Hey there, I’m Ernie...
...a New Orleans lawyer who went from burned out to blissful—by using technology to create a simpler and more enjoyable way of practicing law.
After I did this, fellow lawyers wanted to know how they could do this too, so I showed them. At first, it was one or two folks, then a dozen and soon a whole lot more.
Many lawyers say my best advice is in my private emails, which you can sign up for right here. When you do, I’ll give you a list of key recommendations for streamlining your law practice.
Let’s be realistic....
Technology alone is not going to create a thriving law practice. Of course, ignoring it or using it haphazardly (as many lawyers do) is not a good idea either.
Some lawyers dismiss technology because they find it too frustrating. Some lawyers are flat out intimidated by it.
I empathize with those lawyers. But, I know (from my vast experience) that anyone can have success with it—even so-called dinosaur lawyers.
Because here’s the thing...
Using technology isn’t rocket science
I’m sure you’ve already come to realize that a lot of tech options that “seem like a good idea” in theory turn out to be not so great in practice.
The key to success lies in understanding the tradeoffs.
Because that’s how you figure out what's best for your specific situation. (And what you should avoid wasting time or money on)
So if you want to learn how to use technology sensibly and strategically (which includes getting a better handle on the important tradeoffs), start here.
And also check out...
Below are some of my most popular articles for using technology effectively...
- How a Paperless Law Practice May Be Right for You (ABA article)
- Understand the tradeoffs, or else (blog post)
- Law-Tech Bloviators to Avoid (if you want to use technology sensibly and strategically)
- How to Do Effective Low-Cost Marketing By Email (podcast episode)
- The Twelve Automation Essentials (podcast episode)
- The Secret of Successful Virtual Assistance (podcast episode)
- Why Creating Systems is Hard and How to Make it Easier (podcast episode)
- How To Protect Your Law Firm’s Passwords (blog post)
Maybe you're wondering exactly how I learned to use technology, and if so here's...
When I was first trying to figure out how to use technology in my practice I was a partner in a big law firm handling complex commercial litigation matters.
No one at the firm cared about technology (surprise, surprise!). They didn’t care much about efficiency either (since that meant fewer billable hours).
But, in the late 1990s, our corporate clients started getting pickier about their bills. It was obvious that the clients cared about efficiency.
It was also clear that computers were starting to enable new kinds of mind-boggling efficiency (via automation etc.).
It dawned on me that this kind of efficiency was not only good for clients. It was also good for lawyers—especially ones like me who wanted to practice in a more enjoyable way.
I realized that I couldn’t convince my partners to embrace computers so I decided to leave and go out on my own. Naturally, I was afraid I’d fail and have to return to a big firm practice to make the money I was used to making.
But my fears turned out to be misplaced.
Using technology in a strategic way, I built a practice that succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.
I developed a paperless practice that allowed me to handle those complex business cases completely by myself (i.e. no secretaries or paralegals).
Because all of my documents were stored digitally on my laptop...
I was able to work from anywhere, such as small coffee shops, airplanes cruising at 30,000 feet, and sailboats bobbing in shallow waters near small islands nestled in the Caribbean Sea.
Yeah, it was pretty cool.
I used affordable automation and outsourcing to reduce my overhead in crazy ways.
I got a steady flow of great clients using a $40 website that turbocharged my referral marketing system. All of which allowed me to confidently turn away any prospective clients who were high-maintenance or who seemed troublesome in even the slightest way.
I had more free time and my life was completely flexible—I could work as much as I wanted when I wanted and where I wanted.
That's my definition of a blissful practice. A veritable dream come true.
The Key Element
Now, as I said earlier, technology alone isn’t a silver bullet.
The key to transforming your practice isn’t machinery or software, it’s actually people. Mostly, people who'll support your efforts to build a better practice.
I didn’t get the support I needed at my big firm so I had to leave —to find it elsewhere. And, so here's...
My Best Advice
Find people who truly understand your aspirations, and —more importantly— who’ve proven they can help you build the kind of practice you truly want.
And...if you're looking for that kind of help, here’s the first step you should take.