Reimagining the Traditional Legal Services Model
In these crazy times, it’s more clear than ever that the ability to adapt and overcome is essential to a business’ success, regardless of the industry. Traditionally, law firms have operated according to similar business models. When I left the “big dogs” and started my own firm, I knew I wanted to take an innovative approach to best serve my clients while also collaborating with my peers to ensure that I’m bringing an expert and diverse team to each case we take on.
As fate would have it, while I was bringing this idea to life in 2019, little did I know that a pandemic was looming that would only reinforce my decision to try something different in the industry. Since the outbreak and subsequent shelter in place orders, our firm has been able to adapt to a virtual, flexible workplace and continue to serve our clients with the same level of efficiency and success as we did pre-pandemic.
As any attorney knows, there are pros and cons to both large and small firms. Having worked for more than a decade in large firms, I knew that when I founded Michael H. Moody Law I was determined to meet somewhere in the middle by providing my clients with the benefits of a small legal team and the high-level experience of a large team. I wanted to establish a nimble group of counsel who would become my partners on cases where their expertise was most valuable. I wanted to provide my clients with personalized, focused communication that confirms that they’re the priority from start to finish.
In recent months, I’ve put this plan into action on a number of cases and I’m eager to see how the success of a reimagined model translates to the future of our firm. For example, in a recent shareholder derivative lawsuit, I needed a patent expert and research assistants to join the client’s team. Virtually calling on my peers was the equivalent of walking down the hall and asking a big-law partner to join a case. We agreed on payment ahead of time and we were able to stand up against some of the world’s largest firms and ultimately win. This example proves the power of collaboration. When we put intelligent, cooperative minds together for a common purpose, great things can happen. That’s the vision I have for Michael H. Moody Law.
Prior to the pandemic, we were also building out our office here in Tallahassee. The camaraderie of an office environment is hard to replicate in a virtual world, but we’re making it work. My initial plan was to design the space as a traditional law office setup, but as I’m reimagining the future of the firm, I think we’ll mostly be establishing collaborative workstations and conference rooms since it’s clear that individual work can be completed without a customary legal desk in a flexible, work-from-home model. Down the road, we may consider additional satellite spaces throughout the Southeast, but for the time being, I’m prioritizing costs and making sure I can provide benefits for my network of collaborators.
The recent events have disrupted our industry and made firms rethink how we typically reviewed productivity. After conversations with fellow attorneys, it’s more clear than ever that value surpasses hours logged. This more flexible model is uncovering a truth that will be a difficult pill for large firms to swallow. In the future, smaller more nimble firms will thrive without the baggage of high fixed expenses. This adjustment will open doors for unexpected opportunities, like stay-at-home-moms for example, who left a legal career to raise a family but are ready to dip a toe back in the water without diving in completely. With learning opportunities being cut, I also hope this will serve as a resource for students and associates who are eager to gain experience in our sector. I am energized by the network of trusted counsel that we’re building here at Michael H. Moody Law. With this concept, we’ll be able to always build the right team for the right situation.
We are a small but mighty firm. With so many changes happening in our communities and the legal industry, this collaborative counsel model will allow us the flexibility and innovation we need to bring the right talent to a case. I invite my peers to reach out to me if you’re interested in joining me in disrupting our industry and making strides for a brighter tomorrow.