Location: St. Louis, MO; San Diego, CA; Washington, D.C.
Practice Areas: Immigration
Hacking Immigration has a team of 30 employees located in North and South America. They represent immigration cases seeking asylum or assistance with citizenship or visas. Jim Hacking (immigration lawyer) and Juliana López (project manager) share the benefits of incorporating Filevine into their internal systems to help manage the firm’s growth.
This success highlighted the need for a new case management tool. A single source of truth and a platform with the ability to tailor workflows specific to immigration was necessary. “Our previous system was really just a tool to keep notes,” says Jim, founder of Hacking Immigration.
Facing industry challenges like the extended timelines of immigration cases (which now can take up to two years), Hacking Immigration transitioned from Clio to Filevine for their custom-built system of record while tracking impressive growth.
Year over year, Hacking Immigration has grown:
2x in caseload
2x in gross revenue
50% in headcount
How One Firm is “Hacking” Immigration Law with Filevine
Law Firm Logistics What is law firm logistics? Jim says, “I think of my firm as similar to a carrier service.” He outlines his work as getting people from “green card land” to “citizenship land” or “student visa land” to “work visa land.” Filevine has enabled the firm to track all occurrences that need to happen to move immigration cases along.Filevine gave us the ability to track these occurrences. And then, of course, to create the automated tasks that happen after you hit a phase of the case.”
Additionally, Hacking Immigration can handle multiple case types, all with unique workflows. For example, the firm has a case type for traditional immigration matters and one for immigration litigation. Both case types are stored in Filevine but come with unique workflows and phases, simplifying the work for each team.
Intuitive Case Coding Beyond case management, Filevine has also helped the growing firm improve people management. Hacking Immigration built a unique case coding system in the platform to quickly identify case health. With green, yellow, and red coding, they can see what cases are in a good place, which ones have work to handle, and which ones need all hands on deck. The case coding is reportable so the leadership team can look at case health across the firm or at an individual’s caseload.The metrics of what we can see in Filevine are fundamentally different. We can see where people are struggling.”
System of Record with Secure Documents In 2021, Hacking Immigration took over another law firm, which came with numerous emails and spreadsheets. Jim describes the situation as, “every document was just floating out there in somebody's mailbox.” They took paper files from the acquired firm and migrated processes into Filevine. This expedited the merging of both firms and eased keeping multiple teams up-to-date.
Another big win for the firm is data security. Clients are people, first and foremost, at Hacking Immigration, and the firm leverages Filevine’s secure document creation, transmission, and storage processes to protect their information. Immigration law requires clients to share sensitive personal information, and Filevine provides a vehicle to foster trust between firms and their clients.It is so important to make your clients feel comfortable and that the sensitive documentation they're sharing with you is stored in a safe place. Sharing documents right from Filevine creates a safety net for them.”
Robust Reporting Functionality to report on every field within Filevine is key to Hacking Immigration. It is the cornerstone of how they plan their work and manage caseloads. The firm works off what they call a “weekly planner,” or five reports merged using Filevine Fusion. This allows Hacking Immigration to level up their reporting while saving countless hours in spreadsheets.When it comes to metrics and reports, the idea that every field can be converted into a report is amazing. I create whatever report I need; if it's not there, I just create a new field to create a report. That's amazing.”
The firm’s weekly planner is an automatic bundle of reports sent to case managers including:
• Request for RFEs/NOIDs
• Packets To Send
• New Cases
• Important Issues/Misc
The Outcome Jim’s advice to other immigration lawyers? Time is of the essence, and like many other legal professionals, he struggles with finding time to manage his workload when there are insufficient systems to share information in a paper-heavy field. Filevine enables Hacking Immigration to manage a staff that has doubled in size, improve the client experience, and build out automatic, comprehensive reports—all while saving time. Jim’s insight to other immigration attorneys considering Filevine:If I thought about having a team and not have to do everything myself, I would recommend Filevine because it helps me manage the communications of everybody in the firm.”