For Angela Sigman, the law was a second career path. She began her career by working full-time at the local police department while she attended college and raised her son.
When her son turned 13, she decided she wanted to go to law school: “Sappy as it sounds I became a lawyer because I was inspired by ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ I was intrigued by the practice of law and it was something that I’d always wanted to do.”
So, she sat her son down and discussed her aspiration to become a lawyer with him. After obtaining his blessing, they moved so that she could make her dream of becoming an attorney come true. The rest, as they say, is history.
All in the family
Angela is now a sole practitioner in Florida, where her law practice, Sigman Law Firm, P.A., is focused mainly on mortgage foreclosure defense. She opened the firm in 2011 after working for 2 small Florida law firms. From the very start, her firm was family run. According to Angela, it’s one thing that sets her firm apart from others: “We’re different because we’re a family run firm. My mom started out as my office manager and now my husband is my office manager. It’s really interesting to be run by family members and to be able to work together to make the firm a success.”
It’s all about improving her clients’ lives
For Angela, one of the most rewarding aspects of being a lawyer is helping her clients through difficult times. She explains: “When I’m able to help other people, it’s all worthwhile. But my job can be frustrating at times because you can’t always help people as much as you’d like–sometimes the law gets in the way.”
Even so, she always tries to achieve the best outcomes for her clients and does everything that she can to improve their lives. She explains: “I have a picture with a quote hanging in my conference room because I think that some of my clients who are going through difficult times might be able to relate. It says: ‘Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.’”
The move to the cloud–and to MyCase
For Angela, a cloud-based law practice management solution was the only option. “I do a lot of work from outside the office,” she explains. “So it helps to have everything in one place no matter where I am, whether it’s home, court, or somewhere else. The cloud makes it possible.”
Choosing the right law practice management software was extremely important to her. As a result, she carefully explored all of her options, eventually choosing MyCase: “I did a ridiculous amount of research and was actually using Clio at first. But there were some key features that it just didn’t have. So after conducting more research, I started using MyCase.”
MyCase–it’s all about the features
And she’s never looked back. That’s because she can’t imagine running her law practice without MyCase. She explains: “It’s helped tremendously in terms of keeping everything organized. I particularly like the task manager because it helps keep things organized and saves me a ton of time. The timekeeping features are helpful as well. Being able to go to one place and get everything done–that’s the best part about MyCase.”
According to Angela, another invaluable feature is MyCase’s client portal. She couldn’t imagine her practice without it because it improves client communication immensely. ”The feedback from clients has been great in terms of communication. Also helpful is that they’re able to upload documents and share them across the system,” she says. “And from my perspective, it’s much easier to communicate using the client portal. I especially like that I can see when a client logs in. That way I know the client saw the document, which is such an improvement over email, where you never know if they received it or looked at it. And I love that they can comment on it as well, so we can go back and forth about the document and it’s all in one place.”
Advice for new solos
After running her own firm for 2 years, Angela’s learned a thing or two. When asked if she had any advice for new solos, she immediately replied: “One thing I’ve learned after opening a solo practice is that if you handle too many types of matters you can easily get overwhelmed . So I really try to narrow it down to the areas I enjoy. It helps a lot to focus on a few areas you’re really interested in because if you don’t it becomes too time consuming to work on cases that involve unfamiliar areas of law that you’ll never work on again.”
Making the world a better place
As if she didn’t already have enough on her plate, Angela has grand plans to use her law firm to help those who are less fortunate in her community. She explains that “one of my goals is to start a non-profit that is somehow connected to my firm which would help local charities by taking a percentage of our profits. I also envision holding other fund raising events through the non-profit. So that is another one of my goals–to get that going and make a positive difference in the lives of people who live in our area.”
So, it should come as no surprise that when I asked Angela how she would like to be remembered, she answered “As someone who was compassionate.” Indeed.