‘There’s so much to learn and there’s always opportunity for growth’ in a global market

‘There’s so much to learn and there’s always opportunity for growth’ in a global market

02 December 2021 By Lauren Croft
Hayley Tarr

Working in a global market and observing lawyers from around the world will make lawyers and their boutique firms more successful, said this founding director.

Hayley Tarr is the founding director of Tarr law and an admitted attorney in New York, and lives in Australia whilst working in a global market. Speaking recently on the Boutique Lawyers Show, Ms Tarr reflected on the benefits of owning a global business whilst still living locally – and how much she’s grown as a result of doing so.

After going through a separation herself, Ms Tarr also founded Partior, a service that supports families through the aftermath and turmoil of a separation.

“It was really important to me to build something new, to help other people that were going through something similar to what I had been through. It’s not a legal service; it’s more like a social work service – it’s really just a checklist to sit people down and say, okay, well, have you changed all of your passwords? Have you immediately notified the bank to freeze your joint bank accounts? Have you contacted Centrelink to make a request for child support?” she explained.

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“It’s a new business. We don’t know how it’s going to go, but we’re getting a lot of positive feedback from people. So hopefully, it will turn into a viable business, and it will end up helping a lot of people.”

This venture is very different to Ms Tarr’s law firm, which primarily focuses on the IP space.

“Tarr Law is an exclusive intellectual property. We do one thing and we do it really well, and I’m not the sort of somebody who’s a master of all things,” she said.

“I like what I do, and I like to do it well. So Partior is a completely separate business that it was personal to me because I felt like I could help people in that. But I think that the common thread to it is that I am entrepreneurial, and I like to create new things.”

That entrepreneurial mindset is something that all boutique firm owners should possess, added Ms Tarr.

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“I think you have to be business-minded rather than just legally minded to own a boutique law firm because one of the things that I love about having my own firm is that there are those additional challenges. I mean, you have to look at staffing and location and get familiar with Xero and all of the additional things that come with owning your own firm that’s separate to just doing the legal work,” she said.

“So, if you are good at managing a business, then that’s what a boutique practise is. It’s not really just being a lawyer; it’s being a business owner.”

In order to reach clients in a global market whilst still living locally, Ms Tarr said her firm had explored a number of marketing methods; one video posted by Tarr Law on TikTok has recently received over 65,000 views.

“The motivation for us is just to, even though Tarr Law is an established business, to still treat the aspects of that business as its own start-up. So marketing is an aspect where we are continually trying and exploring. And so, that way, it’s always fresh. What’s something we haven’t done yet? What can we try?” she added.  

“But I don’t know necessarily that anything is as good as a personal connection with. And particularly for us, it’s been personal connections with other professionals, with lawyers, with accountants and things like that. People that actually have clients that they can then refer to us.”

In terms of working in a global market, Ms Tarr said that whilst she is occasionally “up all hours of the night”, it’s easier than ever to collaborate with different people around the world.

“Everything’s done by email, really, for me. It’s rare that I would have a Zoom conference or anything like that. And most of the time, I am organised, and you can have that advantage of being organised in IP because you know when the deadlines are, and I mean for a trademark application, the deadline’s 15 months out,” she said.

“Working Australia-wide, it means that your kind of client or potential client base is a lot broader than your local area. And we have a lot of clients from Sydney because we did some work for a couple of people down there and then word of mouth started to spread. Then another advantage of that is that, well, we can live according to the cost of living in our area, but then charge at prices that are competitive with, say, Sydney or Melbourne prices.

“So, it means that our clients can get a cheaper rate, but we can still earn a living that gives us a nice standard of living. Everything’s happening online so they can work for anyone and they can use their location as an advantage,” Ms Tarr added.

In turn, this sort of work has made Ms Tarr a better lawyer and offered her ample opportunity to grow and learn.

“I think I’m definitely growing in leaps and bounds in the type of lawyer that I am and, hopefully, also the type of person that I am. There’s so much to learn, and there’s always opportunity for growth. And every time you work with someone different, you learn how they do things,” she said.  

“Just to see that that is how other people are doing things and almost like, the smarter you are, the nicer you can be while you’re being clever. So, yeah. Working internationally and working with other lawyers. It’s growing my skills by leaps and bounds.

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

 

‘There’s so much to learn and there’s always opportunity for growth’ in a global market
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