When Office Manager Beth Schwarz needed to update a client’s contact information, she had to make the change across multiple documents. It was time-consuming and prone to error. With this system, staff often accidentally saved over documents or misplaced them within the folder structure.  

The firm also maintained physical files, which required resources to print, time to maintain, and space to store. The firm’s set-up was unorganized and laborious. “The system prevented collaboration among staff and the high risk of error became a real problem,” remembers Beth. She and two partners decided to overhaul the firm’s case management.  

Smokeball cuts admin time in half

After much research and several demos, Hoffenberg & Block chose Smokeball for its user-friendly interface, all-in-one legal platform, and excellent customer service. Beth saw time savings immediately. “With the shared drive, it took me a half hour to start every new case. Now, it takes me less than 15 minutes to set up a file and send out the retainer agreement through Smokeball. It’s amazing,” says Beth. And for someone who’s opened more than 1,000 cases, the time savings is substantial for Beth.  

Working wonders with Workflows

Beth never forgets to send a retainer agreement because she uses Workflows. She applies the retainer agreement workflow to every case she opens, which outlines every associated task, contains the template, and includes reminders. In a few clicks, the agreement is accurately populated with the client’s information.  

Beth then sends the agreement for electronic signature straight from the matter via the InfoTrack integration. Once signed, the document updates directly in the matter. No more searching or accidentally saving files to the wrong folder. “It’s fantastic,” says Beth. “We used to have a big problem getting signed retainer agreements back from people. Now they're all signed.” This is crucial in a practice area where the firm can’t file a petition for final fees without a signed retainer agreement. “The retainer agreement workflow, automatic document creation, and InfoTrack integration work seamlessly together to ensure we get paid,” shares Beth.

An all-in-one system for easy data management

Smokeball’s document and data management has vastly improved Hoffenberg & Block’s internal operations. Their old system was disconnected and manual. Smokeball’s all-in-one system is integrated and updates in real time. Beth changes a client’s address once, and it’s updated (and correct) everywhere. If an attorney is out sick, the paralegal can see the service of process status. Every document, email, and calendar event are saved to the related matter, so anyone at the firm has access in just a few clicks. With this visibility, “it’s easy, and we save so much time,” says Beth. “It’s a huge advantage to have everybody at the firm on the same page.”

Growing with Smokeball

Beth and her colleagues love Smokeball. The case management software has made them more efficient and eliminated repetitive tasks, so they can focus on the legal work and client care that brought them to the profession. “Everything we do is made easier by Smokeball,” says Beth.

In addition to revolutionizing the way Hoffenberg & Block handle their cases, Smokeball has also helped grow the business. The firm had around 200 matters when starting on Smokeball. Now they have more than 1,000 matters. “I don’t know how we would’ve managed that growth without Smokeball,” says Beth. During several of those years, staff worked remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “There’s no way we could’ve done that with the shared drive system. It would’ve been an absolute nightmare. Impossible, actually.”  

Hoffenberg & Block
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"Smokeball makes a huge difference in my daily life. It revolutionized the way I do my job and saves so much time. I don’t know where I’d be without it."

-Beth Schwarz, Office Manager, Hoffenberg & Block


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