In this Podcast Tanya and Karen discuss the issues that a lot of clients have in finding the right lawyers and the issues they see in the industry. If you are looking for a lawyer, there are nuggets of information which may help you find the best person to represent you.

Karen Finch is the Co-founder and CEO of Legally Yours and is a lawyer by profession, and an expert on family law practice. Having seen the real gap in the market caused by huge conflicts with the billable hours, Legally Yours was born. Legally Yours is no traditional billable law firm but a service provided in law with an upfront fixed fee structure making it more transparent to their clients.

Karen took quite the heart-breaking decision to leave her beloved profession early on which she felt to be really horrible due to the eye-opening process it involved. She loved her clients too much to continue with how the system worked. Having told to bill bill bill, Karen gives us the hard truth about how the ‘six minute increment charging works’ and why she moved out and ventured to finding a better way to cope with the system and still be able to help her clients. With a passion for the human side of law she realized something was fundamentally wrong with that system and that there is a different way to practice and there are different ways to do it.

Links:

Divorce Roadmap Session:

https://tanyasomerton.com/divorce-roadmap/

Join my Free Facebook Group here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/divorceangel/

Legally Yours:

https://legallyyours.com.au/

Transcription:

[00:00:00] Well, I’m here today with the beautiful Karen Finch, who I’ve known for quite a while now. We pretty much started our businesses at roughly the same time. But Karen, can you explain to the audience– You used to be a family lawyer. Why did you choose to do that as a job?

Karen: Well, it’s really interesting because for me, family law sort of embodied everything that I wanted to do good with my legal background and my legal knowledge. So I– A bit of context from me, I sort of was one of those typical law wannabes. When I was a young child, I thought that I was going to emancipate the whole of South Africa with apartheid, fight for human rights but that was always kind of the premise of why I wanted to get into law in the first place.

So I went through my degree and actually worked in a criminal law firm while I was studying and that was a huge eye-opener that I just probably wasn’t quite tough [00:01:00] enough for criminal law. And then when I actually finished, I ended up going to a sort of boutique family law practice, and actually really loved the family little because it was– To me it was a very human side of law. There was– Your interaction with the client, you could actually see how you were helping them. You could be a part of this sort of, sometimes quite dramatic or volatile, kind of event-life in that’s going on with those clients. So that’s what really attracted me to the law and to family law in particular because I really wanted to make a difference in people’s lives.

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Tanya: So how long were you in the family law industry?

Karen: Really tiny time. So I actually had some stats the other day saying that most family lawyers burnout with him two years and I actually can see why because I think that it’s– Certainly when I was practicing many years ago, the actual what you’re trying to do for clients and help them through this situation where they’re separating, often there’s children involved, and those sorts of things. The actual family court system, which is [00:02:00] adversarial by its very nature and puts people against each other doesn’t suit the family law situations. So what we were trying to do was push them into fighting when, ultimately, at the end of the day, they need to come to an agreement in order to move on and– Just because you separate doesn’t mean you stop co-parenting, there’s still a whole heap of things that you need.

So it was only for a very short time. The burnout was pretty quick. I found also the fact that I was being told to bill bill bill, so that was the other thing– And that certainly wasn’t unique to the firm that I was working. But back then, it was very much billable hours, billable units, spending lots of time on files, no kind of focus on outcomes or delivery or service. So yeah, I didn’t last very long. I actually found it quite soul-destroying and, in the end, I had to make the heartbreaking decision to leave the profession which was really, really horrible because I loved my clients and I love being a family lawyer. I just couldn’t operate within the system that I was given.

Tanya: [00:03:00] You sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place, aren’t you? You’re tuck between what is best for the client yet what your boss is telling you you have to do

Karen: Absolutely, absolute. The thing I think through all of that is that it was really interesting because back then, and we’re talking quite a few years ago, there was only one way to be a lawyer, there was only one way to practice, there was only one way to look, there was only one way to be seen as professional, and so it’s really interesting because I actually thought there was something wrong with me because I wasn’t able to practice in that system and why couldn’t I just go ahead and bill bill bill and send invoices off and not care if the client wasn’t happy with that. It was really– And it’s only sort of taken me now certainly through my work with [00:03:44] to understand that there’s actually something fundamentally wrong with that system and that there is a different way to practice and there are different ways to do it. So yeah, it was it was an interesting period in my life.

Tanya: It’s funny because [00:04:00] ,as you said, you became a lawyer because you had empathy, you cared, you wanted to change the world, and then you go into this role where you told that and I use the phrase all the time– Is the lawyer that we’re choosing, are they outcome-focused or income-focused and there’s such a difference because if they’re income-focused, it’s all about using a court system and prolonging it as long as we can and if they’re outcome-focused, what can we quickly get done, to get this over and done with and let you get on with your life. And that’s certainly you.

Karen: Oh, no. Absolutely, yeah. It’s really interesting and I do a lot of work with law students at universities and it hasn’t changed in terms of the law students. Everyone I see– I haven’t actually met one yet that came up to me and said, “I’m doing it for the whole cold hard cash. I’m just doing it for the money.” They all talked about. “I want to help. I want to change people’s lives. I want to do good in the world.” and 99.9% of people that go into law that want to practice are doing it because they’ve [00:05:00] got these wonderful empathetic skills. They want to help; they want to feel like they’re doing good in the world. They’ve got a sense of justice yet we take them and we say to them– Once they’ve e done all this great stuff, we’re going to micromanage you, put you into a firm structure make you bill by the hour, tell you that success means if you can spend the longest time in the office and that’s what makes you a successful lawyer and it’s just not true and it’s a lie.

Tanya: There’s no life.

Karen: There’s no life. But really, funnily enough, clients don’t want that. I’ve never had a client say to me, “I love my lawyer because I spend lots of time on my file.” Time is not the value of the lawyer. The value of the lawyer is in our trusted advice, it’s in our legal expertise, it’s in our ability to communicate and translate the law our ability to go in and negotiate on behalf of our client and none of that has anything to do with time. So, it’s really about changing how lawyers see themselves in the system, and also them getting real about what clients want from them and matching that [00:06:00] experience.

Tanya: Yeah, and I agree totally. So obviously, why did you then decide to leave family law? Obviously, you said that you were burnt out. Was there any other big reasons?

Karen: Yeah. It was the billable– It was the billable hours hands down and I think that I was kind of sick of time and time again of having these clients come in who are very vulnerable, very emotional, they were going through quite a traumatic episode in their life and me having to just note down billable units. “Okay. I’ve spent five minutes doing these, five minutes doing these. Okay, let’s get you to court.”– And back then as well, mediation was starting to come in in terms of during– So once you’d issued proceedings, there was a part where mediation was starting to be encouraged once you’re in the court process, but certainly there was no– You would never ever encouraged to settle or negotiate before unless the client came to you and said, “We’ve already reached an agreement.” That was the only time you ever did it. For [00:07:00] me– And I actually vividly remember saying to one of the last clients I ever helped, “I can issue proceedings on your behalf and we can take it to court, but all that money that you’ve built up and the money for your children’s education is going to end up going to me and to the other side’s of lawyers and where is it going to leave you?” and just thinking, “It’s just hopeless.

So I ended up essentially leaving thinking that there was something wrong with me. Clearly, I wasn’t cut out for being a lawyer that I needed to go and find another profession. So it was pretty heartbreaking. And then for many years afterwards, I would actually introduce myself as, “I’m Karen and I’m a failed lawyer.” So I really thought– No, I never– Which interestingly, I never actually questioned, “Was there something wrong with the actual process or what I was being told to do? It must be something to do with me.”

Tanya: And we know that to be completely different now. Can’t we?

Karen: We do. We do which is really exciting because there’s never been a better time to be in law from a lawyer’s perspective and law students’ perspective [00:08:00] because things have really shifted up which is good news.

Tanya: So can you tell me or tell the audience a different way– The different ways that you can actually get divorced? So in today’s system, what should you be trying to do.

Karen: Absolutely. You should be trying to reach agreement. It’s a really funny thing and when you actually talk about– So the court system is adversarial and by adversarial what I mean is by its very nature, it’s an argument. It’s putting one side against the other. It’s been really interesting because this idea of mediation is now flowing through into commercial litigation matters, it’s coming through into all other areas, property disputes, because everyone’s now, and this includes the court and includes the legal industry, as you’re beginning to see that it’s much better for everyone involved to actually settle things and understand. Even if mediation isn’t successful, people still have a better understanding of what it is that they’re arguing about, what are the issues.

So a [00:09:00] hundred percent we would say that if you’ve separated, there’s got to be a point where both of you need to come together to a, hopefully, reach an agreement, but even just understand where the issues are at. And that can be done by mediation. Obviously, counseling’s always a good thing and I know you and I have had many conversations around counseling is not just necessarily for the present but also for future and it helps people sort of resolve those issues and understand.

There is there’s a new phenomenon now coming out called parenting coordinator. So I’m not sure if you’ve heard too much about the parenting coordinators, but there’s all these sorts of different things, divorce coaches, which are all coming together to really kind of help people to say, “Don’t have, as your first step, issuing proceedings. That should be the last case, that should be your end in result. You should, at all times, try and come together because ultimately, if you go into the court system, you’re are giving your power away, you’re giving your power away to the lawyers, you’re giving your [00:10:00] a power way to the judge, you’re giving away your power to the federal magistrate because they don’t know you, they don’t know your children. They don’t know your life. They don’t know your circumstances and ultimately, they don’t have to leave any orders that are made beyond once you get out of the system. So why would you do it? Why would you do it?”

Tanya:  Yeah. Look, I’ve got a client at the moment who just a stunning lady, lovely mother, got three children, but her youngest son– Her ex-husband, they went to court to find out the parenting. So this magistrate, they just got her on a bad day and she took complete and utter offense to the female that we’re working with and has put a family order in place that is just– It’s stressing her. It’s causing her nothing but pain and anguish. They got to swap the child at the police station every single night. Like she gets so sick in the stomach just thinking that she’s got to go and swap the child all for two hours and all she [00:11:00] wants to do is go back and say, “Well why can’t I pick him up from school?” but at the end of the day, like you said, someone who doesn’t know her does not know anything about her, just had a really bad day, whatever the case may be, whether someone cut in front of her on the way to work or whether–

Karen:  Yeah, yeah.

Tanya: [00:11:17] that’s impacted someone’s life and causing her nothing but pain and anguish.

Karen: Yeah, that’s right. And not even to kind of put into context the financial kind of outlay for all of that which should be money that you’re spending on your children and rebuilding your life. Like it’s just ridiculous. But I think we’re sort of caught in this in-between system where I think a lot of clients don’t understand the power that they have in terms of choosing the right legal professional to assist them and choosing the right processes to go through can actually make such a different result in the end of how this process works because I think there’s still a perception out there that you go to a lawyer, you sort of put it in their hands, [00:12:00] they’ll issue proceedings and then off you go.

So, I think that there’s a real education piece which is what I love about what you do, Tanya, because you’re so big into the education and just talking about it and opening up the conversation and saying to people you actually have choices of who you go to. And I challenge anyone, even if you’re in a completely volatile situation with your ex-partner/ If you actually lay down the whole card, your whole– The numbers to say, “Okay, if we go to court it’s going to cost in excess of 200k each or we could actually just get real. Let’s try and work on our friendship. Let’s try and work on how this is going to work after the fact. Let’s put our kids in the center of all of this.” It just– It doesn’t– But a very crucial part of that is who their trusted legal adviser. If your legal advisers say, “No, no. Just go issue. This is what we do, intimidate, do this.” then it’s never going to work. So you need to be very careful with who you choose.

Interview your lawyers. Ask [00:13:00] them for testimonials from other clients, understand who else they worked with. Do they work with mediators? Do they like to be in that mediation process? Do they understand what a parenting coordinator is? Do they– Can they book a counseling or help you with a divorce coach. Look at all those sorts of things and you’ll know really clearly.

Tanya: Yeah, that’s right. And obviously, that’s exactly what I stand for. There’s got to be a better way. I look back at my ex-husband and I now– At the moment when you’re in it, you just hate everything that they stand for, not because you hate them, but you hate the position that you found yourself in. Later on, I’m not saying for any stretch of the means that we’re best friends, but I’m happy to have a conversation with him. We’ve got children together. You just get over it. It’s gone. It’s done. It was done years ago. We don’t need to be bitter and twisted anymore.

Karen: No, and you if you carry that around with you, how do you ever move on? How do you recover? And particularly when you throw kids in the mix with all of that, how do they [00:14:00] understand what positive relationships are or how to move on with conflict and those sorts of things. So it’s really, really important and absolutely we see the vital role. Interestingly you now got a court system that is encouraging people to stay out of the system because they can’t handle it anymore.

Tanya: They’re at capacity, aren’t they?

Karen: They are. Well, they’re beyond capacity. So now what we’re seeing is that there’s a real strong push to say, “Go and sort this out with mediation first. Try and settle it together. Try and reach agreements and then draft your orders and get those approved by the courts.” so that at least then people are sort of staying out of the system. So I think we’re sort of in this almost twilight. We’re about to kind of tip over where I think the future of where family law matters will go.

Be very much you go to a mediator, you’re counseling, you’re sort of tacking all those services at the beginning. The lawyers come involved, they then can help with drafting at the end and then you submit that. That’s what I think it will end up being but we need to educate people around that [00:15:00] process.

Tanya: Well, we need to let them know that there’s another way and you’re right. When I talk to clients, straight away they go, “Well, when are we going to court?” Hold [00:15:09] We’re not going to court. That’s the last thing we want to do. But everyone thinks divorce [00:15:13]

Karen: Yeah. Yeah and look I understand it too. Because if you imagine, I mean sometimes people’s first kind of interaction with the law is through a separation. Where’s our reference point? Often, it’s American shows. Like we’ve all watched suits or Ally McBeal if you’re really old. Like we’ve all watched those shows and that’s what they do. They go to court and they argue and they stand up and they do this but it’s just not, and certainly not for family law. Not for family. This is this is personal. This is human-related law. No one’s done anything wrong. No one’s committed a crime. We need to be sensible about the system and about the process.

Tanya: So tell us about this amazing business that you have. Like it’s just next level. I love it.

Karen: Aw, you’re so supportive. And yeah, I love the fact that we [00:16:00] started our business journey almost at the same time together. So I guess the way Legally Yours kind of played in– So obviously, from my experience of what I had with the legally legal system and leaving legal and then I actually came across– So kind of skip forward a number of years. I had my own family and– Anyway, I was looking at getting back into the workforce and I’ve always– even though I felt like a failed lawyer for many years, I always have loved the legal industry. Loved it. I came across this job advertisement with a beautiful woman by the name of Mira Stammers, who was my former co-founder, who was asking someone to join her on her mission of creating and bringing to life Legally Yours.

Everything she wrote in that job advert, I just thought, “Oh, my God. This is what I want the legal industry to be like.” A bit of context around Mira. She was a corporate banking transaction lawyer in the UK for many years, working on really high net-worth files, and everything was fixed-fee. Everything. So when she came back to Australia, [00:17:00] she was sort of like, “Why am I being told to bill by the hour or bill these units?” when you can actually be all fixed-fee. Fixed-fee is so much better because you don’t argue with the client over cost because you’ve already agreed to it, and it’s better for the lawyers because they can budget and they could forward think and plan and then it just doesn’t make sense why we just sort of not having these value conversations upfront. So she saw a real gap in the market, and basically Legally Yours was born out of that. Knowing that if she could get the message out to clients, the fixed-fee, it’s the type of law you want and convinced lawyers to practice that way, we were going to have a great system.

So for me, given the fact of my– I left because of a huge conflict with the billable hours. I just thought this business is amazing so I sent to this email saying, “Probably won’t want to speak to me because I’m just a mom and I didn’t last in the legal industry very long, but I think your business is amazing.” and the rest is history. So I absolutely fell in love with Legally Yours.

What we essentially do is, I guess a [00:18:00] good way to kind of relate it to your community out there is, when you think about Uber.  Before Uber started, you had taxis with transport services and people were using taxis, but they weren’t very happy with it. Often, they sort of might not to take you to the right way, you never quite knew how much the journey was going to cast, sometimes they weren’t the friendliest of people, there wasn’t a lot of customer service. And then Uber comes in and what Uber does is it creates a whole new market of consumers for transport services because they’ve made it convenient, they’ve made it easy, they’ve made it accessible, they’ve made it fixed fee, they’ve actually kind of been– So now you’ve got a whole heap of people who traditionally weren’t using transport services and now using it and that’s what we do with Legally Yours.

Is that we saying to people it should be easy, convenient, and accessible for you. You should know upfront what your legal fees are and we will connect you through to those lawyers. So essentially sort of an Uber for legal is kind of probably the easiest way for people to understand what we’re doing [00:19:00] and we’ve got some amazing lawyers, not just in family law, but across all areas of law, but particularly our family law lawyers who are just– They’re doing things differently. They are phenomenal. So really, really incredibly excited about the network of lawyers that we’ve built and are building and what we’ve been able to deliver to community.

Tanya: Yeah, so if we go back and go back a step and let’s talk about the billable hours. So, please, if I’m wrong, make sure that you can correct me.

Karen: Yeah. Of course.

Tanya: Let’s say I’m a client and I go to a lawyer that charges by six-minute increments. If I ring up and have a phone call with that lawyer and speak for five minutes, I will get charged for six minutes.

Karen: Yeah.

Tanya: If I ring up and talk to that lawyer for 7 minutes, I will get charged for 12.

Karen: Yeah.

Tanya: If we look across a file over, let’s say, that file goes for 12 months, there’s probably such, let’s say, there’s a full chunk of that time that we’re being billed for we have not actually even [00:20:00] used.

Karen: Yeah. Yeah.

Tanya: Right.

Karen: And what’s the value in that? What’s the value? What’s the value? Yeah.

Tanya: I had a client not long ago who has been 18 months with a lawyer, had $60,000 worth of bills and she said, “But I don’t know where it went.” and when I explained to her that’s how it works, she said, “I had no idea.” Now my business, we use a lot of your lawyers or we’ll use a fee-for-service lawyer. A fee-for-service lawyer because when I was going through my divorce, the biggest issue I had was budgeting.

So here I am I’m single, I now no longer have a joint income so I need to know just to alleviate at least one stress in my life– What my bill is going to be at the end. So having a fixed-fee lawyer, because I came from a project management background, I was able to say to my lawyer, “This is the budget and we’re not going anywhere [00:21:00] past this so you need to get it done for this or that’s it.” and she was– We well and truly got within that budget.

What I do with the clients is by able to give them a fee, it means that they don’t need to worry about what the bills going to be. They can just go off. So let’s explain more what is a fee-for-service and how does that work.

Karen: So essentially, you’ve got it in a nutshell. Well done, you. So it is. That’s what it is. It’s basically having the value conversation upfront with your lawyer where you talked about all the different options that can happen in a family law matter. They should talk you through that process. That course should actually be complementary because what they’re doing in that course is giving you an education around how the process is, what needs to happen, where this could go and then outlaying to you, “Okay, so these would be the cost and this is what would be delivered.”

So for instance, if it’s a separation that’s just happened, there should be a period of negotiation in that were letters back and forth. So what you do is you say, “You know what? We are going to write five [00:22:00] letters back and forth. Let’s see if we can reach. Let’s see where we’re at. Let’s see where the headspace is at.” Hopefully, also the lawyers encourage you to go off and get some counseling potentially even said to you, “Do you think mediation could be something we could work towards as well?” So starting to talk about all those sorts of things, but then they actually tell you what they’re going to deliver and the value they’re delivering in that. Then you move on to the next stage.

So family law is a little bit unique in the sense that it’s very stage driven and you would want a lawyer to be quite processed on that. So he’d be saying to you, “Okay, we’re going to get to this level and then move on and then this is the next stage we’re going to go to and this is what’s going to be involved in this next stage.” But at all times, I mean when we say fixed-fee, what we’re actually really talking about is transparency, certainty, communication of value. So we’re actually talking about all of those sorts of things to try and make sure that the client knows at all times, where they are upfront where the client’s stand is.

So, yeah, it’s a really interesting one because lawyers, traditionally, we’ve never been taught how [00:23:00] to talk about our value and how to actually really understand what we’re delivering. For some reason, we’re much more happier just sending off invoices blind, hoping that people will pay it and I just don’t just understand why.

Tanya: There’s no other industry where you can actually just go, “I’m going to overcharge you and you’re going to get no value but–” I had a lawyer once that I was working with that I was interviewing for a client, and I’d said to her, “Look, do you do fixed fee?” and she said, “Well, actually no. I don’t because I find when I one I do fixed-fee because I have to quote more. It’s actually better if I charge by six-minute increments.” and that was their excuse for not doing fixed-fee

Karen: So what we would say to her then is that she doesn’t understand what fixed-fee or value-based pricing is all about. So like you say, your project management background is a hundred percent the background. So I’ve got lawyers that actually are commercial litigators. So serious litigation matters that employ project management skills in order to do scoping, in order to do [00:24:00] value-based pricing based upon the process. So I would actually challenge clients to say if they get a lawyer that says that and sort of say to them, Well, if you don’t have enough experience to understand all the different processes and the different ways of this matter could turnout, you’re probably not right the right level of experience I need.”

Tanya: Wow, like “Boom.”

Karen: Do you know what though? We have the most one– The community in general are so generous to lawyers. I often– I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had clients say, “Aw, the poor lawyers. How are they supposed to understand where the matter is going to go and how long is a piece of string? It must be really incredibly hard for them.” and I’m like, “If I can’t tell you, then don’t go to them. I mean would you go to a mechanic If the mechanic said, ‘Look, I can’t give you a quote for this car service because I don’t know how long a piece of string is you go.’ You go, ‘Well, I’m not going to you.'”

Tanya: It’s a trap.

Karen: Yeah, so I think it’s a really– It’s an interesting dynamic because we need to sort of say to clients, “These are the questions you should be asking. You should be demanding a [00:25:00] fixed fee. You should be saying, ‘If you can’t give me this, if you can’t smoke this matter out, if you don’t know mediators or you’re not willing to be part of this process, then maybe you’re not the right lawyer for me.'” and also educating lawyers. This is the way it needs to be done as well. So there’s two pieces on both sides and between you and I, we can do it.

Tanya: We can. We’re taking on the world.

Karen: We’re taking on the world.

Tanya: You have also with Legally Yours. So you’ve got a platform but you also work through Asia. Is that right as well?

Karen: We were. We were doing some stuff with Asia. We’re not anymore actually. So we’ve actually really localized our platform at the moment. So we’ve now gone completely just Australian-based. A lot of that just because I think the jurisdictions and working with our clients here, and we really just wanted to create– So we’ve actually got a completely new platform that we launched about a month ago and that platform, we’ve made it really easy. We’ve got a little chatbot that pops up. So for people that aren’t kind of a hundred percent sure of what type of lawyer they might need– Because [00:26:00] law’s confusing.

If you actually go back to the history of legal, it was set up to be confusing because it was an aristocratic profession. So it wasn’t meant to be for the common person. So therefore, you know, it is really confusing and complex and difficult sometimes to digest and understand. So our new platform is essentially us really trying to make it very easy, we help with the match and our chat bot can help with the match and obviously we’re always on the phone to help as well. So this is our industry and this is what we love.

Tanya: Given that, I actually really loved that comment that you just said then. Do you think there’s a hierarchy in the legal industry of people that think that they deserve to get paid so much more?

Karen: Yes, absolutely. I’ll let you in on a sort of a secret. I don’t know how much of a secret is because I’ve talked about it quite a lot. But when you go into law school– So I still remember my first day of being in law school and I didn’t come from a really expensive private school education, I went to the, I think, the cheapest [00:27:00] all-girls school in Victoria, which was great. I had a wonderful education but that first day, I remember the professor coming in and actually clapping and saying, “Well, well done. You’ve all made it to the elite. You are the Elite.” and I remember thinking, “Well, I’m not elite. I’m driving a Mazda 121 in the car park that’s probably got a couple of dents in it.” Like I certainly don’t feel elite and I never got into law because, for me, it was about the money or about class or– It just never even entered my mind, but can you imagine so that’s what you’re being told from the first day you getting to your law degree? How does that roll out? How does that play?

And interestingly I met with a law student not that long ago and I actually told her the story and said, “I’m sure that they that anymore.” and she said, “Oh, no. They do.” I was like, “Oh, my god, really? Are we still doing that?” So if you get really real about it, what our lawyers, what’s the legal profession? We are a service industry and we cannot practice if we [00:28:00] don’t have clients to pay us, but we need to deliver service and we need to understand that there’s a customer. That’s the other thing. I love talking to lawyers about customers. They are customers and we are a service provider and we need to do that inside it.

So yeah. No, absolutely. I think that we need to start breaking down those barriers and that perception that we are elite.

Tanya: Because it’s funny because my favorite lawyers that I work with most are normally– They’re mothers so I understand what it’s like to be caring and considerate and all those things [00:28:35] things. That they’ve been very similar to you. They’ve been in a big office. They’ve seen how that’s running on. “I don’t want to do that anymore.” but they are so damned Earth that they tell you straight up what’s going to happen.

Karen: Absolutely.

Tanya: Because I’ve noticed when I interview sort of some of the bigger, let’s say, the big-city lawyers and whatever, like it’s all Cloak [00:29:00] and Dagger. They don’t want to tell you anything. They don’t want to give you any information that you could maybe take away and go, “Oh, okay.” Where the other sort of lawyers a more prepared to just lay on the line.

Karen: Absolutely.

Tanya: That’s who you want to work with.

Karen: Absolutely. And there’s– The good news for your audience is that there is a really– I sort of alluded to it before that being a really exciting time to be in legal and the reason it is is there’s this whole new set of lawyers coming out and typically, they have come from the big– Exactly like you say, from big private practice firms, and they don’t want to practice like that anymore and they starting their own kind of new law firms.

So when I use the term new law, what we’re really trying to do is differentiate between traditional law or big law and a new law lawyer is someone who puts the customer or client at the center of all of their processes of how they set their firms up. So it’s all about the technology they use to make themselves more lean and agile to respond to clients. It’s about them understanding who their client is. They actually do work on, “Who is my [00:30:00] client and what do I need to service them.” They’re certainly not transactional. So I think that’s a bit of a churn and burn attitude in some of the firms where it’s like, “Well, they’re only coming to me for a family law matter. I don’t care if I don’t see them again and if they hate you at the end of it because they’ve spent all their money with me. They’ll just pay it because I’m a lawyer. How are you going to challenge me?” That’s sometimes the attitude that we’ve had through.

A newer lawyer will say, “No, because if I do a really good job for this client, if I–” and by job, I don’t mean necessarily the best outcome. Often, it’s the process that the person felt informed. They felt like they were communicated with properly, they felt in control in the process. They could speak to you. They felt heard. All those sorts of natural customer service experience things– Is that then they will go on to be that lawyer’s biggest referrer. They will be their biggest champion. They will promote them. So that’s what you look at. And then often, certainly in family law, people come back for different things. They might then have another relationship and they might then, at [00:31:00] this point, do a prenup or they might want to get remarried and look good doing a financial agreement before they get married. All those sorts of things is really positive.

So that’s– There are a whole heap of these lawyers out there. I’ve got a community based on them and they’re phenomenal and I know within pretty much 5 minutes of sitting down with a lawyer if they’re going to be right for our network because of the language that they use, because of the way that they talk about their clients and that’s what we present on our platform, our lawyers in that regard.

Tanya: Yes. I a hundred percent agree. So tell us how people can find your platform and where they can find you.

Karen: Absolutely. So legallyyours.com.au is where you head to and you can actually– It’s a completely free service for clients to use. So you can hop onto the platform, you can browse our lawyers and see who we’ve got there. You can do a search around what you’re after. So if it was a family law matter, you’d hop on, you say it’s a personal matter, you need a family lawyer. You can then decide whether or not you want [00:32:00] someone that’s base close to you or if you’re happy with someone that can do virtual remote or if you want someone in the city. So you can have a look and you can do some research.

One of the things I’m really proud of is the way we present our lawyers. So it has been kind of alluded to as a dating site that I think the reason why people say that is because we’re actually very visual so I believe when you’re engaging a lawyer, you’re creating a relationship with that person so you want to know what they look like, you want to hear how they talk, you want to read articles that they’ve written, and you want to know some information about them. So we do a lot of videoing with our lawyers. We get them on camera communicating and we tag all that to their profile so people can actually get an understanding of who that person is and can I relate to that person.

Then we give you three matches based on your criteria. You can continue to refresh if you haven’t found the right one. If you need some assistance, we’ve got a little chatbot which we’ve called Josephine and she’ll pop up and she can help you navigate through or you can call us and you’ll always get a Legally Yours consultant on the phone [00:33:00] that will help you navigate through and make the right match for your legal matter.

But we are really, really big on education. So for us, education equals empowerment equals engagement. I think I heard stats the other day, someone saying that only 25% of people who separate see a lawyer, which to me is horrifying because I think that if there’s any a time, that even if it’s just to sign things off and to get an understanding of, “Okay, we have done the right thing. Let’s get the orders and let’s get it all kind of settled.” you need to have law as part of it. You need just the right lawyer to kind of tie that process off. So we’re all about education so you can actually– We do a lot of free events. We did a family law forum last year which you featured on and were absolutely brilliant.

So really lots of videoing and just really bringing together so people can understand the types of lawyers they should be using, sort of services that are out there to give them as much choice through the separation process as we can. [00:34:00]

Tanya: Well Karen, I think you’re amazing. I think what you do is amazing. I am very privileged to actually call you my friend because [00:34:09]

Karen: Aw, we are and I feel exactly the same way. I feel exactly the same way. What you are doing for the community, what you have been doing, the fact that it’s come from such a personal heartfelt experience for you, I– Yeah, absolutely. It’s wonderful to see your journey of now where you’re at. So yeah, it’s so amazing. Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for having me on the show.

Tanya: That’s okay. I’ve loved having you and I don’t doubt for a minute that we have a long, long life ahead of us.

Karen: We do.

Tanya: [00:34:39] whole family law and divorce journey for people because it can be so much better. We’ve just got to– We just have to give the information, and as you said, education, information provide people a better way so that they’ve got options because it’s about options.

Karen: Absolutely. Look, divorce and separation doesn’t have to be a [00:35:00] negative thing. I’ve certainly stopped saying to people when they say, “Oh, look. I’m separated.” “Oh, I’m so sorry.” You know what? Life happens and sometimes really– It’s how you actually go through that process. It’s how you actually end up at the end and it can be a really positive experience and it can be positive for your kids. It’s just who you tap into and making sure that you’ve got the right advisers whether it be legal, whether it be yourself, whether it be the right counselors, mediators, all those parties together.

We’ve started listing mediators on our platform because we really believe so strongly in the mediation process that we’ve actually got some family law mediators there. So for us, it’s about really just sort of bringing everyone together to get positive outcomes for people so they can go on and live healthy happy lives.

Tanya: Yeah. Well, thank you for joining me. I loved having you. Hopefully, the audience has got some real insight now as to what it’s like to be a lawyer and the other options out there.

Karen: That’s right.

Tanya: Thanks, Karen.

Karen: Absolute pleasure. Thanks so much, Tanya.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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