- Firm Name & Slogan: Mountain Legal, PLLC
- Location: Lakeside, AZ
- What does your firm do? Our firm focuses on estate planning, civil litigation, personal injury, and business law. We pride ourselves in being an integral part of a rural community. As such, we have a reputation for keeping costs low and finding creative solutions for our clients.
- How did the firm start and how did it grow? I practiced law for a large corporation in Washington, D.C. for a few years. Raising kids in D.C. just wasn’t for us so we decided to move to a place better suited to our family needs. We’d always loved the White Mountains of Arizona and this was a great opportunity to make the move. When we got here, I worked for a solo practitioner for about a year. After a year, I wanted to go out on my own and try out some ideas I had. In January 2018, my wife and I started Mountain Legal and experienced success pretty quickly. Our model was simple, keep overhead low by making house calls instead of renting an expensive office. We charged less because we could afford it. We also had a pretty aggressive marketing strategy where we would go to senior centers to do seminars on estate planning. We also participate in local fairs and trade shows where we answer basic questions for people. In just a few months we were able to weave the firm into the fabric of this small community. This gained traction quickly and we now have a pretty full calendar, although we always work hard to serve as many people as we can. Our cost has stayed low and we have no plan to increase it.
- How did you do things before PracticePanther and how has PracticePanther helped today? We signed up for PracticePanther a few weeks ago. Before we had PracticePanther, we tried to do everything with Google Docs and spreadsheets. It was a mess. We would spend about 45 minutes on each client just to draft invoices. We dreaded the end of the month because we knew we would have to descend into spreadsheet hell. Accounting was also complicated since we had to track everything by hand, including the IOLTA account and the operating account. I would say that about half of our time, if not more, was spent on administrative and accounting tasks. PracticePanther solved that right away. It took some time to get the data into the software but once it’s in, everything is automated.
- What is your favorite thing about PracticePanther? The invoicing is definitely the best part. The trust account is reconciled automatically. We have invoices ready to go in just a few clicks. It’s freed up a ton of time for us to focus on our clients rather than the business.
- What is one piece of advice you would offer other lawyers in your industry? I would say, take any legal advice from older lawyers, but don’t take any business advice from them because that model is slowly dying. Like the old adage states, “Innovate or die”. Stay away from the old dusty law office model and go to your clients. PracticePanther allows you to reach out to your clients in a more meaningful way by giving you a virtual office. The more you learn to use technology, the more your clients will benefit from it even if they don’t understand it themselves.