Balancing Affordable Legal Services and Profit with Christina Gilbertson
Dec 09, 2021
Most businesses don't want to pay for legal services. A company would rather cut the number of billable hours they have to pay for than have a lawyer fix their legal concerns, often ending in a wildfire of legal problems at the end of a cycle.
In this episode, Christina Gilbertson of the Gilbertson Law Office shares how she offers quality legal services at an affordable rate. Christina details how we can earn a profit while still providing the legal services your clients need. We'll also discuss the importance of boundaries between your legal work and home lives.
If you are thinking of starting a legal firm or are a business owner wondering how to find quality legal services, this episode is for you!
Three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:
- Discover how the subscription model can help you offer affordable legal services.
- Learn how Christina standardized her legal subscription service plan.
- Find out ways to structure your legalplans for your future endeavors.
The Leap Christina Made
- Christina used to be a litigator of a big law firm and loved the duties a lawyer performs.
- As time passed by, she felt that she was nothing more than a number in the firm.
- She left her job of 11 years and took a huge leap to start a law firm. She never intended to own a business.
Christina: "...I think that's been the most transformative part of it is that the 'fake it 'til you make it,' for a little bit. Eventually, if you stick to it, and you believe, you actually can make it."
Lessons from Moshe
- Christina learned to take a step back from her business endeavors and look at the external perspectives.
- Christina learned the importance of consistency and focus — pick something and get it done.
- Although she considers herself a true solo, she recognizes the value of using technology to systematize her firm.
- Christina wants to avoid making her firm the center of her life.
Christina: “I need to figure out a way to have the legal firm support my life, not my life, just be completely centered around the legal firm.”
Starting A Law Firm
- The main challenges of managing a law form lie in how much time someone has to invest in it — especially if you take your work home.
- Business owners start companies to be their own bosses and enforce their own decisions.
- However, they tend to overwork and spend less time with their loved ones. As a result, they don’t set a good example of a successful career path for their children.
- Business owners should understand their priorities. Their business is a vehicle for them to achieve their business dreams.
- When we use fewer hours for work, it forces us to figure out ways to be productive. It encourages you to be efficient in hiring employees and creating helpful work systems.
Christina’s Practice Areas
- Her focus area is serving as an outside general counsel to small businesses. As of now, her largest client is a company of 30 employees.
What Christina feels is common knowledge is often news to her clients. Her clients typically can’t afford or find legal services.
Christina: "But every now and then, when I'd work with a smaller business, I could tell that I was actually making a difference."
- For the last three years, she has helped in forming business sales, selling businesses, improving employees, and protecting the foundation of the companies.
- She seeks long-term partnerships with her clients.
Moshe: "If you continue to cut the fat, if you continue to get rid of the clients that are needy — the clients that are not serving you well. You can continue to elevate your business because it makes room for more of these really good clients."
How Christina Provides Legal Services
- Kim Bennett's subscription model guided the process of Christina's personalized legal subscription plan for her clients.
Subscription pricing is ideal because people know what fees they’ll be paying for their legal services. It builds consistency. Many businesses don't like paying for billable hours, so they try to cut costs by not taking advantage of legal services, causing huge problems down the line.
- Christina has tripled her base price. Undervaluing her services implies that her services are not as good.
- It took her time to work out the right price point for the subscription.
Christina: “It took a little bit of time to kind of get to that right pricing point. I feel like I'm there at this point because there is that ebb and flow. Not every subscription client is going to need a lot of stuff every single month.”
Perfectionism in Business
- Nothing in business is perfect. The essence of establishing a business is through experimenting.
- The faster you start experimenting, the quicker you'll reach a conclusion.
- As you proceed, you’ll pick up strategies that suit your company’s goals and needs.
- Perfectionism shouldn’t keep you from taking steps forward in your business.
Moshe’s Advice on the Subscription Model
- Moshe suggests that a quarterly subscription plan could be a better alternative for Christina. Her clients may renew the subscription after 90 days.
- A subscription model means that your clients have access to you. Tune in to the full episode for an in-depth description of how to price your deliverables.
It’s vital to maintain your boundaries with clients. If you violate your own boundaries, then the companies you serve will feel entitled to your legal services at any time.
The Impact of the Elite Lawyer Coaching Program
- The program instills a sense of accountability in its members and provides an avenue to share ideas with other people.
- Christina admits that as a solo practitioner, she could feel lonely. Someone working solo can find it difficult to take a step back when they encounter issues.
- By participating in quarterly planning sessions, Christina noticed an uptick in efficiency and growth in her law firm.
Christina: “I feel like when I started my business, I knew how to be a lawyer. But I had no idea what it meant to run a business.”
- The program motivates Christina to assign specific goals each quarter. When she puts her goal-setting in motion, she would often surpass a lot of them.
Importance of Planning
- A plan without execution is dreaming.
- Setting up a plan is as significant as executing it.
- Being in a supportive accountability environment helps you get back on track with your plan.
- The best way to experience a proper planning system is by joining Moshe’s free coaching session.
- Recognize whenever you feel like you’re standing in your own way.
- You're not an island. Be open to help if you feel overwhelmed.
- The extra guidance may assist you in detecting the weaknesses that you couldn’t see yourself.
Christina: "You shouldn't be doing it all yourself — you need to get help. And sometimes those people that are helping you can help you identify when you're the log jam."
- Be calm whenever your plans don’t work. Accept it as a lesson learned instead of a failure.
Christina Gilbertson, the founder of Gilbertson Law Office, started her career as a lawyer at well-known national legal law firms. She devoted years to handling various elements of legal litigation in multiple practice areas, be it in federal or legal state courts. Then, she decided to take a leap and branch out as she started to build her own legal law firm where she advocates meaningful client relationships and budget-friendly legal counsel.
She believes that prevention is always better than cure, which is why she thinks it is best, especially for micro-businesses, to team up with a legal counsel. Christina makes it possible for small companies to access quality legal services through her flat-fee pricing.
Want to learn more about Christina and the Gilbertson Law Office? Visit their website now.
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