How Subscription-Based Legal Services are Providing Access to Justice featuring Mathew Kerbis

Subscription-based law firms shouldn't work, but they are. Mathew Kerbis is advocating for legal access that costs less money than your favorite streaming service.


  • Why fractionalized in-house counsel is the future
  • The importance of time-blocking your calendar
  • Best tech tools for solo law practitioners
  • Every attorney sending client information through email could be committing client malpractice
  • Why legal services for freelancers is an important niche market


  • Podcasting is a wonderful medium for lawyers because of the performance aspect of 
  • How business owners can minimize surprises and control their time
  • Lawyers (especially litigators) often enjoy the performance of law
  • The differences between engagement fees and retainer agreements
How Subscription-Based Legal Services are Providing Access to Justice featuring Mathew Kerbis

<iframe width="100%" height="180" frameborder="no" scrolling="no" seamless src=""></iframe>

How Subscription-Based Legal Services are Providing Access to Justice featuring Mathew KerbisHow Subscription-Based Legal Services are Providing Access to Justice featuring Mathew Kerbis

About This Episode

When Kerbis decided that it was time to open his own law firm, he knew he wanted to offer something unique and special to his clients. This is why Kerbis decided to offer subscription-based legal services to business owners and freelancers. After all, Kerbis is a freelancer himself. Keep reading to learn more about The Subscription Lawyer, Mathew Kerbis on You Are A Lawyer.

Mathew Kerbis' Background

Subscription-based law firms are shaking up the legal practice in BIG ways. Many actions that lawyers complete, drafting documents, reviewing files, monitoring trademarks, etc. can be paid for on a subscription model and Mathew Kerbis wants to convince you of this. 

And you will believe him. Kerbis, as he prefers to be called, even shared the magic of subscription-based legal service with his employer. The insurance defense company ultimately decided to keep their billable hour requirements, but this did not deter Kerbis. 

Lawyer Side Hustles

Subscription services are variations of the classic law firm retainer. A retainer is paid to a law firm and that firm is available to you when you need their services. However, a business has to be large enough to common a retainer or the person has to pay a large amount of money in retainer fees every month. 

Subscription-based legal services are win-win situations:

  • If you need access to The Subscription Lawyer, that is built into your monthly subscription fee. 
  • If you do not need access to The Subscription Lawyer, you have the comfort (and insurance) of knowing that access is available to you. 
  • Kerbis is not the first lawyer to utilize this payment method, but Kerbis is pioneering in using subscription-based methods for general legal services.

Small business owners and freelancers need access to legal services and The Subscription Attorney provides that access. Small businesses and freelancers should have access to competent legal counsel, forms, and contracts and not be priced out of the market because of their status as small businesses.

Transparent pricing, transparent agreements, and having the feeling that you could do this; you could be a subscription attorney, is Kerbis’ model. Imagine not being billed when your attorney is researching an issue. This a task that could be 80% of the time spent by an attorney while working on your case. Kerbis does not bill for this task because he will take that research and use it for his Knowledge Base which allows him to serve more clients who could potentially have that same question.

After moving from the city of Chicago to the suburbs because of the pandemic, Kerbis decided that he wanted to make another big change: he started his own business. Worked in litigation for insurance defense, then worked in transactional law to get away from the billable hours' demand. Kerbis is known simply as “The Subscription Lawyer.”

"Engagement agreements are an earned fee immediately, the opposite of a retainer fee, where the client is billing against the retained money," explains Kerbis in Episode 68 of You Are A Lawyer.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Law School Leadership Activities

Chair of the Law Student Division of the ABA (like being president of the group and traveling to learn more about law students). Then ran for Chair of the Young Lawyers Division. The entire purpose was to find ways to innovate the legal practice and find ways to make members of the American Bar Association, Kerbis was a member of the young lawyers' division founding podcast team. Learning to record and edit and release podcasts. Took all that knowledge and used it to teach others bout subscription-based legal services. 

Lawyers are Entrepreneurs

The ability to think on your feet is a trait that makes litigators irreplaceable. But what happens when you have this trait but want to work in transactional law? Kerbis was encouraged to become a litigator by his professors, classmates, and mock trial judges until you become a litigator.

Although Kerbis thrived as a litigator for an insurance defense law firm, Kerbis wanted his side hustle to thrive. 

Most law firms are built around the billable hour model, especially in litigation. But when Kerbis discovered that people could subscribe to legal services, it was a hard sell to convert an insurance defense firm over to the subscription model. 

However, Kerbis did not forget about his subscription-based legal services model and continued to work on it during his free time. When the pandemic occurred, facing the demands of billable hours and the welcomed changes of being a parent, Kerbis decided that it was time to shift his focus.

Family versus Billable Hours

“Billable hours did not mess well with wanting to be an involved father,” explained Mathew Kerbis in Episode 68 of You Are A Lawyer. In his millennial family, Kerbis and his wife worked and needed to share parenting duties. 

Parenting during a pandemic is unlike anything law school (or life) could prepare you for. And when Kerbis enjoyed being involved with their child and could not reconcile spending long hours going into the office or being away from his home. 

Kerbis started his podcast, The Law Subscribed, to inform others about subscription-based legal services and to use his background in performing arts. The Law Subscribed is all about bringing the subscription model to legal services.

Kerbis relies on tech tools, like Calendly and time-blocking, to ensure that he prioritizes time with his family and away from work responsibilities. Working hard, working with technology, working on tasks that you enjoy, and managing your schedule in the way that you want to, makes running your own business a better option than the comforts of working a typical 9 to 5 job. 

Being your own boss may mean working more than a “typical” 9 to 5 schedule, but you are in control of it. When Kerbis isn’t working or podcasting, he spends a lot of time listening to entrepreneurial and innovative podcasts to become a better business owner. 

Because law school did not teach Kerbis how to be efficient and run a business, Kerbis taught himself. Many of Kerbis’ clients are business owners so it is beneficial to know what they are listening to and be current on trends for business owners. 

Links and Notes

Book a call with The Subscription Attorney LLC:

Law Subscribed Podcast:

Chicago Bar Show:

American Bar Association:

Thinking Like A Lawyer Podcast:


How To Find a Black Legal Specialist and Justis Connection featuring Kisha Brown

How To Increase Your Value With Non-Linear Career Moves featuring Jaya Saxena

You Are Not LUCKY to have a Job! How to Create a Limitless Career featuring Cara Davis Little

Join the FREE mailing list!

Get behind-the-scenes content from Kyla.

1) Visit

2) Add your email address to the Subscribe pop-up box OR

3) Enter your email address on the right side of the screen

4) Get emails from me (I won't fill your inbox with junk)!

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Review my favorite books here:

Schedule a call with The Subscription Attorney, Mathew Kerbis:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Recent Episodes

You are not LUCKY to have a job! How To Create a Limitless Career featuring Cara Davis Little

Cara Davis Little works in employment policy during the day and plans weddings and podcasts during her free time. In Episode 74, find out how Cara created a career she loves because while Cara can do A LOT, she cannot do it all.
Read and listen here

Give Yourself Permission to Change Careers featuring Dena Lefkowitz

Dena Lefkowitz practiced law for 25 years, even though she was unhappy with being a litigator and working in BigLaw. After working with a career counselor, Dena decided to change practice areas and found success as the General Counsel at the School District of Philadelphia.
Read and listen here

How Crimmigration Law is Changing America (and Why It Matters) featuring Sabrina Thompson

Sabrina Thompson didn’t enjoy her immigration law class and was happy to discover crimmigration law (criminal defense + immigration representation) to advocate for immigrants. Find out how traffic law intersects with crimmigration law in Episode 72 of You Are A Lawyer.
Read and listen here

How Yoga Improves a Lawyers’ Journey and Practice featuring Dana Shaker

Yoga is great for lawyers. This is why Dana Shaker created Journey & Practice, a membership community that allows law graduates, lawyers, and bar examinees to participate in self-care activities, like journaling and yoga, to improve their mental health.‍
Read and listen here

How to Modernize Personal Injury Law (and Law Firms) featuring Jonathan Rosenfeld

Jonathan Rosenfeld insists that becoming successful requires hard work after law school. Regardless of whether you enjoyed law school or found it easy, you must create the career that you want when you are away from the classroom. Find out why Jonathan Rosenfeld is modernizing personal injury law.
Read and listen here

Stop Forgetting Yourself! Why Advocating For Yourself is Self Care feat. Suzi Hixon

Suzi Hixon wants women lawyers to fight for themselves, to support themselves, and to define success for themselves."You must define success for yourself because otherwise, you will look for the big career, big office, and beautiful family that society tells you that you must have," explains Suzi Hixon in Episode 69 of You Are A Lawyer.
Read and listen here

How Subscription-Based Legal Services are Providing Access to Justice featuring Mathew Kerbis

Subscription-based law firms shouldn't work, but they are. Mathew Kerbis is advocating for legal access that costs less money than your favorite streaming service.
Read and listen here

How to Stop Paying Small with Esther Etim

Esther Etim decided to stop playing small when her hard work at a legal/medical firm led to her becoming a published author and connecting with her husband. Esther Etim tells us why your privilege is not always for you!
Read and listen here

How to Avoid Career Burnout with Micro Habits with Charlene Gisele

Charlene Gisele teaches high-achieving lawyers and executives how to improve their careers by focusing on their mental health. This vulnerable episode allows Charlene to discuss her motivations to become a lawyer and why she left Big Law.
Read and listen here

How Podcasts Can Save Your Life (And Boost Your Law Practice) featuring Robert Ingalls

Robert Ingalls explains how fatherhood made him a better businessman and the importance of managing your anxiety.
Read and listen here

How to Have an Amicable Divorce featuring Nicole Kobis

Nicole Kobis explains why divorce proceedings can be resolved amicably and the importance of finding a legal mentor.
Read and listen here

How Comedy Made Me A Better Lawyer featuring Joel Oster

Joel Oster explains why laughter is important when teaching CLEs and how you can use the law as a tool.
Read and listen here

© You are a Lawyer LLC. All rights reserved.