Allen Landerman didn’t start out as a lawyer. Instead, he began his career as a civil and mechanical engineer. It was only while working as an engineer designing offshore oil and gas lines that Allen realized it was time for a career change.
He wanted something more. So he decided to enroll in law school at night. After the first two semesters, he realized that the law was his calling and graduated seven semesters later, while working full time at his engineering job.
Time for a change
When he graduated from law school, he decided to focus on business law and litigation, including construction and intellectual property law, since, as he explains, it was a good fit with his engineering background: “When I graduated I knew that wanted to work in areas that combined the analytical skills from my engineering experience with my law degree–so business law, trial work and intellectual property were a natural choice.”
At first, Allen gained experience working as an associate for a small law firm in Dallas, Texas and later founded a law firm with a few other Dallas attorneys. After another lateral move to a different firm, he eventually made the decision to start a solo law practice. And, then, in early 2011 he founded his current law firm, Allen Landerman, P.C.
Managing his practice in the Cloud
It wasn’t an easy decision to go solo–and it wasn’t a simple process to start a new firm from scratch. Allen quickly realized that in order to efficiently operate his new firm he needed to invest in a robust law practice management platform. The difficulty was finding the right one for his needs.
After some research, he determined that a cloud-based system made the most sense: “I wanted a cloud-based law practice management system since I needed the flexibility to be able to access cases from anywhere. And, I wanted wanted my practice management system to be easily expandable.”
MyCase customer service made all the difference
It took Allen a while to test out the different options available. And, as he explains, he wasn’t always impressed by the choices available: “Given my engineering background, I was used to functional software and had high expectations. I tried out three of MyCase’s major competitors and was disappointed by their interfaces and their unwillingness to respond to my feedback. I tried to get them to make modifications to fit the way I practice, and every single one of them said ‘Maybe we’ll get to it but we’re not sure when.'”
And then, in March 2011, he discovered MyCase. He liked what he saw, but thought there was room for improvement. So he called customer service to offer his feedback: “I had a few issues, so I called tech support and talked to Alex. I suggested that there should be more than one line in the description boxes in time entries. Alex told me ‘Ok, one second.’ Then he came back to phone and said ‘Try it now.’ I did, and lo and behold they’d fixed it while I was talking to him! Ever since then, Alex and I have had a number of philosophical discussions about what MyCase is supposed to do and how it could be made better–and they’ve taken my suggestions to heart and added them to their in the program. MyCase’s tech support is so tremendous I’ve never needed to look any further.”
Allen has never questioned the security of his data stored with MyCase. As he explains, he has absolute confidence in the security measures taken to protect his files: “As an engineer, I understand what MyCase has done to protect my data and I’m 100 percent comfortable with the security measures taken by MyCase. I’m so confident in MyCase that it has never been a concern of mine.”
Variety is the spice of his practice
The ease of managing his practice with MyCase has made it easy for Allen to focus on doing what he loves: practicing law. For Allen, one of the joys of solo practice is that he can pick and choose the cases he handles. As a solo, he can focus on the areas of law that most interest him, including trademark matters, trade secrets, covenants not to compete, and copyright cases. Allen explains that its the sheer variety of cases that keeps things interesting for him: “Every day I’m doing something different. I never wanted to have a traffic ticket, divorce, or PI mill. I’ve always wanted to have a wide range of cases.”
Advice for young lawyers
Of course, starting a solo practice hasn’t been easy. And MyCase is just a tool to help simplify his practice. But no technology or tool can replace good old fashioned experience.
So, for young lawyers, Allen advises that practice makes perfect: “Unfortunately there’s no manual for the practice of law. You can read books about taking depositions or trying cases, but it’s entirely different to do it than to read about it. Law school deosn’t prepare you to be a lawyer, so the only way to become a really good lawyer is to gain experience first. Don’t look for shortcuts–get experience and eventually the skills you learn will be second nature to you.”