Stephen Shepard’s law firm, The Law Office of Stephen P. Shepard, LLC, isn’t your typical criminal defense firm. For Stephen, practicing law is all about providing exceptional client service from the very start of a case. That’s why his firm has four core values: client-centered representation, resourceful advocacy, affordable representation, and comprehensive service.
A client-focused practice
He explains that providing his clients with the best possible representation, both legally and from a client service perspective, is the key to satisfied clients: “My firm embraces the client-centered model of representation. What that means is that I avoid the dictation method of representation–where the attorney basically says this is your case, this is what we’re going to do, and this is how we’re going to do it. Whereas with the client-centered model I work with my clients to meet their needs and concerns. I use a collaborative approach to figure out what they want to do and what they need to accomplish.”
Hanging his shingle
For Stephen, it’s all about helping his clients make the best of a bad situation and providing them with a collaborative, satisfying experience.That’s why he founded his law firm with the goal of providing the best client-centered representation possible. It’s just one of the many ways he provides uniquely tailored legal services while setting his firm apart from the competition.
“I help people who may have made a mistake. My goal is to help my clients get their lives in order while providing them with the best criminal defense possible,” he explains. “I developed a passion for criminal defense while interning prior to passing the bar and serving as a volunteer attorney after having passed the bar for the Maryland Office of the Public Defender. So when I started my own firm, I wanted to take the core values and mission of the PD’s office and privatize it. So, as part of my firm’s four core values, my goal is to provide superior legal services at a reasonable and affordable rate while still allowing me to stay in business.”
MyCase makes it possible
According to Stephen, MyCase is at the heart of his firm’s client-centered focus: “Client-centered representation is the most important thing about my law office and it’s the reason MyCase is so important to my office.”
His firm’s client-centric approach is evident in every stage of representation, from the very first phone call to the very last meeting.”When you call my office you get me, not a administrative assistant, since I give all clients my personal cell phone number and they can call 24/7. As soon as I’m retained, I hold a pretrial strategy session either in the office, on the phone, or via Skype. We talk about the case, what the client is looking to achieve, and how we can make that happen.”
He continues, “An open line of communication is incredibly important.That’s why the client portal is so integral to my office. It allows the collaboration that client-centered representation requires and helps me keep my clients informed about what’s going on and what court dates are coming up.”
MyCase: the only choice
After conducting exhaustive research and testing the practice management software programs available, Stephen chose MyCase. “I sampled every LPM solution I could find—cloud-based and server-based. As soon as I tried MyCase, it felt like the perfect fit and was at the top of my list after using it for only a few minutes,” he explains. “It was easier to use, had multiple components in one solution, and also had customization options that allowed me to tailor it to do exactly what I needed.”
Not only was it intuitive and user-friendly, it had the right features for his practice: “It immediately struck me as being particularly useful for criminal defense lawyers. Clio is more of a general practice platform and tries to cater to everyone, but seems too generic to me. MyCase, on the other hand, was similar to the case management system I used at the PD’s office and it felt like the perfect fit. MyCase seamlessly integrated with what I needed it to do.”
MyCase also offers a convenience that is unsurpassed–for both Stephen and his clients. “With MyCase clients can access information from any device, not just online. That really attracted me to MyCase because of the client-centered focus of my firm,” he explains. “I appreciate the mobility of MyCase, too. I can use it in my office on my computer, in court in my iPad or iPhone, or when I’m at home. The customer support is great as well. The bottom line: It’s the best LPM system out there.”
When I asked Stephen if he had any parting words for other lawyers, he replied:”Don’t be afraid to take risks and identify and follow your passions in life. If you do that, you’ll find your career will make you happy in the long run!”