Why Filevine is the case management system of choice for an established firm of 70 years

Filevine text messaging helps Barkan Meizlish, LLP maintain top-tier client communication with a lean headcount.

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Location: Columbus, Ohio

Practice Areas: Personal Injury, Worker's Compensation, Wage & Hour, Union, SSDI

Solutions: Vinesign, Lead Docket, Filevine, Periscope

Bob DeRose, the managing partner of Barkan Meizlish, LLP, started his career in 1991. Representing clients in workers’ compensation cases, Bob took his first wage and hour case in 2005 and “fell in love with the practice.” As one of the first firms in Columbus to implement computers, Barkan Meizlish, LLP has been at the forefront of technology to ensure they provide the best service to clients.


The Challenge

Representing anywhere between one client to 90,000 clients at a time, Bob DeRose needed a case management system with sophistication. He was looking for flexibility, a system that could handle high volume, and a way to bring cost efficiencies to the front of his practice.

Barkan Meizlish, LLP was founded in 1957 to represent employees who get injured at work or by the negligence of others. From workers’ compensation, they’ve expanded practice areas with Bob over wage and hour. In his role as managing partner, Bob uses Filevine to increase firm efficiency while maintaining their reputation amongst clients as a hyper-responsive firm. His tenure in the field has given him experience with legacy systems from Unix to Legal Fields to Needles and now Filevine. His top priority is executing a high volume practice in a way that maintains client satisfaction with timely communication — and Filevine does just that.

1:1 client service in a high volume practice

1 to 90k clients at a time in Filevine

1 central platform to manage the firm from cases to employees
  1. Ease and flexibility

    Case management for everyone

    Bob has deep experience with case management software and understands that sophistication and ease of use don’t often blend. He values that he’s been able to represent thousands of clients under a single Filevine project.

    One of my partners has been practicing law for 45 years. He struggles with his cell phone but breezes through Filevine. He’s a case study.”

    Incrementing the practice

    The biggest advice Bob has to offer to any managing partner is to look at their firm incrementally. By this, he means figuring out who does what, when to do it, and how to save time doing it. Filevine allows him to do that with automated workflows and modern solutions like e-signatures and texting.

    Filevine is set up in an easy, hands-on, and friendly way.”
  2. Cost Efficiency

    Every employee moves the file

    Bob recalls what it took to run the workers’ comp division when he came to Barkan Meizlish in 1994. It included 37 people between attorneys and support staff. Now, almost 30 years later, his division is still doing the same amount of work with only four people — two attorneys and two support staff.

    We don’t have a single secretary, typist, or processor in the firm because our system is set up for lawyers to do their own work. Filevine has allowed us to have the mentality that if somebody is employed here, they’re moving the file. They’re not employed here to help me get my work done.”

    Centralized firm management

    In addition to running a high-volume division with a lean staff, Bob has been able to trim and integrate business operation technology to have Filevine serve as the central source of truth for the firm.

    I run my business completely on Filevine. I have one project that is just for cases and one for business management (vendors, HR, benefits). The entire firm is on Filevine.
  3. High volume capacity

    Seamless, proactive communication

    Client communication never stops at a high volume practice. Before Filevine, Bob would play the age-old perpetual game of phone with clients. Now he can text them for quick and easy communication that’s not disruptive to his workflow. He likes the ease of messaging and feels that it’s a low-impact task that differentiates his firm from the competition.

    We’re always looking for tools to help the client feel like they aren’t at a law firm that has thousands of thousands of clients.”

    Being able to text a client and have everything saved in Filevine is a game-changer for Bob. He also uses Vinesign to send out contracts via text or email to clients, which drastically helps the firm’s retention rate.

    Filevine allows us to get ahead of communications, which enables us to reach out on our time and improve the client experience. Our clients know that their lawyers know what’s on their mind.”

    Strategic growth

    To Bob, the biggest risk for a volume practitioner is a problem with overhead. He focuses on how to get the same amount of work done at a lower cost to maintain a viable business. Filevine is a key factor in helping him solve that problem with strategic workflows that allows the firm to automate its work and standardize processes.

    Filevine has allowed us to flip the script on how volume practice is done. You used to say, ‘Okay, just we’re getting behind — just add a couple more typists or a couple more secretaries.’ Now I say, ‘how can we change the workflow to be more efficient? What can we standardize? What can we automate in Filevine?’ It allows me to hire smarter and only increase headcount when it is necessary.”

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