Mathew Kerbis: Subscription Models for Your Law Firm

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Mathew Kerbis discuss:

  • Being a young lawyer and building relationships.
  • Resources for young, staring attorneys.
  • The billable hour versus the subscription model.
  • The changing of the law firm business model.

Key Takeaways:

  • The sky’s the limit as a private practice attorney.
  • Bringing in business, even at a larger firm, not only brings in more money, it gives you control over your career.
  • The law firm model needs to be modified as other companies are starting to profitize legal services.

“For the billable hour, all you could do is hire more lawyers to bill more hours, because there’s only so many hours in the day. With a subscription model, you could scale like never before.” —  Mathew Kerbis

Connect with Mathew Kerbis:  

Website: https://www.condoncook.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mathewrobertkerbis/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MathewKerbis

Young Lawyer Rising Podcast: https://legaltalknetwork.com/podcasts/aba-young-lawyer-rising-podcast/

Book Reference: 

https://www.amazon.com/Subscribed-Subscription-Model-Companys-Future/dp/0525536469

Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.

Website: Fretzin.com

Email: [email protected]

Book: The Ambitious Attorney: Your Guide to Doubling or Even Tripling Your Book of Business and more!

YouTube: Steve Fretzin

Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911

Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

subscription model, attorneys, lawyers, aba, chicago, pay, business, people, law school, billable hour, law, day, firm, called, practice, subscription, hire, legal profession, clients, big

SPEAKERS

Narrator, Matthew Kerbis, Steve Fretzin

 

Matthew Kerbis  [00:00]

I think that also helps the mental health of attorneys who are building on the billable hour and feel stressed, they have to build so many hours in order to keep their business afloat or in order to get their bonus or in order to whatever the aspect of it is. And the great thing about the social model is it doesn’t have to replace the billable hour, right, you can, as an attorney set up the own way for it to work and adapt to your current firm model, and just get that monthly recurring revenue from clients.

 

Narrator  [00:29]

You’re listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author and lawyer coach, Steve Fretzin, will take a deeper dive helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.

 

Steve Fretzin  [00:53]

Hey, everybody, welcome to be that lawyer. I hope you’re having a lovely day. I certainly am. I got shot out of the cannon this morning, got up and got at my desk about 630. And just rockin and rollin. I’ve got a full day of stuff going on. Of course, I’m going to take some breaks, going into my walks going to make sure I’m not stressing out or get my back stressed out. But this is what you have to do. You have to organize your day, and you have to knock it out of the ballpark. And so part of that day to day is is doing a podcast. And guess what, I’ve got a tremendous guest for you all today. It’s on a topic that we really haven’t covered at all on the show. And so I’m going to introduce my new friend and hopefully we’re going to hang out together in Deerfield because he just moved here from the city of Chicago and live in Deerfield, Illinois, if you ever want to hunt me down, and I’ll take it for lunch or something like that, but he’s an attorney at Cannon cook. His name is Matthew Curtis. And we’re going to call him Curtis. How’s it going? Curtis?

 

Matthew Kerbis  [01:50]

Steve is going great. I’m so glad to be here today. Thanks for inviting me.

 

Steve Fretzin  [01:55]

It’s like I got all this energy. And then you come in with like a super chill like radio voice on me. And I’m like you’re throwing off my game?

 

Matthew Kerbis  [02:02]

Well, well, I am the occasional guest host and the host of a sub segment on a young lawyer podcast called younger rising. So it is sort of my it’s my zone.

 

Steve Fretzin  [02:12]

This is your zone. This is your this is this is where you come from. All right. Well do me a favor and my audience in particular and give a little background on you on yourself. And your you also have a lot of time invested in working with the ABA. So I’d love to hear a little bit about that. And then we can get into the meat and potatoes.

 

Matthew Kerbis  [02:32]

Absolutely. So I mostly in private practice insurance to fence work at counted in Cook County cooks a firm in Chicago, it’s been a mainstay, it’s been around for over 40 years. That’s most of what I spend my day doing first party third party. So defending against Personal Injury actions defending against claims and lawsuits filed against insurance companies, a lot of what I do is related to fraud investigation. So you know, it doesn’t, it doesn’t always happen, you know, but but we do have an upgrade number of cases where like, say somebody burns their house down for the insurance money kind of thing. I’m not talking about any specific cases here. But I but we’re kind of cook what we’re really known for we’ve made a name for ourselves is for is for the front investigation, and that next to get really interesting. But when I was in law school, I went to DePaul in Chicago. And I got really involved in American Bar Association. I was even elected to be chair of the law student division of the ABA. So I represented essentially all law students at all ABA accredited institutions across the US. And I got to lobby on issues that matter to them to the American Bar Association to the section legal education on accreditation issues. And my administration started a three year fight to eliminate the pay credit barrier for externships. So it used to be law students can only get pay or credit at an externship or a field placement program. Now they could get both. And then I also got a chance to lobby US Congress in that position as well on behalf of the whole profession along with a lot of lawyers. It’s called a thing called ABA day. And it’s really a lot of fun. We’ve been virtual the last two times but it’s been it’s been a boatload of fun. And then I went on to continue work in various positions. Throughout my many years since then. That was your to the ABA for me. And I actually just finished up your nine serving in continuous leadership roles terming out just this month as the liaison to the section of legal education for young lawyers. So while it’s a non voting position, I’ve still been very active in legal education related advocacy work in the American Bar Association, among many other things, like the podcast I mentioned, is also a young lawyers Division team that I’m on. So it’s been it’s been great fun and I’ve really been able to build out my network across the US which is just come in handy when I’ve had clients who have, you know, say I have a client who wants to buy a house in Florida? Well, I reached out to the, you know, the Florida attorney who I know really well in the ABA to get referral kind of thing. So it’s been really useful in that regard.

 

Steve Fretzin  [05:10]

And, you know, engaging with a lot of young lawyers as you do and have, what are you seeing? Like, what’s their mindset coming into the legal profession? are they understanding the value of marketing and business development and growth? Are they are they in the dark about that? Is that Is it something that they’re just trying to find a job? What’s what’s kind of their mindset these days?

 

Matthew Kerbis  [05:33]

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of tunnel vision on Holy crap. I have all the student debt, and now all of a sudden, I need to pay for it, like law school was like a fun ride, and didn’t really have to think about it at the time. And for most, not all, but for most law students, you know, they’re coming in right from college. They don’t know, I didn’t know, you know, what I was getting myself into with the student loan debt. I just figured, like a lot of young lawyers and law students do. You know, we’re the go getters. That’s why we go to law school. You know, we were like, well, we’ll be in the top percent of our class, and we’ll get those high paying jobs. But simply the reality is, I talked to students in high school or college who are thinking about going to law school, I tried to make them faces reality right away, and most of you won’t end up in those jobs. And so you get tunnel vision, when you graduate, you’re like, I gotta get to the highest paying job I could get. Even if I wanted to go into public service, even if I wanted to do other things, even if I want to make a huge difference. That’s why I went to law school. Now I have six figures of student loan debt, I just need to get the job that I could make the most money to pay that off, right. And they don’t really super understand their finances when they get out, which is why that segment host is the financial wellness minute, sort of on a on a mission to help educate young lawyers on what they could do with their finances. But it’s all about, really what it comes down to is making that money. And they they know that they think that this generation is really important, but don’t really get it in the beginning. And that’s another thing that I’ll talk to prospective law students about is every relationship that you make right now, when you’re in high school, I go and speak at my alma mater Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois. And I say, if you’re, if you’re mean to anyone, right now, go and apologize, because you never know, that could bring you a lot of business in the future. Yeah, if you want to go into the legal profession, every relationship you have is super important. So it’s, it’s sort of related to the wanting to make as much money to pay off the student loan debt, as far as you know, business generation. But the stark reality is, is, at least in my experience, working with young lawyers across the country, it’s just, it’s a skill set that’s seriously lacking.

 

Steve Fretzin  [07:31]

Yeah, and I’ll just put this out there that I, I’m talking with a lot of law schools and a lot of professors at law schools, and they’re there, man, they’re seeing kids coming out of law school totally unprepared for the real world. One of them said, you know, some of their kids had never even written a check. And they’re starting a solo practice and trying to figure out like, how to run a business. It’s like, Holy mackerel, so just to you know, just the ease some some of their minds, I mean, there’s lots of resources to learn business development, marketing, practice management, time management, you just have to look for those resources. Now I can be a resource, and I have a lot of contacts, like yourself and others, that could be a good resource, but just don’t do it alone don’t suffer in silence. And don’t think that you have to go at it alone, there’s a lot of different places you can go to get information and help and advice, whether you’re starting off as a solo, or you’re going into a law firm making a lot of money. But you realize at some point, or hopefully as early as possible, that business generation is a learned skill. And it’s something that people can can get, whether it’s from me or from others. And, and that that’s an that’s a new part of being a lawyer that needs to be considered more now than ever, because the world is changing, which we’re going to talk about, that’s a good segue, actually, you know, how the world is changing? How legal is changing, and we can’t just keep thinking that things are going to be the same, or that we can just keep building ours and, and that the world is going to be okay. Right? Is that is that kind of the right mindset?

 

Matthew Kerbis  [08:59]

You know, it’s It’s spot on. And I’m, and I’m lucky that I’m in a firm where, as is associated my firm, I’m not required to bring in business insurance defense firm that we’ve been, you know, we’ve been in business for over 40 years, we’ve been representing a lot of the same big insurance companies for a long, long time. So it’s more business maintenance than it is business development. At the same time, I’m still bringing in business because the reality is, is if you are able to bring in business, then you can, you can, you know, make more money, because you get a commission on that business that you bring in, even if it’s not required, right. And not every firm is set up that way. But at least I’ve been at firms where I do get a cut of what I bring in. So So I have the student loans I now have I just moved so I have a mortgage now I have a kid. So I’m incentivized to in addition to doing my work is to bring in business because I get that cut and I come from a long line of salespeople. My dad’s in sales by margin sales. My Bobby wasn’t In sales, you know, she was like working as a real estate broker like back before a lot of a lot of women were doing that. So, so I sort of grew up with that sales aspect, but a lot of attorneys want to go to law school and practice law, and they don’t think that they have to go out and sell themselves. Yeah, I guess if you’re in house, you know, maybe you’re working for that client. But the reality is, that the sky’s the limit. If you’re an attorney, if you’re a private practice attorney, I mean, no, no, you know, comfort level of, you know, going in house or, you know, working for the government or doing something like that, like, like, don’t get me wrong, if you want to do that. And that’s your thing. That’s great. But truly, truly, as a private practice, attorney, the earning potential, the sky’s the limit, but there’s an access to justice problem, which is something that I’ve talked a lot about my work in the ABA, and work to solve. And I think one of the ways to do that is with the subscription model applied to law. And I think that’s what that’s the transition you wanted to make. Sorry, it was a long walk together, it

 

Steve Fretzin  [10:55]

was exactly right on. But before we even get to the subscription model, which I want to I want to mention, I mean, as an as a lawyer, yes, you can make more money, if you bring in business, and you get a commission on that, or you get what’s called origination credit, okay. And I think that’s a part of it. But when I when I talk to attorneys every day, kind of all day all week, that are looking for, and it’s rarely about the money, what actually what resonates with lawyers more than the money. And paying off that debt, which is important, is the control that comes with having your own clients that control that if your firm gets bought, if your firm slows down, if one of the big insurance carriers leaves, or they start a procurement department, that’s going to really nickel and dime which might lead to your subscription model point anyway, that when you have your own client base, when you have your own GCS, your own CEOs, your own insurance claims people, they’re yours, you own that relationship, and if you leave, or if something else happens, you can control your destiny, that’s really more of what people are hiring me for, or looking for business development is that they don’t want to take any kind of risk as a relates to their future. And that happens when you when you’re just getting fed work, because the world is changing. And I mean, even like price pressures, right? I mean, insurance defense, has one of the toughest, right aren’t like, you know, parade pressures that’s constantly happening, right?

 

Matthew Kerbis  [12:19]

Yeah, I don’t want to get too much into it. And as far as like the the rates and all that fringe companies, but what I will say about it is, you know, and there are also smaller players in the space, you know, we also represent, you know, smaller insurance companies, not not just the the big giants. Sure, right. And there’s a little bit more attempts at sort of creative pricing, maybe with some of the smaller carriers in there are some of the larger ones. And I am working on a formula that I think can work with a subscription plus flat fee for the insurance, defense type practice. But that is in its early stages. And really, I think you’d have to get buy in first from the insurance companies before we even got buy in from the law firms to, you know, to do that kind of thing. But definitely, there’s there’s always, you know, that that’s always something to consider, right. It’s a high volume, practice insurance defense. So, so the rates are going to be different than say, you know, doing sort of probate or wills and trusts type work where for people at the billable hour, so it’s definitely, you’re on to something. Okay, well, I’m not gonna totally pull the curtain back

 

Steve Fretzin  [13:24]

today on your show. No, no, no, but let’s but we can get into some of it. Right. I mean, the you mentioned this subscription model, you tried to segue and I blocked you. And now let’s get back to it. So the billable hour, 200 an hour, 300 500 700? A million, you know, 1100 an hour. I mean, they’re all over the place. And there are companies and people and whatever that are paying all different rates for all different kinds of attorneys and law firms. And so, for some businesses, that’s that’s going to, you know, that’s that’s the way things have been, you’re talking about a subscription model, which is a fairly new concept, I think, unless you tell me otherwise. Explain what that is subscription versus the billable.

 

Matthew Kerbis  [14:06]

Yeah, so like, we all know what a subscription model is now, outside of LA, right? We we pay for Netflix, we pay for Hulu, you know, we pay for Amazon Prime, right? We pay for all the CD going keep going. There’s at least five more that I know I’m paying for right now that I wish I wasn’t I think I might even have apple which is like what is that there might be one good show a year. Oh, my God, iCloud, you’re paying these monthly fees. Right. There’s so many subscriptions. Yeah. And so we’re as consumers now we actually are actually very used to paying for subscription fees for for different types of things. And even as a small business owner or startups and I, I’m growing my practice representing startups, as clients, you know, they are launching, you know, businesses that based are based on a subscription, but in order to launch their business based on the subscription, they’re paying, you know, $6 a month for Google workspace for professional email, right like their pay Unlike all these fees, you know, monthly to launch a business. So whether we’re business owners, whether we’re individual consumers are also very used to paying the subscription model, but law has not really adopted it yet. Now, there, there are maybe a couple of dozen attorneys that I’ve discovered, that are using the subscription model, but none of them, none of them are using it the way that I want to use it, and are using it the way that I think more lawyers can use it. And that is to have entry level prices that compete with your, what you’re paying for Netflix, what you’re paying for Amazon Prime and, and really be just an entryway into people using you as an attorney being able to call you whether whatever that looks like. And there’s different ways to structure a subscription model. But I’m talking but I think there needs to be even just an access level of okay, if I pay, you know, less than 50 bucks a month, I get access to an attorney to ask them questions to maybe shoot them a quick email, look over this one page document that before I sign it at least so I know what I’m getting myself into an actual negotiation and actual drafting and actual all these other things. On top of that, well that you can pay a higher subscription amount per month. Or you can do a flat fee billing, so subscription plus flat fee. And I think that also helps the mental health of attorneys who are billing on the billable hour and feel stressed, they have to build so many hours in order to keep their business afloat or in order to get their bonus or in order to whatever the aspect of it is. And the great thing about the subscription model is it doesn’t have to replace the billable hour, right? You can you can as an attorney set up your own the own way for it to work and adapt to your current firm model and just get that monthly recurring revenue from clients. And when we graduated from law school and all ties back to that for me, because I’m I was so involved and engaged in the ABA that so much of my perspective is gained from from that experience. Like there’s an ABA President James soaking out when I was chaired last in Division. He said he was a partner at a big firm, I think it was Sullivan Cromwell. He’s like, I can’t afford to hire me. Right? Just dawned on me like this partner at a big firm who’s probably raking in, you know, he couldn’t afford to hire himself. You know, there’s something broken with that. Yeah. And so, you know, when we graduate, and I don’t know, maybe, you know, you’ve heard the stories that you you work with so many lawyers, but when you graduate from law school, all of a sudden, even when you’re in law school, your family, your friends, all of a sudden, they start reaching out for you for legal advice. You’re like, whoa, whoa, whoa, hold on. You know, first of all, if you’re in law school, you’re I don’t have my license yet. Yeah. Second of all, if I am licensed, you’re not a client, you know, I’ve ethical responsibilities that I have to fulfill, you know, so if you want to hire me, I can give you legal advice, you know, maybe I can give you legal information, I can’t actually tell you what to do. But I can save you some Google searches. But, but if you have a subscription model and affordable entry access, you graduate from law school with a base of potential subscribers right there. And that that won’t be enough to, you know, to survive on, which is where the business development I think comes in, which is something new, because yesterday, you get your friends and family to maybe pay 20 bucks a month, 50 bucks a month, you know, to be able to actually get some legal advice, you know, and then that’s where Bar Association’s come in. Because I don’t teach how to practice law in law school. They don’t teach how to run a business. They don’t teach how to generate business and law school, which is a whole other podcast episode. But, but that’s where Bar Association’s come in, for CLE is and to learn and to know, you know, so you’re not you’re so you’re meeting your ethical obligations in terms of legal advice, you know, to client, you know, clients that sign up for the subscription model, right when you graduate. But there’s, there’s a blue ocean of people out there that can’t afford legal services that have never used legal services before. And now, with the subscription model, which I hope gets rapid adoption. These are people who, who they couldn’t afford an attorney before. You know, there’s a question of how do you market to them? How do you get them to sign up for a subscription model, which is something brand new. Now, they’re used to signing up for subscriptions, but not for lawyers. And it’s a service like, it’s not like you’re getting a product like this, these TV shows, you can watch, you know, you’re signing up for service. So I think there’s there’s a lot of questions that I have in my crusade to get the subscription model adopted. Okay, so let’s say attorneys buy in. How do you get the potential clients to buy in because I see this as an access to justice thing? I see this as a everyday people, you know, signing up, you know, what, if they don’t use you for a month, do they unsubscribe? What what incentives can you build in to make them stay subscribed to you if they’re not using your services every single month? So there’s a lot of questions that need to be answered.

 

Steve Fretzin  [19:22]

Well, the biggest question I have is for a lot of attorneys listening to this, they would say, Well, how is this even, you know, yes, it might give people access to justice. And there’s there’s some level of honor in in making law affordable, but everybody’s got bills. Everybody wants to make bank and do well in their career. How does this work financially and profitably? For lawyers listening to this that say, Wait a second, this sounds like I’m giving the form away or giving away thing time that I don’t really have.

 

Matthew Kerbis  [19:54]

There are 24 hours in a day, and if you work on the billable hour, you could only build 24 hours Day, if you build more, guess what they’re going to find out and you’re going to get censored or potentially lose your law license. And there are some great stories about that. You know, you can’t do double billing, you know, you’re on a train, and you’re billing, you know, you because you’re traveling, so you’re billing for travel, but then maybe you could also work on some other things, you know, so like, oh, I build, you know, for two hours. And maybe if you were to do a lot of that you end up billing over 24 hours a day. Well, guess what, that’s super unethical, you can lose your law license, right? So there are only so many hours a day. So how do you scale with the billable hour, you scale by hiring more lawyers, that’s all you could do. For the billable hour, that’s all you could do is hire more lawyers to build more hours, because there’s only so many hours in a day, with a subscription model, you could scale like never before. And there’s a great book, I’m gonna plug here, which I’ve listened to on Audible. It’s called subscribed by Tn Joe. And he is the founder of a company called Zora. And this is, you know, maybe I don’t know, maybe we get him to sponsor this segment. Yeah, I have to reach out. Not a sponsored plug. But it’s a really incredible book. And I highly recommend that you listen to it, anyone listen to it, or read it, I listen to it on Audible. There’s a great accompanying PDF on Audible. And really, he breaks down the subscription model, why it’s useful, of course, Zora is a platform that helps companies, you know, implement the subscription model. They’re the company behind the Salesforce subscription, he was one of the first people at Salesforce, so and I actually got to meet him in this pandemic world on like a zoom event type thing. That’s how I even learned about it in the first place. I was already on this subscription mission, but that book does the best job that I’ve come across to really sell someone in the subscription model. So if they, if I said, you know, do you have, you know, some time read this book was in his book.

 

Steve Fretzin  [21:38]

Let me let me let me say this, though, let’s assume that nine out of 10 or 19, out of 20, people will never read that book. What’s the Reader’s Digest version and a few sentences, the big The biggest takeaway you got from the book that you could share that you were like, Wow, that really hit home for me?

 

Matthew Kerbis  [21:56]

Yeah, so it all comes down to scale. And that is that the billable hour incentivizes inefficiency, right? Why would I use this ediscovery software when I could, you know, hire a bunch of associates, you know, our contract attorneys can just do you know, Bill, review, work and just build the heck out of the file. Right. So, with the subscription model, where you’re not billing by the hour, there’s incentives right there, because you’re charging less to create as many efficiencies as possible, which means utilizing all the technology available, which, you know, spoiler alert is probably you’re gonna have to pay a subscription to get access to that. Things like count, like, there are free versions, like so if I’m a solo practitioner, maybe I just need the free version of Calendly. You know, I don’t need the paid version, right. But if I’m a, if I, if my practice grows, well, then it makes sense for me to, you know, to pay whatever that small amount is, so that I could do more advanced things on the calendar, right, sure people to, to pick a time to talk to me or whatever. So. So there’s a lot of free tools out there. So some of this is, again, I think, this is why I’m going to be watching this project soon. Because I’m not as active as a member of the ABA anymore, right now, I just lost the election. And I sort of turned out of my other position. So I’m going to spend that time doing something else. But I think Bar Association’s can be a great place where you could go and you can learn about this technology, like the law practice division that hosts the ABA tech show every year in Chicago, is sort of a great resource to learn about technology in the law. But that’s also so focused on law, there’s a lot of great technology out there that is not being adopted by the legal profession, which I think could help you create more efficiencies in your practice where you could scale like never before, you could productize law. So you could use actual document automation, you can use forms, you can you can make it so that the technology does the heavy lifting. And you just do the law and the advising as an attorney. And so you you can take on more clients than ever before, because you’re not billing by the hour. So by so it becomes a volume practice. But at the same time, people who didn’t have access to an attorney or legal services before now can get access to that even if it’s not the traditional I’m gonna spend as much time on your file. I understand there’s some pushback from the I call them the old guard in the profession, about that sort of mentality of what a lawyer is, but what a lawyer is needs to change because hey, guess what LegalZoom is now going to open up their version of a law firm in Arizona. And so companies are coming in and productizing legal services we’re we’re clients out there prospective clients in this blue ocean of people who could use legal services but can’t afford them at the billable hour model. They’re never going to hire an attorney if other companies come in and productize legal services. So attorneys need to do that. This is really a let’s save the profession kind of admission.

 

Steve Fretzin  [24:44]

Yeah, this is this is this is happening what in the next three to five years that the ownership of law firms by non lawyers, the continued marketing and advertising in Google use of Google the Um, the pressures of procurement departments and rate pressures, it’s all it’s all working against the billable hour. And you’re you’re trying to you’re coming up with something to try to save the profession by altering in being forward thinking and how this the future, what the future is really going to look like how lawyers are going to be better better able to compete. Is that a good summary? Some summation?

 

Matthew Kerbis  [25:24]

Yeah, it’s excellent. And you know, there’s a lot more that we could say about this. And maybe maybe, you know, in a few weeks or a few months, we will, might be a second show, right? There might be maybe a recurring a recurring show every so many months. Okay, see where we’re at? So, so yeah, so this project that I alluded to earlier is called law subscribed. And it’s past tense, subscribed, and, and this, hopefully, this winter, I’ll finally have the website launched law subscribed.com. It’s Atla. subscribed and all the socials, I’m gonna be interviewing attorneys with subscription models, the two dozen out there that have them, I’m going to try to get them, you know, to talk to me about it. And, I mean, this is all you know, like, this is like a weekend project for me, right? Like, it’s like a journalistic endeavor. And I really hope that it inspires a lot of attorneys out there to launch a subscription

 

Steve Fretzin  [26:13]

model. I mean, just to tell you, I’m working with 30 lawyers at any given time, throughout the year. And right now, I can tell you, I have three that are on a subscription model that are working a subscription model, and it may not be the same way that you’re describing it. Because it isn’t really scaling, they have limitations to how many they can take on still and they still are going to have to hire associates and expand. But it’s more of like a more of a flat fee subscription model than something that that provides, you know, where they can do 10 times as much work and stuff like that. So maybe it’s a little different than what you’re saying. But I’m interested in staying involved and in touch with you on this specific topic. Because I think people need to hear the direction that the legal industry is going and how it’s changing. Because if they’re just if they’re sleeping at the wheel, it’s not going to be good. And it’s it’s just the next five years are going to be so different than the last five years, we’ve got to be prepared for that.

 

Matthew Kerbis  [27:10]

And I think you’re getting is the last thing I’ll say, and I think you’re gonna see previously disadvantaged groups who are lawyers really succeeding in this regard. And of the two dozen or so attorneys who I know with a subscription model. Several of them are minorities, women of color. And and because the current model, the current law firm model doesn’t work for them. Just like in Malcolm Gladwell, book Outliers, the, the, you know, the importance of being Jewish chapter or something, I might be butchering that name, where, you know, the Jewish attorneys were, were shunned at the big firms. And so they open up their other practice areas and practice areas that were, you know, things that the, you know, the previous, the previous, the old old guard didn’t want to practice. And then all of a sudden those practice areas became really important. And now Jewish lawyer is a thing. And I am one, but yeah, not like that regard. But But I think you’re gonna see the currently disadvantaged groups in the legal profession latch on to something new and novel, like the subscription model to provide access to legal services to groups that look like them that are definitely not getting access to legal services now, and you’re going to see them have incredible success as attorneys. And and then the, you know, the old guard will be saying, oh, shoot, yeah, we missed. We missed out on that. But I think that’s good, hopefully, for everyone. And

 

Steve Fretzin  [28:24]

then everyone else will follow suit. Yeah. And I want to be a part of that world. And part of that change as it happens. But listen, man, thank you so much. Let’s move to the three best of and I know before you move to my hood, Deerfield Illinois, you’re a Chicago guy. So let’s go through and let’s pretend that you’re still in Chicago. Since you’re so new to my area, you’re not going to have the same insights that I’ll have. But I’ve already sent you an email with a bunch of ideas of places to see and eat and all that. So let’s talk about Chicago. What’s your favorite restaurant in the whole city of Chicago, the place that you you could pick one place to go eat it’d be this place.

 

Matthew Kerbis  [29:00]

Unfortunately, it’s closed and it was Green River and Streeterville Oh, something that was something that and then they opened that that Chef ended up opening a new restaurant, and then ended up leaving it unfortunately, but But it’s since that restaurant. Your listeners can’t actually go to furniture. Cago I got to go with one of the classic Deep Dish Chicago pizza places and for me, that’s Giordano’s

 

Steve Fretzin  [29:23]

Giordano’s. Okay now there’s a whole thing between Giordano’s Geno’s east and Lou, Mel Matty’s and you’re saying Giordano’s, that’s it

 

Matthew Kerbis  [29:32]

you want a softer crust, you want more of like a pizza pot pie with like a pureed, you know, sauce, super gooey, gooey, cheesy nasally that’s,

 

Steve Fretzin  [29:39]

that’s my and I like all of them. But for me for my tastes, your downloads all the way. Okay. And then people that are visiting Chicago, there’s obviously a ton of things to do. What would you say you have if you’re coming to Chicago, you’d have to do this one thing as a visitor as a visitor,

 

Matthew Kerbis  [29:57]

yeah, yeah. Oh, especially, even if we’re wherever you’re from, I think Lake Michigan is an incredible gem of a thing that we have that Chicago is right on. So I’d say Lake walk or lake bike ride, you know, something where you could really like ride up and down, you know, Lake Michigan for miles and just see how incredible have a resource and a beauty that we have in Chicago? I think that you got to do some sort of Lake Walker Lake bike ride for sure.

 

Steve Fretzin  [30:26]

Yep. Okay. And then people that are in Chicago, what are they into these days? What are they? What are they doing that? That, you know, that seems to be a hot thing right now? Social justice, social justice, okay,

 

Matthew Kerbis  [30:41]

I work in an office in the loop. And even just, even just the other day, I was hearing, you know, someone on like a, you know, on a megaphone or something. And it was, you know, what happened to George Floyd really saw an incredible social justice movement in Chicago. And while it slowed down a little bit, because of the the Delta variants and other aspects of the pandemic, and people getting back to work and everything, I, I still see a lot of momentum in terms of social justice in Chicago. And so I’m really proud of, you know, being in a city. And even though I’m not living in the city now, I do still work there. But I’m really proud to be in a city that cares so much about social justice issues.

 

Steve Fretzin  [31:19]

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I think we’re very, you know, progressive compared to many areas of the country. And that is something that is definitely a standout in Chicago. I agree with that. So listen, Curtis, thanks so much for being on the show for sharing your wisdom for giving us insights about not only yourself and your background, but also the subscription model the forward thinking this that you’re having about what the future is for lawyers and and I think it’s right in line with with a lot of things that I’m I’m trying to help lawyers with, which is to, you know, really consider the future consider that you can’t just keep doing things the old way, and expecting that things are going to be okay, they’re not. And you might be okay right now, but you know, a year from now we’ll world can be very different place. Right.

 

Matthew Kerbis  [32:03]

Right, Steve, and thank you so much. And I look forward to talking to you again about this.

 

Steve Fretzin  [32:06]

Yeah, we’re gonna have to take some walk in Deerfield or, you know, I’ll have to take you out for some of the Deerfield fair, try different pizza, things like that. But anyway, listen, thanks again. And hey, everybody, thank you for being a guest, you know, being a listener of the show. And, you know, I appreciate that you spend 30 minutes with me once or twice a week. And, again, the goal is to help you be that lawyer, someone who’s confident organized in a skilled Rainmaker, and, you know, consider that, you know, it’s important to think about the future and where things are headed. And hopefully the show is just a part of it. If you think that we’re being helpful, like us, give us some good ratings. Write a nice review, right there on your Apple phone. As you’re listening. Just take a second and click a button, and hopefully more lawyers will get to hear the show and enjoy it like you do. Take care of Be safe, be well, and we’ll talk soon.

 

Narrator  [33:03]

Thanks for listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website fretzin.com. For additional information, and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes