Lindquist & Vennum, PLLP Attorneys Accelerate Partnership and Communication with Legal Billing Softwareaderantuser
Lindquist & Vennum, PLLP is a midsize general practice law firm providing corporate finance, transactional, and litigation services for clients throughout the Midwest. With more than 200 attorneys, Lindquist delivers services to its clients in a timely manner, thanks in part to an integrated prebill management system. Previously an Elite Enterprise client, Lindquist outgrew its financial management system and started looking at other products to fit its needs.
Lindquist wanted a financial management system that would be easily integrated into their firm, required minimal third party system integration, and, most importantly, was simple and user friendly for both the front and back office users. A key requirement for Lindquist was to offer attorneys an electronic system for distributing, reviewing, and editing prebills.
In 2011, Lindquist evaluated the top legal software providers, including Aderant. One of the primary objectives for Lindquist was to provide increased visibility and information access for its attorneys, allowing them to be more self-sufficient. Aderant’s flagship financial management product, Aderant Expert, provided superior applications for the front office users of the firm. After a detailed review and evaluation, a demonstration to the partnership sealed the deal, and Lindquist made the switch to Aderant Expert in early 2012.
Along with the Aderant Expert core modules, the firm implemented Paperless Billing and was able to increase attorney productivity and efficiency surrounding the billing processes.
Paperless Billing allows the billing team to quickly draft prebills and automatically route them to the appropriate individuals for review and editing. Using the intuitive online application, timekeepers and their assistants can interactively review and mark up a prebill and immediately see their changes and the impact of these changes on the overall bill; a significant benefit to the firm. Additionally, an attorney can prepare a draft of the final bill in the client’s bill format before any changes have been accepted. This feature was not available with Lindquist’s previous automated prebill system and is now used extensively by the attorneys. This feature increases efficiencies and promotes more rapid billing cycles as it reduces the time needed for final bills to be reviewed by the attorneys.
The openness of the architecture allows for flexibility during implementation – using both a series of configuration options and customization capabilities. Communication through the database is rapid, and the prebills are accessible to attorneys instantly upon prebill creation.
The biggest benefits the firm gained by implementing the Paperless Billing solution was the increase in overall efficiencies and a reduction in the amount of business office staff required to participate in the billing process. Previously the billing cycle had multiple interactions between the billing team and the attorneys, for both prebills and bills, which delayed the delivery of the final bill to the client. With the interactive editing capabilities of Paperless Billing and the visibility of these edits on the total bill (total fees, total written off, and more), the attorney reviews the prebill once and no other interactions with the billing team are required. Edits can be easily reviewed and accepted by the billing team with individual or mass selection capabilities. Bills are delivered to clients in a timelier manner, improving the overall WIP to cash collection cycle. The billing team spends less time on prebill editing, less data entry, and fewer back and forth cycles with the attorneys, making them available for other important tasks.
In Their Words
“This is not just a system, but a process,” explains Suzette Allaire, CIO at Lindquist and Vennum. “Map out your current process and adjust to the electronic process. Also, educate people on how it’s going to work beforehand and know you might not have all attorneys using it. There will be some that still want to print the prebills. When you implement a system like this you have to work with your implementation partner. They took us 80% of the way, and we completed the other 20%. We should have gone to the latest version at the time – it would’ve helped with any issues, so always make sure you’ve upgraded to the latest version. Finally, don’t get caught up on the workflow. Don’t think about it as a workflow project. The workflow simply represents the business process and you can map it accordingly to meet your requirements.”