Griffith Davison is boutique by design, focusing exclusively on the needs of clients in commercial construction and real estate. The Texas-based law firm has grown rapidly in recent years, opening two additional offices in Austin and Fort Worth. But as of 2018, Griffith Davison struggled with timekeeping. The firm had been using Time Matters for a decade but weren’t getting the functionality they needed.


Unintuitive and inconvenient timekeeping

With no mobile timekeeping option, Griffith Davison attorneys had to make handwritten notes and enter them into the tool after the fact. Not only was this a duplication of effort, but it also contributed to billable time not being captured.

“There’s a tendency for many attorneys to underestimate the amount of time they spend on tasks,” explains Kimber Davison, Managing Shareholder and Vice President at Griffith Davison. “They’ll think that something took them just a few minutes, but it actually took them much longer than that.”

A slow, manual billing process

Inefficient, work-intensive processes also held the firm back. Most notable: a month-long billing cycle. Kimber remembers the process of printing, revising, reprinting, and mailing bills.

“Due to our outdated process, it sometimes took us over a month to send out invoices,” she says.

Kimber worried about the impact of delayed billing on clients’ readiness to pay—and their perception of the services performed.

“Clients are more likely to pay promptly when they receive timely invoices,” says Kimber. “It’s human nature: if you visit a doctor, receive good treatment, feel better, and get the bill immediately, you’re much more likely to pay it. However, if the bill arrives six months later, when you barely remember being ill, you’re less likely to pay it promptly.”

For Kimber, it was also a question of maintaining credibility.

“If you send a bill two months late, how can clients trust that you actually spent 18 minutes on this task performed several months ago versus if you sent it to them five days after you did it?” she says.

A barrier to meeting talent expectations

Kimber presumed that the firm’s antiquated time-tracking and billing processes were an obstacle to attracting and evaluating talent.

“The competition for talent is extraordinarily intense right now,” Kimber says. “You need every advantage to assure employees that they have everything they’ll need to succeed here.”

To ensure accurate compensation, Kimber needed the firm’s billing and timekeeping software to provide precise insights into how attorneys were performing.

“We had only rudimentary reporting and had to use our gut instinct. There was a lot more subjectivity in assessing performance,” says Kimber.

Given all the limitations of the firm’s billing and time-tracking systems, Kimber looked for an alternative.

“We wanted something modern and intuitive that would grow with our firm,” Kimber recalls.

Kimber chose Centerbase as the firm’s new management platform.

More than a revamped billing solution, Centerbase offered a complete package for managing firm operations, one that could streamline invoicing and facilitate the accurate capture of attorneys’ billable hours.


An all-in-one platform for law firms

Griffith Davison uses Centerbase for timekeeping, billing, calendaring, and reporting— including the Centerbase mobile app.

High user adoption

Centerbase is intuitive and easy to use, driving adoption across the firm, from lawyers to paralegals to admin staff.

“Across the board, it’s much better than the previous platform,” Kimber says.

Even new hires are quick to pick it up and use it.

“I can easily teach someone how to make a calendar entry, keep time, or review bills,” Kimber says. “At its fundamental level, it is accessible to everyone.”

But Centerbase goes well beyond basic for more advanced users.

“I like that Centerbase is what you make of it: Not everybody needs to use all the features, but those who do, really enjoy it,” says Kimber.

Accurate, contemporaneous capture of billable hours

With Centerbase, attorneys can easily and accurately capture their billable time in the moment with the Centerbase app, no matter where they’re working. Today, when Kimber is waiting at an airport, she no longer has to pull out her laptop or scrawl a note on a slip of paper before starting work. She just makes a quick note in the app and starts the timer.

“The time is captured contemporaneously, so the accuracy of the timekeeping is just awesome,” says Kimber.

Streamlined billing process

Centerbase has completely transformed Griffith Davison’s billing process.

Printing, revising, and re-printing bills is a thing of the past. Every step takes place on the Centerbase platform, with every part of the process streamlined and facilitated by workflow automation.

“We now review all bills electronically. We print bills on the third business day of the month, and we aim to have them all out no later than the 10th,” says Kimber.

Because clients are billed promptly, the bills themselves are more credible.

“If you send me your invoice in five days, it enhances credibility,” says Kimber.

Satisfying the expectations of top talent

When new talent asks about technology, Kimber assures them that Griffith Davison’s solution is comparable to what they would find at a much larger firm.

“I’m always happy to tell them that we run Centerbase and they’re going to love it,’” she says.

It sends a positive signal to candidates, knowing that Griffith Davison has invested in the technology they need to support their work.

Objective performance evaluation

Centerbase also gives Griffith Davison a better picture of attorney performance, necessary for identifying where attorneys are excelling and where they need support.

It also empowers the firm to be more objective in compensation decisions.

“We can dive much deeper into metrics and see how many full-rate and reduced-rate cases they’re working on—and how that impacts their collections,” Kimber says.

Reporting configured for the firm’s needs

With so much functionality consolidated on one platform, Griffith Davison has new reporting that they use to inform strategic decision-making.

“Customizable reporting has transformed our approach to assessing profitability, revealing opportunities for efficiency gains and process optimization,” Kimber says.

And when clients have questions about their bills, Centerbase's advanced reporting helps Griffith Davison back up their numbers—such as when a client recently asked to review their bills from the past four years.

“We are now capable of analyzing those numbers in so many additional ways beyond their initial requests,” Kimber says. “You aim to enhance credibility with your clients through transparent billing practices. When you substantiate this, it significantly strengthens the client relationship.”


10 more billable hours captured monthly per attorney

Kimber summarizes the platform's impact: “Centerbase provides us with a seamlessly integrated platform, offering a centralized source of accurate information for our timekeeping, billing and calendaring needs. Its user-friendly interface enhances our efficiency significantly."

The greatest gain? Capturing an extra 10 billable hours each month per attorney and opening two new offices.

Attorneys now capture hours more easily using the timer feature.

“There’s nothing more accurate than starting that timer and working on something and then ending it. It does everything for you. There are no estimates,” Kimber says.

Since adopting Centerbase, Griffith Davison has opened two new offices and hired almost three times as many attorneys.

Another impressive improvement? Cutting 22 days from the billing cycle—reducing it to three from 25 days.

“The billing process has gone from multiple months to just a few days, which is phenomenal. The turnaround time for both issuing bills and processing payments has significantly improved,” Kimber says.

Clients pay faster, too: 25% more payments are made in the first 30 days—impossible with mailed invoices and checks.

The faster billing cycle comes without the cost of more admin work. Billing from the Centerbase platform has removed at least five days from the workload of back-office staff.

Kimber feels confident that Centerbase will continue to grow with them as they scale.

“They consistently incorporate our input, providing immediate solutions or enhancing features for future use,” says Kimber.

With multiple disparate systems in place to manage the firm, the attorneys and staff at Powers Taylor LLP spent a lot of time identifying and locating all the materials and context needed to move cases forward.

“We’d have to send a bunch of emails and see if anyone had the missing document or could remember what had happened with a particular case,” explains Emy Cook, Head of Operations & Marketing, Powers Taylor.


4 disparate firm management platforms

The firm had four platforms in place to manage different firm functions:

None of these platforms connected to the others, which meant attorneys couldn’t get the full picture of a client engagement from start to finish in one centralized place.

Inefficient, error-prone processes

Without one consolidated platform, attorneys and their teams often relied on spreadsheets to manage projects and had to complete steps manually. 

Not every team member had access to every system—and even if they did they still might not find the case information they needed—which created delays and bottlenecks. 

These inefficiencies took a toll on attorneys and their teams, leading to frustration. 

“Not everyone used every platform. So there was always a lot of back and forth and stuff could get missed,” says Emy. 

Demand to provide excellent client services

These disconnected, inefficient systems also had a direct impact on client service. 

When potential clients called the office, for example, attorneys and their teams couldn’t quickly or easily determine if the firm had already done work for that client, and if so, when and what.

“We didn’t have accurate reports on what cases we’d already signed up, where they came from, and when. We couldn’t be sure if we’d already talked to a person, reviewed their case, or already done some work for them,” says Emy. 

This sometimes led to the prospective client feeling underappreciated and attorneys spending their valuable time trying to get a picture of past interactions.

Overwhelming onboarding and training

Having multiple disparate systems also created a barrier to the smooth and easy onboarding and training of new attorneys, paralegals, and staff. 

At least two full days of training were needed to onboard new talent, which often overwhelmed them and dampened their enthusiasm.


Centerbase all-in-one firm management platform

The firm needed a new solution. The team first looked at Filevine and PracticePanther. But when they found Centerbase, it became the obvious choice. 

We evaluated different things and decided that Centerbase provided the most value.

Emy Cook, Powers Taylor LLP

The team proceeded to consolidate case management, document management, new client sign ups, and accounting onto the Centerbase platform while also streamlining processes and creating new efficiencies with automated workflows. 

Configurable Centerbase solution

Emy proceeded to configure Centerbase to the firm’s specific needs, ensuring that the KPIs most important to the firm are captured. 

“We added date-tracking fields to each phase of a case, from the initial phone call to settlement. It allows us to figure out how we’re progressing at each stage and where we can find efficiencies,” says Emy. 

Emy creates these configurations herself without needing the help of a developer.

“I’m constantly going in and adding new fields or options to the dropdown menus so that we can get better reporting and track the life cycle of everything,” she says. 

Optimize processes

Everyone at the firm has access to what they need in the platform, eliminating delays and bottlenecks.

“It’s been very helpful for getting our practices more efficient and streamlined,” says Emy. 

In some cases, attorneys are completely reinventing their processes. For example, Emy used Centerbase reporting to compare one practice that uses an outside vendor to order medical records to another practice that performs the task in-house. Emy found the process took twice as long with the in-house team than with the outside vendor.

“We were able to convince the partner to have his team switch over to the external service and speed up the process. I don’t think he realized what a difference it could make until I pulled that report and showed the comparison,” says Emy. 

Improve client experience

Today, when clients call the firm, team members can provide them with an update through just a quick search. 

“[Clients] don’t feel like they’re just getting shuffled around to a bunch of different people. Anyone can pick up the phone and give them an answer,” says Emy. 

She continues: 

“Since everything is in Centerbase, we can respond to clients a lot quicker—and they’re more informed throughout the whole process.”

Attract and retain top talent

Instead of being a barrier to top talent, the Centerbase platform and the firm’s streamlined processes are selling features. 

“On everyone’s first day, we do a run through of where everything lives and how to find it. And we just go from there,” says Emy.

Use data insights for strategic decision making

Centerbase also gives Powers Taylor attorneys the data insights they need for strategic decision making. Now, they can see which cases are the best fit for the firm and proactively seek more of them.  

“We have a lot more insight into where our cases come from and how much we settle them for. We’ve even been able to pinpoint the best places for us throughout the state because we want cases that are easier for us to organize by defendant, location, or other factors,” says Emy. 

Strengthen referral relationships 

Centerbase plays an important role in strengthening relationships with referral partners. Emy monitors reporting to see if any referral partner drops in their rate of referrals—and if so, alert the firm’s managing partners so they can take action. 

“They’re able to reach out to their contact and rekindle that referral relationship. That’s not something we’ve done in a structured way before,” says Emy. 


152% more cases without adding staff proportionally

Powers Taylor grew from 75 new cases per year before Centerbase to 189 new cases last year, a 152% increase in new cases, without having to add new staff proportionally.

“We’ve grown exponentially from before Centerbase to now. We have more than doubled our volume of cases and can still handle them by adding only a couple of staff,” says Emy. 

One of the reasons the firm is able to increase caseload so dramatically without having to hire at the same rate is because they’re closing cases 40% faster. Before Centerbase, the average time from matter initiation to close was 2.5 years. Last year, that metric was 1.5 years. 

Faster case resolution is important to the firm, as Emy explains:

“The longer a case is in litigation, the longer we have to finance it and the more filings and depositions we have to conduct, which racks up our costs.” 

Faster case resolution is just as important—if not more so—for Powers Taylor’s clients. Lower costs mean less cost to recoup from settlements, leaving more money in the pockets of clients.

It also reduces the mental strain on clients.

“It’s increased client satisfaction because lawsuits don’t drag on and we can get them resolved very quickly,” says Emy. 

Emy is confident that Powers Taylor has the talent they need to serve the firm’s growing base of clients, especially now that onboarding and training takes about an hour instead of two days.

One of the keys to Powers Taylor’s successful Centerbase implementation is the platform’s ease of use, which explains the 100% user adoption rate

“Every single person in our firm, from our part-time admin help to our managing partners, uses [Centerbase]. Everyone is in there, all the time.”

Emy Cook, Head of Operations & Marketing, Powers Taylor LLP

Preparing a fee affidavit is a common task for most law firms. At the firm of Lathan, Luna, Eden & Beaudine, that task—and many others—was inordinately long and time-consuming. 

The problem lay with the firm’s previous platform. The platform was challenging to use—so most attorneys and paralegals would email the admin team to get the information they needed to prepare fee affidavits and other tasks where they needed data.


Inefficient reporting and billing processes

The problem lay with the firm’s previous platform. The platform was challenging to use—so most attorneys and paralegals would email the admin team to get the information they needed to prepare fee affidavits and other tasks where they needed data.

When the admin team received the request, they would drop what they were doing, find the information in the firm’s management platform, and download it. Usually, they would need to pull multiple reports and format the information as well.

Jane Corser, Firm Administrator at Latham, Luna, Eden & Beaudine, explains:

“You’d have to pull six or eight different reports and then compile your own data. It was really manually driven. And it was frustrating enough that users didn’t use it.”

This inefficient process caused substantial delays. Depending on how busy the admin team was, these requests could sit in their queue from two hours to two days. 

Disconnected tools

In addition to the inefficiencies inherent to the firm’s previous platform, the platform also had limited functionality. Consequently, the admin team had to use other, unconnected tools. 

Inefficient reporting and poor data insights

Because information resided in separate tools, it was difficult for lawyers, paralegals, and administrators to get reporting and data insights efficiently, in real time—such as matter status.

“Is an account open or closed? What have we collected today? What’s in WIP? What’s in trust? What’s the A/R balance? We couldn’t see these at a glance,” says Jane.  

Duplicate data entry tasks

Many attorneys relied on their paralegals to enter information into the management platform because it was so difficult to use. This was most evident in the tracking of billable hours. 

Most attorneys tracked their hours outside of the platform and emailed their hours to paralegals for data entry—a duplication of efforts. 

Long billing cycles with delayed client payments

Accounting and client billing functions were also time-consuming and inefficient. Many of these tasks were performed manually and involved multiple steps. Cutting a check, for example, required eight separate steps. 

This complexity contributed to long billing cycles, which created delays in how long it took for the firm to receive payment from its clients. 


Centerbase firm management platform

Given these issues, Jane and her team were eager to find a better solution. After assessing their options, they chose Centerbase. She says:

We’ve achieved billing efficiencies, gotten revenue in the door quicker, and helped increase staff efficiency with Centerbase.

All-in-one platform

With Centerbase, the firm of Latham, Luna, Eden & Beaudine no longer uses disparate tools, such as Quicken, to get the functionality they need.

The Centerbase platform has everything they need, including billing, accounting, bank account management, and time tracking. Even trust accounting is easily and efficiently managed within the same platform. 

Self-serve reporting for lawyers and paralegals

Centerbase is intuitive and easy to use, which empowers attorneys and paralegals to use the system directly and get the information they need faster and more efficiently.

“Centerbase has really improved efficiencies. Attorneys and paralegals don’t have to stop what they’re doing, send us an email, and wait for us to respond,” says Jane. 

Attorneys and paralegals can also see real-time matter status at a glance, often negating the need to pull a report. 

“The dashboard with key metrics is amazing. Once our users saw that, it really got them hooked and excited about using Centerbase,” says Jane.

Distributed and democratized data entry

The easy-to-use Centerbase platform also empowers users, including attorneys, to input information directly into the system rather than forwarding data to paralegals for data entry—a much more efficient, streamlined process.

Less burden on admin and accounting teams

Now that many lawyers and paralegals can get what they need for themselves from the platform, the admin and accounting teams have more time to focus on other important tasks. 

Admin and accounting work more efficiently too. They’re not inundated with information requests throughout the day, which frees them to focus on the task at hand. 

“It used to take me 10 or so days to get through the billing cycle. Now it takes me just three,” says Jane.

With the Centerbase platform, admin and accounting tasks are also much less time-consuming, which means that Jane and others don’t have to put in extra long days and weekends.

“I used to spend at least one day a week working until 8:00 pm or later, and usually Saturday mornings. I no longer have to do that. I can get all my work done within the workday,” says Jane. 

The paralegals also benefit from the efficiencies gained with the new platform, which contributes to a less hectic work environment.

Faster receipt of payments

Jane and her team revamped their client billing process to make it more efficient and shorten their billing cycle with Centerbase.

They adopted a batch billing system where they distribute pre-bills on one day of the month, edits are due five days later, and invoices are issued five days after that. This system helps eliminate billing errors and speed up the process. 

It also means that the firm receives payment faster. 

“Because we get bills out the door quicker, we get receipts from our clients more efficiently. By the next billing cycle, I have very few accounts receivable still outstanding,” says Jane.


Saving 75 hours a monthand getting paid 20% faster

By centralizing firm operations and management on the Centerbase platform, Latham, Luna, Eden & Beaudine is saving 75 hours per month through intuitive, self-serve reporting and more efficient processes.

Time savings are so substantial. Jane estimates the firm is saving about $35,000 per year because of Centerbase’s efficiencies.

At the same time, the revamped billing process means that the firm is getting paid about 20% faster than before. 

Jane is also confident that time tracking is not only more efficient, it’s also entered more consistently with no hours lost.

Improved efficiencies across the firm have also created a more balanced work environment, where admin staff and paralegals can complete their work.  

Much of the success of the Centerbase platform is attributable to its high adoption rate. Jane estimates that 80% of the firm’s attorneys use Centerbase every day.

"With Centerbase, we have a better work environment—and  that helps with retention and recruiting talent."

Jane Corser, Firm Administrator at Latham, Luna, Eden & Beaudine

Several years ago, the attorneys and staff at Hofheimer Family Law, a Virginia Beach, Virginia-based family law firm that represents women-only in divorce, custody, and support cases, came together to decide their current technology stack was not meeting their firm’s needs.

Previously, firm members had to look in one system for calendar appointments, one place for accounting, and another system for the general ledger, which the team realized was not the most efficient approach to practice management solutions and running the firm.

At the time, the team made the decision to wait until the cloud-based practice management software market matured to the point there was a product available that met the firm’s list of requirements. Finally, in November 2019, Hofheimer Family Law was introduced to Centerbase and never looked back.

Though right out of the box, Centerbase didn’t necessarily meet every one of the firm’s needs, the Centerbase team was willing to work with them to meet those requirements, which was the push the Hofheimer team needed to become a Centerbase client.

“It’s nice to know that Centerbase listens to a single firm, understands their challenges, and makes solutions happen,” said Rob Sadler, Hofheimer’s Firm Administrator.

Having a successful data migration was imperative for the firm’s success. Shortly after 20 years’ worth of accumulated practice management, time, billing, and accounting data were migrated successfully into Centerbase, the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Thanks to the ease of the data migration and introduction to Centerbase, members of the Hofheimer team were able to transition smoothly to a remote work environment, enabling their attorneys and professional staff alike to continue with uninterrupted client service and firm operations from home. 

It’s nice to know that Centerbase listens to a single firm, understands their challenges, and makes solutions happen.

Sheera Herrell, Managing Partner

“Centerbase is seamless, from home to office,” says Sheera Herrell, the firm’s Managing Partner.

Thanks to Centerbase’s desktop and mobile app versions, timekeepers can track their time at the courthouse, in the car, or in the office.

Hofheimer’s attorneys note that time tracking is user-friendly wherever you are and that the Automated Time Capture feature is especially handy if working remotely. As a result, more hours are being tracked, leading to seamless and more accurate firm billing.

However, the real winning feature of Centerbase, according to Herrell, is Secure Chat.

“There is a heavy value from non-responsive clients,” says Herrell. “We often run into clients who won’t answer phone calls but will respond to texts. With Secure Chat, our attorneys don’t have to use their personal cell phone numbers to interact with clients.”

With Secure Chat, these interactions are preserved in Centerbase as a system of record, which is great for cross-collaboration on matters, enabling any user at the firm to go back and reference the client interaction for the most up to date information on the case.

Centerbase’s unique practice management features help Hofheimer communicate effectively and thanks to the client portal, it’s easier than ever for their attorneys to share readily available information with clients.

The (entire) team at Centerbase is great to work with across the board. From development to support, the client-facing teams are fantastic whether you’re picking up the phone, putting in a ticket, or working with the greater Centerbase community to see if others have had the same issues or ideas.

Rob Sadler, Firm Administrator

“Centerbase makes it fun and easy to do everything I do every day,” says Sadler.

Thanks to Centerbase’s reporting capabilities, Sadler has transformed how he manages the firm.

During the search for a new practice management solution, Sadler and his team utilized a third-party consultant and received the feedback that Centerbase was the best in the industry at listening to client needs and coming up with viable solutions and workarounds within the software.

“The (entire) team at Centerbase is great to work with across the board. From development to support, the client-facing teams are fantastic whether you’re picking up the phone, putting in a ticket, or working with the greater Centerbase community to see if others have had the same issues or ideas,” Sadler says.

Now, thanks to Centerbase’s dashboards, Sadler is no longer waiting until month-end to have access to the information he needs. Instead, with the help of both dashboards and reporting features, the firm has access to real-time information at a glance. These capabilities, according to Sadler, shifted his perspective on how he views law firm dashboards and reporting, and have streamlined the way he runs firm operations.

“All of the information we need is right at our fingertips; we are able to access client accounts and trust account balances instantly, which is very helpful as trials and settlements get closer.”

We’re saving time and paper while gaining time and revenue, all thanks to Centerbase.

Jamie Mesta, Controller

As Hofheimer’s Controller, Jamie Mesta handles all of the firm’s finances.

“All of the money that comes in and out goes through me and it is easier than ever to do my job thanks to Centerbase,” she says.

With Centerbase’s electronic pre-bill feature, Mesta saves six hours a month that she otherwise would have spent creating bills manually.

According to Mesta, the pre-bill feature has revolutionized how Hofheimer’s attorneys and paralegals handle the billing process.

Now, both timekeeping and reviewing bills take less time and are easier for professionals to accomplish. The firm does not utilize timesheets anymore and is capturing more time than ever. That time is money, according to Mesta.

An added bonus? The firm now saves several trees a year since moving to Centerbase.

“We’re saving time and paper while gaining time and revenue, all thanks to Centerbase,” Mesta said.

The Background

Starting your own business is no easy task. Lisa Newman knows this better than most.

When she left her previous law firm to open Lisa Newman Law, PLLC in May 2021, one of her first orders of business was finding the right legal technology for her new estate planning and probate firm.

Luckily, she didn’t have to search too far; her previous firm had found Centerbase through word of mouth three years prior and had been a client for just as long.

Prior to Centerbase, Lisa and her partner at the time utilized a separate standalone computer with a note-taking application that was so old it couldn’t even run on a Windows program. Despite the software’s antiquated features, they were still hesitant to switch to a new solution, as they knew where their information was stored and were happy with the number of fields the older program was able to track. However, they knew a system upgrade was probably in order to keep their firm running efficiently.

After onboarding with Centerbase, the implementations team worked with Lisa’s old firm to create a custom, out-of-the-box Notes solution just for the firm with all of the fields necessary to track client and matter information in one central location, which she called a “huge improvement” over their previous software.

After three years at her previous firm, Lisa knew she could expect a customizable, cloud-based practice management and billing platform in Centerbase, and when one of her newly hired associates pushed for the software as well, it was a no-brainer to her to implement it at Lisa Newman Law.

Joining the Centerbase Client Community

Implementation specialists often assume their clients know technical jargon, but “Centerbase spoke in simple terms and did what they said they would do,” Lisa notes.

Throughout the process, her implementations team clearly identified the next steps and according to Lisa, “(they) exhibited diligence and caution, which put my mind at ease and laid a smooth foundation for the rest of the onboarding and training process.”

So much so, that when Lisa got the opportunity to meet her implementation specialist, Alex, in person, “I hugged her and gave her a gift to thank her for all of her help,” Lisa says with a laugh.

Personal touches with Centerbase do not stop there. Lisa also points to reporting as another feature of the software where she enjoys taking advantage of the customization options available to her through Centerbase.

She has talked to her designated account manager on more than one occasion to create custom reports, specifically related to billing.

“I like that I can tell Centerbase exactly what I need and they create the report for me,” explains Lisa.

The Centerbase implementation specialist spoke in simple terms and did what they said they would do. They clearly identified next steps and exhibited both diligence and caution, which put my mind at ease and laid a smooth foundation for the rest of the onboarding and training process.

The Results

These days, it’s pretty much business as usual for Lisa Newman Law as the team continues to get up to speed in the new firm.

Empowered with custom note-taking and financial reporting features, Lisa is able to complete her own billing and print pre-bills in-house.

A self-proclaimed handwritten list fan, (yes, they still exist!) Lisa can get the best of both worlds by writing her daily completed tasks on a notepad and later entering them into the system.

Thanks to the hassle-free timekeeping integrations within Outlook and the mobile app, Lisa is able to ensure she remembers everything she worked on throughout the course of her day.

“That is real money that could be missed out on for my firm if not billed in a timely manner,” says Lisa.

Lisa estimates that between the customized aspects and the timekeeping feature she utilizes daily, she cuts down on 10 hours of busy work a month (roughly two a week) using Centerbase and instead is able to focus that energy on capturing more billable time.

As with any law firm, change is often imminent. Soon, Lisa Newman Law will be moving to a flat fee billing arrangement.

With Centerbase, she is confident this shift in billing procedures will go off without a hitch.

“I feel certain that someone will be able to explain (that) in a simple to understand way and that we will be able to get up to speed quickly with flat fees. Centerbase listens to my needs and always finds a solution.”

The Background

When Jim Zadeh started his own personal injury law firm in 2002, he was immediately on the lookout for the ideal integrated accounting software solution on a web-based platform.

After spending the previous years of his career at two Texas firms, he knew a thing or two about what aspects of software worked well for full-service litigation firms and what did not. His knowledge of case management software doesn’t stop there; Jim even teaches a Law Practice Management class at Texas A&M University School of Law and requires each law student to create a business plan encompassing marketing and technology best practices for firms.

Jim initially went with a platform called Time Matters, due in part to the billing component of the system. Several years after the implementation, Jim heard the dreaded news you never want to hear when working with software companies – “we’re selling to a larger company.” Soon after this announcement, Time Matters stopped updating their software, rendering it unusable for Jim’s needs.

He knew it was time to switch practice management software companies and began to evaluate several options that all had various problems that would not work for his firm: they weren’t web-based, there was a clunky link to QuickBooks, double entries/extra steps were required, etc.

Just as Jim was beginning to give up hope that there was not a legal practice management software out there that could meet his needs, his consultant introduced him to Centerbase.

The strong accounting component, the ease of integration into our current system(s), and the fact it was web-based made switching to Centerbase a relatively seamless transition.

Joining the Centerbase Client Community

When Jim had his first demo of Centerbase software, he described it as simply “too good to be true” for his firm’s needs.

“The strong accounting component, the ease of integration into our current system(s), and the fact it was web-based made switching to Centerbase a relatively seamless transition,” Jim recalled.

Soon after implementation, Jim attended a trade show in Grapevine, Texas, where he was able to meet members of the Centerbase team, including CEO John Forbes, face to face.

But the personal touches like the trade show interaction don’t stop there, according to Jim.

“It’s nice to actually have a person you know on the other end of the phone,” he shared, reflecting on the fact that though relationship managers for his other vendors have changed frequently over the years, his contacts at Centerbase have not only stayed relatively consistent, but account managers have proactively reached out to him to address issues on more than one occasion.

It’s nice to actually have a person you know on the other end of the phone. Our contact(s) at Centerbase have not only stayed relatively consistent, but account managers have proactively reached out to us on more than one occasion to address issues.

The Results

Over the years Jim has added two attorneys and several legal assistants to his law office team. When COVID-19 prompted his staff to work from home indefinitely, productivity substantially increased.

“Had we had a server-based system and not Centerbase, we would have been dead in the water in 2020,” notes Jim. “We were very fortunate that we had just finished Workflow training with the Centerbase team and our entire staff was able to transition to working from home seamlessly due to the cloud-based functionality of the software.”

Despite a pandemic, the Zadeh Firm was able to operate business as usual. Jim and his staff were able to efficiently utilize the Notes functionality to stay on top of the status of cases remotely and see what other members of the team were working on.

Like many other companies, the team held video staff meetings twice a week, during which they would utilize the Centerbase calendar feature to ensure everyone was on the same page with meeting client deadlines.

The usefulness of the Workflow feature does not stop at remote work, according to Jim. Now that his team is more or less back at the office, the workflow and integrated accounting solutions set up in tandem with the Centerbase support team saves Jim’s team 3-4 hours a week and has significantly increased the number of settlements the firm is able to process.

Potential new clients (PNCs) are impressed by the PNC Workflow utilized by the firm, which automatically runs conflict checks and sets reminders on case deadlines throughout the lifecycle of a matter.

Just as he did when he first started out, Jim still independently manages all accounting for the firm, including writing checks and paying bills. With the financial data (and subsequent reporting) all in one place thanks to Centerbase, he is able to easily work with a monthly bookkeeper and a CPA come tax season.

Jim and his team plan to continue to embrace Centerbase’s customer-first approach and take advantage of all the software has to offer. While they have been fortunate to have a steady stream of business, Jim points to the marketing features as interesting and something his firm has not been able to explore.

“I love everything about Centerbase and hope to utilize more of its capabilities in the months to come.”