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With the Help of Cloud Tech, Attorney Rich Harris Takes His Practice Virtual


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Rich Harris is an insurance and injury lawyer in Southern California. Before practicing law, he worked for many years in the insurance industry – as an agent, a claims representative and an adjuster – so he knows insurers’ practices inside and out.It was because Rich spent so much time working for and with insurance companies that he decided to pursue a career in plaintiff law. He saw the difficulty that insurance policyholders had in bringing their claims to court, and he launched his own practice in 2004 with the goal of changing the way the system works.

Rich’s venture into insurance and injury law proved successful, and his firm grew rapidly. By 2006, Rich had several attorneys and paralegals working under him.

Then the 2007 economic crisis hit Southern California hard, and Rich saw in the years that followed a significant slowdown in his business. Faced with circumstances beyond his control, he had to make some tough choices.

Rich realized that mobility was a major area of growth in his practice. He was spending much of his time on the road meeting with clients – the area of California he serves, known as the Inland Empire, is vast – and it occurred to him in 2011 that his firm’s physical office was unnecessary. He opted to make his practice fully virtual – a decision that has ended up benefiting both Rich and the people he serves.

Today, Rich operates five satellite offices around the Inland Empire. When he’s not consulting with clients in those offices or visiting them at their houses, he works from home. And he’s committed to being completely reachable, regardless of his location. In this, he reports, RingCentral has been essential.

Rich’s firm uses RingCentral’s auto attendant to screen out telemarketing calls. Legitimate calls, meanwhile, are easily forwarded to Rich’s cell or a paralegal.

RingCentral’s Android app is another linchpin of Rich’s mobile strategy. Dialing out with the app allows Rich to protect his personal cell phone number, while still having the ability to run his business from the road.

“I can be mobile from anywhere,” Rich says. “RingCentral solves a lot of problems.”

Because Rich has made clients’ needs his first priority, he loves the connectivity that his RingCentral service provides. And, he’s happy to report, it’s much better fit for his client-centered practice than a conventional phone system.

“The old way of doing things,” he notes, “is insane compared to this.”

Originally published Aug 13, 2012, updated Aug 07, 2020

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