We sat down with Lawyerist Lab member and family law attorney, Aaron Thomas, to discuss his experiences in the Lab community.
Lawyerist: Can you give me a brief description of your firm, its size practice area location, and maybe the new project we know you’re working on?
Aaron Thomas: So, I’m the owner of Aaron Thomas Law. We provide family law services in Atlanta, Georgia and the surrounding Metro area. Our practice areas include divorce, custody, and child support, as well as enforcing or modifying any orders that fall under those and prenups and postnups.
And I have a new project called Georgia Prenups.
Rebranding a Family Law Firm from Divorce to Prenups
Lawyerist: Tell us more about that new project. How did it start? How did it get to where it is now?
Aaron Thomas: I’ve wanted to develop a niche prenuptial agreement for a number of years now. I tried a few different projects before, but they fizzled. I joined Lab in January of 2020 and around February, March, I started thinking about revamping this idea.
It started as an idea I talked over initially with [Lab Head Coach] Stephanie and by spring, we started getting serious about implementing. I wanted to figure out how to launch without breaking the bank and in a way that would produce good results.
With Stephanie, I focused on getting the minimum viable product out there, launching it quickly, and spending money in the right places. We turned it around pretty quickly!
We announced the new project through my newsletter and on social media in mid-August. We just signed up our fourth client, which was beyond my expectations.
Lawyerist: It’s been cool to see your project grow from an inkling to four clients in a month. Congratulations!
Getting Help for Big Projects in a Small Law Firm
So when you joined Lab in January, beyond this particular project, what were the challenges that made you seek out help?
Aaron Thomas: I was dealing with a few issues. For instance, I wasn’t getting the performance out of one of my employees and that was causing a lot of backup and frustration. Also, I was working seven days a week, getting up on Saturdays and Sundays and sitting down at my computer immediately. Not sustainable.
I also wasn’t delegating appropriately. I didn’t have the right staffing. I probably wasn’t trusting my employees and they deserved my trust.
We had a lot of work. Bringing in clients wasn’t the problem. It was getting the work done in a way that didn’t require me to work around the clock.
Lawyerist: Common issues with our Lab members—many of them come to Lab to fix exactly what you’re talking about.
Aaron Thomas: I actually attended a Lawyerist conference three years ago and it was a super inspirational few days. After, I continued listening to the podcast.
And in January, the timing was right. I had done other training and worked with other consultants. I kept thinking of Lawyerist throughout those training sessions and reached back to join.
Lawyerist: And we’re so glad you did! How would you say our team since January have helped you strategize and implement?
Aaron Thomas: In a few different ways. Head Coach Stephanie was the first person I spent a significant amount of time talking to, especially about my Georgia Prenups project.
First, I needed to bounce the idea off other people to figure out if it was even a viable idea. In my initial conversations with Stephanie and [Community Manager] Jennifer, I was able to ask—am I crazy? Is this something that can actually work? Am I missing something big?
In the beginning, the coaches gave me the kick in the butt to get me out there and try the idea. Then, I worked with all the Lab coaches to make a plan. It was helpful—I just couldn’t look it at from the same perspective the coaches and community could. Having Lab members I could talk through strategy, marketing, and accountability was helpful.
What About Staffing and Delegation?
Aaron Thomas: Lab gave me the advice to sit down with the employee I was having issues with and be direct and talk about what the expectations were and then follow up to see if those expectations were being met. And we figured out that it wasn’t a good fit and we parted ways.
Afterward, I was able to find someone who isn’t just a great employee but was able to take on the work that has given me the flexibility to step back and do more of what I want to do, including spending more weekends with my wife and daughter. So, the delegation issue was handled, as well.
Lawyerist: Tell me how the different elements of Lab—community, courses, coaching—have helped you.
Aaron Thomas: The courses have been great starting points to figure out my gaps. For example, Facebook advertising. I think most lawyers don’t know anything about Facebook ads. And to be able to sit down on my own time, watch the videos, take notes, and at least learn the basics, even if I ended up outsourcing some of those projects, was invaluable.
Community & Coaching: Leveraging Lawyerist Lab
One of the biggest benefits has been the coaching. Being able to talk to individuals about my particular problems and get a customized plan rather than a one size fits all, and to get encouragement and accountability—really wonderful. I often know what I need to do, but have trouble implementing, so the help was great.
And the community—I didn’t even come into Lab expecting such a supportive community. There are some inspirational people In Lab, lawyers are doing some really amazing stuff.
Everyone has been super supportive. I chatted with some other lawyers outside of Lab about this project and the questions I got from them were so different from what I got in Lab. They asked—are you sure you want to do this? Isn’t it a risk? Aren’t you worried about liability? There was a lot of poo-pooing this idea that had become my baby.
And the Lab community and coaches couldn’t be more opposite. Everyone said—of course, you can do that. What you’re doing is amazing. And I heard, “Maybe I should do something like what you’re doing.”
Lab has been a great place to pull it all together. When I talk to people in Lab, they say—all right, how do we best achieve this goal? Not can you achieve it. No one downs my idea for being unrealistic or too lofty or risky. It’s amazingly supportive.
Lawyerist: We love hearing this. This is exactly what we want the community to be. Thank you for saying this.
To end, tell me where your firm is headed. I know you plan to keep expanding Georgia Prenups, but what else is next?
Aaron Thomas: The firm is doing really well. And my new project is doing well. The next year in Lab will be figuring out where I go next. Do I take more of a hands-off role in the daily firm and focus on the new project? Do I retreat into more of a management position? Do I bring on additional staff?
But I feel like I’ve got a base underneath me with this new project and I’m super excited.
To learn more about our Lab community, set up a time to chat with our Community Coach.