Lawyer Spotlight: Q&A With Attorney Robyn Brody

Note: LeanLaw loves Robyn as a lawyer and as a lean practitioner. We were very excited, when, we learned, after this blog was posted, she was running for the Idaho Supreme Court. At the same time, we serve many lawyers in the State of Idaho and don’t think it’s appropriate for us to endorse candidates in judicial races. So the long and short of it is this blog post has lots of interesting information about Robyn but is not an endorsement.

Lawyers Are Heroes! Meet General Practice Attorney Robyn Brody

Robyn Brody is a general practice attorney based in Rupert, Idaho and the recipient of the Idaho State Bar’s Professionalism Award for 2014. She graduated from the University of Denver in 1997 with a law degree and a masters degree in international business. She is a recent convert to Lean Practice methodology.

What is your area of practice?

I have what I would consider to be a diverse general practice. I do quite a bit of litigation, but I also have a number of closely held businesses that I serve. I handle their real estate transactions, contracts, and general needs. Many of them have been with me as long as I’ve been in practice — quickly approaching 20 years.

What made you want to be a lawyer in the first place?

My dad drove home the idea that having access to the law is critical. I love being able to provide people with that.

What would you like operating overhead as a percentage of revenue to be?

If I could get it to somewhere around 25%, that would make me happy.

How were you introduced to the idea of Lean?

Working on a case that involved heavy, heavy engineering and use of science experts introduced me to a web based practice. Working with them forced me to become more tech savvy because that’s how they worked. It brought me into their workflow and it made a lot of sense. Everything we did was electronic. I didn’t realize the time piece and the monetary savings that was created by doing things digitally. Just the postage savings alone in the case were astronomical. You’re talking about a case with probably 12 different parties. Every mailing, even if it was just a page in an envelope, would be six dollars. And then the paper and stuffing envelopes or worrying about stamps.com. This case helped me figure out how to run my practice digitally. Now faxes come to my telephone. They don’t sit in a tray waiting for someone to walk by and pick them up. If there’s an emergency, I can send a client a document from my telephone while standing in line at Disneyland with my kids.

So, why did you need LeanLaw services?

Well, I met Jonathon [Jonathon Fishman, Chief Services Officer, LeanLaw] at an Idaho Trial Lawyer’s conference. I was initially drawn to LeanLaw because I recognized that I have a hard time capturing all of my time, and I loved the idea of finding a software to help me do that. I realized in an instant that Jonathan speaks lawyer. He knows how I practice and he understands my work. He also does a lot more than market software. The first thing that he asked was, “What are the tools that you’re using and how are they working?” When we got to talking he helped me realize that I needed to make some hard choices about the hardware that I was using and basically made me confront the issues. And the good thing was for every decision that I had to make, he gave me two or three solid options. And he always gave me a recommendation as to which one he thought was best.

What was the most important decision you made?

There were two. First, I had a laptop computer that I used mightily that had broken. I made the decision to buy a Mac. I absolutely hated it, so I was still using my broken computer. Jonathon said to me, “You’ve got to get this Mac up and running and into your system and why aren’t you doing it?” I told him because I hate it. And he said, “You’ve got to get rid of it. I don’t care that you spent $2000 on it. Consider that tuition. It’s not how you work.” He was right. He helped me buy the hardware I needed.

Second, he convinced me to move my office to a cloud-based system. When I was working with engineers and science experts I started using Box.com. Jonathon showed me I was only using a very small part of Box.com’s capacity. He told me that if I used the rest of it, that could change my entire practice. He also helped me to reduce my overall contract with Box and was able to lop off almost $75 to $100 a month on the bill with Box. By moving to a cloud-based system, Jonathan got everything in sync, so my desktop syncs with my laptop that syncs with my home computer. And having everything synced and having immediate access to all of my files from anywhere that I’m at is absolutely key.

What’s the most valuable thing you do for your clients?

Probably the most important thing I can do for them is to listen and be available when they need me, which sometimes means 9 o’clock at night or 1:30 in the morning or on the weekends. I try to communicate that I’m available and that I’ll make myself available. The most important thing for a lawyer is that you have to build relationships with people such that they want you in their foxhole. Whenever there’s a problem that comes up, you want to be the first person they think of for help. That’s how you create business loyalty – you’re the first person they think of.

What’s your favorite place to be?

Right at home. No place better.

What is something your clients would never guess about you?

I have owned two Ford Pintos. My father has often joked that the world would be a better place if we all drove Ford Pintos. My first Pinto had a short in the radio. Every time I hit a bump the fuse would blow. I kept a glove box full of fuses.

What was the last great book you read for pleasure?

I read a kids’ version of Gilgamesh with my sons. They loved the epic tale. LeanLaw believes that lawyers are heroes, critical to the rule of law in a free society. You can find out more about hero lawyer Robyn Brody, go to Brody Law Office. If you know a heroic lawyer whom we should spotlight, please let us know in the comments below.

Join the LeanLaw Movement!

If you’re interested in learning more about the Lean Law Movement, give me a call or shoot me an email. I started LeanLaw with the mission that every lawyer should have a lean practice.

Gary Allen, Founder and Practicing Attorney

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