Ah…. Technology!

One of the things I am trying to do in my new, soon to launch, legal practice is to make the process of asking for help a little easier. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at tools to help that process. Like any business these days, there are a ton of tools available, so I’ve been doing lots of research to find ones that work, and then building systems, using those tools. Technology is pretty amazeballz these days for this stuff.

One of my favorites is a combination of Typeform and Zapier and my practice management app, Clio. This combo permits data to be transformed from the forms to Clio, where it then automatically generates tasks, etc., for me there. For example, someone fills out a Typeform form and, via this system, Clio checks to see if it is a new or existing client, creates a new contact if needed, and generates tasks and calendars them (like “Follow up with Bob Photo tomorrow”).

This all happens through the miracle of  Zapier (I’m sure it’s pronounced “zappier” but the single p means that a should be long…drives the linguist in me nuts) which, if you don’t know it, you should. Typeform too. These tools permit integration and automation of a lot of the tasks you need to do, especially for your marketing, without effort (after setting them up, that is).

Anyway, I thought I was being all clever in having online forms right there on my website, for people to fill out and submit (user-friendly). And I was and it would have been great, except…
…the trolls found me.

Since my practice doesn’t launch until July 1, every time a form has been submitted to date (except by me or friends testing it), it has been from some troll and filled with hateful vileness. I’ve been called a psychopath, no better than a “street mugger” (I’ve never mugged a street in my life, I swear!), a delusional piece of shit, and have been told I should die several forms of horrible death, just to name a few of the goodies. Sigh.

First thing I thought was “no good deed goes unpunished,” then I got to work looking for solutions.

I’ve fixed the system now, but unfortunately it means legitimate people in need of my help will have an extra step (email) to get the links to the forms. That is frustrating for me, since I really wanted it as simple and hoop-jumping-free as possible, but it seems that wherever there is new tech, there is a troll waiting to exploit it. I trust my (potential) clients will understand.

For the rest of you, I really encourage you to explore Zapier and Textform. I think they could be great for creative pros to use to automate some of the work you have to do but hate to do.

Big News! (Well, big for me)

I’m not going to bury the lede: my new legal practice, Burns the Attorney, is launching July 1, 2016.

You can get more of the details by going to my practice’s site: burnstheattorney.com. There, you’ll find information about the kind of work I will be doing (much the same, but not entirely) and there will be longer format blog posts on legal issues there regularly. I’ve also launched a Facebook page and you can follow my tweets, too, for shorter form info, links, and the like.
(oh, and so the state bar is happy: yes, this is attorney advertising)

Anyway, the short answer is that my wonderful mentor, Carolyn E. Wright, is cutting back to spend more time with family. I wish her all the best and can never thank her enough for all she has done for me. She is wrapping up her practice and I am starting my own, so, over the next few months, I will be working two jobs in a way.

This is a ton of work, as I’m sure you all know. Setting up a new business means a thousand details and lots of money out (before hopefully getting money in–ha!), but it is exciting. I know I’m incredibly lucky to get to do what I love for people I want to serve. I have friends who have to drag themselves to their jobs every day–I don’t have that problem. I love what I do, even when it occasionally drives me a bit nuts. I also hope that I can work in more portfolio/website reviews and other non-legal consulting (I miss doing that) under the good ol’ Burns Auto Parts roof, but my focus remains on being the best lawyer I can be, for artists.

Please share my news, especially the links to the Burns the Attorney site/FB/Twitter, with all of your creative friends. I hope to work with artists of all kinds, not just photographers, so that more of you can get the help you need to protect your rights, your art, and to be successful in your creative businesses.