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"Curiosity is the key to entrepreneurship, you have to explore and learn as much as you can first"

Takeaways from Ed Andrew talking to Jarred Hardman 

Jarred Hardman lives in Sydney, Australia and is a former Freehills lawyer. He is the CEO and founder of Crowd & Co, a legal marketplace and technology platform for freelance lawyers, operating in Australia and the UK.  As serial entrepreneur he discusses the skills and personality needed to be a successful start up founder, his previous start up ideas and the state of the market in Australia. He shares valuable insights into his career transition from law firm to in house counsel, to being on the commercial side and then a freelance consultant himself and offers suggestions for what a lawyer today should look for and plan for before making that journey themselves. 

A great episode for anyone considering where to take their career in and outside law and to understand the 'gig economy' for lawyers.


Some key takeaways are:


  • Lack of cash flow and founder burn out kills more start ups than anything else. 

  • Law firms set up technical skills well but it takes 6-12 months to learn the commercial skills needed for in house.


  • ​To go into the business side - show real interest and show that you are a valuable member of their team, get interested in the operational side of the business, not just be an internal legal service provider.  Need to be the go to person in the business.


  • a CEO may want an answer in 35 seconds, have to be very good technically and have commercial nous to understand what the CEO expects from an in house lawyer.


  • Idea for Crowd & Co came from putting project teams together while studying for an MBA


  • 20-40% of white collar roles will be filled by contractors within 5 years.


  • ASX 100 company will not go to a B2C marketplace for lawyers, still want quality and safety


  • 2015 PWC annual report in UK suggested there was an excess of 12% headcount in top 100 law firms.


  • Some law firms are running at 80% utilisation, it is not sustainable.


  • Crowd & co is a marketplace of over 600 lawyers offering short term contracts, secondments and one off assignments.   

  • Working with law firms not against them.


  • Building a talent pool is not so hard but engagement is the hardest thing so they have built a resource management tool 


  • Law firms will become subject matter experts and project managers.


  • You need 7 years experience in practice before you are ready to go it alone.

  • There is a difference between offering a job and a career path.


  • Jarred explains how to join Crowd & Co and what they are looking for.


  • He has always had the entrepreneurial bug, tried a few and just a question of time and right opportunity.


  • A big fan of creating a business canvas, in 20 minutes you can build a value proposition 


  • The importance of having a mentor to bounce ideas - find someone who has knowledge in the sector you are exploring.


  • Start up lands is sexy but not everyone has the skills and conviction to make it happen.​

To contact Jarred please use the links below.

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