A MyCase Practice:
Andrew Westover, San Diego Family Law Attorney

mycase-featured-andrew-westoverIt’s not often that you meet lawyers for whom the legal profession is their second career. But when you do encounter these attorneys, you’ll often find that they have an incredible passion for their practice and for the causes of the clients they represent.

Andrew Westover is just such a lawyer. He began his professional career as upper management in  Operations and Logistics for a number of different Fortune 500 companies.  But after more than a decade on that path, he decided it was time for a change. The idea of practicing law had always appealed to him, so off to law school he went: “I was 32 when I started law school. I’d always liked arguing with people and had wanted to be a lawyer since I was a kid.  Life sometimes takes you in different directions, but after 15 years, I finally came back to that idea.”

Practicing with a purpose

Andrew began his legal career as a federal public defender, but quickly gravitated toward family law. “I was a federal PD out of law school, but after a few months I knew that wasn’t for me and decided to go into private practice,” he explains. “Our firm handles high conflict family law. The part I really like is helping someone in need. Family law involves divorce and abuse and when you can help someone, it’s enjoyable and satisfying. I especially like taking on something difficult, such as a new area of law where you’re able to move the judge the forward. That’s what makes what I do fun.”

It’s hard work, but making a difference in his clients’ lives makes it all worthwhile. “Sometimes it can be stressful because I want to be sure to protect my clients’ interests, especially when their kids are involved. Our focus is to fight for our clients.” He continues, “What helps us settle cases is that our opponents know we’re ready to go to war. We have to prepare for everything like it’s the trial of the century. We go to court with everything you’ve got, so when we stand at the courthouse doors lawyers are often willing to settle with us.”

Setting his firm apart from the rest

When I asked Andrew what else makes his firm different, he replied, “Using MyCase sets us apart since most law firms don’t have a good client communication system.”

For Andrew, MyCase’s client portal was a major selling point and convinced him to move to the cloud. “I’d used Abacus and Timeslips in the past, but when I started this firm I wanted to be more tech-focused,” he says. “That’s why the client portal was very important to me. I was looking for a single integrated solution to help us manage cases and stay on track. I looked at MyCase, Clio, and Rocket Matter, but MyCase was the one I liked. It felt more integrated and streamlined and the client portal was key, since I wanted clients to have the ability to be able to access their case online.”

According to Andrew, using the client portal streamlines client communication, resulting in more satisfied clients. “We want to make sure our clients always know what’s going on in their cases. MyCase makes it easy for our clients to logon at any time and read a document or see that they have an upcoming court date or recall what we’d talked about. They can even send us a message at 3 am!” he explains. “It really helps with communication, which is something most legal clients complain about. But because of MyCase, we’ve never had those issues. No matter what I’m doing or where I am, I can communicate with my clients via MyCase whether it’s on my computer or when I’m using the iPad app when I travel.”

The MyCase difference

Not only does MyCase benefit his clients, it also helps keep his law firm organized. By taking advantage of unlimited cloud-based storage of his firm’s documents and collaborating online using MyCase, everyone in his firm is on the same page: “Communication is key, both with clients and my staff. My work in my first career was very tech-based and when I was in Silicon Valley I realized how powerful cloud computing could be. When you have data stored in the cloud using MyCase, there are tremendous benefits, including multiple redundancies and minimal downtime,” he explains. “MyCase also helps by centralizing internal communication and task management. This keeps everyone on track, making it easy to see what was or wasn’t communicated before. Having that central location for all firm documents and communication in MyCase is key.”

One of his favorite things about MyCase? That the software is constantly being improved upon: “MyCase is always getting better. They regularly add new features and make changes to existing ones. It’s an evolving product and that’s important to me.”

Parting advice

Andrew offered this advice to recent graduates: “Don’t be afraid to ask someone for help. At the beginning, you graduate and have your license — but there’s so much you don’t know. I’m a law professor at Trinity Law School and one thing I tell my students is you don’t know everything and there’s always going to be someone who knows a little more than you do. So ask for help when you need it.”

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