Podcast

After 20 years’ experience in estate law, Bernadette Duell saw her fair share of inadequately drafted Wills and thought, ‘there must be a better way.’

After moving to Albany in the south of Western Australia, Bernadette saw her opportunity to fix the problems she’d encountered at their root cause. She decided to establish a law firm that specialised solely in Wills and was met with a lot of criticism from her peers who told her that a specialist law firm wouldn’t succeed in a country town. She persevered, launched her firm Great Southern Wills in April 2020 and has proved the critics wrong, with a 200% growth in 18 months.

Launching during the Covid lockdown, Bernadette found Facebook a relevant platform and introduced her ‘mythbuster’ videos, providing short informational videos about the common myths associated with Wills.

From there, word of mouth in the community has played a big part in her success, as well as the ways in which she does law differently, such as free consults and fixed price products.

This episode is brought to you by The Prepared Company.

About our guest

Bernadette grew up in Sydney, gained her Masters at Sydney University and spent the first 10 years of her career in Sydney at top tier and medium tier law firms. She developed a specialty in tax, structures and estate planning, acting for high-net worth individuals.

Bernadette moved to Albany, Western Australia, far from the city life she was accustomed to.  She launched her firm, Great Southern Wills, during Covid lockdown 2020. With everyone at home, she posted video mythbusters on Facebook, which generated much discussion in the community. From there word of mouth in a small regional town has generated clients with the firm growing 200% in 18 months.

Bernadette Duell quotes

  • “I thought there must be a better way of practising law rather than dealing with the fallout, the disputes, there must be a better way…and I thought why don’t these people get a proper will done in the first place, an up to date, properly advised Will. These people need a specialist not your country lawyer doing all types of law.”
  • “The lawyers in the country town, they’re hourly rates…and it’s like tick-tock, tick-tock. For me it’s like sitting in a cab at a red light and the meter’s tick, tick, tick, but you’re not actually providing a service when you’re at a red light, so what we provide is fixed fees.”
  • “It feels so good just to hear a client say you’ve given them the peace of mind, and I’ve now provided for my family. It’s the greatest gift to know that if they were to pass away or become incapacitated everything will be taken care of.”

Find Bernadette online at Great Southern Wills, Facebook and Instagram.

Bring your law firm into the 21st century with The Prepared Company 

This episode is brought to you by The Prepared Company. The Prepared Company helps wills and estate lawyers by providing a secure white-label platform to manage and distribute their client’s digital records after they pass away. Passwords, cryptocurrency, photos, legal documents, and more – you can now provide a safe and secure way to pass your client’s data while also protecting their privacy. Mention the Doing Law Differently Podcast for 20% off your business subscription. 

Find out more here, or on Instagram or LinkedIn

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