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Title: “Outsourced Back-Office Support Focused On Law Firms”
Guest: Casey Blake and Margaret Burke – Kolibri Law Support Solutions
Interviewer: Jeffrey Davis – MAGE LLC & Evan Macedo – Sapers & Wallack / FEI Boston

Click here to read the transcript
Jeffrey (0s):
Well, everybody welcome back to Radio Entrepreneurs. This show that’s been streaming for years through COVID over 7,000 guests occurred in over 28 countries and, and, and liked by more than a million people over that time. Kind of amazing when you think about it. But one of my favorite people to like over all these years is my cohost from Sapers & Wallack and FEI (Financial Executives International), the one in the onlyEvan Macedo. Welcome back, Evan.

Evan (28s):
Thank you, Jeff. And I think it’s very easy to lucky each other when we travel the world and have amazing dinners in cuisine together.

Jeffrey (36s):
Right? We have done that. Yes. We have traveled together and yes, I did see your post over the weekend for the anniversary of your beautiful little dog. Very sweet. Anyone who knows Evan knows that he’s not only a great CFO, but he’s also a very sweet person. So in our next guest, I know they known Evan as well. Margaret Burke, Managing Director and Casey Blake of kolibri Law Support Solutions. I hope I got that. Right. Welcome.

Margaret (1m 5s):
Thank you. Thank you for having us. And I’ll second that Evan is a really sweet person. He wants to be your show. Not my show.

Jeffrey (1m 15s):
He is, he is one of the sweetest I’ve I still in my searches have not found a person who doesn’t like Evan. So we’re going to keep that search on it’s like where’s Waldo though. Evan, you want to start us off with our first question since you are FEI representative.

Evan (1m 31s):
Great. Absolutely. While, you know, I’m a, I’m a big fan of what you guys do over at kolibri because I do outsourcing here at sabers and Wallach myself, but just so I don’t steal your thunder, Margaret and Casey, why don’t you tell us a little bit about what Collibra does?

Margaret (1m 49s):
Sure. Well, we’re happy to, so KTP like, I can, I can start and you know, so kolibri last what solutions we focus on law firms and what we do is we provide outsourced back office support to law firms in the areas of financial management, marketing, operations, human resources, and overall from management, they’re collaborating. We have a different model than some where we don’t just consult, which consultant is very important. We consult income in and really become part of the team and we execute on our client’s behalf. So that’s, that’s a little nuance that I think is really important. Especially the busy law firms we come in and we take things off our client’s plates.

Margaret (2m 34s):
We, we can be very helpful in a number of areas for law firms. If someone’s wondering gee, when, when would, kolibri be a good fit, it’s really when a firm has a need, but they don’t want, or they can’t hire a professional at a particular level of expertise in that area. We also come in with a focus on helping improve profitability for our clients. That’s very important to every, and especially with our law firm clients. And so we come in and help them improve their, the business side of running a firm and really free them up to go out and nurture their client relationships and do what they really want to be spending their time doing.

Margaret (3m 15s):
So, Casey, if I missed anything, I’d love you to do that.

Evan (3m 19s):
Jump in for a second. You know, I think that’s a fantastic service then. I know a lot of people are taking advantage of these days. I, I wanted to ask you Casey, can you tell us a little bit how your team is organized? Absolutely.

Casey (3m 32s):
I’d love to. So we have a team as Margaret said, but it’s of dedicated experts who really know the law industry and their field to an absolute T. So Margaret is our managing director and really she is like a chief of staff for our client. She oversees the relationship development and the services being provided, and she’s really helping to build out the kolibri brand and who we are and who we’re working with. I’m the director of client success. So my role is really being that strategic dot connector, as I like to say. And I’m really committed to the success of our people, our clients, and then the, the partnership relationships that we’re starting to build out.

Casey (4m 13s):
And we also have a client success manager who leads, you know, the day-to-day needs of our clients, ensuring that the facets of the engagement are happening on time and cohesively. And also we have a growth specialist and she helps all of us really manage our tasks while also helping to elevate our brand in the marketplace. So that’s our team right now, but we’re, you know, excited for future growth. And as I mentioned, development of some partnerships as well.

Margaret (4m 40s):
Yeah. And I’ll add something to a case. You just said that it’s interesting, as I was listening to GKC V you know, we have a team that supports us internally, and we also use the same team to support our clients. And a very big part of our model is bringing in folks that have an expertise in a particular area versus trying to do everything which really helps to ensure that when we work with our clients, we get it done efficiently and correctly in that the level that our clients want versus trying to plug someone in that doesn’t have the background.

Jeffrey (5m 19s):
You know, if Boston is just about the most competitive professional service market in the United States, maybe north America, maybe the world, we don’t know. So how do you differentiate in this market?

Margaret (5m 33s):
That’s awesome. That’s a great question. And, you know, in doing research, there are very few, if any, in the Boston area that work the way we do with our clients, so that the difference differences, yes, we consult, but it’s an ongoing relationship. We fill a need ongoing versus coming in and telling the life or making recommendations and leaving. We come in, we implement, and then we don’t implement once we then manage the ongoing support. And that’s very unique and I’m not actually aware of anyone else in the CA that is providing that type of service

Jeffrey (6m 11s):
To that. You’re not transactional. And, and I I’ve always had a problem with that with the law when it’s too transactional. And then you get focused on that. You’re more sort of like contract legal counsel offsite.

Margaret (6m 25s):
We have the way I describe this to my peers in the industry on lawyers is where we take over the role as the title from administrative slash executive director. So anything that a law firm would have hired in house and depend on them for the day-to-day management and strategic planning refill that need, we’re just not physically there, we work remote. And we really do anything that the permanent ministry, the executive director CEO would do for their attorneys to help them manage from.

Jeffrey (7m 2s):
I mean, and I would say as a management consultant, that’s consultant to law firms that, you know, th the over emphasis of law firms to be run by attorneys is a mistake. And the fact that you can allow attorneys to do what they do best, and that is practice the law, why you help them make sure that the business is functioning is probably a better utilization of people. Correct?

Margaret (7m 27s):
Yeah, very correct. And it’s interesting because I was speaking to an attorney in Boston and managing pilot firm, and we were having someone that I ended up personally, we were having a conversation and he said, you know, Margaret, your, your target law firm is any firm that wants to improve. And the attorneys went to start being involved in running the business. And I know that’s a basic statement, but that’s exactly what it is. And Jeff you’re right. A lot of attorneys spend their time energy with firms, and most don’t want to, and, or have the skillset, but they’re running the firm because they want to make sure it’s run, run profitably incorrectly.

Jeffrey (8m 5s):
And, you know, I can’t say this across the board, and I’ve seen, I’ve seen this in other professional service firms that a lot of times the partner that becomes the administrative partner, was it sort of like the punishment of a partner that isn’t the best attorney, the best professional in their field at times?

Margaret (8m 24s):
Yeah. It’s funny. I’ve seen a little bit different just from my background, but there’s so many law firms in, in, I it’s almost, the managing partner tends to be a very successful attorney from what I’ve seen, and they may have the largest book of business also. And that’s, that can be that right. There is a challenge because they have such a big client base, but then they’re being asked to manage the firm, unless it’s a very big forum, and then they can have a dedicated managing partner that it doesn’t need to worry about clients,

Jeffrey (8m 56s):
You know, you’re right. Managing partners. I see there have conflict because they’re being asked sometimes to cut back on their book of business. But sometimes the administrative partner didn’t have a big book of business and then they report managing partner and that’s not, and that’s not always the best person for that as well. That’s what I was more talking about. Yeah. Yeah.

Casey (9m 16s):
And I think a piece that I’ll just jump into add, and Evan, not to digress from some other questions. I know you want to share with everyone, but it is to that concept of taking things off people’s plate. So it’s not just about, you know, one thing or another it’s capacity to really run things efficiently. And that’s where we really feel too, that we can come in and be a successful, like Margaret said, true member of the team is to help alleviate some of what feels like a lot on someone’s plate. When they’re tasked with running a practice, they’re tasked with bringing in business, they’re tasked with keeping their people happy. So where can we come in and alleviate some of that and, and be a supportive member of the team from an operational perspective.

Casey (10m 1s):
And I’m

Evan (10m 1s):
Really glad you said that Casey, because, you know, I outsource many different things over here, which has allowed me to have more time to develop business relationships and, you know, keep pushing the company forward. What I wanted to kind of hear from you on this next piece is can you describe what your client, your ideal clientele looks like in terms of size shape, what they do? Sure.

Casey (10m 27s):
I can start Margaret. And then if you want to just, yeah. So for starters, you know, we really believe that we can help firms of a variety of sizes and a variety of needs because we know that firms have different firms have different unique sets of needs based on their practice or how many people work at the firm and more, but I guess we’d say for now firms between that like eight and 50 people are kind of the sweet spot of ours. And, but like Margaret said, your law firm might be a good fit if you’re currently simply analyzing your needs or you’re figuring out what some good next steps for growth are, or you’re looking to hire, or you’re just starting to ponder that interest in outsourcing. So we really provide that kind of holistic mindset of helping clients.

Casey (11m 11s):
And we’re open to conversations about the needs of firms of some of different sizes. And it really is like, like we said, yes, that’s a kind of a sweet spot, but firms just that are analyzing their needs right now are, are certainly people that we could help.

Margaret (11m 28s):
And I’ll just add in it’s a little broader Casey, you were great. And being very specific. It’s also from, that has a dedicated, but it’s called them up from administrative financial manager. Who’s been with the firm for many years, very loyal and trusted. And the firm has grown and the amount of capacity that this individual has as well, skillset has not been able to grow up in the front, which happens. And that’s another really great client for us because we come in and we work with the current management to help them be successful in eminence. You said, now I know you outsource actions and chatted about it.

Margaret (12m 11s):
And we had a conversation about, I think we were joking. What do you do with your free time now? And for our law firm, the management team, we come in and free them up to do some of the things that they may want to be doing professionally themselves, that they can’t get to because they’re sort of in the weeds doing things. And it’s not that we come in and pick up someone being in the weeds. We come in and help become more efficient to eliminate and cut those weeds out of the garden.

Jeffrey (12m 38s):
So I’m sorry, we’ve come towards the end of the segment. And I’m just wondering Margaret, if someone was looking for you, how would they find you?

Margaret (12m 48s):
But that question, please visit our website, That’s kolibri And on there, you’ll see, there is a way to chat with us, call us on the telephone or email us. And Casey errata would be happy to jump on a call and sort of intimate any questions that anyone may have.

Jeffrey (13m 15s):
Great. And, and, and Casey, if someone’s looking for you or wants your assistance, how would they find you?

Casey (13m 21s):
Yes, definitely visit our website. Feel free to look us up on LinkedIn, both our personal LinkedIn pages or the kolibri law page. And I’ll just add on our website. We do have a services brochure, which outlines what we can do and help our clients with, and a nice resources page of, you know, podcasts and eBooks and blog posts. So people can learn a little bit more about how we can be helpful,

Jeffrey (13m 43s):
Great, and saving my favorite for last again, Evan mosquito, our Sapers and Wallach CFO, but also our FEI partner. How do we find you?

Evan (13m 56s):
Well, I’ll just reiterate what they were saying. You can go on our web savers and wallets website, which is safers hyphened, and just go to our team’s page. You can find me. And since I have outsourced some of our services, I do have more time on my plate to speak to those individuals out there that want to meet up for a cup of coffee. And additionally, this is an FBI segment, financial executives international, what a Boston Boston’s premier, senior financial executive networking groups. If you’re looking to expand your horizons and expand your community and network, I really suggest that you check them out. You can find them at FEI,

Jeffrey (14m 37s):
Great. I don’t want to thank everybody for being on the show. We hope you come back again. I think this whole concept of these outsourcing things are very important in our economy. My name is Jeffrey Davis. I met And that we will take a break. We’ll be right back on Radio Entrepreneurs.

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