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.

Episode 34. What is the role of the law firm owner as one of the seven essential parts of a law firm? Interview #1 of 4 with RJon Robins

Posted by Dan Lear on October 20, 2021

Is law a business or is it a profession? Are law firms like other businesses? Are they different? How different? 

RJon Robins is the CEO and Founder of How To Manage a Small Law Firm, the largest provider of fractional executive (CEO, CFO, COO) services for small law firms in the country. I’ve known about How To Manage a Small Law Firm for a number of years. I first attended and spoke at one of their quarterly meetings a few years back, when I was working for Avvo. I’ve since attended a couple of other meetings and spent more time with RJon. 

 

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture


Episode 33. How can you test and deploy new technology inexpensively and securely at your small law firm? An interview with Christian Lang from Reynen Court

Posted by Dan Lear on October 13, 2021

Small law firm owners may not be familiar with the terms "docker," "container," or "Kubernetes." They may even be a bit fuzzy on the definition of “the cloud.” But most firms know that, along with significant opportunities, new technologies often present security risks, interoperability challenges (will this system work with my other systems? And/or will my staff be open to using/willing to use this tech?) and, most relevant for the Financially Legal audience, significant costs in terms of time and money to vet, test, and deploy.

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture


Episode 32. How can you get started with financial management at your law firm? An interview with Chelsea Williams from Core Solutions Group, Inc

Posted by Dan Lear on September 22, 2021

We all know the cliches and the tropes: Lawyers are terrible business people, lawyers went to law school to avoid math, law firms aren’t businesses, etc . . . . 

Many of these statements are true in some pretty fundamental ways. But they’re also really damaging. Even if we take the most mission-driven do-goodery lawyer in private practice the simple facts remain that (a) they can’t help others if they, themselves, can’t survive financially, (b) they can’t help others very well if they’re constantly scrimping, saving, cutting corners, working late, and losing sleep due to financial issues, and (c) they’ll help more people with a larger law firm.

Superaccountant-to-law-firms extraordinaire, Chelsea Williams, has the remedy. Combining her dozen-plus years of accounting experience with the eye that she’s trained on legal in the form of her company, Core Solutions Group, Inc, which provides tax, accounting and cash management services exclusively for lawyers and law firms, Chelsea’s developed a course called “Law Firm Money Mastery” that’s designed to help all small firm lawyers - but particularly those just getting started up to those with $1M in annual revenue - to not only get their financial houses in order but to help them figure out how to make the money in their law firms work for them.

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture


Episode 31. BONUS EPISODE: Does sales make you uncomfortable? A 'friendscast' episode with Jaimee Hall

Posted by Dan Lear on June 9, 2021

One of my lawyer mentors once told me “if you don’t like to sell, don’t be a CEO.” Many solo lawyers set out to make a difference or have an impact - not to be a CEO. But whether you want to call them CEOs or managing partners, or partners, or business owners - the fact remains that they are heads of their respective businesses - effectively, they are “CEOs.” And if you want to be a CEO, you need to get comfortable with selling.

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture


Episode 30: What can a law professor and his student teach you about law practice? Tyson Mutrux and Jim Hacking - Lawyer Community Miniseries - Episode #4

Posted by Dan Lear on May 25, 2021

What started as conversations between two friends - actually a law professor and his student - evolved into a movement. Maximum Lawyer boasts a 5000 member Facebook group, over 200 hours of podcast content, two sold-out conferences, a paid community, and a course to help lawyers and firms grow. Oh, and did I mention that the prof and his former student both have successful law firms in their own right? Jim Hacking, the law professor, and Tyson Mutrux, the former student, are the leaders of Maximum Lawyer. Listen on to hear how they're helping lawyers to build strong, resilient practices.

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture, Lawyer Communities


Episode 29: Are lawyers entrepreneurs? An interview with Stephanie Everett from Lawyerist - Lawyer Community Miniseries - Episode #3

Posted by Dan Lear on May 19, 2021

The founder of the Lawyerist website, Sam Glover, once told me that he started Lawyerist because he was mad at a practice management company and wanted a place to complain. He gave birth to a technology blog that’s morphed into a large and well-known online legal destination. But Lawyerist is way more than a website. Through freely available web content, its free-to-join Insider program, and the paid Lawyerist community, Lawyerist Lab, Lawyerist provides ongoing strategic and tactical advice to budding lawyer-entrepreneurs.

In this installment in our Lawyer Communities series (see a summary of the series and our broad takeaways here) we dig in to understand how all the pieces of the Lawyerist puzzle fit together and whether it’s a community you might want to be a part of.

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture, Lawyer Communities


Episode 28: Has this community of lawyers solved what's wrong with social media? An interview with Keith Lee and Jeremy Richter from LawyerSmack - Lawyer Community Miniseries - Episode #2

Posted by Dan Lear on May 12, 2021

If you’ve been even mildly paying attention over the last, well, year but even the last few years, you’ve watched as social media has become a challenging environment to navigate. And this comes from someone who is very bullish on technology in general and even social media in specific.

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture, Lawyer Communities


Episode 27: Is the key to unlocking law firm economic success between your ears? An interview with Allison Williams from Law Firm Mentor - Lawyer Community Miniseries - Episode #1

Posted by Dan Lear on May 5, 2021

Here on Financially Legal we often focus on the nuts and bolts of finance and economics but, often, the biggest obstacles to economic and business success are not financial or even business-related but mental.

In this episode, we dive in on mindset - and we’re doing it with someone who thinks about this deeply - Allison Williams is a Business Coach for Solo Law Firm Owners at Law Firm Mentor. She’s also the CEO and Founder of a multimillion-dollar law firm, the Williams Law Group.

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture, Lawyer Communities


Episode 26: Should you shift credit card fees to your clients?

Posted by Dan Lear on April 23, 2021

What if I told you there was a tool that could automatically increase your firm revenue by 1%? What about 2%? What about 3%? What about even half a percent? (if you’re not great at doing math on the fly, for a firm that grosses $1,000,000/year, one half a percent is $5000).

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture


Episode 25: Is delegation just a fancy word for "giving permission?" An interview with Lindsey Corbin from delegate.legal

Posted by Dan Lear on March 31, 2021

There’s probably no principle more important to growing and scaling a law firm than delegation. Whether it’s identifying the tasks that need to be done, teaching and coaching others to do them, or simply letting go, you’ll be hard-pressed to grow your legal business if you can’t delegate. If you’ve ever wondered how delegation might work in your firm and how to get started, this episode is for you.

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture


Episode 24: What is Zapier and what can you do with it? Host Dan Lear discusses how Zapier can extend the power of the web

Posted by Dan Lear on March 19, 2021

If you’ve ever wondered how to tie together different systems in your law practice, you need to know about Zapier.

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture


Episode 23: Can you build a law practice representing criminal defendants and abuse survivors? An interview with Judie Saunders

Posted by Dan Lear on March 3, 2021
 

Judie Saunders doesn't take the easy way.  

 

Whether you're talking about her efforts to go to law school as the child of immigrants, her chosen practice area that combines criminal defense and representation of abuse survivors, or the lengths to which she's gone to build a consumer friendly law firm using technology, Judie's all in.

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture


Episode 22: Should you build your own law practice management system? Host Dan Lear explores the frontier of law firms building custom tech

Posted by Dan Lear on February 17, 2021
 

It seems like every time you turn around some company is offering a new practice management solution. We tried to count them recently and got tired after about a dozen.

 

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture


Episode 21: SPECIAL EPISODE: What's the legal liability in this GameStop situation? And who, if anyone, is to blame? An interview with Jake Walker from Block and Leviton

Posted by Dan Lear on February 1, 2021
 

This episode of Financially Legal is a departure from our usual. Normally we talk about law, economics, and even finance as applied to the practice of law. Today, we’re talking about one specific legal issue that has some financial underpinnings. Specifically, the GameStop short squeeze.

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture


Episode 20: How do you build a “cloud-based” law firm? An interview with Tim Parlatore and Elana Bertram of Parlatore Law Group

Posted by Dan Lear on January 28, 2021
 
Read More

Topics: Firm Financials, Financially Legal Episodes


Episode 19: Should you have a law firm CFO? An interview with Kenna Valentine from the e2e

Posted by Dan Lear on December 9, 2020

“I was told there’d be no math.” It’s a common joking refrain for law students and even practicing lawyers. “I went to law school to help people,” so many lawyers tell me. But a firm needs to pay for you  - and itself - in order to keep helping people. Let’s face it: law firms are businesses. And the better a firm runs, the more people it can help. So understanding the finance and economics of a legal services business is crucial. That’s where Kenna comes in. 

Read More

Topics: Firm Financials, Financially Legal Episodes


Episode 18: How do you get started with a subscription legal services offering? An interview with Allen Rodriguez of One400

Posted by Dan Lear on October 28, 2020

Allen Rodriguez is a legal product development strategist who has been serving the legal industry for over 18 years. He’s currently the Founder and CEO of the law innovation agency One400. Before that he was the Director of Attorney Services at LegalZoom, where he helped LegalZoom figure out their, now very successful, subscription and lawyer-assisted offerings. He got his start in the legal sector running operations at the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service.  

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Subscriptions


Episode 17: How do clients decide to hire a law firm? And how can decision science help you in your practice? An interview with Nika Kabiri of Kabiri Consulting.

Posted by Dan Lear on October 15, 2020

Nika Kabiri is a JD, a PhD, a decision science consultant, teacher, and writer. If that’s not enough for you, just know she’s a rock star. Previously Nika was the Director of Strategic Insights at the online legal marketplace Avvo. Whether through market research, tireless and effective advocacy, or her amazing public speaking skills in that role Nika helped Avvo and the legal industry better understand the legal consumer.

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes


Episode 16: Could you be an outsourced general counsel? An interview with Beth Lebowitz from Auxana and Nimbus Legal

Posted by Dan Lear on September 29, 2020

Subscription-based outsourced fractional general counsel sounds like a mouthful, but it’s not really that complicated. A fixed monthly fee for part of a lawyer’s time offering business advice to a company. The examples of a variety of different types of subscription offerings in our recent five-part series on subscription legal services is all the evidence you need. Beth Lebowitz believes that this outsourced general counsel model is as good for lawyers as it is for clients. In fact, she’s so committed to it that she’s founded both a law firm, Nimbus Legal, and a marketplace/community, Auxana, around the model.

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Payment Methods ,Subscriptions


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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes


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.

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture


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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture


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). 

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Topics: Financially Legal Episodes


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.

Read More

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. 

Read More

Topics: Credit Card Fees, Financially Legal Episodes, Accounting


Let us help reduce the cost and improve the client experience associated with accepting payments.

Schedule Demo