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How to Make $500-$750 Per Hour Providing Unbundled Legal Services

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Episode 55: Should You Keep Your Lawyer Job, Start a Solo Practice, or Build Your Own Law Firm? A Case Study of the Journey Down Each Path, Lessons Learned Along the Way, and How to Make $500-$750 Per Hour Providing Unbundled Legal Services

Dallas, TX attorney Clay Wilkinson's journey in the practice of law started with a partnership in a law firm, then he became an associate with a large firm, and now he has a new role running his own solo practice. Along the way he has experienced what life is like as a lawyer in these different roles and learned the advantages and disadvantages in each position. Today Clay joins the show and shares the "why" behind each of his decisions, lessons learned, and what finally led to his success as a solo legal practitioner. We take a deep dive into how he has successfully developed unbundled services during his 5+ years as an Unbundled Attorney. Clay shares real-life experiences with clients that involved both uncontested and contested legal cases. He provides a detailed breakdown of how to deliver unbundled services for both kinds of clients, the rates for each, and systems he uses to establish his effective hourly rate at $500-$750 per hour. We also give an overview of the legal technology he integrates into his high-volume practice, and how he streamlines booking appointments and the delivery of his services.

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To read a complete transcript of this interview, click the 'READ TRANSCRIPT' link under the video.

In this episode, you'll learn:

  • Why there was a delay in release of our new podcast episodes and a summary of Unbundled Attorney's podcast schedule going forward
  • Clay's philosophy of practicing law with integrity and in genuine service to others, and how this influences his decisions
  • An overview of how Clay transitioned from being a partner with a new small law firm, to his position as an associate at a large firm, to finally running his own solo practice and what he learned from these experiences
  • The importance of growing a practice gradually and not taking on too many clients in the early stages
  • Why Clay decided to temporarily reduce the number of clients he was receiving from Unbundled Attorney and focus on remaining a solo practitioner instead of building a small law firm
  • The many ways lawyers can grow and scale their practice, including hiring staff, the use of contract lawyers and associates, and how to decide what path is right for you
  • Clay's analysis of the benefits and costs from working for a law firm versus running your own practice based on his own experience in both roles
  • How Clay kept a low overhead by working from home and using virtual office spaces when he left his job to begin a solo practice
  • What made Clay decide to hire contract lawyers and why this was a win-win relationship for both him and the contract lawyers
  • A comprehensive overview of unbundled service options Clay provides that enables him to tailor his services to his clients' budgets
  • Two real-life examples of clients with uncontested and contested legal issues that Clay helped with unbundled services
  • Why Clay is able to make $500-$750 per hour delivering unbundled services with a flat rate instead of a billable hours model
  • A walk-through that details how Clay delivers unbundled services from start to finish, including how he uses an outsourced virtual paralegal for document preparation
  • Best practices that set boundaries with unbundled clients, and how to effectively craft limited scope retainer agreements
  • The difference between vertical and horizontal unbundled services, and how they enable creative and flexible delivery of legal services for your clients
  • Why providing unbundled services substantially reduces your firm's accounts receivables
  • How Clay uses Google Voice and Calendly to streamline appointment scheduling with prospective clients
  • The potential impact of unbundling on the increase in pro se litigants filing in family court and why Clay has become passionate about working with Unbundled Attorney and being a part of this movement
  • And much more…

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

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