The value of an ‘online automated experience’ in a legal context

04 August 2022 By Lauren Croft

This lawyer and legal software company owner found that implementing an automated online way of practising doubled her revenue and profitability — and said that it’s something all small firms should be considering.

Claudia King is the chief executive and founder of Firmsy, a digital legal solutions company. Speaking recently on the Boutique Lawyer Show, Ms King revealed the benefits of a more digital approach — both for sole practitioners and SMEs and for clients.

Firmsy is a legal technology company and helps law firms to create digital legal services — and has been around for five years.

“Firmsy was initially born out of my own law firm where I wanted to have an online legal service offering for my clients and to acquire new clients. And that went really well for me. And so, as part of that, I created some software and yeah, during that time, it really took on a life of its own, and I started offering it and selling it into other law firms and yeah, gave up my gig as a lawyer along the way,” Ms King explained.

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“We’ve got about 150 law firm customers across Australia and New Zealand and the rest of the world. And yeah, so all our law firm customers are working on offering digital legal services to their clients. And really, they’re doing that in response to the large cry out that’s happening from people about the need to have an online automated experience when it comes to working with a lawyer.”

Ms King started out as a tax lawyer — before deciding to look at ways that she could practice law in a more innovative and entrepreneurial way.

“At that time, LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer were really getting some great traction over in the States. And I started thinking about how I could bring that online automated experience to my own clients at my firm. And so, then I launched an online legal service. It was a conveyancing service for first home buyers. And it got off to a bit of a slow start initially. I had some pretty steep learning curves around not only building my own technology, but also around marketing online to get clients,” she said.

“But once I figured it out, it went very well for me. It helped me double the revenue and profitability of my firm, and in the process and most importantly, helped thousands and thousands of clients during that time, far more than I would’ve ever been able to help had I been doing it the traditional way. So, there were so many benefits for me and for my clients and for my firm, in practising law in this way.

“And so, I decided to take that technology because I thought, well, if I can help thousands more clients by using this technology, and if I take that technology and put it into other law firms and they can help thousands more clients, then the whole access to justice piece and access to legal services, the impact there on that, is coming together in a way that we haven’t been able to make it happen before.”

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After experiencing the benefits of a more digital approach, Ms King said she was inspired to help others in the profession do the same.

“Trying to create a way for lawyers to be able to have more freedom and be able to have more impact, those are two things that I find are often top of mind when I’m talking to law firm owners, people who own small law firms, boutique law firms or sole practitioners. They’ve broken away often from working as a partner in a bigger firm or as a lawyer in a bigger firm to start up their own firm because they want to be able to practise law from the heart more and practise in a way that feels good and joyful. But what often happens is that they will set out with good intentions and fall back into the same way of practising that they were unhappy with at their last firm,” she explained.

“And I can identify with that. That’s how I was practising. Even though I was at a smaller firm, it felt much the same. And so, being able to find a way where you can have a real impact and help people. We all went to law school because we wanted to find a way to help lots and lots of people, the people that we’re passionate about helping. And then, of course, we get into our first job and we realise it’s all about billing and budgets, and it’s less about helping people than you think. And, I don’t know, you get a bit burnt out and suddenly your care factor around helping people is less than it was, which is a real shame, because you realise you can’t help everybody.”

However, Ms King did realise that implementing increased innovation and technology can mean helping more people with less work — something which has been particularly important for her practice.

“What I discovered is that with the right technology and the right marketing strategies and the right processes and procedures in place, you can really expand the number of people that you can help, and not have to work more to do that. In fact, you can work less and focus on the things that you are good at and that you really enjoy doing, while still helping more people. And that’s super powerful and such an important part of the freedom puzzle,” she said.

“Not only are you not working as hard as perhaps you once were, but you’re also working on the stuff that really matters to you. So yeah, so definitely, to be able to offer technology that helps people with that, and alongside that, I also have a nine-step process that I recommend that the law firm owners follow in order to grow their firms in a scalable but sustainable way. And so being able to offer that has been really meaningful work for me.”

The transcript of this podcast episode was slightly edited for publishing purposes. To listen to the full conversation with Claudia King, click below:

 

The value of an ‘online automated experience’ in a legal context
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