We recently had the opportunity to speak with some of our amazing clients as part of Affinity’s Client Appreciation Month. We are spotlighting some of those clients in a series of posts tagged #MyAffinityStory. In this series of case studies, you’ll gain an insider’s perspective on some of the challenges faced by legal organizations today and get a peek at how the Affinity team works with clients to help them achieve their goals.
Founded out of a passion for entrepreneurship and a commitment to excellence, Cameron Law Office Chartered is a Twin Cities-based law firm focused on commercial real estate, and business transactions, outside business counsel, and commercial litigation. President and founder John Cameron launched his law firm 29 years ago, right out of law school. The firm’s mission is the same now as it was then: to deliver smart, practical legal advice and litigation services that help companies, investors, and entrepreneurs achieve their goals.
With a highly focused organization consisting of attorneys and paralegals, the small, yet agile, Cameron Law Office team has always known how to deliver results. However, as their portfolio of clients, case load, and staff size grew, Cameron knew it was time to evolve.
“We’ve always had—and continue to have—really hardworking people who worked on deals with a high degree of focus and dedication. But as we’ve experienced rapid growth, I noticed that our previous processes were no longer serving us as they should have,” explains Cameron.
The firm relied heavily on institutional knowledge and complex manual processes to service their clients. As new employees came onboard, their need to continually tap senior staff for process answers made it clear to Cameron that change was necessary to eliminate the firm’s outdated systems, which had become increasingly cumbersome, labor-intensive, and inefficient.
While Cameron had researched other legal consulting firms, once he interacted with Affinity Consulting Partner Cindy Melfa, he knew that he wanted to go with Affinity.
“I felt Cindy was proposing a doable solution that was right for my law firm’s unique needs. She was clear about what was attainable within the project scope and didn’t try to sell us a cookie-cutter approach,” says Cameron.
“At Affinity, we believe in a tailored solution for each client,” explains Melfa. “This method delivers fast, measurable results for every law firm we work with. For Cameron Law, I knew that our legal software selection service would be ideal.”
Both Cameron and Melfa were aware that, along with selecting and implementing the right software for the firm, paying close attention to the internal communications surrounding the changes in process would be critical. While the previous process and system was cumbersome, it had developed organically. It was built around the day-to-day needs of original staff and had been a natural extension of their work styles.
“There is always an element of change management when moving a law organization to a new software system,” says Melfa. “From the outset, I knew I needed to take into consideration the comfort level of the Cameron Law Office team with the new processes and software. As a part of our software selection and implementation programs at Affinity, we ensure buy-in from end users by explaining the rationale for every change, using consistent internal communications. We then focus on training to make sure that all employees feel equipped to use the new software.”
To kick off the software selection process for Cameron Law Office, Melfa first led an in-depth needs analysis. In this phase, she zeroed in on the pain points Cameron hoped to solve with new software and identified software options with the features necessary to address those pain points. With a handful of critical features and the project budget in mind, Melfa then shortlisted a few options she knew would get the desired results.
“Ultimately we went with Actionstep because of its ability to simplify complex processes, improve productivity, and handle both front and back office needs in a single system,” says Melfa. “I knew we could use it to streamline the way everyone in the firm worked and give senior staff some of their precious time back.”
Next came the implementation of Actionstep, followed by the related training and support. Taking a coaching approach, the Affinity Consulting team focused on the details, with no question or query being too small.
“All of my people have been able to interact regularly with the Affinity implementation team,” says Cameron. “They’re well taken care of and none of their concerns have been ignored. Every training question has been answered promptly, making the rollout process a smooth one.”
With the new system in place, Cameron Law Office has unlocked new process efficiencies, enhanced productivity, and reclaimed precious personal time.
“Things I used to have to do on Saturdays I can now zip through during work hours,” explains Cameron. “I can now interact with clients more easily and have all the required client documents gathered up seamlessly. Interacting with Affinity Consulting has really made me a firm believer in the power of the right software to help lawyers work better, smarter, and faster.”