Founder, 3A Law Management
STORY: Caroline Cox
Helping lawyers make more money by doing less work seems like a lofty promise. But that’s exactly what Alvaro A. Arauz delivers. And with clients in more than 35 states, he’s clearly on to something. As founder of 3A Law Management in Midtown, he and his eight employees work with law firms across the country to improve their operations, marketing, business practices and more. He’s also launching a website for online consulting subscriptions in the fall. But with plans to become a doctor and then a writing teacher, Arauz, who lives in East Cobb, says he never expected this to be his career. Now with a booming business and a day-to-day that doesn’t feel like work, it’s safe to say he’s found his calling.
How did you go from graduating with an English degree to working with attorneys and law firms?
I was studying medicine in Brazil, but then I realized it was not for me. So I went to Cambridge [in the UK] and studied British Literature, started a screenwriting program, and I was going to get an MFA in creative writing and be a teacher. I was back in Atlanta, bartending and applying to MFA programs, and I met this guy who was a law student at Emory. He said, ‘Somebody needs to review the boilerplate language for this law firm.’ I’d been [helping manage] my dad’s medical clinics since I was 10, so I got in there and was like, ‘Why are you doing this?’ and ‘Why aren’t you doing that?’ They went from 12 years in practice with $200,000 in revenue to $1 million in three years to $5 million in five. They opened four offices, and the owner retired at 40. I just fell into it.
What have been your secrets for success?
Accountability: You have to make sure you do what you say you’re going to do. And you have to like what you’re doing. The lawyers I work with have to be forward-thinking and open. I’m honest. I tell them what I think, and they appreciate that. Also, being specific to a target audience. I’ve been offered a lot of money by doctors or CPAs, but I stick to lawyers.
How does tech play into what you do?
I help lawyers be efficient: “Don’t do things in 12 steps; do them in two. Don’t spend three hours on this; spend a few minutes.” These days, you can automate a lot of your steps. If you want an email to go out in 15 days, you can automate that. Technology is almost like an employee. If you automate [tasks], you have consistent brand quality.
What’s been a highlight of your career so far?
This year has been a highlight. We opened a San Francisco office, and we’re opening in D.C. in July. I got asked to be an adjunct at UGA—I’m the only non-lawyer [instructor] there. It will start on August 14, a two-hour class once a week in Athens on solo and small-firm practice management. I’m also writing a DIY practice management book for law firms, since nothing has been updated on the subject in over a decade. I wanted it out by fall, but now it’s looking like January. It will be available through Amazon.
What are your favorite places to go in Atlanta when you’re not working?
I have floor seats for the Hawks, so that’s my favorite place if there’s a game. Nothing’s gonna beat that. SkyLounge above the Glenn Hotel downtown if it’s a nice night out. And I mountain bike three to four times a week. I like the Sope Creek and the Cochran trails (along the Chattahoochee River near Marietta).
How does giving back play into your life?
It’s always been [important to me]. My high school in Tampa was an all-boys select school, and we had to perform a certain number of hours of community [service]. The minimum was 60 or something, and I did 1,700, because it just felt good. Giving back was always important to me. I’ve been on eight nonprofit boards. It’s important because it doesn’t feel like work.