Look Inside The Secret Library


Going to a lawyer fills most small and medium sized business owners with fear and dread. One surprise question or request for a document could easily turn into a bill for $1000s. Worse still, you may not get the answer that you need or you can't understand the answer you are given. It is no wonder most small and medium sized business owners avoid lawyers like the plague.

Incurring unnecessary legal fees can ruin a start up

"Back in 1971, when I was more gung-ho, I wrote in my notebook: "We don't need lawyers". But over the years, stating our agreements in clear and unambiguous language has proved, again and again, to have been vital to our success. our contract with T-Mobile, in particular, turned out to be a vital document for us. Incurring unnecessary legal fees can ruin your start-up, but the answer, I now think, is not to ignore the lawyers, but to get the basics right from the very beginning. Any start-up business should sit down and take a long hard look at its legal agreements"
Richard Branson, Business Stripped Bare 2009

And it's not just start-ups that should heed this advice. Anyone in their first 7 years of business is statistically at risk of business failure by not having the correct documentation in place.  

INTRODUCING THE SECRET LIBRARY: the secret resource no lawyer wants you to have

Rather than go and see a lawyer and be landed with a huge bill, imagine being able to browse the document library of your local law firm? Of course, that's impossible because those resources are kept under lock and key and no law firm in their right mind would give you access...or would they?

Well, the Approachable Lawyer Secret Library is just that. It's my library of legal documents and crib sheets which I access everyday to give advice to my clients. The only difference is that I have adapted all the resources in the Library to make it easy to use by someone who is not a lawyer, then collated and catalogued them into an online resource, just for you. To become a member click here

Beware of downloadable legal documents

Numerous website owners have approached me to develop a suite of downloadable legal templates for them to sell at ridiculously cheap prices. On each occassion I have refused for one simple reason. Downloading documents from the internet is extremely dangerous because you run the risk of using something which is totally unsuitable for your needs or you end up adapting something so it inadvertently end up more a danger than a help.

That's where the Secret Library differs from the rest. Every legal document in the Library comes with a detailed explanation of how to use it. The explanations are either in the document itself or in an accompanying video (or both). I will not put a document in the Library unless I am satisfied that it is explained sufficiently well to enable a non-lawyer to use it.

Of course, that's still not the same as getting a lawyer to do the work for you, but I have a solution which is the next best thing - its called the Legal Hotline. If you are a Member of the Legal Hotline you get automatic membership of the Secret Library. It also means you can submit any documents drafted by you to me for review and you can ask me questions specific to your situation. With the Hotline you are allocated a certain number of hours of legal advice per year depending on which package you choose. As a further benefit of the Hotline you also get a reduced hourly consultancy rate should you exceed your allocated hours. By using the Secret Library and Hotline in tandem, you can save thousands of $$ in legal fees per year. To become a member of either the Library or Hotline click here.  

Here is what the Library contains

  1. Agreement templates in Word format so that you can cut and paste for your own use including video instructions on how to use them;
  2. Legal advice in the form of reports, written in easy to understand language;
  3. E-learning videos which are the online equivalent of seminars without the boredom factor and the drag of having to leave your desk to attend them;
  4. Audio interviews giving helpful tips on running your business;
  5. Checklists.
Everything in the Library is sorted into the same six topics as the articles on this website. They are also sorted into templates, videos, audios etc. You can browse through the topics or you can use the search function to find the information you are looking for. But what if you can't find what you are looking for?

Our Librarian's Guarantee

If you have ever met a Librarian then you will know that they love hunting things out. So, if you can't find something in the Library, you can simply request a document to be put into the Library. Providing it is something we think other business owners will find useful and it falls into one of our 8 topics, then we will add it to the Library at no cost. 

Below is a video of how to use the Secret Library in case you are still unsure...

How much does membership cost?

The materials in the Library are worth $100,000s in legal fees for me. Yet the cost of membership is just $480 + GST per year payable in one instalment. If you want to upgrade to the Hotline then you have to make an application. If you are accepted then you will be asked to set up an automatic payment for your membership - this allows you to spread the cost out over 12 months if you prefer or pay in one lump sum. So, you would only need to use the Library once a year to get your money back. But what if you don't use it all? To become a member click here

The Secret Library Treasure Hunt

When I created the Library, I wanted to find a way to encourage Members to use it. So, I approached existing clients and asked them to give me money off vouchers for their business which I could put in the Library. They agreed, and so the Secret Library Treasure Hunt was born. Currently, there are vouchers in the Library totalling over $1000 from people who provide business coaching, printing, photography and massage to name a few. So even if you never use a legal document from the Library, you get your membership back on day 1 (providing you can find the Treasure!).

How it works

Here is a comparison of the two options:
Benefits Secret Library Library plus Legal Hotline
Agreement templates - -
Checklists - -
E-learning videos & audios - -
Ability to request documents - -
Submit documents for review   -
Ask specific questions   -
Reduced hourly rates   -
Total Cost $480 + GST Click here for pricing

Become a member >

Important information: Please read before you buy

  1. Membership of the Secret Library and the Legal Hotline requires a minimum of a year subscription. Therefore if you pay by monthly instalments and cancel your membership before the expiry of 1 year then we will debit your credit card for the balance.
  2. The information in the Secret Library is protected by copyright. By becoming a member you have a licence to reproduce the material for your business only. You are not permitted to share the information with any other business or on-sell the information for your own business purposes. Any member in breach of this condition will be sued - after all I am a lawyer!
If you have any questions about the Secret Library or Hotline membership, please use the contact form on this website. Otherwise click here to become a member


Michael Smyth
Michael Smyth LLb.
PS. Membership of the Secret Library costs less than a coffee per day. Whilst it may give you a pep up, a coffee will not save your business from disaster
PPS. If you want to read a little more about the Legal Hotline and what it involves, click here