A MyCase Practice:
P. Jayson Thibodaux, Washington Civil Practice Attorney

Some lawyers were born to be solos and some simply end up as solos. P. Jayson Thibodaux is one of the former. For Jayson, a sense of autonomy has always been key for him, so practicing law as a solo lawyer was the obvious choice from the very start. As he explains, “I’ve always wanted to work in a profession where I had control over my own work and the ability to work for myself.”

The path to a solo practice

Jayson decided to switch careers when he was in his early 30s and attended law school as a non-traditional student. It’s a decision he made after careful consideration and and as a result, it’s one he has never regretted.

When he entered law school, he’d already decided that he wanted to open a solo practice upon graduating, since autonomy was such a big priority for him. “I’m a solo attorney currently, and I’m a solo attorney by choice,” he says. “When I started law school in my early 30s as a second career, I knew I wanted to work for myself when I graduated. I started my law firm in 2008 as a general practitioner and my firm currently focuses on civil law with mix of family law.”

The path to MyCase

One of the key decisions he made after starting his solo practice was choosing the right law practice management software for his law firm. He decided that cloud-based software was the right choice since 24/7 access to his law firm’s information was imperative. “As a solo, I needed to be able to access my information no matter where I was.” He continues, “The ability to use different computers and devices to access my firm’s information was very important to me because I use a few different computers and when your law firm’s data is stored online, in order to access it, all you need is an Internet connection.”

After throughly researching his options, he chose MyCase. According to Jayson, it was the right fit for his firm. “I looked at many of the programs out there and chose MyCase because of its features and price. I was seeking billing software when I started using it. Before MyCase, I used to type out each of my bills individually, which was time consuming and inefficient. So I knew that I needed time-tracking and the ability to invoice. Everything else came from that,” he explains. “The easy-to-use billing features in MyCase are a big deal. Invoicing with MyCase has made my billing process so much easier and I save hours each month using MyCase compared to how I used to do it. And even better, MyCase integrates with Quickbooks.”

So Jayson found the perfect time-tracking and billing solution for his law firm. And then he discovered that he’d stumbled on software that did more than streamline his firm’s billing processes – it made him a better, more responsive lawyer: “Even though all I was looking for at the time was billing and time-tracking, what I also got that I didn’t even realize I needed was the ability for clients to share documents and communicate with me.”

The path to happy clients

After using MyCase with his clients, Jayson found that the client portal feature was a great selling point and resulted in happier, more informed clients. “Clients really seem to like MyCase. It lends itself to professionalism, since sophisticated clients want the ability to see everything in one central location. Legal consumers are used to accessing information online and expect that convenience from service providers whether it’s their doctor, utility, or lawyer,” he says. “They want to be able to go online and see their invoices, case status, etc. The client portal gives them that option, making it easy for them to communicate and share documents with me.”

According to Jayson, his clients also appreciate the encrypted communication provided by MyCase and the ability to avoid the security issues posed by email. “I have clients who choose to use the portal instead of email, so that their communications with me are secure and confidential. ” He continues, “They prefer to avoid their regular email inbox, which is inherently unsecure. And from my perspective, it helps to have clients upload documents into MyCase so I can easily retrieve and review them no matter where I am.”

Another feature that his clients appreciate is the ability to receive invoices and make payments through MyCase. “The time-tracking and invoicing are great features, as is the built-in payment processing function,” he says. “Clients like to pay online, so it’s handy to have the ability to let clients pay via check or credit card online. And the payments system automatically accounts for trust account issue by ensuring that the fees come out of the operating account only.”

Parting advice

As a long-time solo, Jayson has the following advice for other lawyers thinking of making the leap and hanging a shingle: “Take advantage of low-cost practice management software so you can focus your time on other activities. MyCase solves a bunch of problem for me and the pricing is reasonable. If I wasn’t using MyCase it would mean I would have to devote countless hours each week doing administrative things I don’t really want to do. Legal practice management software is a must-have because it streamlines your practice. By increasing your efficiency, you will have more time to work on building your law firm, practicing law, and representing clients.”

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