LAUNCHING THIS WEBSITE HAS BEEN A DREAM OF MINE FOR MORE THAN A DECADE.
That’s right: I have wanted a website, and at several different times, have written website copy in anticipation of having one, only for it never to materialize. I have text documents, originally saved on law school hard drives, that have consistently been migrated to the newest storage option over the years, and even today are available at my fingertips: but they’ve never been used.
The site copy I wrote in Law School was drafted in preparation for use in a solo practice, but at every opportunity, there were always massive barriers to building a website for use with Law Firm 1.0, including:
- WEBSITES COST MONEY. Websites, especially when done right, are expensive. According to Web FX’s Website Calculator, this website is valued somewhere between $19,500 and $37,750 based on the:
- Number of Pages
- Style of Design
- Copywritten # of Pages
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization) with Placement Guarantee
- Responsive Design (meaning it looks fantastic across all devices)
- Database Integration
- e-Commerce Functionality
- CMS Integration
WEB FX’s Website Calculator estimates the cost of building a website based on factors that include the number of pages, design complexity, mobile responsiveness, and e-commerce functionality.
Fletcher-legal.com is estimated to be valued between $19,500 and $37,750.
To be clear: at no point during my first five years of private practice (Law Firm 1.0) did I ever have an extra $20,000 to $40,000 lying around.
On top of that, outsourcing a tech job really isn’t my style. How could I, with any sort of straight face, outsource my web design, then attempt to publish an ongoing, long-term blog based on solo and small firm technology?
Yeah sure: you’ve got Clio, Rocket Matters, Rocket Docket, all manner of neatly packaged case management systems available, but what interests me – what I want to hear about – are all the custom rigs out there.
THIS SITE IS NOW PART OF MY CUSTOM RIG: THE TECH I USE TO MANAGE MY OWN, CUSTOM-BUILT, LAW PRACTICE.
NO MAN IS AN ISLAND. The most important skill Law School taught me was the ability to teach myself any subject. The rise of YouTube and the internet has only made teaching oneself a new subject easier.
And although I invested a significant amount of time into this project: from learning WordPress, to Photoshop, and writing copy, there is no way I could have accomplished this massive feat on my own. I specifically want to thank:
MOM, DAD, PAM, GRANNY, PAPA, GINA, CARLY, NEAL, and FISHER. The opportunities I’ve been afforded throughout life, whether educational, business, or travel, come as a direct result of your hard work and even harder effort spent raising the three of us. You’ve always been there for me, even through the most difficult of times, and I cannot begin to express my gratitude for everything you’ve sacrificed on my behalf. Without you, this would never have been possible. I love you all; thank you for everything.
BRANDON. This site would never have been possible without you. I remember discussing the idea of streamlining and automating the Expungement process 18 months ago. Without you, I wouldn’t even be practicing law. I love you; I miss you every single day; and I know I’ll see you again one day soon.
CARLY. An additional “thank-you” for your hard work editing, proofreading, and enhancing the accessibility throughout this website. You and Neal and gone so far out of your way to help me through some difficult times in the past; on top of that, you’ve brought my favorite nephew into this world! I love you guys to death, and this site wouldn’t be possible without you. Sincerely: thank you so much for everything.
SPOTTY. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who believes in me as much as you do. Without your help, support, faith, and the way you build me up when I’m ready to throw in the towel, I may have given up on this project months ago. Without your help, it’s unlikely I’d be practicing law today.
Thank you so much for everything: for believing in me the way you do, for taking care of me, for your hard work organizing Law Firm 1.0 documents, and making my life a much happier place. I couldn’t imagine going on without you (and I’m convinced I won’t have to), and I’m so grateful to have you on the team! You’re an essential member; thank you for building me up; always remember: you are very loved.
TAYLOR & CHRISTY. You’ve both been essential members of this team; without the help either of you have provided, this project never would have materialized.
TAYLOR (AKA “LIL’ MAN”). I have a feeling that although this is our first project together, it will hardly be the last. Your involvement with Front-End Form Development, Back-End Data handling, and PDF management have been absolutely essential to building the dream you and I spent so much time discussing. Thank you so much, Taylor: I love you, bro. I couldn’t be more proud of the steps you’ve taken over the past few years, and the life you’re about to start with Christy.
CHRISTY. The way you’ve managed this project has been nothing short of impressive. Everything you’ve done, from outlining initial time tables, to following up with the status of each milestone, has been so important to the realization of this project, and we sincerely could not have launched this site without you. Whether you know it or not, you are very valued, and this wouldn’t have happened without you.
ZEESHAN. Through both good times and bad, you’ve always been there for me. You’ve ended up teaching me at least as much as I’ve taught you, and your enthusiasm, persistence, and optimism are nothing short of contageous. This is our year bud; you and I have many more projects in our futures. Thank you so much, for all your feedback, helping every step of the way, and an insistence that both of us succeed. Without you, this site would never have materialized. I love you like a brother, and I couldn’t have done this without you.
LIBBY (AKA “AUNT LIBBZ”). Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I distinctly remember our phone call on 11 JULY 2019, where you spent 90 minutes setting up my custom domain, creating my account at wordpress.com, and linking my new email address through Gmail. You’ve spent so much time, energy, and effort setting me up for success, that there’s simply no way this could have materialized with you.
The time you spent getting me set up, snapping pictures on a grey day and Freedom Park, and editing my headshots won’t soon be forgotten. Although this Project officially began in July, 2019, your involvement in my life began much earlier: discussing legal marketing in the basement kitchen of the Charlotte Rescue Mission.
I cannot express my gratitude having such an amazing friend, such a caring and knowledgeable adviser, and simply one of the best people I’ve ever known, on my team and in my corner. Sincerely: thank you so much for everything! I hope to one day repay the favor(s); you are extremely loved, appreciated, and valued.
JADA. It’s absolutely true that lawyers do not run law firms – paralegals do. As Law Firm 1.0 came for a close, and Law Firm 2.0 rose to take it’s place, your assistance implementing process steps, locating and restyling important forms and letters, and teaching us how to do what you do, has been so important to getting FLETCHER LEGAL off the ground.
Although we’ll never be quite as good as you (seriously, you are a master of your craft), I appreciate you taking the time to help get our systems up and running, then teaching us how to use them. Thank you for everything you’ve done, for remaining such an amazing friend, and for being such a vital team member. Without you, this project would never have moved beyond the “thinking-it-over” stage.
AARON. Thank you so much for all of your many contributions to this Project: from designing, developing, and configuring our in-house Network Systems, teaching my Server 2019, implementing our Domain Controller, and handling our security needs, you’ve done a fantastic job, and remained a crucial member of the team. Having gone through what you and I went through, I consider you one of my closest friends, and someone I can always talk to. Sincerely: thank you so much for your hard work; thank you so much for your commitment toward the success of this Project; and thank you so much for your involvement. I genuinely hope to one day repay the favor(s).
TO MY EXTENDED CREW: Friends, family, co-workers, colleagues, legal professionals, followers, subscribers, mentors, tutors, and both good, and bad, web designers: whether or not you’re aware, you’ve played critical roles in this idea becoming a reality. Without your support, encouragement, ideas, both poorly-designed, and well-designed websites, as well as your involvement, no matter how large or small, this Project would still be in the planning stages – exactly where it had remained for the past decade, before Libby’s July 11, 2019 kickoff.
SPECIAL RECOGNITION: Belongs to Adam P. at WPCrafter and Paul C. at WPTuts: collectively, you’ve taught me almost everything I know about WordPress and Web Design through your video tutorials. For the first 6 months of this project, I watched almost every video Adam had published; for the last 3, Paul helped me bring this project across the goal line with more advanced topics. If anyone reading is at all interested in designing their own website, I couldn’t recommend these two instructors more.
THANK YOU FOR MAKING THIS DREAM A REALITY AFTER TEN YEARS: You’ve all played important roles in making this dream a reality. Although there were always roadblocks prohibiting me from achieving this dream, perhaps the largest was in my own mind; never believing I’d be capable of building a full-featured website that would genuinely satisfy my requirements. Learning WordPress, and building Fletcher-Legal.com, has been one of the most interesting topics I’ve ever learned, has been extremely fulfilling, and has put another tool in my belt. Thank you all again for your contributions; I love you all, and couldn’t have done this without you.
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