Let’s Put It In A Box
Fear, intimidation, uncertainty … This was just a sampling of what was experienced in law school and the subsequent practice of law in the years after. It takes time to get your legal legs under you. Did you have a father, mother, or other close family member available to show you how it’s done? Me neither. So there I went, along with many others, cutting my teeth and reinventing the wheel with late nights and early mornings at the firm. Traveling through small towns and taking depositions. Continuing to buy into the fear and uncertainty. Sigh.
Fifteen years in I decided to go into practice for myself. Love it. Wouldn’t trade it for the world. However, one question – how do you get a client? Lots of reading and writing in law school, lots of exams, lots of studying. Nothing I could remember, however, about client development. As for law firm life, well it was hard to get out for that socializing with the big, bad billable hour. There I was, at the beginning, so I started talking to people, networking, talking, meeting, eating, networking, eating, coffee, talking.
I spoke to endless individuals who were out there starting their own business or already in business trying to make it work. After talking to dozens and dozens of people in my efforts for client development, there were many common threads that ran through these conversations when we spoke about legal compliance.
First, none of these businesses were large enough by any means to have any kind of in-house counsel. Most couldn’t even say that they knew an attorney to talk to you about business organization, employment matters, human resources commercial lease agreements, unemployment compensation or any of the number of things that small business owners run into from a legal perspective. Moreover, many business owners were reluctant to pick up the phone and have a $300 phone call with an attorney because I just didn’t have the funds. Many folks were also intimidated by talking with an attorney. They didn’t want to reveal what they didn’t know but maybe should. A unnerving spotlight that revealed mistakes they had already made. So the questions went unanswered. I remember that fear and intimidation. It wasn’t so long ago that I sat in a law school classroom confused as to civil procedures, criminal law, or secured investors. Aren’t you tired of that already?
Enter idea …. What if I pulled back the legal curtain. That heavy, dusty, dated curtain with all its velvet, gold, and superiority. We all have access to the same legal information. Maybe what business owners needed now all we needed was someone to help them interpret it. What if I took an enigmatic, intimidating industry and made it clean, concise, contained, approachable? What if we put it in a box? Like a present, a gift, it has boundaries and sides, you know how to manage it.
So that’s my “why,” my why as to why I started Legal In A Box – an online, subscription-based legal service provider. Let’s pull back the curtain. Hell, let’s rip it down. Let’s have business owners realize that their gut-check is usually right and sometimes you just need a little bit of guidance to make sure you’re headed in the right legal direction. Let’s make it easier, let’s make it more accessible, let’s make it more approachable. So I put it in a box.
Amy M. Toepper is a founder and principal of AMT Law. Her firm specializes in corporate and employment law. Amy also heads up her own company called Legal In A Box, which provides subscription based legal services that focus exclusively on business owners.
Kevin Bugielski is the Marketing Manager for Victory Lap, a purpose-driven startup changing the sales game. Avid Snapchatter, SoulCycle lover, newfound runner, but ultimately, a foodie.