Meet Shannon, a contracts geek passionate about helping businesses gain efficiency through contracting

Name:  Shannon Leonard

Location:  I live in Parker, Colorado but my office is in the Denver Tech Center.  And I’m a native Coloradan!

What do you do?

I am a paralegal by degree.  I got my degree in English and then went to paralegal school and got my ABA certificate and started working in-house.  During my time there, I noticed a lack of process and efficiency when it came to contract management and negotiation and there was often a disconnect between the sales and legal teams.  This led me to eventually go out on my own and start a business with a former colleague who is an attorney.  The business is called ContractsRx

ContractsRx’s mission is – to Create repeatable business contract processes – is critical in reducing contract risks and increasing certainty in the revenue you expect for your business. We currently work mostly in the health tech space since our backgrounds are in that industry but our products can be used in any industries. And speaking of our products, we have three: (1) ClickTracts, (2) MARQup, and (3) SumTracts. The ClickTracts solution, which rolled out in February of this year, is definitely taking off.  It allows people to create a template, or we create it for them, and then they can fill in the variables – the business terms.  It’s a form-fill type of tool that creates a link to a contract that you can then email to someone and have them sign it. We offer it on a subscription fee basis, and we have about a dozen clients on the ClickTracts solution now.  Our next application of the solution will be legal representation engagement letters.

The SumTracts solution is being developed right now.  It’s an AI-driven contract summary generating tool that tames your contract repository. The SumTracts solution produces a summary of relevant terms in each agreement, identifies contract terms that deviate from your standard, and shows how each contract fits in context with other deals so you can understand how each contract relates to all others.

What’s a typical day like for you?

I try to keep my weekends to my weekends. A typical workday is 7 am to 10 pm. I work a lot and my work and home life are pretty integrated, I would say I tend to work hard and play hard.  On an average day, I wake up, grab a cup of coffee, and dive into work.  I’m usually on the phone, doing some drafting, putting things into the software, setting up a client, or doing marketing/business development. I take breaks along the way when I am home and need to do something for my family.  I have three kids ages 19, 17 and 13 and they are all going to be home for school this year so I come in the office most days to have a quiet space in which to work.

What do you like most about what you do?

My passion is gaining efficiency within contracting.  I’m a contract geek!

What inspired you to join the legal profession? 

I took what I thought was a highly paid receptionist job with a Toxicologist right out of college. The Toxicologist had a practice and was also an expert witness so he often interfaced with attorneys. I loved working with attorneys and doing deposition summaries. What I didn’t like though is the billable hour and how those hours were being tied to my performance. The billable hour doesn’t give you value and it goes against the grain of efficiency. I was eventually inspired by a colleague to go to paralegal school and have remained in the legal profession ever since then!

How do you define success?

I think it changes. At first, it was just being able to pay my own bills. Now, I’d probably define it as the value and experience my clients are provided and seeing their success as a business.

What’s been the greatest challenge on your path and how did you work through it? 

I think the hardest part was just taking that initial leap of not being an employee anymore and starting!  I was encouraged to do it by my son.  One day he asked me “Why don’t you just do this for yourself?”  And that got me thinking . . .

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Anything outdoors!  I love to camp, hike and fish.  I also love music and look forward to being able to go to concerts again!

What’s your go-to wellbeing activity?

Lately it’s been paddle boarding. Aurora reservoir is not too far from my house so I often paddle board there.

The best book you’ve read or podcast you’ve listened to recently? 

I’ve been reading the book Traction by Gino Wickman. For fun, my husband and I have been watching Yellowstone and hockey. I also listen to the MLPI podcast!

What is one thing about you that you think people would be surprised to learn?

I have 10 chickens. 

If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing about the legal profession, what would it be?

I would make it more accessible. It’s cost prohibitive and I think some people are actually afraid of engaging legal professionals. We speak a different language. People need the law to be simpler and in layman’s terms. The cost is also a factor in people seeking the legal assistance that they need.  I believe by finding efficiencies through technology, virtual offices, and more repeatable services, legal services can become more accessible.

What is one new thing you are hoping to learn from others in this community?

Everything! Half the things I’m doing for my business I do without knowing best practices. Marketing is a great example. It takes  me an hour to put together a good social media post but others can put one together in minutes.

And what is one thing you are looking to share with others in this community?

I am very good at process and organization and I really like looking at things from different perspectives. I’m happy to help others with anything that I have learned from my experience or help provide a different perspective!