Mark Brenner is a people person. He enjoys spending time with others, and most importantly, he likes to help them. That’s why he began his career as a teacher, and at first, it was a good fit: “I started out as a teacher. I was teaching languages, Spanish in particular. And talking on my feet and interacting with the students–helping them to learn–was personally satisfying to me.”
Teacher by day, law student by night
But after a while, he realized that he wanted more. And, because his father was an attorney, he decided to pursue a law degree. “Although I greatly admired my father, I initially rebelled and became a teacher,” he explains. “But the reason I switched was because I couldn’t make as good of a living as I would have liked as a teacher and I wanted greater job security. So while I taught during the day, I went to night school and became a lawyer.”
The path to a solo bankruptcy practice
These days, Mark has a thriving solo bankruptcy practice in Los Angeles, California. But it wasn’t always this way. When he first started his law firm, his practice wasn’t nearly as focused.
In fact, he explains that he was the jack of all trades, something he eventually realized was a mistake–but he learned from it. “When I started my practice I took everything that came through the door,” he explains. “But I quickly learned that there are some branches of the law where the clients are never satisfied-no matter what you do or when you do it–such as family or divorce law.”
But bankruptcy law–well, according to Mark, that’s a different story: “Bankruptcy debtor work is extremely fulfilling since the percentage of clients who are happy with what you do is very high and that alone is its own reward.”
It was his second job after law school that lead him down the path to a bankruptcy practice. At the time, he was as an associate for a law firm that represented banks. Because of that position, he gained valuable experience dealing with debtors.
So when he was later presented with the opportunity to represent bankruptcy clients, he jumped at the chance. As he explains, it was a great fit and he has no regrets: “In 1986, I began to represent debtors. Ever since then, I’ve handled bankruptcy matters and it’s extremely fulfilling. My bankruptcy clients are nearly always satisfied. That makes me happy –and they refer me to others. So it’s happiness all around.”
The importance of client communication
One thing that sets Mark’s bankruptcy practice apart from others is his fluency in Spanish. According to Mark, because he is bilingual, he often represents Spanish-speaking clients: “I speak Spanish as an educated native–I read and write it well. So, I often provide services to Spanish speaking clients. In fact, 60% of my clients are Spanish speaking from either the U.S. or other countries, such as Spain, Venezuela Chile, and Equador. I also set up corporations for international clients who want to set up a business in the U.S. As a result, I rely heavily on the Internet for education, advertising and client contact.”
That’s where MyCase’s client portal comes in. “The ability to stay in contact with my clients was a big problem before MyCase,” says Mark. “In fact, in California you can actually get sanctioned by the Bar for not adequately communicating with your client. Over my 30 years of practice, I actually received a few complaints about lack of communication, all of which were resolved in my favor. That risk has been virtually eliminated with MyCase because my clients are always notified whenever I work on a case. And my clients feel validated by the notification. As a result, my index of dissatisfied clients has simply disappeared. All of my clients feel like they are my only client–and it’s all because of MyCase.”
MyCase saves time and money
Because Mark represents so many international clients, the ability to quickly and inexpensively share documents and information via the Internet is extremely important.
According to Mark, MyCase’s law practice management software makes rapid document exchange extremely easy and affordable: “I just handled a matter in Argentina and needed a client’s signature. I got it in about an hour whereas before MyCase that process would have taken two weeks. I’d receive a document, then I’d have to copy it, put in an envelope, address it, stamp it, put it in the mail, wait 3 days for client to get it, another day for the client to open it, another for the client to look at it, then another day for the client to sign and send it back, and then a few more days for it to get to me.”
More MyCase benefits: an intuitive interface and outstanding customer service
But it’s not just the client portal that sold Mark on MyCase. Mark explains that it was the easy learning curve: “MyCase is intuitive. Things just work the way you think they should. So, for example, when I tried to do billing for the first time I figured it out immediately. Unlike Time Matters, my prior practice law management system, billing in MyCase is simple.”
And for the few times when he runs into issues when using MyCase, MyCase’s second-to-none customer service has solved the problem in no time. ”The technical support is outstanding. They’re helpful, they understand my problems, and they listen to my suggestions,” he explains. “MyCase customer support representatives make me feel the way I want my clients to feel–like I’m their only user.”
A MyCase tip
And when it comes to making clients feel important, Mark suggests this unique way to utilize MyCase as part of a customer outreach initiative: “One of my favorite features is the one that allows me to send a message to all of my clients. It’s an extremely simple and affordable way to reach all of my clients. I use it much like an email newsletter to send occasional updates about what’s new in the firm or I’ll send a message if there’s an extremely interesting Supreme Court case. It’s a great way to ensure that my clients feel remembered and important. And clients who feel good will recommend more clients to you. It’s a win-win.”