Podcast #53: Putting Access to Justice into Practice, with Billie Tarascio

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Personal Productivity for Lawyers

This quick-start guide to Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero also includes two shortcuts for those who want the benefits of GTD without having to learn the system.

Billie Tarascio started out trying to build a firm that furthers access to justice, and wound up building a pretty innovative law firm with a software backbone that allowed her to deliver legal services at every price point—and it didn’t work. You’ll find out why in today’s podcast, but first, don’t forget that clients and customers are looking for very different things.

Client v. Customer

When talking about law practice, many draw analogies between selling iPhones and talking to potential clients, talk about product design like delivering legal services, and conflate holes and estate plans. Those can be useful analogies, but there is a fundamental difference between a customer who buys iPhones and a client who buys legal services. Lawyers aren’t iPhones. Seth Godin explained it in more detail in a recent blog post:

The customer buys (or doesn’t buy) what you make.

The client asks you to make something.

Don’t confuse the two.

Putting Access to Justice into Practice, with Billie Tarascio

billie-tarascio

Billie Tarascio has two companies:

  1. Access Legal, a legal document assembly platform sort of like LegalZoom for Arizona divorces.
  2. Modern Law, an Arizona family law firm that relies on the same software (and forms) that power Access Legal.

The thing is, Access Legal is at once really innovative and exciting and almost exactly what everyone says small firms need to be doing, and it didn’t work. Tarascio tried to eat her own lunch, and it just didn’t work.

Listen now to find out why. There may be some important lessons to take away from this.

Thanks to Clio and Ruby Receptionists for sponsoring this episode!

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