Starting your own solo law practice is not for the weak. You have to be nimble, savvy, and be ready to take on all of the risks that a big law firm would easily cover for you. From overall law firm growth, operations to marketing and accounting – you’re now responsible for all aspects of the life of your business. Though, there would be no great success without great risk.
Meet, criminal defense attorney, David Patton. He’s the managing attorney and owner of Patton Law Offices in Kenosha, WI. Empowered by his activist spirit and call to service, David uses a holistic approach to support his clients (with significant experience in Indian and LGBTQ+ communities) in the areas of criminal defense, family law, child protection, Indian/ICWA, and victim’s rights matters. He has just added immigration and personal injury cases with the addition of new staff.
Once a “one-man show,” the Super Lawyer, was able to grow his practice to a team of 7. This rapid growth came sooner than he expected, thanks to technology that scaled and supported his firm through the changes. He explains why being a solo practitioner was worth the risk.
Why did you become a lawyer?
David: I decided to become a lawyer reading John Lewis’ memoir “Walking with the Wind”. He discussed all of the white lawyers who fought alongside the movement and what a difference they made. It’s cliche, but I went into law to be of service. I’d spent a decade in service roles and as an activist, I wanted to arm myself to be more effective.
What advice would you give to other lawyers?
David: There are too many miserable lawyers out there. I was one of them until I opened my own practice and I am the best boss I ever had – I love working for myself.
I would tell other lawyers to figure out what fulfills you and chase it. Be patient since it may not happen right away. If you are good at what you do, you can find a way to do what you love.
How did you decide which practice management software to use for your law firm?
David: I didn’t switch from another practice management software, but I researched several different software options, such as Clio, before making my final decision. I found that PracticePanther provides all of the same features as Clio and more, but at half the price. No other software in PracticePanther’s price range is anywhere near as robust.
How has PracticePanther solved a pain point in your practice?
David: PracticePanther has helped keep my firm organized. We handle a large number of cases and we needed software that could help us manage them all, stay on top of tasks, and store information efficiently. PracticePanther has also been key in allowing for rapid growth in my practice.
What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received as a lawyer?
David: All of the people who have advised me have said to follow the money. I have pursued things I enjoy and feel good about. By doing that (and doing it with passion and commitment) I have made plenty of money.
What’s your favorite PracticePanther feature and why?
David: My favorite feature is the payment plans through PantherPayments. My collections are significantly higher than a lot of my friends and colleagues so having a built-in payments processor has helped simplify this process. We can easily set up payment plans that automatically pull funds from a credit card or bank account which means I don’t have to spend a ton of time chasing clients for money that I could be spending on their case (or even better – with my family.)
What advice would you give to lawyers about practice management software?
David: Practice management software needs to be intuitive and scalable for law firm growth. I started out as a one-man show, but I grew so quickly that I needed to add staff, and then attorneys way before I planned on it. PracticePanther adapted to our rapid growth and made the transition very simple.
Get technology that scales with your firm
Whether you’re a solo practitioner experiencing growth or simply seeking an all-in-one software that can support you in reaching your law firm’s growth potential, you can book a custom demo to learn how PracticePanther can help propel your goals.