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Letter from the President May 2005

5/2/05

Fellow NOSSCR members, my staff and I decided to start this newsletter with the idea of keeping you informed about issues concerning our office and information important to those practicing in the areas of social security disability and workers' compensation. Crocodile Consulting, LLC. was started with the idea of helping practitioners in these areas cope with the increase in caseloads and stress that has become inherent in the practice of law. I named the company Crocodile Consulting and added the tag line "Survival of the Fittest" for two reasons. The first reflects the crocodile's incredible range of survival mechanisms that has allowed it to survive mostly unchanged for millions of years. We developed our software to help firms do the same, "survive and thrive", not only as a practice, but as individuals. The second deals with "Survival of the Fittest", which to means the ability to survive and thrive in today's competitive environment. This competitive environment includes not only the general pace of life today, but specifically in the practice of law.

As attorneys and advocates, you act and deal with many of the same issues as performers. You are judged by each client on how you performed, you must perform repeatedly, and always the expectation is that you must perform successfully. If you are not successful, you will not earn a penny in the practice of social security disability and workers' compensation. The demands are two fold; gain new clients and win their cases. Attorney's who bill by the hour only have to get new clients and then do the work, payment is not dependent upon a totally successful outcome. This dual pressure adds stress to the job, which is not always relieved by the praise of a happy client who has finally received the benefits to which they were due.

Having managed a successful law practice with three offices for over ten years, whose practice was split between social security disability and workers' compensation I knew first hand about the difficulties faced and the solutions to those difficulties. It was for this reason that I originally had the concept of developing two software programs to deal with the heavy caseloads. My objectives were multiple in scope. The main objective was to develop a program that would allow the attorneys to track clients all the way through the appeals process. This is critical because attorneys and advocates cannot continue to be successful and free of malpractice suits if they are not on top of deadlines for their clients. When one's caseload exceeds 50 active cases, it is not possible to remember the status of each client.

The second objective was to automate as many of the repetitive tasks within the office as possible. These mainly consist of printing out the various forms required to be filed on behalf of each client, the various cover and contact letters to SSA and the Workers' Compensation boards, and ordering medical records. Each of these tasks needs to be done multiple times for each client and when these tasks are automated is saves a tremendous amount of time and eliminates errors. Furthermore, it reduces the stress on the staff because their workloads become more manageable.

The third objective was to provide the attorney/advocates and owner/managers a system to give them immediate access to the management information needed to manage a firm effectively. I developed reports that provide the information they need to know concerning the success of the firm; how many new cases they take each month and year, the number of cases won, lost or dropped each month and year, the success rate before each judge, the referral source for new clients, plus many other reports on all aspects of the practice.


Well, until next time, enjoy the newsletter, and most of all enjoy your practice.

Sincerely,
Leonard Caldwell

© 2005 Leonard R. Caldwell, II