This time on The Legal Toolkit, Jared forgoes his monologue to give more time to his conversation with Chris Stock. Tune in as this duo dig into criminal justice reform, ChatGPT’s future in legal and the world at large, legal tech business outlooks, Chris’s new venture as founder of a consulting firm, and more.
Later, stick around for “Shit Australians Say” on the Rump Roast. You’ll learn what “fair dinkum” means and can decide for yourself whether our usage in the title was correct or just silly. Cheers!
Chris Stock is CEO and founder of CGS Advisory.
Since we talked with notable Australian, Chris Stock, let’s count down Australia’s Greatest Hits!
Our opening track is Two Cigarettes by Major Label Interest.
Our closing track is Scrappy by Famous Cats.
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Intro: It’s the Legal Toolkit with Jared Correia, with guest Chris Stock. We play Shit Australians Say and then show up for an interview, stick around for Jared stocks on airline peanuts. That’s right, we’ve got what you’re craving. But first, your host, Jared Correia.
Jared Correia: It’s time for The Legal Toolkit podcast, you know that, because all the crickets have fled the area. The animals always know first. And yes, it’s still called The Legal Toolkit Podcast, even though my Carpenter Space Pen is lost in the couch cracks.
I’m your host Jared Correia. You’re stuck with me because Trevor Noah was unavailable, he had a Daily Show commitment.
I’m the CEO of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting, a business management consulting service for attorneys and bar associations. Find us online at redcavelegal.com. I’m the COO of Gideon Software, Inc. We build chatbots so law firms can convert more leads and conversational document assembly tools, so law firms can build documents faster and more accurately. You can find out more about Gideon at gideonlegal.com.
You know, sometimes you have such a great conversation with a podcast guest, but you just need to forego your usual monologue, so you can publish more of that. And that’s what we’re going to do today.
I brought my Great Australian friend Chris Stock on and we’ll publish our lengthy dialogue in a moment.
Now, before we get to our interview today with Chris Stock, I have a short message for you.
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Okay everybody, let’s get to the meat in the middle of this legal sandwich. Today’s meat is Kangaroo and I don’t know maybe our guest today has even eaten kangaroo, I’ll ask him. All right, let’s do this thing. It’s time to interview our guest. My guest today who I’m very excited to have on is Chris Stock, who’s the founder and CEO of CGS Advisory, but he’s done so much more that we’re going to get into. Chris man, how you’re doing?
Chris Stock: Great, thanks. Jared, thanks for inviting me to be the meat in the legal sandwich today.
Jared Correia: Yes, that’s you.
Chris Stock: Looking forward to it, yeah.
Jared Correia: I mean, I’ve been remiss to not have you on the show before this, but I was waiting until you set up your advisory, so you could talk about literally anything without anybody in corporate slapping you on the wrist. So —
Chris Stock: Yeah, I don’t have to, well I don’t have to do any marketing today, so I’m here for a good chat with you about it, whatever you would like.
Jared Correia: Yeah. So what I wanted to talk about, just in case people don’t know who you are which I know a lot of people in legal know who you are. You’ve had like a super interesting career in LegalTech. So can you just give me the rundown on that, like how you get started, where’d you go work and just basically talk me through your career at LEAP and then we’ll talk about the segment after LEAP in a moment.
Chris Stock: Yeah Jared, I’ve been very fortunate in life in that my career has taken me to a lot of places and I was able to work for a company like LEAP that was growing.
Jared Correia: For those who don’t know LEAP, legal software company has a lot of different products based out of Australia. You can add anything to that if want, but go ahead.
Chris Stock: Yeah, yeah, so I’ll probably just take you right back to when I was a child, right, when I was child.
Jared Correia: Oh, let’s do it, great. I just want to do this.
Chris Stock: My dream from the time I was child was to live in New York City and —
Jared Correia: Huh.
Chris Stock: And I dreamt of that, I had vivid dreams, I can remember the dreams. So, you know, that’s why I say I was very fortunate to end up where I am today via the way of a great employer. But, I started my career in legal when I was 18.
Jared Correia: Yeah.
Chris Stock: I had gone to University for six months. I didn’t enjoy it. I was doing a Bachelor of Science. And I thought well, I wanted to do legal, but am I ready to commit to four years, only to find out that I don’t like it in the end.
Jared Correia: Yeah.
Chris Stock: So when I started work in a law firm as a junior and before I knew it, seven years had gone and I’d hit that glass ceiling. I was managing a very big property law department, but I didn’t have a law degree, and it was time to decide what I wanted to do. So I’ve had enough, and I loved the tech side of the law firms and because at the time I was the youngest guy in the firm, by nature of that, I was The Tech Guy.
Jared Correia: Right, right.
Chris Stock: So I was being responsible for implementing software and fixing computers and all that sort of stuff. So I Googled legal software jobs and I quit my job at 10. I had an interview at 12 and I was hired by LEAP at five. And I joined as a Training and Implementation Consultant and I did that for about two and a half years and at which point I went into management and I managed that department for the State of Victoria, which is where I lived. And then I was moved to Sydney and when I was in Sydney, I ran a number of different roles. I ran the Training and Implementation Department, I ran that Australia-wide. And I also then moved across to become the first Product Manager of LEAP’s first cloud product, and I ran partnerships and things at the same time. And then, I was very fortunate that LEAP decided to expand into the UK, so I moved to the UK in 2014.
Jared Correia: A little closer to New York, right, just a little.
Chris Stock: Little closer, got that, little bit closer to New York. And I was there for seven months and my boss at the time Richard Hugo-Hamman, the Executive Chairman of LEAP, took me out for breakfast and said, hey, we’ve got an opportunity and I’m going to make it a bit short of the story. I could tell the story for now, but I will tell you what he said, do you — what would you say if I asked you to move to America, we’ve got an opportunity over there and I said, look, if you can allow me to live in New York, I’ll do whatever you want. And he said, okay, well how about you move there tomorrow, and I said I’m there. So I couldn’t get a flight the next day, but two days later I was on a flight to New York and I founded LEAP in the United States.
Yeah, and then I moved from there to manage as the CEO a joint venture company called PCLaw | Time Matters, that was a joint venture between LEAP and LexisNexis. And most recently, I was the Chairman of a LEAP company called LEAP Wealth, which focused on Estate Planning and Elder Law. And now I’m taking a bit of a break so that I can give back to society a little bit.
Jared Correia: Okay, you took a little bit of a break after you left LEAP, and you’ve got this consulting thing going on, you’re working with a nonprofit, so can you get people up to speed on what you’re doing now because I think you’re doing some really cool stuff.
Chris Stock: Yeah. There’s a few things that I’m doing at the moment, being out and having a bit of a break as I’m pretty recharged and I’m able to look into areas that I couldn’t previously do because I was so focused in the world that I was in. But I’ve been working with a nonprofit called A Second U Foundation for a little while. But I first arrived in the U.S., I was introduced to the world of reentry. And it’s very different to anywhere else in the world. And, it’s a really, a very important social topic.
Jared Correia: Yeah.
Chris Stock: Yeah, we have a lot of problems in the criminal justice system, the mass incarceration and minorities in particular. And it’s something that became pretty dear to my heart. Because when I first arrived here, I was introduced to a not-for-profit called New Jersey Reentry Corporation, and we gave them LEAP so that they could reinstate driver’s licenses for people coming back from prison.
Jared Correia: Yeah, that’s cool.
Chris Stock: Yeah. And that’s now run by the former Governor of New Jersey, Governor McGreevey, and yeah did a great job over at that not-for-profit. And we recently met with him and they just really changed the community. But what happened is I was doing that and then I was at my local gym and I saw a guy there that has been followed around by cameras and he had Second U across his T-shirt, and I am like what is the Second U? Why these guys been followed by cameras?
So I had a look and I Googled it there and then saw what they were doing and what they do is they help people reenter society through wellness and really that’s personal training, and they are pretty selective in the people that they bring into the program and I say they, because back then it was they. And I went and introduced myself to Hector and I introduced him to a contact at who was from NJRC, who had moved on to working really in politics. John Koufos is his name, he was very heavily involved in the Safe Streets & Second Chances Act to the point where he was standing in the White House next to Donald Trump, Kim Kardashian and Jared Kushner when Donald Trump signed the act.
Jared Correia: Oh wow, that’s fantastic.
Chris Stock: So I introduced him to John and John got him his very first government grant, well not government grant, private grant through Koch Industries who was heavily involved at the time.
So I became friends with Hector over time and really understood his mission which was what they do is they don’t just help someone move back into society, and I’m going to move to we now.
Jared Correia: Yes, right.
Chris Stock: Hector asked me to become the Chairperson of the foundation earlier last year and that was the thing that I actually did when I left LEAP.
Jared Correia: Oh, that’s fantastic.
Chris Stock: And what we do is we break a cycle in a community and some people can be a little bit uncomfortable with providing great opportunities to someone re-entering society.
Jared Correia: Yeah, yeah.
Chris Stock: But the reality is this, people have paid their time for their crime that they committed, and if we weren’t in a society that believed in second chances, then everybody should just get a life sentence.
Jared Correia: Yeah.
Chris Stock: And people should serve a life sentence once they leave prison because they have to tick a box that says, I committed a felony. The way I explain it to people as if you think about a family and let’s say somewhere in Brooklyn, let’s say in Brownsville and we’ve got, we’ve got a father of some kids out in Brownsville. His parents were addicted to drugs. He saw them go in and out of prison. You know, there’s literature that says children of justice-involved parents are six times more likely to become justice-involved themselves.
Jared Correia: Yeah, that make sense.
Chris Stock: So those children are watching that happen and then they start doing the same thing and what happens that they are very low on the income spectrum, most of them don’t have, never had jobs.
Jared Correia: Yeah.
Chris Stock: When they get out of prison they can’t get jobs or they can’t get jobs that actually sustain any type of income, or any type of lifestyle. So they don’t have a livable wage and they go back into prison.
Jared Correia: Yeah.
Chris Stock: In New York City, you can get personal trainers, straight off training at $80,000 $100,000, $130,000 salaries. So, what we do is we get people who are coming back into society and we train them up and they’re suddenly on a livable income, and we actually get them to the point where they can purchase their own property.
Jared Correia: Oh, that sounds great.
Chris Stock: So we, when they get out, we get them to get a secured credit card and we teach them to manage that. And then after two years, we’ve got a mortgage broker, who after (00:12:04) of being two years of gainful employment, they can actually apply for a loan. And what that actually does that it starts breaking that cycle because that father, who in the past would have highly likely reoffended because they don’t get a proper job is now earning real money. Their children have a role model, their children inherit wealth for the first time ever in that family and then that flows on through generation into generation into generation. And that is really what gravitated me to Hector and his mission because it’s not a one-person fix, this is a generational fix that we can affect by providing a proper level of employment for somebody who’s never been given that opportunity in the past and in fact, were destined to end up nothing because Society made it that way.
So, you know, I’ve got a lot of passion around that and what Hector’s been able to do and what he’s been able to build, he’s got an under a 2% percent recidivism rate.
Jared Correia: Oh, that’s amazing, wow.
Chris Stock: Yeah, he has got, I think it went up to around 400 people have been through the program now. So they trained up certified personal trainers. A lot of them are entrepreneurs running their own business.
Jared Correia: Yeah, yeah.
Chris Stock: We’ve recently had the big corporate gyms out there signing up our graduates. So it’s all really, really exciting.
Jared Correia: That’s amazing.
Chris Stock: And yeah, we’re looking at how we can expand that into a much bigger program down the track.
Jared Correia: I thought you were going to say that the person being followed by all the cameras is a Rock or somebody famous.
Chris Stock: Well, the rock does train at that gym but he is never followed by cameras, his people make sure he’s not. Gets followed by me and they make sure that he’s not too. But you know.
Jared Correia: That is, I think that’s fantastic. Can you tell me a little bit about the consulting company you just launched as well, can you get that going on too and then that will feed into my next question.
Chris Stock: Yeah, sure, sure. So there’s this consulting is, there’s another thing we’re working on that. I’m going to be launching pretty soon.
Jared Correia: Yeah.
Chris Stock: The consulting side of things is that when I moved to the UK, the brief that I was given was go set up a payroll to make sure you get paid and then figure everything else out.
Jared Correia: Right, right.
Chris Stock: And before I went I commissioned a study with one of big four accounting firms and it cost like 20 or 30 grand, something crazy. And they told me nothing, like absolutely nothing. When I arrived in the UK, I saw our local lawyer and he told me what they would spend 20 grand on getting a report on back in Australia in five minutes over a coffee.
Jared Correia: Right.
Chris Stock: And you know I think a lot of businesses when they look to expand internationally, it can be very daunting and there are certain things that are different in each market. And I learned very quickly in the UK that there were a lot that Australians and international businesses could take advantage of from tax perspectives and the like that they don’t really advertise. And then when I moved to the U.S., I was learning a new jurisdiction all over again, and the U.S. was very, very different. The health insurance over here, I think most Americans don’t even understand how their health insurance works.
Jared Correia: Probably true.
Chris Stock: There is corporate setups and accounting considerations and sales taxes are different in every state and I just thought to myself, you know what, it took me two years to understand the U.S. Landscape and it took — I’m still learning the actual business landscape. I don’t think you ever stop because things can be different in counties, and there’s I think there’s 2400 counties in U.S.
Jared Correia: Yeah, yeah.
Chris Stock: So things could be different from County to County and I looked at that and said, you know what, that is really stressful for somebody who is looking to enter a new market. And then recently, a friend of mine had actually referred one of their clients to me who was looking to expand in the U.S.
Jared Correia: Yeah.
Chris Stock: I’ve spent two hours with them over coffee and they said ah Chris, I think you just saved me two years in those last two hours. So when they said that, I thought you know what, I think I can do that for businesses looking to expand into the jurisdictions I’ve been in. I’ve been in the U.S., I’ve been in the UK, Australia and Canada.
Jared Correia: Yeah.
Chris Stock: And I know the people that I need to know. I know the best people in their fields, in all of those countries when it comes to setting up business and understanding the business landscape. I’m also pretty skilled in strategic planning and assisting entrepreneurs in learning to strategic plan. So I figured why not set up a consultancy based around that and that’s what I did.
Jared Correia: Awesome. Let me ask, let me ask you this piece of it related to the consulting, because one of the reasons I want to have you on is to get your real opinion on stuff before you have to go corporate again. So like — you have actually —
Chris Stock: I’m going to be, I’m going to be, now I somewhat never be allowed to go corporate again, if I had to something do honestly.
Jared Correia: That’s right, that’s right. We will find a good balance. But you actually spearheaded a lot of acquisitions previously as you talked about instead of companies in different countries. So like LEAP was one of these organizations that has made a lot of acquisitions over time, but now over like the last two, three years, a lot of these legal tech providers like the big ones and investment houses are making tons of acquisitions consolidating services in legal tech. So as somebody who’s been in that world like what do you think of that moving forward, like is that going to continue at the pace it’s going out right now and what does that mean for attorneys if it does?
Chris Stock: Honestly Jared, there’s not much left to acquire.
Jared Correia: Okay.
Chris Stock: Over the last two years, and yeah —
Jared Correia: My shelf was bare.
Chris Stock: Yeah, it’s fairly bare. There’s always startups pop-up in legal tech, a lot of them fail. I’m constantly asked about companies that pop-up and then disappear. So I really always made it my business to know about providers that actually have customer bases, and providers with customer bases of almost been stripped from the shelves as to —
Jared Correia: Yeah, yeah.
Chris Stock: The interesting thing, yeah, I was talking with someone the other day in a private equity very firm and I don’t know what these private equity companies that have spent lots of money on these providers over the last couple of years are going to do because, tech values have plummeted.
Jared Correia: Yeah, right.
Chris Stock: So a lot of these acquisitions have taken place at absolute premiums like huge premiums, and if you just go and look at Bob Ambrogi’s website, you can go and look at the premiums because somehow he finds out about the kind of confidential information that others don’t know about.
Jared Correia: He is like deep throat over there.
Chris Stock: Yeah, it’s got to where like you buy information from, that I’m allowed to talk about because that’s public, right. So if I really like say, it’s coming Bob Ambrogi not what someone’s told me on the side. But yeah, there was huge sums of money spent on premium multiples of revenue EBITDA during the pandemic phase. And then what we had is over the last 12 months we’ve had the NASDAQ’s really plummeted. You’ve had companies like Salesforce have bottomed out. And that’s really going to impact valuations of a lot of these acquisitions that were done of the legal software providers over the last couple of years.
So I think that we probably going to see a little bit, I would say slowdown in that space because it’s not much left and what has been done, a couple of different types of acquisitions and really private equity acquisitions, the ones where you know, honestly, I used to get excited when that happened, because I always felt the private equity really wanted to milk (ph) businesses for value. They weren’t really great at growth and didn’t quite understand what it would take to affect growth in the legal technology space and put the multiples they’ve spent, I don’t know how they’re going to get a return.
Jared Correia: And it sounds like for acquisitions to come at a fast and furious pace again, that means some of these existing startup companies are really going to have to take off, right?
Chris Stock: Yeah, the startup companies taking off for private equity firms wanting to fire sale staff that they realize that they’re not going to be able to get a return on. And I don’t see that, I don’t see that really happening.
Jared Correia: Let’s talk about something totally different, because we are talking about this before we got you on the show, which is ChatGPT.
Chris Stock: I thought you might ask me about that.
Jared Correia: Everybody’s talking about ChatGPT. Like when my mom texts me about the technology trend, I know it’s gotten pretty deep into the American consciousness. So, ChatGPT, a lot of lawyers are interested in this. Some lawyers are starting to use it to do some things. I know you’ve been playing around with it a little bit. So, let’s start with what you think about it in its current format and then what it could become. And then I also want to talk a little bit about the legal tech arena. So, who’s going to start using it? Who’s going to win out in that AI race? But let’s start with what you think about it like in this present state?
Chris Stock: I will caveat this with I’ve always been anti buzz word. And I’ve always spoken out against block chain. Personally, I think it’s slow technology. I think it was a fad because of Bitcoin. I was against it, because if you look away, bitcoin really gained its popularity from — it was from Silk Road, which meant a whole lot of people that had ordered drugs back in college all of sudden became millionaires, because they’ve forgotten about a Bitcoin they slid in their wallet. Yeah and to me, I felt that that was problematic. I felt that might have been a bit of unethical moral problem with why block chain had become so popular. And I’ve always been against the word “AI” and I’ve always co-gravitated towards machine learning, because I think for something need to be truly AI, it needs to be able to rewrite its own algorithm with its own thoughts and effectively be sent in.
But I think my mind is changing with ChatGPT and I’ve spent a bit of time on ChatGPT recently and I thought I’d test it out with my new advisory business. So, the advisory company LinkedIn page is being completely done with ChatGPT. Before we got on say — I thought I’d write an article at CGS Advisory LLC on LinkedIn. I thought I’d write an article about what CGS Advisory can do for you, and I did that in ChatGPT.
Jared Correia: Oh man. All right, go check that out, everybody.
Chris Stock: What I discovered with ChatGPT right now is that it is good, it is good, there is no doubt about it. But it’s only as good as the input that you give it, the same as what Google searches were back when there was a format doing Google searches. ChatGPT is a bit more plain language. So, what I wrote was — I went into ChatGPT and I said create an article based on CGS Advisory, gave it a hyperlink to the LinkedIn page; and you can also use my personal hyperlink and I’ll put that in as well; about how CGS advisory can help with immigration, business setup, accounting, et cetera. And I’ll put in a few different parameters. So, it was about five lines of texts. And I hit enter and it sped out of an entire article.
But what it did was it actually made it look like CGS Advisory would be doing the legal work, doing the immigration work, and doing the accounting work. So, I wrote, “This article looks like I will be performing the work. Can you please note that a partner network will be performing the work?” And then it refined it, but what it then did is in every paragraph it would reference the partner network. So, the next thing I wrote in plain English, “The article is now repetitive. Can you please mention the partnership angle ones and rewrite the article?” and it did and it was right. Soon, I pasted that into LinkedIn and I didn’t know what hashtags I should put in there. So, I said, “Can you let me know what hashtags I should put in?” and the hashtags sped out. And when I examined them, they looked pretty good to me.
And then I didn’t know what heading to give it. I said, “Can you suggest a heading for my article?” and it gave me five different options to pick from and they were all much better than what I’ve done myself. And then I wanted a picture, so I went to an IOF(ph) that I have on my iPhone that can generate AI pictures. And I typed create gray scale New York skyline for LinkedIn article, and it created an AI generated New York City skyline for the article. So, I did that and then I thought you know what? I know Jared loves quirky stuff and I know that this —
Jared Correia: I love quirky stuff, yes.
Chris Stock: I know that you’re podcast can occasionally evolve into all sorts of things like Disneyland and who knows what else.
Jared Correia: We’re all over the place.
Chris Stock: So, here’s one for you today. I love a vanilla slice. A vanilla slice is an Australian kind of pastry. We call this snot-block. It’s full of custard. It’s basically a block of custard, which is hard enough to get in America on its own.
Jared Correia: Yes.
Chris Stock: Sandwich between —
Jared Correia: I never heard of this before you mentioned it to me.
Chris Stock: Sandwich between two pieces of puff pastry with vanilla icing across the top of it.
And I looked for a recipe the other way and I could find them, but the ingredients are called different things in America, and I’m not a chef. Like I started doing it and I started burning the cusp, I had to scream for Catherine, my wife who was upstairs to come down and she basically cooked it for me. So, I went into ChatGPT and I said, “Can you please provide me?” This is the thing, you start getting used to being polite to the thing like I’m saying, “Can you please provide me a vanilla slice recipe that advises which ingredients to substitute in the United States,” and it did and it was perfect. It was unbelievable. I could go match it with any vanilla slice recipe any way and it was absolutely a vanilla slice, and it was telling me which ingredients to substitute. I couldn’t believe it. So, I do believe ChatGPT is the real deal. Yeah, it’s pretty impressive.
Jared Correia: If it can make an Australian vanilla slice, I mean come on. Let me ask you the follow-up question, which is maybe a little bit too simplistic. Everybody’s now talking about, “Okay, which legal tech company is going to start using technology like, ‘This was going to win?” Do you have any thoughts on that at this point or is it too early?
Chris Stock: I had some thoughts on it. I’ve seen a couple of startups that are trying to use it and really there’s a big difference between jumping on the bandwagon and using it innovatively.
Jared Correia: Yeah.
Chris Stock: And I think the winner, the ultimate winner is going to be the legal tech company that allows a lawyer to put in a simple human request and have a proper legal output. At the moment, what I’ve seen is there’s a lot of setup required with the integrations that they’re using with ChatGPT and those sorts of things. And I tried to do this actually on ChatGPT and I’ll tell you what the outcome was.
Jared Correia: Hopefully, it was the delicious vanilla slice. No, go ahead.
Chris Stock: I think it’ll be a delicious vanilla slice of knowledge for the lawyers when they find out what it said. I think it’ll put a few minds at rest. But I typed in, “Prepare divorce application for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in the State of New Jersey.” And I thought I might get a document that was kind of had the basic information filled in perhaps, but what it did is it came back to me and said, “This is legal work you were trying to attempt. We do not provide legal services. You should contact a lawyer in New Jersey.”
Jared Correia: Interesting.
Chris Stock: I think it would mean that lawyers’ minds can be put at ease. But I think that the winner is going to be the provider that makes things very simple to use and makes an interface that requires zero understanding of logic for example. Because when I create something in ChatGPT, it might be in plain language, but I know how to get the logic in there that I’m looking for even though it’s in play. It’s going to become its own language over the years, because I’ve been involved with software for so long. So, I do think that’ll be the ultimately winner. I would say that I don’t believe that people need to be worried for their jobs. If you go and look at that article that I put up purely because I wanted to see what it was like before you and I spoke, I can go through that and refine it. And I had my own tone and I think if the AI is able to take on your own tonality, it doesn’t make you obsolete anyway, because it still needs to — the genesis is still your brain even though it’s beneath and it’s just making your job much easier.
I was talking to someone yesterday in Australia who’s a startup and she’s refining it really, really hard to generate a customer base and she doesn’t understand how to create content. And I said to her, “You got a chicken and egg situation here. You need to create the content to get the clients. But if you’re not getting the clients, you can’t afford to create content.” So, I suggest that she look at ChatGPT. And the example I used for her was just a basic, “Why it’s not a good idea to do your own taxes?” so went in to ChatGPT and said, “Write an article about why it’s not a good idea to do your own taxes,” and it gave me a brilliant article that if someone went and apply with their own tone to it, could certainly really fast track content for these small business operators that don’t have the money to employ people to do that content. And that sort of methodology can be applied across everything. I don’t think it’s going to take jobs. I think it’s really going to evolve current jobs.
Jared Correia: Okay, I got one more wild question for you out of left field. Alternative business structures in the US. You’ve worked in UK, you’ve worked in Australia where that type of things is allowed, do you think that’s coming to the US outside of Arizona and Utah? And how does that happen and how quickly?
Chris Stock: (00:29:52) the alternative business structures as far as having non-lawyer ownership.
Jared Correia: Non-lawyer ownership, non-lawyer services, yeah.
Chris Stock: Yeah. So, I think from a non-lawyer ownership perspective, I’m not a lawyer and personally I think I could probably help inside a law firm.
Jared Correia: That’d be great. I think that’s fair to say.
Chris Stock: I over the years probably would’ve taken equity in a few friends’ law firms and all those sorts of things had I been able to, and I can’t do that. It all depends on who you ask. Like if you ask a lawyer or a bar association, a lot of the time they’re against it, but I do think that lawyers are really limiting their ability to create really strong businesses by drawing on external knowledge in the business realm. And some lawyers are good at business and that’s great, but not everyone is and a lot of them are not. And you and I have (00:30:50) who are not. And if they were able to bring in an external CEO who had experience in sales, in marketing, in lead generation, in finance, in reporting, in understanding those reports, all the stuff you and I talked to firms about all the time; and be able to give them equity in the business, because that’s what people at that level are looking for. They’re looking for equity.
They’re not looking for a cash flow generator at that point. So, I think that it is limiting to competition in law firms. I think it really narrows the ability for those smaller firms to grow and compete, because it bars(ph) them from getting access to the best people. I think it’s going to happen eventually, but I think that it seems that each people that I speak to; it seems in New Jersey, it seems very unlikely for a long time; in New York, it seems very unlikely for a long time. Utah and Arizona, I’ve read a little bit about what they’re doing, and hopefully that does work and starts to allow that to propagate to the other states. I think the ADA(ph) have got an opinion on it, but what I found is it slightly want each individual state feels as what works rather than what the ADA (00:32:00) is. That’s kind of what I’ve realized over the last 12 years I’ve been. I’m trying to be polite and not say the ADA doesn’t matter as much as the state bar associations, but that does seem to be the case in my experience.
Jared Correia: I feel for you, because that’s true. Chris, this was awesome. You’re great. I’m glad you made it to New York City, I’m glad you made it to the podcast. Can you hang around for one last segment?
Chris Stock: Of course, I can. Thanks, Jared.
Jared Correia: We will take one final sponsor break, so you can hear more about what our sponsors can do for your law practice. Then stay tuned. That’s right. It’s the Rump Roast, is even more supple than the roast beast.
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Welcome back, everybody. That’s right, here we are at the rear end of the legal toolkit. We call it the Rump Roast. It’s a grab bag of short formed topics, all at my choosing. Why do I get to pick, because I’m the host. So, Chris, as you mentioned before, you will partake in an Australian vanilla slice every now and then. You are from Australia. So, as someone who grew up in the US, my knowledge of Australian culture in the ‘80s was the Crocodile Dundee movies and potentially the rescuers down under. So, I want to start setting the record straight. So, we’ve done this before with other people from different parts of the world. I want to identify some Australian phrases and then I want you to help me understand what they mean. And let me know if I’ve got the wrong definition and the right definition, contribute as much as you feel. Are you ready to play?
Chris Stock: Absolutely, I’ll do my best.
Jared Correia: All right, let’s start with coming up from my Google search. And just to be clear, I didn’t use ChatGPT for any of this. What is a budgie smuggler, are you familiar with this term?
Chris Stock: Yeah. A budgie smuggler is in the US you would call the swimming swimsuit. It’s a swimsuit.
Jared Correia: Speedos.
Chris Stock: But it’s a very kind of —
Jared Correia: Tight swimsuit.
Chris Stock: Yeah. I don’t know, the speedo branch used to say in the swimmer’s run in kind of the Olympics and that sort of stuff before they had the body suits, that’s a budgie smuggler.
Jared Correia: So, the definition I had online, which I think is pretty good, the skimpy micro briefs. And the budgie, the budgie is parakeet in Australia?
Chris Stock: Pretty much, yeah. A budgerigar. The actual title(ph) is budgerigar. They look a bit different, but they’re similar.
Jared Correia: I’ve learned some new Australian watching Bluey, so I will cover this part. I’ll be the crust one on the episode, so that budgie looks like the bulgy gut(ph) in the front of your speedo.
Chris Stock: That’s exactly right.
Jared Correia: I’m glad we covered that. Now, here’s another Australian term I’ve heard before that I think everybody knows, but I never knew the answer to what this meant. So, fair dinkum, what does that mean?
Chris Stock: It’s got a whole lot of different meanings to it like it could kind of mean, “Yeah, it’s the real deal.” There’s a whole lot of different — And it’s generational as well and my father used to use it all the time. I don’t use it. I’ve never used it and it used to irritate me when my father did use it, because I thought it kind of made it sound a little bit too strange to the rest of the world. If we’re to say —
Jared Correia: And now, is there a replacement for younger generation? What would you use now?
Chris Stock: Now, we just speak like the rest of the world, because my generation grew up with American television. And I watched Seinfeld, I watched Cheese, I watched all that sort of stuff. So, I didn’t really use a whole lot of Australian slang. But fair dinkum has got a lot of different uses. So, if you were to say, “I went and saw this great concert last night,” and I’d say, “Oh, fair dinkum,” like no way, awesome like it could mean a whole lot of different things.
Jared Correia: So, it’s like falling out of use. So, this is like as a mid-40s male if I was to say something was cool to my kids, they would tell me to shut up, that’s what we’re talking about here?
Chris Stock: It’s pretty much, yeah.
Jared Correia: Okay, all right. Now, here’s another one. What’s a dunny?
Chris Stock: It’s a toilet.
Jared Correia: Okay. So, here’s what I want you to — I saw also online thunder box, is that something that people use?
Chris Stock: Again, that’s very generational. Thunder box —
Jared Correia: I love that. I want to start using that in my own vocabulary.
Chris Stock: Yeah. My father used to say thunder box and dunny, yeah.
Jared Correia: Beautiful. All right, got two more for you. This may be generational too. I may need to upgrade my Google search capabilities. Do the Harold Holt, is that a thing?
Chris Stock: Harold Holt was a prime minister that went missing when he went swimming.
Jared Correia: Right.
Chris Stock: But I actually don’t know, no.
Jared Correia: So, I guess that means you leave a party without telling someone goodbye, which is pretty — that’s hardcore. I drowned off the (00:37:13).
Chris Stock: It is very Australian and we were very non-PC for a long time. I’ve heard other —
Jared Correia: — which I really enjoy honestly.
Chris Stock: I’ve heard other things like do the smoke ball like people throw fake smoke ball in front of them and kind of (00:37:29) and just leave the party. But yeah, I knew and heard and called the “Do the Harold Holt” before.
Jared Correia: Have you ever heard —
Chris Stock: (00:37:35).
Jared Correia: Have you ever heard the term Irish Goodbye? Because that’s what we see in Boston.
Chris Stock: Yeah, it’s the same thing. Probably that these days it’s probably just as non-PC.
Jared Correia: That’s probably true. I got one more for you, which is a new one to me. Fuck me dead, what does that mean?
Chris Stock: That’s like an expression of surprise or exasperation, surprise or exasperation. My father used to say it all the time, all the time.
Jared Correia: Your dad sounds like he was awesome.
Chris Stock: If I hadn’t clean my bedroom, it’d be, “Fuck me dead, Chris. I thought I told you to do that yesterday.” And that’s not so generational, you still hear people say it today.
Jared Correia: All right, good. This was really enlightening to me although I feel like I should refine some stuff and looked at generational Australian phrases.
Chris Stock: I mean if you really got into it, a lot of it you probably actually couldn’t put on this podcast. You’ll have to change it from a PG rating. We got into it, bums out. You probably and are already, wouldn’t you go all the way?
Jared Correia: We may already have. Yeah, I think we’re explicit across the board at this point. Thank you for having some fun with us. I appreciate it.
Chris Stock: My pleasure.
Jared Correia: This is really awesome. And yeah, I think we’ll have to have a part two when we’ll talk about your new venture and maybe some more refined Australian phraseology.
Chris Stock: I absolutely love it, Jared. Thank you so much for having me on. I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. I know we’ve had a lot of informal chats over the years, but it’s certainly great to get on your podcast. I think it’s a great podcast. I’ve been a long term listener. As you know, we’re almost the sponsor for a while there. And hopefully, might be again at some point in the future.
Jared Correia: That’d be great.
Chris Stock: And keep up the great work, love listening to it.
Jared Correia: Thank you, sir. I appreciate that. All right, everybody. That’s Chris Stock. We’ll talk soon.
Chris Stock: Thank you.
Jared Correia: If you want to find out more about Chris Stock and CGS Advisory, visit cgsadvisory.us. That’s C-G-S-advisory.us, cgsadvisory.us now. For those of you listening intently and nowhere else, Tasmania, Australia, I’ve got a great Spotify playlist for you. It’s Australia’s greatest hits, fuck yeah. Now, I’ve ran out of time to continue podcasting, because I’ve a veg in my sandwich I’ve got to eat, but maybe I next time I can talk more about my thoughts of airline pins. They’re bulky, but I consider them a carry-on.
This is Jared Correia reminding you that that Swedish pump is not mine, baby. I swear.