Situated in the cross-border regional hub of Albury Wodonga, Pogson Cronin Kerr is a 14 user firm with two offices. When the firm wanted to switch from Infinitylaw to LEAP, our Transitions and Implementations team were ready to assist.
What does a LEAP transition look like? What's involved during an Implementation? How does training work? Who needs it? How long will it all take?
These are the kind of questions that can prevent law firms from pushing for change, and find them staying with outmoded ways of working. Not only might this slow down a firm, it often involves a lot of manual processes and printing.
That's why we've put together a guide exploring how one of our law firms onboarded to LEAP.
Meet Pogson Cronin Kerr, a 14-user firm serving the regional hub of Albury Wodonga, with offices in Lavington and Holbrook.
"We're in charge of installing every firm in Australia - and now, New Zealand," said Implementations Manager, Priya Kumar. "It means our team needs to be very organised. Communication is key."
Once a firm has signed a contract with LEAP, they will be assigned to Priya's team. If the firm has just commenced trading, it will be considered a ‘fresh start', as there is no existing matter information or data to transfer. This means it will skip the ‘transitions' process, as this refers to data transitions from an old system to LEAP.
Most firms, however, are like Pogson Cronin Kerr, which was established in 1993. Pogson Cronin Kerr provides legal services to a diverse group of commercial, business, and private clients across New South Wales and Victoria. The team has over 50 years of experience spanning commercial and property transactions, court work and litigation.
Like many firms, Pogson Cronin Kerr had used a number of practice management systems, including Infinitylaw, prior to LEAP. This means going through a data transition before the implementation process can commence.
"First up: we contact the firm to let them know what comes next," explained Priya. "This involves a series of planning meetings - a ‘get to know' Initial Meeting, followed by a ‘GPU' - the ‘Getting the Project Underway' meeting."
Through these meetings, we get to know the firm, establish timelines, and book key dates, like the trial transition and on-site days for implementation. Together, we can work out what timeline works for the firm to go live.
Priya Kumar - Implementations Manager, LEAP APAC
During Pogson Cronin Kerr's GPU meeting, the firm made several specific requests: to maintain historical access wherever possible and to transition VOI items. By getting these requests during the GPU meeting, the firm is best placed to be set up for success on LEAP.
The GPU will be attended by the principal or practice manager. In this case, it was Rachel Mahoni, practice manager at Pogson Cronin Kerr.
As she is closely involved with much of accounting within the firm, Rachel was keen for the firm to streamline its more repetitive tasks, reduce printing, and take advantage of automation available within LEAP. She championed LEAP over Infinitylaw despite its price.
A trial transition followed. This helped test any potential issues that might arise when integrating LEAP with the firm's systems and hardware. Taking this kind of care and precaution helps ensure a successful installation.
What follows is a Training Plan, which guides the on-site days of LEAP Implementations Consultants. It identifies who needs training, and when it will be delivered. For Pogson Cronin Kerr, the majority of training occured during on-site visits from LEAP Implementations Consultants, Lolwa Elokda and Muhammad Hazarvi.
Once the trial transition is done, the firm is ready for LEAP Implementations Consultants to come on-site and provide training, installation and troubleshooting of any issues.
Lolwa and Muhammad came to Pogson Cronin Kerr for intensive on-site training.
While Lolwa guided the firm through features in LEAP they were likely to find useful, Muhammad focused on setting up the firm's legal accounting.
"I have a checklist that needs to be completed: trust receipts, trust payments, trust to office transfers, invoice creation, disbursement entries, etc. We need to enter these transactions in LEAP to ensure the trust account reconciles," explained Muhammad.
Muhammad worked closely with Pogsons Cronin Kerr to get this done, a task made much easier because the firm was organised.
"This saved us at least 2 to 3 hours," said Muhammad.
Meanwhile, Lolwa took the firm through comprehensive training, guiding 8 staff members through the LEAP Matter List, timesheets, and popular features like LEAP's quick calculators and search correspondence.
Standout features included the Financial Statement App, which impressed the firm's Family Law team, LEAP's streamlined InfoTrack integration, which was useful for the firm's Conveyancing team, and secure file sharing available through LawConnect, which provided a safe way to share large documents. The firm particularly liked the 'shared' and ‘viewed' labels available on files shared through LawConnect, allowing them to see the status of documents.
Lolwa then walked the floor of the firm, taking Q&A and troubleshooting technical issues to set up LEAP properly.
Day 2 focused on bookkeeper and precedents training for the firm, finishing with a one-on-one session with Erin Kerr, a partner in the firm. Together, they explored how Outlook works with LEAP, and how emails in Outlook could be saved to matters in LEAP. This feature proved so useful that the partner asked Lolwa to share this process with the firm's family lawyer.
"Firms are very busy, and they're undergoing a massive change in the company," observed Muhammad. "A large part of our job as LEAP Implementations Consultants is helping the firm manage change." Priya agreed.
"Firms might be moving from a totally paper-based system, from Excel, or from older practice management software," said Priya. "You're talking about changing many processes within a firm - like invoicing and billing, automating precedents with our clause library, or even working from their phones. It's an improvement, but it's also a process."
"From a manager's perspective, they might not know exactly what the change entails," Muhammad explained. "It's not just about the manager understanding what the change involves. It's about knowing how the firm will manage everyone's response to change, why the firm is changing its processes, and creating a positive atmosphere."
"As LEAP Implementations Consultants, it's our job to go into firms and explain how LEAP will change how they work, train the firm, and get them ready to work in a new way," said Muhammad. "We're basically taking this responsibility from the firm's Director or Office Manager. We take the pressure off them. It's often a big stress relief for managers because we're there to help them manage change within their firm."
Rachel Mahoni, the firm's Practice Manager, praised the Implementations team for running the process so smoothly.
"All went well with the installation and training," said Rachel. As Lolwa and Muhammad were on scheduled leave after working with Pogson Cronin Kerr, the firm contacted LEAP support for additional queries.
"I have since been in contact with Dion quite a bit with random accounts queries to which I might add, he has been absolutely fantastic," said Rachel.
"Rachel was a superstar," said Lolwa. "A successful implementation is ultimately a partnership between the firm and LEAP. Rachel understood this and was super switched on, totally on top of everything we needed for a smooth transition. That's why we were able to set up a firm of 14 users in 2 days. Rachel's preparedness helped us, but it benefitted the firm too."
Lolwa will return to Pogson Cronin Kerr for follow-up training, which occurs about two months after installation.
We run training sessions for clients every single day," said Lolwa. "So we're used to running clients through popular features. But when new users find a feature that they love, it's fantastic. It's what makes this job rewarding.
Lolwa Elokda - Implementations Consultant, LEAP APAC
Change comes with its rewards, as Muhammad can attest.
I believe LEAP is a great product," said Muhammad. "When we implement LEAP, we're helping clients to make the most of their investment. When we see them reaping the benefits of change, it's so satisfying. We know the end result: firms will be more efficient, and get to use a product that has everything you need within it. It's very user-friendly, so it's a better experience. What's rewarding for us is taking firms on this journey, and seeing them succeed.
Muhammad Hazarvi - Implementations Consultant, LEAP APAC
Once a firm is installed, support doesn't stop. All LEAP users can access local support via our Australian-based live chat.
In addition, firms like Pogson Cronin Kerr are provided with a dedicated Legal Practice Advisor (LPAs).
Legal Practice Advisors often come from the law, and visit firms on-site or online.
"The Practice Advisory Team is the firm's support throughout their LEAP experience, providing advice on how to improve productivity and achieve best practice," explained Michael Jones, a Legal Practice Advisor serving firms in Victoria.
As a service exclusive to LEAP, every firm's Legal Practice Advisor finds hands-on ways to help firms embrace the productivity offered by both LEAP.
Before the Legal Practice Advisor even meets with the firm, Implementations ensures they are aware of the firm's needs and how we can best support them moving forward. We're invested in your success as a firm. That's why we organise regular catch-ups with firms to understand their unique goals and specific requirements. From here, we investigate how LEAP can assist, and work with firms to streamline their internal processes, so as to maximise their investment with LEAP.
Michael Jones - Legal Practice Advisor, LEAP APAC
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