top of page
"As a lawyer who can code it is not helpful for law firms to say everyone should code, it is a knee jerk reaction and an opportunity to reflect on the work we do" 

Takeaways from Ed Andrew talking to Connor James.

Connor James is a lawyer from New South Wales, Australia and is a serial entrepreneur.  Although conventional in many ways he is testing the boundaries of delivering legal services not in the legal advice he provides but the way in which he builds his businesses.  Connor is the archetypal quiet achiever currently operating three trading profitable businesses and with employees and collaborators around the world.

He is a lawyer who can code and has built his businesses on the no-nonsense approach of 'just get on with it'.  We talk about his journey through entrepreneurship, how technology is impacting the profession but why it is not 'the be all and end all', how he is challenging the large law firm models, the future of legal careers and how he has built businesses aligned to his passions and skills. A simple statement but not always one easy to achieve. Connor seems to do this effortlessly.   

  • Connor is a lawyer who can code, he explains how he learned how to code to make law more efficient in his earlier franchising business.


  • He explains that Law Quarter is a law firm and Compliance Quarter is tech enabled business. 


  • The language he learned to write is python - he explains that looking a new discipline enhances his problem solving ability.


  • His lesson is to pursue what you are interested in, to align interests and ability. He learned to code as he is naturally interested in it.


  • It is not helpful for law firms to say everyone needs to code, it is a knee jerk reaction, it is instead an opportunity for lawyers to reflect on the work they do.


  • If computers will be able to code themselves then it is not necessarily a good thing to invest in learning a language or skill which may be obsolete in a few years time.


  • He talks about his time on the board of a non profit, matching up what he is passionate about and his background as a lawyer - Ocean Watch International - yachting and the environment are twin passions.


  • He has always found something positive to take away with me in a job and whatever job it was, each position is an opportunity to learn 


  • He set up Permitz his my first business and was a bit of a risk, spent $100 on Google adwords and had a client immediately, and still continuing today.


  • He discusses an ultra lean start up and winning his first client and not having a bank account to take the payment, scrabbling on a Saturday to set up an account.

  • Taking the first step in business, most he could have lost was about $500 so the risk was very low and had the fall back of getting a job, but needed to take the first step he would never know, that weighed more for him than not doing anything. 


  • Smaller firms are much leaner and there is much more need to be independent, a more structured environment may take out the desire to be an entrepreneur and with smaller firms maybe they keep it for longer.


  • Law Quarter is really a challenger firm they are not going after the same clients as small businesses, they do not have same preconceptions as other lawyers, they go after the large clients.


  • On raising money and having mentors and investors.


  • He uses some machine learning in what he does but the key is to understand the limitations of the technology and if Google and Apple cannot deliver perfect product then how can we do so on a legal or compliance product.


  • On recruiting people with Biglaw experience but those who are not suited to that environment, hard working but pursuing a different lifestyle.


  • He wants to recruit people and build long term relationships.


  • The expectation of a 9 to 5 lifestyle is now unrealisitc and is also unproductive. He has freelancers in Bali and the Philippines, and one of his advisers and collaborators is in Argentina.


  • The people who work with him are more flexible than freelance.


  • On what you need to start a business, some back up plan if it does fail, need to make financial commitments, lawyers have skill set and creativity to step into other roles and reward and return is so much more significant when doing it for yourself. 


  • On building webinars and a podcast - use as many channels a possible to reach widest possible audience - podcasts are a treat way to learn something new. 


  • Advice to others is just get out there and start doing it. If you are unhappy in your career then a bit of a waste of opportunity.


  • The main message from his investors is give it some time, realise it is along term goal and there is no rush, it requires sustained effort with sustained passion.  

You can contact Connor using one of the links below or by email.

bottom of page