Beth Maclean of Timeless Legal Network joins Steve Major to talk about building a Timeless Practice.
Beth MacLean was a corporate attorney who worked in private equity and mergers & acquisitions before becoming disillusioned with the industry. Next, she opened her own law firm, growing to a team of 25 people. Later seeking to make a true difference, she started the Timeless Legal Network, to help attorneys change the way they do business. She is both Canadian and Australian, residing in Sydney.
After law school, Beth took a job at a large firm. Her customers were banks and corporations, represented on the other side by big law firms. Her instruction was to craft a contract with an upfront payment and a series of payments to follow. The catch was to avoid the additional payments through technicalities. She got a call from someone who was not a lawyer. She told the gentleman that he needed a lawyer to review the document before the deadline at midnight. Her heart sunk because she knew the impact the deal would have on his business.When the deal closed, she quit her job, telling her superiors that she wanted to help the little guy avoid “them.
Beth then started her law firm to try to help customers become more successful and avoid the pitfalls. The firm did not work out due to her naive perspective. She created Roadmap based on a legal and financial due diligence checklist for the sale of a company. Roadmap helps customers address the items in those checklists to better understand how to avoid the pitfalls. After she created Roadmap, customers would ask, “Can you do this on a retainer?” She would then create a fixed fee, based on a number of hours – the billable hour in drag. She continued to see businesses fail to be proactive about their legal issues, so she stopped practicing law.
Then Beth met Paul Dunn who recommended the book Firm of the Future. This led to Beth’s realisation of the future which led to the creation of Timeless Legal Network.
85% of business owners don’t go to a lawyer because of perception of costs. The success of the Ford Motor company in Henry Fords day was that the average person who worked for Ford could afford to buy the cars. But for instance solo law firm owners could not afford their own services.
The lawyer should be helping business owners build the future value of the business.
Lawyers – need to embrace technologies.
Lawyers are uncomfortable with the value conversation and need structure. Roadmap takes a customer through 15 different areas of law and helps them identify needs. The customer is happy to answer the questions because they want to talk about their businesses. The lawyer needs to give the customer information in context, and then ask questions.
Where are you now and where do you want to go in your business? Too many lawyers just ask about the legal issues but the Timeless Roadmap changes focus from solving legal problems towards legal risk management.
The timesheet is the real killer. Nobody goes to law school to complete a timesheet. The timesheet shifts from the focus on justice toward being competitive on billable hour. Rather the focus should be on collaboration to generate the outcomes for the client.
Timeless pricing and utilising the Roadmap will enable the lawyer work with a customer to build the future value of the firm.
Website – www.timelesslegalnetwork.com