Episode 214 – Embracing technology and trying new things with Fiona McLay
In this week’s episode of the ‘Happy Lawyer Happy Life Podcast’ I had the pleasure of interviewing my good friend Fiona McLay. Fiona and I crossed paths a few years ago now and she is someone I have learned so much from because she is my go to #legaltechguru! She is the person that just knows what tech is around and what might work for firms of all shapes and sizes and this passion for legal technology has fast become a business for Fiona.
Fiona is a commercial litigator by trade- a role she has learned so much from having had the chance to work in law firms from the very large to the very small. It is this cross section of experience across our profession that has really helped her when it comes to her tech business too. Fiona is another quiet achiever in law and when she is not off ‘lawyering’ she loves creative endeavors- from film school to watercolour and photography.
Fiona and I spent the weekend together last weekend at our quarterly business Mastermind so I have had the advantage of seeing in live time the great ideas she has to help us all with our tech for the future and I took this chance to pin her down to her favourite tools for us all to consider!
Fiona and I also chatted about-
- If Fiona was not a lawyer she would have been a journalist as she loves uncovering people’s stories.
- Fiona grew up in Sydney but moved last year to Melbourne (right before the lockdown eek!).
- Fiona’s mum was a solicitor and Fiona shares the generational differences and similarities between the law now and then.
- Starting her studies in accounting, Fiona’s favourite subject was law so she made the switch and shares her experience of studying.
- Fiona received a summer clerkship and a graduate position in medical malpractice litigation.
- A day in the life of a litigation lawyer.
- The impact of your working team environment and Fiona’s observations from contrasting law firms.
- Fiona’s approach to life outside of the law, and how that resulted in enrolling in a film course.
- During her time as a litigation lawyer, Fiona came to see the value in tech and how it could be used to enable her to improve her work processes.
- Fixed value pricing and the patience required to change process.
- Finding a business coach, along with ‘The Club’ gave Fiona answers she was looking for on how to build her business – her way.
- With the right tech behind her, Fiona stepped out into the world of freelance litigation and started her Masters at the College of Law looking at the Business of law.
- Off the back of her learnings, Fiona started her side-hustle, highlighting tech tools to help lawyers grow their respective businesses.
- Crunch, Bundle Docs and other Apps that Fiona loves.
- So, which Practice Management Software should we use? Fiona says, ‘That is the wrong question – Ask what do you want the software to do for you.’
- Fiona gives us her top tips for refining your list of requirements to find a practice management solution that works for your business.
- Outside of work, Fiona has taken up watercolour sketching and finds the irregularity of it a good contrast to her legal work.
- The future for Fiona and what we can expect from her this year.
- Change management and how to bring in new projects and systems to your team.
- Fiona’s favourite tools: Syntheia, FamilyProperty, Microsoft teams planner integration, Insights for Office 365.
- AI integrated coaches and Fiona’s perspective on how the law should be approaching AI.
- Fiona has found her Tribe in The Club, and she shares why this is so critical.
- Knowing your wellness warning signs are and preparing your first aid kit with tools to help you lift yourself up.
- Women who are leaving law firms and where they are going and why that may not be the big problem it is sometimes pitched as.
- Fiona’s Happiness Tip.
Sit back and enjoy this interview with Fiona McLay.