Lawyers are great at asking questions, but how are they at answering them? Clarissa Rayward, Director of the Brisbane Family Law Centre aka the Happy Family Lawyer is talking 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.
We are thrilled to chat with Luke Shanahan, Principal Solicitor of Shanahan Family Law in Maroochydore. Luke is a reliable and experienced Sunshine Coast family law expert, offering compassionate support to people and families experiencing the most difficult circumstances through a divorce or separation. Luke started Shanahan Family Law to offer people a cost-effective way to resolve family law matters and acknowledge that people are not numbers.
His superpower is negotiating and structuring outcomes. He gets a kick out of assessing a legal situation, seeing a variety of possible approaches, weighing up the personalities involved, anticipating their likely responses, and then determining the best approach to resolve the concerns of the parties, as quickly and painlessly as possible. Luke loves being able to go through the journey with his clients, supporting them with the peace of mind that comes after their matter has been resolved and helping them build a better outlook for their future.
We’re relatively new to Smokeball Legal Practice Management Software. I’m glad we made the switchover. It provides all our needs and the accounting functionality we require while being an easy-to-use management system.
Smokeball is great in that you can easily see in your Firm Insights dashboard how you are performing in your productivity levels, your meeting targets for billables, or time spent. Smokeball’s dashboard does a fantastic job of being able to see everything at a glance. You don’t have to go mining through numbers. You can see how you’re performing and your productivity levels. You can get reports and snapshots on your screen. It’s that old saying, ‘take care of the cents, so the dollars can take care of themselves’. You know you will meet your annual targets if you’re looking at your daily and weekly productivity levels and striving to hit these targets.
With new features and integrations like FamilyProperty coming on board, the Smokeball platform is constantly evolving. We’re not a large organisation, and we don’t have the time to go out and grasp new technology, so it’s excellent that Smokeball is consistently adding new innovative tools and integrations for us.
One of the best things about Smokeball is the ability to create your own precedents. They have a great bank of precedents with billables which is quite extensive before you need to add your own too.
There are so many shiny tools out there, but at the end of the day, we provide a service. We can streamline services, but we will always maintain that same facet of a service-based profession. We provide advice. If there’s a technology that comes along, that can shave a bit of time off the way we do things, and that enables us to pass those savings onto the client, then fantastic, we will adopt it. That’s my motto, and it helps us maintain our focus on helping people.
The advice I’d give to my 20-year-old self is determination is key. You need to identify what makes you happy in life and go for it as hard as you can without getting distracted or discouraged. I have three daughters, and I often talk about setting goals. You can’t blindly pursue a goal at any cost. Remain respectful and considerate and go as hard as you can to get what you want.
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Smokeball legal practice management software is the engine behind successful small law firms, making it easy to automatically track time and activity, manage workloads, bill your clients, and more.
To discover the Smokeball difference for yourself, please give our friendly team a call on 1300 33 55 53 or book a free online demonstration.