ANNOUNCER: Welcome to GAL Radio brought to you by the Greatest American Lawyer Blog changing the way law is practiced through technology, innovation and creativity. Turning the business of law on its head and shaking things up to the betterment of clients, lawyers, law firms, and society. Now here is your host, Damien Allen.
DAMIEN: Good afternoon and welcome to GAL Radio. My name is Damien Allen, and joining me today on the phone is Sonia Gallagher, J.D. She is a life coach and she is the owner/proprietor of Time For Life LLC, Good afternoon, Sonia and welcome to the program.
SONIA: Hi, Damien. I’m happy to be here.
DAMIEN: It’s a pleasure to have you with us today. Today we are discussing the Success Round Table for Lawyers. Sonia how did you get started in Time for Life, L.L.C?
SONIA: Well it’s been quite a ride. I can tell you I practiced law for the past 6 years, and I actually owned my own law firm for the past two and during that time I always felt like I was missing something and that I should be working and helping people in a different manner. And during that time I was owning my own firm, I networked about 3 times a week, and it was basically through word of mouth and specific alliances that I got my clients, and just being out there and networking with so many attorneys on a constant basis I noted that there are specific issues we have to deal with on a regular basis and don’t really have the skills to help us. And those issues are client’s business development and client attraction and retention.
I remember attending a bar function just a couple weeks ago down here in south Florida where a lawyer I met literally spoke at me for 3 minutes non-stop, Damien, about what type of law he practiced, his personal life, and why he was so great. When he finished, he asked me, "Well what do you do? And I was speaking, he proceeded to look over my head which is pretty easy to do since I’m only 5’3”, and to get more business cards out of his pocket ready to just launch them into other lawyers’ hands around us. That’s just an example of why I’m a coach for lawyers, because I quickly realized as an attorney myself that we need a lot of help in terms of business development, communication, client retention, work/life balance, and just specific things we can do to get more fulfillment and professional satisfaction out of being a lawyer which will ultimately help us to become better advocates for our clients and to make the changes in society that we want to create.
So that’s how I got here and right now our newest project is the Success Round Table program for lawyers. It’s a four month group coaching program which presents to lawyers specific skills that they need to get more out of their profession. It does it in bite size chunks and in a way that holds them accountable for implementation of everything they learn. We meet via web conference twice a month for $75 minutes for each session, and during that time we discuss new strategies on different topics and go through a plan of action for each of those topics. The program is actually split up into three groups and I did it that way so that we can help attorneys with whatever issue they are facing in their professional life right now. So the three groups are basically “Powerful Communication” “Rainmaking Strategies for introverts and extroverts” and “Work/Life Balance”. I created those three groups within the Success Round Table program, because I wanted to be coaching to all lawyers no matter what their budget size. So this is in essence group coaching and mentorship with accountability. I wanted to create a sense of community and collegiality within the members knowing they share common backgrounds and issues with the other lawyers.
DAMIEN: This is a web-based seminar. You’re not making people come down to Boca Raton for these. This sounds like a huge undertaking. Are you doing this by yourself? Or are there other lawyers that are assisting you in this program? Are there other coaches that are assisting you in this program in delivering these seminars?
SONIA: Well the great thing about the program is that we cater to members from all around the United States so I’m in Boca Raton whereas members can be in Washington state, Washington D.C., California, etc., and we all meet via web conference. So you literally just need internet connection, and a telephone and you can follow along with the presentation online and join and participate via telephone. It’s a great way to get everybody together and everybody participating at the same time. It is a big endeavor so I also have the Success Round Table Circle of Experts as the team that works along side my coaching by presenting one coaching session a month. So it’s literally two sessions per month, one led by me and the other is led by one of the experts. These experts are Harvard graduates, best selling authors, attorney coaches who are veterans in their realm of specialties and who thoroughly enjoy the constant evolution of a lawyer and the help they can provide to the growth of this profession.
DAMIEN: Now besides the 75 minute seminars, what other services are provided to the clients at these seminars?
SONIA: Aside from the two coaching sessions, the members of the Success Round Table program also get one free private coaching session with me and during that coaching session, we focus on strategic implementation. They also have access to listen to and download audio seminars and interviews from inside our audio library which they have exclusive access to as members. They also receive customized exercises and business strategy tools during the four months that we are together, and they get membership to our Success Round Table forum. The forum is especially good, because this way they stay connected to the other members, they brainstorm, they interact, they create strategic alliances, get feedback on their issues, things like that and get constant support from the other members, and they also get email support from me.
DAMIEN: Is this a program that is geared toward specific types of lawyers, or is this a general lawyer roundtable?
SONIA: The main issue, or the main, focus behind the program is to help lawyers learn strategies and implement those strategies to get more clients, more profit, and more free time. So this is helpful for attorneys that are on their way to partnership or on their way to creating or establishing their own law firm.
DAMIEN: So it’s not any particular niche at all. As this is based on the web, what types of technologies are helping you put this seminar on and are these programs or media that anybody has general access to? Is there anything special they will have to download or purchase in order to attend these web based seminars?
SONIA: Well on my end as the administrator, I am using WebEx and GoToMeetings to get everybody together online, but the members of the group just need a telephone. You literally need a telephone, you dial in the phone number that I send you via email; you press the code that I send you via email…it’s basically a password to get through to the virtual room, and that’s it. You hear all of us together, and you are able to participate among the other 10 members. It’s 10 members in total, and you can also see the presentation online. So if you have online access at the time of the conference or the coaching session, you can follow along the visuals online, and if you don’t you still get a copy of everything that you’ve missed or everything that you’ve attended anyway so you can keep it for yourself.
DAMIEN: How long has this program been going on and what is the reception from attorneys been so far?
SONIA: I’ve been a coach for a while, but this program is actually launching now. This program the start date is July 19, 2010. That’s going to be the first Success Round Table official meeting. We beta tested it and the reception has been fantastic. I’m very grateful for the reactions and responses I’ve gotten within the legal field, and I’m just really excited, because I see the incredible potential this can bring towards the profession of law in general. They really liked in specific the fact that there is a safe and non-judgmental venue where they can talk about issues and frustrations that only lawyers face, and that really no other profession faces and a venue where they can learn skills they did not learn in law school. Skills that will ultimately determine how quickly they succeed in getting clients and making it to either partnership level in a large law firm or medium law firm, or to having a successful law practice of their own. So whatever the goal is of the attorney, they need those essential skills for getting more clients, more profits, and more free time. Overcoming obstacles that we sometimes tend to put in our own way. The Success Round Table program is really bridging the gap between where they are now to where they want to be in their professional and their personal life.
DAMIEN: Based on the success of the beta testing, and the reception so far, after the advent and roll out of the Lawyers Round Table for Success, are there any future plans for expanding this or moving it in other directions?
SONIA: Yes. I’ve actually got plans to create a very thorough, but very practical CRE program from the topics that we address in the Success Round Table program. In my opinion, there are just not enough CRE’s out there that focus on tangible and easy to implement skills and strategies that lawyers can use in terms of business development and management. So my plan is to create CLEs that include these strategies and implementation facts and formulas to help the lawyers to get more clients and more profits and more free time which are three incredibly important goals and very current goals especially given the economic environment that we are living in right now.
DAMIEN: Well, Sonia, if someone is looking for more information, or they would like to sign up for the Success Round Table for Lawyers, what is the website and contact information they need?
SONIA: Sure they can contact me at Sonia@timeforlifenow.com. The website is www.timeforlifenow.com and our phone number is (954) 603-1242.
DAMIEN: We’d like to thank you very much for joining us today, and we’d also like the opportunity to speak to you again after this is rolled out to see how it’s going.
SONIA: That would be fantastic. I really look forward to that.
DAMIEN: We’ve been speaking with Sonia Gallagher of Time for Life, L.L.C. She is rolling out the Success Round Table for Lawyers very, very soon. If you’d like more information, please visit her website. Time for Life, L.L.C. is located in Boca Raton, and you can attend these seminars via the web. Please check out her website and all the information. Thank you once again for joining, Sonia. My name is Damien Allen. You’ve been listening to GAL Radio. Everybody have a great afternoon.
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