Washington Lawyer - May 2017 - 12

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

Technology & Productivity

IT'S ALL
ABOUT VALUE
By Jeffery Leon

What do you have planned for this year's
Practice 360º?

Tosha Francis

I've hosted several talks [before] for the Law
Practice Management Section of the D.C. Bar, and
I've become known for technology and utilizing
it to become more productive. I run a virtual law
practice, and I get a lot of questions from attorneys on what to use in their practice and how
to adopt new things. For this year's Practice 360º
session, my plan is to go deeper and explain the
different pieces of technology that I use to
practice virtually, the different options offered,
and to practice some demos to show the
audience how I use them.

Why is it important for lawyers to adapt
to new technology?

N

akia Gray is an attorney
who embraces technology,
running a virtual firm that
handles business law,
entertainment law, copyright law,
and more. On May 19 Gray will present
the session "21st Century Law Firm
Model" at the D.C. Bar's third annual
Practice 360º | A Day for Lawyers
& Law Firms. Gray shares with
Washington Lawyer how she became
a tech-driven attorney and why it's
important for lawyers to adopt
technology in their practices.
12

WASHINGTON LAWYER

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MAY 2017

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I think that as lawyers, we have struggled a bit
with advanced technology and how to utilize it in
our practices. How we make money is really based
on our productivity, since our clients are paying us
by the hour, so the more efficient and productive
we can be and the quicker we can get things
done, the better. And by utilizing technology, the
better we can serve our clients. A lot of the time
we have an assistant or paralegal on payroll, and
they could be doing things that are a little more
billable and we can let tech handle some of those
non-billable tasks. I know for myself those are two
ways that technology has made me more productive and freed up my time for working on clients'
cases, which impacts my bottom line. Using
modern technology in my practice has helped
me not spend time on tasks that don't add value
to my client or the practice.

How did you end up opening a virtual
law practice?
The funny thing is, I kind of fell into it. I was a
litigator for eight years and I was just completely

burned out and ready to take a break from
law. At the time, I was in a master's program in
Strategic Communication at American University;
I went back to school to learn more about the
Internet and how people were using it. I ended
up doing an online course for online businesses.
Initially, when I enrolled in that course I had no
idea what my online business was going to be,
but I wanted to start an Internet business because
I wanted freedom and to be able to work from
anywhere. While in that course I realized that a lot
of the entrepreneurs in that class with me had a
lot of major legal questions and legal issues they
didn't have the answers to, and being the only
lawyer in the room I received a lot of questions.
It hit me that I could be a lawyer for these people,
online! I started doing research into virtual practices and I applied a lot of the tools and resources
I saw my clients use that are not necessarily typical
in the legal space. I have a blend of legal and
standard programs that accountants, consultants,
and other professionals use that I've adopted in
my practice.

What is the one thing you would like to say
to attorneys attending your session?
I start every presentation off with this and I'll
mention it here: Be open! Be open to change.
Not everything will work for you, but if you
approach it with an open mind, it will be useful.
I hope attorneys will be open to embracing
new techniques.

Read more about this year's
Practice 360º program at
dcbar.org/Practice360.


http://www.dcbar.org/Practice360 http://www.dcbar.org

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