For some attorneys, the practice of law is a perfect fit, offering the ideal blend of their interests and strengths. Mark Metzger is a just such a lawyer.
Variety is the spice of life
As Mark explains, his varied law practice provides him with constant intellectual stimulation while simultaneously satisfying his need to help improve the lives of his clients: “I really enjoy being presented with a new issue or problem that requires analysis and the process of figuring out the answer has always been enjoyable to me. But at the same time, practicing law allows me to help people in time of need. My elder law clients are particularly appreciative. For example, when I help an elderly woman to save her house, she cries kisses me, brings me cookies, and even brings friends to see me. That’s when you know you’ve made a difference.”
Mark’s decision to focus on a few niche areas of practice is what makes his day-to-day work so fulfilling. His Naperville, Illinois law firm primarily handles three types of matters: high-tech business cases, residential real estate transactions, and elder law.
For Mark, each area of practice satisfies different areas of interest and rounds out his day-today practice: “Working with people in the high-tech space is very exciting and their enthusiasm is contagious. And, as my real estate practice has grown, so too has my elder law practice. My elder law clients, in addition to being tremendously appreciative, are also really interesting people. Their stories are fascinating. Last week I had a guy tell me that when he was in the Battle of the Bulge, every night they would come around and give him a 1/4 stick of dynamite to put into the ground so that he could blow a hole into it, which he would then fill with pine branches and then sleep on them.”
A law practice grounded in technology
Technology has always been a part of his life–so much so that Mark often describes himself as a “recovering programmer.” As he explains, his business law practice was a natural extension of his technological know-how: “Working with businesses in the high-tech center is an outgrowth of my being involved in tech for as long as I can remember. I recall standing at mall at Radio Shack and using a TRS-80 computer while my mom shopped and I was programing an Apple 2 Plus at my high school. As I continued on with my education and career and computers worked their way into the world of business, the opportunities for lawyers to be invovled in issues related to information technology took off as well so it was a natural fit for me to work with those issues.”
It’s not surprising then that his firm is on the cutting edge of technology, as evidenced by the fact that his is essentially a paperless practice. And, Mark wouldn’t have it any other way: “My firm is Mac-based and is a largely paperless practice. In fact, you can have my Scan Snap when you pry it from my cold dead hands.”
The many benefits of a practice in the cloud
For Mark, moving his practice to the cloud was a no-brainer, but it was the benefits of cloud computing that drove his decision. It was all about convenience and flexibility: “What appealed to me was the shared solution and the fact that everyone had access to it. Cloud computing makes it possible for everyone to access the documents and information they need without having to call my office for the third time to request yet another copy of a misplaced document.”
MyCase facilitates efficiency and communication
When it came to choosing which cloud-based law practice management system was right for his law office, communication was key for Mark. This was especially true for his real estate practice, where MyCase’s communications features really make the difference.
Mark explains that client and communications portal has been instrumental to streamlining his practice and making it more efficient: “The MyCase portal is phenomenal. It has driven everything to that one location, which has dramatically reduced phone calls. Clients just sign in to get up to speed. They don’t have to call and ask where the closing is because they get the information right from MyCase, including access to Google maps, which tells them exactly where to go. And, realtors love it. They can log in and access everything related to a transaction. In fact, they like it so much, they’ve even started sending me new referrals just because of MyCase.”
Thinking outside the box
One of Mark’s mottos is “think different” and it’s one that he applies to running his law practice. According to Mark, it’s important to change with the times and use new technologies to improve your firm’s processes. He explains that oftentimes, lawyers fail to realize that “the practice of law is a business. If you’re the owner of a small firm and don’t realize that, you won’t be in business for long and you’ll soon find yourself working for someone else.”
It’s Mark’s ability to think differently that allows his firm to thrive in today’s rapidly changing business environment. Of course, a successful law practice doesn’t mean much if it’s not fulfilling as well, and for Mark, what really matters is helping to improve his client’s lives: “I think that the best compliment that can be offered of someone’s lifetime body of work is that it either made a difference in someone else’s life or that, taken as a whole, things were left better than when the individual started. I’d be delighted to be remembered in either of those two ways.”