Jun 18, 2020 • 42M

🎙 Jordan Schwartz: From In-house to Building a Successful Virtual Practice in a Post-COVID Future

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Appears in this episode

Raad Ahmed
Welcome to Not Billable. Weekly legal news updates. Full event replays. And, a chance to hear from industry leaders about what’s been going on behind the scenes. Powered by Lawtrades, and hosted by their Head of Community, Matt Margolis.
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Key Takeaways

  • Lawyers with specialization and specific knowledge will gain a competitive advance when launching their virtual practice.

  • The speed of innovation within the legal industry will vary based on practice area and nature of work.

  • More companies are refusing to pay a premium for routine legal work and independent lawyers are filling that need.

  • Lawyers focused on saving clients headspace and expensive overhead will succeed in this new economy.

Jordan Schwartz runs his own virtual practice on Lawtrades as Transactional, Product, and Corporate Counsel to several notable high-growth companies in NYC, SF, and LA.

  • After graduating Columbia Law School, he started as a BigLaw attorney at Jones Day where he advised financial institutions on transactions and regulatory matters.

  • He then served as General Counsel at Meta, one of the earliest startups to build augmented reality headsets, where he helped the company scale 10x and raise $100M until it was acquired in in 2018.

Challenges of running your own practice

  • You have to learn different methods of communications, specific to each client, while trying to build your own business.

  • It’s all about how quickly you can build a stable client base that can generate enough revenue for you in the beginning.

  • Relationships with clients can change from reasons outside of our control.

How to attract clients to your virtual practice

  • Have specific knowledge when addressing certain legal matters.

  • Quality work and an agreeable personality will drive new clients and retain existing ones.

Time management

  • A client will notify Jordan of their needs on a weekly or daily basis, often via email.

  • Jordan has a set amount of time that he allots to per client depending on their situation.

  • He builds in flexibility for emergencies and is upfront with his availability to maintain trust.

  • Issues need to be resolved ASAP and you need to deliver at that speed – all clients will expect that.

The future of law is independence

  • The speed of transformation within the legal industry will vary based on the practice area. For instance, tax law may not shift much.

  • There are areas of law that need competency and a certain level of expertise. However, companies don’t need to pay a premium for everything and independent lawyers are creating this new opportunity for them.

  • They’re not over-billing or creating massive expenses thanks to their low overhead and agility.

Challenges GCs are currently facing across the board

  • There are numerous agreements, leases, and contracts that need to be renegotiated because of the change of landscape.

  • We have a dysfunctional government, and there is no guidance for lawyers out there. Everyone is just hoping that the downside scenarios don’t play out.

  • GCs need to navigate the needs of the business with the rapidly changing landscape. There is no set path, and tremendous liability is looming.

Advice for lawyers who are laid off

  • Give going independent a shot – it might not have the prestige of a law firm, but you get your freedom back.