La Trobe Law School alumna Mira Stammers is part of an emerging movement of lawyers determined to turn traditional law practice on its head.
Mira is a proponent of NewLaw, described as an alternative to the traditional BigLaw business model. Under the NewLaw model, clients have access to alternative pricing strategies that move away from billable hours to more fixed-fee or value-based billing models. Among other features, NewLaw also incorporates new technologies which allow clients to connect with lawyers remotely, among other attributes.
“NewLaw is about doing things differently and being more client-focused,” Mira said. “Clients are becoming more savvy and aware when it comes to the alternatives available to them, so the legal profession has to adapt.”
When Mira returned to Melbourne from London after working as an international banking lawyer, she was inspired to start her own online legal marketplace offering more flexibility to clients. LegallyYours allows clients to browse lawyers and request a fixed-fee quote for their legal matters.
“When I came back to Australia I noticed that we seemed to be behind the times in terms of how we interact with clients, how we bill clients and how we service clients more generally,” Mira said. “So I wanted to create a service that not only allows clients to access fixed fees, virtual lawyers and lower-cost advice, but I also wanted lawyers to be able to work flexibly from wherever they liked. I created a marketplace to do just that.”
Mira said NewLaw also aims to address many Australians’ lack of access to legal services, known as the justice gap.
“Obviously wealthy people can access traditional lawyers and others can access legal aid, but the gap in the middle can be anywhere between 60 to 80 per cent of people who can’t access or can’t afford legal services when they need them,” Mira said. “These new models are helping to bridge that justice gap.”
Mira sold Legally Yours in 2017, and has returned to La Trobe Law School, this time as a lecturer. She teaches students about contemporary law issues and emerging legal business models around the world.
Learn more at NewLaw: New Lawyers Symposium
La Trobe Law School is hosting a symposium on NewLaw on 15 March 2018, featuring high-profile leaders in the sector.
The symposium comprises of four workshops (one CPD point per workshop) covering NewLaw principles including creating excellence in client experience, embracing technology and moving to timeless or value-based pricing models.
Mira said the forum offered an unrivaled opportunity to learn from law leaders who have embraced this new way of working.
“The symposium is about giving attendees an overview of several different areas of NewLaw. We have the CEO of LegalVision, Lachlan McKnight, coming to talk about exactly how he created one of the biggest NewLaw practices in Australia,” she said.
"We also have John Chisolm, former managing partner of two top law firms in Melbourne, who will discuss alternative pricing models. And then we’ll also have Carl White who is an expert on how to improve customer experience to grow your client base.”
The symposium, hosted at La Trobe’s City Campus, will conclude with networking drinks.