Goodlawyer moves the legal profession forward
"Our journey is about establishing a new paradigm in the legal industry."
By November 2023 edition of Business in Calgary, and Business in Edmonton 8 November 2023 5 min read
Goodlawyer is a platform that offers businesses the ability to build a tailored fractional legal team. It provides flexible mandates for both operational and project-based support, with transparent fees and top legal talent.
Goodlawyer began while co-founder and CEO, Brett Colvin, was working as a lawyer at a national firm. He couldn’t help but see the issues within the firm; businesses were often unhappy with the cost, service timelines and the formal nature of engaging with a large law firm. Simultaneously, he observed widespread dissatisfaction among his colleagues who were overworked and undervalued. It became clear that the future he envisioned — using his law degree for the greater good and assisting entrepreneurs with whom he closely identified — was incompatible with the realities of working at a traditional law firm.
To effect meaningful change, he would have to leave and build something better with like-minded individuals. This realization led to Goodlawyer in 2019. Colvin left his job and teamed up with co-founders, Parker Smith, Tom Alvarez and Grant Lahring.
"Goodlawyer is disrupting the corporate legal landscape monopolized by large firms with high costs, an intimidating nature and sluggishness to innovate,” says Colvin. “Our platform is reshaping how legal services are delivered to businesses, from fledgling startups to rapidly expanding enterprises. We seamlessly blend advancements in technology, particularly AI, into our platform, creating a more integrated and efficient environment for everyone. Unlike law firms or legal tech software companies, we control the entire client-lawyer workflow from start to finish. And by building a fresh and unique brand, Goodlawyer is able to secure the demand and supply of legal services, creating an environment that is better for everyone."
Colvin believes that technology is at the core of Goodlawyer's business model and strategic plan.
“The platform aims to revolutionize the legal industry by combining human expertise with technological innovation, similar to how Airbnb and Patreon transformed their respective industries. Goodlawyer's approach is focused on empowering both businesses and lawyers, creating a fair, transparent and efficient model that supplants traditional firm structures. By leveraging technology, the platform has built a network of over 130 lawyers to date, supported by an agile Goodlawyer team of 20 people, to create an environment that benefits everyone. Our journey is about establishing a new paradigm in the legal industry."
As with every new, tech-forward idea, the challenge is in reshaping perceptions – especially in an industry as established and traditional as law. Goodlawyer is up for the challenge.
“As newcomers, we not only have to demonstrate the efficacy and value of our platform but also build enduring trust with our clients, lawyers and partners. This trust is essential given the sensitive nature of legal matters. Our mission is to seamlessly blend innovation with dependability, and every step we take is towards reinforcing the confidence our community has in us,” he says.
Goodlawyer’s persistence and adherence to its innovative model has more than paid off.
“Our vision is to empower businesses with a legal function tailored to their needs and enable lawyers to find renewed purpose and integration in today’s dynamic business environment,” Colvin explains. “It has been a privilege to help over 5,000 Canadian businesses by providing a fair and transparent alternative to the traditional law firm.”
“We regularly hear from founders that our growth, especially in a non-traditional startup market in Western Canada, has bolstered their self-belief and inspired them to embark on entrepreneurial ventures. Others tell us they relocated to Alberta because Goodlawyer changed their perception of our province! These stories are evidence that we are changing the narrative for the better and empowering entrepreneurs and talent who will further grow the local and national economy.”
Goodlawyer consistently champions the spirit of entrepreneurship, both locally and nationally. “Whether by demystifying legal processes for thousands of Canadian businesses or acting as a convenor and advocate for our communities, our goal has always been to uplift and unify,” says Colvin. “Our director of communications, Zak Biggs, just returned from Ottawa, where he was part of a delegation of Albertan businesses sharing perspectives with Prime Minister Trudeau and several federal ministers.”
The positive impact of Goodlawyer extends even to the non-profit community. In addition to supporting a variety of interests, Colvin was recently on the committee for the OWN.CANCER campaign, raising money for Calgary’s world-class cancer research and treatment facility.
Every new idea of this nature needs backing from an organizations that believe in its success. For Goodlawyer, that backing came from ATB.
“Our relationship with ATB has been about so much more than banking,” Colvin points out. “ATB has been one of Goodlawyer’s most important partners, from being a major supporter of our Alberta @ Collision Yacht Party to ATB Capital Markets being one of our earliest Fractional General Counsel clients. And, of course, they have also been our trusted banking partner. That is how ATB supports us and I am sure they are helping thousands of other businesses in ways that extend far beyond banking. Furthermore, we appreciate that ATB has Alberta roots and puts an unmatched emphasis on community.”
Although Goodlawyer has only been in operation since 2019, it has grown quickly and achieved high levels of success and recognition. Colvin considers its 2022 Calgary Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year win as a memorable highlight.
“The Calgary Chamber of Commerce has been enormously helpful to Goodlawyer beyond the aforementioned award,” he adds, “from supporting our community initiatives to connecting us with other businesses and even inviting me to sit on a panel with Mayor Gondek and Former Minister Schweitzer to discuss the role that businesses play in making our city a vibrant and prosperous place. They have opened doors, made valuable connections and expedited our growth.”
He's proud of all that Goodlawyer has accomplished to date and looks forward to the future.
“Reaching break-even in 2023 was a monumental milestone, reflecting the traction we’ve gained and giving us greater control over our future. That said, we feel there is still a long way to go. We remain focused on finding new and better ways to delight our clients and empower our lawyers. We’re proud to be Albertan but we have global ambitions. We have the team to build a global, category-defining company. Expansion into the United States and beyond is planned for the coming years.”
He concludes, “Goodlawyer is more than just a legal services platform. We are a revolutionary force in the legal industry offering tailored, transparent and cost-effective legal services that empower both businesses and lawyers. Our multifaceted approach addresses the pain points of businesses and lawyers alike and positions us as a leader in the evolution of the legal industry. We are filling a market gap and can confidently say that our platform is helping remove the legal barriers to entrepreneurship.”
Learn more at goodlawyer.ca and on Facebook, Instagram, X and YouTube. Goodlawyer and Brett Colvin are also very active on LinkedIn.
From the November 2023 edition of Business in Calgary, and Business in Edmonton. Shared with permission.