Law Firm Increases Revenue

Firm increases revenue while improving client service.

Broyles Kight & Ricafort is a law firm focused on immigration and family issues. The firm assists individuals, businesses, and universities by providing innovative solutions ranging from obtaining temporary work visas for skilled employees, to assisting families in transition. Broyles Kight & Ricafort was founded in 2002 and employs approximately 19 people. The firm practices diversity and boasts employees from around the world speaking more than five languages collectively. The Firm has represented clients from more that 125 different countries, and has received multiple awards, including the national Society of Hispanic MBA’s Amigo Estrella Award, and Indiana University’s Distinguished International Service Award. Broyles Kight & Ricafort is based in Indianapolis, Indiana and can be reached at 317.571.3600; on the Net: www.bkrlaw.com

The Challenge
Spurred by an upcoming move due to rapid growth, Broyles Kight & Ricafort began looking for a new communications solution that not only offered scalability, but that was also cost effective and offered greater control over administration. It also wanted a system that would enable it to take advantage of voice over IP (VoIP) telephony to cost effectively enhance communications among its highly mobile attorneys, and plans for distributed offices.

“By 2004, we had outgrown our office space, as well as our phone system,” said John Broyles, a Broyles Kight & Ricafort partner and practicing attorney. “We were using a Centrex system, but every time we hired or moved an attorney we had to call the vendor to create or re-label an extension, voice mail box, and so on. This could run upwards of $500 per visit and resulted in set-up delays.”

The firm was also in need of a system that would help better track client interactions so it could improve billing accuracy and limit disputes, while offloading the laborious task of tracking billable hours – up to eight required billable hours per day, per attorney at many major law firms.

“Above all else, we were trying to solve the law industries’ age-old problem of accurately and efficiently tracking billable hours regardless of client interaction type—Whether by phone, cell, pager, e-mail, or PDA,” Broyles said. “We’d been sold a bill of goods from software tracking companies claiming to do this, but in truth, all they offered was a fancy version of the traditional paper time sheet. We needed something truly automated with multi-channel capabilities and powerful reporting.

The Solution
Broyles Kight & Ricafort began reviewing solutions from its existing Centrex vendor, as well as on-premise solutions from vendors such as Altigen, Avaya, Cisco and Inter-Tel. “Some of the products we looked at seemed to be old technology ‘re-wrapped’ to appear more innovative," Broyles said. “Others were simply too basic, or too pricey, and then there were some vendors from whom we got the impression we just weren’t large enough.”

That’s when the law firm found a vendor that offered a standards-based, all-Microsoft IP communications system. The system, called Enterprise Interaction Center® (EIC) from Vonexus, ran on a single “interaction engine” so it could process multiple interaction types and provide end-to-end tracking and reporting across them all. Using the session initiation protocol (SIP) to provide IP PBX switching, and a host of built-in remote applications, EIC was also ideal for the firm’s highly mobile attorneys. “Vonexus had clearly built something from the ground up to uniquely process multi-channel interactions versus vendors that just tacked on ‘boxes’ in order to provide additional functionality.”

“We chose EIC because its architecture was genuinely innovative, resulting in a practical and incredibly powerful product,” Broyles said. “Vonexus had clearly built something from the ground up. This architecture required less hardware for reduced costs, and its single, GUI—based administrative tool meant we could control the system in-house. The fact that we were a Microsoft-based shop and EIC was all-Microsoft—From its Windows server to Outlook messaging, and plug-ins to a host of MS back-end systems – made our decision that much easier.”

Since installing EIC, Broyles Kight & Ricafort has reported numerous benefits, from lower costs and reduced administration, to increased revenue and improved client service. “EIC has not only met our law firm’s telephone and electronic communications needs, but it’s also increase our billable hours to between two and five thousand dollars per associate, per month,” Broyles said. “Plus, it’s given us a solid documentation via tracking, recording and reporting tools to back up these hours so our clients are protected, and we can more accurately project and evaluate the cost of flat-fee cases. Perhaps the best news is that our attorneys now have more time to enjoy their hard-earned income instead of spending ‘free’ time trying to re-create their day’s worth of billable hours.”

The firms also reports increased productivity and improved quality of service through EIC features such as presence management and one-number follow me. “Based on industry research, we’ve learned that most clients expect a call-back within two hours,” Broyles said. “However, most attorneys will tell you they think they are being responsive if they get back to a client within 24 hours. With EIC’s remote applications – such as presence management and one-numbered follow me- there’s no more telephone tag, or chasing messages from phone, to cell, to e-mail. Our attorneys are more accessible and their status transparent, thus client expectations are accurately set, and response time is faster.”