Michael A. Morgan and José J. Cumbas, Morgan & Cumbas
With enough capital to last them about two weeks, Michael A. Morgan and José J. Cumbas didn’t have much when they first started their practice in 2016. But with a passion for doing everything they can for their clients, the two have built a word-of-mouth reputation that in two short years has grown their client base by over 2,000 percent, earning them the recognition as one of San Antonio’s preeminent immigration firms.
From the time they first met, Michael and José knew they were going to open a legal practice together. It wasn’t long before they started working out of Michael’s small two-bedroom apartment, helping every client they met as best they could.
“We had a laptop, a phone, and a lot of hope,” says José, who not too long before came to Texas to earn a better life for his family in Puerto Rico.
“Caring, caring, caring,” is what it all comes down to for José, who’s had more than 3,000 consultations over the past two and a half years. “There’s a perception in the United States that you’re not going to get a lawyer on the phone, or you’re not going to be able to talk directly to your lawyer, unless you’ve got a hundred dollar bill in your hand. And then the clock starts, and you’ve got ten minutes. Many lawyers will charge to have a conversation and then, sadly, say there’s nothing they can do.”
“We always offer that initial evaluation for free, and for 85 percent of the people we speak with, we actually decline with an explanation of why they don’t have a case,” says José.
By being honest and caring in every interaction, Morgan & Cumbas have steadily built a strong reputation among everyone they meet. “We just go wherever we’re needed. If there’s a guy calling from Houston or Louisiana, we just hop in a car and go. That’s how the name, the reputation, has spread.”
Managing detailed relationships
Michael and José started using Clio very early on in their practice, and it’s given them the ability to take every case and contact detail with them wherever they go, which is essential when they need to be on a plane or travel long distances to meet a client in need.
“The mobile aspect of Clio is critical,” says Michael. “We need to be able to go anywhere, and we’re travelling all the time.”
Centralizing all of their firm information means that anyone at the practice can reference the documents and notes in a case for a client.
“If you want to maintain those personal relationships,” says Michael, “anyone has to be able to pick up the case and know exactly what is going on, and to be able to communicate with the client or the client’s family as if they’ve known each other for a lifetime.”
Keeping detailed records on every client is especially important when not every contact follows up in a timely matter. “We had one client we were ready to take on,” says José, “but whether he had financial reasons or wanted to do it on his own, he waited. When he contacted us three months later to represent him, the fact that we could go into Clio and have his documents ready was extremely useful, and he appreciated that we remembered exactly who he was.”
To keep everyone on task at their firm, Michael and José also use Clio task management features to assign work to staff and to ensure nothing gets missed. “The fact that it tells us who did what and when is amazing.” Having everyone focused on what needs to get done means that clients always receive the best care possible.
Client appreciation goes a long way
The personal touch goes a long way in every client interaction for Michael and José. “I answer every call every day to every client that calls me, and they care about that. They want to know that you actually care about their family members,” says Michael. “We have a solid reputation for caring and reuniting families because of that, and it’s a really amazing thing.”
Being able to stay connected through Clio helps Michael and José be their for their clients, and the result is that more and more people and their families look to them for help when they need it.