Beth MacLean founded Timeless Legal Network to help lawyers increase their revenue. A former corporate and private practice attorney, she has created two products for this purpose. Timeless Roadmap helps identify new opportunities with small business customers. Timeless Advantage teaches attorneys how to price based on the value to the customer instead of the hours recorded.
The Story Behind Timeless
- What is the most important thing you can share about pricing?
- It does not have to be that hard.
- You need to be fully committed to the value pricing journey.
- Matthew Burgess was a trailblazer, talking about the journey.
- Because of the plethora of information, tools and support out there now, it is not that hard.
- What is the Timeless Legal Network?
- Timeless is a network of incredibly innovative small to medium-size law firms.
- It is about helping lawyers and their customers become more successful, by providing them with the tools and support they need for timeless pricing.
- What is the story behind Timeless Legal Network?
- Chapter 1 – After law school, she took a job at a large firm.
- Her customers were banks and corporations, represented on the other side by big law firms.
- Her instruction was to craft a contract with an upfront payment and a series of payments to follow. The catch was to avoid the additional payments through qualifications.
- She got a call from someone who was not a lawyer.
- She told the gentleman that he needed a lawyer to review the document before the deadline at midnight.
- Her heart sunk because she knew the impact the deal would have on his business.
- When the deal closed, she quit her job, telling her superiors that she wanted to help the little guy avoid “them.”
- Chapter 2 – She started her law firm to try to help customers become more successful and avoid the pitfalls.
- The firm did not work out due to her naive perspective.
- She created Roadmap based on a legal and financial due diligence checklist for the sale of a company.
- Roadmap helps customers address the items in those checklists to better understand how to avoid the pitfalls.
- After she created Roadmap, customers would ask, “Can you do this on a retainer?”
- She would then create a fixed fee, based on a number of hours – the billable hour in drag.
- She continued to see businesses fail to be proactive about their legal issues, so she stopped practicing law.
- Chapter 3 – She met Paul Dunn, who suggested she read Firm of the Future.
- The light bulbs were going off as to why her mission did not work.
- She set up a network of lawyers who could share their experiences and return to the principles that inspired them to become lawyers.
- The idea of “making a difference” is the theme; she was a solution looking for a framework.
- Michael Bungay Stanier, the founder of Box of Crayons, told her, “Wisdom enters through the wound.”
[clickToTweet tweet=”Because of the plethora of information and tools available, pricing is not that hard.” quote=”Because of the plethora of information and tools available, pricing is not that hard.”]
The Importance of Being Timeless
- Why is being timeless important for a lawyer?
- You are much happier in your practice and your personal life if you move away from the billable hour.
- The difference is not trying to impress others.
- There is no incentive to go fast if you are billing by the hour.
- At the big law firm, she mentioned to a colleague that she entered her 48th hour in 2 days. He responded, “You think that is good. My record is 72!”
- She was was complaining while he was bragging!
- She would have to re-read document because she was so exhausted.
- Why is there resistance to being timeless in the legal field?
- When you get out of law school, you are handed a time sheet.
- You are not given an option.
- She would have resisted timeless billing when she first started out.
- You get stuck in that way of thinking, rather than spending an hour looking at Timeless Advantage or other resources.
- There is nothing wrong with the billable hour, but there is a better, easier way.
- It is a mindset change; you usually experience an epiphany.
- What is one of your favorite questions to ask during a value conversation?
- Lawyers are uncomfortable with the value conversation and need structure.
- Roadmap takes a customer through 15 different areas of law and helps them identify needs.
- The customer is happy to answer the questions because they want to talk about their businesses.
- The lawyer needs to give the customer information in context, and then ask questions.
- Where are you now and where do you want to go in your business?
[clickToTweet tweet=”You are happier in your practice and personal life if you move away from the billable hour.” quote=”You are happier in your practice and personal life if you move away from the billable hour.”]
Timeless Roadmap and Advantage
- What is the Timeless Roadmap?
- It is a framework that guides a lawyer through a series questions to avoid missing something.
- The attorney completes the roadmap while asking the customer questions.
- The goal is for the attorney to listen truly to what the customer is saying.
- It allows the lawyer to become a mentor, rather than someone they call when they have a problem.
- Timeless pricing allows the customer to call you long before he have an issue.
- Why are lawyers reluctant to use their judgment to price?
- What is the Timeless Advantage?
- It is a security blanket for an attorney.
- The beginning is the why.
- It is organized as segments so you can work in short bursts.
- The product walks a lawyer through the 8 steps to implement value pricing from the book by Ron Baker.
- She created Advantage to help people have a quicker epiphany.
- What is the ethical perspective of being timeless?
- Billing by the hour is not unethical because most lawyers are genuinely trying to help people.
- Billing by the hour is essentially the mother's milk you get when you first get out of law school.
- When you want to succeed in your chosen field, you do not question the rules.
- Timeless pricing is better aligned with your mission and values.
- There is a better, easier way to practice law.
About Beth MacLean
Beth MacLean was a corporate attorney who worked in private equity and mergers & acquisitions before becoming disillusioned with the industry. Next, she opened her own law firm, growing to a team of 25 people. Later seeking to make a true difference, she started the Timeless Legal Network, to help attorneys change the way they do business. She is both Canadian and Australian, residing in Sydney.