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.
Maxiom Injury Lawyers are a boutique Melbourne law firm specialising in injury compensation. We sat down with Maxiom's Principal, Sach Fernando, to learn more about his journey to becoming a lawyer and what the switch to Smokeball's Legal Practice Management Software has meant for his law firm.
I was introduced to the law at a young age. My mother was a lawyer, and her practice was primarily at home, so we always had clients coming in and out of our house. I grew to love it. When we migrated to Australia from Sri Lanka, she couldn't sustain her career in the law profession, so in a way, I wanted to continue her legacy. She was a family lawyer, and I always thought I would do that. After first-hand experience early on in my career, I realised I didn't have the emotional strength to be a family lawyer. I take my hat off to those who do.
I became a Specialist in Personal Injury law in 2017 with an accreditation from the Law Institute of Victoria. I had been in the jurisdiction for eight years, I loved my clients, and I loved where I worked. There was no reason to leave aside from knowing if I didn't take the leap then to open my own practice, I never would. So I just did it.
When I started Maxiom, I used the same legal practice management software that I had been using at my other firms. In my view, I found the old platform became unnecessarily complicated. I saw a promotion in Lawyers Weekly, I reached out and from there, the Smokeball team put me in touch with another personal injury lawyer who was using the software. Her assistant was kind enough to give me a demo, and I was blown away at how easy it was to use.
The structure around supervision is a huge part of running a law firm of our size, and Smokeball's task management and workflow features are hugely beneficial now that Maxiom has grown to a team of nine. Its easy-to-use interface allows me to keep on top of client matters and team management. With an accurate view of outstanding tasks, I can determine staff priorities, resource properly, and re-delegate to ensure nothing is missed. I love that I have real-time data to see who has the capacity when allocating a file, which helps me efficiently manage my team's workload.
Smokeball's Firm Insights dashboard gives leaders a powerful snapshot of real-time data. Every month we have a KPI meeting to go through the numbers, and the reporting system allows me to easily see new leads and track goals and targets all in the one place. Business is all about numbers, and Smokeball's automatic time and activity tracking capability helps me plan, be realistic, and gives me intelligent insights to help continue to develop Maxiom’s business strategy.
In running a business, you want to be using one core piece of software, and Smokeball is a one-stop-shop. Smokeball Legal Practice Practice Management Software integrates seamlessly with everything we use, from Microsoft Office Suite to Zoom and Xero. I love how Smokeball’s law firm email management software works within Microsoft Outlook. It automatically saves every matter-related email, and categorises attachments into the client's folder within Smokeball. Its drag and drop feature means you can easily rename files and classify documents, and I love the simplicity.
Smokeball's support team has extensive legal experience, and they are so accommodating and receptive. We've made enquiries about specific features, and while they may not have some of them ready to integrate yet, they'll work on adding it to the platform. We have been using it for 18 months now, and I can sincerely say that I love Smokeball.
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