Some lawyers, when asked why they chose their career path, reply that they always knew that being a lawyer was the right choice for them. Josh Camson is one of those lawyers.
He recalls knowing from a very young age that the legal field was the right path for him. He explains: “I don’t think it was ever a conscious decision–I just always knew I wanted to be a lawyer. So, in high school I participated in mock trial and continued in my university’s mock trial program. I took a few legal classes in college. I’ve always been interested in the law and always knew that this is what I wanted to do.”
So far, it’s a perfect fit–Josh finds the practice of law to be both intellectually stimulating and fulfilling.
According to Josh, his work as a criminal defense attorney allows him to help those in need while engaging in an area of practice–litigation–that is always interesting and keeps him on his toes: “I truly enjoy the experience of being in court–the battle of wits between the attorneys. But, I also find it very rewarding to assist my clients in their time of need. So, while the battle of wits is more intellectually stimulating, helping to solve my clients’ problems is more satisfying from an emotional standpoint.”
Starting a firm–once just an idea, now a reality
After graduating from law school in 2010, starting a law firm wasn’t part of his original plan. Right out of law school, he clerked for a trial court judge in Washington County, oftentimes drafting opinions for criminal cases.
He and another law clerk, Erick Rigby, would sometimes joke about starting a practice together when their clerkships ended. But neither of them took it seriously until one day, it occurred to them that it might actually be a feasible plan: “One time, over lunch, we were joking about it, as we always did. But then we realized we could really do it–we could make it happen and do a good job. So we began to research the process of starting a practice, started to save money, and then started planning, by choosing our areas of focus and creating a reasonable time line for starting our practice. And then, our judge retired, so within a month of our original time line, we opened up shop and started our firm, CamsonRigby, LLC.”
A 21st century lawyer with a 21st century practice
Starting a practice using the latest technology was a no brainer for Josh. After all, as a “Millennial” he was no stranger to technology and he understood how beneficial it could be.
So of course it’s no surprise that his law firm takes advantage of the many benefits of running a law office in the 21st century: “We’re completely paperless to the extent that a trial litigation firm can be paperless. We outsource our call management to Ruby Receptionists. We’re always mobile, since both my partner and I travel a lot–that’s one reason it’s so important to have our practice in the cloud.”
MyCase–a 21st century law practice management system for a 21st century law firm
For Josh’s firm, the decision wasn’t whether to use cloud computing in their practice, but rather–which cloud services to use. He explains that for his firm, cloud computing was the only option: “The cloud makes it easy. For example, when billing, it’s incredibly easy to bill your time and create an invoice no matter where you are. Another benefit is that the cloud makes collaboration and coordination simple. And last but not least: back up. I can’t stress how important it is to have your files backed up to multiple remote servers. In fact, I think that having only a local back up is almost negligent these days.”
His firm chose MyCase as its law practice management system after careful consideration. Josh chronicled this decision-making process at the Lawyerist blog and after trying out a number of different cloud-based law practice management systems, settled on MyCase.
The user-friendly MyCase interface makes all the difference
According to Josh, it was the user-friendly interface that won them over: “We chose MyCase because we thought that of the ‘Big 3’– Clio, MyCase, and Rocket Matter–it was the easiest to use. MyCase was the most fluid and we could use it immediately–there was no learning curve.”
In fact, the ease of use is why Josh often recommends MyCases to other lawyers: “When I’m talking to lawyer who is considering starting a firm or trying to run an existing firm more efficiently, I explain that MyCase is easy. You just create an account and you’re up and ready. It just works and everything is stored in a way that simply makes sense. Not to mention it’s the least expensive option-especially for a solo or small firm. By using MyCase instead of the competitors, we’re saving at least $250 a year which we now can spend on another aspect of our practice.”
Hanging a shingle is never easy–but it’s worth it
Josh admits that starting a law practice isn’t easy. But, he never thought it would be, since good things come with hard work. That’s why one of his favorite quotes is from “The West Wing” where Toby Ziegler, the White House Communications Director tells the President, “It’s going to be hard.” To which the President replies, “Well we will do what is hard.”
Josh explains that to him, that quote embodies the essence of the struggle of opening a law practice: “That’s what it’s all about when trying to open your own practice or being a lawyer in general–it’s not easy. And in this economy it’s tough to stay ahead. But you just have to keep doing it and keep trying. And hopefully, it’ll pay off in the long run.”