030: Making Legal Services Affordable for Families with Dave Aarons

Dave Aarons is the CEO of Unbundled Attorney, which uses a network of lawyers to provide legal services to families who otherwise would not be able to afford them. A veteran of the legal industry since 2004, Dave aims to establish the first donation-based unbundled legal clinic in the United States. Dave does not think that prohibitive costs should come between the average family and solid legal representation, and that unbundled legal services are beneficial to the legal industry even if they seem new and scary.

In this episode, Dave discusses how his low-income upbringing fostered his self-reliant attitude, breaks down how unbundled legal services work, and asks you to reconsider how you engage with the social media you find comforting and secure.

 

Show Notes:

  • How did Dave’s formative years shape his beliefs toward money?
    • Raised by single mother who had to rely on thrift and coupon shopping.
    • Due to these circumstances he learned to appreciate everything he owned and every opportunity that came his way.
    • Realized the need to be independent and self-reliant, especially after his bike was stolen and he had to earn the money to buy a new one.
  • Did his circumstances lead him to become an entrepreneur?
    • Not really, because entrepreneurship is not especially stable or secure. Became an entrepreneur more out of stubbornness and wanting to have job and personal freedom.
    • Realized residual payment through entrepreneurship would allow him to finance his hobbies and side-ventures.
  • What are unbundled legal services and why are they so important?
    • Normally to retain legal services, you need to pay a high fee up front, which bars a lot of lower-income individuals from obtaining representation.
    • Unbundled legal services allow you to retain an attorney for specific aspects of your case rather than for the entire case up front.
    • Allows you to pay for the case each step at a time, accommodating for limited finances.
    • Unbundled Attorney matches these clients to lawyers who provide these specific legal services.
  • How have traditional law firms responded to this service?
    • Old school law firms are generally resistant to change, but the marketplace is forced to adapt due to the very high percentage (70-80%) of people who can’t afford traditional legal fees.
    • It’s a matter of finding of more open-minded attorneys.
  • How was Unbundled Attorney born?
    • Used to work for a provider that offered a variety of legal services under a single fee, but said fee was prohibitively high for the average family, even with discounts.
    • Tried increasing discount percentages, but it was still too much for many people, so gradually started tailoring options service by service for flat fees.
  • Who has been the most impactful person in Dave’s journey to do well and achieve financial success?
    • His mentor, Steve Douglas
  • Who has been the most impactful person in Dave’s drive to do good?
    • His mother.
  • When Dave is having a bad day, what does he do to get himself out of his funk?
    • Plays golf, writes in his journal,
  • What book does Dave recommend to those seeking a more successful path in life?
  • What is the best piece of advice related to success Dave has for our listeners?
    • Take a good, hard look at what you actually get out of the casual media you consume and whether or not it’s worth the free time you have.
  • Places to find Dave:

 

 

 

Do Well & Do Good Challenge Nomination:

 

“Claire’s Place Foundation, Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit organization providing support to children and families affected by cystic fibrosis (CF). Claire’s Place Foundation is named in honor of Claire Wineland, now a teenager, who has been living with CF her entire life. The foundation offers a Support Families Network and Extended Hospital Stay Grants to families affected by CF, offering both emotional and financial support. A young author of bestseller “Every Breath I Take, Surviving and Thriving with Cystic Fibrosis,” Claire’s unique inspirational model for people living with this disease has led her to be a TEDx Speaker and receive multiple awards including FoxTeen Choice Awards 2015, Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes, Southbay Magazine’s“Top 10 South Bay Teen”, Looking Beyond LA’s “Soaring Spirit Award,” and winner of Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Small Nonprofit of the Year.” She has been featured on Inside Edition, The Dr. Oz Show, CNN, Huffington Post, ABC News, Cosmopolitan Magazine, People Magazine, Ladies’ Home Journal and many more. Claire’s Place Foundation is a way for Claire to give back with hope, strength, and joy and make meaning of what she has had to go through.”

 

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About the author, Dorothy

Dorothy Illson is the founder of Needle's Eye Media, a full-service Facebook advertising agency. She's also the host of Do Well & Do Good, a podcast dedicated to telling the stories of people who have created financial success and leveraged it to increase their positive impact on the world.

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