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FAQ: SYMPHONY LAW SEMINAR SERIES

First seminar: Untangled: a lawyer's tips and tricks for handling longstanding family conflict over wills, baches, estates and life itself.

These FAQs relate to our first seminar on 17 September titled "Untangled", about longstanding family conflict.  The "package" referred to is the seminar together with the take home toolkit you get at the seminar. 


Logistics


Where and when is it?

Untangled takes place at 7pm on Thursday, 17 September 2015, at Orange Studio, which you can find at 3/1063 Ferry Road.  

Can I buy a ticket on the night?

No, unfortunately.  We prepare the take home packs before we get there so we only take bookings before the night.  But you can do that over here!  Easy as pie!

Can I just buy the toolkit?  Why do I have to come to the seminar?

No, the package is a package deal.  The seminar is key to explaining the toolkit and how to use it, and includes some of the best insider information in the whole package.  Plus, it's fun and there are muffins.    

What happens if I buy a ticket but can't come to the seminar?

The seminar is a key component of the package, so if something comes up and you can no longer attend the seminar you're booked for, we will transfer you to a later seminar date if there is room, or we will fully refund your money.

If it's a legal seminar why is it at night?  At a recording studio?

Yeah, most legal seminars are during the work day, in hotel conference rooms.  They also mostly pretty boring and their Powerpoint slides have too many words and too few photos of dachshunds.  

We found that most people can't get away from work during the day, and remember, this is not that kind of seminar.  It is also a piece of entertainment that teaches you valuable life skills.  

As for why it's at Orange specifically, the people down at Orange are both amazing at what they do, and amazing at supporting new business ideas.  It was a no-brainer to us to have the seminar with them. 


What the package is and isn't


I'm not sure I will get any benefit from this.

We are!  But we get your hesitation - we're not calling this a radical experiment in legal services for nothing.  

That's why we offer a 110% money back guarantee, no questions asked, if you request it within 30 days of attending the seminar.  Seriously.  

I'm not in a dispute - this isn't for me, right?

No!  This is definitely for you!  This package is about prevention as much as cure and will likely be MORE useful to someone who is not currently in a dispute than someone who is.  Please come!

Does it mean I'll never have to consult a lawyer again?

Not necessarily - we call it mostly lawyer free for a reason. 

If you apply the advice in the package to your legal issue, it's likely you will not need to rely on a lawyer nearly as much because you will do much of the strategic thinking yourself, instead of paying a lawyer by the hour to do it for you.  

However, the law is complex and it often does require expert navigation.  Most disputes still need a bit of input from a lawyer.  

Can I just find the information myself on the internet?

Well...yes and no.  

As with anything, you can do a lot of research on these topics yourself; we are lucky to live in a time when so much information is freely available.  

What Symphony is offering in this package is a whole lot of information and insight, in one place, at one time, from someone who knows what they're talking about.  It's curated, and it's easy.  Some of it is available in other resources on related topics, some of it comes from our own experience.

Of course it goes without saying that if you would prefer to mine the internet for it then we are very happy for you to do that instead!  We want you confident and empowered, whether you buy from us or not. 

Will the package mean I can represent myself in court?

Technically, you can always represent yourself in court, but I get what you're asking.  We still recommend using lawyers for court work because the Courts are intimidating and difficult to navigate.  

That said, if you cannot afford a lawyer to represent you, or at least not full time, this package will definitely help you make cost-effective use of lawyers and/or serve your own interests better in court.

I need some legal advice specific to an issue I'm dealing with - is that part of the package?

The packages are not legal advice in the traditional sense.  However, the seminar includes a Q&A component where you can ask Katie anything, including how to apply the framework and principles in the package to a real life issue you are dealing with.  

If you would like more detailed advice, confidential advice, or advice on the law, you can consult Katie directly.  You may be interested in her One-off Consultation Package, for which you will get a full meeting with Katie, and a short report summarising your legal position, your options, and the cost of those options.  (Note that Katie only offers legal advice on these areas of law.)  From the second seminar you can add on the Consultation Package for $200 (including GST) instead of the usual $300. 


Pricing


How much does it cost?

Tickets cost $50.  You can buy them over here 

Why did you price it like this? 

The package is made up of a tonne of legal information that, if we prepared it just for one person, would cost thousands of dollars.  Literally.  The man-hours (lady hours?) that have gone into this would astonish you.

The value of the package is therefore several times greater than its price.  But, the whole point is for this information to be accessible to more people, so we have priced it at a level that most people can afford.  

Also, if it helps, think of it this way: if you apply the framework and principles in this package to a dispute you're having that you would otherwise have got a lawyer to act for you on, you could reasonably save thousands of dollars.


The whos and the whys


Who is Katie?

I am Katie! I am Symphony Law's founder and chief lawyer, and I have orchestrated the package and will present the seminar.  You can read more about my background here.

What credentials do you have to produce the package?

On the content side: I am a practising litigation lawyer with several years' experience and training in civil and commercial disputes, mediation, and advocacy.  I also have a degree in international relations with a focus on international conflict, a keen interest in the psychology and neuroscience of conflict, and personal experience as David against a nasty, unscrupulous Goliath.  

On the seminar side: For fun, I perform in musicals and as an apprentice Court Jester Muso, write and perform comedy, and dabble in information design.  

These packages essentially bring together all my skills, loves, passions and purposes into one giant volcano of value for you. 

Why are you doing this?  Couldn't you make more money acting for people individually?

Well, I do act for people individually.  You can read more about that side of Symphony Law on this page.

But your assumption is that all I'm interested in is money.  In fact, I have two much more important reasons for developing the DIY Toolkit Package Series:

  1. Access to justice: I feel a deep sense of unease that most New Zealanders cannot afford legal assistance in a dispute.  I also know that in many disputes the biggest issues are not legal, and that much of what lawyers do people could do themselves, with just a little guidance.  I feel an enormous responsibility to find new ways for lawyers to work so that more people can access justice themselves.
  2. FUN: An equally personal reason for developing the package is that I need my work to be fun, to spark joy in myself and others.  I come alive when I can use those most powerful of tools - fun and connection - in my daily work.  With these packages, I get to write and design and sing and laugh while making a meaningful difference in how people experience difficult times.  That is literally a dream come true.

Why do you keep talking about access to justice?  What do you mean by that?

Access to justice generally means people's ability to access lawyers to represent them in litigation.  

I take the phrase to mean something broader and more fundamental: people's ability to stand up for themselves effectively, with or without lawyers.  The DIY Conflict Resolution Package focuses on the latter.  

I believe fundamentally that access to justice, in both senses, is necessary for a good, healthy democratic society.  At Symphony we are working as hard as we can to improve access to justice in a courtroom and non-courtroom sense.  


My question isn't here - what do I do?

Please email us at hello@symphonylaw.co.nz and we will answer quicksmart.  


© Symphony Law Limited 2016