Case Study

Out of Crisis Comes a Successful New Direction

Burdett Morgan Williamson & Boykin

A hard drive crash created an opportunity for this firm to re-evaluate its IT infrastructure. The conclusion: moving to a private cloud and implementing hosted practice management was the smart choice.


Burdett Morgan Williamson & Boykin (“BMWB”) is a mature and successful law firm with offices in Amarillo and Lubbock, TX. What began as a boutique practice in 1985, with three attorneys focusing on Real Estate, Estate Planning, and oil and gas, has evolved into a firm of 24 attorneys with a “full-service” practice approach for business clients including lending and financial institutions, churches, and non-profit organizations.

From Crisis Comes a New Direction

In 2012, BMWB’s IT implementation was typical of a small law firm of that era: an on premises server that ran Microsoft Small Business Server with Exchange and Office for email and documents, and a popular legal billing application. The firm was also trying to provide access between their two offices using a VPN tunnel.

Then disaster struck. The server suffered a hard drive crash. Data that was assumed to have been backed up was not, and when questioned, the firm’s IT service provider admitted that the firm had grown beyond its capabilities to adequately support. The result, the firm was down for approximately a week and some of the data needed to be recreated.

With the coordination of Brad Borden, the firm’s Administrator, a technology committee of firm partners was created to answer a single question, “If we were a new firm, just starting out, what would our software and IT infrastructure look like?” This prompted a search for a way to move to the cloud and evaluate software options.

Vendor Evaluation Requirements

When the committee began its search for an alternative to owning and managing servers, they initially considered a few local IT service providers. However, they quickly realized that they would not truly eliminate all of their concerns regarding on-premises servers simply by turning the responsibility over to someone else.

The Cloud was new and foreign, so they did the research to understand the cloud, and how, with the proper protections, it could benefit the firm. Ultimately, they concluded the firm should not be in the server management and replacement business.

During the process, they interviewed a number of providers with these specific needs in mind:

  • Understanding lawyers, law firms, and legal software
  • Complete elimination of on-premises servers and related software
  • Ease of use, especially for attorneys
  • Secure mobile access, regardless of location and/or device
  • Seamless access to existing clients files and other firm data
  • Dependable Support and Migration Assistance
  • Redundant back up to ensure no loss of data

While cost was not the highest priority, it is always a consideration when evaluating systems for a law firm. After completing their own analysis, the committee concluded that not only was a Private Cloud more efficient for the practice, it was less expensive overall… resulting in considerable savings to the firm.

With the specific needs list, they evaluated both local and national Cloud Service Providers (“CSPs”), and after several conversations and presentations concluded that based on it’s legal-first focus and experience working with law firms and legal applications Uptime Legal was the most qualified provider.

“We closed our offices at 4PM on a Friday, completed the cutover during the weekend, and on Monday morning there was a single piece of paper on each PC explaining how to log-in to the new system. All things considered, it was an extremely smooth implementation.”



Moving to Uptime Practice™

The Process

Once the technology committee decided on Uptime Practice, it was time to define the process of moving from their server to the cloud. Mr. Borden states, “While we had some trepidation about moving to the cloud, Uptime laid out the complete plan. We knew they had handled this process many times for other firms. This gave us confidence as we approached the conversion.”

Success Defined

With a project plan in place, the Uptime team, working closely with BMWB, set out on a 6-8 week “Go Live” date to allow for migration, testing, changes, further testing, and quality assurance. Mr. Borden and the committee were involved throughout the process, and the time for cutover was quickly upon them.

Mr. Borden stated “We closed our offices at 4PM on a Friday, completed the cutover during the weekend, and on Monday morning there was a single piece of paper on each PC explaining how to log-in to the new system. All things considered, it was an extremely smooth implementation.”

Next Steps

With the immediate crisis resolved, attention turned to a Practice Management solution. BMWB’s attorneys expressed the desire to take advantage of technology to provide efficient services for their growing list of clients. BMWB was using a Time & Billing app, but had not previously considered a full front-office/back-office solution.

Based on their confidence in Uptime’s product expertise, BMWB turned to Uptime as a trusted advisor. After evaluating the firm’s needs, Uptime confirmed the firm’s own research effort by recommending ProLaw as a complete solution, providing front-office and back-office functionality for mid-sized firms. The firm worked directly with ProLaw to acquire the proper licenses and then turned to Uptime to assist with the implementation. Once again, it was smooth sailing, and now everyone at BMWB is happy with the technology tools, mobile access, and security that only a Private Cloud can deliver.


Suffering what can only be considered a monumental failure of an on-premise server, an ineffective way for two offices to share information, and the lack of a true practice management application, BMWB is now on sound footing. Thanks to the vision of the BMWB partners and the leadership and coordination of Mr. Borden, BMWB is ideally positioned to continue its growth and success.

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