Tonkon Torp LLP embraces Laurel for superior client service and timekeeper happiness
21 mins average lift in daily billable hours per Laurel timekeeper
$20k+ Boost in annual revenue per Laurel timekeeper
20% increase in release velocity, expediting the collecting cycle
18% more entries per day, showing greater timesheet granularity
Tonkon Torp has always taken pride in prioritizing client relationships, but they knew that to provide the best service, they needed to do away with distracting, manual timekeeping. They were looking for a solution that would allow them to focus on the tasks that matter while delivering detailed, accurate bills.
Laurel has enabled Tonkon Torp’s lawyers to take back their time. It operates behind the scenes to capture more of their billable tasks, and allows them to release hours effortlessly. Timekeepers have seen an average lift of 20 minutes per day with 18% more entries, and a collection cycle that’s 20% faster.
At Tonkon Torp, attorneys are bringing in more revenue and reclaiming more time
The best companies have a deep understanding of their clients’ perspectives and needs, allowing them to deliver the best possible service and achieve the best possible outcomes.
This client-first philosophy is a long-held value at Tonkon Torp LLP, a Portland-based law firm that has built a widely respected reputation on its unique capacity to work hand-in-hand with clients. After nearly half a century of success, they transcend traditional legal advice in order to provide truly customized solutions.
With their strong, partnership-based ethos, Tonkon Torp has high standards and expectations when sourcing vendors and service providers for their own business. They want to be associated with companies that have the same customer-first values they do. For a timekeeping solution, Laurel was a natural fit.
Early Adopters on the Leading Edge
Tonkon Torp discovered Laurel when the company was still in its early stages. Haley Morrison, a Partner at the firm, happened upon an impromptu product demo from one of the company’s engineers and immediately understood the utility that the software could provide, despite the fact it was still in its initial stages of development.
As is the case at so many law firms, Morrison’s time tracking tools weren’t working for her.
“I had to interact with the system constantly,” she says. “I had to click timers. I had to put new matter names in for a new timer. I had to pull it over into the right system once I was done with it.”
Laurel changed all that.
“Most of what we do is now online—whether it’s virtually through a VPN, or at the office on a computer, or on our phones— Laurel captures all of it,” says Sherrill Corbett, Partner and member of the Managing Board at Tonkon Torp, who was also one of the first to try the product. “It knows what I'm doing and it automatically populates my Timeline. It makes it really easy for me to go back and review the entries, group them, and assign them to the right client matter.”
The adoption of Laurel marked the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship. The lawyers at Tonkon Torp enjoyed a much more efficient and sophisticated timekeeping experience, and their constant feedback enabled the engineers and developers at Laurel to continuously optimize the product to fit lawyers’ specific needs.
Jeff Bradford, another Partner at Tonkon Torp, recalls that initially, the interface only included a timesheet. He and his colleagues wanted to be able to view their tasks in the order they were conducted, so the Laurel team built that functionality.
“Being able to pivot between the Timeline view and the Timesheet view gives me a sense of both how I think about my day chronologically, and how that translates to what’s going to be then captured in bills that go to clients,” he says.
And while the relationship between Laurel and Tonkon Torp is exceptional, it’s not an exception. Laurel is deeply invested in the success of all the law firms it works with. The product and engineering teams constantly solicit input and implement improvements, letting attorneys do their best work and live their best lives by helping them reclaim their time.
“I’m grateful for a solution that enables me to make an honest accounting to my clients, and then leave that at work.”
Building Trust with Clients
“We’ve done some analytical work, which shows we’re capturing more time each day that just wasn't getting onto the bill in the past,” says Kurt Ruttum, Managing Partner at Tonkon Torp. And he’s right. Today, Laurel captures an average of 21 extra minutes each day for Tonkon Torp’s attorneys, meaning each timekeeper provides approximately $20,000 more to the firm’s revenue every year.
Not only has it expedited the firm’s collection cycle by 20%, but it has significantly reduced write-downs and discounts due to the detail in every bill.
“When you can clearly explain to the client what you've been doing for them, they are much more comfortable paying the bill,” Ruttum says. “Nobody ever complains about our billing entries, when they have a clear understanding of what we're doing for them.”
Corbett agrees. “It makes it easier for us to get the information to the client and show them the service that we’re providing them on a timely basis. It makes it easier from a firm perspective, because then we can generate those invoices and send out the bills a lot faster.”
This clarity and precision comes from the fact that timekeepers are able to capture activity that would never have been billed in the past, and attorneys that use Laurel now release 18% more entries per day.
“I travel a lot for my job and I also have two kids, and a busy life,” says Morrison. “I find myself shooting off emails while I’m waiting in the carpool line or when I’m in the airport. And none of that time was captured before, anywhere. Now, I can be much more free in my life and work from wherever I am.”
“I’m focused more on the substance of the project, and I don’t have this dull hum in the back of my mind as I think about how long I’m spending on something.”
Redefining the Meaning of “Partner”
Tonkon Torp attorneys are known for being honest, candid, and eager to connect with their clients. With Laurel, they have a similar relationship.
“One of the things that I’ve appreciated is, now that we’ve worked with them for many years, and I know people at Laurel by name,” says Bradford. “They reach out to us regularly; not just to see if we’re satisfied with the product, but actually checking with us to talk about how they’re going to make the product better.”
The partners at Tonkon Torp point to a range of features that have been built based on real attorney feedback. For Morrison, it’s the compatibility of the platform across apps and devices, while Corbett and Bradford enjoy the ease of assigning tasks to the right matters, color coding clients, and toggling between Timesheet and Timeline views. For Ruttum and Corbett, the addition of a weekly calendar tool to help streamline releases is another huge value-add.
Tonkon Torp makes a promise that is emblematic of their customer service approach: “We’re dedicated to thinking like a business, so you don’t have to think like a lawyer.”
With Laurel, they now have a partner that’s dedicated to thinking like a lawyer, so they don’t have to think like a timekeeper.