Case Study: Life After Litigation

Marc Garlett, estate planning lawyer, with his wife and children, smiling in front of their camper.Today we are taking a deeper dive into the experience of Marc Garlett, a seasoned litigator who was unhappy in his chosen practice area. Marc currently lives in Southern California with his wife and two children and is a member of the California State Bar and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

Marc decided to leave litigation and switch to estate planning because he was inspired by what he could provide for his own family when thinking about “estate planning, done right.”

Since leaving litigation and joining NLBM, Marc has reduced his office hours from 55 to 35 hours per week, receives an average fee of $5,000 for his services, and has grown his law practice to $1,000,000 annual revenue.

How it all got started…

Marc graduated from the University of Missouri and Concord Law School.

When Marc went to law school, he did not intend to become a lawyer. He was an entrepreneur who was tired of dealing with lawyers who nickeled and dimed him while providing minimal service. Marc thought that if he got a law degree, he would be able to handle his company’s basic legal needs on his own. As it turned out, he realized that he really loved the law.

After doing an internship at the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, Marc decided to change careers and started a litigation practice.

Marc quickly came to realize that he did not love litigation.

“After graduating from law school, I built a successful litigation firm. But the truth is, I was lost. Every day was filled with contention, objections, and arguments. After filing complaints or cross-complaints on behalf of clients, I spent my time and energy maneuvering for tactical and strategic advantage so I could destroy my opponent.
Every day was a fight, if not an all-out pitched battle. I was playing the role of “hero litigator,” slaying my clients’ every foe. But I was posturing. Though being in the courtroom was certainly exciting, my professional life was less than fulfilling. In fact, it was fraught with tension and negativity. And I didn’t like the road I was going down.”

Leaving the litigation lifestyle behind him

When Marc had his children, he began looking for an estate planning attorney to take care of his family, but he couldn’t find anyone who “got” what he wanted to do – protect and pass his interpersonal legacy just as much as his financial assets – or who gave him the confidence they were not going to be the same old kind of lawyer that he hated dealing with for his business.

As Marc was dissatisfied while exploring the estate planning options for his own family, he found the New Law Business Model and enrolled in the Estate Planning Boot Camp. At the time, he had no previous estate planning experience, so he dove into the program and learned everything he could about wills, trusts, and estate plans.

Through doing his family’s estate plan as part of the Boot Camp, Marc realized that his calling was to help other parents have a great experience with estate planning and decided to make this the focus of his law practice – while ensuring his own family was the focus of his life.

The road from litigation to estate planning

Starting in a new practice area meant shifting everything about how he ran his business – and everything it would take to find, engage, and serve his clients effectively. Marc joined membership with NLBM and implemented the Client Engagement System, along with the systems, processes, and automation that made it possible to build and grow his new practice quickly.

Due to his passion for helping other parents, and his diligence in putting the guidance and resources from NLBM to work in his practice, Marc has built a successful Southern California law practice, CaliLaw, dedicated to serving families and community outreach. In year one, Marc increased his revenue by 100% and has since grown his annual revenue to $1M annually.

“I am building a practice I love and am proud of. With litigation, I was never sure if I was part of the solution or part of the problem. With estate planning (and particularly, the NLBM way of doing estate planning) I know I’m an integral part of the solution, every day, for many wonderful families. What could be better than that?”

Life after litigation = work/life balance

Marc’s new practice area allowed him to slash his workweek from 55 hours down to just 35, and he now gets to spend lots of time with his wife and two young children. Additionally, Marc has time to volunteer as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for children along with time to dedicate to his volunteering at his own children’s schools.

“I get to be involved with my kids, because I don’t have the court telling me what days I have to be in the courthouse, I don’t have a boss telling method I have to be in the office. I get to arrange my schedule the way I want it, in a way that works for me, and the way that gives me the most flexibility to spend that time with my family. And it’s awesome – I love that part the best.”

Are you ready to take back control over your time so you can spend it with the people that matter to you most, and build a lucrative law practice that you love?

Schedule a call with a Law Business Advisor, and we will work with you to create the personalized Practice Roadmap that will take you from wherever you are now, to exactly where you want to go in your law practice.

Want to hear from Marc and other lawyers who have put all of this into practice? Catch the replay of our most recent free online class on next-level estate planning, learn from our live panel of NLBM-trained lawyers!

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