ADERANT SUCCESS PROFILEADERANT TOTAL OFFICEAllen & Allen Personal Injury Firm LeveragesAderant Integrated Case and Financi...
ADERANT CASE STUDYADERANT TOTAL OFFICEA technology upgrade was definitely in order but not for the sake of       integrati...
ADERANT CASE STUDYADERANT TOTAL OFFICECase in point. The firm has eight different law types with detailed               Al...
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Aderant Success Profile - Aderant Total Office Integrated Case and Financial Mangement Case Study


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Allen & Allen, a personal injury firm with seven attorneys listed in "Best Lawyers in America," leverages Aderant Total Office to improve their business.

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Aderant Success Profile - Aderant Total Office Integrated Case and Financial Mangement Case Study

  1. 1. ADERANT SUCCESS PROFILEADERANT TOTAL OFFICEAllen & Allen Personal Injury Firm LeveragesAderant Integrated Case and Financial ManagementAllen, Allen, Allen & Allen (Allen & Allen) is one of Virginia’s oldest and largest law “Aderant Total Office has been great forfirms specializing in personal injury and medical malpractice. The firm has seven us. It is a very sophisticated system, andattorneys listed in Best Lawyers in America, and was named one of the Best Places is a marked improvement from whatto Work in Virginia by Virginia Business and Best Companies Group in both 2011 & we have used in the past. We may be2012. These honors and many others are a reflection of the experience, knowledge a 100-year-old law firm, but thanks toand skills that the firm brings to personal injury cases. As of October 2012, the firmhad 120 employees including 25 attorneys. Total Office we have a highly efficient, 21st-century case and financialWhile the firm has long looked to technology to help improve employee productivityand streamline manual processes to better and more quickly serve clients, our management system.”case and financial management software in particular, was in need of an overhaul. Tracy Puritz , Executive DirectorOur first improvement in this area occurred in 2002, when the firm upgraded itscase and financial management software, purchasing two separate systems and Allen, Allen, Allen & Allenintegrating them through a third-party interface that was customized and installedby a software consultant. While this was an improvement over the firm’s oldDOS-based case management system and accounting spreadsheets, it wasn’t a longterm solution. Fast forward a decade … the firm has not only grown in sheer size,but also opened new offices, and the demands of clients when it comes to knowinghow a case is progressing, collaborating with outside counsel, and having onlineaccess to case details has grown exponentially.
  2. 2. ADERANT CASE STUDYADERANT TOTAL OFFICEA technology upgrade was definitely in order but not for the sake of integration, but also an unmatched integration with the Microsoftchange or simply having new “bells and whistles” to play with. The applications used by everyone within the firm. Another selling pointprevious system interface severely limited the firm’s ability to upgrade for Total Office was Aderant’s experience and track record with largerand apply a new version resulting in the firm’s use of outdated and more complex law firms. The previous case management systemversions of both our case and financial software. Ultimately, we was primarily built based on small(er) firm requirements so we didalso lost ongoing technical support from our vendors and it became not have the confidence our case and financial technology could keepabundantly clear that ‘ease of system and technology integration’ pace with firm growth and expansion.would be a major factor in selecting a new system that could support Beyond the Microsoft “game changer” we identified other Aderant ,the needs of a growing, innovative firm with multiple offices. Total Office automation features that swayed the selection committeeBefore making the move to a new platform, we came to the in Aderant’s favor:conclusion that any integration “challenges” in the future would • Automated Settlement processing: Total Office offers abe severely limited by not only controlling the number of vendors settlement processing solution that takes the gross settlementinvolved in providing the firm with case and financial, but by making value, deducts firm fees, referral fees, firm costs, liens andsure that everything worked with and complied with Microsoft since letters of protections medicals (with reductions) and producesAllen & Allen is what you would consider a MS “shop” . a net figure payable to the client(s). This document includes all necessary waivers and is client signature ready cutting our firm’sMicrosoft and true integration time spent on producing a settlement from several hours to lessWhile we knew what IT and Accounting wanted in a new system, we than five minutesformed a 20-member selection committee to get a broader firm-wide • Modular integration: All application modules integrate withperspective and evaluate all of our software options including the each other. For example, when writing a check for a client cost,existing technology. The committee reviewed nearly a dozen possible the costs gets posted to the matter automaticallysolutions before selecting Aderant Total Office (formerly ClientProfiles Case and Financial Management) and it’s Plaintiff Financial • Accounting integrity: All though it might be considered a ‘noPackage (includes T & B, AP, Collections, GL, and Reporting) and brainer’ Total Office has the proper accounting controls are in ,Case Management Package (client-intake, full-text indexing, etc.) place to ensure firm data is not corrupted, either accidentally or intentionally. This relates in particular to trust accounts but isWhy Aderant Total Office? In a word, integration. Very few of the true across all bank accounts.vendors that the firm considered could provide both case andfinancial management software. Among those that could, Aderant True value of customizationstood out for its robust (aka easy to use but plenty of features) case The firm was also drawn by the level of customization that Aderantmanagement tools and intuitive (aka easy to access, learn and train on) offered. Again, this is something other systems also offered butuser interface as well as its partnership with Microsoft. It was clear not to the extent we were looking for. The true value of softwareto the firm that we needed to switch to a solution that integrated customizations is in the time saved to perform work on behalf of clientswith Microsoft so it was a plus that Aderant is a Microsoft Certified while not having to re-train users on how to work the new softwareGold Partner which gives them direct access to Redmond’s legal but instead molding the technology to accommodate the way the firmdevelopment and management team as well as various MS-sponsored works.Technology Adoption Programs (TAPs). From an upgrade standpoint,we knew Aderant would synch its technology updates with Microsoftand as the software giant rolled out new legal-specific solutions,Aderant and the Total Office team would be on the same page.Furthermore, we faced a series of server upgrades and new purchases,but knew even with the new technology, we would not be gainingany new functionality from the archaic system. With Microsoft andAderant we would be able to leverage both vendors’ latest featuresand upgrades, and thanks to their partnership, in a tightly integratedfashion. Not only does Aderant offer complete front and back office
  3. 3. ADERANT CASE STUDYADERANT TOTAL OFFICECase in point. The firm has eight different law types with detailed All-in-one. The aforementioned front/back-office integration hasand unique screens, pick lists and to-do packages attached to each. been a god send, providing increased financial accuracy for billingIn addition to the screens provided by Aderant at the outset, the and accounting. Our controller has reported no more double entries,firm created six new tabs to identify, monitor and track crucial case balanced trust accounts, smooth printing and check handling andmanagement information. As different elements are identified or better cash flow.there is a new ruling or change in the law, the firm is easily able todesign new fields, checklists and pick lists that pertain to the change. Reporting. Total Office’s reporting capabilities as well as the easeAny information then generated through these new fields can be of report writing, has enhanced firm management’s ability totracked through a written report. quickly and efficiently address staffing issues and better balance individual case management needs. Customized reports provide ourCustomization is particularly important to the firm’s intake process,which uses custom screens to capture data relating to the nature of management team with a snapshot of case status; top 50 cases, topthe call. Those data fields correspond with a specific merge document valued cases, cases in litigation, an active case inventory by valuethat attorneys can use to print a report prior to meeting a new client. class, and case intake comparison to prior periods, among others.In addition to developing fields that apply to the individual and cause A consolidated case information report has been developed thatof action, the firm also created fields to capture marketing and referral provides attorneys with a quick view of pertinent case informationinformation. The subsequent reports enable the firm to track the without the need to query various screens and tabs. All told, our ITtypes of calls received, the number of calls taken during a particular department has developed more than 200 custom reports within Totaltime frame and who took the calls. Office over the past few years, saving the firm a significant amount of time and effort compared to systems that require the software vendorTraining (practice) makes perfect to develop the reports.A successful implementation depends on good training. Allen, Allen, Collaboration. The new technology has made it easier for ourAllen & Allen chose to centralize training, bringing everyone to the attorneys to share case responsibilities even if they are located inheadquarters in Richmond over the course of two weeks. A bank of different offices. All case information can be reviewed simultaneouslycomputers was set up in a conference room and customized training by computer rather than relying on the physical file. The Partiessessions were held for management, intake and administrative teams, tab lists everyone involved with the case, including the plaintiff,as well as all of the attorneys and their direct legal support. defendants, insurance companies (and their coverage), witnessesOur goal was to implement without dramatic impact on the (and their deposition dates) and more. All the documents andemployees. We wanted to make sure that we had good training pleadings are stored in the Worldox DMS tab, which is attached to thein place, and that we implemented the software at the right time case. The “Scheduled Events” tab houses all important appointments,for the right people. During the first two weeks, we moved at ameasured pace, slowly adapting to the new software. During this hearing and deposition dates. Everything the attorneys need is“trial period” the firm didn’t cut any case-related checks or close any , instantly available, no matter where they are located.cases, affording us time to adjust to the new system and make sure Beyond these benefits, Total Office is vastly more stable than thethat everything was operating correctly. Allen & Allen also did a lot previous configuration, which would often crash and leave attorneysof advanced planning, especially on the accounting side, working and support staff with no access to critical case documents. Overall,closely with Aderant’s technical support team, to confirm the system Aderant Total Office has been great for us. It is a very sophisticatedwas properly configured. system, and is a marked improvement from what we have used in the past. We may be a 100-year-old law firm, but thanks to Total Office weThe Payoff have a highly efficient, 21st-century case and financial managementToday, three years into our initial Total Office implementation, the and financial management technology has not only met thefirm’s expectations, but in some cases, greatly exceeded them.About the authorTracy Puritz has been Allen & Allen’s executive director since 2002 and activein various law firm operational leadership roles since 1988. His areas of focusinclude finance & budget administration, strategic planning, and broader HR Copyright © 2012 Aderant Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.and firm operations. He can be reached at | | +1 888 604 2366