Clarissa Rayward, Director of the Brisbane Family Law Centre aka the Happy Family Lawyer, is chatting with law firm owners at the top of their fields to find out what makes them tick, what challenges they face, and why they do what they do.
The lawyers spotlighted in Smokeball’s inaugural 2022 Law Firm Leadership Interview Series are helping to shape the legal profession for those who work in and around it. Pull up a seat as these leaders speak candidly and collaboratively, sharing their top practical tips and technology tools for running a successful and progressive legal practice.
Allen & Searing is a Gold Coast Law Firm practising exclusively in Criminal Law in both adult and juvenile jurisdictions. Their ethos is to provide tailored advice and unwavering compassion to obtain the best outcome for each client.
During this episode, Director Jodi Allen Jodi discusses the realities of life as a criminal lawyer and shares how switching to Smokeball during the pandemic helped the firm transition to working remotely and retain staff.
In Criminal Law, 90 percent of our work is in the office, and ten percent is in the courts, but 90 percent of our fees are generated in court. We'll do a lot of prep in the office, but we can't bill for that until it has gone through the courts. Sometimes, that process takes a long time.
To cope during lockdown, we had to make some tough staff decisions. We had staff who offered to take pay cuts and team members who volunteered to reduce their hours. With Smokeball's cloud-based Legal Practice Management Software, we were able to retain staff because it meant that instead of our support staff physically coming into the office, they could keep their jobs by doing them just as well remotely. This is when we really embraced the platform. It made a huge difference to our ability to work remotely and retain our people.
It was our support staff who encouraged me to get Smokeball. When the pandemic hit, it was a no-brainer to invest in Smokeball. Our team could immediately see the benefits and if they were able to make their workflows more efficient, it would have the same flow-on effects on the rest of the firm too — and it has.
My favourite thing about Smokeball is that everything is all in the one place. Whether I'm on my phone, laptop, or sitting in my office, I can open up a client matter, and I've got their contact details, all of the emails, notes, correspondence, plus all of the police material scanned and saved centrally. It means multiple users can work seamlessly on the same matter from anywhere.
The customisability of Smokeball is one of the best features for our business because it allows us to create our own precedents; create our own folders within folders; and completely customise the way we run a file. Smokeball’s Firm Insights reporting has also helped our business identify what data we need to know when things are going well and in real-time. It's made such a difference to our profitability.
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