Episode Notes

Are you ready to ditch the billable hour? Join Stephanie and Shaun Jardin as they unpack the secret to value-based pricing for law firms. They’ll break down the essential tools and mindset you need to transform your pricing strategy. 

Also listen as Zack chats with Emily Brady from Omizant, a full-service law firm marketing agency, as they discuss how to tackle the unique SEO challenges faced by law firms. 

Links from the episode:? 

Check out Omnizant  

Ditch the Billable Hour! By Shaun Jardine  

If today's podcast resonates with you and you haven't read The Small Firm Roadmap Revisited yet, get the first chapter right now for free! Looking for help beyond the book? Check out our coaching community to see if it's right for you.

  • 4:05. Omnizant
  • 13:19. The need to ditch the billable hour
  • 17:29. Defining value-based pricing



Welcome to The Lawyerist Podcast, a series of discussions with entrepreneurs and innovators about building a successful law practice in today’s challenging and constantly changing legal market. Lawyerist supports attorneys, building client-centered, and future-oriented small law firms through community, content, and coaching both online and through the Lawyerist Lab. And now from the team that brought you The Small Firm Roadmap and your podcast hosts 


Sara Muender (00:35): 

Hi, I’m Sarah Muender 


Zack Glaser (00:36): 

And I’m Zack. And this is episode 488 of the Lawyerist Podcast, part of the Legal Talk Network. Today, Stephanie talks with Shaun Jardin about implementing value-based pricing in a law firm. 


Sara Muender (00:48): 

Today’s podcast is brought to you by Omni and you’ll hear Zach’s conversation with them at the beginning of the episode. So Zach, we’ve got some exciting things coming up this year, and I know it’s that time of year when tech show is coming, and I’m still not quite sure if I am personally going or not, but the Lawyerist team is always there, so I’m just kind of curious, maybe you could convince me to consider it. Do you have any thoughts on what tech show is going to be like this year or what to expect? 


Zack Glaser (01:22): 

Yeah, so tech show is coming up in a week or so in Chicago where it usually is, and honestly they haven’t at the time of the recording, they haven’t put out the exact agenda just yet. So I don’t know exactly what CLEs I’m going to go to or what I’m going to watch, but as always, they have a really, really good set of speakers that are going to be there. So you can go to the tech shows website, maybe a tech shows website and see all of them, but I expect that we’re going to see a lot of AI focused things. Tech show usually has very practical practice management and how to use technology in your law office talks, but I think we’re probably going to see a good deal of artificial intelligence talks. I know. Well, I know we are. Stephanie’s speaking on artificial intelligence in your law office. We have a couple of people from Lawyerist and from Affinity Consulting Group at large that are speaking there. Barron Henley is usually speaking and he’s a wealth of information on how to use Word and document automation and management and things like that in your law office. So if you’re looking for really good tips on how to be a high quality, high-end user of Microsoft Word Barron is your guy. He’s the one you’re going to want to go see. So yeah, I expect there’s going to be a lot of good stuff there this year. 


Sara Muender (02:51): 

Cool. Well, for those who are listening, if you’re considering going, if you go, you’ll get some value out of it for sure, and you will definitely see the Lawyerist and Affinity team there, so make sure you swing on by and say hi, and we would love to catch up with you and talk about what’s going on in your firm. 


Zack Glaser (03:08): 

Yeah, we’ll be running around in Lawyerist shirts, so if you see any of us, obviously yell at us or speak softly to us. Whichever way is comfortable for you. I don’t really prefer getting yelled at, but it happens. 


Sara Muender (03:22): 

I just had an idea. Do you think that they would let us come with one of those T-shirt guns where we could just because I get asked for Lawyerist T-shirts at tech show every time I was thinking we’re going to be in our shirts. Can we bring one of those and just kind of, 


Zack Glaser (03:34): 

I think that might be, as they say, below the dignity of the court. It might be a little bit. 


Sara Muender (03:39): 

I could see Stephanie up there. She’s doing her thing and she just makes it fun 


Zack Glaser (03:44): 

Shooting T-shirts into the crowd. Yeah, people will have to go and see her talk to see if we were able to put that together. 


Sara Muender (03:51): 

Well, there you go. You don’t want to miss that. 


Zack Glaser (03:55): 

No, not at all. Well, speaking of her talking, here is Stephanie’s conversation with Shaun. Hey y’all. Zach, the legal tech advisor here at Lawyerist, and today I’d like to talk to you about lawyer, SEO. I’m joined by Emily Brady, the director of SEO at Omnizant, a full service digital marketing agency that helps growth focused firms build powerful websites and effective client generation campaigns. Emily, thanks for being with me today. 


Emily Brady (04:24): 

Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to be here. 


Zack Glaser (04:27): 

So Emily, let’s jump right into it. We were talking about unique SEO challenges that law firms have and you were telling me about some specific things. What are some unique things that lawyers need to think about? 


Emily Brady (04:39): 

Sure, yeah, so I’ve been doing SEO for lawyers for about 12 years now if my math is correct. And there’s a couple specific challenges that I have noticed during that time that are pretty much almost entirely unique to law firms. One of the biggest ones, and I think the most interesting ones is that Google does not fully understand how law firms work as local businesses. 


Zack Glaser (05:07): 

Google doesn’t understand lawyers. Yes, that’s what I hear. Got it. 


Emily Brady (05:11): 

This one’s on Google, but I hopefully I’ll explain myself and then provide some solutions for this one because it’s a really interesting and unique challenge. But basically Google treats law firms as local businesses, which means that proximity is a huge part of Google ranks local businesses, and with that comes this challenge of what about law firms that serve a much larger geographic area than Google views them as relevant for 


Zack Glaser (05:39): 

Oh yeah, my firm actually, we service the entire state of Tennessee, but we were located in a small city called Gallatin. Yeah, 


Emily Brady (05:47): 

Exactly. And that’s one of those classic cases. Maybe your home base is in a smaller city, but you serve a much larger area, and that can be truly challenging. Even if you think about case types that might take you into other states or anywhere in the country, it’s going to be difficult to rank because Google is still looking at the business as a local business. So there are a couple factors and I guess solutions here if we want to dive into how to fix 


Zack Glaser (06:13): 

It. Yeah, let’s definitely touch a little bit of that. Yeah, 


Emily Brady (06:18): 

Yeah, for sure. So there are a couple things you can do. One of ’em is to have an onsite strategy that’s going to actually mirror your real service area 


Zack Glaser (06:28): 

Onsite being on my website. 


Emily Brady (06:31): 

On your website. So that’s going to be a content strategy. Having pages of content that let people know and people and search engines know that you do serve a larger area. Hey, we’re located here, but we serve these states. These are the types of cases that we take there. So providing that information is a great first step in my experience. It’s still challenging to rank in those areas because those pages are competing with local businesses that are local to the area you’re targeting 


Zack Glaser (07:01): 

That have an office actually in that location. 


Emily Brady (07:04): 

Exactly. So that kind of brings me to my next solution, which is be strategic about where your offices are located and if you’re really, really struggling to rank well in a geographic location where you are not, then contemplate opening an office there if you can because that having a Google listing in a specific city is one of the most surefire ways to demonstrate your relevance for ranking in that city in the maps, and also it can help your website as well. So actually getting an office is going to be perhaps the largest investment, but also the most concrete solution and then compliment that obviously with your content and your website strategy too. I think the third solution here is not an SEO solution per se. I am a huge fan of SEO, so if I’m recommending something that’s not SEO, it’s real as good advice, but also in those geographic areas, have a really strong marketing mix. 



Maybe paid ads is going to help you get that visibility initially to see if it’s even worth opening an office there eventually. So be strategic about using other channels. Organic, I’m a huge fan. Yes, organic is wonderful. It can pay you back in dividends over time, but at the end of the day, if Google doesn’t understand that you’re relevant in that specific city or state, then ads may be able to help you accomplish that. So yeah, I think those are probably the three ways that I would confront that particular issue. The good news is your competitors are in the same boat that you are most more often than not. So yeah, unique to law firms, but not unique to your law firm. 


Zack Glaser (08:42): 

That’s a good point. That’s a good point. The big thing there though I think is knowing that it’s an issue as well. And so along those lines, what are some of the other issues that we have as lawyers? 


Emily Brady (08:53): 

Yeah, another really big one is the fact that people don’t want to leave reviews for law firms very often, it’s hard to get reviews. 


Zack Glaser (09:03): 

They may want to leave bad reviews 


Emily Brady (09:06): 

Maybe, but 


Zack Glaser (09:07): 

I hope you don’t have a lot of people that want to leave bad reviews. But yeah, people don’t necessarily want to say, Hey, this guy helped me get out of a DUI. Exactly. Or I had drug charges and I got off with two days in jail or whatever. Or even family law or civil law and all that. So we need to have a good systematic way of trying to get those reviews because they are still very important with Google as well. 


Emily Brady (09:33): 

Definitely, especially for those local rankings, how your Google listing is going to be viewed as more relevant. So ask for reviews even though it’s tough and people don’t want to do it, and then also respond to reviews when you do get them. 


Zack Glaser (09:44): 

Gotcha, gotcha. Make those reviews as good and robust as possible. Okay, we’ve got time for probably a last one. What’s the third thing? 


Emily Brady (09:52): 

Yeah, a third one and this one, again, everyone’s kind of in the same boat maybe for different reasons, but finally, SEO for attorneys are super competitive and it’s easy to say that, but there is a specific reason and that’s because the legal industry as a whole was a very early adopter of search engine optimization. So there are firms out there that have been doing this for a really, really long time and that makes it competitive, especially in those large metropolitan areas. But even elsewhere, it’s just competitive. People have websites that have been around for a long time and they’ve been doing SEO for a long time, which is a challenge if you’re a new firm and you don’t have that relevance and authority in Google’s eyes yet it takes a little bit of time to build it up and you’re going up against firms that may have been investing for longer. Along those same lines though, if you are one of those firms that’s been investing for longer, it probably means that you have some outdated SEO on your website too. So it’s two sides to that coin. It can be good and bad 


Zack Glaser (10:47): 

Need to be thinking about it one way or the other. Absolutely. 


Emily Brady (10:50): 



Zack Glaser (10:50): 

Alright, well Emily, I think that’s all we have the time for today, but I appreciate you being with me and if people want to learn more about how Omni can help with these issues, they can go to Omnizant.com and that’s O-M-N-I-Z-A-N t.com and we’ll have a link to that in the show notes as well. Emily, again, thank you for being with me. I appreciate it. 


Emily Brady (11:11): 

Thank you so much for having me here. 


Shaun Jardin (11:16): 

Hello Stephanie, and thank you very much for having me onto your podcast today. My name is Shaun Jardin. I am the owner of a limited company in the UK called the Big Yellow Penguin. My background is I am a solicitor, a non-practicing solicitor I have to say these days. And I am the former CEO of a top 200 law firm, which I was at for a number of years, but in October, 2021, I retired from private practice, started up my consultancy called The Big Yellow Penguin, and I’m on a mission to try and ditch the billable hour from the legal profession. 


Stephanie Everett (11:56): 

I love it because as you know, that is a mission that is near and dear to my heart. Everyone listening who’s been a listener for any amount of time of this show knows that I also want to ditch the billable hour. I think it’s a worthy cause. So kudos to you, and you just actually published a new book titled Ditch the Billable Hour. 


Shaun Jardin (12:18): 

I have, I’m delighted to say it is being printed as we speak and it gets to the distributors on Monday, so in a three or four days time. So yeah, I’m very, very excited about it. 


Stephanie Everett (12:31): 

Well, great. It’ll be out by the time this episode drops, so we’ll make sure to put a link in the show notes and I’d love to just explore a little bit more because in the book you suggest that it’s time for law firms to ditch the billable hour and I think primarily focus on what’s known as value pricing. Do I have that right? 


Shaun Jardin (12:53): 

That’s it. Let’s not price our legal services based on the time it takes us to do anything. Let’s actually look at our clients, look at the work, look at the value we bring when we’re actually doing legal work and seek to get some of that value as well. 


Stephanie Everett (13:10): 

Yeah, I mean look, you don’t have to convince me, but if there’s any people who have doubts out there, what are your biggest frustrations with the billable hour? 


Shaun Jardin (13:19): 

The first thing is it doesn’t align with client objectives. When clients instruct lawyers, they don’t want to pay more than they have to. When we’re billed by the hour, we have got an incentive to drag things out for as long as possible, so we’re immediately aren’t lined up together. So if you are the worst lawyer in the world and you’ve got a client who is paying by the billable hour, you can earn a fortune because you’re not very good. It takes you a long time to do everything and the client is going to pay for that billable hour. I think one of the other things that frustrates me about it is more to do with our profession, I’m afraid, and that is it takes the pace of change and decision-making by lawyers sometimes is glacial, and over here we have high court judges master of the roles we have what a law Lord and one of our law lords was talking about the billable hour in a judgment, sorry, in a speech that he gave at a conference and he was talking about how it rewards bad practice, et cetera, et cetera. 



So he was calling this out, but he was calling it out 12 years ago and we still are not actually doing anything about it. If you say to a client, look, my hourly rate is X, and I saw in the legal press the other day that one law firm in the States is their hourly rate is now $2,500 an hour. And as soon as you say to your client, this is my hourly rate, your clients hear a number that frightens them and they think, how long is this going to take? If you say to a client, I understand your issues, what I can do is offer you three price points. I can offer you a gold silver bonds price point and they’re all different, and the way I deliver the services different, it goes from will I work to will view at all to which option do I want to take. The other thing that frustrates me about it is that they don’t really understand maths very well and so that if I say, look, it’s an hourly rate, take it or leave it. If it’s an hourly rate, take it or leave it, it’s a 50 50. If I give you gold, silver, bronze or leave it, it’s a 75 25. So actually I’ve got three chances of selling you a service, gold, silver, bronze or leave it. So actually the maths is in favor of creating options for clients, so let’s do it. 


Stephanie Everett (15:45): 

Yeah, I love that. Something else you said in your book, and I just loved this framing because it was a little bit different than what I had heard before, is when you offer a value-based pricing, everyone in the law firm can feel like they’re really part of it. When you’re just charging by the billable hour, it really is limited to that attorney who can bill or maybe the paralegal who could bill, who feels like they’re the ones offering that value to the client when we know that’s just not true. It’s a team effort, everybody’s involved. 


Shaun Jardin (16:18): 

Absolutely. And if you think of it from a client’s perspective, if I give a client a price of $5,000 for doing a piece of work and then we decide we’re going to have a meeting about that, now if I’ve got three lawyers in the room because it’s a commercial transaction, I’ve got an employment lawyer, commercial property lawyer and maybe a litigation lawyer, the client doesn’t mind how many lawyers are there. I’ve got the right people, the right talent to listen to the problem. So we can do it because playing a rate that we’ve agreed $5,000, if I tell them it’s 500 pounds an hour for every lawyer and then we jump on a Zoom call and there’s five of us sitting there, the immediate thing the client said adding up in his head, how much an hour is this costing me? And they’ll get to an end of it and say three of those people didn’t even speak, what were they doing there? And the answer is they’re just there filling out a time sheet writing notes, which actually with the advent of AI and tech and everything else, you could have it have the conversation transcribed and send them an email and send them. That’s what was discussed. They don’t need to sit in a room, but this is one of the great joys and also the great frustrations of being a lawyer. 


Stephanie Everett (17:29): 

Absolutely. So in your book you talk about this idea of value-based pricing, which I think is a little bit different, and I would wonder if you could frame that and define that for us. How does that show up different maybe than a flat fee or is it the same? 


Shaun Jardin (17:42): 

It’s effectively the same whereby you are saying, look, I’m going to scope something out. I’m going to look at what you want me do. Here is a flat fee, but the fee is not going to be necessarily linked to the time. Quite often lawyers do what I call hourly rates in drag, okay, where say I’m going to give you a flat fee and you’re going to say, okay, and they base their flat fee on how many hours it’s going to take them to do it. If it’s $500 an hour, they’ll say, yeah, I’ll give you a flat fee. It’s $1,500 because it’s going to take me three hours. That’s not value-based pricing because let’s say it’s I can do something in three hours that’s going to save you a million dollars. Is the right fee $1,500 for me saving you a million? Well, it is if it’s the hourly rate. 



However, actually it might be that the fee should be 20,000 bucks because I’m saving you a significant amount of money. It might be 50,000, who knows. But until you, we have these conversations, and again, this is something that I help lawyers to deal with. We’ve got to have value conversations, we’ve got to find out what clients want, what outcomes they’re wanting. We don’t know what’s valuable to them. And so I give you an example, an employment lawyer I worked with, corporate client needed new commercial contracts of employment and we gave them three options. We will, sorry, we will send you some precedents. You fill in the precedents yourself, we’ll check your homework 2000 pounds, we’ll do them for you in three weeks time, 5,000 pounds. We will drop everything and do it tomorrow, 8,000 pounds. A client chose pounds, they know they could get it cheaper. 



We told them they wanted it tomorrow because commercially for them it was important that this deal gets done. So the access to the talent, and it was the same person who was going to do it on all three options. That was important to the client, the timing. So actually we captured more value by having the conversation with the client and then doing it at the time the client wanted. And the whole thing about, and again, this is where many lawyers struggle is value-based pricing is an art, not a science. Okay? There’s no side rule that will tell you that’s the right number. I have helped lawyers price work and sometimes I think, do you know what? We got that wrong. We still left value on the table. I have one matter where we quoted the lawyer wanted to quote 14,000. I said, there, that’s far too cheap. Let’s go in At 57, the client came back by return immediately and said Yes. And I think I probably went even at 57, went into too cheap. But you live and learn and next time you try and do better, which is because it’s an art, because it’s a science, we’ve got to have conversations and work out what we’re doing. 


Stephanie Everett (20:38): 

I think you just touched on the fear that a lot of lawyers have when they’re hearing this because that feels hard and something we’re not equipped and to do. I might be thinking, I dunno how to price that. Should it be 14 or 57? How do I even get started with that? 


Shaun Jardin (20:55): 

Well, that’s the thing for billing by the hour, we need calculators to do value-based pricing. We need courage. And the fact is we will never get that pump fist price that makes you go, we will never get that unless we ask for it. My employment lawyer, he didn’t get his 8,000 pounds until he asked for it and he needed some coaching to say, well, come on, let’s do this. Let’s differentiate it. Let’s see what happens. And I’ve had lawyers gone on to charge 500% more for certain things simply by asking for it. And if a client is coming to a law because I’ve heard you’ve been recommended to me by someone I know love and trust, or you’ve been recommended to me by my other professional advisors, they’re part sold already before they come to you. And if you’re talking about a property, a residential converting relocation, and if the employer is picking up the tab for the relocation costs, then the client isn’t going to be price sensitive at all about that. 



All they want to be in is in on the date that they want to be in on. We need to be in the property by that day because my children start school on this stage. That’s what’s important to me. The time is sometimes valued or the price to them isn’t even necessarily important. It depends, but we’ve got to make sure, and lawyers are terrible about this. Whenever we fly anywhere, we quite often understand first class business class premium economy and economy. Now, we may have clients in economy that we deliver first class services to all the time with the champagne and the canna paste and they’re not paying for it. And what we’ve got to do is differentiate our service so that our first class customers are looked after in a first class way and our economy customers still get a competent, well delivered service, but they don’t get it with all the bells and whistles and the gold plating that our first class customers should have and expect. 


Stephanie Everett (22:54): 

Yeah, that makes sense. What questions or guidelines, are there certain pieces of information we might want to know in order to come up with that value price? 


Shaun Jardin (23:05): 

Yeah, first of all, we’ve got to ask the client what does success look like for you? A good question that I encourage people to ask is, look, if we take money off the table, how would you like me to work with you? Are you the kind of client that is happy to have everything dealt with via zoom or would you like me to come around to your house and sit down and talk it through? Because how should we frame the service delivery? So that’s something we want to ask. We should ask, what is the budget that you’ve got for this? Because you might find that a client is thinking, well, I’ve got quite a large budget, or they might have a very small unrealistic budget, in which case there’s no point us saying, well, we can deliver this gold service for you if you haven’t got the budget for that. 



We might have to deliver a bronze type service. The other matters that lawyers need to take in is what I call a lawyer scoring matrix where we’ve got a piece of work, it’s available for us, and then we have to ask ourselves or a colleague and I like people to work in pairs ideally. So you ask a colleague some questions and if the answers to these questions indicate a higher price, then we’ve got to go higher. And these questions are something like, how busy are you, Stephanie? And you’ll say, Sean, I’m absolutely rammed at the moment. I can’t really take any more work. Okay, well we’re going to on a scale of one to five, you’re a five busy that’s indicating a higher price. I’m then going to say, Stephanie, but can’t you delegate this to somebody in your team? You might say, no, I can’t delegate it. 



This one’s got to be dealt with me. I say, how complicated? It’s quite complicated. One to five, it’s complicated. Okay. And then I’ll say, what has the client been like dealing with you up until now? Are they organized? Are they the kind of client that will send you a beautifully crafted chronology and a list and a paginated bundle in a PDF? Or are they the kind of client that’s going to deliver a shoebox full of documents and say, would you mind sorting that out for me? And if they’re a disorganized client, you’re going to score them higher. And then I’m going to say, why are you going to enjoy dealing with these people? And if you say no, because they’re rude, I don’t like them, or for whatever reason, your gut is telling you they’re going to be hard work a higher price. Now, I’ll give you a real life example. 



One of my clients I was working with was a probate lawyer and the calculator, the Excel calculator for the probate said 6,000 pounds. And I said to this lady, I said, great, okay, well we’ve got 6,000 pounds. I said, how busy are you? She said, I’m absolutely ramed. I said, well, can you delegate this? She said, no. I said, oh, come on. You’ve got a big team of eight people. Surely you can delegate this. She said, Sean, I can’t delegate it. And I’ll tell you why. She said, I have just left three siblings arguing over their mother’s estate who gets the engagement ring. They’re all arguing over everything. Mom hasn’t even been buried yet. I know for this probate it’s going to be a nightmare. I’m going to have to have three conversations on every decision because they all hate each other. I said, okay. 



I said, do you like these people? Is this going to be easy? She said, it’s going to be a nightmare. Okay, we’re going to score it high. And I said to her, I said, how much would you like to charge for this work then? And she took a deep breath and she said, 24,000 pounds. I said, fine price approved. She went back to the client and said, yeah, we can do this work for you. The price is 24,000 pounds. And the clients came back and said, that’s fine. Now how does she feel when she’s doing the work? She doesn’t mind. She’s getting paid for it. She’s got four times year, whatever the calculator originally said. And that’s really where it comes back down to. We don’t need every bit of work that comes through the front door. There are some clients that we should never act for. 



There are other clients that we can act for, but let’s get paid the rate, the good rate, because why does it do something? Because an Excel calculator sells you. It’s 6,000 for someone that you know is going to be really hard work. The answer is let’s price every M individually, because if you are going on holiday next week and a new urgent piece of work comes in, you might think, oh, I really don’t want this, but if someone’s going to pay you enough, you will do it. But if it’s going to be someone who wants to pay bottom dollar a low figure, you might think, no, I don’t want it. And we’ve got to just accept that we don’t have to do every bit of work. We just need more than our fair share of the good stuff. 


Stephanie Everett (27:45): 

I love that. Once you’ve quoted the price, the clients agreed, do you advise lawyers to keep track of their time and lawyers famously like to see how did they do? 


Shaun Jardin (27:58): 

Yeah, I talk about that sometimes the time recording could be a battle that is left for another occasion, but usually firms will carry on doing time recording because they want to perhaps look at is it taking someone a bit longer to do this or not? Is there a training need? Does it show resourcing issues in the business? And usually however, once you’ve got away from the time being dictating what the bill is going to be after a year or two, you’ll turn around and think, I dunno why we carry on doing this. I dunno. And some teams shouldn’t do it at all. Really. If you think about residential conveyance in transactions over here, there are 99% of the time always a fixed price. You’ll give it the client a price, fixed price. Some firms still make their people fill in a time sheet and you think, well, what for? 



Sometimes you might want to do a time and motion study at the outset, it’s a new area of law or a new matter. How long does it take us to do this and let’s everybody make sure they time record. So we capture all that time. So it helps us with the base cost. But quite often lawyers will discount their time all the time. They think, oh, I shouldn’t put this down, or It took me half an hour, but really I should have done it in quarter of an hour. Maybe I’ll just put down 15 minutes there. And the fact that we have these Tyra of time sheets and we all approach it in a different way means that quite often the data that we have in our case management systems is rubbish because we’re not all doing it in exactly the same way. So we don’t know. 


Stephanie Everett (29:37): 

I sense from talking to you and having gotten to know you a little bit over the last year, it feels like there’s a lot more firms in the UK who are digging in and doing this, and we’re a little bit behind over here in the us. I’m curious if you have any lessons learned from seeing this in action, 


Shaun Jardin (29:55): 

More firms looking at it. I started totting up the number of firms that I’ve spoken that have been at conferences or webinars or the Law Society of England and Wales, I’ve done a couple of events for, I have spoken to thousands of lawyers. The number that have actually got their checkbooks out paid me to do something as of today is 53 53 firms. And quite often lawyers will go away saying, yeah, yeah, we must do something about that and it’s too hard or it’s put on a partners away we can to think, oh, we must do something about that. And the problem with value-based pricing is it’s a change management project and lawyers a don’t like change. They’re risk averse, naturally conservative, argumentative. We all know this. lawyers struggle with change. It is a change management program and it is not what I call a Jean-Luc Picard syndrome moment where A CEO will say to somebody make it. 



So it’s got to be more than that. And that’s why I’m a great fan of following a methodology, creating a pioneer group, creating a project group and then delivering it. And once lawyers all of a sudden see their colleagues over the corridor getting larger fees than they are for doing what they perceive as a smaller amount of work, a little bit like mere cats in the desert, their heads will go up, they will look over and think, I want to do some of that. But in your pilot group, you need the enthusiastic pioneer Penguins, first of all. 


Stephanie Everett (31:32): 

I love that. And we haven’t even had time to get into it, so we’ll probably have to just do this again and go deeper because in your book, you actually lay out this eight point plan that really helps people if you’re interested in thinking about, okay, I’m ready, I’m bought in. I agree with Stephanie and Sean. Every point, I always say every 0.2, I build sucked a little bit of my soul away. So once you get excited by this, it’s like, yeah, I want to dip my toe in that. I want to go in that direction. And I love that your book has this nice eight point plan that really helps lawyers if you’re ready to engage with it, dig in and what are the steps and how do you get your clients on board? How do you get your team on board because there is a lot of enrolling maybe and selling into the concepts and the ideas that you have to do because honestly, we’ve just been told for so long, this is how it has to be. To your point, sometimes hard to make that shift in our brains, and that’s where it has to start. 


Shaun Jardin (32:26): 

Yeah, absolutely. 


Stephanie Everett (32:28): 

Well, Sean, thank you for being my guest today. We’re going to put a link to your brand new book, ditch the Billable Hour in the show notes, and if people want to find out more about you, is there another place they should go? 


Shaun Jardin (32:39): 

Absolutely. Well, I’m a LinkedIn junkie, so please come and see me there or via the website, big Yellow Penguin. And on my website I have a link to something called the V BP Colony, and that’s, I’ve created an online community for people to that have gotten interest in that, to come into the colony. I’ve got lots of speakers lined up, some of the materials in the book, some of the YouTube clips and things like that, links to things. That’s all available. So come and see me in the colony and if anybody ever wants more than happy to chat about the Billable Hour and it’s demise. If people want to hit me up, have a call. I’m sitting here is Sunny Ox Oxfordshire, not so sunny today, but I’m really happy to make time available for the people who want to explore this. 


Speaker 1 (33:29): 

Awesome, thank you. 


Shaun Jardin (33:30): 

Thank you. 



The Lawyerist Podcast is edited by Britany Felix. Are you ready to implement the ideas we discuss here into your practice? Wondering what to do next? Here are your first two steps. First. If you haven’t read The Small Firm Roadmap yet, grab the first chapter for free at Lawyerist.com/book. Looking for help beyond the book? Let’s chat about whether our coaching communities, are right for you. Head to Lawyerist.com/community/lab to schedule a 10-minute call with our team to learn more. The views expressed by the participants are their own and are not endorsed by Legal Talk Network. Nothing said in this podcast is legal advice for you. 

Your Hosts

Stephanie Everett

Stephanie Everett is the President of Lawyerist, where she leads the Lawyerist Lab program. She is the co-author of the bestselling book The Small Firm Roadmap and is a regular guest and co-host of the weekly Lawyerist Podcast.

Featured Guests

Shaun Jardin Headshot

Shaun Jardine

Shaun is unashamedly and unapologetically a disruptor. As a lawyer and former law firm CEO of a top 250 UK law firm which employed over 240 people , he has a unique insight into what makes
law firms tick. Shaun founded Big Yellow Penguin (BYP) in 2021 with the aim of encouraging and helping lawyers and law firms to move on from the 20th century and adopt practices, including value pricing, which will make their futures more secure, both financially and operationally, and
enjoy practicing their craft again.

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Last updated February 1st, 2024