CBABC Women Lawyers Forum Event,  May 14, 2010 Defining Moments – Leadership and Ethics A Career in Law: Defining Success ...
My Journey <ul><li>Entered law school in 1997 with an interest in public policy and advocacy for women and children </li><...
Emily and Lachlan
Heritage Law <ul><li>Started firm in 2005 as a solo </li></ul><ul><li>IT infrastructure built around juggling practicing l...
Heritage Law Today <ul><li>Busy and efficiently run firm </li></ul><ul><li>Currently seven lawyers and five staff </li></u...
Why Heritage Law Works <ul><li>A firm culture predicated on balance and flexibility with applied technological solutions t...
Pros and Cons of Heritage Law vs. Traditional Firm <ul><li>Pros: </li></ul><ul><li>More $ for fewer hours </li></ul><ul><l...
A Day in the Life – Associate in Traditional Firm T B B N B L B N B B N B T 7am 12pm 7pm 8pm 1pm 8am <ul><li>(T) – prepare...
A Day in the Life at Heritage Law P P B B N L B T N P B P B 7am 12pm 7pm 8pm 1pm 8am <ul><li>Work ‘9-5’ plus one evening h...
A Side – by – Side Comparison Effective hourly pay Flexibility Compensation Required Hours Criteria $150,000 ( 25%  more) ...
Tips for Defining Success on Your Own Terms: <ul><li>Know yourself; </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on your strengths; </li></ul><...
<ul><li>To Your Success! </li></ul><ul><li>Nicole Garton-Jones, B.A., LL.B. </li></ul><ul><li>Heritage Law </li></ul><ul><...
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A Career in Law: Defining Success on Your Own Terms

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Presentation to CBA BC Branch Women Lawyers Forum May 14, 2011

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  • The junior associate (1-4 year call) invests 13 hours each day preparing for, traveling to and from, and working at the firm. They are expected to bill no fewer than 1700 hours / year to reach their minimum target (1680 is used in this example for clarity); no bonus is paid until this threshold is achieved. Their billings generate $420,000 gross fees before write offs, assuming they bill out at $250 / hour, which would be typical for a lawyer at this experience level. This slide shows the relationship between hours worked (both billable and non-billable), compensation, and revenue to the firm (in percentage terms, and in terms of dollars per working hour), for a mid-level associate working in a traditional firm.
  • The junior associate (1-4 year call) invests 13 hours each day preparing for, traveling to and from, and working at the firm. They are expected to bill no fewer than 1700 hours / year to reach their minimum target (1680 is used in this example for clarity); no bonus is paid until this threshold is achieved. Their billings generate $420,000 gross fees before write offs, assuming they bill out at $250 / hour, which would be typical for a lawyer at this experience level. This slide shows the relationship between hours worked (both billable and non-billable), compensation, and revenue to the firm (in percentage terms, and in terms of dollars per working hour), for a mid-level associate working in a traditional firm.
  • Categorical comparison between working as a mid-level associate in a traditionally-structured firm, and working as a Virtual Partner in Heritage Law.
  • Transcript of "A Career in Law: Defining Success on Your Own Terms"

    1. 1. CBABC Women Lawyers Forum Event, May 14, 2010 Defining Moments – Leadership and Ethics A Career in Law: Defining Success on Your Own Terms Presented by Nicole Garton-Jones. B.A., LL.B.
    2. 2. My Journey <ul><li>Entered law school in 1997 with an interest in public policy and advocacy for women and children </li></ul><ul><li>Articled and was an associate at two large law firms </li></ul><ul><li>“ Early life crisis” in 2003 of lack of fit with skills and interests </li></ul><ul><li>Path of public affairs consultant, contract lawyer at a suburban firm and then starting Heritage Law in 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Married in 2005 & children born in 2006 and 2008 </li></ul>
    3. 3. Emily and Lachlan
    4. 4. Heritage Law <ul><li>Started firm in 2005 as a solo </li></ul><ul><li>IT infrastructure built around juggling practicing law with having young children: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>virtual (paperless, specialized software, entire firm can be accessed over any internet connection) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>VoIP phones & answering service </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong systems and organization to maximize productivity and client service </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Heritage Law Today <ul><li>Busy and efficiently run firm </li></ul><ul><li>Currently seven lawyers and five staff </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on wills and estates, family law and mediation services </li></ul><ul><li>Main office in West Van & new office in Kerrisdale </li></ul><ul><li>Firm recognized as a leader and has been nominated for awards for work life balance and law firm innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Speak and publish regularly in Canada and the US on legal technology and law firm management topics </li></ul>
    6. 6. Why Heritage Law Works <ul><li>A firm culture predicated on balance and flexibility with applied technological solutions to facilitate it allows lawyers to have a professional practice, competitive compensation and work-life balance </li></ul><ul><li>A good fit for a self directed and entrepreneurial lawyer </li></ul>
    7. 7. Pros and Cons of Heritage Law vs. Traditional Firm <ul><li>Pros: </li></ul><ul><li>More $ for fewer hours </li></ul><ul><li>More autonomy over schedule and practice direction </li></ul><ul><li>Cons: </li></ul><ul><li>More responsibility to build own practice earlier </li></ul><ul><li>Less direct mentorship and guidance </li></ul>
    8. 8. A Day in the Life – Associate in Traditional Firm T B B N B L B N B B N B T 7am 12pm 7pm 8pm 1pm 8am <ul><li>(T) – prepare and travel to and from office </li></ul><ul><li>(B) – billable work at $250 / hour </li></ul><ul><li>(N) – ~1 hour of non-billable and administrative for each 2 hours of billable work </li></ul><ul><li>(L) – 1 hour for lunch and breaks </li></ul>48 weeks / year X 5 days / week X 7 billable hours / day X $250/hr 1680 hours / year X $250 / hour = $420,000 client fees
    9. 9. A Day in the Life at Heritage Law P P B B N L B T N P B P B 7am 12pm 7pm 8pm 1pm 8am <ul><li>Work ‘9-5’ plus one evening hour, including 1 hour (T) for travel to and from office for client meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible (P)ersonal hour mid-day; work a (B)illable hour in the evenings after the children are in bed </li></ul><ul><li>(B) – billable work at $250 / hour </li></ul><ul><li>(N) – non-billable and administrative (L) – 1 hour for lunch </li></ul>48 weeks / year X 5 days / week X 5 billable hours / day X $250/hr 1200 hours / year X $250 / hour = $300,000 client fees 5pm 9am 3pm Kids to school Kids return
    10. 10. A Side – by – Side Comparison Effective hourly pay Flexibility Compensation Required Hours Criteria $150,000 ( 25% more) $120,000 Work on your schedule Traditional hours 1200 ( 70% as many) 1700 $78 / hr ( 173% as much) $45 / hr Traditional Firm
    11. 11. Tips for Defining Success on Your Own Terms: <ul><li>Know yourself; </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on your strengths; </li></ul><ul><li>Be creative; </li></ul><ul><li>Seek out mentors, both informal & formal; </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t have to do it all at once; and </li></ul><ul><li>Be brave! </li></ul>
    12. 12. <ul><li>To Your Success! </li></ul><ul><li>Nicole Garton-Jones, B.A., LL.B. </li></ul><ul><li>Heritage Law </li></ul><ul><li>The Village at Park Royal </li></ul><ul><li>203 – 815 Main St. </li></ul><ul><li>West Vancouver, BC V7T 2Z3 </li></ul><ul><li>Direct: 778-786-0615 ext.111 </li></ul><ul><li>Email: nicole@bcheritagelaw.com </li></ul><ul><li>Website: www.bcheritagelaw.com </li></ul>

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