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 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.

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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.

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


Law Practice in Six Words - Announcing our Integration with Matter365

Posted by Dan Lear on May 14, 2021

I’ve been working in legal technology for a while. I’ve been thinking about it for even longer than that. And I worked at Microsoft before that. And, if there’s one thing that I know about lawyers - even today - it’s that Lawyers. Love. Microsoft Office. Practice management systems come and go, accounting software ebbs and flows, some lawyers try document automation. But just about every lawyer and law firm uses Office.

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Topics: Business of Law, Confido Legal News


Dan Lear Talks Subscription Legal on Five Star Counsel Podcast

Posted by Emery Wager on May 14, 2021

Subscriptions were the name of the game when Dan Lear recently chatted with Houston Estate Planning attorney John Strohmeyer, the namesake of Strohmeyer Law, on John's podcast, Five Star Counsel.

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Topics: Business of Law, Confido Legal News


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.

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


How Tiered Processing Pricing Rips Lawyers Off

Posted by Dan Lear on May 6, 2021

Here on Financially Legal we recently wrote about the three main ways payment processors rip lawyers off: tiered pricing, monthly fees, and limiting available payment methods. You can read that article for the higher-level discussion but, as we mentioned, tiered pricing deserves its own discussion. We dig in on that here.

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Topics: Business of Law


Three Ways Payment Processors Rip Lawyers Off

Posted by Dan Lear on May 6, 2021

We legal folks are hardly unbiased about the good that we think we do in the world but there’s little doubt that lawyers really do play an important role in our society. In fact, one of the interpretations of the famous line from Shakespeare’s Henry VI “The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers” is that killing all the lawyers is the fastest way to societal chaos, not societal improvement. Lawyers are the bulwark against tyranny and government overreach and the defenders of the rule of law.

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Topics: Business of Law


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.

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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).

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Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture


Shifting Credit Card Processing Fees: What Law Firms Need To Know

Posted by Dan Lear on April 20, 2021

Accepting electronic payment is table stakes for most lawyers and law firms.

The Clio Trends Report has been fairly explicit about the benefits of electronic payments:

  • The 2019 Clio Trends Report stated that 57 percent of electronic payments get paid the same day they are billed, and 85 percent get paid within a week.
  • The 2018 Clio Trends Report found that 38 percent of consumers prefer to make payments electronically via email, online portal, or on the web.
  • Finally, that same 2018 report indicated that 50 percent of consumers are more likely to hire a lawyer who takes electronic payments, or, stated another way, 40 percent would never hire a lawyer who doesn’t take credit or debit cards.
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Topics: Business of Law


Best Practices for Law Firms Shifting Card Fees

Posted by Dan Lear on April 19, 2021

There’s a lot to think about if your firm is considering shifting credit card fees to clients - is this practice right for our firm? How should we communicate about it to clients? Is it permissible in our state? Do our local rules of professional conduct permit it? What method should our firm use?
The good news is that it’s not that complicated. You’ll likely be good to go if you adhere to some simple best practices. Below we’ve compiled a list of best practices for two of the most common ways that merchants implement shifting credit card fees: cash discounting and surcharging. We’ll start with discounting:

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Topics: Business of Law


The Many Flavors of Credit Card Fee Shifting

Posted by Dan Lear on April 19, 2021

Although you've probably been charged a separate fee to use a credit card with a given business you may not know that businesses haven't always been able to do this.

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Topics: Business of Law


Dan Lear Featured on Allison Williams' Crushing Chaos Podcast

Posted by Emery Wager on April 16, 2021

Allison Williams, the Law Firm Mentor, helps law firms grow and reach their full potential. Her podcast, Crushing Chaos, tackles all sorts of issues lawyers face while working to grow their firms. 

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Topics: Business of Law, Confido Legal News


Virtual Event - Work Less, Earn More - How to Make 2021 Your Law Firm's Best Year Yet

Posted by Emery Wager on April 2, 2021

Even with the effects of COVID still lingering, we as attorneys have an opportunity to make 2021 our firms' best year yet. Join Confido Legal and law firm financial consultant Devon Thurtle Anderson of Skepsis Technologies as we explore the unique opportunities 2021 offers for law firms. We'll discuss how firms can seize these opportunities to realize both short and long-term growth. Spoiler alert: Our strategies don't require raising rates or working more hours! In fact, we specifically recommend against that.

Register Here

Some of the topics we'll cover include:

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Topics: Business of Law


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.

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Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture


Webinar Replay: Zapier 101 for Law Firms

Posted by Dan Lear on March 28, 2021

With our recently announced Zapier integration we at Confido Legal are excited about the power of automation - and especially automated payments - for lawyers and law firms. 

While Zapier is a technically a no-code development platform, defined in Wikipedia as a platform that "allows programmers and non-programmers to create application software through graphical user interfaces and configuration instead of traditional computer programming," it still has a modest complexity, especially for folks who have very little background in programming. 

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Topics: Business of Law, Zapier, Payment automation


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.

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Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture


Automating Legal Payments Workflows Using Zapier

Posted by Dan Lear on March 19, 2021

One of the most important things about law practice is getting paid. With the advent of electronic payments technology, the process of getting paid can be easier than ever. Some of you may be saying "Advent?!?!? PayPal is more than 20 years old!" But research suggests that fewer than 25% of lawyers actually use some kind of  electronic payments technology. The vast majority of lawyers are still getting paid by some combination of cash, checks, and wires. But I digress.

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Topics: Business of Law


Confido Legal Database of Legal Zapier Integrations

Posted by Dan Lear on March 19, 2021

Zapier is really powerful. Some law firms struggle to get the most out of it not because they don't know how to use Zapier but because they don't know about everything it can do.

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Topics: Business of Law


How the heck do I use Zapier?

Posted by Emery Wager on March 16, 2021

Zapier is a no-code platform that helps businesses and individuals automate work by connecting different applications. But don't let "no-code" fool you. There is a learning curve associated with Zapier. This post explains the basics of Zapier and how it works with Confido Legal. If you want to go one level deeper and see some examples of legal-specific Zaps as well learn more about the "why" of Zapier, check out our recent longer-form post on automating legal payments with Zapier.

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Topics: Business of Law, Integrations, Zapier


The Dos and Don'ts of Paid Consultations for Attorneys - Webinar Resources

Posted by Dan Lear on March 8, 2021

On March 8 Law Firm Mentor's Allison Williams and Maddy Martin from Smith.ai and I held a webinar about whether and how to charge for initial consultations called “The Dos and Don'ts of Paid Consultations for Attorneys.” You can watch the webinar replay here

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Topics: Business of Law, Integrations


Can you bill clients for initial consultations?

Posted by Dan Lear on March 6, 2021


Of course you can.

Abraham Lincoln once said, "A Lawyer's Time and Advice is His Stock and Trade.” While it’s true that an initial consultation has that word “initial” tacked in front of it, it’s still a “consultation.” And that means it’s a period of time in which a lawyer dispenses advice. If Lincoln thinks it’s OK, it’s probably OK.

But you already knew that. The bigger questions are really, should you charge for initial consultations? And, how to charge for initial consultations?

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Topics: Business of Law


Announcing our Integration with Zapier

Posted by Dan Lear on March 4, 2021


Confido Legal is pleased to announce that our Zapier integration is now in beta. Not only that, but we're the first legal-specific payments provider with a public Zapier integration.*

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Topics: Zapier


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.

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Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture


Confido Legal featured on Smith.ai - Should you charge for initial consultations?

Posted by Dan Lear on February 20, 2021

Many lawyers have no problem billing by the hour until it comes to initial consultations. Then things get complicated really quickly.

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Topics: Confido Legal News


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.

 

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Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture


Building Your Own Practice Management System (from ABA GPSolo Magazine)

Posted by Dan Lear on February 17, 2021

Note: This article was originally printed in the January/February 2021 issue of the ABA GP Solo Magazine.

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Topics: Business of Law


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.

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Topics: Financially Legal Episodes, Business and Culture


Webinar Recording: Building a Scalable Practice with Subscriptions

Posted by Dan Lear on January 30, 2021

Last week I joined Kristin Tyler from LAWCLERK to talk about how lawyers can use subscriptions to build a healthy law firm.

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Topics: Subscriptions, Business of Law


Why law firms should consider integrated ACH

Posted by Dan Lear on January 28, 2021

In a weird way, eCheck or ACH payments are an anachronism. Or the name "eCheck" is, at least.

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Topics: Business of Law, Payments


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