Allen Boone Humphries Robinson LLP (ABHR) is a new type of law firm, devoted solely to the practice of public law. For ABHR attorneys, a typical day at the office might not involve going into the office at all. In fact, many of ABHR’s lawyers spend a significant amount of their time on the road, meeting with clients and public officials, making them completely reliant on remote access to e-mail, their calendars, and contacts to do their jobs. In the past, attorneys used multiple devices to do their jobs: PDAs to access data and mobile phones for voice communications for urgent requests. As integrated devices such as the Palm Treo and newer versions of the RIM BlackBerry started coming to market, ABHR began looking for a better solution to give attorneys and legal assistants one device that could handle all of their communication needs.
To select the best solution, ABHR did a thorough evaluation of device manufacturers, including Palm and Research In Motion (RIM); software providers, such as Good, Seven, and the free e-mail products offered by several of the carriers; and service providers including Sprint Nextel, Verizon Wireless, Cingular Wireless, and T-Mobile. One of ABHR’s requirements for a solution was that its mobile workers needed to access more than 10,000 contacts in the firm’s ProLaw database. ABHR also wanted caller ID information to appear on the device for incoming calls. Accomplishing this would require the software running on the device to compare the name and number of the person calling with the ProLaw database and display it on screen — all in a matter of seconds.
ABHR also wanted newly added contacts to be automatically sent to the firm’s public and private folders, giving everyone at the firm near-real-time access to the updated information. And, because ABHR’s lawyers are in so many meetings, the firm wanted immediate synchronization of newly added appointments to their calendars.
After evaluating vendors, ABHR ultimately selected GoodLink, a wireless application from Good Technologies, running on Palm Treos with service from Verizon Wireless for the majority of users, and Sprint Nextel for staff in specific coverage areas. “This proved to be the best combination in meeting all of our requirements,” says Debbie Cole, ProLaw administrator and IT liaison for ABHR. Now that the solution has been in place for several months, ABHR is experiencing the results it has always wanted and expected from an integrated mobile communications system.
“GoodLink enables our attorneys to be as productive on the road as they are in the office,” concludes Cole. “By being able to manage the attorneys’ day-to-day workload, we have been able to greatly improve client interactions, improve productivity, and increase efficiency. Overall, the results have far exceeded our expectations.”