Riz McDonald, founder and director of Foundd Legal is here to chat about how she went from feeling like a square peg in a round hole in traditional firms to finding her passion in her own forward-thinking business. Of all the things that separate Foundd from typical firms, perhaps the most important is Riz’s mindset:  

“Don’t think like a lawyer, think like a business person!”  

By thinking like a business and keeping an eye on the longer-term, Riz is able to help her clients grow their businesses in ways that most firms simply aren’t interested in. To contextualise, her firm was designed to address a gap in the market: creatives, entrepreneurs, designers and small businesses who don’t have access to traditional legal services. Foundd fills that gap by making all the boring, overwhelming legal stuff both accessible and affordable and by teaching their clients to be proactive to prevent issues further down the line.  

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the things we talk about that contribute to the success of Foundd Legal:  

  • An alternative fee system: Foundd offers fixed pricing and subscription bundles which, in itself, is radical. But more than that, when a client’s needs fall outside of her pre-defined scope, Riz is more than happy to do some bespoke value pricing.  
  • Systems and processes: Riz uses technology (she shares all the software she uses in the episode) to form a holistic view of her client’s journey as well as of her own goals and targets.  
  • Marketing: Foundd shares value and knowledge freely through social media with the dual objective of educating people and reaching out to clients. 

When it comes to marketing and knowing your client, Riz knows her stuff. I highly recommend that you check out Foundd Legal’s website and Instagram (linked below) if only to catch a glimpse of their visual branding prowess. It’s this, paired with consistency, that encourages her target audience – creatives – to get in touch with her. Instagram itself has become, for Foundd, a hot spot for client engagement: 

“I get a lot of my clients through my Instagram DMs. They tell me they love my profile and then they get into the nitty gritty of what they want to talk about. Then, they get sent a link to book in a consult with me.” 

Foundd Legal, led by Riz, is a radically different gem of a firm in an industry that’s struggling to outgrow its old ways of client engagement and internal work structure. Throughout the interview, Riz shares heaps of high-value advice, truly walking the talk of a flourishing 21st Century legal practice that sees itself as a business more than a law firm. What is abundantly clear by the end of the episode is that Riz loves what she does and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She encourages the rest of us to do the same: 

“You have to love what you do. Don’t try to fix problems for everyone. Know what kind of work you really love and what makes you happy.” 

About our guest 

Riz has worked as a lawyer for over 16 years and has worked both in private practice and in-house. Riz discovered that there were a huge number of amazing designers, creatives and fellow entrepreneurs who had fantastic ideas and business models, but had no access to the legal ins and outs that are imperative to running a fully legitimate, successful and protected company. She knows from experience how difficult and time consuming it can be to build a business from the ground up, and making sure you’re doing everything the right way can be daunting. This inspired Riz to share what she’s learned with other brilliant, like-minded individuals. 

Riz provides detailed templates with user guides and videos that walk clients through the template so it’s not just about handing over a template. She breaks down all the boring legal stuff into useful guides and checklists that are easy to understand. Her aim is not to make the client reliant on Foundd but for them to be reliant on themselves i.e. she gives them the fishing rod, not the fish, with a combination of how to videos, guides and courses. 

Riz McDonald quotes 

  • “Don’t think like a lawyer, think like a business person!” 
  • “I get a lot of my clients through my Instagram DMs. They tell me they love my profile and then they get into the nitty gritty of what they want to talk about. Then, they get sent a link to book in a consult with me.” 

Find Riz online 

It’s Time To Do Law Differently

Pre-order my new book, It’s Time to Do Law Differently: How To Reshape Your Firm and Regain Your Life now at www.lucydickens.com.au/book.

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