Having the ability to work on the go is no longer a “nice to have” as a busy lawyer in 2021 and beyond – it’s a necessity. This is one aspect that personal injury lawyer, Greg Barthelette of Barthelette Injury Law, values about PracticePanther.
Greg has been a member of the PracticePanther community since 2018 and uses the software daily to manage his practice. He is the owner and managing attorney of Barthelette Injury Law located in Boca Raton, Florida where he assists his clients with personal injury, real estate, and business litigation matters. From an early age, Greg knew he wanted to be a lawyer and credits his father as his source of motivation.
As a solo practitioner, Greg has experienced the many struggles and growing pains that come with managing a small law firm. Beyond the loads of work and late nights, Greg enjoys the variability being a lawyer brings and uses the challenges he faces as opportunities to learn and help his clients “never be a victim twice.”
Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of legal technology and a few hidden gems of advice from Greg for lawyers hesitant to start their own practice.
Why did you become a personal injury lawyer?
Greg: I became a lawyer because of my father, who was a lawyer and very passionate about the law. Interestingly, my father – although a licensed lawyer – never actually practiced law. He regretted it, and wished he had gone into private practice. I am certain this affected me and drove me to become a lawyer. I am happy that I did, as I love being a personal injury lawyer and assisting my clients.
How has PracticePanther fixed pain points in your practice?
Greg: I’m not tech savvy in any way. I can barely handle email. What I loved (and love) about PracticePanther is its immediate ease of use. For a small law firm owner like me, it gave me the ability to hit the ground running setting up my billing software. I was able to immediately send out client invoices and get my hourly practice running smoothly. Additionally, I enjoy that PracticePanther is mobile-friendly. I often use the app on my smartphone to record time and access the things I need on the go.
A bonus, PracticePanther’s representatives have been helpful when I have technical questions. In fact, I can’t recall a time when my question or issue was not handled the same day.
Bottom line: PracticePanther’s billing software has removed a tremendous amount of stress from my billing and invoices.
What advice would you give to your peers?
Greg: For lawyers who are considering starting their own firm, I would encourage them to start as soon as possible. Based on my experience and discussions with other law firm owners, starting your law firm is never easy at any stage in your career. Go for it now! Ultimately, you will be glad you took the plunge.
Even if you don’t already have a steady client base, there are other ways to make money while building your law firm. You can do freelance work, serve as “of counsel” to a firm that needs help, or even pick up another job while you grow your firm. I have done all three.
What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received as a lawyer?
Greg: This isn’t advice I have received, but I believe this is a bad habit of practice for young lawyers. When you first start practicing law, it goes without saying that you need to learn and work on the skills of your new craft. You have to learn your practice area, how to take good depositions, etc. For many young lawyers, this is their sole focus and in my opinion, it’s a big mistake.
While you’re developing and honing your skills, you have to start building your brand and book of business. It’s a mistake to ignore this and think being a good lawyer is enough – it’s not.
Even if you are a brand new lawyer, start working on getting clients. Join a networking organization or a young lawyer’s group. Potential clients need you now, and they usually don’t care (or even ask) about your experience level. They just want the job done.
So, make it a point to develop your client base as soon as you start practicing law.
What’s your favorite PracticePanther feature and why?
Greg: My favorite PracticePanther feature is the app. It’s on my phone and I can easily add my time entries when I have down time or when I’m traveling. And like PracticePanther’s website, it’s user-friendly and works smoothly.
What advice would you give to lawyers about adopting practice management software?
Greg: Pick a practice management software that is user-friendly and intuitive. You shouldn’t experience an extreme learning curve with your software. If you’re spending more time learning the software or tied up with support than getting your practice going, it’s not the one for you. Practice management software is there to serve you – not the other way around. For me, that’s PracticePanther.
Ready to take the leap into owning your own law firm like Greg? Book a custom demo and learn how PracticePanther can get you seamlessly billing time, processing online payments, and better assisting your clients in no time.