Deep Dive with Dave Aarons, CEO of Unbundled Attorney: How to Thrive in a Disrupted Legal Market and the Future of Unbundled Legal Services

February 24th, 2017

This is a little bit of a change of pace in our usual interview format. Up till now, I’ve been the one to interview all of our provider attorneys, so I’ve been in the interviewer chair interviewing them. This time, we’re doing a bit of a role shift and we’re bringing back one of the attorneys that was on our podcast. Ms. Sou Bounlutay is one of our provider attorneys out of Seattle. She was in the episode, The Turnaround Episode. How One Shift in Approach Can Dramatically Transform Your Results. Really, good, well received episode. She’s coming back on the show, and she’s getting in the interviewer chair, and she’s interviewing me.

This is a unique opportunity for you to get a behind the scenes, behind the curtain understanding of how Unbundled Attorney came about, my views on not only lead generation, but unbundled legal services, the industry, the market place, the trends, the shifts, and where we’re planning on taking this organization and the community we’re building, and the types of attorneys that we’ve been attracting, and the potential impact that can have on the legal community and the people that it serves. I’m not going to say anything else about this interview, I’m just going to let you enjoy it. Let’s get right into it. This interview with Dave Aarons, the Co-Founder and CEO of Unbundled Attorney.

Below is the transcription of this episode from our Unbundled Attorney Mastermind Podcast. You can listen to the entire episode by clicking here.

Dave Aarons:  Hey Sou, welcome to the show.

Sou Bounlutay: Hi Dave, how are you?

Dave Aarons:  I’m doing really well. I’m really looking forward to this interview. For those that are listening, we are essentially turning the table today and Sou is one of our provider attorneys that came on the podcast earlier, in an episode called the Turnaround episode. How one change in approach can dramatically transform your results. It’s a great episode. Today, she’s rejoining us on the show to interview me, the CEO of Unbundled Attorney, so we have an opportunity to dive into a bit of the Genesis story of Unbundled Attorney, how it came to be, and the focus we have nowadays, and the future that we’d like to bring. Thank you Sou for taking the time to put on the interviewing hat and flush out the story behind this whole thing as well.

Sou Bounlutay: Great, thank you. How are feeling?

Dave Aarons: I’m good, yeah. I’m really looking forward to our chat. I always enjoy our conversations, anytime we’re talking about the leads or just catching up on how things are going. I’m really looking forward to this interview, and the direction that we go.

Sou Bounlutay: Great. We kind of touched base this morning, and you actually thought that our conversation was going to take place a few hours from now. I thought that was interesting, because it threw you off a little bit, didn’t it? Because you kind of had to do a little switch-a-roo and say, “Okay, it’s happening right now.”

Dave Aarons: Yeah, so it’s been a little bit of a scramble, but we got all the equipment up and ready to go, and ready to dive in. Yeah, it wasn’t necessarily … There wasn’t a deep space of meditation coming into this space. It was more like a running, and scratching, and pressing of a lot of buttons, but here we are and everything seems to be functioning well. I’m ready to dive in.

Sou Bounlutay: Yeah. No, and I brought that up because this is my first time interviewing, or doing any sort of interview, and the last time we talked I was on the other end where you were interviewing me. I just thought it was interesting that you got this little bit of surprise. I thought, I know whenever we talk you’re always so composed, and professional. My thinking was, “How am I going to get Dave to really talk about what he really does and what Unbundled Attorney is really about?” I actually was grateful that things got jumbled a little bit on your end, because then I’m like, “Great, now he’s all warmed up.”

Dave Aarons: Yeah you got me a little out of my element, so we’ll see where that leads us.

Sou Bounlutay: That’s right. When I first became a provider, I knew nothing really about Unbundled. I tried to look up the information, anything about you through the internet. What I saw was just a little picture of you, and really nothing else. It wasn’t until we had more conversation that I really got to know you and had an opportunity to really know what Unbundled is about. What I want to start out with, is basically asking you, where are you right now?

Dave Aarons: Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Sou Bounlutay: Okay, and how long are you going to be there?

Dave Aarons: For about the next couple weeks. Then we’ll be traveling over to Santiago, Chile, which is another startup hub, and that’s one of the passions and cultures of our company internally, is a lot of our team members. Those that work on our advertising campaigns, those that work on our sales division, myself, our tech division, all of our team members are what we call the distributed team. Which means that we work from various different locations, all around the country, or excuse me all around the world, working from co-working spaces at various different spots. Travel is a big part of our culture, and the ability for them to work independently from anywhere in the world. Currently we’re experimenting with Buenos Aires, Argentina, and then it’ll be Santiago, Chile next.

Sou Bounlutay: Okay, so are you trying … We’ll just start with the basic. What is the idea, as an attorney when I went on board, I didn’t even know what unbundled services was. Can you explain to me what exactly, what is the idea, or how it works?

Dave Aarons: Yeah, absolutely. By definition, unbundled legal services is essentially attorneys that are willing to limit the scope of their involvement in any given case, down to specific tasks. Rather than requiring a client to pay them full, traditional $3k-$5k retainer up front, and then billing that retainer by the hour, they offer services that … They basically serve the client one task at a time, or only handle parts of the case. Then the client handles parts of the case on their own to save money.

To give you a couple examples, one of the most common form of unbundled service is our attorneys will offer document assistance service along with some coaching and some guidance. The client will come in and maybe they can’t afford $3k-$5k, so the attorney will charge them maybe somewhere between $500-$750 or so, and basically draft up all their court documents, prepare the written argument, and all the facts of the case, everything that’s going to be pertaining that needs to be presented to the court in the appropriate language on all the necessary forms. A petition, a response, whatever may need, and then deliver that to the client, and then the client then files that pro se.

Some of the attorneys will then give them some advice and guidance from there, on what they can expect when they go to court. Then there’s different levels of service. They may review the documents and make corrections for the client under an hour by hour basis, or as a flat rate. They might prepare it for the client, then the client files themself. In other states, they might prepare it, file it, and then mentor a limited appearance. Again, the amount of service they provide is specifically tied to the legal needs of the client and the specific circumstances they’re needing help with, and also their financial considerations, and putting together a solution that suits their legal needs and their budget.

Sou Bounlutay: How did you get to be at this point? How did the idea even came up that this was a need, or that you wanted to be involved in this process?

Dave Aarons: Many, many years ago, fresh out of high school, I started working with a company in the legal access plan business. A lot of people may have heard of it called, what’s now called, Legal Shield. It used to be called, Pre-paid Legal Services, and got a lot of experience working with people that were dealing with family law issues, and various different lives of legal matters, and the challenges they were faced with when trying to find affordable and compassionate legal services in this country. The legal access plan was designed to be able to get them a free consultation with an attorney in their area, and get them a discounted rate.

To a certain degree, it was helpful to some people to be able to have someone they could talk to and give them some guidance. Then offer some kind of a reduction on the normal rate. We found what was somewhat frustrating was when people needed to really hire an attorney, a traditional lawyer if their standard rate was $5k, even if they offered a 25% discount, they were still coming in at $3500-$4k initial retainer. While that is a benefit, is a value, the majority of families that really didn’t make the difference for them in their ability to hire an attorney or not. That extra $1k off, while a benefit, didn’t make a difference.

The service wasn’t working very often to bridge that gap for that person financially. What we did find is, I ended up working with a different company, a different legal access plan company that was a competitor to that. I worked in the attorney resources division, which means I was in charge of building the network of attorney, of provider attorneys that would be providing these discounts and these types of services under the plan benefits. In building of that attorney network, I started to identify what we would call, go to attorneys. Where if we had, let’s say 10 clients that have signed up in a legal access plan and needed to hire an attorney, if I sent those 10 clients to a traditional firm that was $5k or $3k-$5k then offer the 25% discount, maybe one or two of those clients would be able to afford to hire that lawyer.

These go to attorneys, and at the time we didn’t know what it was they were doing, it almost didn’t seem to matter where the person was at financially or what they needed help with. We would send them to these attorneys, and it seemed like eight, nine, or even 10 out of 10 of the clients we would send them would get help through that attorney. It raised the question, we said, “Well what is it that these attorneys are doing that’s different from all these other firms that allows them to help so many more people?” What we found out was, that they were offering, and this was back in the early 2000s, unbundled legal services. A lot of attorneys weren’t even familiar with that concept at the time, didn’t really have a name per say, with the exception of a few lawyers being innovators in the industry in the mid 2000s.

Basically what they were doing is just tailoring the amount of service they provided to the client, to their financial budget, and working with them on a pay as you go, unbundled, doing the document services or doing a one task at a time, breaking up the retainers, or they were doing payment plans, taking a low initial retainer, and then just allowing the client to pay it out if it was something that they needed full representation for. Just ultimately just meeting the client where they’re at financially, and finding a solution with the various different types of options they were offering to serve that client.

We thought, wow these attorneys are helping so many clients, I wonder if there’s a way where we could build a network of attorneys that solely offers this type of service, this type of creative, compassionate, and more affordable suite of services that literally five times as many clients can afford as some of these traditional firms were able to. That was really the Genesis idea behind Unbundled Attorney is, is creating a network of attorneys all throughout the United States, either that are already offering unbundled legal services or by educating attorneys on these options and how they work through this podcast and through the other efforts that we have in place, educating them about how to offer these options, also in a profitable manner so that they can serve the ever increasing amount of clients that are being forced to go it alone or file pro se in the family courts, simply because they just can’t afford the traditional way of hiring an attorney.

Sou Bounlutay: You have been doing this and being exposed to this, the legal access environment since you were in high school. Find it interesting that you have been doing this since then, instead of veering off and going to other fields or professional arena. What is it about this particular work that has allowed you to maintain and stay on this course? From listening to you, it went from merely a legal access, and you call it legal shield. Then you discover there’s this group of attorneys who were providing more services to clients. Then you ended up describing what you do as network of attorneys. Most people who start doing something in high school, usually you talk to them 10 years later or so, usually don’t end up staying in the same field. What is it about this work that not only did you start it out with legal shield, but you are now a cofounder of Unbundled service.

Dave Aarons: Unbundled Attorney, yeah. I think it’s been an evolution. I had great mentors along the way. One specific mentor that worked, I worked under the legal access plan that taught me a lot. I grew up transparently as, with a single mother, basically two brothers, single mom, and know what it’s like to grow up very independent and very strong without a father there to guide. Built a lot of independence, but it also I think developed on some level a certain degree of empathy and compassion for what it’s like for kids to grow up without a father, with a single parent. On some level I think I do resonate with the parents that are trying to get visitation and custody of their kids, especially the dads for sure, and the moms as well that want to be involved in their lives and want to be their for their kids, but don’t have the financial resources to be able to do so.

The opportunity to be able to serve these parents that I wish my parent, my father was there to be able to provide for, to be there as a kid. Obviously it made me a lot stronger, but I think on some level, it’s scratching that itch and I can really empathize with parents that are willing and want to be there for their kids in that way. I think secondly, the model has just evolved step by step, and we constantly improved upon it. Then we just saw a real opportunity to make a significant difference in the lives of thousands of people across the country. That’s really compelling to me.

There’s a lot of ways to make money in this world. I’ve been working on internet marketing for many, many years, for probably over a decade now. We could really market anything, but I think anytime you have an organization that has the ability to make money but also make a significant difference, that’s really attractive to me. I get a lot of fulfillment and drive, and it’s very exciting to see not only our attorneys being really successful, obviously growing their practices with our leads, and being able to serve so many more clients, and come up with new ideas. We share things with them and they apply it, and it works. It’s just really exciting to see them having success, but also we know at the same time, all these clients that are coming through that otherwise may not be able to afford any kind of assistance at all, are being able to get their needs met legally and also work with attorneys that are really a unique group of attorneys across the country that are very compassionate and willing to serve them from a stand point of commitment and heart.

I think it’s just really enjoyable. I think we’re really making a really strong impact, and as far as what’s possible with Unbundled Attorney, with the network and the partnerships we’re creating with other companies, how it’s integrating the technology and all these different trends, is just really exciting. I look forward to going to work every day to support our network and build out the network, develop new tools and resources to educate attorneys about how to offer these options, going to conferences, and learning more about other platforms that can streamline the practice of law. I find it really interesting, and also very fulfilling. I’m really excited about being a part of where things are at in the legal industry right now, and where I see them going in the next 90 days to one year, to two years, to three years from now.

Sou Bounlutay: When I started doing unbundled services, from my end, the end result that I see for example is, I signed up with your service and after Leslie set everything up, and I start getting the referrals. I see the mechanic of how it works, and I get names, and I call people up. What I don’t see is the idea and the overall big picture that you are trying to achieve. Why is filling [inaudible 00:16:44] for you, and for your representing the organization and the company right now, but I know there’s many people behind you. Why is this so important that you connect all these people with the attorneys that we’re talking about? People like me, and the others that are in your network? I see that it works, right? You get me the referral and they’re good referrals.

Dave Aarons: Yeah good leads. Yeah absolutely. I think that’s part of it, is you put a lot of work into something for many, many years. We’re in and industry that the lead generation, legal industry, a lot of attorneys say, “Oh I tried that, that doesn’t work.” It’s really unfortunately gotten a bad rap for a lot of different reasons, a lot of different companies that have come through here and just not really had the same level of commitment. It’s very gratifying to come into, especially sole practitioners who are just getting started out, or attorneys that are struggling to feed their families and make a living, and have that completely turn around.

Then taking sole practitioners that are fresh out of law school or even just going for a year or two, and literally giving them enough volume that they can build an entire firm around the leads. We’ve watched over the last three, four, five years of working with certain attorneys are our longer term relationships, attorneys that were just starting out, and just started working with us. Now have three, four, five attorneys working their firm. We’re fueling them with a high volume of leads, and they’ve been able to build a practice, feed their families, raise their kids. I have a lot of loyalty and commitment to making sure we continue to fulfill for all the relationships with attorneys we built over the years. I think that’s to me very gratifying to be able to support them in that way, and for them to give us feedback, and to continue to serve these clients in a way that is affordable for them.

Then I guess on another level, I really feel like we have an opportunity to make a significant change here. In the way that legal services are accessed in this country. I share that same vision with a number of other companies in this industry that want to really bring technology into this space. The internet has really changed a lot of industries, but I found that the legal industry is particularly conservative and haven’t really embraced technology in the way that other industries that I’m exposed to, being an internet marketer have. There’s so much opportunity I think to shift the way attorneys run their firms and how they integrate practice management softwares, like your Clio, your automating the billing systems, then you’re using document automation software.

It really is shifting and bringing down the cost, and as a result we have a major injustice in this country of the amount of people that are just going it along because they can’t afford it. That doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. If attorneys learn how to integrate these options, integrate technology, we can really help a lot of people. I like that idea, that we can have success and make a difference at the same time. I think it’s just something that we really enjoy being a part of.

Sou Bounlutay: You mentioned a word in your response that I think is really important. You want to create a shift. I remember as an attorney, and I think many of my colleagues who are listening could relate to the idea that from our side, we are in a way taught to practice and relate to clients a certain. We are also given this image that you’re supposed to do things a certain way. This is how it’s always been done. For example, for family law cases or even immigration cases, we take a retainer. The case usually we know off hand that each case should be at a minimum, a retainer would require about $5k-$10k. That’s how it’s always done. That’s how from our stance big firms, how they grow from being a small firm to a big firm, a successful firm. When you talk about shift, what I hear is are you asking me and are you telling me that I should rethink that way of doing business?

Dave Aarons: Shifts are inevitable in a changing market. The reason Unbundled Attorney came to exist and all these things are happening, is because there’s been some significant shifts in our world. We share this on the webinar and on our website, back in 1972, I think it was maybe 1% or 2% of people were filing pro se. Recent statistics is that’s as high as 70% now. If you were practicing 40 years ago, you now have a completely different market place as far as the amount of people that that old way of relating to clients financially as far as doing that $5k-$10k retainer, now all of a sudden the amount of clients that can be receptive to that model and work has just been reduced from 99% of the clients down to about 27% or 30%.

You’ve got way less amount of people that can afford that. Then at the same time, I’ve shared some statistics on the webinar as well, we now have three times as many lawyers per person in this country. There’s some statistics on there as well that you can look into, but we got a lot more law school graduates coming out of these law schools. You’ve now got one third of the amount of clients, and three times as many attorneys competing for them. When you’re looking at that market, and you look at these trends and these shifts, well how do you differentiate yourself? How do you stand out of the crowd and continue to thrive in a market placet that’s completely flipped on its head?

One of the answers that we found to that is, well you find a way to profitably serve the majority of the market. Which is now the clients that can’t afford the $5-$10k, but can afford $500-$1k, so it’s just getting smart about the way in which you can craft the solutions to serve the shift in the market. Yeah, that’s a shift in the way you’re going to practice and the way you’re going to run your business. The problem is, a lot of attorneys come from more of a self employment mentality where it’s they’ve always done it a certain way, and they don’t necessarily want to shift. Being a business owner, you have to be able to evaluate the market place, look at how to position your products, price it accordingly to what the market it receptive to, and adapt as the market changes.

These shifts, it just seems like, with the shifts that were happening in the market, if attorneys want to continue to thrive two, three, four, five, 10 years from now, they also need to shift along with it.

Sou Bounlutay: What we discussed is the practical shift, right? Because what you provide, and again, I’m in my office and I do what I do, which is mainly I study. I read cases, I read books, I learn a lot. I don’t really have a hands on picture of what is really going on in terms of the demographic of what the clients are doing. You’re providing that gap. You’re saying that look, in the past with the model that I have been using, you are now … Before, 40 years ago, that was 99% of how the population was relating to attorneys. Now, you may have maybe 1% of those individuals who can afford the $5k-$10k retainer, but you have 99% of everybody else who can’t do that number, but can do it, the different pace.

By not adjusting how your business model works, then we are closing the door for our own growth and business growth to 99%, or 80% of the people out there that is available resource for us on a business level. That’s a practical shift. I know from my experience, what does it take, what kind of philosophy does an attorney usually, an attorney who end up doing this and succeed in doing the unbundled services, what kind of philosophy shift also happen as a result of being successful at this kind of service?

Dave Aarons: Yeah, when you ask that question it really reminds me a lot of our podcast episode, and your journey as a provider attorney in taking these leads and so forth, and the shift that you had in the way you were approaching serving your clients. It’s a good episode for those that haven’t heard it to listen to it, because essentially if I recall, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, but one of the main shifts was, you were coming into … Initially you were coming in the space where it’s, okay I’m getting these leads, how do I monetize these leads? How do I sell them on my services? How do I get these people to pay me so that I can pay my bills and run my practice, and accomplish my financial goals, and grow my business?

How can I get these leads and convince them to enroll in my service and pay me to represent them? It was the approach, or the perspective you’re looking at was, how can I get these leads to serve my needs? I think the fundamental shifts that you had was, wow … As you started thinking about, okay how can I serve my clients first?

Sou Bounlutay: Because I was discovering that when I was thinking about more of, how am I going to monetize it, I was getting inconsistent results, and I was not very effective. I figure that something was off. That there was a gap. I’m not doing it the right way. Somehow I’m not connecting to the client the right way when I think about, okay if I look at the referrals that you send me, and I look at them as just merely an opportunity to make money, and every once in a while I’m successful somehow in getting to come to me and see that, and I profit from that. I was noticing that I was not as successful in getting them to come in when I was doing it that. That made me realize that something is off with my thinking process, and how I was relating to the client.

Dave Aarons: Yeah, and so I think one of the major shifts was, you started thinking about, okay how can I just come into the space of this conversation with this client, and serve this person wherever they’re at? That’s going to take a lot of different forms. It’s going to be serving them from the stand point of their legal case, and putting yourself in their shoes. You’re going to be relating to them in a very honest way. You’re going to tell them specifically what they can do, what they can’t do. Being honest with them if they say, “You know what? If you can’t proceed with this case,” being like, “You know what? You can’t actually move forward here,” and just being very transparent with them about what’s possible and what isn’t.

No matter what happens on that conversation, it’s one of the attorneys that I’ve talked to as well, his philosophy is this client is going to be in a better position no matter what happens. Whether they hire me or not, as a result of this conversation, because I’m going to add value and I’m going to direct them, and I’m going to give them some information and some ideas that’s going to help them move forward, whether they move forward with me or not. That’s one level. Then the next level is, okay that could also take form in the types of options you might start to offer and structure them. You might find out okay, “So you’re looking to file for custody, you’ve talked to some attorneys. They said $3k. You told me maybe you can’t afford that. What can you afford? What can you fit into your budget right now?”

“Is it $500? Is it $1k? Can we structure a … What can you afford on a monthly basis?” Then you might start to tailor a service where maybe you do a pay as you go, or you figure out, “Okay, well why don’t we do your documents,” or maybe I’ll just spend two, three hours with you doing this piece of it, we’ll see how they respond to it, and then we can go from there. You start to just, almost intuitively or just emerges from that intention of I’m going to serve this client no matter what, all kinds of different creative ways of structuring the way you might work with them arise almost naturally. Because you’re just coming from a stand point of okay, how can I get this person to where they want to go, with the financial barriers or abilities that they have, and so then maybe you do an unbundled service, or you do a pay as you go, or you do a payment plan structure. Then you figure out what they can do monthly. Then you figure out how you can structure that and use some technology to automate that.

All of that comes originally from a stand point of, how do I first serve this client? In serving the client first, and coming from that space, the client feels it. They know that you’re coming in and having a genuine care and consideration for how it is you’re relating to them. They appreciate that, and they can feel it, and people know. People really know, when they talk to someone if they’re trying to get something from them or if they’re there to serve them. I think people naturally have that intuitive antenna. Those people can feel into that, and by serving them first, the attorney in turn what we found is that they in turn get served exponentially more financially, because the client resonates with them. They want to move forward, they have confidence, and retains them so much more often. They’re getting various different creative services. They don’t have to turn people away because they’re intuitively coming up with solutions that they wouldn’t have come up with before. Then the whole way of relating to the clients and the type of services that they offer as a result, completely shifts as well.

Sou Bounlutay: What is your goal, even three years from now? Where do you see in terms of the growth of the company? Where do you hope to take this? For example, getting to know you and the Genesis of how this worked, are you trying to get as many attorneys in your network as possible so that you can provide more services to clients, or what are you trying to achieve in terms of the goals?

Dave Aarons: There’s a lot of different levels to look at that from … From the stand point of serving our clients, one of the things that’s unique about us as a lead generation company is that we offer an exclusive lead, which just means that we only send that client to one attorney and no one else. That means that there are a finite number of leads in any given area that we can generate, because we’re not sharing with five other firms. There’s going to be a limited number. Really, what we’re trying to do from a network stand point is to create relationships with attorneys in each jurisdiction that embody these types of principles, and can be one of those attorneys that serves the 10 clients and not the one or two out of 10.

Just offers unbundled, has this type of shift in approach in the way they relate to them. Probably is passionate to some degree in family law, immigration, or estate planning, or whatever is the form of practice that they work with us within. Create relationships with attorneys in each jurisdiction such that whatever amount of clients are coming through, we know that they have a compassionate provider that can serve their needs. That, as it turns out, might only be, it could be one lawyer, it could be two, it could be three at most. Sometimes we might have four, it just depends on the size of the metro, but it’s really not a lot of attorneys. It’s the right attorneys that share that same type of philosophy. I want to find a way to serve this bigger part of a market, the average working family, and creative solutions that I can offer them and also grow their practice as a result.

From a business stand point, we’re looking to fill out the network in all the areas we don’t currently have an attorney. We have most of the major cities covered, but there’s still a lot of cities that we’re trying to identify and create relationships with attorneys in each city. Then once we have those relationships established, then we don’t actually need to get more lawyers there. We just need a few lawyers in each specific area. Then we’re going to be, in the future, expanding to Canada as well. This will be the first time I’ve announced that, but we will be moving into Canada. I’m originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, and I want to bring this service to my fellow Canadians. That’s going to be happening soon. That’s a growth opportunity and of course, there’s some logistical stuff that has to happen to make that possible, and infrastructure that we’re building and so forth with our application, and so forth.

That’s one component. That’s just the business side of it, is identifying attorneys in all these different … Throughout the country that offer these options, so that we can confidently send our clients to them and know that they’re going to get that nine, or 10 out of 10 help, as opposed to that one out of 10. Then from an industry stand point, we have the opportunity not outside of our company, to … There’s a really good book called, The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell.

Sou Bounlutay: Yes, I’ve read it.

Dave Aarons: One of the things he talks about, it’s a wonderful book. One of the things he talks about is industries when they reach critical mass. You reach a certain amount of people that initially might say because it’s been interesting to watch this process actually happen in the legal industry, where initially when a new trend or new thing for example cell phones or something they were initially ridiculed because they were as big as your freaking head. There were these giant car phones, and everyone was like, “Yeah cell phones, that’s silly.” They were initially ridiculed. Then the next phase is they’re violently opposed. Then the cell phones, people were saying, “Well they got radiation. You can’t have cell phones,” this kind of thing. The telecom companies, they were offering the home service, where we’re really trying to oppose these new cell phone companies. It was just a real battle.

I don’t know that industry very well, but just giving the analogy. Then eventually, it hits a critical mass where enough people are using cell phones that it just takes off. That’s usually about a 2% market penetration, and then all of a sudden … There was a really great picture of the Vatican from behind, and the picture was taken I think in 2007, 2008 and you just see a sea of people, and it’s just people. Then the picture is taken three years later, and it’s just a sea of phones. It was just like, “Whoa,” from the exact same angle. What happened there was critical mass. Basically if you look at it like a graph, it’s a giant hockey stick. It slowly, slowly, just meanders, meanders, then hits 2% and all of a sudden it takes off.

That’s what I see is possible in the legal industry. Once attorneys start to embrace not only the technology, trend of technology, and streamlining the delivery of the services by leveraging technology. Then second of all, finding these more creative ways to work with clients on a budget and so forth. Then also just working together to find even outside of the box, ways from a charitable stand point, from a contribution stand point, creating non-profits to serve even those folks in between. When it’s enough pressure is taken off the courts of just average families that could potentially get help from just an unbundled attorney that knows how to do that, now all of a sudden the courts aren’t back logged and the state will then have the funding to help the folks that they really should be helping. Then all the attorneys can help the folks that are caught in between.

There’s really an opportunity to shift this injustice of affordability of attorneys in this country, where it really comes down to the dollar as far as father or mother’s ability to get custody of their kids in many cases. That to me is something I’m really excited to be a part of, and I see that happening over these next few years as all these trends start to coalesce and combine.

Sou Bounlutay: What do you think is preventing the critical mass from happening right now? Where’s the resistance in doing this work, in getting the type of network that you need? What’s getting in the way right now?

Dave Aarons: I think you touched on it before. Attorneys are taught to do things a very specific way. That’s how it’s always been done. It’s a very conservative industry in that sense that, for something to change, it has to go through ethical considerations for the bars, and an opinion has to come out. Then it has to be trained through the CLEs, and there’s a lot of … To be fair, I think there’s just a lot of fear of offering new, innovative type of approaches in law because a lot of attorneys are rightfully concerned about being sued and is it ethical, and are they going to lose their bar license. There’s just a lot of things that in other industries, just don’t prevent companies and industries and entrepreneurs from moving forward. Because they just don’t have those hindrances, and they don’t have those fears or concerns.

They just apply. They just move forward. They go, “That makes more sense. Let’s do this.” They just do it, and they don’t have the same amount of considerations that they have to have before they make a change. The industry has to move gradually because this is a very old industry. It’s a noble industry. It’s an honorable industry. Every decision has to be thought through, I know from a broad stand point, as far as how is this going to impact clients in the future of law. There’s a lot of considerations here. Things just gradually take time. On more of the private scale, I think it’s just a matter of attorneys learning about these options.

It’s been interesting over the years to call into an attorney’s office and say, “Hey, do you ever offer unbundled legal service?” Five years ago, I might get one out of 100 attorneys that even knows what the term unbundled legal services is, and now when we call into offices it’s more maybe 20% go, “Oh yeah, unbundled legal services. Limited scope. Okay yeah, we’ve heard about that.” The other part of it, is just they don’t even know that these options are something they can offer. That’s starting to shift, because you have a lot of state bars getting involved like the Massachusetts bar, where they have an actual training course. The LAR, limited assistance representation training course that attorneys can take to learn how to ethically offer these options. The states are now getting involved, the ethics opinions have come out. Things are gradually starting to shift, but it really just takes time for all these things to happen.

Sou Bounlutay: Beyond almost institutional, right? The institutional shift that needs to happen. For example, the bar getting involved and making it more open and even having the conversation. I think the other shift that also is much, much harder to make is the ideological shift that the legal profession has to make. I can share with you why I was … I have to be honest with you, doing this work in the beginning, of providing the unbundled service, was a really scary concept for me. It was scary because as an attorney, I live in this bubble and I’m comfortable with dealing with individuals and people who have power. I want to, it’s easier for me to deal with clients who I think have power.

A lot of time, power is connected with the ability to afford resources. The ability to give me the $5k retainer. The ability to give me $10k retainer. The moment you have to step away from that and say, “You know what? This person can only afford $500. This person can only afford $300, maybe one hour of your time.” The moment I think about that, what it does is create this fear because … I’m just going to be blunt. Being poor is scary. Not having the ability to afford things in your life that is necessary, is scary. The majority of us, even though we are attorneys, the majority of us who are here now are in the power position, and have the ability to make money. The reality is, we’ve all been there. Most of us have all been there, where in order for us to make it through the first year of law school, we had to eat ramen noodles for weeks on end.

We had to live in a room the size of a closet, because we couldn’t afford to pay rent because our money has to go to tuition. For us, once we get over that, it’s much more comfortable to be serving people who can afford the $5k fee, the $10k, the $20k fee. It helps us to stay there. The moment you ask us and say, “You know what? Sou, can you please find a way to serve somebody who can only afford you for $1k?” What that does is it scares the shit out of me, because it reminds me that I once was there.

Dave Aarons: Can you talk about … I don’t want to get into interview mode here, but I can certainly give my thoughts on this as well, but just from your own perspective … I personally feel like on some level, attorneys feel, and tell me whether this resonates with you or not, that if you’re helping people that are poor or lower income working families, that that means that you’re pedaling to the poor and that you’re probably going to be poor as well. I don’t know if that’s necessarily true, but can you talk about that?

Sou Bounlutay: Right, there’s other … Yeah, there’s the other idea where we also bought into this story, when you’re an attorney, in order for you to be successful, especially in front of your peers you have this image that here’s how we define success in our field. If you do civil litigation for example, in my field, I do personal injury. This is my story, that in order for me to be considered successful among my peers, I have to be taking in and bringing the kind of cases that make me millions and millions of dollars. That I have to take on the big cases. When I’m doing family law, in order for me to be considered successful in doing what I do, I have to be bringing … I think I should be bringing in the kinds of clients that can afford me for $10k at a time.

Because if I don’t, if I serve the poor, if I have to adjust my way of practice so that I’m more affordable, on a professional level I am scared that I may be considered not as successful as other people in my field. I’m also scared, I’m also concerned that the clients that come to my office also will not think that I’m successful as an attorney if I’m only taking in $300, $500 here and there. I have to overcome, what does it mean to be successful? Also the fear that if I do this, if I go at this level and accept that I may be stuck there, that I may be the attorney that couldn’t afford my rent, that I can’t afford to pay my staff.

I think for me, I really had to overcome that fear and the image, and the stereotype, and the stories of what it means when you’re sitting here and being an attorney, and what does that mean and what does success mean, and what is it that you have to do? The only model that we were presented in order to be successful, has been you take on those big cases and you take on those clients that can only afford you.

Dave Aarons: Yeah, and I think that’s an old story.-

Sou Bounlutay: It’s a completely old story.

Dave Aarons: Yeah, and one of the things that’s consistent about all aspects of what you’re sharing, and I really appreciate you being so transparent and honest about your own personal fears. I think that’s really, one of the things I really appreciate about you the most, is that you’re willing to put on the line. I think clients really resonate that with as well, is that you’re so honest about what you can do for them and also how you relate to them as well. One of the things that’s unique about that story, and maybe there’s a lot of lawyers that share that similar story, is how they’re viewed by their peers. It’s very much an externally focused way of looking at things. How is everyone else going to view me on this?-

Sou Bounlutay: Absolutely, yes.

Dave Aarons: How is the client going to view me? It’s really about how you thinking about how everyone else is going to look on you, as opposed to I think what a lot of attorneys are doing now is, and what you’ve shifted towards as well is you’re looking at, okay what’s important to me? #1, it’s yes I want to make money, and #2, it’s making service, and then how do I actually relate to the client? How do I actually serve, and serve who’s sitting across from me, what do they need? Now what everyone else needs to think of me, it’s how do I serve this person? When that shift I think happens, one of the things that we’ve found to be very, very true is the attorneys that actually do the most …

Once they shift and they offer these options, and start working with these people in a creative way, it’s the attorneys that have actually fully embraced these options, built efficient systems on offering unbundled for the document services, payment plans, they got their technology behind them and so forth, and have really embraced this model and how they want to serve these people, and they’re passionate about that, those are the ones that have actually are really doing the best financially. They’ve gotten the best at serving the small guy, because again that’s our market. Just from a business and economic stand point, that’s a good thing, but also it’s just they’ve overcome that and it’s just now they’re focused solely on serving their clients and finding the best way to do that.

They’ve, as a result, found ways to adapt to the market place and do it. It’s no longer about what everyone else thinks about them. It’s what they think about themself, and how they want to relate to their clients, and how they’re going to build their own business that works for them, works for the clients.

Sou Bounlutay: Absolutely. I think you hit it on the head when you said that fear that I’m talking about is not only that old story, but is also the story of how susceptible we all are in having external forces define us, right?

Dave Aarons: Yup.

Sou Bounlutay: What I was describing is all the external stuff that defined who I am as an attorney, and probably defined me as an individual. Until we shift that, until we realize that, we can let all of that go and it’s not an easy shift, because it’s a fundamental core shift on how you look at yourself, and how you relate to the world, and how you can change the world.

Dave Aarons: Yes.

Sou Bounlutay: Based on you, not based on what anybody else thinks. I think that is very, very critical. Also, when you look at the external factors and how to define yourself, we also have to keep in mind that we also project that onto the people that we want to serve, right?

Dave Aarons: Absolutely.

Sou Bounlutay: I certainly project that to people, the clients who I thought at first, “Oh, you couldn’t afford me? Well you know what? Why should I give you the time of day?” The more I started letting that go, and stopping that projection, and just got to know them, I discovered that you know what? At the core of it, it’s not about money. That’s only a small piece. I was just telling you the other day, I talked to a client, and I was really honest and I said, “You know what? At the end of the day, here’s the reality. You have to pay. You can’t get away with this, because this is what being an adult is. You have to be accountable, and part of that accountability is financial. You can’t run away from that.” What else is there? Why didn’t you sign up with the other attorneys you spoke with? Why are you deciding that you still want to come and see me?

Dave Aarons: Yeah, so the old story might be okay, what’s the biggest retainer you could get? You would sit in the country club and be, oh this last guy paid me $8k initial retainer. Oh well this guy paid me $10k, and so you’re trying to get those big, big cases, the big, big personal injury cases. Maybe we need to create a new story, which is how many clients were you able to serve that you met with? How many clients, if you talk to 20, were you only able to serve the one that gave you the $20k, or are you able to serve 18 or 15 of them? Because your options are so creative, and so adaptive, and you’re relating to people in a way that they can trust and really just count on you in confidence that you’re about serving them.

How many clients were you able to serve today? This month? Not how big of a case, but how many people were you able to serve, and how many people had they been turned away from that you were actually able to help? How many of those people are you able to help?

Sou Bounlutay: Two years ago, my struggle that I couldn’t put together, and I couldn’t make it gel, was the idea … I always had the philosophy, and I know that most people who go into this field, a lot of us have this ideal of, I want to make a difference. I want to make a difference to a lot of people. I don’t want to just make a difference to one person. I want to make a big impact. That’s why I’ve chosen this field, because I thought this is where I can do the most good. Then I got in the practice, opened my office, and the reality hits. It’s, okay I have this ideal, how am I going to reach them? Where am I going to find these people that I’m going to be able to help?

I feel like with what the service that you provide, and coupled with technology, it has given me the link. The missing link of connecting, making the connection that I want to make an impact. Not some idea, not the idea of other people thinking this is how I should go about the world, but how I want to do it. The referral source, the Unbundled Attorney services, gave me that link of being able to reach as many people as possible, so that I can make a difference. For me, I had to make the shift of what is this about? Is this really about money, or is there a bigger picture involved?

Dave Aarons: Yeah absolutely, and I think for a lot of attorneys, and you’ve shared that with me as well, once the leads are coming in consistently, and anytime an attorney sets up an account, it is very consistent. Wherever the volume’s going to be, depending on the region, they can pretty much rely that that’s going to be the same amount of consistent volume, day in day out. They can expand if they want to. They can open up new regions, but they can count on it. That for a lot of attorneys, that’s a big weight off their shoulders, because they don’t have to think about the marketing. They don’t have to do all the administrative stuff. It basically puts that aside, and then goes okay, these clients are going to be coming in now, how can I serve them?

How can I be more in tune? That’s one of the things that you did, is you shifted your whole brand and said, “You know what? I represent this. This is who I stand for.” Wise Woman was your new branding, and you no longer had to worry about, okay how do I put on these marketing traps? How do I do blog, network, and try to get to know all these other people out here so they’ll refer people to me? You could just focus on, okay the clients are coming in, so I’m going to focus on who do I want to be? How do I want to relate to the clients that are now coming in consistently? Because that no longer had to be a consideration for you, because you knew that those clients were going to be there every day.

Sou Bounlutay: I think the other thing that is important to mention is, when you know, because the reality is we only need so much money for overhead to make things [right 00:52:06] on the practical level. Once that’s met, what you have then, is you have the freedom to craft your work, to craft your practice, to craft professional everything around you in a way that’s more consistent to your internal speak. To what it is that you really want to do. For example, the moment that I knew I’m like, “Okay, I can rely for this month. This is how much money I need to make in order for me to make my overhead, to pay rent, dah dah dah dah.”

When I can see over a period of time, okay I can rely on that, then I don’t have to have that fear of I’m not going to make the basic needs. Then I was able to say, “Okay, how do I make this even better?” How do I integrate more of myself and more of my vision in doing this work, so that it’s more consistent?

Dave Aarons: Yeah, you no longer have to come from a place of scarcity. Okay, how do I get this person to retain me because I got to pay my rent? Now you’ve got that consistently coming in, the bills are paid, and now you can come from a place of abundance. Okay, how do I want to serve this client? You don’t have to take the case if you don’t want to. Now all of a sudden that changes the dynamic completely. They don’t get the sense that you’re trying to convince them or sell them. You can relate to them from a stand point of integrity. The whole thing shifts, so that you can just be on stable footing, and just relate to clients on a way that you want to, and you don’t have to overstep any kind of boundaries, because you’ve got your basis covered.

Sou Bounlutay: That’s right. It takes you from place of disempowerment to a space where you can do what you need to do to move yourself to more empowering position. When you’re able to do that, then you can serve your clients better. Because with energy, energy is very catchy. If you are full of fear, when clients come in your office, and they feel that you’re scared, they’re going to catch that. They’re going to catch that fear. If they come in and sit in front of you, and you just stay with them and show them that it’s okay, it’s safe, I have the skill and together we can solve whatever it is, this is just part of life. It doesn’t have to be any bigger than that, and you just need some assistance in maneuvering through it. That shifts everything for the person that is sitting right across from you.

Dave Aarons: Yup, it’s a completely different dynamic. Also gives them the space to just open up as well, because they know that you’re not trying to manipulate them. You’re there to serve them no matter what, so it allows them to be really honest with you. If they have a barrier or fear, or something they’re concerned about, then they can share that too. That just creates that connection, that rapport, and builds that trust that allows them to feel comfortable, and then of course you can move forward and accomplish so much more with them. Because then down the road you don’t find out, “Oh by the way, this was going on,” or anything like that. They just feel like they can bring everything to the table, you guys can flush out a plan, then you can move forward without them feeling like you’re going to be subverting them somehow or there’s anything else at play that they have to protect themself from.

Sou Bounlutay: My next question that I want to ask is, do you have a mission statement that Unbundled Attorney works with?

Dave Aarons: Yeah, our tagline is “Lead Generation with a Purpose.” That’s changed actually recently, because one of the things that’s been really frustrating, at least as CEO and someone that’s running this company, and working on the marketing and so forth, is from a marketing tactics stand point the old adage is you have to meet your prospects where they’re at. The initial attraction to lead generation is, hey you can get some more clients, you can make some more money. That’s all good, attorneys got to build their practice. They got to get more clients, and that’s what we do all day long. We do lead generation, been doing it for many, many years, and we do it really, really well.

That’s fine, and that’s one component, that’s one aspect of attorneys got to get more clients, they got to make more money. The other component, which is what I really wanted to instill into what it is that we do, is realizing that we’re looking for a very specific kind of attorney that has a passion for serving clients in an innovative way, and relating to them in a way that we’re all … What we’ve been describing on this interview, in a way that’s a little bit different than in the traditional sense. A little bit different than in the full service retainer. We want to find those types of attorneys that resonate with that message, and want to deliver these kinds of services, but it’s really hard to instill that on a website. It’s really hard to instill that, even in a podcast.

I’m interviewing our attorneys, and they embody those principles, so they’ll share those principles and I’ll lay in my own two cents here and there, but I really appreciate this opportunity because we can be more open book about what it is we really stand for. That is that the most important, and most thrilling thing, just like you said, once you have your basis covered, this company has been profitable for many, many years. We’ve been doing fine financially, everything’s great. From that stand point, we can start looking at, okay how do we actually make a contribution and how do we make a difference? How do we want to relate to the industry? What kind of impact do we want to have from a legacy stand point?

It’s just like how you relate to your clients. How do I want to serve this person? Because you got your basis covered. That’s the space we’re in now. It’s about how can we attract the right amount of attorneys? That’s that purpose side. We have some things that we’re in the works of, creating a foundation, and starting to contribute to that foundation and supporting non-profits. We’re releasing that later on this year, and we still got a lot of work to get there, but that’s that for purpose aspect, which is how can we collectively by sharing ideas through the podcast and through our community of attorneys and so forth? Sharing strategies, price points, ideas, and cooperatively working together towards the same [aim 00:57:42], which is how do we serve the 70% of people that are currently going out unrepresented and do it in a profitable manner, so you can make money while doing it and serve them?

How can we cooperatively come up with the absolute best way to do that? That’s the purpose. That’s the underlying purpose that we really try to live by, and operate by, and those are the type of attorneys we seek to attract is attorneys that share that principle.

Sou Bounlutay: When I think of purpose, I think of value. It’s more of a value based, and what you described for me is more of the how to. How you’re going to do it. You want to serve the 70% who doesn’t really have access, and you want to find attorneys who have the philosophy and the passion to serve people. That tells me more of what it is that you do. I guess do you have in terms of more value based purpose that you’re trying to get to? For example, once you find … I think there’s more people out there who have this philosophy and the passion to serve in your network. Once you achieve that, what do you want to make of it? What do you want to do with it? What do you hope will happen?

Dave Aarons: The effect of that shift, as far as making a significant impact on the affordability and the accessibility of legal services in this country, I guess maybe if I were to analyze from my own personal stand point, it means that we’re going to have a lot more kids growing up in healthy environments. We’re going to have a lot more kids being able to get raised by two parents, or get out of environments where they’re being abused. Really cultivate our next generation, because the clients, and the parents, and the people that are going through these processes are next generation of immigrants.

People are able to get the access to the services they need to get the rights they need to get instilled, to be able to be there for their kids and raise them the way, with good values, good American values, Canadian values, whatever those principles are that I’ve lived by as well. Integrity, being honest, being transparent, sharing from a stand point of vulnerability, being committed and passionate about what you do, being ambitious, all these different values that thread their way into the family. That’s our next generation. It’s untold the impact that can have on all of our communities, and the world in itself. There’s a lot of calamities going on right now in our current environment, the media, politically, and so forth.

These values are really important to our future. Maybe I haven’t fully crystallized exactly what that impact is, and in fact, I think what I realized is, we don’t really need to be able to say, that’s what we want to have happen. It’s really a culmination of enjoying the process, knowing we’re helping so many people, and not necessarily really even knowing where this is all going to lead, but knowing that these are the underpinnings that are going to lead somewhere good in the future, based on our own values and what we see happening. I think the answer is, I don’t really know exactly where this can all take us and what the impact it can have, but I know that one person impacted …

There’s a great story about the butterfly effect by Andy Andrews he calls, The Seven Decisions. He just talks about how one boy, who made one decision all those years ago, one man influenced this one boy who taught him the love of biology. Instilled in him this love for plants and studying plants, and so forth. Then that boy then grew up to be a scientist that invented this new hybrid of corn that was able to survive a great drought. Millions and millions of people were impacted, and their lives were saved because one individual instilled a love for plants in that man. Then you can go one step before that, and he tells the story, and he goes four, five layers back of how this child was taken from the clutches of these bandits that were going to come and raided the entire city. This one man took this baby and raised him as his own, and then that baby grew into the man that influenced the boy who he instilled the love of plants, which then saved the millions of people because of the drought.

On some level, we don’t really know how this is all going to create it. You just go with what feels right, what intuitively you know is true, serving clients where they’re at, coming at it from these principles, and it’s really untold what this next generation could look like if they’re raised with these types of core values that we all know are the types of things that are the underpinnings of what make economies, and businesses, and communities really function.

Sou Bounlutay: You gave the perfect answer. I don’t think you caught it. Because I basically asked, I tried to pin you down and put you in a box and say, what is it that you really want out of this? What is your major purpose? At the core of your answer, you said, if all these things are in place, if we find a group of core attorneys who have these values of wanting to serve people, and having the company and you being the connector of connecting the attorneys to all these people, what will come of it? Your response is, you know what? Right now this is what I see, but at the end of the day I don’t know.

That Dave is a really, really good answer. It’s a good answer because it is not in the box. You’re asking us as attorneys to step forward and provide this kind of service, and step out of the box that we have been in, and taught in our profession, and say can you give this a try? Can you do something just a little different? I don’t know if we call come aboard and have the same idea of wanting to serve our community, and I’m providing and I’m showing you how this can be done through technology, if we do it, and I can’t give you an answer of what this is going to take us, but I just think it is going to be great. That for me, is the definition of what it means to not be in a box, and to just live in the possibility, and know that from moment to moment, as long as you give it your best shot and be as authentic as possible, and do all these things, we don’t know. That’s beautiful.

Dave Aarons: Yeah, it’s the principles we live by that dictate our behavior. You just know, you can intuitively sense what’s the right way to proceed in?

Sou Bounlutay: Yeah, I know that you struggled a little bit to give me an answer, but the reality was, that was perfect. We don’t know. I think for me, this is why I’m just so excited to … I know you have bigger vision of what this is going to look like in terms of technology, because you’re the brain. You guys are the brain and the know how of doing this. For me, I’m just starting to really embrace doing things differently, because every time we talk you were telling me, “Sou, you should consider doing this. Have you thought about just doing Facetime with a potential client? How about Skyping?” I was resistant, and slowly I’m integrating that. That for me is being out of the box and so far, the result has just been really incredible.

Dave Aarons: Yeah, well I really appreciate how receptive you are to feedback and that you really are seeking the truth and figuring out the best way to go about relating it, and you’re pushing through those barriers every single time. We often thought about how we could have you back on the show and we could the turnaround episode, where you turn around 100 degrees, and then turn back around, and then turned around again. Just you’re constantly evolving and moving forward at each different level. Sometimes you take a step back, and then take two steps forward, but ultimately you’re moving forward and finding more creative ways, and more authentic ways.

I think authentic is really one of the underpinnings as well. Authentic to you, the best way you can relate to these clients. There’s some learning curves evolve, as far as the how tos. How do we integrate the technology? How do we plug that into the integration with the API? That’s all stuff we can work on. The sales strategies, what do you say on the initial call? How do you fill the lead? That’s what this podcast is all about. The how tos are all there, but once you really embrace that philosophy and that approach to service, and being willing and open to serve those clients in an authentic way, and creatively from a stand point of heart. We’ve talked about that before, from a stand point of heart. Then all these how tos, and all these things, they’re all learnable.

They’re all there. The tools are there. The systems are there. It’s all in these podcasts. From our team, all the way down to our sales division and everything, we can teach all that. We can’t teach heart. We can’t teach that philosophy. It’s really about, we’re trying to create a tuning fork where those that really stand for [a simple 01:06:47] principle, will resonate with that, come in, and then all the how tos of how to do this, what price points, how to do the document automation, all that stuff we can learn it as we go. I really appreciate the fact that you embody that principle and that makes it so that anything, any barrier, any tactic, or anything that you need to apply to continue to improve, you just embrace it and you move forward. That’s been the process that I’ve really enjoyed shepherding and working with you on, in the time that we’ve worked together.

Sou Bounlutay: Thank you. I don’t have any more questions. Do you have any last minute thoughts that you’d like to share?

Dave Aarons: Yeah, I think this is a great place to wrap up. I would say for anyone that has listened to this episode, or has been following our podcast, if they haven’t heard any other episodes of the podcast, there’s a lot of great attorneys we have on there, sharing a lot of great ideas. If you do resonate with this, reach out to us. Come onto, we’ve got a little contact form. You can just reach out, send us a little note say, “Hey, we’d love to chat.” You can just call the office number and we’re the type of team that will be very honest and can share with you, and you can sense into whether this is a good fit for you or not.

We’re about creating long term relationships, that’s why we’ve never had a long term contract and so forth. It’s just really open ended, trying to create relationships with the right attorneys in the right jurisdictions so that we can all cooperatively make a big difference. Not only in your practice, financially, and grow your practice, make more money, accomplish your financial goals, but also help a ton of people in the process. If that’s something that’s important to you, and maybe you haven’t found that yet, or you want to get around people that are committed to that same type of principle, then it might be a really great fit to work together. I would just encourage you to reach out and connect with us.

Sou Bounlutay: I also will offer, I know when I considered signing up, it was you providing me with a couple of resources and say, “Here’s an attorney that you can talk to and ask him about how this is working out.” Please feel free to give my contact information for any attorneys who sitting on the fence and say, “Oh I’m not sure. I’m not sure if you’re the right fit, or I’m the right fit for them.” I thought I’d just make that available for you Dave.

Dave Aarons: I really appreciate that Sou. You’re obviously really busy with your practice. The fact that you put yourself out there to talk to some of these attorneys, but what’s really cool is we’re going to have the retreat maybe towards the end of this year and so some of these attorneys that you talk to that will be coming in, are attorneys that you’re going to meet. I’m really looking forward to meeting as many attorneys in our network as possible, and cultivating these relationships. Because again, we call this the Mastermind podcast for a reason. This is a mastermind principle. We’re all cooperatively sharing ideas.

We don’t have all the answers. A lot of the things that we share, have come from great ideas of one attorney trying something new, and that worked great. It was able to help people, and so we share that with everyone else. That’s the community we’re creating here, and I certainly appreciate your willingness to contribute to it.

Sou Bounlutay: I think that’s one of the things that’s really attractive. Is that I also need community. I know that whoever signs up to be a provider, that we already have a common value that we’re trying to work towards, and a common idea that we’re trying to do. For me, it’s always nice to have people that I have personal relationships with that I can call up and say, “You know what? I’m struggling with dealing with this. How do you make sure that you close the consultation?” It’s more of a practical matter. How do we make it happen? It’s nice to have people to have conversations with and brainstorm, and figure out what is the most effective way of doing this on the business side too. That’s a great resource.

Dave Aarons: Awesome. Well thank you Sou, and thank you for being our valiant interviewer for this episode. Thank you for your time. I’ve really enjoyed our chat today, as always. I certainly hope the listeners have gotten a lot of value from this episode, and getting a closer in depth look at what’s going on behind the scenes here. Thank you Sou for creating this space for this interview and this conversation to happen.

Sou Bounlutay: Thank you. Have a great day.

Dave Aarons: Yup, with that, we’ll go ahead and wrap up. For everyone else who’s listening, thank you so much for participating in the podcast and being a part of this community. We’ll see you all on the next episode.


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Episode 26: Deep Dive with Dave Aarons, CEO of Unbundled Attorney: How to Thrive in a Disrupted Legal Market and the Future of Unbundled Legal Services

In our previous episodes, Dave Aarons, CEO of Unbundled Attorney, interviews the guests on our show. Today, the tables are turned, and one of the previous guests from the podcast, Sou Bounlutay, interviews Dave, and gets to the bottom of what Unbundled Attorney is really all about. Dave talks about the major changes that have occurred in the legal industry over the past 30 years, and how attorneys can adapt their practice in order to grow and thrive in the new legal landscape. Dave also describes some of the underlying values of the attorneys he works with, and the unique way they relate to their clients, as well as Dave’s vision for the future of unbundled legal services.

To read the complete transcript of this interview, click here.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The breakdown of what unbundled legal services are, and examples of the types of unbundled services attorneys can offer
  • The genesis story of Unbundled Attorney, and it’s founding purpose
  • Some of the major changes in the legal marketplace over the past 30 years, and how attorneys can adapt their practice accordingly
  • The importance for attorneys to shift their focus toward serving their clients’ needs first, and how this change in perspective impacts how they relate to their clients
  • How critical mass can transform our industry, and the major shifts that could occur in the legal marketplace when current trends reach market penetration
  • Some initial fears and external influences many attorneys must overcome in order to transition their firm into serving low income clients
  • A new perspective on the old story that success in law relates to the size of the cases attorneys acquire, with an invitation to hear a new story that is more aligned with the current legal market
  • The value of having a consistent stream of new leads, and how this financial security empowers attorneys to relate to their clients in a fully authentic way
  • The big-picture vision and mission of Unbundled Attorney and how we are seeking to impact the affordability and accessibility of legal services in North America
  • And much more...

If you enjoy this podcast, please head over to iTunes, subscribe to the show, and leave us a review. We love hearing from our listeners and look forward to reading your feedback!

For more information about Unbundled Attorney and how our Lead Generation services help grow your practice, visit:

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