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Ep 9. Zig while they Zag – A lawyer’s approach to doing things differently with Clarissa Rayward

9. How to become a Happy Family Lawyer with Clarissa Rayward

Clarissa established the Brisbane Family Law Centre (BFLC) in 2008, a wildly successful business that now boasts a 7-figure income. She was a finalist of the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Brisbane in 2012, 2013 and 2014. She’s also been named among the leading Family Lawyers in Queensland by the Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession. I’m not surprised she’s had so much success. Her influence is now reaching far and wide; besides writing a popular book, Splitsville, she’s also a regular contributor to several publications including Happy Parenting Magazine and I Am Woman.

You can get her book here

splitsville

I love chatting with Clarissa.  She’s a gun lawyer with a mission to change the industry – and she’s walking her talk.  In this episode we deconstruct her transition from time based billing to fixed fee (and all the glitches and benefits along the way).  We get into how she finds and hires top talent, the tactics of how she builds culture and her personal brand.

Clarissa’s goal is to change the way that families experience divorce and separation by changing the way family lawyers practice family law. In her own words, “people going through divorce need much more than legal advice.” Clarissa is constantly shaking up the old paradigms of her industry by focusing on approaches that are more immediately concerned with client care than squeezing money out of customers..

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And I’ve got to say that the results have been fantastic. BFLC’s feedback is extraordinary; by moving away from time-based billing models to fixed-fee structures, they’ve created a system that offers clients the best possible, cost-effective solution, while also growing a thriving business.

With the help of her blog, “The Happy Family Lawyer”, Clarissa is sharing her knowledge on separation and divorce with the world in order to help families through the most difficult of times. In this episode I explore Clarissa’s motivations and drives, passions, and how she’s trying to make the law industry a better working model for everyone.

This week we talk about: 

  • How she transition from time based billing to fixed fee despite a resistant industry.
  • Clarissa’s inspirational and super popular blog, “Happy Family Lawyer”
  • Her roles outside of the law industry, like being an author and a speaker
  • Her story of how she built a really strong personal brand in the industry
  • Clarissa’s views on delegation
  • The importance of attracting top talent
  • The human element of the personal brand
  • How Clarissa made her very first dollar!
  • Clarissa’s passion as a dancer
  • Her keen aesthetic eye and how she applied it to her practice
  • How she combines her creativity and passions into her work
  • How Clarissa and her team use 12 week challenges
  • The mistakes Clarissa made in building her business
  • The importance of focusing of leveraging technology and efficiency
  • The things that are driving unhappiness in the law profession
  • The problem of passion in her industry
  • Giving staff the work that they love
  • Wrestling with the classic Catch 22 of the personal brand
  • Clarissa’s unbelievably unique approach to hiring
  • The importance of values and why they matter to Clarissa
  • Clarissa’s career as an author
  • Her transition in stepping away from the business
  • Why she invests so heavily in training    
  • The influence that comes from people around her

Resources:

Brisbane Family Law Centre

The Happy Family Lawyer

Connect with Clarissa Rayward:

On Facebook

On Twitter

On LinkedIn