Simple Legals is not a law firm. We are a legal training business, and that means that our training is not a marketing tool to try to gain legal work. We train our students in the same way that we train junior lawyers, so that they gain an understanding of how the law works and applies to the issues they are likely to face – and the ability to resolve those issues.
After 15 years or so of practising law, I’ve seen some pretty major changes to the ways business operate but the legal industry has remained pretty consistent. “Leave the law to us, it’s complicated”. I call bullshit on that.
I’ve always been interested in continual professional development (arguably more so once I became a lawyer than when I was training to become one), and regularly attend workshops, listen to podcasts, watch webinars and read books on a variety of business topics. Whether it is sales or marketing, management skills, innovation and scalability, there are endless choices for self-improvement. Except there was very little based around law.
To be fair, employment lawyers are the exception here as they have been forced to adopt the tactics of HR professionals by offering workshops and updates so that they can stay in the game, but that aside it tends to be a half hour presentation at a networking event or conference in which the lawyer demonstrates how knowledgeable and experienced they are and is essentially just marketing their own services to you. No problem with that, but what if there was another way?
What if I want to train your staff so that you don’t need to use lawyers as much? What if I have no ulterior motive in giving the training simply because I want you to give me more legal work? What if I give your staff the same sort of training that I give junior lawyers, with the sole aim of you being so impressed with the training that you and your staff want more training from me?
Needless to say, not all my peers understood the business plan. Why would you want to train people to do it themselves instead of getting them to instruct us?
Well, I went on a marketing course when I first set up Simple Legals, and it was brilliant. I learnt a lot, use some of that knowledge gained in my own marketing. But guess what – I’m not an expert. I didn’t suddenly gained the ability to run my own marketing campaigns single-handedly, or the ability to come up with great branding. But I did learn enough to not make silly mistakes, and to understand where I need professional help and make better use of it. My accountant taught me how to use my accounting software too – and he wasn’t worried that it was doing him out of work.
So here it is. Simple Legals. Let’s uncomplicate law.