When I asked Lawrence, Kansas bankruptcy attorney Jonathan Becker what he’d like to accomplish over the next 10 years, he answered “Keep on keepin’ on.”
And, that was it. It was a simple, somewhat wry reply. And, as I soon learned, it summed up the essence of who he is–a straight forward, thoughtful, unassuming guy–with a passion for fixing his clients’ lives.
Words of wisdom
Not surprisingly, Jonathan is just as honest and forthright with his bankruptcy clients as he was with me. He told me that when he first meets his clients, he often offers this advice: “When you’re in a hole the first thing you do is stop digging.” Because he understands that they’re in dire straits, feeling hopeless and at the end of their rope.
In fact, that’s what truly motivates Jonathan. He explains that helping his clients understand that they have options is one of the most gratifying parts of his job: “I get to help people out of financial messes. They come to me falling apart left and right and it’s really gratifying to be able to tell them that the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t an oncomng train.”
An innovative solo practice grounded in technology
Jonathan started out practicing bankruptcy law with a small boutique firm, eventually ending up as a solo practitioner with a practice focused on bankruptcy matters. It’s been over 24 years now, and he still loves what he does, in part, because technology makes it easier than ever to automate processes and stay on top of his practice.
Jonathan wisely recognizes that technology has had a dramatic impact on the legal field. For that reason, one of his primary focuses in recent years has been to integrate technology into his law practice: “We really worked hard over the last 3 or 4 years to automate so many of the firm’s processes because, over the last 20 years, a paradigm shift has occurred in the practice of law.”
Doing so has benefited his firm in many ways. Not only does the effective use of new technologies reduce his costs, it also increases his mobility and flexibility, allowing him to monitor and manage his law practice, no matter where he may be: “Automating functions make it so that I no longer have to be at the office 24/7. I can see what’s going on from my house and can ensure that things are getting done electronically. Interestingly, I rarely send letters anymore. In fact. I gave my postage meter back to the post office over a year ago.”
MyCase makes it possible
Cloud computing is one of the technologies that makes it possible for Jonathan to manage his practice no matter where he is. As he explains, he moved his firm to the cloud after experiencing a near data-loss disaster: “We had a fire here at our office that was right next door–they dumped water on that property for 3 days and ended up flooding every piece of property in the neighborhood. I was at least able to grab an external drive that was up to date and was able to operate from home but since that time I’ve been manic about back up. Having Amazon technology via MyCase reduced my need for multiple back ups and I can now assure my clients that their data is safe.”
For Jonathan’s firm, MyCase was the obvious choice. After carefully researching his options, he was won over by the intuitive MyCase interface: “I tried a bunch of the leading cloud law practice management programs. The others had a steep learning curve which was daunting. With one of the others, I was 3 weeks into the process and hadn’t even loaded my data into the system and was still trying to figure out their software. But with MyCase–it’s easy. It uses graphic icons so the learning process was simple. I could tell right away what I needed to to do accomplish my goals.”
The MyCase client portal is a favorite feature for both Jonathan and his clients. It facilitates secure, convenient communication and is a true time saver: “The client portal has greatly helped with client communication. Clients are very comfortable because they know communications are encrypted and aren’t sent over unsecure servers, bouncing around all over the place. In fact, we’re even considering dropping a phone line because we use the phone so much less now that clients are using the MyCase portal.”
But, as Jonathan explains, the client portal isn’t the only time saving feature. As a result of using MyCase’s document management system, his firm has automated its processes, greatly reducing both costs and time spent managing paperwork: “Before MyCase I’d spend 2 hours of day managing paperwork. I’d get a document from the bankruptcy court and would then send it on to the client. To do so I had to print it out, get an envelope, draft a letter explaining it, stick a stamp on it and drop it in the mail, not knowing when it would be delivered. Then the client would then call days later with questions about it. Now, I get an electronic document from the bankruptcy court, upload it into MyCase docs, give it an understandable title and then notify the client. MyCase has simplified the process so what used to take a few hours now takes 20 minutes.”
Food for thought
As you might notice, Jonathan was quite verbose when it came to MyCase and technology. But, unassuming guy that he is, he reverted to his succinct, simple replies whenever I tried to coax out a bit of self-flattery from him. So, when I asked how he hoped to be remembered–what legacy he like to leave behind–I wasn’t at all surprised when he replied: “I would hope that when people come and visit me at my grave they won’t jump up and down on my bones.”