Griffin Hamersky LLP: Staying Mobile with MyCase
Number of Attorneys
Years Using MyCase
Griffin Hamersky LLP
New York, NY
Time Tracking, Billing
A Bit of Backstory
Michael Hamersky approaches the practice of law as way to represent the underdog. An only child who grew up in a one-bedroom apartment in Astoria, Queens to an Italian mother and an American father, Michael has always identified with being the "little guy." According to Hamersky, he went to law school because he believed "the best way to help the underdog was to go into law."
Hamersky began practicing law in 2007 right before the financial crash, working in Biglaw. Reminiscing on his time in law school, Hamersky recalls he was an "effortless student", but he was wholly unprepared for the shocking time commitment a career in corporate law entailed. He fully realized how exhausting work at a large firm was when he was working on the Chrysler and GM bankruptcies in 2009. The nonstop work and lengthy hours quickly led him to realize this was a career path that was conducive to the future that he envisioned for himself. The lack of control over his hours and schedule convinced him he needed to venture out on his own.
Hamersky admits he was nervous about heading out on his own, but he was stable financially thanks to the years spent in Biglaw. With his trusted partner, Scott Griffin, they formed Griffin Hamersky LLP, a restructuring boutique firm in New York City. To his surprise, success came early for their bankruptcy boutique. Within their first month, they were chosen as lead counsel to guide the Columbia House brand through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Based on Griffin Hamersky LLP's legal advice, Columbia House sold assets to a 3rd party bidder who plans to "relaunch the brand as a vinyl subscription service." With successes like these during the early days of their law firm, Hamersky admits that he "expected a larger rough patch than what resulted." His advice to lawyers who venture out on their own like he did is that they should have "low expectations but irrational confidence."
In Search of Efficient and Streamlined Law Practice Management Software
While Griffin Hamersky LLP has succeeded almost from Day One, Hamersky says that choosing the right law practice management was a big part of their success story. Hamersky did his research, admitting that when it came to searching for the ideal law practice management software, he shopped around "a lot." One of the initial reasons Hamersky felt drawn to MyCase was that the software was cost-effective, providing one of the lowest price points he found.
The fact that all of our attorneys can access MyCase, no matter where they are, is a really big benefit to our practice.
But the cost savings alone is not what led Hamersky to choose MyCase. Hamersky's favorite feature was its web-based access which makes the software accessible from anywhere. Hamersky's firm prides itself on adaptability and the ability to serve clients on the go. Hamersky says "the fact that all of our attorneys can access the same MyCase portal, no matter where they are, is a really big benefit for us."
Why is this flexibility so important? According to Hamersky, a common misconception about practicing law is that attorneys are necessarily tied down to their desk. Hamersky relates that he spends time practicing law at the beach, the office, and at home. He also spends time traveling to clients and representing his clients in bankruptcy court. Due to the nature of his busy bankruptcy practice, he's always on the move and MyCase helps him stay productive no matter where he finds himself.
MyCase Improves Timekeeping and Billing
Since starting Griffin Hamersky LLP in May of 2015, the firm uses MyCase exclusively "for all timekeeping and billing." Hamersky finds that, ironically, the "most challenging cases we deal with as a small shop" involve small businesses and smaller creditors. "$10,000 in legal fees is a lot more significant to a Mom and Pop business than one million dollars in legal fees is to Columbia House." MyCase has proved invaluable in these smaller cases when Hamersky's law firm must be conscious about what they are billing.
Hamersky recalls a specific example when they were representing an individual creditor who was concerned about his bills during the bankruptcy proceedings. As such, the client wanted real-time billing updates from Hamersky's law firm indicating how much he was spending. Hamersky recalls how easy MyCase made it for their client to get the updates he needed. With relative ease, Hamersky "was able to generate MyCase reports shared via email" that let their client know how much the firm's fees were costing him.
MyCase Helps Law Firms Follow Through on Their Goals
Hamersky is excited about his law firm's growth possibilities in New York City, a city that he expresses a fond appreciation for thanks to Broadway, sports, the live music scene, and its world-renowned restaurants. Recently, the law firm expanded by hiring David Smith, an attorney who focuses on Chapter 5 avoidance actions. This new addition to the team along with the firm's recent move to the Graybar building at 420 Lexington Avenue are compelling examples of the firm's continued expansion.
Hamersky believes his law firm is a success because, while both he and his partner are strong-willed entrepreneurs, their skills complement each other. While his partner is deal-oriented, Hamersky describes himself as "more litigation based." Between the two of them and the recent addition in David Smith, their skills and practice areas pave the groundwork for a successful legal practice.
We like MyCase not only for its price point, but for it’s web-based access.
MyCase is with them each step of the way to make the process easier. By his own admission, Hamersky "relies on technology to a fault." He finds that dealing with e-documents is far more practical and efficient because the documents are easier to locate and obtaining the documents is faster. He compares the burdensome task of downloading hundreds of papers with the ability to easily download PDFs and read them on the subway during his daily commute. This ease of use and efficiency makes him a huge "advocate of paperless law." Hamersky jokes that for the cost it takes for clients to pay for printing out binders of information for a hearing, they could literally buy the judge an iPad.
Hamersky's firm does not have the redundancies of the big firm model where four or five lawyers touch a document. At his firm, the need for cost-effective efficiency means that it's impossible for lawyers to waste time in this manner. By removing the need for this type of expensive redundancy, MyCase gives them the ability to represent clients in a more streamlined, affordable fashion.