- Firm Name & Slogan: James T. Jones, Esq. – Boston Startup Attorney
- Location: Boston, MA
- What does your firm do? My firm helps startups and entrepreneurs form entities and make crucial early decisions. We also handle contract issues and seed stage investing. This firm focuses on the little guy without the deep pockets and gives them the same level of service as a big firm, but without the big bill.
- How did the firm start and how did it grow? I started my firm nearly four years ago when I saw a need in the Boston area. As the startup community continued to grow with successes like Runkeeper, Platejoy, and others, more and more people began to flock to the city to realize their dream of being an entrepreneur. Unfortunately, those businesses that were not in an incubator program and that hadn’t gotten funding yet had to bootstrap it – needlessly forgoing legal work and leaving their company and ideas unprotected. And the ones that passed through those programs sometimes found themselves burned by obscenely large bills from law firms for routine work. I wanted to be the alternative to the big firms and offer the same services at prices not much higher than online services, but with a personal touch. I kept my overhead low by working mobile, designing my own site, and operating in the cloud. Then I passed those savings onto my clients.
- How did you do things before PracticePanther and how has PracticePanther helped today? Before PracticePanther, I had a thrown together gaggle of various free services. I would use Trello, Freshbooks, some random timekeeper app that I can’t even remember, Square, and Zapier to keep it all in sync. The whole system was a disaster. Zapier wasn’t reliable or consistent. Using Trello as one person didn’t make sense. I couldn’t take credit card retainers. No bueno! I tried Clio for a while, but the price just didn’t justify what I received. It wasn’t the most intuitive program, had a LOT of features designed for a big firm, and I didn’t feel that I was getting much value from it as a solo.With PracticePanther, it has features and an interface that I enjoy using. Everything I need is right in front of me, and nothing has been more than two clicks away. It’s priced similarly to Clio…until you account for the fact that PracticePanther integrates with and covers the monthly cost of LawPay when you process at least one transaction through them a month. Which then makes it $20 cheaper than all their competitors. This means that I can now take retainers and have to rely less on clients paying me on time once work is complete. I’m very happy and have already seen a higher month of billable work in just the one month I’ve used the service.
- What is your favorite thing about PracticePanther? My favorite thing about PracticePanther is its ease of use. The important information I need is front and center upon logging in. Not to mention the convenience of having a single button on every screen that can take me anywhere on the site. Ultra convenient!
- What is one piece of advice you would offer other lawyers in your industry? I would say to take PracticePanther up on their free trial and use it for one of your matters to see how intuitive and useful the whole process is. Seeing is believing in this case.