While Williams & Williams, which has offices in Orangeburg and Columbia, S.C., officially adopted its name in 1975, owner David Williams’ grandfather began practicing law in 1936. Three generations of Williamses have now practiced law at the family firm, including David’s wife, Ginny, and his brother, Charlie.
The firm manages cases in a broad range of practice areas, including civil litigation, personal injury, criminal defense and real estate. “We try to be a small-town service firm,” David says. “If it originates from Orangeburg, we want to serve our community.”
Keeping up with a modern caseload
When the Williams family began practicing law nearly a century ago, correspondence was entirely conducted through formal letters. But as the discovery process became more complicated, and as the firm’s caseload grew, David Williams realized their organizational tools and processes couldn’t keep up. “The more organized you are — the more capable you are of dealing with large volumes of documents — the more capable you are of quickly and efficiently manipulating documents or exhibits, the better you are, and the more successful you are,” he says. “We got so big, and it became such a bear to manage documents, and it was just more or less managing what we uploaded, we didn’t even have a system to help.”
A long-term game-changer
Initially, David set out to find a digital file management system. After exploring 50 different options, he landed on Smokeball.
“At first I thought, ‘everyone does something well, but no one did everything really well’ — until I came across Smokeball.”
Williams & Williams had high expectations for their new legal practice management software. But what David didn’t expect is the way Smokeball enabled him to plan for the long term. “If I had a 10-year plan on how I was going to migrate our technology in our firm, I would say it solved the next 10, and then things that I still am learning today,” he says. “Since the inception of my contract with Smokeball, it’s still solving problems.”
More efficient + organized
By offering complete visibility into every case, Smokeball helped the staff and attorneys at Williams & Williams grow more accountable and organized. Not only are mistakes reduced, Smokeball’s activity tracking and task lists help the team accept and learn from missteps.
Meanwhile, Smokeball’s document automation helps Williams & Williams stay on top of the mountains of formerly manual documents associated with each case. Instead of copy-pasting new client information into old forms and documents, the correct details are now automatically pulled from the related matter, improving both accuracy and efficiency.
And when David Williams does think of new features he’d like to use, the Smokeball team is always waiting with an open ear.
Poised for another century of success
David Williams compares Smokeball’s evolution to that of the legal profession. “You’re always growing, you’re always getting better and more efficient,” he says.
Now, Williams & Williams automatically generates related documents the minute a matter is opened — instead of days or weeks later. It continuously improves employees’ accountability. And, in Smokeball, it has a long-term partner for success — no matter what the next 100 years bring.