“Are you sure?” - “Yes, I’m sure!”
This past Saturday I received a handwritten note card and a check from one of my clients. As I opened the envelope, I could not imagine why he was sending me a note card and a check, especially since I always email my bills and get payment. Here is, in part, what the note said:
"It has been almost 4 years since we starting working together. I look back and think this transformation has been incredible. Thank you for all your hard work and for not giving up on me when I questioned you. You have done an amazing job and I cannot imagine running my law firm without you. Please take this bonus check and have a little vacation on me. You have earned it and then some.”
Wow!! – I mean just wow!!
I immediately thought back over the past four years. This attorney approached me in September of 2016. I was a year into my business, and he was a 3-year associate with a very large firm in NYC who wanted to go out on his own and build something.
We began working together starting with putting together a business plan. This attorney wanted to build something and we needed a plan of action. The business plan made it seem real. Then, we got to work. Getting a space. Not to big that it was unaffordable, but not too small that he would hire one or two people and have to move. We chose case management software, interviewed and hired people, prepared a policy and procedure manual which has evolved over the years, and began putting all the pieces of our business plan into action.
Every time we made a move that was well thought out in our business plan the attorney would ask, “are you sure”? I thought to myself yes, I know what I’m doing. But to him I said, “yes, I’m sure”. After nearly the first year, the “are you sure?” questions stopped. They were replaced with “okay – if you say so”. Yes – I say so! And it paid off every time.
Fast forward to early 2020, this attorney now is the head of a 10-employee law firm: 4 paralegals, 3 associates, a receptionist/legal assistant, a person who handles the consultations (not a lawyer) and an on-site office manager who coordinates her work with me. I go up there several times a year but for the most part do everything virtual. The staff knows I am available for email, text, phone call or zoom. We have an air-tight policy and procedure manual in place for the firm. I still handle all the billing and collections and oversee everything else. We have staff meetings once a week that I participate in and a lawyer staff meeting once a month. I have tried to pass on the torch to the office manager, the attorney does not want to hear that.
This 3-year associate who wanted to go out on his own has taken on more office space in his building to accommodate the additional employees. I expect that by the end of 2021 or beginning of 2022 he will add two more employees. This year he is likely to make upwards of Ten Million Dollars ($10,000,000.00) – I’m not exactly sure. We won’t know until the numbers are in.
I am not a sales person in the sense that I do not tell you what I can do and then stand over you until I get a credit card from you. I will not show up every other day in your email asking if you have made a decision to be ordinary or extraordinary. I share my successes with you – anonymously because I protect my clients – and present you with the dollars and cents of how to make this work. Dollars and cents – you can’t argue with that!!
Then, it is up to you!!
It is up to you to decide if you want to go from a solo or small firm making a few hundred thousand to making over a million or more. It is up to you to decide whether you want to practice law AND manage the business of your law firm – or – whether you want to spend all your time practicing law and let me run your business, handle marketing including social media, and do your billing and other administrative functions.
The best of this is that it doesn’t require you to work more hours. All those hours you devote to administrative functions can be diverted to working on practicing law and in turn - billing. You don’t have to work more hours – you just have to focus on practicing law and serving your clients. That’s it!!
I know A LOT of attorneys! I have worked with the legal profession for 41 years – and that is a long time. You would think with all the attorneys I know that more of them would want to make more money and work less. Maybe sharing this attorney’s story will inspire you.
Aren't you ready to make more money?
If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of these matters, please call me at 813-340-9569.
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out my website at: fromlawyertolawfirm.com.
Or my profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
**This story was shared with the permission of the owner on the basis of anonymity. I will never share a client’s story, with or without their names, without permission.