Login | August 20, 2019

Smokeball: Practice management for small firms

RICHARD WEINER
Technology for Lawyers

Published: August 9, 2019

For whatever reason, I hadn’t run into practice management platform Smokeball (https://www.smokeball.com/) until a few days ago. But taking a look at the platform it certainly seems to be a valid offering for solos and small firms.

Smokeball, out of Chicago and Sydney, Australia, offers a cloud platform that includes automatic time and activity tracking, case management, document automation, calendaring, digital file storage, email management, electronic signatures, e-filing, tasks and workflows, account management, billing and more. (The name comes from an old and famous Australian consumer advertising case). Available templates are prefigured by type of matter.

It also integrates seamlessly with QuickBooks, Xero, LawPay, RingCentral, Campaign Monitor email marketing and automation platform, and Word 365.

The platform comes with, and integrates with, a new firm website, as well as a dedicated app for the firm attorneys.

Smokeball emphasizes time tracking, keeping a record of every second spent in the program, as well as in Word and Outlook.

The platform’s word processing robots have a library of thousands of public documents, forms and letters and the capability of creating firm-specific documents and templates. Documents can be automated on the desktop and then shared with the team. Like any document assembly program, reviews of the product indicate that this is not necessarily an out-of-the-box function and requires some training.

Customized training and support is one of the more impactful features of this platform. It is free, customized to the firm and to various practice areas, and staffed by legal professionals. The platform offers ongoing customer service and training from Chicago for every user as long as the firm or sole practitioner uses the product. The training, according to the website, is “based on your firm’s dynamics, practice and personality.” No other practice management software provides this level of ongoing contact and support, called “onboarding”, according to the website.

Because of that, pricing is also individualized, of course.

A free demo is available on the website, along with downloadable brochures and a pretty funny video featuring Calista Flockhart. Cause, you know, she played a lawyer on TV.


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