Smokeball

Smokeball

4.9
(25)

Software for small law firms. When it's time to get serious about your law business, it's time for Smokeball.

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Smokeball review by Daniel A.
Daniel A.
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Verified Current User
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"Smokeball is the 99% Complete Package For Our Firm"

What do you like best?

1) Account Management - We were assigned a personal support account manager from the start who helped us get established, provided training and is one stop shopping for all our questions. He even hosted me during a recent visit to Chicago. We've been working with him for more than 18 months no and he is terrific: responsive, intelligent and knows how to marshal the internal Smokeball resources when needed.

2) Document Management / Email integration - We demoed all the top Practice Management Systems in detail and Smokeball was the best in these categories. All documents are stored in the secure Smokeball cloud and organizing, searching and maintaining these documents is a breeze. Thanks to the tight integrtion with Outlook, Word and Nuance (PDF), all documents can easily be manipulated and get tagged so they are associated with the correct matter.

3) Automated Forms - Another strong trait of Smokeball. Creating and using templates for letters, memos, etc helps avoid the tedious task of creating a letter from scratch. These are automated based on existing matter or client details and can be automated to "ask" questions to fill in the blanks at creation time within a matter.

4) Integrated Billing system - Smokeball Billing (previously called "Boost") has come a long way in 18 months and provides 99% of the functionality to do invoicing and manage Trust Accounts. Reports are available for generating for the client (i.e. Matter Account Ledgers) or internally (i.e. Aging Reports).

5) Unlimited document storage in the Smokeball cloud (I hope this continues)

What do you dislike?

1) Occasionally the document list refresh can be a bit quirky due (most likely) to time lags

2) The forms template creation works great but is so powerful that it is sometimes a little overwhelming but our account manager

3) Cost - Smokeball is one of the higher cost solutions

Recommendations to others considering the product

Smokeball is making the needed investment to improve the product. We see continuous improvement and new functionality frequently. We were asked to work directly with the developers in some cases to address functionality needs.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

1) Efficiency - we save hours of time using pre-formatted forms

2) Organization -Thanks to tight email integration,all our emails are organized and stored by matter for subsequent searching and package production

3) Compliance - Invoicing and accounting functionality is strong so we can feel confident that we are meeting all the IOLTA and record-keeping requirements for or State Bar

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Smokeball review by David P.
David P.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Smokeball has addressed countless firm management issues and streamlined our work process."

What do you like best?

Smokeball is very easy to use- especially in creating and managing new matters. Smokeball has proven that they care about their customers because their account management team is very responsive and pro-active. I feel very comfortable that I will have the support I need when I need it. I am also pleased with the responses I get when I submit tickets about desired features for the program. It is clear they are developing software that responds directly to the requests of its customers.

What do you dislike?

Smokeball is not perfect and occasionally has small bugs or inconsistencies. It is always a bit of an adjustment switching wholesale to a new firm management system, and this has been no exception. That being said, using Smokeball continues to become easier over time.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Smokeball solves case management, contact management, and document storage for our firm. The primary benefit is that all of these systems are held in one place, and interact smoothly to eliminate unnecessary extra work.

What Legal Case Management solution do you use?

Thanks for letting us know!
Smokeball review by Josie K.
Josie K.
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Verified Current User
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"The Absolute Best Program for File Organization in Law Offices"

What do you like best?

Everything about Smokeball is truly a dream. The interface not only gives you a way to easily organize clients files but it also provides a system to tag the files as various types of cases. Within the system you can create separate files for each type of document that will be held ex. pleadings, correspondence, etc. One of the best parts of Smokeball is the automation that you can input to your files. You can generate an automatic document for various letters you send on a daily basis. For instance fax cover sheets, opening letters, letters of representation, you name it you can automate it. Truly makes every part of the system such a breeze. And you can link your email so you can tag emails with the corresponding clients files they should be linked to. Talk about convenient!

What do you dislike?

There's truly not much that I dislike about Smokeball. I can't off the top of my head think of anything other than the duration of time it takes on occasion to actually open the program. But that's truly a minimal complaint.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Truly an incredible product that I can't say enough shining things about.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Solving the issue of organizing documents and keeping track of all documents and files for each client. This solves the issue of paper files and condenses everything into an electronic form that easy to access. It also provides a tool to create and assign tasks to various employees and see when they're completed which is truly a game changer.

Smokeball review by Andy T.
Andy T.
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Verified Current User
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"Great Product with Great Customer Support"

What do you like best?

There customer support and tech support are top-notch. In fact, our Smokeball account manager was in town recently for another event and came by our office to do a training for our firm. We are a small firm, and that level of personal attention was very appreciated.

In addition to the customer support, we have been very pleased with the product overall. We have several lawyers who practice in several different practice areas, and in our research, we found Smokeball to be the product that was most adept at handling multiple practice areas. We've been very pleased with the product.

We also like that the product is very intuitive. We looked at other programs that seemed like they'd be more powerful. Maybe they were, and maybe they weren't, but either way, they would've been impossible to figure out. (And that's coming from someone who was a computer programmer before I was a lawyer.) Smokeball makes it super-easy to file emails, for example. It's really difficult to overstate how easy Smokeball is to use.

What do you dislike?

There have been glitches here and there, but when this happens, Smokeball is very good at: (1) developing a temporary workaround; and (2) correcting the glitch in the next update (which happens frequently).

Recommendations to others considering the product

You can look at other programs, but make sure the other programs are going to be easy enough to use for you *and* your staff. Otherwise, the program can be as powerful as it can be, but it won't do you any good.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Smokeball has helped us tremendously as we have grown our practice. Oce of the key benefits has been automation. Where we previously would have to think of the last time we had drafted a particular document to use as a form, now they are stored in the forms folder, and once we click, most (if not all) of the client data is already in the form. This has made us tremendously more efficient.

Smokeball review by MARK S.
MARK S.
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Verified Current User
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"The Best SOFTWARE Move I Ever Made"

What do you like best?

It is very user friendly and the support staff is AMAZING! The integration with Outlook is fantastic. I have peace of mind knowing everything is calendared and the reminders will pop up for all my to dos. Being cloud based I can work form anywhere in the World.

What do you dislike?

Can't think of anything. And If I did they would fix it.

Recommendations to others considering the product

If you want to be able to manage your practice from a cloud based system, this is the answer. In my PI practice I rarely need to track time, however, this tool let's me see my profitability and when I do need a billing statement it is so simple.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Keeping cases o moving forward, tracking time and expenses.

Smokeball review by Theodore A.
Theodore A.
Validated Reviewer
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"Best user experience and excellent customer support"

What do you like best?

Integration of email, form automation, integration with Infotrak, electronic filing. Automated billing integration, activity tracking.

What do you dislike?

While the ios app is usable and effective, their are clearly improvements that can be made, including the ability to use on your phone app when not connected to wifi or cellular service is poor or unavailable. After discussing that with the provider, I understand that the app is in the midst of a major upgrade and am looking forward to that.

Recommendations to others considering the product

If you are looking for a cloud based case management program that integrates emails and efficiently automates forms, this is the software for you.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Streamlines document creation, storage, integration with email and billing. Creates and preserves efficiencies and streamlines processes and tasks associated with each and every matter. The automated activity tracker makes billing a breeze, and the integration of the billing with quickbooks and lawpay makes getting paid a very efficient proposition.

Smokeball review by User in Legal Services
User in Legal Services
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Verified Current User
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"Intuitive interface, customizes to my needs, great customer service."

What do you like best?

The onboarding process helped me to get up and running quickly and with a minimum of fuss. Also, now that I've set up the forms that I use most often, I can create and send correspondence less than half the time. My account manager is helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly and the support staff have assisted quickly with the few problems I've encountered. This is way better than A****s was. Oh, and the app - the Android app is 100% better than the other system's. It's still not perfect, but if I'm out and about and my attorney asks me to take care of something right away, I can do pretty much anything but print hard copy right from my phone. It's saved a great deal of trouble a couple of times: the difference between driving in to the office on the weekend and sitting on the porch and handling the emergency in two minutes.

What do you dislike?

There are still some data entry forms that seem to be aimed at a slightly different system than we use. I've had to figure a couple of work-arounds for matter types that don't quite fit. All-in-all, not a huge deal or a daily problem. Also, the scanning utility - it's handy to be able to scan directly to Smokeball without having to create a local file and import it, but the interface is pretty clumsy. They don't claim to support the functionality and just offer it as an unsupported feature, but I use it almost every day and wish it were more streamlined.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Set up a couple of test matters and work with it. Imagine how you can use the forms and templates to automate things you do over and over again. Try making a to-do task, setting up and attaching a mostly-done letter to the task and assigning it to a team member to finish, all within the program.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We're having a much easier time keeping track of emails and correspondence. The task list is a game changer as well. We were using T***ist and it's almost as easy to use, plus links the appropriate matter and tracks completed tasks within the matters - excellent for tracking time and backtracking when things were done. I haven't integrated much of the billing yet, but I'm looking forward to the time when all of our client-side financial data is linked to the matters involved.

Smokeball review by Administrator
Administrator
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Verified Current User
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"If you are solo/small firm, look no further! "

What do you like best?

After using other practice management systems (Amicus, PracticeMaster), we found the solution that really worked for our small law firm. Smokeball is EXTREMELY user-friendly and best practice management system around, and it works seamlessly with Smokeball billing so that we spend less time on tiresome administrative tasks. We love the tech support and account management -- Ian, our account manager, always makes sure that our questions are addressed promptly. With Smokeball, we can: makes notes to the file that all staff members can see, enabling the next person to pick up the file and start working; save all emails to a particular matter in a searchable format; email multiple parties in a matter without having to dig around for their contact information; format emails automatically with matter information in the subject line; auto-bill time spent on emails and calendar events; and so much more. Honestly, I often wonder how attorneys practice without Smokeball.

What do you dislike?

I wish that tasks for closed matters would simply go away without the need for manual deletion. The program does take a while to load in the mornings, but it's a big program with a ton of information in it, so that's to be expected.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Time management, disorganization, lost billable time were huge problems. Also, in the past, it was difficult for a file to be worked by multiple individuals. With Smokeball, those problems are history.

Smokeball review by Administrator
Administrator
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Verified Current User
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"Smokeball has changed everything!"

What do you like best?

As everyone in the legal profession knows there is a lot of repetition. This repetition of motions, letters, etc takes away from more substantive work. Smokeball has removed the thought work from billing so that I can focus on the client. Smokeball, through its automation has allowed for more time researching, powerful writing, case/fact investigations, more time for court appearances etc. It has changed the practices at this firm so much that, if given the opportunity to go a different firm I would turn down an offer of employment if they did not have Smokeball.

Smokeball has improved practice and through the capturing of lost billing hour has literally paid for itself many times over.

What do you dislike?

I love everything about the software, I only wish it would be readily compatible with Mac products.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Just get it. It will change everything!

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Increased revenue.

Smokeball review by Lori A.
Lori A.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Worth Every Penny!"

What do you like best?

We have tried several other well known software programs, the customer support at Smokeball exceeded all of our expectations. It is leaps and bounds above its competitors. When it comes to transitioning to new software, customer service is paramount. Smokeball's excellent customer service extended past onboarding and continues to shine when we encounter any issues or have requests for things to implement into the software. If you call customer service you always talk with an actual person who tries to resolve any issues you have and who never simply refers you to their website to watch a video on how to resolve the issue on your own. Our account manager is always quick to respond to telephone calls and emails and is constantly checking in to see if there is anything Smokeball can do to make their software work better for us and our firm...and they actually implement suggestions!

What do you dislike?

I'm actually hard pressed to think of what I don't like about Smokeball. The price is high; however, we've tried cheaper software and find that Smokeball is worth it. I don't know that this would be the best software for very large firms. I think it lends itself better to midsize-small law firms.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We love having all of the client information, documents, notes, and emails in one central location that can be viewed by anyone in the firm at any time. Workflow systems are instrumental in making sure that all aspects of a client matter are being addressed. The document templates are a huge time-saver. Our office is definitely more streamlined and efficient now.

Smokeball review by Pam J.
Pam J.
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"Our firm looked at many software programs - Smokeball has them all beat!"

What do you like best?

The ease of use for the software, the support, the Account Management and the prompt response you receive when you need assistance. The document management aspect is awesome! Creating documents, the templates available, copying files between matters, tracking emails per matter, etc. Our Account Manager, Josh Taylor, has made a couple of trips to Arkansas to train and work with our team personally and has set our minds at ease on several occasions. He and everyone that we've had contact with at Smokeball are very friendly, courteous, knowledgeable and the part I like most, they take the time to speak with you like a normal person!! They never make you feel awkward or "dumb", no matter what you ask!

What do you dislike?

1) Before we switched to Smokeball, we could "preview" our documents, now we have to actually open them. 2) When documents are uploaded to a matter by another user, there's no notification system to let you know something has been uploaded. You just have to "happen upon it". 3) We would like to add a document to be "standard" in every matter created, but that's not an option.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Smokeball has made our "work lives" so much easier!! We highly suggest signing up with them, you will not regret it!

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Definitely more efficiency, organization and streamlined.

Smokeball review by Sandy F.
Sandy F.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Our Small Firm is Finally Organized"

What do you like best?

The company itself - from the Account Mangers to the Product Managers, Trainers and Software Support they're outstanding. Not only do they answer any silly question I may have, but they've taken the time to call and meet us. Our trainer, Sara Sultan and account manager, Josh Taylor, really stand out in my book. I also really like the document management aspect. The ease in which I can create documents (forms & templates); copy/move/duplicate files to other matters; attaching emails and documents to tasks.

What do you dislike?

-I don't like that I have to open up a document to see the contents. A preview pane would be helpful.

- I can't tell when another user is in the same document I'm in.

- Too many non-identified options - I have to click too many info tabs to find what I'm looking for

- Contacts - not very user friendly

- Saving PDFs from another source has to be saved to desktop before I can put into SB - it's a pain

- Can't attach a document from two different matters to one email (that is assigned to only one of the documents) - Did that make sense?

Recommendations to others considering the product

Jump on the SB train. You'll be happy you did.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We more efficient and organized.

Smokeball review by Brynn H.
Brynn H.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Best Law Firm Practice Management Software"

What do you like best?

Smokeball keeps our firm well organized. We love that emails and documents can be saved to a matter, are easily accessible and in one central location. The software is easy to navigate and input information into matters. The Account Management team is by far the best we have ever worked with and are very responsive and super helpful with any questions that might arise. Smokeball offers training at start up and when they have new changes and updates to make sure you are comfortable using the software.

What do you dislike?

We would like to be able to save emails to matters while using cellphones and/or iPads.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Best money you will pay to keep your firm organized!!

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Smokeball helps with document automation for forms that we use all the time. Everything is easy to access and saves so much time.

Smokeball review by Rabbi Shmuel S.
Rabbi Shmuel S.
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Verified Current User
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"Loving every minute of it"

What do you like best?

It's user friendly and everything is at your fingertips - it has saved me hours of looking for data which used to be all over. I love getting my daily digest each morning.

What do you dislike?

When internet is slower I have to wait a bit but we are moving up to fiber optics so we should be good

Recommendations to others considering the product

Definitely a good ride. I used to use Amicus back in the day but these guys have a great product!

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Organization/file control and management/calendar management/reporting

Smokeball review by Bruce P.
Bruce P.
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Verified Current User
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"Smokeball is Great"

What do you like best?

I like how it has allowed me to greatly improve my contact database and organizes all my clients and prospects in one place. I like how it allowed me to improve my website. I really like how responsive the staff of Smokeball is for training and answering questions.

What do you dislike?

I hope that they start to allow for the syncing of outlook contacts with Smokeball contacts.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Staying current with my clients' priorities and keeping in touch with prospects.

Smokeball review by Andrew J.
Andrew J.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"An Excellent Resource for a Small Firm"

What do you like best?

I love the ability to work from anywhere and the fact that all of our documents are in the cloud ensures that our client's files are secure and accessible.

What do you dislike?

Even though the integrations with word, excel, and outlook are helpful, they do tend to slow both the computer and Smokeball down a bit.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Scheduling Appointments and keeping track of court dates in an easy to use manner.

Smokeball review by User
User
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Beautiful, intuitive, easy-to-use software with awesome personal attention from Smokeball staff "

What do you like best?

The customer service is just wonderful, except I don't think about it as "customer service" because that sounds so clinical. Josh, my "account rep," was more like a friend I met who happened to help me with Smokeball new features and any questions I had. That's how close I became with the Smokeball staff as I started my practice and signed up with Smokeball. From the time I opened my account to now, I talked to him several times a month via email or telephone. He always got back to me ASAP when I had a question or concern and his follow-up was superb. I schedule free help sessions occasionally to make the system work better for me. But, I honestly loved the software from day one. I like that Smokeball staff members let me know about new features so I never missed out on new ways the software can help me.

I like the matter set-ups features for different case types, document automation, visual AI tracking (so I can eyeball what I am spending the most time on from day to day.) The auto-time tracking is seriously great for helping me bill in cases where I miss bill opportunities for my hourly cases. The email saving is great too. I also like the ability to scan a document directly into the file. For filing, there is also a publish option, so I can e-file a document directly from my Smokeball matter to the online state or federal court filing system I am using. Other great features too, like workflows, tasks, and reports are things I want to use more in the future.

What do you dislike?

I think the price is the only downside. It's a little high, but Smokeball offers features,(like my FREE website design) that make the software well worth it. After the site was designed by Smokeball, they even helped me learn Weebly so I can make updates in seconds whenever I want.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Make sure you use the staff and overload the staff with information about your practice. The more the staff new about my firm, the more they helped me. Can't say enough good things about how Smokeball helped me start my practice and continues to help me stay organized and meet my business goals.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Before I started my own firm, I worked at an insurance defense firm that worked without a software (crazy, I know). Attorneys there just saved things however they wanted and every file looked different. Smokeball has so many automation features that enable users to make legal process work like an assembly line. I used the ABA handout on case management software before choosing Smokeball after did demos with eight other companies. Smokeball, to me, made the most sense because I was in so many different areas of law at first, and I was drawn to the Smokeball hand-holding in matter configuration that told me what data I needed per matter type. It helps me stay organized. I can access my files on my phone, laptop, office desktop, or whatever computer on which I'm working.

Smokeball review by Robert T.
Robert T.
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"Transformative tools for my practice"

What do you like best?

Smokeball promised tight Office 365 integration and delivered. The Account Manager was super responsive in the onboarding process, and it's made my estate planning practice more productive and profitable. My Account Manager also exposed me to tools that I now use in other parts of my practice, including family law and litigation.

What do you dislike?

I'm still learning about the billing end of Smokeball.

Recommendations to others considering the product

If you are doing estate planning, the document automation features can't be beat.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

The workflow process is helping ensure the ball does not get dropped and clients get their matters completed in a reasonable time.

Smokeball review by User in Law Practice
User in Law Practice
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Verified Current User
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"Hands down the best law firm practice management software"

What do you like best?

The best thing about Smokeball is that it's artificial intelligence tracks the documents you create and review and the emails you send and receive to automatically create accurate time entries for the legal work you do.

What do you dislike?

Smokeball's time and billing software, Boost, is still in its early stages and not very robust.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Do it! Spend the time getting properly trained and putting in your document templates.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Smokeball helps me automatically track my time, ensuring accurate billing. It also has robust document automation to cut way down on creating documents that I use all the time.

Smokeball review by Ed G.
Ed G.
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"Awesome Case Management Software"

What do you like best?

Software is great, The Acct Mgmt is best

What do you dislike?

There is nothing to dislike. The only area that could use improvement is the mobile app. It is my understanding that this is being revamped soon and I cannot wait for this to be completed.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Our primary issue involved usability in multiple locations without loss of functionality. This software allows all employees to work just as efficiently, wherever they happen to be.

Smokeball review by User
User
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Verified Current User
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"A Must for Law Firms"

What do you like best?

Smokeball has many features. I love that they are constantly updating.

What do you dislike?

I like everything. There are a few things that can change but we are able to send them our feedback and in many cases they change things around.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Smokeball is all about saving time.

Smokeball review by User in Law Practice
User in Law Practice
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"Learning a lot about smokeball and how it can help"

What do you like best?

Keeps everything very well organized and makes it easier to access information and pulls information through to your documents. Input once and use it over and over again.

What do you dislike?

The cost. It is expensive for a small firm but I am hopeful that in the long run it will pay for itself in time savings.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Definitely try it out and speak to others that use it.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Helping with e-filing and keeping files organized and easy to access. Benefit is time savings and less headaches.

Smokeball review by Sharon J.
Sharon J.
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"Smokeball is user friendly, and their staff are very helpful."

What do you like best?

I like everything about Smokeball and enjoy working with this software.

What do you dislike?

I have no dislikes regarding Smokeball. I enjoy working with this software.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Billing is much easier; Emails and documents are all in one location

Smokeball review by Frank P.
Frank P.
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"Principal"

What do you like best?

User friendly software, excellent training, support and account management.

What do you dislike?

I am satisfied with all aspects we use.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Better tracking for activity in matters, better communication storage and retrieval, better document preparation and storage.

Smokeball review by User in Law Practice
User in Law Practice
Validated Reviewer
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"Great law firm management tool"

What do you like best?

Document assembly, document and email storage by matter, billing. Great Customer Support and Account Management.

What do you dislike?

Billing needs some work. "Tagging" emails to matters also needs some work, perhaps the integration with Office 365.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

Smokeball is an outstanding tool for document assembly.

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Smokeball
4.9
(25)