Old Lesson From Innovation Event


broadcast tower public domainThe most important thing I learned at a half day spent at ReInventLaw Silicon Valley had little to do with the conference’s theme of  law, technology, and innovation.

In fact, it was very old school idea that stuck with me: communicate with your client.

Give the client greater visibility into the value you are providing.

Henry Jones was addressing the problems of big law firms, serving corporate general counsel, with hordes of associates and heaps of billable hours.

To pull that off, or even the streamlined model that he advocated for, one has to show the buyer of legal services that he’s getting his money’s worth.

Isn’t that our challenge in small firm consumer bankruptcy practice as well?

We need to show the potential client that he’s getting his money’s worth when he hires us rather than a petition preparer.

The first tool for me is, of course, writing and the web.  That’s where we can display what we know about bankruptcy while educating the potential client about how it might work for him.

We must debunk the idea that bankruptcy is do-it-yourself territory.  Without, however, scaring the reader so badly that bankruptcy seems too dangerous.

If the bankruptcy process is marked There Be Dragons, we have to be Dragon Slayers.800px-St._George_and_the_Dragon

Our clients must exit bankruptcy, understanding the work we put into their case and their ultimate success in shedding their debts.


The old model of delivering legal services to consumers was the target of Stephanie Kimbro’s six minutes.  I didn’t get her pitch that Branded Law would be an interface between lawyers and clients.  But her call to permit unbundling resonated.

I’ve often wished I could, within the bounds of my court’s world view and that of my carrier, provide a petition review service for pro pers.  As my kids repeatedly asked me, how can I make any money serving people who have none?    This could be a middle ground for consumers: a smaller fee yet some professional input.  But right now, where I practice, it would mak me liable for the entire case.

Food for thought.  Dragon steaks, anyone?

St. George courtesy of Wikimedia and Carpaccio.

Broadcast tower courtesy of Pixabay and Nemo.

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