The LeXfactor

Sneak Peek: The Entrepreneurial Lawyer – The LeXFactor

The LexFactor hosts Lauren and Brad welcome back Sarah Ruttan-Bates, Lexicon Director of Legal Operations & Training, to discuss areas of legal operations that law firms tend to overlook, and to give a sneak preview of Sarah’s new podcast series with Lexicon CEO Dan Cuneo.

In Sarah and Dan’s new podcast The Entrepreneurial Lawyer, the duo will explore growing law firms and focusing on streamlining internal processes to drive your law firm’s revenue. The podcast will launch soon and the pair look forward to showing attorneys how they can change their day-to-day operations to build and improve efficiencies.

Listen and subscribe to The LeXFactor by visiting or finding us on your preferred podcast platform. Watch out for the first episode of The Entrepreneurial Lawyer soon!


Podcast Transcription

Lauren Hoffmann: Hey, everybody. Welcome to another episode of the LeXFactor. It’s Lauren here.

Brad Paubel: And your co-host, Brad.

We have a great guest today. It’s a long-time listener and a returning guest

LH: And subscriber.

BP: It’s my friend and yours, Sarah.

LH: Sarah? Sarah who?

BP: You don’t know? Sarah, why don’t you introduce yourself?

Sarah Ruttan-Bates: I’m just trying to think of something really clever. …

Introducing The Entrepreneurial Lawyer Podcast

LH: It’s funny because we just had Sarah on the show, but we’re actually bringing her back today because she’s got some pretty exciting news.

BP: Yes. Why don’t you tell us what that exciting news is, Sarah?

SRB: So here is the thing.

BP: Should we do a drum roll?

SRB: Maybe, but I’m not there yet. I have to really give this backstory. Ever since the LeXFactor was launched, I’ve been just envious. Envious, truly. And I’ve wanted to be you, Brad.

BP: No.

LH: Hello, I’m here.

SRB: Lauren, I’m getting there. Give me a moment, OK? I just really wanted to be a co-host, you know? Just getting to sit with somebody else and feel that energy, talk about topics that you live, you breathe. I mean, you’ve probably been through it yourself. I’ve just been saying, “Gosh, what can I do to get to Brad’s level?”

LH: You don’t have to go far.

BP: Rough crowd.

SRB: The opportunity has now presented itself. Insert Dan Cuneo, right? Lexicon’s CEO. The great thing about Dan, as we all know, is that he’s an attorney. So he definitely gets it from the attorney aspect. And what I mean by gets it, is what it means to be an attorney, to drive revenue, to bring in clients, that business aspect of things.

And so Dan approached me and he said, “Hey, how would you feel about teaming up and being my co-host?”

BP: He was like, “I want to be like Lauren. You want to be like Brad. I have the perfect solve.”

SRB: That’s right. We’re copycats of you guys and we’re super stoked about it. So Dan and I are launching our very own podcast.

BP: And what is that podcast called, Sarah?

SRB: It is going to be called The Entrepreneurial Lawyer.

BP: That’s right.

LH: I love it.

BP: I feel like we just hit the champagne bottle on the ship.

LH: What if we switched it up and Brad and Dan hosted together and the name could be Two Bald Guys.

SRB: Oh, would be amazing.

BP: Wow. Just wow.

SRB: But I’m sure people are like, “Well, what does that mean?” What are we going to talk about? How do we differentiate from what you guys are doing? Because what you guys are doing and what you’re talking about in your guest and your topics, I love all of them. It’s such amazing information for people out there in the legal community. Our focus is going to be more streamlined to actually building your own law firm and driving revenue. It’s more about, I always say that I’m building a firm and driving revenue falls under an umbrella, but it’s a lot of little things that get you there.

So high level, and we’re intentionally keeping it super high level because we want you to tune into our podcast. So we are starting our recording next week. We’re going to really talk to two attorneys who own their own law firms. How do you really build? how do you grow? We’ll be focusing on a lot of different areas. First and foremost, you need to be looking at your internal processes. That boils down to things such as your fee agreement. What’s covered? What are you charging people? How often are you billing? I’ve heard from a lot of attorneys that they don’t have a standard bill cycle, so maybe every 30 days, every 45. My thought on that one, again without giving a lot away, is if you wait that 30 or 45 days and you send that invoice, it’s probably a higher invoice and people are probably more reluctant to pay it versus if you’re kind of setting those more standard bills cycles. So smaller increments, smaller amounts.

LH: And we all know people play late so you’re just adding even more time on top of that.

SRB: Yeah, exactly. We’re going to be talking about what do you have payment plans? What is your collection process look like? Are you billing in real time and capturing the time? Are you leaving time on the table? We’ll be talking about auditing hourly rates, being competitive in your market, how to properly utilize your legal staff versus your attorneys who bill at a higher rate. We’ll be talking about different aspects about bringing in new revenue from marketing standpoints.

Marketing I think is important in the legal field, but you guys tell me what you’re used to seeing. I’m used to seeing more of that presence on a bus stop or a billboard.

LH: It’s definitely more traditional in the legal industry, but the world isn’t traditional nowadays.

SRB: It is not. Exactly. So point being that the legal community, the legal world is just going through a lot of changes. And so we’re going to talk a lot about embracing those changes and how you could be looking at just your day-to-day operational practices differently moving forward to really help grow your firm and generate revenue.

BP: I love it. You’re going to have to keep us in the know of your topic so we can make sure to preview them here.

LH: Oh, good call. And I feel like I’m going to have to listen because this is good education for me too. I didn’t come out of the legal field so I could always use it.

BP: Right, us co-hosts have to stick together. We have to form a bond and be strong.

LH: A co-alliance?

BP: Well, we have to, because the hosts just crush us all the time.

SRB: They always get all the fame and glory.

BP: I do think this new podcast is going to be amazing. I think it’s going to be exactly what people want, especially those attorneys that are starting out. They want to know how to build that business, how to grow, how to make sure to increase the bottom line. So it’s, it’s going to be awesome. I’m excited for you.

LH: There’s so much that comes to running your own firm. So much that you don’t know until you’re in there doing it or trying to do it, or you didn’t do it and realize you dropped the ball and need to figure out how to handle it moving forward. I’m excited about it.

SRB: And I, I think sometimes for all of us, change is hard. It is. And I just reiterate the point that law firm operations, they’re just really, really changing. They’re advancing. I mean, Lauren, you nailed, when we were talking about it just kind of is like old school. So if people want to stay ahead of the game, if they want to keep growing, they want to keep being successful, we’re incredibly hopeful that we can provide, recommendations, tips, and tricks. And again, it’s coming from people who we live it, we breathe it. Dan, like I said, himself currently in this CEO role for Lexicon being an attorney, I like to say I’m a retired paralegal myself. So I have a lot of that aspect from the legal staff side of things and how to grow and utilize them for your revenue purposes.

So we’re super, super excited about it. We cannot wait to get in the recording studio and start pushing our episodes.

BP: Are you going to have guests?

SRB: Yes, absolutely. I mean, damn, I don’t have all the answers. Even if I did that would be incredibly boring just to constantly hear Dan and Sarah talking to each other. I mean, we’re hilarious. Don’t get me wrong.

BP: Maybe one day I could be a guest.

SRB: I think that would be amazing.

LH: Oh, Brad. You’re here.

SRB: He likes to wear different hats sometimes.

BP: I like being a guest. They could ask me questions.

SRB:  He’s going to wear his bangs hat.

LH: I haven’t seen that in ages. I actually do have a tip for Sarah. When you’re in the and wearing a bun, you have to be careful about bun placement. Sometimes you can only put the headphones in front of or behind the bun. You have to be careful where you place it. And if you put it behind the bun, a lot of times it won’t stay up or the headphones won’t stay up.

BP: The struggle is real, people.

SRB: I’ll just wear my hair down.

LH: The bun needs to be more towards the back of your head and not on the crown of your head.

SRB: The problem you get with that is if you go too far back and you’re trying to like drive or sit in a chair.

BP: I have nothing to contribute to this topic.

SRB: Yes, Brad, we’re going to have guests, and yes, we can absolutely make sure that you get on that list. I won’t give names, but we have some amazing law firms on board and some attorneys locally so far who own their own law firms who have been incredibly successful some of which who have been in practice and in business for well over 20, 25 years. Those are great people to be speaking with and leading on, right? They’ve been through a lot of it. And a couple of those individuals that we’re going to be teeing up are not only going to talk about how they have been successful, but how they’ve had to really adjust and change as client needs change. Demands change, the demands of even their associate attorneys and their employees. We want to talk to as many people as possible and provide as much knowledge and information as we can.

BP: I’m so excited to hear the podcast. I cannot wait to subscribe. And please, it will be posted on everything like ours, right? Subscribe, like it, everything.

LH: Share it. And with the LeXFactor, too. Subscribe, like, share. If you want to be a guest, reach out, let us know. We’d love to have you on either show.