Lawyers may not always have the same “why”, or have the same journey breaking into the legal industry, but they will always have one thing in common — resilience. Every aspect of being a lawyer relies on having the ability to bounce back and reshape the narrative. Whether they’re battling in court or searching for the missing piece to make a break in a case, lawyers are skilled at working towards the big picture.
Long-time PracticePanther customer, Brandon Leopoldus, knows a few things about charting a new path. Before going to law school and opening his Los Angeles-based sports and entertainment law practice, Leopoldus Law, Brandon was a professional baseball umpire. While he was no longer on the field, Brandon still yearned to be a part of the pro sports world and be around sports-minded individuals. So, he reshaped his narrative and went to law school to fill a space in the sports world that he thought was missing.
As a recognized leader in sports law, Brandon has been a featured speaker and panelist across the country including presentations and guest lectures at numerous law schools. He is also a member of the Sports Lawyers Association, on the ad-hoc Athlete Outreach Committee for Merging Vets and Players, the board of advisors for City Gala, and a partner in the Sports & Entertainment Society.
Continue reading Brandon’s full interview to learn more about his transition to the legal industry, why he believes lawyers should view the practice of law as a business first, and how legal technology has supported his business operations.
Why did you become a lawyer?
Brandon: Honestly, it was because I couldn’t find a job back home and needed to further my education. Following a career as a professional baseball umpire, I found pro sports to be filled with people like me who were no longer on the field. It was hard, and all I wanted to do was continue to work with people who I understood growing up in the elite sports world. I went to law school and found a way to work with athletes, teams, officials, and business owners who mirrored the people that had made my pre-lawyer life so wonderful.
What is your biggest professional goal for 2022?
Brandon: My biggest goal for 2022 is to implement three new technology systems into my practice. While some set goals based on revenue, I try to stay granular — understanding the ROI. With the three technologies I’m going to be applying, my firm will save time and money — resulting in a better offering to my clients, and the ability to bring on more clients as well!
What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received as a lawyer?
Brandon: “Wait for your opportunity.” In today’s world, you don’t need to wait and let others take the lead and reap the benefits of your hard work. There’s a litany of ways to achieve the goals you have (no matter what those goals are), and services available to assist on this journey. If you have an idea — especially if it is unconventional, do the research you need to do, get good advice, and then go for it! You’ll always have people that tell you, you can’t do it or it isn’t the right time, but taking a shot when you feel it is the right time will at worst give you an insight into how to do things better and refine your idea, and at best — change the game for you, your clients, and the industry.
Is there any advice you would give to other lawyers or those just starting their legal career?
Brandon: First, be a great lawyer. Clients deserve to have knowledgeable advocates that know the profession and are effective. Second, realize that the practice of law is also a business. Understand marketing and business principles. Finally, treat everyone as the most important person you have ever met from the janitor to the CEO. You never know who those people know if they can help, and who they influence. If you’re well thought of by a diverse community, you will reap the benefits and have a happier and more rewarding life and career.
How has PracticePanther solved a pain point in your practice?
Brandon: I’ve been with PracticePanther for a long time. I knew that I needed billing software as I grew the first iteration of my practice, and came across PracticePanther. For me, the billing aspect was the selling point, but the ease and functionality of using PracticePanther have made me a client for life. The software provides a lot of functionality and integrations, so it has made integration with other services as my practice grows easy to implement.
What’s your favorite PracticePanther feature and why?
Brandon: The ability for clients to pay their invoices via PantherPayments. This built-in feature has decreased my ongoing A/R and eliminated the time and energy it would’ve taken to run a client’s credit card with a third-party company.
What advice would you give to lawyers about practice management software and legal technology?
Brandon: Take a look at the options and find the software that is right for your practice. Reach out to other attorneys and ask what they like, don’t like, and what they would want in a software program. Asking these questions will help you determine what you need and don’t need on a platform.
Further, it isn’t always best to use what everyone else uses. My clients like the PracticePanther interface and find it more intuitive than other software, so find what works for your practice and your clients. Also, be sure to share with your provider features that clients ask for (and that you would like to see). PracticePanther is receptive to customer feedback and collaborates with them to tailor the platform to their individual needs.
If you switched from another practice management software or legal technology, which one was it and why did you switch to PracticePanther?
Brandon: I was using Excel and basic Microsoft programs (despite being Mac-based) prior to switching over to PracticePanther. I had looked into other programs and the reason I chose PracticePanther was the communication with PracticePanther’s representatives. Their patience as I picked a software to use, and then the training that was available. I loved that there wasn’t a sales pitch or putting down other companies. PracticePanther’s continued communication and support over the years has kept me as a loyal customer that is happy to talk about my experience with any other lawyers that ask me for my opinion.
Chart your own path with the support of legal technology
A new year marks the beginning of a fresh start and an opportunity to rewrite your future. Brandon’s story is proof that you can create a new path and achieve the career you want, even if it means taking a few risks. For lawyers, it could mean taking the leap to practice solo or trying something new within your business practices. If you’re ready to make a change in your practice, you can book a custom demo to see how PracticePanther’s legal technology can support your business goals — big or small.