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Episode #1 - Choosing Your Future Software Provider

Why Chambless, Higdon, Richardson, Katz and Griggs, LLP of Macon, GA chose PerfectLaw as its next-generation financial and practice management software. Jason Lewis, ESQ discusses his firm’s installation and transition experiences and the productivity and efficiency improvements achieved thus far.

Full Transcript

00:00 Anthony Beasley

Alright, good afternoon we're here with.

00:02 Anthony Beasley

Jason Lewis from Chambliss, Higdon Richardson cats, and Griggs Jason was the techie attorney who was involved in the final decision to move to perfect law in August of 2019. And So what we wanted to do is just let Jason Talk a little bit about the actual review. Kind of let us know a little bit about his.

00:22 Anthony Beasley

Expectations and how perfect law did over the last year or so of using perfect law. So with that said, Jason take the floor, we'd love to hear your thoughts.

00:32 Jason Lewis

I think that you know overall when we started looking at the process, we looked at all sorts of different types of software. Everything from the cloud-based stuff to you know the local installs an we decided to go with a local install 'cause we're just a one office shop.

00:48 Jason Lewis

And, um, you know everything from the training to yeah, and it was remote training sessions, which back then was. We were kind of worried about and you know, since Covid, it's sort of the norm now everything's remote. But from the training sessions to train the trainer all the way through everything we've had for the

01:08 Jason Lewis

It's been a year now. It's been pretty good, we've gotten.

01:14 Jason Lewis

Support all along the way with any issues that have come up which there haven't been a lot of issues. Most of it's been stuff that I've created myself by either forgetting what I was taught or trying to do it my own way and not doing it the right way. But you know, we've seen across the board productivity increases an.

01:34 Jason Lewis

The great thing is, is that.

01:37 Jason Lewis

As we keep going down the line with it, folks are coming up and saying, You know, this is so much better than it used to be. You know they're really seeing the benefits from it.

01:47 Jason Lewis

And whereas when I was coming to him in July and August and September, saying Hey Look, we got to do it this way. This is the way it's gotta be. You know they were like, yeah, whatever you know I'm just going to enter my time and now they're coming to me and they're like wow, I really wish we had listened before you know now I'm going back and doing everything you were telling me to do because now I see this is fantastic.

02:09 Jason Lewis

And so, um, it it really has been a good thing. So that's just sort of, you know, in broad strokes you know what was promised to us as far as you know, the time management, how billing works with the documents or or completing it something on your calendar and you get a time entry automatically or.

02:30 Jason Lewis

You know you finished with the document you import the document. Bam, there's your time entry. All of that's been great, so it's it's really. It's been something we've been pleased with.

02:39 Anthony Beasley

That's great now. Just as an attorney Jason, I know you and I during the sales cycle we talked a little bit about your practice and how you work. And as an attorney, how? How is it helped you?

02:49 Jason Lewis

Uh, I think that the the biggest thing for me is that.

02:55 Jason Lewis

Our firm is growing and it continues to grow and as I have taken on more of sort of a leadership role at the firm and having more and more associates working on my cases, it's helped me bring in young first year associates and train them and help Maine monitor what's happening in the cases.

03:17 Jason Lewis

And it's great because you know, I just I'm thinking right now about the rules in that you know, you set up calendar rules docketing rules, and I've got a first year attorney who just started today. And so this morning she was sitting next to me, watching main use, perfect law. And that's how we started the training before we even set it or showed her how to set it up on her computer with her preferences and all that. She sat there and watched me for an hour.

03:43 Jason Lewis

Just watched and um so got a new file in and I set up the rules, the Docketing rules, and so right there 14 todo's for her.

03:54 Jason Lewis

And it's training her because now she knows OK? Well, well, this new case came in. I've got to do abcdefg and when it gets done it's got both of us on it. It's on my calendar in her calendar. She does it and I'm the notice attorney on it. And I'm making sure it gets done because I'm the notice attorney on it.

04:14 Jason Lewis

And when it's done, I I see it's done. If it's not done, look at follow up with her, but it it helps both of us we've got.

04:23 Jason Lewis

That's just been fantastic. I mean that that's something that has helped me in my practice. Another thing that's great.

04:29 Jason Lewis

With the calendar thing too, you know the completed tasks. You know when something is done, you mark it complete and there it is. It's not on your calendar, but in the matter now you have a item called completed task or completed events. You click on that.

04:50 Jason Lewis

And every single thing in the file that's been done in that matter that's been done is cataloged. So when you get a call from my client, said hey, what's been going on? You click on that and you've got everything. Now how far back do you want to go? I mean, it's sort of like that. You can say in the past, you know, month you know, we've handled these six things.

05:10 Jason Lewis

You know, coming up in the next 2 weeks. This is what we've got. You know, you look at your appointments there and you've got the next two weeks right there, you know. Or you get somebody who's complaining that this case isn't moving. You go to cancelled items and you look at it and you say, well, yeah, you're right. It's not moving. Plaintiffs counsel is cancelled. You know the depositions three times in a row. Now we've got something.

05:31 Jason Lewis

To the court about that. But you know, there's only so much we can do there. They're giving us, you know.

05:36 Jason Lewis

Supposedly valid reasons why they're cancelling so it's nice to have that all in one spot with that matter.

05:46 Jason Lewis

Has just been really good.

05:48 Anthony Beasley

OK, now I, um, I know the accounting and billing side of things. Doing a review, there was always the, you know this is going to be a lot to learn, a lot to take on, but just give us a little bit on how it's affected.

06:02 Anthony Beasley

That side of.

06:03 Anthony Beasley

The firm because I know you know, you guys are a.

06:07 Anthony Beasley

Typical you know 40 plus man firm. You have probably somewhere between two and five people who are directly responsible for billing and normally to take on a product like ours. They kind of take a step back, but just let us know how that's done over the last year.

06:23 Jason Lewis

It's been, it's been really good it it's really helped. Some of our attorneys who have had.

06:29 Jason Lewis

Or having trouble getting their bills out in a timely fashion. They're getting him out in a timely fashion now, and I think a big part too is that it's have helped us capture time. We've seen an increase in.

06:48 Jason Lewis

You know we're primarily a defense firm insurance defense firm, and so we build by the hour, and we have seen across the board an increase in.

07:00 Jason Lewis

Billable hours in this because it's cap. Work capturing time that we were missing when we were jumping from one thing to the other and the way that's captured is simply by you know when you send that email and you profile that email by simply dragging and dropping it onto the matter you're presented with the time entry.

07:16 Jason Lewis

And half of it's completed.

07:18 Jason Lewis

And and that's the great thing about it. Or when you put account when you set up an event in the calendar and then you mark it complete, you're presented with a time entry.

07:27 Jason Lewis

And it's completed. You might you know if it took you an hour and a half instead of the two hours you put in it, you not mark it down to .5, but you know all the A&L Codes. All that stuff that you have to do for the insurance company for the electronic billing. It's all there, and so that's been really good as far as the back office. I just said back office 'cause that's y'all's term, but.

07:48 Jason Lewis

What are our billing folks do?

07:51 Jason Lewis

They really like it. It's been good for them. Um, what they really like about it is, you know, we have the The Eforce component and so we've got rules in there. And so if somebody puts a; In a bill when they're doing their billing entry.

08:10 Jason Lewis

Highlighted in red and says look you can't save it this way and it might be grammatically correct, but an electronic bill review is going to cut it and Mark it as block billing or somebody tries to save receipt and review of medical records. Medical records produced by whatever medical provider and they don't say how many pages they reviewed.

08:33 Jason Lewis

Is not going to save that item.

08:35 Jason Lewis

Um, because we've seen more and more that you know, the the review companies want to see how many pages are being reviewed. If somebody puts in there that they want to, that they've done legal research all right? Well, they can't save it.

08:52 Jason Lewis

Actually they can save it, but it highlights him and says warning, you know you're putting legal research in here. You need to add.

09:00 Jason Lewis

The name and say with prior approval of and the name of, the person who gave you the prior approval for that research. If it's over 2 hours of research or and then that specific by the insurance company and it's smart enough to know that and so you you put those rules in there and it knows that for insurance company a, the threshold might be an hour of legal research for insurance company, be it might be 2 hours of research.

09:24 Jason Lewis

And so that sort of thing is really helped us.

09:28 Jason Lewis

One with, you know us getting our bills out in a timely fashion, spending less time, having to correct him on a partner level, correcting entries that have been made by paralegals or associates, but to also it helps us with. I mean, you know the for us. We know the insurance companies are checking all this out there, comparing us to other.

09:49 Jason Lewis

Firms and it helps us in.

09:53 Jason Lewis

That we're meeting.

09:56 Jason Lewis

Or we're not getting dinged by their algorithm all the time because they're tracking that they're tracking. You know how often a firm is, you know, charging too much for clerical clerical things, which you know so much is deemed clerical these days, such as you know, even sometimes.

10:16 Jason Lewis

Drafting an answer, but that's what it is, but.

10:21 Jason Lewis

It's been good. I mean, that's really helped us out alot across the board now.

10:26 Anthony Beasley

You know this is an ever changing market an.

10:29 Anthony Beasley

You know a couple of final points. Um, I know from our interaction overtime an you've seen you know who we are as a company and understand who we are as a company. And I know that we have always fancied ourselves to be a little bit different than a lot of the companies out there in how we're set up and from the service side.

10:50 Anthony Beasley

But from your side of things, you know when people ask about service, so you know there's always the sale and there's always service. So from your side of things, what do you have to say about the service after the sale?

11:02 Anthony Beasley

Because obviously you will not work very closely in the sales side of things, but to be able to say, hey, you know we we expected AB&C an we got something either close to or different or whatever. What's your thoughts on that?

11:16 Jason Lewis

Well, I think that you know.

11:19 Jason Lewis

We've gotten what we asked for an more.

11:24 Jason Lewis

And then we found ourselves so pleased with what we yeah. It's a conservative firm that I've got. I mean, we've got 19 attorneys now and then we've got number of paralegals, and so in total we're about 50 people.

11:40 Jason Lewis

And and so this was a big jump for us going to a system like this back, you know, with the group that lived with nested folders forever and our whole billing system was back from the late 80s. And so it was a big jump and we didn't get every single thing that.

12:02 Jason Lewis

We could have gotten from y'all.

12:04 Jason Lewis

And we've been so pleased with what we got that recently. We've said, OK, well, you know we like it so much. Let's go get this component too. And so we've added to some other some other modules, some other sort of.

12:19 Jason Lewis

Billing and business analysis stuff that you all provide. And so as far as the services go, you know everything that we've. If we've had any problems, we needed additional training. You know, if I screwed something up in and by accidentally deleting a rule that I had created, I pick up the phone and.

12:39 Jason Lewis

Helps there and usually within.

12:44 Jason Lewis

If I don't have somebody on the phone with me right then fixing it usually within an hour, it's fixed.

12:50 Jason Lewis

Um, if I've really messed something up, then usually by the end of the day it's fixed and it's usually Josephine. If it's a AME issue, it's Josephine who trained me on it.

13:03 Jason Lewis

Who's fixed it and calls me and leaves me a voicemail and says, yeah, this is what you did is no big deal. It happens and hey next time think about this and you know always good to talk to you. If she doesn't get me on the phone, you know leave me that voicemail. So that's all been great. The training videos are good.

13:23 Jason Lewis

You know, frankly, the one problem that we've got is, you know, staff not taking the time to watch him.

13:30 Jason Lewis

But that's 'cause they're busy. But as far as the attorneys, I mean, the attorneys like the training videos. And one thing that we do is we try to implement our own training, and so we have a monthly. It's now monthly. It was every two weeks, but we have a little meeting with attorneys and we talk about look what's working for us.

13:51 Jason Lewis

What problems are we having sort of tips and tricks? This is how I'm using this. What would we like to explore? Has anybody having this issue? Has anybody using something new doing it a different way?

14:05 Jason Lewis

And we're talking bout perfect law and how we're using perfect law with with what we're doing, and out of that. You know, we sort of that's how we're sort of reinforcing what we're doing, and and if something comes up with. Hey this person is having this issue. We picked up the phone that day and and we've got help on it, and it goes for the back office too. I mean, if they have an issue they pick up the phone and.

14:26 Jason Lewis

And they've got help.

14:28 Jason Lewis

And you talk about the customized software and all that. You know that was the nice thing is that as we went through the training, and as we went through what we wanted, there was a dialogue there.

14:39 Jason Lewis

And we were able to get you know what we needed.

14:44 Jason Lewis

That's what we purchased and then now that we're adding things, you know it's the same thing. You know we have that conversation. What do we need? And then? OK, well we have this and if you want that yeah we can do something. We can customize XY and Z to make it just how you like it. And that's nice and it's unique. I mean you know I spent. I think we.

15:05 Jason Lewis

Finally signed a contract with you all in May of last year and I spent from January till may making the decision.

15:11 Jason Lewis

And we looked at a lot of different folks. You know. While getting ready for that and a lot of different types of programs and software solutions for it, and so you know, we were very pleased with sort of the support side of it after the after the sale, OK?

15:26 Anthony Beasley

Now in final I know from when you signed until now, I think if my numbers are great, you guys are growing somewhere between 15 to 20% as far as just in the number of people that you have employed. Yeah, they confirm now.

15:41 Anthony Beasley

Um, but then also the bottom line. You know, a lot of times people say, you know we, we make some claims. Everybody makes claims in this business in in the software business an you know when we were going through things. One of the things I might, I reminded you is that you know from a study that one of our clients had given us that just in a few features in the front office, the average.

16:02 Anthony Beasley

Growth from a time standpoint is about an hour of building additional.

16:07 Anthony Beasley

Per day per month. Simply because you're not losing the time that you mentioned earlier, but how close have we come to that claim in your estimation?

16:16 Jason Lewis

I haven't run the numbers on that. I can tell you that.

16:21 Jason Lewis

We went live with y'all in mid.

16:25 Jason Lewis

August last year and our fees billed from them through the end of.

16:34 Jason Lewis


16:36 Jason Lewis

Were slightly over what they were from January through.

16:42 Jason Lewis

That time OK so 7 1/2 months of our old system.

16:49 Jason Lewis

With slightly behind fees, build.

16:52 Jason Lewis


16:54 Jason Lewis

Well, 4 1/2 months.

16:56 Jason Lewis

Not even I mean 3 1/2 months right? I can't do math. I went to law school, but let's let's just say that are if you want to just keep it simple, The four months we had perfect law.

17:10 Jason Lewis

August through December that that that timeframe was just just ahead of.

17:19 Jason Lewis

These build of January through July.

17:23 Anthony Beasley

Right? Well Jason, we certainly appreciate the information. I'm pretty sure that people who will watch this will enjoy it just as much. I will take this time to say the Chambliss, the members of families like yourself or members of the Georgia defense lawyers Association, which of course is something that we support as well.

17:42 Anthony Beasley

Um, thanks to you guys and thank you for introducing us to that group of people an we hope that you guys continue to grow and continue to do the things we love to see. You become what some of our firms have come become in certain areas where they become a flagship firm for perfect law. But in the same token they have grown to the point that in the industry they're known as you know, one of the fastest growing firms in there. Either practice area or the location.

18:05 Anthony Beasley

So we really appreciate the time I look forward to more comments from you. I know that you guys are implementing the business intelligence and that is a huge thing to do simply because it is the latest and greatest of Microsoft's newest business intelligence functionality built in to work with perfect law with some special stuff that we do that is designed for perfect law users so.

18:26 Anthony Beasley

Looking forward to your feedback on that as that kinda materializes and you begin to use it, but we really would like to say thank you for your time. We understand your partner and you have a lot going on in a day so just you taking some time to let everybody know about perfect laws. A really big thing for us and we appreciate it.

18:43 Jason Lewis

Great, thank you.