Emma Maxwell - Director and Family Lawyer at Anchored Family Law, Australia’s First Family Law Subscription Service
Anchored Family Law is Australia's first and only subscription-based family law firm. With an innovative online model, they are changing the way clients access legal services across the country.
Unlike traditional law firms, Anchored Family Law operates on a monthly subscription basis. Clients pay a fixed monthly fee that covers not only advice and contact with their lawyer but also all written negotiations with the other party. This unique approach provides clients with peace of mind and eliminates the stress of unpredictable legal costs.
By combining cutting-edge technology and a client-centered approach, Anchored Family Law is revolutionizing the way family law services are delivered in Australia. Their commitment to providing accessible, affordable, and transparent legal solutions has earned them a reputation as a trailblazer in the industry.
What inspired you to follow a career in the legal profession?
In the beginning, it was simply a matter not knowing what else to pursue, so I took each opportunity that came my way in the early stages of my career. After completing my law degree, I found myself working in class actions at Maurice Blackburn, but I never felt a true passion for the law until I stumbled upon family law by accident. Around six years into my litigation career, I relocated to a different region, and the long commute pushed me to explore other areas of law. That's when I discovered family law, and to my surprise, I just fell in love with it.
What's your approach to client service that separates you from the rest?
When I established the firm, I had the freedom to ignore anything that didn’t work for me and didn’t feel bound to what a traditional law firm looked like in anyway. This meant I could make decisions based on my values, and what my family needed at the time. First came the completely online model, which has worked just as well for our clients, as it has for our team, who all have young families.
The subscription model came next and this is what really sets us apart. It means that we don’t have to focus on billable hours or targets – as long as our subscription clients are looked after and happy, that’s our only metric. It recognizes that all matters have their own peaks and troughs and smooths that out financially for both the firm and the clients.
How do you innovate and stay ahead of industry trends?
We actively embrace tech and seek out new tech as the firm grows. The subscription model necessitates maximum efficiency and thinking about the smartest way of doing things each step of the way, and we rely on technology to streamline our processes. For instance, we utilize AI to transcribe our file notes from client conferences, and then generate summaries and action points from each meeting. Everything is as automated as possible.
What is the toughest challenge you've faced in your role? How did you overcome it?
One of the toughest challenges I've faced is determining the optimal number of subscriptions that can be effectively managed at any given time. It took a period of trial and error to find the right balance. To overcome this challenge, we have implemented limits for myself and future team members on the number of subscriptions that can be carried at any one time.
By setting these limits, we ensure that each client receives the attention and dedication they deserve. This approach allows us to maintain a high level of service and prevents our team from becoming overwhelmed or stretched too thin. Through continuous evaluation and adjustment, we have been able to find a sustainable workload that allows us to deliver exceptional results for our clients.
What are some of your goals for the next 5 years?
We’ve created a Family Law Firm which is actually and truly family friendly for lawyers. So our main goal in the next five years is to expand the team to include more lawyers – all parents, all working completely remotely and around their family commitments.
What is your advice for any younger lawyers who look to follow in your footsteps?
Be really mindful about creating good administrative habits from the outset. Look at other lawyers in your firm that are really great at the administrative side of their work – who has great timekeeping habits (if you bill time), who is really on top of responding to clients, or managing deadlines. Take their skills and make them work for you. The practice of law is much easier, and far less stressful, if you have great administrative skills underpinning your actual legal work.