When you first meet Ken and Laura Kennedy and Kelly Plunkett, the Founders of Circle Management Group (CMG) it’s easy to be impressed with their no-nonsense attitude and likable personalities. As the conversation continues, you’ll be further impressed by their honesty and appreciation for how law firm technology migrations and implementations really happen.

So often in the business of advising law firms, consultants tend to sugar-coat the process of moving to a new system with nonchalant responses like, “Oh it’s so easy, and not to worry everything you need will be ready for you on day one.”

Not Ken, Laura, and Kelly, they are three of the most straight-shooting and knowledgeable consultants I have ever met. At the recent Centerbase Partner Conference I had the pleasure of moderating a panel on law firm migrations. One of my favorite quotes from the session was Ken’s explanation of how software vendors, the law firm and the consulting group should work together to customize the platform to suit the needs of the business.

“This is jazz,”  Ken explained as he provided examples of how the combination of research and then ongoing communication between all involved parties contribute to a successful technology implementation.

Laura and Kelly were also onstage that morning, presenting a Case Study on a law firm they had recently transitioned from legacy software to Centerbase. Their step-by-step walkthrough from discovery to go live was insightful and honest.

The Circle Team

Every great organization starts with strong leadership and grows based on the strength of its team members. The Circle Management Group Team is located throughout the US each member bringing their own specialty and focus in law firm technology, accounting or business management.

  • Ken Kennedy (Managing Member, North Carolina) pairs his consulting experience and knowledge with his unique point of view to conduct entertaining, informative demos and work from the back-end of several applications.
  • Laura Kennedy (Managing Member, North Carolina) can analyze and develop complex workflows and solutions then explain and teach them in a clear, concise manner that is accessible to staff regardless of their technical competence.
  • Kelly Plunkett (Managing Member, Oregon) is well-versed in SQL and the technical aspects of the software she supports and can create unique solutions and reports to solve complex needs and requirements of clients.
  • Bill Ayres (Member, North Carolina) is one of the pillars of Circle Management Group’s IT Consulting division and has continued to use his extensive knowledge of Time Matters and other software applications to serve their customers.
  • Kelly Jones (Member, Arizona) with her combination of communication and technical skills, has helped grow CMG’s clientele while continuing to assist existing clients with their everyday support needs.
  • Andrea Giltner (Member, Florida) uses her experience as a software consultant specializing in practice management, time & billing and document management applications to mange and support projects through all phases of implementation.
  • Kevin Bross (Member, New Jersey) is another pillar of Circle Management Group’s IT Consulting division, using his skills to support and advise clients on all aspects of hardware and software solutions.
  • Maria Shust (Senior Consultant, Ohio) helps clients with their most complex database management, reporting and processing needs using her extensive knowledge of SQL and programming creativity.
  • Debbie Caughron (Sales and Office Manager, North Carolina) keeps the office going on a day-to-day basis and oversees sales motion to ensure that new and existing clients receive the care they need.
  • Mary Laura Kennedy (Marketing and Communications Coordinator, North Carolina) ensures that vendor communications are running smoothly and clients are kept abreast of updates or new training material.

The Circle Management Group Impact

A great example of the specialized understanding of how technology can impact a law firm’s bottom line is seen in Ken Kennedy’s recent article: Software and Profit, How They Interact.

Law firms need to adapt and keep up with the pace of business more now than ever. However, there is so much more that goes into running a profitable business than the software that manages documents and case files.

Every member of the CMG team shares a common holistic philosophy of examining the whole business. Software and service recommendations are only made after a thorough discovery phase with a dedicated specialist with proven experience working with law firms.

Then, from initial discovery through to completion of a project such as a migration the way the business works is mirrored in one or more software solutions to create efficiencies and provide business intelligence to the management team.

For example, a traditional software upgrade could be as basic as upgrading to the new version and a few follow up phone calls. Because of the depth of experience CMG brings to the table, they are able to identify ways to automate or streamline previously manual processes. Which results in much more than a “software upgrade” and feels more like super-charging your business with technology.

A combination of some or all of the following services make up a standard CMG engagement:

  • Migrations
  • Deployment
  • Software Training
  • Time, Billing and Accounting
  • Business Process Consulting

Project Documentation and Transparency

A rare find for any consultancy is the ability to view the status of your projects. When visiting the CMG website, clients can view a live “Smartsheet” with information about the status of phases of their project.

Ongoing Technical Support and Assistance

Long after your migration, implementation or upgrade is complete CMG is there for you. With retainer services available as an outsourced helpdesk for the firm or as an as-needed support hotline if your in-house technical lead is out of the office, rest assured they will be there when you need them.

In Closing

As you consider your options for an upcoming technology investment, consider Circle Management Group as your partner. One that brings a depth of experience and knowledge to the table coupled with unbridled honesty to give you the guidance you need to hear, not just the easy answers.


To learn more about Circle Management Group or schedule a call about your law firm’s technology and business goals call or visit them at 336-841-2187 and https://www.cmgconsultants.com/.

Chelsey Lambert

Chelsey Lambert

Chelsey Lambert is a Legal Technology Specialist, published Author and CLE Speaker. As a former Practice Management Advisor for the Chicago Bar Association, and Vice President of Marketing for a leading case management provider she has seen our industry from many angles. Today, she works with vendors to bring their products or emerging technologies into the marketplace. And, teaches legal technology courses to lawyers all over the country sharing different ways technology can benefit their law firm. As Founder of Lex Tech Review and Lex Tech Media Group she welcomes the opportunity to chat!