Mishak Law is a full-service family and criminal law firm using technology to make their practice as efficient and seamless as possible. Managing attorney Matt Mishak and his team leverage Smokeball to automate their cases from intake to billing. This automation frees up valuable staff time to focus on the firm’s top priority: client care.
A billing imbalance reveals a deeper problem
Matt initially sought out new legal software to enhance Mishak Law’s document automation capabilities. The firm’s previous provider had field fills but lacked conditional logic and other smart functionality that the team needed to actually automate document creation.
Additionally, Matt was billing 60% of the firm’s total billables. He knew that didn’t reflect the hard work of his eight staff. It was proof that his attorneys and paralegals were struggling to enter their time—and missing out on precious billable hours.
Smokeball: the engine of an automation machine
After evaluating multiple platforms and trialing a software dedicated to document automation, Matt chose Smokeball. Its document automation, workflows, automated time tracking, and other functionality enable Mishak Law to increase their billables and productivity, streamline their processes and eliminate repetitive tasks.
Mishak Law uses Smokeball’s customizable intake forms to save significant time and errors during client intake. “These forms are beneficial, particularly in complex areas like property and debt divisions in divorce proceedings. This streamlined approach to data entry is invaluable, as it ensures consistency and accuracy across various documents associated with legal proceedings,” shares Matt.
From there, Matt and his team use workflows for every key aspect of a case such as initial filings, discovery phases and final pretrial procedures. These work together to automate a case from beginning to end with documents, memos, and calendaring all integrated to save substantial time.
Creating accurate documents 11x faster with Smokeball
Document automation is another feature Mishak Law can’t operate without. Matt estimates his paralegals create documents 11x faster than with their previous case management software.
Coupling document automation and workflows creates a streamlined approach to cases that “ensures we’re not reinventing the wheel. We avoid critical errors, and the client gets an accurate document perfectly tailored to their situation,” says Matt. He goes on to say that, “the combination allows us to not only be the best but look the best. We have a good market presence and good reviews. But when it comes to filing in the court, having a pristine document every single time gives us major credibility. It's just fantastic.”
Increased revenue and happier clients
In addition to working efficiently and accurately, Mishak Law is also billing more and getting paid faster with Smokeball. Staff use automatic time tracking to capture their work. “It’s been a resounding success,” says Matt. Now, instead of Matt billing 60% of the firm’s total hours, the billables accurately reflect the work of all nine staff at Mishak Law.
Using Smokeball’s billing reports, firm manager Maria Sosa discovered they were losing considerable revenue through unpaid invoices. “The reports were easy to run, and I was able to take quick action,” says Maria. She implemented automatic retainer threshold alerts. These replenishment notices keep the attorneys updated and also manage client’s expectations. “It’s dramatically improved client sentiment around invoices and payments,” says Matt. Mishak Law also uses Smokeball’s integration with LawPay to offer payment plans. “They are so much easier than what we were doing before. It’s alleviated a lot of extra time spent on collections,” says Maria. As a result, Mishak Law has decreased their unpaid invoices by 90%.
A fully automated future with Smokeball
Mishak Law fully embraces automation to assist them in their pursuit of legal excellence. The firm is able to compete with larger firms who have more resources and staff because they are able to work faster with fewer errors. Plus, this larger caseload doesn’t come at the cost of client service. “Something often overlooked is how paralegals know the legal process and have empathy for the client. Our streamlined process frees our paralegals’ time so they can practice empathy and focus on client care," says Matt.