I recently celebrated my ten-year anniversary with Haber Law. Looking back, it is remarkable how different the practice of law is and how much our firm has grown.
Here are ten changes I’ve noticed:
- We have grown from two attorneys (David Haber and David Podein) to 11. By this summer, we’ll have 12.
- Back then, we shared a small office lease downtown. Now, we own our entire office building in Wynwood.
- Unbelievably, email was actually not the primary method of written communication. Pleadings, contracts and letters mostly arrived via the daily mail and fax. We met in Haber’s office, reviewed the incoming mail and distributed work and assignments based on what came in that day.
- Blackberry was the king of mobile work/business devices. The iPhone was not viewed as a serious work device because it did not have a physical keyboard.
- Text messages back then from a client were unheard of. Today, texts arrive on an hourly basis
- Electronically signed documents were not even a thought, let alone the standard procedure that it has turned into today.
- The economy took a nosedive, and our local bird — the construction crane — had practically become extinct. We experienced an uptick in creditor representations and distressed real estate and loan transactions.
- Today, we have expanded our practice to include an entire real estate department handling residential and commercial real estate transactions, real estate finance, and title insurance and closing services.
- When I started at Haber Law, social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, were for personal use. To see a law firm using it for marketing and advertising was unheard of. Today, you can find our company on Facebook, Linkedin and YouTube.
- When we started, it was unthinkable to run an entire practice from home. Sure, we took work home at times, but it was standard to work from the office, especially when we had to meet in Haber’s office each morning to review physical company mail and distribute work. Today, virtual law offices are on the rise.
As for the next 10 years, I see so many changes emerging that will tremendously affect the law practice in the future. I see the practice moving in two directions — further toward complex matters and high-end services and closer to online, on-demand flat fee legal services, “smart” forms, and other technologies. I’m also hoping that our “smart” devices and email providers become smarter and respond on behalf of us to routine matters requested by verified sources.
David Podein is a partner with Haber Law. He concentrates his practice in the areas of real estate and construction law, condominium and community association representation, commercial leasing, secured financing, and business and commercial litigation. A substantial portion of Mr. Podein’s practice involves representation of community associations in the financing, approvals, and contract negotiation for multi-million dollar capital improvement, repair, and/or building upgrade projects.