Financially Legal

Announcing the Gravity Legal + Clio Integration

Posted by Dan Lear on September 18, 2020

We're very pleased to announce that Gravity Legal now integrates with Clio, the premier cloud-based law practice management system. Through the Gravity Legal Clio integration you get all of the features you love from Gravity Legal with the power, integrated ecosystem, ease of use, and flexibility of the Clio Manage platform.

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Topics: Clio Integration

Webinar: What's your law practice worth?

Posted by Dan Lear on September 17, 2020

A couple of weeks back we worked with Tom Lenfestey from the Law Practice Exchange to develop a simple calculator to help legal professionals to estimate the value of their legal practice.  We launched the calculator in conjunction with an episode of our Financially Legal podcast in which I interviewed Tom and discussed the whys and hows of law practice valuation as well as buying and selling practices. 

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Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture

Episode 15: Can you do that with your law practice? An interview with Megan Zavieh of Zavieh Law and Lawyers Gone Ethical

Posted by Dan Lear on September 16, 2020

Lawyers can usually think of lots of possible reasons why trying something new in their practice is “against the rules.” Megan Zavieh is a California state bar defense attorney (who lives in Georgia!) and she’s not messing around. Instead, she’s launching a subscription legal services offering, cheering regulatory changes related to non-lawyer ownership and breaking down the rules around shifting credit card processing fees to clients or selling your law practice. Megan’s got some great takes on all of this plus how to run an ethical, forward-looking firm in the time of COVID and beyond.

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Topics: Financially Legal Episodes

Episode 14: How do you sell a law practice? An interview with Tom Lenfestey from the Law Practice Exchange

Posted by Dan Lear on September 2, 2020

It’s common for dentists or doctors to sell their practices but far less common for lawyers to do so. And a Zillow-like marketplace for law practices? Forget about it. And yet, that’s just what Tom Lenfestey is doing. Tom has built his business, The Law Practice Exchange, to increase liquidity in a market for law practices and evangelize the buying and selling of law practices as a legitimate option for the development, growth, and conclusion of a lawyer’s professional efforts. Tom has some valuable tips to prepare your practice for sale, how to get the most out of a sale, how to find a buyer, and much more.

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Topics: Financially Legal Episodes

What's your law practice worth?

Posted by Dan Lear on September 2, 2020


TLDR: Just skip the nonsense and give me a link to the law practice valuation calculator.


A few years ago I was trying to figure out what to do with my legal career.  I met with a friend and mentor for whose firm I'd worked during law school. Perhaps sensing my trepidation about the future this close-to-retirement lawyer said "I'll give you my practice." 

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Topics: Business and Culture

Episode 13.5: How do clients wish you talked about money? A mini-podcast with Gravity Legal’s own Emery Wager

Posted by Dan Lear on August 28, 2020

Our recent podcast on how lawyers talk to clients about money inspired Gravity Legal’s own Emery Wager to think about how lawyers had talked to him about money. A client of many lawyers at Gravity Payments (our parent company), Emery came up with a list of five things he wishes lawyers would do when they talk to clients about money. We dig in on this mini-episode of Financially Legal.

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Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture

How should lawyers think about money? The experts weigh in

Posted by Dan Lear on August 21, 2020

Listeners and readers have been pretty interested in our recent podcast on how lawyers talk to clients about money and our recent blog post about how one client (and Gravity Legal team member) wishes lawyers talked to them about money. So, we decided to ask the experts how lawyers should talk to clients about money.

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Lawyers Putting Clients On Payment Plans

Posted by Emery Wager on August 21, 2020

This is a guest post by divorce attorney and firm owner, Russell Knight, of Chicago, Illinois 

Almost all lawyers have a retainer or a large initial payment for legal services. Lawyers and clients enter into engagement agreements which specify how that retainer or payment is to be accounted for. Specifically, the money will be applied towards the lawyer’s hourly billing or specifically itemized tasks.

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Topics: Firm Financials

Episode 13: Is there an ideal size for a law firm? And what, if anything, does that have to do with the online legal gig economy? An interview with Greg Garman from LAWCLERK

Posted by Dan Lear on August 19, 2020

Greg Garman is a busy man. One of the founders of a 20 person law firm in Las Vegas, Greg is also the co-founder and CEO of LAWCLERK, an online marketplace for freelance legal help. In this episode, Greg shared some great insights on how and why he thinks right around 20 lawyers is the sweet spot for a small law firm.

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Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture

From the Client's Perspective: How I Wish My Lawyer Would Talk about Money

Posted by Emery Wager on August 7, 2020

I’ve put it off all week, but the time has come. I need to pay our law firm. They do great work and have helped protect our company during difficult times. But paying their bill is not a pleasurable experience.

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Topics: Firm Financials, Business and Culture

Episode 12: How do you talk to clients about money? Eight mini-interviews with lawyers across the country about a crucial law practice conversation.

Posted by Dan Lear on August 5, 2020

Conventional wisdom is that there are really only two reasons that marriages end: sex and money. Sex with a client is frowned on and talking about it - except, perhaps as a part of the representation - is probably not a great idea. However, conversations with clients about money can be some of the most important conversations you have with them.

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Topics: Firm Financials, Financially Legal Episodes

Unconventional Tools for Unconventional Times

Posted by Jose J Garcia on July 24, 2020

I've had the luxury of being a member of interview panels for many entry level positions and I absolutely love it. If you set the right tone, ask the right questions, and make sure everyone is comfortable, you end up partaking in a great discourse as opposed to just slamming someone with questions. Because these entry level candidates just want a chance to prove themselves, you end up speaking with a number of creative and clever people. Inevitably the same question pops up in some form or another; "What are you looking for in a hire?"

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Topics: Business and Culture

Episode 11: Can you build a sustainable values-based law firm and offer services to clients at an affordable rate? An interview with Jacqueline Horani from Legally Unconventional

Posted by Dan Lear on July 22, 2020

Jacqueline Horani is a lawyer engaged in integrative consulting and plain language law in New York City. Inspired by the integrative law movement, Jacqueline is building a practice around conscious contracting, which focuses on identifying and integrating the parties’ values directly into the contracting process.

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Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture

How to Boost Your Collection Rate

Posted by Emery Wager on July 15, 2020

Collection rate is defined as the revenue you actually collect into your operating bank account divided by the total amount invoiced. Typical collection rates for law firms are around 85%, but they vary markedly by firm. Increasing your collection rate is a great way to earn more without actually doing any additional work. 

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Topics: Firm Financials, Key Performance Metrics, IOLTA

Incubating The Future

Posted by Dan Lear on July 11, 2020
A lot of people talk about the “access to justice” gap. In 2007 Fred Rooney decided to do something about it. Applying lessons he’d learned helping a network of lawyers in New York build businesses to represent the poor and moderate means clients, Rooney created the first law firm incubator at CUNY School of Law. 
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Topics: Business and Culture

In Support of Civil Rights

Posted by Jose J Garcia on July 8, 2020

In times like these we tend to turn to philosophers, poets, musicians, writers and artists for comfort and direction - wise minds that always have an answer for the trickiest of situations and the most uncertain of times. More specifically, Bob Dylan's "The Time They Are A-Changin'" seems more relevant now than ever.

Your old road is rapidly agin'

Please get out of the new one

If you can't lend your hand

For the times they are a-changin'

We at Gravity Legal, while in full support of racial equity and civil rights, have taken a moment to reflect on what we could do to make a meaningful impact. We feel that stating our support accomplishes far less than action. Epictetus stated, "Don't explain your philosophy. Embody it." 

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Topics: Credit Card Fees, Civil Rights

Episode 10: What is the role of civil rights attorneys in the fight to rectify civil injustice? An interview with Geri Green and Cynthia Chandler

Posted by Dan Lear on July 8, 2020

Geri Green and Cynthia Chandler have been fighting for marginalized individuals both in and out of courts for decades. In this episode of Financially Legal we talk about how and why, according to the 2019 Clio Trends report, civil rights attorneys bill for so little of their work (20% - the lowest of any practice area) and collect so little of what they bill (80% - third lowest). 

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Topics: Financially Legal Episodes

Dan Talks Law Firm Finances, Company Culture and More with Mark Homer of GNGF

Posted by Emery Wager on June 27, 2020

Dan Lear was recently interviewed by Mark Homer of legal marketing firm GNGF. Dan and Mark dove into many different topics including: 

  • Company culture
  • A $70,000 minimum wage
  • The Gravity Legal platform
  • Law firm finance
  • Alternative fee structures
  • Expectations of the modern consumer of legal services
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Topics: Firm Financials, Key Performance Metrics, IOLTA, Accounting, Business and Culture

Gravity Legal's Dan Lear and Emery Wager Featured on Martindale-Avvo's Legal Tech Event

Posted by Emery Wager on June 26, 2020

This week Dan Lear and Emery Wager joined Erin Levine of Hello Divorce and Liam Moriarty of Lawgood to talk the future Legal Tech. 

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Topics: Firm Financials, Key Performance Metrics, Business and Culture

Episode 9: A legal “plan?” What does that even mean? And why would you sell one to contractors? An interview with Seth Bloom from Levelset

Posted by Dan Lear on June 24, 2020

Seth Bloom is the Sr. Director of Attorney Services at Levelset. If you’re not familiar with Levelset, it’s a company that helps all kinds of contractors, but particularly those in the construction space get paid and focus on what they like to do. It’s most relevant for legal professionals because those contractors often file, manage, and – when things go south - litigate liens. Enter Seth and the network of attorneys he’s building to help those construction professionals sort all of that out; but Seth's story doesn’t start there.

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Topics: Financially Legal Episodes

Episode 8: Can you balance work and life? Should you even try? Is there anyone out there who can help you? An interview with Erin Giglia from Montage Legal Group

Posted by Dan Lear on June 10, 2020

Erin Giglia is the Co-Owner of Montage Legal Group. As you’ll hear, Montage was founded more than a decade ago to exploit a “gap in the marketplace between freelancers and law firms.” Since then the model that Erin and her co-founder Laurie established has been emulated, adapted and admired by firms and freelance legal business across the legal sector.

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Topics: Financially Legal Episodes

Simple Strategies To Cashflow Success For Your Law Firm (even during COVID)

Posted by Emery Wager on May 30, 2020

Written By Devon Thurtle Anderson, CEO of Financial Consulting Firm, Skepsis

When I first left my law practice to become a law firm bookkeeper and financial strategist, I was shocked to discover how many law firms struggle with cashflow.  Even more surprising was that this struggle isn’t just limited to a few seemingly rag-tag solo general practice firms.  To the contrary, when I had a chance to look under the hood at dozens of law firms’ books and financial records – including law firms I had always seen as hugely successful – I learned that almost every law firm has a cashflow problem within any given 12-month period.  So, as part of my bookkeeping and consulting services, I set out to change that.

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Topics: Firm Financials, Credit Card Fees, Key Performance Metrics, IOLTA, Accounting, Invoices

Is Your Firm Ready for Re-entry?

Posted by Dan Lear on May 29, 2020

Back in March I shared three things that I learned from the Small Law Firm Coronavirus Growth Symposium put on by How to Manage a Small Law Firm. At that time, when uncertainty and fear about our current predicament were at its peak, the content of the Growth Symposium offered a powerful reminder to stay positive and focused.

As the country begins, at least in some quarters, to open back up the good people from How To Manage a Small Law Firm are back with another program titled (in a very on-brand way) How to Not Screw Up Your Law Office’s Re-Entry.

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Topics: Business and Culture

Episode 7: How do you “show up” for your clients? And what does a premium subscription have to do with that? An interview with Kim Bennett from K. Bennett Law

Posted by Dan Lear on May 27, 2020

Kim Bennett got burned by hourly billing. She lost a bunch of money and, having come up as a young lawyer in a corporate, in-house role, the model didn’t make sense to her. One day she pitched a client on a recurring monthly fee and, to her surprise, they accepted. That’s right, we’re talking subscriptions again. But where the guest from our last subscription-based law practice, Jon Tobin, uses subscriptions in more of a "one-to-many" way, helping lots of clients with a specific set of offerings, Kim has fewer what she calls “premium” subscriptions and they include more comprehensive, regular work with the clients.

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Topics: Credit Card Fees, Financially Legal Episodes, Accounting

The Most Important Things Lawyers Can Do in the Wake of COVID-19

Posted by Emery Wager on May 15, 2020

By Dan Price

This article was originally published on the Attorney Action Club

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the already terrible inequality we have in the United States. Prior to the outbreak, income inequality was the highest it had been in fifty years. Now, with more than 30 million people unemployed, it’s likely to get even higher for the foreseeable future.

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Topics: Business and Culture

Two Ways Law Firms Can Reduce the Cost of Accepting Credit Cards

Posted by Emery Wager on May 15, 2020

Credit cards are a great way to get paid more quickly. The Clio trends report shows that firms who accept credit cards get paid 39% faster than those that don't. 

But credit cards are expensive. For invoice or trust payments where the client enters the card, rather than swiping or dipping, the cost generally hovers around 3%. Furthermore, credit cards are not the only way to provide a high-quality online payment experience.  

Shopping around for better rates can save you a few tenths of a percent, but here are two changes you can make to drastically reduce card fees while still getting the benefit of speedy payments. 

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Topics: Firm Financials, Credit Card Fees

Episode 6: An episode about accounting? Really? An interview with Chelsea Williams from Core Solutions Group, Inc.

Posted by Dan Lear on May 13, 2020

I know you didn’t go to law school to manage financials or be an accountant, but it turns out that your ability to successfully support and represent your clients is contingent upon running a sound business. And Chelsea Williams, founder and head of Core Solutions Group, is dropping some wisdom about how to manage your firm’s finances so that you can worry less about money and more about your clients. 

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Topics: Credit Card Fees, Financially Legal Episodes, Accounting

4 Steps to Effective A/R Management

Posted by Emery Wager on May 2, 2020

Managing accounts receivable is important when times are good. But when times are tough, how effectively firms turn accounts receivable into cash can be the difference between going under and thriving.

Expert law firm financial consultant, Chelsea Williams of Core Solutions Group has an excellent video outlining four tips for effective accounts receivable management. Below is a summary, but we highly recommend checking out the video.

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Topics: Firm Financials, Key Performance Metrics

Episode 5: Can you sell legal services by subscription? Should you? An interview with Jon Tobin from Counsel for Creators

Posted by Dan Lear on April 29, 2020

Subscriptions services for a law-firm? It might be what your clients are looking for.

Jon Tobin is running one of the most innovative law firms you’ve never heard of. Counsel For Creators is an LA-based law firm for creatives and entrepreneurs that sells a subscription to clients. In this episode of Financially Legal we talk with Jon about the inspiration behind his subscription legal services plan, how he made it a reality, how (amazingly) it’s morphing into a profitable, self-sustaining community, how he calls his clients members and what’s next for his bold firm.  

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Topics: Credit Card Fees, Financially Legal Episodes

Episode 4: Can one small company change the world? Can one small law firm? An interview with Dan Price

Posted by Dan Lear on April 14, 2020

Dan Price is a big deal. Full stop. And we got him on the podcast!

Dan is the i
nspirational CEO of Gravity Payments. In 2015 Dan raised the salaries of each of his employees at Gravity Payments to $70,000 annually and, in doing so, he became an overnight business celebrity. He’s been on the Today Show, been interviewed by Trevor Noah, and keynoted hundreds of business conferences around the world. He breaks down how he thinks about company culture, why Gravity Payments is investing in Gravity Legal, and how he thinks lawyers can change the world.

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Topics: Credit Card Fees, Financially Legal Episodes

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Decoding the Finance of Law

Financially Legal is a twice-monthly podcast on the finance and economics of entrepreneurial law firms and lawyering. Host, Dan Lear, talks with law firm leaders, academics, business professionals (both in and outside of law) and thought leaders to provide compelling and provocative content at the intersection of finance, economics, and law. 

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