Case Study: McConnell & Sneed
“We’re very happy with PBworks, we’re using it more and more, and it has allowed us to practice law in a more efficient manner.”
Robert Sneed, Partner, McConnell & Sneed, LLC
McConnell & Sneed is a full-service, 4-partner general practice boutique law firm in the metro Atlanta area. The partners in the firm, who founded it after successful careers at larger firms, pride themselves on providing big-firm experience while maintaining a personal, small-firm feel. One aspect of the big firm experience that they wanted to replicate was using technology to improve the practice of law.
Switching Away From Amicus Attorney
While the firm had been using Amicus Attorney for practice management, founder Robert Sneed felt the need to upgrade. “Amicus Attorney was a little too clunky and cumbersome,” he said. “It wasn't flexible enough for us. It was difficult to store and manage documents, and some of the features like email and calendaring didn't make sense for us--we prefer using Outlook, which is what we're used to.”
After considering a variety of potential solutions, McConnell & Sneed ended up adopting PBworks Legal Hub, the legal version of PBworks’ popular collaboration suite. Legal Hub is “software-as-a-service” (SaaS), which meant that McConnell & Sneed could leverage the same kinds of tools in use at 24 of the top 25 firms on the AmLaw 100 without having to invest in software, servers, or IT personnel.
Legal Hub: Information Management For Every Case
Within a week, PBworks was improving productivity for Sneed and his partners. “We use PBworks as the information management system for all our cases,” Sneed said. His practice uses PBworks for document management, project management, and knowledge management. “We maintain all of our final documents in PBworks,” said Sneed, “Instead of keeping a paper file, we keep all the active documents in the system, including correspondence and pleadings, which makes them accessible and searchable. Then we use the project management module in PBworks to set to-dos and reminders for all the different litigation deadlines in our cases.” One feature that Sneed finds particularly useful are the project workspace templates. “We’ve created a standard litigation template—just input the due dates, and you’re ready to go. We use it for breach of contract, business litigation, and personal injury.”
PBworks also offers “wiki” functionality for less-structured collaboration. “The wiki function is really useful for jotting down notes and reminders,” said Sneed. “You can record the substance of a phone call and refer back to it later. We used to jot down notes on a legal pad, then tear off the sheet and stuff it in the file. You had to dig through a bunch of paper to see what had happened. PBworks gives us a searchable, accessible history of the communications, ideas, and thoughts for each matter.”
Increasing Productivity 20%
Ultimately, Legal Hub has had a major impact on the way McConnell & Sneed practices law. “Now we have everything in one spot,” said Sneed. “You can see all your information in one place, know what the rest of the team is doing, see everything that's due. Before, we would have to get the physical file and flip through it.”
Sneed estimates that PBworks provides a time savings of 15-20% by speeding up the process of accessing documents and pleadings and making it easier to locate information within a particular case file. “We’re very happy with PBworks, we’re using it more and more, and it really helps us with our work.”
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