Blog

Blog posts for your law firm

May 26, 2022
Add Tech Updates to Your Firm’s Digital Housekeeping
Focus on these tech updates to ensure your own digital investments are worthwhile, secure and promote your law firm’s productivity and profitability.
May 12, 2022
FCFCOA Merger – Is it Costing Family Law?
To help family lawyers navigate this new era, Smokeball together with FamilyProperty are holding several in-person conferences in Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne with leading family law experts to explain the new state of family law and share practical insights.
May 17, 2022
2022 Law Firm Leadership Interview Series: Sach Fernando, Maxiom Injury Lawyers
We sat down with Sach Fernando, Principal, Maxiom Injury Lawyers, to learn more about his journey to becoming a lawyer and what the switch to Smokeball software has meant for his firm.
May 6, 2022
National Secretary's Day 2022 – Celebrating Your Unsung Law Firm Superstars
To acknowledge and celebrate our unsung legal admin superstars, we asked our clients to tell us how their remarkable paralegal or secretary goes the extra mile for their practice, for their chance to spoil them with a luxury hamper valued at $250. And the winners are...
April 14, 2022
Celebrate Your Unsung Hero - The Search for Australia’s Best Legal Secretary Underway
The search for the Australia's best unsung legal hero is underway with the launch of Smokeball’s 2022 National Secretary Day competition
April 11, 2022
International Women’s Day In-Conversation Series: Jane Oxley
Throughout March, we’re chatting with key women dominating the legal tech space, forging innovation, and inspiring change. Our final interview is with Smokeball’s Chief Revenue Officer, Jane Oxley.
April 11, 2022
International Women’s Day In-Conversation Series: Connie Lu
Throughout March, we will be shining a light on key women dominating the legal tech space, forging innovation and inspiring change. Next up, we chat with Smokeball’s Lead Software Tester, Connie Lu.
May 25, 2022
2022 Law Firm Leadership Interview Series: Luke Shanahan, Shanahan Family Law
Clarissa Rayward is talking with lawyers at the top of their fields to find out what makes them tick, what challenges they face, and why they do what they do. We are excited to kickstart the series with Luke Shanahan​, Principal Solicitor​ of Shanahan Family Law.
April 11, 2022
International Women’s Day In-Conversation Series: Fiona Kirkman
Throughout March, we will be shining a light on key women dominating the legal tech space, forging innovation and inspiring change. Next up, we chat with FamilyProperty’s CEO & Co-Founder, Fiona Kirkman.
April 11, 2022
International Women’s Day In-Conversation Series: Bianca Bowron-Cuthill
Throughout March, we will be shining a light on key women dominating the legal tech space; who are forging innovation and inspiring change. Next up, we chat with Smokeball's General Manager, Bianca Bowron-Cuthill.
April 11, 2022
Family Law Experts Reveal How Effective the New FCFCOA Merger is
The implications of family law professionals and clients working with the newly established Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA) were explored at the State of Family Law webinar.
April 11, 2022
International Women’s Day In-Conversation Series: Adele Hoyle
Throughout March, we will be shining a special light on key women dominating the legal tech space; who are forging innovation and inspiring change. We are kickstarting the celebration with Smokeball's Chief Product Officer, Adele Hoyle.
April 11, 2022
New Legal Software Innovations to Help you Get Paid Faster
Smokeball's brand new online payment functionality powered by Stripe provides a simple and secure way to send, receive and record all client payments directly within Smokeball Billing. It is a smarter way to keep the cash flowing for your law firm.
April 11, 2022
Smokeball 2022 State of Family Law Program
‍To help navigate the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Merger, Smokeball Australia & FamilyProperty are proud to deliver the 2022 State of Family Law Program. Join us at free CPD accredited events in February and June as we bring together leaders in family law to explore the key changes that have arisen.
April 11, 2022
Smokeball Launches Family Mediation Offering for Practitioners
Save time and become more efficient using Smokeball's new Family Mediation offering! You will now be able to automatically capture your client’s details during pre-mediation.
April 11, 2022
Introducing the All-New Smokeball Dashboard
Introducing Smokeball's all-new Dashboard! Featuring significant enhancements to the way you can view your matter information and manage your workload.
April 11, 2022
Summit Recap: Supercharge the Productivity of your Matters
As the leading innovators in legal technology, Smokeball and InfoTrack provide a powerful suite of best in market productivity tools that streamline every aspect of your legal matters.
April 11, 2022
Wellness Webinar Recap: 3 Things We Can All Do Right Now to Make the World a Better Place
To close out the challenging year that was 2021, Clarissa Rayward joined us to share three skills we can implement to bring calm to what can often feel like chaos in our professional and personal worlds as lawyers, but also have a bigger impact on the world we all live in.
April 11, 2022
Smokeball Product Chat: Sneak Peek of the New Smokeball Dashboard
Smokeball's Chief Revenue Officer Jane Oxley and Chief Product Officer Adele Hoyle met virtually to provide an exclusive sneak peek of the brand new dashboard that is coming soon to Smokeball.
April 11, 2022
Summit Recap: Enhancing Law Firm Collaboration
Maria Mastroianni, Smokeball Onboarding Specialist, shares her top practical tips and technology to help your law firm stay connected; so you can complete your legal matters with ease.
April 11, 2022
Microsoft Word Tips for Lawyers
Here are Smokeball’s top Microsoft Word tips and tricks that every lawyer should know
April 11, 2022
Webinar Recap: Fixed and Value Pricing – Focus on Scoping
Clarissa Rayward recently joined us to continue her fixed fee pricing series, this time with a specific focus on how to scope and how to do it effectively.
April 11, 2022
Summit Recap: Legal Practice Management Made Easier With Automation
Learn how to reduce manual everyday tasks and embrace document automation in your law firm. Presented by Tony Hastings, Smokeball Training Specialist
April 11, 2022
Smokeball Now Integrates Seamlessly with Settify for Family Lawyers
We are excited to announce that Smokeball Legal Practice Management Software and Settify for Family Law have come together in a beautiful and seamless integration.
April 11, 2022
Webinar Recap: Three Things I Wish I Realised When I Was 20, Not 40.
Clarissa Rayward recently joined us to share her learnings of what life has been like, and how it differed from her original expectations of being a lawyer.
April 11, 2022
Summit Recap: New Legal Technology Innovations
We have summarised all the exclusive sneak peeks from Adele’ Hoyle's Virtual Summit session 'New Legal Technology Innovations'
April 11, 2022
Webinar Recap: Seven Ways to Avoid Client Fee Disputes
Garth Brown recently joined us to share first-hand knowledge and actionable strategies to help small law firms improve collections and avoid costly fee disputes.
April 11, 2022
Summit Recap: Delivering a Delightful Client Experience
Did you miss the Virtual Summit? Don’t worry! We have summarised all the key takeaways from Bianca Bowron-Cuthill's session 'Delivering a Delightful Client Experience'.
April 11, 2022
Summit Recap: How to Successfully Implement Fixed Fee Pricing
Did you miss the Virtual Summit? Don’t worry! We have summarised all the key takeaways from Clarissa Rayward’s session 'How to Successfully Implement Fixed Fee Pricing'.
April 11, 2022
Smokeball Business of Small Law 2021 Survey: COVID Affecting Small Law’s Ability to Recover Debt
New findings from Smokeball's Business of Small Law 2021 Survey show how COVID has impacted small law firms' ability to recover client debt.
April 11, 2022
Smokeball Acquires FamilyProperty Deepening its Commitment to Family Law
We are thrilled to announce that Smokeball has streamlined its end-to-end experience for family law professionals with the acquisition of the industry leading platform FamilyProperty.
April 11, 2022
Smokeball Raises $40 Million in Private Funding Round
Legal practice management software company to double down on growth.
April 11, 2022
Legal Perspective: How Smokeball Can Help Lawyers Sleep Better at Night
Smokeball legal practice management software is designed for lawyer peace of mind. Here are a few ways we can help:
April 11, 2022
Setting Communication Boundaries for Healthy Lawyer-Client Relationships
Here are a few helpful tips for setting communication boundaries at any stage of a lawyer-client relationship.
April 11, 2022
Burnout: How to Recognise It, and How to Manage it with the Help of Smokeball
How can legal professionals identify burnout in your lives and among your employees, and how can you combat this seemingly ubiquitous problem?
April 11, 2022
Lawyer Tech Tips That Actually Help You Disconnect During Non-work Hours
We spend nearly 4 hours a day using smartphone apps — follow these tech tips to cut down that number and focus on your time off.
April 11, 2022
How Lawyers can Use Their Time Off to Boost Mental Health — Even During COVID-19
Create your own roadmap for effective time off that boosts your mental health and ability to serve your clients — in the long term.
April 11, 2022
Smokeball now integrates seamlessly with Securexchange
To celebrate our new integration with Securexchange, you can go in the draw to win a $500 Prezzee gift card just by using the Securexchange feature in September!
April 11, 2022
R U OK? Day Kicks Off Healthy Remote Lawyer Month at Smokeball
This month we will be supporting your life as a Healthy Remote Lawyer, covering topics like stress management, setting healthy client boundaries, and asking for the help you need.
April 11, 2022
Webinar Recap: The 5 traits of a Happy Lawyer in Law and in Life
Clarissa Rayward aka 'The Happy Family Lawyer joined us virtually for a wellness webinar to discuss the five key elements lawyers need to successfully manage and build a fulfilling career in law and life outside of it.
April 11, 2022
Smokeball Awarded Best Place to Work 2021
We have always been proud of our company culture here at Smokeball, and today we have another reason to be.
April 11, 2022
Surprising ways you might be sabotaging your law firm’s productivity
Discover some of the common ways lawyers hold themselves back from being their most productive selves, and what you can do about it.
April 11, 2022
How should law firms define productivity?
With all the advice and formulas for unbridled productivity available, how can law firms cut through the noise to find a version of productivity that helps them to be more successful law firms?
April 11, 2022
Smokeball Community Star - Amanda Little
We recently spoke with prominent Smokeball Community member Amanda Little to discuss how she manages to balance career and family life, her top tips for running a thriving legal practice, and what inspires her to succeed.
April 11, 2022
Smokeball Product Chat - Legal Billing Innovations
Smokeball CRO Jane Oxley and Global Head of Product Adele Hoyle met virtually to showcase legal software innovations that will simplify the legal billing process.
April 11, 2022
Celebrating our Legal Community Heroes
We are thrilled to announce the winners of the first-ever Smokeball Community Hero Award 2021.
April 11, 2022
Will COVID be the catalyst for a more customer-centric legal industry?
As the legal industry continues to grow and evolve, taking a customer-centrist approach is the logical next step for law firms hoping to maintain and expand their business post-COVID and beyond.
April 11, 2022
Why time tracking is vital for running a successful law firm
In this article we address the poisonous seed that grows into a catastrophe for most law firms – uncaptured and unpaid time.
April 11, 2022
Top 6 police check questions your law firm clients will ask
Being asked to perform a police check can be a little unsettling. We’ve summarised the top 6 questions your law firm clients may ask.
April 11, 2022
Smokeball Community Hero Award 2021
To acknowledge the important work that small law firms do in their communities, we will be presenting the first ever legal community award in 2021. The prize is a luxury trip valued at up to $5,000.
April 11, 2022
This Is When Company Culture Shows Its Muscle
Smokeball is busy right now with a lot of communication around best practices for working remotely, and importantly, engaging staff remotely. Because how much can you really get done if your staff aren’t engaged, right?
April 11, 2022
Internal Communication – enough with the emails!
Law firms are telling us that they have more emails than ever. Not only do they have their normal, overwhelming number of emails from clients, other lawyers and so on, now they also have most of their internal conversations through email too.
April 11, 2022
Re-Spec Your Practice: Get Your Computers in Shape to Properly Support Your Business
Computers are important members of your support staff in your law firm. To be operating at the top of your game, and to be ethically compliant, your computer must be reliably up to date.
April 11, 2022
Manage every aspect of your practice with Lead Management
We’re enabling law firms to oversee a whole new area of their practice. Our Lead Management feature gives law firms the tools they need to manage and follow up with potential new clients before a matter is even created.
April 11, 2022
Keeping your files up-do-date with Court Sync™
We are excited to announce that Smokeball now integrates seamlessly with Court Sync. Once documents, orders and judgements are submitted, clients can click the ‘Court Sync’ button within Smokeball and any updated documents will be automatically saved to the corresponding matter.
April 11, 2022
How Collaboration and Communications Tools Help Firms Work From Anywhere - With Jane Oxley
When we launched our suite of communication and collaboration tools in Smokeball, we worried we were too far ahead of the curve: that small law firms would fail to embrace messaging each other internally, sharing documents with each other, and also messaging their clients and third parties from our software.
April 11, 2022
Cut out time spent on unbillable administrative work
The legal industry has a reputation for long hours and high stress. Lawyers frequently report working longer than a standard 9 to 5 workday, yet studies have shown that the average lawyer spends just over two hours each day on billable work.
April 11, 2022
7 Reasons Why Lawyers Should Shut Off Their Computer Every Day
Are you wondering: “Should I turn off my computer every day?”. Many people leave their computers on for days or even weeks at a time, but is that really a smart choice? There are many benefits to shutting down your computer every day, let’s take a look at a few.
April 11, 2022
Document Automation: 6 Reasons Why You Need It
Document automation has become the foundation of most modern small law firms. The ability to use software to quickly produce documents has transformed the way lawyers service their clients and has significantly improved the productivity of their businesses.
April 11, 2022
Fixed fees reaping rewards for smaller firms
Small law firms are witnessing an increase in requests for fixed fees, as well as greater profitability – and the future looks bright for charging in such a fashion, too.
April 11, 2022
Celebrating National Secretary's Day 2021
To acknowledge and celebrate our legal admin superstars, we asked our clients to nominate their remarkable paralegal or secretary and tell us how they go the extra mile for their practice, for their chance to spoil them with a luxury hamper valued at $250.
April 11, 2022
Working Remotely: A Practical Guide for Small Law Firms
This guide will cover the technology you’ll need in order to work remotely no matter the technology you’re using. It includes tips on tools to work better together when you’re not in the same office, as well as guidance for where to find help.
April 11, 2022
Smokeball's Top Five Tips and Tools for Successful Remote Work
Discover practical tips and tricks, plus innovative legal technology that will enable your law firm to work productively from any location.
April 11, 2022
Video chat that saves directly to your legal matters
With face-to-face meetings often replaced with video conferencing right now, we wanted to provide Smokeball users with a seamless way to incorporate video into their workflow. In a recent update, we’ve made client and co-worker communication even more effective by integrating it with the most popular video chat application on the market: Zoom.
April 11, 2022
How Can Lawyers Witness a Will Remotely?
How can Lawyers Witness a Will Remotely? 27/3/20202 Comments Picture Estate Planning is the bread and butter of many small law firms. Wills, powers of attorney, guardianships and medical directives are important documents that require proper execution. Without the necessary witnessing and execution requirements met, it is easy to contest these documents when they come into effect.
April 11, 2022
Cloud software for small law firm: Why not all clouds are built equal
When looking to move to the cloud, is there a difference between ‘cloud’ from one vendor to another? Yes, and the differences can be profound. The majority of providers use the purely browser-based technology to take you to the cloud, but, there are a few that go the extra mile and implement all the cloud benefits right into your desktop, into your existing applications, and the into the workflows that you use every day.
April 11, 2022
Maintaining control and accountability over a decentralised office
Once legal businesses are set up to work remotely with communication and practice management software, their next thought should be how to make sure everyone in the firm is remaining productive and accountable.
April 11, 2022
Maintaining control of tasks and deadlines while working remotely
Legal and conveyancing businesses are sacrificing a lot of control as their employees work from home in light of Covid-19. Lawyers and conveyancers are paradoxically more autonomous in staying on top of their daily tasks while relying more on each other to make sure nothing falls between the cracks.
April 11, 2022
Family Law documents can now be signed electronically
The new “Joint Practice Direction 2 of 2020 - Special Measures in Response to COVID-19” was issued by the Family Law Courts on 31 March 2020 in order to help combat the daily practical challenges now faced by Family Law practitioners as well as prioritise the health and safety of the wider community, Judges and Court staff.
April 11, 2022
What Can Lawyers do to Improve Email Management?​
Email is a great way to quickly and easily communicate with clients and colleagues about a matter, but if not managed effectively, email can become a productivity killer. There are a few things every conveyancing and legal business can do to improve email management.
April 11, 2022
Microsoft Outlook Tips for Lawyers
Let’s look at a few powerful Microsoft Outlook tips and tricks that you can use to increase your law firm productivity and communication.
April 11, 2022
Becoming a Paperless Office​ - With guest blogger Rebecca Wadelton
The hardest part in making the transition to the electronic world and operating a paperless office is working out where to begin, followed by removing the overwhelming thought of having to find the time to make the transition. Most of us have this notion of how hard and time consuming the transition is going to be. The transition itself is easy and when completed in stages it is no longer overwhelming or time consuming.
April 11, 2022
10 Ways to Save Time Producing Legal Documents with Templates
Quick and easy document creation is crucial to keeping your legal practice running at the speed clients need and expect from modern firms.
April 11, 2022
Smokeball Communicate - Secure file Sharing and messaging securely connecting lawyers with their clients
To combat the threat of cyber crime we have developed Communicate, a secure file sharing and messaging platform and mobile app.
April 11, 2022
What is Smokeball Communicate and what makes it so secure?
Cyber crime has rapidly increased in recent years, with email fraud being the primary tactic of attackers. In result, email is now deemed insecure.
April 11, 2022
Communicate: Group chat and file sharing for dispersed teams
There are myriad chat apps on the market. Alternatives to Slack and Microsoft Teams include Google Hangouts Chat, Mattermost, and Flock. But, none unfortunately are truly free. Sure, some remote teams are relying on iMessage and SMS texts in a pinch, but for a decentralised office, consistent and secure communication is a must.
April 11, 2022
Top 5 Reasons Smokeball Billing is Brilliant
We are proud to introduce our Smokeball Billing expert – Priscilla Lawrence. These are Priscilla's top 5 reasons why Smokeball Billing is brilliant.
April 11, 2022
Billing what you’re worth: How doubling your revenue is actually a possibility
To tell a law firm that our software can double your revenue sounds like an outlandish marketing claim. So when we started to look at the data and realised that it is not only possible, but it has already happened for many Smokeball clients, we felt uncomfortable shouting it from the rooftops, because it sounds too good to be true.
April 11, 2022
Smokeball brings home Australian Business Award for Software Innovation
With just under three years in the Australian market, Smokeball Legal and Conveyancing Software has won an Australian Business Award for Software Innovation.
April 11, 2022
Smokeball placed in the Top 20 for 2019 Best Places to Work Study
We have always been proud of our culture here at Smokeball, and today we have another reason to be!
April 11, 2022
Tips for Capturing (and Billing) More Time
Capturing and billing more time can take your businesses revenue from mediocre to outstanding. When it comes to tracking time, so many lawyers leave money on the table because they fail to record all the hours they’ve worked.
April 11, 2022
Smokeball Trust Accounting Now Law Society Approved! The Road to Certification
Just shy of a year ago, we started our journey enhancing Smokeball’s Trust Accounting in preparation for the certification submission with the Law Society of New South Wales.
April 11, 2022
Secrets of an Award Winning 'Great Place to Work' Company
We have always been proud of our amazing company culture here at Smokeball, and now we have another reason to be: We've been named #14 Best Place to Work 2020, awarded for the second year running!
April 20, 2022
(Re)Starting Your Law Firm - Emerging from the Crisis or the Crowd
This guide is designed to help you craft a step-by-step map to start or restart your firm.
April 11, 2022
LPI Podcast: The interplay between innovative software and legal practice success with Justin Betar, Betar Lawyers
Lawyer and Smokeball client Justin Betar shares his experience as a recognised innovator in using technology within his legal practice.
April 11, 2022
Automatic Time Tracking + Matter Profitability Tracking: When something that sounds too good to be true is real!
For the past three years, the team at Smokeball has been working on AutoTime. AutoTime is a total revelation for small law firms whether working on time billed or fixed fee (or as is common, a combination of both) as it performs two key functions.
April 11, 2022
Keeping social activities alive in a virtual workplace
Prior to COVID when all 70 Smokeballers worked in the office together, organising the social activities was straight forward. As a social bunch something as simple as Friday beer and pizza, or a monthly birthday cake and song went down well. Though in March, when we suddenly all started working from home, our humble social calendar simply didn’t work. Virtual social drinks were a flop, and singing happy birthday online was plain awkward. So, with much trial and error, here are my tips:
April 11, 2022
Legal trends to look out for in 2021
2020 was full of unexpected challenges. We redefined where and how we worked, with many lawyers transitioning to remote work. Whatever new challenges await in 2021, we can be sure that the legal industry has been changed forever.
April 11, 2022
How hourly and fixed fee billers can bill more without charging more
Not only does Smokeball help law firms get their work done faster with industry leading productivity tools, it also makes sure fee earners are paid what they’re worth.
April 11, 2022
Smokeball’s new mobile app for lawyers keeps your practice in your pocket
The new and improved Smokeball app for iOS and Android brings Smokeball from your desktop to your pocket, helping you manage your practice whether on the go or in the courtroom.
April 11, 2022
Why automatic time tracking is essential for more than billing
Any lawyer who has manually tracked their billable hours knows it can be a thankless task. Between constantly setting and resetting timers, compiling that information into timesheets – and trying to calculate how much time was spent on tasks you weren’t able to set a timer for – lawyers need to be meticulous with their billable hours.
April 11, 2022
Building client trust through billing transparency
We’re hearing a lot about transparency these days. It is a kind of elixir of modern management, widely discussed as a way to build value with every constituency an enterprise may have, including shareholders, communities, regulators, employees, suppliers and customers.
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