Based in Berkeley, California, Sharon Adams established Adams Law Office years after graduating in the top 10% of her law school class at UC Davis. With over a decade of experience, Sharon has been dedicated to advising clients in trademark law, recognizing the crucial role registered trademarks play in safeguarding brand names and business reputations. Her expertise has successfully guided businesses of all sizes in acquiring registered trademarks.
Dive into Sharon Adams’ insightful interview, where she shares her journey as a Trademark Attorney, unveils her perspective on legal practice management software, and discusses how PracticePanther has revolutionized her processes within her law firm.
Why did you become a lawyer? How did you envision your career as a lawyer compared to where you are now?
Sharon: My path to becoming a lawyer wasn’t a straight route. After completing my undergraduate degree in science, I worked in a lab, and then went to law school. Initially, I worked at a large law firm doing commercial litigation. Then I decided to establish my own practice where I continued to handle litigation. With a science undergrad degree, I was also able to pursue a career as a patent attorney when there were relatively few of us. As a patent attorney, I often represented clients who were bringing a product to market. They would sometimes ask me about getting a trademark for their product. I soon realized that my true passion is trademark law. At the same time, I discovered that I didn’t particularly enjoy working on patent cases. As a result, the focus of my law practice had shifted, and now nearly 100% of my work revolves around trademark law.
What’s some advice you’d give to other lawyers at it pertains to starting your own firm?
Sharon: I highly recommend implementing law practice management software, such as PracticePanther. I was a lawyer for a while before legal practice management software like PracticePanther existed. When I took a legal business coaching course, the importance and idea of tracking billable hours was heavily emphasized by the coach. As lawyers, we may spend many hours working on a computer, but it doesn’t directly translate into earning money. PracticePanther has been extremely helpful in helping me accurately track my billable hours on a daily basis.
Previously, I used to rely on a piece of paper, as was the norm. In fact, even when I worked at a large law firm, I used paper to jot down my tasks. At my own law firm, keeping track of time on paper, and then using that to generate an invoice was quite inefficient. I’ve moved on from the pen-and-paper method and embraced PracticePanther’s time tracking and billing features, and the impact on my efficiency has been remarkable!
What was your biggest pain point prior to PracticePanther?
Sharon: Time tracking has been my biggest pain point in the past. I used to spend a lot of time tracking my hours, only to face the daunting task of translating the same information into an invoice days or even weeks later. The process was cumbersome, where I’d need to first jot down my time entries on paper, then duplicate the same information and effort onto an actual invoice. However, with PracticePanther, I can track my hours in real time and input the details directly into my invoice. When it comes time to invoice, I just need to click a button to generate the invoice automatically. PracticePanther has truly changed the way I handle time tracking and invoicing, such a game-changer!
What are your favorite PracticePanther features?
Sharon: As I’ve previously mentioned, the time tracking and invoicing features have greatly benefited my daily operations. However, I’d like to highlight something that has also been extremely helpful and exceptional: the customer support from the PracticePanther team. Whether I have a question or concern, the PracticePanther team is always readily available. This is something I truly value when adopting new law firm software.
I also appreciate the ready-to-use templates within the software. This feature allows me to effortlessly generate service agreements with just a few clicks, saving me so much time! As a lawyer with a range of responsibilities, having readily available templates is incredibly helpful and convenient. Another feature that has been super helpful in my practice is the payment processing capability in PracticePanther. The ability to accept online payments has made accepting payments much easier. And, because PracticePanther processes the financial transaction, the financial reporting obligations are greatly reduced which has been a huge time-saver. All in all, I’d say PracticePanther helps manage many necessary tasks and makes my life much easier as an attorney.
Which feature(s) of PracticePanther has improved how you support clients?
Sharon: There are quite a few, but trust accounting or anything payment-related stands out to me the most. They have been invaluable to my practice. As a common practice, I often request my clients to pre-pay into a trust account. One of the big advantages of PracticePanther, in my opinion, is the ability to present a detailed breakdown of cash flow from the trust account within the invoices. To me, I think this feature is highly beneficial to my clients, because they can easily track how much they’ve spent and get a grasp of their remaining balance in their trust account.
This transparency allows my clients to see what I’ve done for them and the corresponding charges deducted from their trust accounts. It’s great, because it increases the level of trust between my clients and myself.
Streamline operations, boost efficiency, and achieve business success with PracticePanther
Just like Adams Law Office, you too can optimize your firm’s operations and streamline processes with PracticePanther. With functionalities such as time-tracking, invoicing, online payments, customizable templates and more, PracticePanther offers an array of powerful tools to enhance your practice.
If you’re ready to embrace a new change and drive your practice forward, book a personalized demo with our expert team.
*This interview has been carefully edited to ensure clarity and provide proper context.
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