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Ramos & Santiago, P.C.

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Area of Law
General Practice
Firm Size
Middletown, NY
A general practice firm transforms from paper-bound to digital powerhouse.

Ramos & Santiago, P.C. offers a wide range of services to address their clients’ needs, be it establishing an LLC, buying a house, or filing for divorce. With Smokeball streamlining the firm’s internal operations and communications, staff deftly manage a wide array of practice areas while prioritizing their community.

Too many cases to track

Owner Sarah Ramos and attorney Christina Santiago are experienced in a huge variety of practice areas. But as they took on more case types, they struggled to track the work. “The case management got a little crazy,” remembers Christina. The firm housed some documents digitally, but most of the practice was paper based. This hindered the staff’s ability to work remotely and hampered productivity. Ramos & Santiago, P.C. needed a system to organize their cases and provide visibility into the practice.

Intuitive software that streamlines client communication

After assessing several software solutions, Christina and Sarah settled on Smokeball for its intuitive interface and ability to integrate communications and documentation. “Client communication is way more streamlined with Smokeball. We can easily message clients and get everyone on the same page. It’s also helped with internal communication since we can all see what’s happening in a case at any time,” says Christina.  

Previously bound by physical files, Smokeball’s Microsoft Outlook and Word integrations were a game-changer for Ramos & Santiago. Now, every document and email is saved to the associated matter in a click. Whether it’s a bank statement or a status update, staff have the information they need at their fingertips no matter where they’re working.

Saving hours of work a week

In addition to streamlined communication and document management, Smokeball has eliminated time-consuming tasks. Using document automation, staff create real estate documents or divorce letters in a few clicks. The template populates with the client information stored in the Smokeball matter, saving 20-30 minutes per document. “That’s substantial time-savings—easily hours a week—when you add it up,” says Christina.

Additionally, the firm uses Smokeball’s InfoTrack integration for e-filing and process serving. “The litigation services have helped tremendously. Filing straight from the matter saves time, syncs the file to the matter, and gives me automatic status updates,” says Christina.

Removing the billable time barrier and increasing revenue

Before Smokeball, staff struggled to track their time and attempted to recreate a full file before billing. “It was impossible,” remembers Christina. Because of this barrier, the firm struggled to bill hourly and instead focused on flat fee work. Now, they use automatic time tracking to effortlessly capture their activity. This log of billable time is then easily reviewed and invoiced. Plus, if a client is surprised by their bill, the firm has detailed records to back up the invoice.

Christina and Sarah use Firms Insights and Reporting to gain insight into their practice and have made impactful changes to increase revenue. “Thanks to the data, we see how much time we're actually spending on a file and the worth of some of these cases. We weren’t pricing some work where we should have before. Or, we were investing substantial time and effort and losing money,” says Christina. As a result, they’ve adjusted their case focus and fee structure to ensure the firm accurately bills for its work.

Getting up to speed with ease

Smokeball is user-friendly and drives productivity at Ramos & Santiago. Paralegal Francesca Mariscal came to the firm without previous legal experience, but she had no trouble immersing herself in Smokeball. “I’m responsible for inputting a lot of data, and the software is very easy to use. The dashboard keeps me organized and on top of my tasks,” she says.

Workflows are also key to the firm’s productivity. They templatize a case, applying all associated tasks, reminders, and documents so nothing is forgotten. Workflows are also a perfect training tool for new staff. “When I first started, Workflows showed me exactly what needed to happen in a case and in which order,” says Francesca. This step-by-step guidance helped Francesca onboard smoothly without additional oversight from Christina.

Streamlined, efficient, and empowered

With Smokeball, Ramos & Santiago, P.C. is streamlined, efficient, and aware of the worth of a case and their time. Because they’re more organized and productive, the firm has increased their caseload. “We’ve been able to take on more, and that’s a huge gamechanger,” says Christina.

Sarah and Christina have also used Smokeball to implement a bonus structure for their support staff. “Based on the data, we see exactly how much time and effort our paralegals are putting in on a file. We want to ensure there’s parity, and they get a piece of that.”  

In signing up for Smokeball, Christina knew she was getting outstanding legal software. What she didn’t expect was that Smokeball would also empower her and her staff to make sound business decisions and see the worth they bring to clients. “When you close out a case you see the amount of time you’ve put in. The paralegals see the communication they've had with the client and the rapport they’ve built—that's substantial and empowering to see,” says Christina.

Ramos & Santiago, P.C.
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"Smokeball has made us a lot more streamlined, efficient, and aware of the worth of a case and our time. We’ve made impactful decisions that have increased our profitability as a result."

-Christina Santiago, Attorney, Ramos & Santiago, P.C.


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