How Lawyers Work: John C. Hardie, Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Lawyer and Woods Wanderer

In this week’s edition of How Lawyers Work, we hear from John C. Hardie, co-founder of Bharti Hardie, PLLC in Seattle, WA. John primarily practices in the areas of personal injury, complex injury cases, and wrongful death. 

What’s your elevator pitch?

Our clients are individuals and families who are victims of personal injury and wrongful death, and we are their advocates and guides through the process of holding responsible parties accountable.

What apps or tools are essential to your daily workflow?

I had no idea I would be operating my own law practice shortly after law school, but thankfully my partner and I have been collecting research and trial practice resources since early in our law school tenure. We have a formidable collection for such an early stage in our practice. We also have an extensive number of form documents and pleadings that we have either developed or collected from generous mentors.

We use Office 365 tools for email, word processing, cloud storage, etc. We use OneNote for case files and to store research, though we are excited to start using Filevine as our new case management system. It has great features for personal injury lawyers, along with integrations for Outlook and Slack. Our experimenting has just begun, but we are very exciting to start a more robust system of task flows, document generation, and data collection and reporting.

Also, I have been using multiple monitors for a while now, and if I had to go back to just one I would have a miserable time adjusting.

What does your workspace look like?

My law partner and I share an office in a suite, and I spend considerable time working from a home office. Although it adds to our overhead, the downtown office is nice because we have space for conferences, depositions, mediations, and arbitrations. As a former insurance company headquarters, the building is Seattle’s first art-deco style tower and a historic landmark. We are lucky to have this great office share environment alongside seasoned lawyers in offices next to us to bother, ask questions, and sometimes collaborate. Our former law professor and mentor is just down the hall!

How do you keep track of your calendars and deadlines?

As a two-lawyer firm, we keep all deadlines on each of our calendars because we work together on cases. We use Outlook calendar, and we are now implementing calendar and task features in Filevine.

What is your coffee service setup?

The office suite coffee setup is not as good as my home brew. I grind beans at home and use a French press. And you can throw a stone in just about any direction and hit a coffee shop. At the office, I like to make tea, so I will get some loose-leaf tea from a local, family-owned tea shop in Seattle’s International District.

What is one thing that you listen to, read, or watch that everyone should?

Nothing beats the simplicity of a good checklist system. That is why I like The Checklist Manifesto, by Atul Gawande. The checklist is such a simple tool, yet Dr. Gawande makes a compelling case for a disciplined and systematic use of checklists to ensure quality control in a variety of professional fields.

What is your favorite local place to network or work solo?

I save the work for the office or at home, but I meet people at a variety of places. Seattle is loaded with coffee shops, so I try to go to several different ones to meet people. I have favorites, but I also like to try new ones. There is usually a good happy hour to catch for networking.

Also, there is a restaurant in Seattle called FareStart, and it is part of a bigger organization and group of restaurants that provides job training in the food-service industry. It is a great place to eat and network, because the mission is to help people overcome poverty and homelessness.

What are three things you do without fail every day?

  1. Acknowledge how lucky I am to live and work in a place of abundant natural beauty.
  2. Play/walk with my dog
  3. Exercise or stretch

Who else would you like to see answer these questions?

John Varga, Nikhil Bavariya, Erin Lecocq, Cameron Buhl

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