Dan Lear

Patron saint to misfit lawyers

Financially Legal is a twice-monthly podcast with accompanying articles on the financial aspects of the business of law. Host, Dan Lear, talks with law firm leaders, academics, business professionals and thought leaders to provide compelling and provocative insights at the intersection of finance, economics, and law.

Dan Lear

Dan Lear
Patron saint to misfit lawyers
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Recent Posts

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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Topics: Firm Financials, Business of Law


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


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


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


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, Gravity Legal News


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


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


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, Business of Law


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


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


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 expand upon many of the topics we cover in our 5-part series about subscription legal services (which includes a number of shout-outs to Jon) and 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


Three Things I Learned from the HTM Coronavirus Growth Symposium and Why You Should Attend

Posted by Dan Lear on April 6, 2020

Starting back on March 23, RJon Robins of How To Manage a Small Law Firm held a series of free daily phone conversations with lawyers  in response to the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. RJon was his typically direct but his message was hopeful: there is opportunity out there for lawyers and law firms .

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Topics: Firm Financials, Business of Law, Gravity Legal News


Episode 3: Why do trust accounts even exist? And why should we care?

Posted by Dan Lear on March 25, 2020

We get nerdy this episode talking accounting, trust accounting, and regulatory jazz with Lainie Hammond.  Lainie runs a law firm in Washington State helping lawyers with issues related to IOLTA trust account compliance.

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Topics: Firm Financials, Financially Legal Episodes, IOLTA


Five Ways to Shore Up Your Law Firm's Finances Now

Posted by Dan Lear on March 23, 2020

Our lives and livelihoods have changed dramatically over the last two weeks. We’re all hopeful for a swift and significant rebound, but proactive measures will carry the day. Action in crisis can provide a feeling of purpose and normalcy amidst the potentially overwhelming uncertainty. It can also be the difference between going under and thriving.    

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Topics: Firm Financials, Credit Card Fees, Business of Law


Episode 2: The Agile Attorney

Posted by Dan Lear on February 29, 2020

Today, we're excited to have a conversation with John E. Grant, the Agile Attorney. John is a compelling thinker when it comes to law firm economics, law firm efficiency, and law firm productivity. 

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Topics: Firm Financials, Financially Legal Episodes, Key Performance Metrics


Episode 1: Intro to Financially Legal

Posted by Dan Lear on February 29, 2020

Welcome to the very first episode of Financially Legal, with your host, Dan Lear, head of partnerships and marketing at Gravity Legal. 

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Topics: Firm Financials, Financially Legal Episodes


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