ProLaw's scope for customization benefits Case Linden PC
Civil litigation firm Case Linden PC has been making a name for itself representing businesses, executives, and professionals in U.S. state and federal courts since 2001. With a team of 22, including 10 attorneys covering a two-state area (Kansas and Missouri), the firm is a boutique with a big impact and counts top insurance companies among its clients. From its original focus on employment litigation, it has grown in size and scope to provide expertise on a range of other claims, from personal injury and wrongful death to toxic exposure.
The firm wanted to create efficiency gains and enhance client service in an area of law governed by strict deadlines and highly specific client requirements. It needed a holistic solution to stay ahead of the game and be nimbler in responding to clients’ needs. And, it needed a solution designed with the “firm of the future” in mind.
ProLaw offered the full range of functionality Case Linden required, with significant scope for customization to the firm’s and clients’ exact needs. The firm was confident in the Thomson Reuters brand and the level of investment and insight that had gone into developing the solution as well as the prospects for ongoing support and future enhancements.
Technology as a Team Player
This is a firm for whom technology is not merely a tool, but an integral part of the team. Rather than viewing tech investments purely in terms of cost, the value they can deliver is top of mind: Case Linden sees the role of well-designed tech solutions no less than that of professional staff members.
This is certainly the case when it comes to ProLaw®, the comprehensive business management solution from Thomson Reuters, which comprises case/matter management, time entry, billing, accounting capabilities, and more. The firm has been using it since 2007.
The rationale for selecting ProLaw was simple yet ambitious. The firm was looking for a solution that could increase efficiency and effectiveness while elevating the firm’s practice to exceed client expectations and compete with larger firms, as well as support its growth.
To John Travers, controller operations manager for Case Linden, who had been used to working via shared systems in his previous role at a leading global consultancy firm, efficiency and effectiveness in practice meant working smarter, with better oversight, consistency, and control. ProLaw has not disappointed and continues to impress. As Travers explains, “We chose ProLaw because it was best in breed at the time, and it still is.”
John Travers says that ProLaw has fundamentally changed the way the firm operates for the better—so much so that it has become a core feature in shaping the firm’s culture. Crucially, it has enabled teams to become more collaborative, which feeds directly into the efficiency and effectiveness agenda.
With ProLaw, having a central repository of real-time client and matter information that is easily accessible to everyone enables attorneys to do their jobs better and helps build a common language in how matters are dealt with.
This environment enables Case Linden to leverage its expertise. Thanks to the easy-to-search records, archives, and legal documents, attorneys can get up to speed quickly when taking on new cases. They can learn from past firm work instead of reinventing the wheel, and new staff can rapidly gain insight into the workings of the firm.
A major factor behind this cultural shift is that, like other solutions the firm uses from Thomson Reuters such as Westlaw® and eDiscoveryPoint™, ProLaw is built with a clear understanding of the market and the specific requirements of end users in mind. Travers comments, “That comes from a lot of investment and research, highlighting how important it is to work with a partner like Thomson Reuters that is well established, fully entrenched in that conversation, and forward thinking. That’s vital when selecting a product that is going to be the infrastructure for your organization.”
The result of this deep legal sector knowledge is what Travers describes as the uniquely rich feature set in ProLaw. Having reviewed many other systems on the market, the firm has failed to find another solution that addresses all its various requirements like ProLaw does.
“We are still finding ways to extend and capitalize on that investment in ways we could never have imagined,” he says. “It has deep and robust functionality. Every single feature we looked at with ProLaw was important, be it docketing, document assembly, e-billing, contact integration, or record keeping. But the way it all works together in one place under one umbrella application is critical.”
ProLaw may be sophisticated enough to meet very complex needs, but it is not complicated to use. According to Travers: “Our end users rave about ProLaw. Former employees always report back and lament how much they miss it!” Case Linden found the initial implementation and data conversion very smooth, and that experience has been replicated with every upgrade since.
One example of how ProLaw makes attorney’s lives easier is the Full Text Indexing feature, which allows for powerful, intuitive content searching within documents. Another is its Pro Filing feature, which integrates with Microsoft® Outlook® to streamline email management. This allows users that receive (and send) large volumes of digital information to manage it effectively, such as by automatically saving copies of emails or attachments into appropriate folders. It even allows simultaneous automatic time entry.
Its mobile functionality also opens up new possibilities for delivering client service and managing professionals’ work/life balance alike. Enabling attorneys to access documents in court, at home, or even on vacation helps them do a better job in more flexible ways, which is essential as remote working takes off.
In fact, Case Linden has been using ProLaw remotely since its implementation. This meant that when staff went into lockdown due to Covid-19, the firm could seamlessly maintain business as usual. Travers is keenly aware of how vital that business continuity was to the firm.
The extensive functionality of ProLaw has the added benefit of being customizable, and this was a major selling point. One standout example is the way in which Case Linden has been able to develop its own internal docketing system within its workflow using the ProLaw docketing feature.
Litigation is an area of law in which there are often strict, specific deadlines and reporting requirements that are imposed either by the court or by clients. Therefore, tailored tools that facilitate meeting those needs can make a big difference to both case management and client satisfaction.
Likewise, Travers adds that ProLaw can be molded to fit a firm’s specific data storage needs, creating custom tabs to determine how data should be stored and presented in the way that users want to see it. As he points out: “Most applications don’t allow you to add database fields like that. The ability to customize ProLaw is tremendous.”
The customization list goes on: Travers also cites the fact that the application is extremely versatile in allowing the creation of custom e-bills related to each client. This matters significantly, given that they do not all want billing information delivered in the same format, nor do they use the same billing codes.
The firm uses ProLaw to tailor how it reports its activity to clients while adhering to stringent billing guidelines. Making those routine—yet important—processes more accurate and streamlined truly creates efficiencies that improve client service and equates to savings for clients.
“When you have a client say to you: ‘How do you do this so quickly? How are you able to consistently provide me with the information I need so seamlessly?’ That’s an unquestionable return on investment in a professional services organization,” says Travers. “Clients are constantly evaluating the quality and efficiency of the service they are getting. The longer a legal file is open, the more expensive it is. So, if we can make them look good by managing their litigation more swiftly and successfully, they recognize and reward it in repeat work and referrals.”
He makes a direct correlation between ROI for ProLaw and the firm’s success. “We’ve tripled in size since implementation, and there’s no doubt in my mind that ProLaw has been instrumental in that growth. It helps us enhance service quality because our attorneys can focus on delivering excellent work without friction or distraction. We have clients that provide us accolades all the time, and I know those are directly linked back to some of the functionality of ProLaw.”
Achieving future goals
Now that ProLaw has enabled the firm to become more efficient and cohesive, helping it to expand, Travers is confident that it has what it takes to help Case Linden achieve its future goals, too. He envisions the ability to mine their own data—accessing it, analyzing it, and taking action accordingly—will be key for firms in the years ahead. The architecture of ProLaw already allows firms to do this effectively, and it is a key focus area for ongoing expansion and enhancements.
He argues that, when investing in a solution that is going to play a major role in the firm’s future, it is important to choose a partner who is going to back that product for the long term. This means not only in terms of ongoing support so that it keeps working well, but how in touch they are with the market, continuously developing the product so it delivers the functionality firms need to serve clients.
“We chose ProLaw because it spoke to all aspects of our needs and because Thomson Reuters backs it. We love it, and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it,” says Travers.
Lasting Benefits of ProLaw
- Practicality – delivers easy-to-access, real-time information all in one place
- Unique set of features with rich, robust functionality, including powerful search tools
- Significant scope for customization to meet wide-ranging needs
- Easy implementation and seamless upgrades
- Delivers major efficiency gains on routine tasks
- Freedom to access information anywhere, anytime via mobile devices