Updated: Nov 17
This week I had a chance to chat with Samantha Miller about her new practice Clarity Lawyers.
Janis - Congratulations on starting your own firm. We are running a ‘starting your own legal practice’ webinar in January 2021 so tell me, what was the most surprising thing about starting your own firm?
Was there something you didn’t think of until it came up, or what took longer, or was more difficult than you anticipated?
Samantha - actually the most surprising thing is the feeling of liberation! Yes, there’s a lot more to do and think about but it’s all very interesting. I like feeling in control of my own destiny and being able to run things in a way that feels right to me.
In terms of unexpected things I probably overestimated how difficult certain things would be and have been pleasantly surprised by how manageable I’ve found it all.
Janis - Family Law is tough, and you have made a deliberate choice to specialise in that area. What makes you want to keep doing Family Law?
Samantha - I’ve always been pulled towards Family Law, since before I’d even completed university. I think it’s the human element that appeals to me.
I like making connections and being able to see the transition in my clients throughout what is usually a difficult time in their lives. They are invariably very different and much happier people at the end of the process.
Janis - Is your practice mostly online, or do you do more face to face work in Newcastle?
Samantha - I want to be able to offer both however I do find that clients prefer the face to face experience. I have some clients whom I’ve only ever ‘met’ virtually and it all works seamlessly however I find it takes a tiny bit longer to really cement the relationship when you don’t meet in person.
Janis - You use FamilyProperty in your practice, what is it about FamilyProperty that makes it attractive to you as a sole practitioner?
Samantha - I love using FamilyProperty! It makes it so easy to gather the relevant information and it’s displayed in a very user friendly manner. I think being able to send the questionnaire to the client very early on helps them to take ownership of their matter and feel more in control.
From my side the modelling and being able to quickly tell a client whether what they are suggesting is workable is invaluable.
Janis - what other tech are you using in your practice?
Samantha - I chose to go with Smokeball for my practise management software. It has been fantastic and I love that it integrates with Family Property.
I have a Microsoft Surface which I carry with me everywhere and then two screens it connects to in my office and another two at home. It’s really small and light and is great for taking to court or mediation. I’m paperless and so far things have been running smoothly.
Janis - What do you do for fun?
Samantha - Well, when we relocated back to Newcastle from the UK in 2015 we travelled around Europe in a VW campervan with our kids, so five people in a campervan for nine months.
Janis - What are you looking forward to in the next year, what is going to be happening for you or for Clarity Lawyers?
Samantha - I’m looking forward to growing just a little bit. I would love to have a small vibrant team around me.
You can find Samantha at her business's Facebook page or on her website.
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