Thomas Orr isn’t one of those people who always knew he wanted to be an attorney. But, as he explains, once he started down that path, it turned out to be a perfect fit: “I got a degree in sociology and it turns out there were no sociology stores that were hiring,” he laughs.
“Fortunately, I’ve always been drawn to problem solving. I was originally planning to work in the criminal justice system as a probation officer but decided that wouldn’t be a great fit. So I did what I thought would be the next best thing–I went to law school, and I’m really glad that I did. Because as I lawyer I get to solve problems and at the same time help folks who have serious issues get from very difficult and very stressful situations in their lives back to a point where they can move on with their lives.”
Solo by choice
He wasn’t always a solo attorney, though. He began his career as a prosecutor and then moved on to municipal regulatory work for the county. It was a great way to start his career, but he eventually realized that it was time for a change.
That’s when he decided to hang a shingle: “I got tired of working for the city, especially when there was no room for advancement. So, in 2000 I went out on my own as a solo and developed my practice with a focus on land use and regulations, landlord and tenant and property law, and family law.”
Cloudy out of necessity
For Thomas’ solo practice, a paperless office simply made sense, both practically and economically. And moving his law practice to the cloud was the best way to reap the benefits of a paperless office. “I decided to go paperless when it became clear to me that I no longer wanted to have to store boxes and boxes of paper at the close of a case. So now, although I still have a paper file when the case is open, one of my goals is that once it’s over, I’d like to return the original documents to my clients and then shred the rest and maintain our files in the cloud,” he explains.
“Another factor that convinced me to move my practice to the cloud was that I wanted a law practice management system that made it easy for my clients to view and access case-related information, including documents. My clients love this because they can see what’s going on with their case anytime, day or night.”
MyCase makes it possible
When Thomas made the decision to move to the cloud, he carefully researched the market, narrowed down his choices, and then test drove the different platforms in order to see which ones worked best for his practice. According to Thomas, the choice was clear–MyCase bested the competition: “I tested the top 3 leading web-based law practice management systems. I chose MyCase because it was the most user-friendly and intuitive program out there.”
For Thomas, the billing system and the quick learning curve were major selling points: “One of the biggest headaches I had as a solo was tracking my hours, billing them, and managing my trust account. I knew I needed a program that was easy to understand and use and one that wouldn’t take me forever to learn. MyCase fit the bill—and its trust accounting and invoicing tools are incredible features that I couldn’t live without.”
Practical advice for future solos
Thomas has no regrets about hanging a shingle. For him, it was the perfect choice. When asked if he had advice for other lawyers thinking about going solo he advised: “It’s not an easy thing to be a solo, but if you come to work and do a good job, you can make a pretty good living at it. I wish I’d known that it wasn’t so hard to take that first step. Had I known that, I’d have done it a lot sooner. The first step was the hardest. But it’s manageable and if you take it in little steps, anyone can do it. ”