How to Run a Successful Estate Planning Practice in Less Than Two Hours a Day with Laura Cowan

Working at a big business can mean earning thousands of dollars — and who doesn't want a six-figure salary, right? However, it can also cost you hours and hours of your day. Many people, especially professionals used to working long hours, have realized that this isn't what they want in life. Spending whole days at the office to work harder and earn more isn't worth it. Now, the goal is to make a good living and still have enough time to have a life outside of work.

Like many others, attorneys have realized they don't want to spend their entire lives at work. The question now is what to do to achieve that goal.

In this episode, Laura Cowan tells us what you can do to run a successful practice with just two hours a day. She shares how you can start your own estate planning services and elevate your practice by using virtual tools and techniques.

Want to learn how to use the virtual world to make your work as an attorney easier and more efficient? Listen in to our conversation with Laura to find out more.

Here are three reasons why you should listen to this episode

  1. Don’t let your budget hold you back. Find out how you can cut down your costs.
  2. Learn what you should focus on and what you can outsource to spend less time at work and more time outside of it.
  3. Discover how you can reach your audience and convert them into your clients.


Episode Highlights

Laura’s Work

  • Laura has been an estate planning attorney based in New York since 2016.
  • Estate planning is a good practice area that attorneys can do online. As a result, many attorneys are looking into estate planning.

Laura: “This is a really big shift. I've done estate planning for about three years pre-COVID and I did estate planning three years post. And it's really like night and day because now we're allowed to do everything via Zoom.”

  • Laura launched 2 Hour Lifestyle Lawyer for people who have realized that long hours aren't worth it. Attorneys don't need a nine-figure practice and work full-time.
  • It includes a course and group coaching program that teaches lawyers how to have a virtual practice. 

Working Fewer Hours and Living More

  • One way to save time working is to educate your prospects in a group setting through a webinar or seminar.
  • In estate planning, everyone needs your service. Education is a big part of it, and it's your job to help people understand why they need an estate plan.
  • You can also cut down the time spent working by determining what you can automate, delegate and outsource. 

Laura: “We're also teaching the flip side, which is what can you automate? What can you outsource? And then just also to think about, what kind of life and what kind of practice do you want to have?”

  • Laura doesn’t only teach her students how to get leads and revenue. She also helps them determine how they can run their practice efficiently.
  • Most attorneys don't really want to earn six to nine figures. For many, the goal is to make $10,000 to $20,000 a month while having a life outside of work.

Getting Your Costs To Go Down

  • You can charge approximately $3500 for an estate planning package on average. To make $20,000 in a month, you'll need six clients.
  • You can reach this goal by determining what you should do yourself and what you can outsource.
  • Marketing is one of the highest costs in your practice. Fortunately, you don't need a big marketing budget for ads.
  • One way to drive traffic to your events is to reach out to local groups in your community and advertise there. This way, you can get the marketing costs down.
  • Laura advertises in a group that's composed of her ideal clients. She can buy a dedicated email list even with a small budget.

Laura: “There's no point making $10,000 in revenue if it costs you $8000 to do it. So we teach you how to get those marketing costs down. And once you get that dialed in, getting six clients a month shouldn't be that much work.” 

Breaking Down the Attorney’s To Do

  • As an attorney, you should focus on educating your community by hosting events in person or through webinars.
  • The second thing you have to do is to close. Consult the client about their options, fees, and processes and get their answer. Then you can move on to the design meeting.
  • You can outsource a paralegal, virtual assistant, or staff to draft documents, book speaking engagements, and answer phones. Train them and incentivize their work.
  • Invest in software and malpractice insurance as well.
  • These flat and fixed expenses can allow you to cut your work time down to two hours.

Getting Your Audience

  • :With an in-person event, people are present and can see you. However, these tend to be more expensive as well.
  • You can also hold your event virtually. Present it live or pre-record your webinar to run on-demand from your website.
  • The first thing you can do to get people to show up is to determine your ideal client. Your marketing copy would focus on these people.
  • Look for local groups in your community or Facebook groups of your ideal client and advertise there.

Moshe: “If you don't have the budget or if you recognize that, hey, I can do this without spending 1000s of dollars on Facebook and Google, unlocking or thinking of these ideas, of other ways to access the audience is really the name of the game.”

Converting Clients From Your Audience

  • Only a third of your registrants might show, and you may only be able to convert a third of them.
  • Many lawyers speak at events without resonating with their audience. They may make the mistake of ending an event without a call to action.
  • You need to have a strong call to action at the end of your event. During this, you have to sell the next step in the process.

Laura: "Most people aren't ready to hire you, but they're ready to attend the event. So the  goal of the event is to get them to take the next step."

  • Focus less on how many people register and attend. Instead, focus on what you're saying and your call to action.

The Track to Success

  • Laura gives her students her presentation and teaches them how to present it so they can focus on their call to action.
  • No one is naturally good from the beginning. You need to learn and practice. 
  • In Laura’s first presentation, she was nervous and didn’t want to do it. However, she knew it was the best way to get business.

Laura: “I think the people who are going to be successful at this are the people who are willing to get a little bit uncomfortable, willing to step outside their comfort zone. And then just be that. Be yourself. I mean, as cliche as it sounds, whatever your personality is, it’s going to shine through.”

  • To be successful, you’ll have to be willing to be uncomfortable. In time, you’ll find a process that works for you and get better.

Your Call To Action

  • One of the biggest hurdles is getting people to take action and do it soon.
  • Give a limited, one-time offer to encourage action. This can be a financial incentive for people to be able to save money when they do it soon.
  • Most people don’t know what to expect. Make the process clear and show your potential client that it can be easy and painless.

Laura’s Parting Piece of Advice

  • You don’t have to work in a big law firm or build a nine-figure practice. Once you get your law degree, find out what you want to do and the life you want to have.

Laura: “I think the first step in all of this is you've got your law degree. What do you do with it? How do you mesh it with the life that you want to have?”

  • Consider estate planning as a practice area. It's a good way to earn without working full-time at a big law firm.
  • Laura helps people from law students to attorneys who have been working for the past 30 years. With her online course and coaching, there have been great results.

About Laura

Laura Cowan is an attorney practicing estate planning. She founded the Law Office of Laura Cowan based in New York in 2016. Through her work, she guides individuals and families through the estate planning process. Laura has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School.

Laura has also launched her own coaching business, 2-Hour Lifestyle Lawyer. There she teaches attorneys of all ages how to incorporate webinars and other virtual tools in practicing law. She frequently speaks at schools, workplaces, and churches, teaching people about estate planning.

Learn more about Laura’s work and connect with her on her website.

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