As consumers, we’ve become very comfortable with the monthly subscription model. Almost everything we consume now has a routine billing option, even our weekly grocery orders!
However, the subscription model has been slow to adoption by the legal market. Not because of the consumers resisting, more so by the lawyers that provide the services. While many fear the ability to make money on subscription legal services, the business model is incredibly lucrative and builds a strong bond with clients when done correctly.
In this exclusive Lawprenuer Spotlight, we highlight the work of Attorney Scott Reib, who offers a General Counsel – Access Plan. Delivered as a monthly service advising small businesses on corporate structure, contracts, and everyday legal issues. Scott is the founder of REIBLAW a Texas-based boutique law firm and the author of 5 Proven Strategies to Shatterproof Your Business and 8 Questions to Eliminate Signer’s Remorse.
I had the pleasure of speaking to Scott about his practice, and right from the start of our conversation, he sounded so much different than most of the transactional law firm owners I speak to. He was excited and eager to share Reib Law’s transition story.
Reib Law has been providing their subscription-based service for over four years now, and as Scott put it, the offering has “Changed the way we practice. Consumers understand the subscription model; it’s the hourly billing they don’t understand.” He explains further that, “Clients used to only call when things were bad, but now they feel there is an open line of communication.” A clear indication that the relationships have improved and they look forward to their regular legal ‘check-ins.’
What do you include in your Access Plan Subscription?
As part of the package, clients have unlimited access to Scott and his team by phone, text, and email. The Access Plan includes a variety of services. Many of which are automated and distributed to all Access Plan clients. A very manageable combination of educational pieces that drives home the value of the service, while staying in constant communication with their subscribers.
- A Monthly Print Newsletter
- “Shatterproof” the Reib Law Weekly Email Series
- Weekly Audio Report on Business Topics
- Two Legal Check-In Calls
In addition to the list above, Access Plan clients get scheduled check-in calls with the business’ CEO. Where they discuss the state of the company and opportunities for projects. Such as, any new Intellectual Property, have you hired anyone, or are there any new contracts?
The list above is especially noteworthy because this is an area that most attorneys have a hard time getting their head around. A subscription plan doesn’t’ have to mean that client’s get access to the firm for an unlimited number of requests; it means that you are providing a series of value-added services that complement the core legal work you are doing for the client. Educational pieces to help them make better decisions as business owners, and tips to help them scale and grow.
How do you find new business?
To recruit new clients, Scott Reib and his team speak, write and host workshops. In the end, offering a free “Laser Legal Coaching Session.” Which is a great way to interview the client to find out the state their business is in, as well as if they are fit for the monthly subscription plan.
It’s clear that Scott and his team are positioned as consultants and business allies in the eyes of their clients instead of a resource they will get billed by the hour for use.
Do you service any other practice areas?
“Yes, Asset Protection and Estate Planning. We end up handling everything for the business owners.” Scott explains further; that while it is not their core business this portion of the practice serves a need that our clients have. The business law side of the firm will always be their primary area of focus.
What service has helped make it possible for you to deliver this new business model profitably?
We work with Kahuna Accounting. “I thought it was so cool that Kahuna has the same business model as we do. They take the same proactive approach to financials, as we do to legal work. For us, it’s about having the right information at the right time. That is the difference between success and failure.” Scott also notes “They customize a solution to fit my business, and it’s not like most law firms. Kahuna makes it possible for me to know that my numbers are accurate and up to date at all times, which is very powerful. I know exactly what my numbers are every Friday.”
One of my favorite parts of our discussion was on this topic. I’m personally passionate about this area of law practice management. To watch law firms all over the country struggle with financials and control because they view it more like a ‘money in money out’ problem, instead of understanding the power that proper financial management can afford their business.
Because Scott knows his numbers, views monthly reports like Cash Flow Variance and Budgets he can service clients on a subscription basis, without the worry of losing money. So many law firms have the opportunity to transition to this business model but are bound to continue to do things the way they always have due to a lack of financial awareness and planning.
Where do you see the future of your practice?
“My long-term vision is to teach young lawyers how to start out as a subscription model.” One that I hope to see come true, as the reoccurring revenue model is a beautiful and beneficial for both the client and the law firm. In Scott’s words “The subscription model creates predictable cash flow, which is critical especially when you first start.”
The Reib Law Technology Stack
Every firm I speak with uses a different “Technology Stack” to power their law firms. The following services and tools are used to manage and deliver the legal services provided by Reib Law:
- PaySimple for Subscription Payment Processing
- Google Drive to deliver components of the Access Plan subscription package
- Dropbox for Internal Document Storage
- Clio for Billing and Practice Management
- Actionstep & Lawyers with Purpose for the Estate Planning portion of the practice
- Infusionsoft for Communication
- Kahuna Accounting for Financial Management and Billing Synchronicity
Scott and his team at Reib Law are leading a wave of new subscription-based law firms, who aim to deliver an exceptional level of client service and value. With the added benefit of predictable cash flow for the business, which also means happier clients that are generating more referrals.
Technology and service providers play a critical role in supporting their subscription model structure. Note the importance of having a handle on the law firm’s financials as well as using technology to automate the delivery of regular communications to keep clients on the program engaged.
One theme heard through our entire interview was the excitement you could feel comes from the success of their Access Plan program. Not only have they cracked the subscription model code for their practice area, but also get to boast that their clients are protected from legal issues at a far higher rate than if serviced within a traditional hourly model. A huge congratulation goes out to Scott or turning the traditional model upside down and going steadfastly in the direction of his Lawprenuer dream.
You can learn more about Scott Reib and the Reib Law Firm Access Program by visiting their website: http://reiblaw.com/.