Kelly Hayes and Elizabeth Spawn Stotler, Founders, Burgeon Legal
The word “burgeon” literally means “to grow and to flourish.” It’s what Kelly Hayes and Elizabeth (Betsy) Spawn Stotler, Co-founders of Burgeon Legal, wanted for their clients when they first started their firm. They hoped to grow their clients’ bottom lines and, in doing so, help their clients’ business’ flourish. It’s also what they’ve seen happen to their own practice.
Former colleagues and close friends, Kelly and Betsy left their respective firms to start their own two-person practice in 2012, with the hope of achieving the elusive lawyer dream—work-life balance, challenging (but fun) work, and great clients. With no formal business plan and no loans to get them started, they made their move. Since then, their firm has grown, and now includes 40 full-time employees, including 25 attorneys who work from home.
Headquartered in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, Burgeon Legal assists national health care providers with complex collection matters involving Medicaid eligibility and recoupment. The firm has gone from handling just twenty open cases to over 500, expanding services from an initial three states to close to 30, all while increasing revenue by more than 500%.
How to grow a firm
“Clio has helped us with nearly every aspect of the firm and its growth,” says Kelly. “We used Clio on the day we opened our doors and are still using it today, which gives us the unique ability to have all of the firm’s historical data—employees, contacts, matters, and billing information—in one place.”
With so many attorneys to coordinate across the country, Clio’s reporting features are essential to Burgeon Legal’s everyday workflow. According to Kelly, “Every Monday morning we compile a spreadsheet detailing the total numbers of open cases firm-wide, as well as by-attorney, by-state, by-partner, by-paralegal, and by-client, all of which is derived from Clio Reports.”
“The information allows us to make informed decisions about which new clients and cases to accept, which attorneys to assign to which new matters, and when and where we next need to hire new employees.”
As their firm grows, the lawyers at Burgeon Legal have found new ways to use Clio. “When we first opened shop and began using Clio,” says Kelly, “we used it solely for timekeeping and billing. We now use it for calendaring and contacts as well, and have recently expanded our use to include communications and mail via one of its integrated apps—CaseMail.”
“Having a single app that can not only cover and assist in all of these areas, but that integrates each of them into the larger whole, has made Clio a must-have resource for us.”