In the #HipCounsel Spotlight – Justie Nicol, Owner of Nicol Law Offices, LLC In Interview With High Performance Counsel
Client Perspective Series
Who are you and what is your role? How did you end up in (or a customer of) the legal business?
I am Justie Nicol, and I own Nicol Law Offices, LLC. I wanted to be a lawyer when I was in grade school, and I was never much good at taking direction, so solo-practice was always the goal for me! My whole career was gearing up to run my own practice, including an undergrad in accounting (who knew THAT would be so helpful!).
Tell us a bit about the organization you’re part of – paint a picture for our audience.
I am the only employee of NLO, although I have a squadron of contractors that I deploy to help me deal with the day-to-day aspects of running a business. I use Smith.ai for reception, Noelle Hollar (firstname.lastname@example.org) for contract paralegal work, and Knowlton Ventures, LLC (email@example.com) for content for the blog. I know Noelle from our time working together in previous jobs, and she just rolled out her own contract paralegal business working remotely for me and a few others here in Colorado. Natalie and I went to law school together, and I would never trust writing such detailed content to a non-lawyer (she knows the rules of ethics regarding attorney advertising because she IS AN ATTORNEY).
What does your typical day look like?
I usually spend the early morning hours checking email and social media feeds while getting my toddler son ready for school. Then, after dropping him off, I will return to my home office for some back-office work (think bills and bookkeeping). Then, off to court in one of any number of counties throughout Northeastern Colorado (thank goodness for Bluetooth!). Then, home to work files up with to-do lists—yeah bullet journal!—or post a blog post. I also manage a large commercial property portfolio for my family in my “spare time.”
In your words, describe your experience of using Smith.ai– from your perspective. How does it help you and your organization?
I use Smith.ai as remote receptionists for my firm and as a chat service on my website. Having real, live people answering the phone has made a huge difference in the volume of my practice, and I’m all about the technology-driven approach. I can focus on my clients without interruptions from sales calls and spammers, yet I remain in the loop when I’m in court or a meeting thanks to their text summaries. They’re a total time-saver for a solopreneur like me.
What advice would you offer others facing similar circumstances?
Take advantage of those who have tried, failed, and tried again before their successes. You don’t have to recreate the wheel. Network with others to find what works, what doesn’t, and give a few things a try before you settle on your go-to solution. Managing a business, especially a law firm, takes patience and your practice will evolve over time. Nothing will happen fast; patience, grasshopper, patience!
Attorney & Solopreneur at Nicol Law Offices, LLC
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