The legal landscape underwent a seismic shift in the wake of the pandemic. It changed everything from the way we practice law to where we work and live to how we think about ourselves as lawyers. Throw AI into the mix, and you’ve got a whole new legal landscape to adapt to.
For estate planning attorneys, this shift was uniquely significant. We were forced to implement new technology overnight at a time when our services were in unusually high demand. After years of being tethered to the office, we were able to engage clients via Zoom. Living in one state and serving clients in another became an enticing possibility. After decades of being told we had to build a million-dollar law firm, a part-time practice suddenly became socially acceptable. And despite the initial upheaval, a surprising benefit surfaced: the chance to practice law in a way that’s more efficient, more adaptable, and ultimately, more rewarding. This marked the beginning of the 2-Hour Lifestyle Lawyer™ movement.
The COVID Catalyst
Our industry clung to traditional practices for a long time: physical meetings, paper-based processes, and in-person court appearances. And while these methods were efficient in many ways (and for a long time the only option we had) they left little room for flexibility or scalability. It made practicing law harder than it needed to be. You may get satisfaction out of your work, but unnecessary commutes and outdated systems are going to take a bite out of that happiness no matter what year it is.
The Birth of the 2-Hour Lifestyle Lawyer™
2-Hour Lifestyle Lawyer™ was born from Covid. As a practicing estate planning attorney in New York City, I was forced to turn my practice completely virtual in March of 2020. Overnight, seminars became webinars. In-person meetings became Zoom. The office whiteboard became a screen-shared Excel worksheet. On-site staff became virtual assistants. In-person draft reviews became pre-recorded Looms. I was still able to counsel and serve my clients with 5-star service, but how I got there looked a heck of a lot different than when I opened my doors in 2016.
I saw other lawyers struggling to adapt. Some wanted a fully remote practice but didn’t know how to get started. Others wanted to work part-time, even if it meant earning less. Others were litigators looking to move to transactional work, or entrepreneurial attorneys wanting to hang their own shingle. Some had been practicing estate planning for years; others brand new to wills and trusts. All were tired of having no control over their schedule. All were tired of feeling like their value as a lawyer was tied to the amount of money they made. Can you relate?
There was a mindset shift as well. The whole world – not just lawyers – was suddenly rethinking the importance they placed on work. The time. The emotional energy. The rigid schedule and lack of flexibility. Was it worth it? For some, yes. For others, the pandemic was a wake-up call. The big paycheck – no matter how enticing – was no longer worth the tradeoff.
There is a better way. The core principle of 2-Hour Lifestyle Lawyer™? Leveraging systems and technology to streamline routine tasks which frees up the lawyer to focus on generating revenue and building relationships. We call it the ACE Roadmap to Success™. It stands for the three things you need to be good at as an estate planning attorney. “A” is for attracting leads. This is best done by hosting educational seminars and webinars in your community. “C” is for closing. You have to be able to consistently close at a fee you deserve, or you will struggle as an estate planning lawyer. “E” stands for executing the work. It’s great getting business, but not if it means being stuck at the office until 10pm.
Here’s the kicker: The attorney should be focusing on the revenue-generating “A” and the “C” – attracting and closing. Much of the executing can and should be done by systems, automation, and a virtual paralegal. Now you are free to bring in more business and give clients 5-star service without getting bogged down in paperwork and administrative tasks.
Join the Movement
The 2-Hour Lifestyle Lawyer™ program embodies this philosophy. Our course, coaching, and community empowers attorneys to build a virtual estate planning practice they can run on their own time from anywhere in the world – even if they’ve never practiced estate planning before. It’s not a magic bullet, but rather a blueprint for leveraging technology, maximizing efficiency, and ultimately, crafting a career – and a life – that truly aligns with your goals and values.