Watch the YouTube version of this episode HERE

Do you struggle with keeping realistic expectations? In this episode of the Maximum Lawyer Podcast, Tyson and Jim share their insights on unbridled optimism and how it relates to the field of law.

Unbridled optimism involves the idea of being overly optimistic and not focusing on the right things. Jim and Tyson share the reasons why people tend to act this way. For some, it is done to avoid having negative conversations. Being optimistic turns your mind away from potential downfall or feelings of heartache. As it relates to the legal field, it is important to see a problem and figure out how to address it. For Jim and Tyson, it could be seeing a dip in email signups, thinking about why it happened and finding ways to solve the problem.

Jim and Tyson share the importance of accurate thinking. Things are not always going to go your way and decisions you think are good will not deliver perfect results every time. Accurate thinking involves being realistic about the outcomes of situations. Setting benchmarks can help create action. If something does not go according to plan, set a benchmark or action that will lead to another result.

Listen in to learn more!

Episode Highlights:

  • 1:35 Let's talk about the negative impact of unbridled optimism
  • 11:18 Explanation of the Stockdale Paradox
  • 13:04 Importance of accurate thinking and setting benchmarks


Transcripts: Is Unbridled Optimism Holding You Back? Exploring the Downside with Jim Hacking and Tyson Mutrux

Jim (00:01.492)
Good morning everybody. Happy Saturday. Just so you know, Tyson and I are actually recording an episode for today's Saturday session. Tyson, how are you doing?

Tyson (00:10.498)
I am doing all right, brother. How you doing?

Jim (00:13.86)
Your eyes look cool, I don't know if it's the light or what, but you look like, uh, I don't know, you look pretty cool.

Tyson (00:19.822)
Look at my blue eyes, baby. It's just one of those blue eyed days. It's funny, have I ever told you that one of my eyes is green and one of it's blue? One of them's blue. If you look really close, I don't know if you…

Jim (00:29.152)
Mm. Yeah, I can see the right one's green and the left one's blue. Yeah, that is.

Tyson (00:34.798)
Crazy, right?

Tyson (00:38.402)
But uh…

Jim (00:38.98)
All right, so let's start the episode and then we can talk.

Tyson (00:42.055)
Okay, cool.

Jim (00:44.416)
Welcome back to the Maximum Lawyer Podcast. I'm Jim Hacking.

Tyson (00:47.898)
And I'm Tyson Mutrix. What's up Jimbo?

Jim (00:51.692)
Well, we haven't recorded an episode with you in the car for a while. Luckily, you're not driving. You did pull over because you're on your way to court. Um, I guess you're going to get dressed when you get to court. Is that the deal?

Tyson (01:02.098)
Yeah, I don't like to wear it, like I don't like to drive in my suit. So I know that seems a little nutty, but I just don't like, I don't like the wrinkles it causes, it's not comfortable. So yeah, I change when I get there.

Jim (01:16.536)
We could probably do a whole episode on that because like, I like to dress up with everything but the tie. So I fold my tie into my jacket. I don't wear my jacket in the car. And then I just like to do my tie with my reflection in the mirror or the reflection of the window of the car out in the parking lot, which sometimes is weird because then clients come up to you while you're still getting dressed.

Tyson (01:35.314)
Yeah, I've definitely had that. I've been with Mark Hammer before and he's like doing the tie in the elevator, you know. He's a he's a magician with those ties.

Jim (01:46.477)
That's funny. Well, I'm excited about our topic today. Do you want me to introduce it for everyone listening?

Tyson (01:51.85)
Yeah, you've got an interesting one. I'm interested in this, so fire away.

Jim (01:58.752)
All right, so, you know, we've both read Carol Dweck's book, Mindset, and in that book, she talks a lot about an open mindset and a closed mindset. And I think that is a good way of thinking about, you know, how you frame things, how you look at struggle, how you look at trying to overcome things. I think that's good, but I also think a lot of people view the world as an optimist or a pessimist. And I wanted to talk today about

the downside of unbridled optimism. In other words, when you're always thinking that right around the corner, something good is gonna happen, that even though there's objective proof in front of your eyes, that things may not be so great, you sort of disregard that because you're just so confident of your cause. And what brought this sort of to mind was, a friend of ours,

has decided to close their law firm. And it's someone that we were close to that we're very fond of, and I think frankly we didn't realize that things were as dire as they were. And so this isn't at all particular about that person, but it just triggered this idea and recollections for me about times in my life as a law firm owner where I've been overly optimistic, and maybe, and this is again just me, not focused on the right things.

Tyson (03:23.83)
Yeah, this came up the other day when we were talking and then it made me think about the book Man's Search for Meaning, which was that he talked a lot about that in his book where the people that the optimists were the ones that died the fastest because in the concentration camps, yes, thanks for that. I think that context is important. So the people, not in general, the people that were in the concentration camps, they died the…

Jim (03:42.898)
in the concentration camps.

Tyson (03:51.958)
the fastest the optimist did because it wasn't realistic. And so every time, basically we're gonna be saved tomorrow, we're gonna be saved tomorrow. And then every time that it happened, it was very demoralizing. And so you have to be really grounded. And I, yeah, and to not make this about that particular person, I do think that we do that sometimes. You know what I mean? Like we…

It's a natural thing and it may not just be your law firm. I think in general and The other part of this too is like sometimes we might be eternal optimists in some parts of our lives But not others, which I think that that's an interesting thing too where You might tell yourself that your kids are they're gonna win this game, right? They're really gonna win this game or they're gonna win this tournament and the reality is there's they have no chance There's just no chance

And I do, it's funny how you kind of have gravitated to that book and I've gravitated to Man's Search for Meaning because it is, the negative effects of being this eternal optimist which sounds like a very positive thing, there's really negative effects to

Jim (05:06.308)
Well, it's funny that you brought up sports because, um, you know, I coached my boys baseball all through grade school up until eighth grade. And in seventh or eighth grade, I was coaching the wizards and I was still letting everybody play equal amounts of time, even though the team really wanted to win. And after a very demoralizing defeat and after, and I'll never forget it. I was laying in bed next to money and she, she slammed her arms on the mattress and said, okay, I'm just going to say it. I'm like, what, what? She's like,

you can't have everybody play equal. You need to try to win. And it was just like a bucket of cold water on me. And she said, you know, we're past that stage where everybody gets to play. And so I bring that up because sometimes I don't see that. I look at other things, I try to keep people happy. And a lot of times…

If you're being overly optimistic, it's a way sort of to avoid tough conversations. You might be thinking some team member is going to turn the corner, or you might be thinking that you're going to sign up a new kind of case or, you know, that all these great cases are going to come in all of a sudden. I mean, I would imagine that would be particularly hard for personal injury guys, just because the, if you just find that one case, it can make your whole year. So that, that would really lend itself to unbridled optimism. That next case is just coming around the corner. I know it.

Tyson (06:30.838)
Yeah, I was talking, I don't know who said this to me. I wish I remember who told me this, but they were like, I'm fine with singles and doubles. And I was like, I remember when they first said it, I was like, what are you talking about? But I actually think that that's actually a really good way of looking at cases, is singles and doubles are okay. Singles and doubles win games. Because if you are, as PI lawyers, we see the big hits, you know what I mean? Like, we see them, oh great, you have a really great verdict, fantastic.


It's really easy to get caught up in that. Yeah, that next case is right around the corner, but it's just not realistic. But with it, here's where I think it's a massive problem is marketing because people say, oh, well, it'll turn around. It'll turn around. We'll start getting cases again. And instead of looking at dissecting what's going on, they instead just say, oh, it's going to be okay. It's just going to be fine. We're going to get another case. So something that we have…

I'm guilty of that in the past, but something that I'm really cool. I'm happy with what we're doing is like we We've got a really fine tune where if we start we see a dip. Okay, let's start looking Let's start to see what's going on. Maybe maybe it's an algorithm thing Maybe it's who knows it could be a bunch of different things But we start tweaking things if we need to and I think that's really we've got to be dialed in every aspect of our lives Where you tweak you tweak you tweak you tweak?

Obsessing you don't have that where I do I do think that the power of saying Everything's gonna be fine is very powerful in a lot of different things and that's it's powerful whenever it's Not overreacting to something but it's very it's not effective Whenever you try to figure out where all your leads went, you know what I mean? So you got it. You got to use that in the in the appropriate way

Jim (08:29.892)
I think that's right. And I think that where this really comes down to is balance. Like what's the middle path? Like let's not go too far to either extreme, be totally optimistic or pessimistic. I do think that I wanna make clear that there are places for optimism. I mean, I think starting your day and looking at the things you're grateful for, and I think focusing on the wins, I think all that stuff is very good and very powerful.

I'm talking about, and we are talking about, sort of this blind optimism, a blind optimism that's just not even based in reality. And I do think for a lot of people, me included, there were times when I was stressed out, the firm was not doing well, and that made my optimism even more, like it kicked it into gear more. And I think it's just an avoidance strategy of, like you said, really assessing where you're really at.

Tyson (09:20.222)
Yeah, so there's something, there's this video I kind of used to, the reason I'm bringing it up is I think it could be misapplied. There's this video though that I use whenever things are tough, I'll watch it, and it's this guy talking about how, and I've mentioned it on the podcast before, but he's talking about how we want to do hard things, like we don't want to do easy things. And like…

We don't want to like he mentions payroll He's like, you know, like whenever I have like a hundred thousand a month payroll and he's like, you know what? Ten years ago. I would have dreamed to have ten hundred thousand dollars a month in payroll that kind of a that kind of a thing and I

I will use that sometimes to kind of pump me up, to keep me going, everything's tough, but I, it's, if you misapply that, if you say, okay, things are really, really tough, and you're, the freight train's about to run you over.

That's not going to be very good. You know, like, so you have to be very, because we will use these techniques and we'll use these videos. We'll use these sayings. And without stepping back and thinking, okay, am I in a lot of trouble here? Is this not what I think it is? And I think that maybe the key is the step back. You know what I mean? I'm all about optimism and everything, but it's that step back.

and take a look at things. If you can just do that, it'll help you go a long way to say, okay, am I being realistic here? Let's just stop for a second. We can be optimistic about this, but am I being realistic?

Jim (11:03.072)
What's the first presidential election that you remember?

Tyson (11:07.29)
Bush v. Gore. Well, no, the first one I remember, I remember going into the voting booth with my mom and it was Bush v. I'm sorry, it was either Bush v. Clinton. It had to be Bush v. Clinton, I think, is what it would have been.

Jim (11:23.044)
Well that's the election I want to bring up actually because it wasn't just Bush v. Clinton, it was Bush v. Clinton v. Perot. And Ross Perot had a running mate named James Stockdale, Admiral Stockdale. Admiral Stockdale had been in the Hanoi Hilton with John McCain and there's a quote attributed to him which is now referred to as the Stockdale Paradox. And I'm going to read it to you. It's from Good to Great. It's in Good to Great. I don't know if you remember. The Stockdale Paradox.

Tyson (11:29.966)
True, yes.

Jim (11:52.148)
is a concept along with its companion concept, confront the brutal facts. Developed in the book Good to Great, productive change begins when you confront the brutal facts. Every Good to Great company embraced what we came to call the Stockdale paradox. Here it is. You must maintain unwavering faith that you can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties and at the same time, have the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they may be.

Tyson (12:20.83)
I mean that's perfect. I mean that's what we're saying right? I mean that is that's Now Let me ask you this. What is your advice to people you're in the hustle and bustle of the day You're getting I mean you're getting whacked over the head by insurance adjusters You know what you haven't signed a case in a week or two Things are getting tough bank accounts starting to shrink

I guess in that moment, how do you have someone escape that moment to step back to realize what do I do now? Thoughts?

Jim (13:00.74)
Well, the other day I was at my daughter's softball game and they lost and their coaches sort of lost their temper. And I think that a good coach, when the team is doing poorly, motivates them back up to neutral. And when they're doing really, really well, they throttle them back down to neutral, right? And so I think that in that context of what you just said, I've been thinking about Dan Kennedy. He always talks about one of Napoleon Hill's

um… truth that nobody ever remembers and that is accurate thinking that you need to have accurate thinking you need you need a mechanism to check whether your uh… thinking is accurate you know right now my aunt is in decline she lives with my mom and so you know things are only going to get worse and so what we've really decided to do is to set up these benchmarks where if this if this event happens if this sort of

If we reach this stage, then these things need to happen. Right? And so, and then we're trying to get everybody on the same page. And I think you have to do that same way, same thing with yourself as a law firm owner is that, you know, you know, pull that rip cord if this happens. So you really need to, you need to objectify it a little bit, keep your optimism to keep your spirits up in the moment and, and most importantly, don't get caught up in the, the fallacy of sunk cost, you know, just because you've been

pounding your head on the wall, you might be pointed in the wrong direction. You might have your ladder leaning on the wrong wall. You might be doing the wrong thing and it's not ever going to get fixed. And that's what sometimes happens. And that's why people ultimately have to throw in the towel.

Tyson (14:42.526)
Yeah, I think that your advice is, for anyone that's listening to this, go back and listen to that last minute of what Jim just said. I think that that's the game plan. If you do need to sort of break that chain of eternal optimism. It makes me think about the benchmarks that you were talking about, which I think are a great idea. It makes me think about, I don't know if you remember that diagram that Infusionsoft had whenever they announced their BHAG.

It was like this mountain or something, I think is what it was, like a mountain and then like on that mountain, kinda like if you were to climb Everest, right? You've got these different places you've gotta make it to, different stages. And I think if you were to view your goals like that, it would go a long way instead of just looking at that big mountain top at the very top of it and saying, okay, how do I get there? Now I gotta get to stage one, let's get there first. Then I get to stage two, where I get there next.

And so you're breaking it down. And so if you are facing these issues, instead of facing it with this eternal optimism, if you'll just kind of, okay, let's get to that next, what's that next place we need to get to? And then obviously we want to get out of this mess, whatever this mess is, but what's that next place I need to get to get started on it? I think that would go a long way to helping out.

Jim (16:09.208)
I want to touch a little bit on what we talked about last Saturday in our guild morning meeting call and that is that sometimes people say I want to be this kind of lawyer and provide this kind of legal service even though nobody's really asking for it and You know whenever you're trying to create a market or you feel like you're having to educate people about the value of what you sell I think you're starting off way behind the starting line. In other words, you're making the

process much, much harder. So I think that sometimes people get off on the wrong foot, they're headed up the wrong mountain because nobody really wants or needs what they're offering. And we have to remember that at the end of the day, there is a market for legal services and we are competing with others and there is a limited number of opportunities. And so if you pick wrong early,

all the optimism in the world isn't going to make that much of a difference.

Tyson (17:10.558)
Yeah, I agree with that a lot. Makes me think of like, I don't wanna give away what my tip of the week is, but it kinda makes me think about that a little bit. But, all right Jimbo, anything else you wanna go over when it comes to eternal optimism?

Jim (17:28.8)
Just one. I mean, you know, half the times we do a hot seat. I always like to ask the participant if they have a significant other what their significant other says about what their situation is because the significant other hears Every day the day in and day out and so like someone will come in and they'll be thinking Oh my business partner is going to turn it around and finally do what she's been promising to do for the last three years And then I say, what does your spouse say or your your?

girlfriend say about that to the to the partner and they're like oh they're sick of hearing about this they know they know this stuff isn't gonna change and so what I would say is everybody needs a person to bounce things off of to check their pessimism or their optimism I think therapy or a coach you have to have something where you are forced to say things out loud because you can get real squirrely in your head

if it's just, speaking for myself especially, if I'm just relying on the things that I say in my head, I mean, you've witnessed this with me, that you can really go into weird, weird land, right, if you don't get that stuff out. And sometimes when you say it, just the act of saying it, you realize, oh yeah, that's not accurate thinking.

Tyson (18:52.834)
No, yeah, wait a few hours. You know what I mean? So let's do a, yeah, wait a week. You know, it made me think about this. This is gonna sound really negative, but I promise I'll connect the dots. So I saw this video yesterday of Burt Reynolds, and he's talking about, I don't know what show he's on, but he's talking about how…

Jim (18:55.833)
That too.

Tyson (19:13.686)
You might meet the person of your dreams, and you might really, really love them, and it might be true love, and they may love you back. And so you may love each other, but they may be the absolute wrong person for you. Okay, sounds terrible, right? But here's where I'm gonna connect the dots.

If you don't have that person like Amani to Jim that can help throttle Jim a little bit, or that Amy to Tyson that can help kinda throttle me back a little bit, you need to find someone else that you can bounce ideas off that can help throttle you a little bit. Because if you know you're that type.

Jim (19:43.076)

Tyson (19:56.206)
You gotta know what your personality types are, right? And if your personality type is to make some pretty rash decisions, then you need to have someone that throttles you. Or if you're the opposite, you need to have someone that's the opposite, just that you can reach out whether that's…

coach, whether that is just a best friend, a family member, someone at your church, whatever, find that sort of opposite that helps balance you out a little bit. Because spouse may not do it for you and that's fine. There may be someone else.

Jim (20:27.852)
It's funny, we've ended our podcast basically with hacks on the topic, but it's not our hacker tip of the week, so everyone's getting a double dose today.

Tyson (20:35.086)
That's right, baby. All right, let's get to those tips and hacks before I do. I'll remind everyone to join us in the big Facebook group. We'd love to have you. Just search Maximum Lawyer on Facebook. If you want to join us in the Guild, we would love to have you. Our next mastermind is in a few weeks. And so people that join the Guild, they have access to those masterminds. We'd love to have you. There's also a Jason Selk event that we've put out there that he's going to be doing

going to be a pretty cool event so check that out as well and while you're listening to the rest of this episode if you don't mind helping us spread the love by giving a five-star review we would greatly appreciate it. Jimmy what's your hack of the week?

Jim (21:21.188)
I'm glad you brought up that Jason Selk thing, because when we have our meeting today, I'd like to go to that. So I'm thinking about going to that. I don't know if you were, but for my hack of the week, Amani and Noor have learned to spot the Instagram purchases that I make. So I've become sort of a sucker for the Instagram ads, and it's so easy now, because you just click, and then Apple pay it. So that's how I got my Chris Farley shirt, the van down by the river, so they know that's one. And then…

I just got this really great new alarm clock on Instagram. It's great, I love it, especially during Ramadan. It's been great waking me up. But I clicked on another ad and I got this great book. It came a while later. It's called The Black Book of Questions. It's all about sales and different selling methods and ways to talk to intake and so forth. I'm just making my way through it. It's really great. The main guy is a guy named Jeremy Lee Minor.

But like, I had to go digging for that and I was like, oh I forgot I even ordered that because they put me into a sales funnel, like they were trying to upsell me out the wazoo, so I mean if nothing else, just to go through that experience and see how dialed in they have it, they were calling me, texting me, doing all kinds of stuff. So even if you, and I don't think the book was that much, I think it was like nine dollars or something. So check it out if you can, it's NEPQ, seventh level, and it's Jeremy Lee Minor, I don't know, we'll see but.

I just thought you'd find that funny.

Tyson (22:50.302)
Yeah, I want to look at that book. Jeremy Miner is a big on YouTube and TikTok. That's one of those guys that I wanted to get on for the podcast, actually. So Jeremy Miner, I know who he is. I will find, I will tell you, you might find some of his, if you watched his videos, his techniques, the way he talks, sometimes a little annoying. Hopefully he never hears this episode. But, because he, just watch some of his videos. That's all I'll say. It's not like direct pound you in the face

selling, it's a little different. But for my tip of the week, it's this. So I started jiu-jitsu last week, and so my tips are not to join in jiu-jitsu. My tip is, and this kind of coincides with the topic of the week about eternal optimism and being careful that find something that humbles you.

So I will tell you, for those of you that have done jiu-jitsu, it can be a humbling experience. It can be also really rewarding and awesome and everything else, but do something that humbles you because I think it does help balance you. We can kind of…

Especially like I did some pretty I don't know I Freaking fly airplanes a red motorcycle. I you know, like the personal injury can be lots of highs as well But you gotta have something kind of ground you and so whatever that thing might be Do that because I think it'll help balance you out a little bit Jimbo good talking to you. I'm gonna run to court. I've got We've got some other recordings today. So I look forward to chat with you later

Jim (24:29.688)
Good luck in court, buddy. Bye, everybody.

Tyson (24:31.883)
See you buddy. See you Jimbo.

Watch the YouTube version of this episode HERE

In this episode of the Maximum Lawyer Podcast, co-host Tyson Mutrux delves into the advantages of shared inboxes for law firms, as they can enhance team collaboration and efficiency.

Tyson provides a detailed look at Zoho Team Inbox's features, such as customizable views and email templates, which streamline communication within legal teams. Listen in!

Episode Highlights:

  • 03:15 The benefits of using team inboxes, including improved collaboration, productivity, and reduced response times
  • 04:07 The various features of Zoho Team Inbox, such as customizable views, email assignment, chat integration, snooze option, and email templates
  • 08:13 How to use client names as tags, integration with automation rules, and the importance of integrating with case management systems
  • 09:05 Analytics and reports available for law firm owners, including email response tracking, activity logs, encryption, two-factor authentication, and role-based access
  • Ask us a question about starting your own law firm here!
  • Peak Performance Intensive with Dr. Jason Selk, sign up here!


Transcripts: Team Inbox: A Place to Centralize Emails with Tyson Mutrux

Tyson (00:01.11)
Welcome back to another Saturday episode of the Maximum Lawyer podcast. This is Tyson again, and I today want to talk about shared inboxes. They're called team inboxes. Sometimes we call them team inboxes. Other people call them shared inboxes. And I want to talk a little bit about those. And I want to talk about some of the tools that we use and how it might benefit you. Before I get to that though, I do want to tell you about something.

really cool that we are putting together and that is an event in Miami with Jason Selk. It is a wonderful event and actually I've got to get the details of that so give me a second.

Tyson (00:46.466)
boo Sorry, Sharon

Tyson (01:04.334)
you're gonna find the link.

Tyson (01:30.211)
I didn't realize that how many texts that me, Jim, and Becca had with each other. So just trying to get to it.

Tyson (01:44.106)
You know what? I'll just record a separate slot. Oh, I got it finally. Alright. Here we go.

Tyson (01:56.79)
Alright, before I get into today's topic though, I want to talk about something really cool that Jason Selk is doing in Miami. It's called a Peak Performance Intensive. It's specifically for attorneys. I've worked with Jason for several years now. Jim is working with Jason. I will tell you the results that I've gotten personally. Absolutely amazing. But he's putting this on June 11th.

2024 I'll put a link in the show notes. It's in Miami. It is apps. It's gonna be absolutely amazing I did a similar event out in Las Vegas a couple months ago and really enjoyed it Highly recommend it. It is June 11th from 9 until noon in Miami It's it's just a it's gonna be a really cool experience. It's gonna be it's not a huge venue Okay, we're talking about ten people. Okay, we're talking it's a very

small, very close, very intimate setting where you're going to get a lot of hands on, a lot of interaction with Jason himself. So I highly recommend it. Like I said, it's specifically for attorneys. So definitely recommend going to that. For those of you that don't know Jason Silk, former sports psychologist for the St. Louis Cardinals. He's worked with several sports teams. And

It's really interesting if you when you do your research on him, you'll see that he's turned teams around Okay, and he's the sports psychologist. He's not the coach So it's really interesting the results that he has gotten and I can tell you just like I said before from personal experience Absolutely amazing, but June 11th 2024 Hopefully you can make it it's gonna be a great event. Alright, so let's get to today's topic and that is team inboxes shared inboxes and

It's really a place where you can centralize and manage emails, okay? For those of you that have teams and as your teams have grown, you've seen how big of a pain it is whenever something is stuck in someone's email inbox and you can't get to it, even though you need to it. This removes that, okay? So it improves your collaboration, it improves the teamwork, it enhances your productivity.

Tyson (04:22.05)
because you're not having to wait on someone. And so this is gonna allow you to reduce response time, to get back to those emails a lot faster. As many of you do know, this is great for me because I don't like to be in my email inbox and this allows the team to be in the inbox. That way I don't have to unless I absolutely have to. So it's really, really good. There is, with our…

The one we use, we actually use, it's called Zoho Team Inbox. It's what we call it, a team inbox. But there's a lot of different customizable views, which is pretty cool. So each person doesn't have to look at the same view. There's different ways of filtering based on the status of it, the priority, or the team member. What's also really cool is if I send an email,

and someone responds to it, I get a notification. So it doesn't give everyone a notification. And I've chosen to get that notification inside of Click, which is our equivalent to Slack, which is pretty cool. It's something like, somehow it determines, it realizes that you're the sender, and so it notifies you as the sender. What's also really cool is you can assign emails to people. So, and you can hand it off too. So let's say that I've been dealing with a certain matter, let's say it's a discovery matter.

Okay, back and forth, yada, yada. We've worked out the discovery. And the next thing we need to do is schedule depots. And it's all in the same email chain, okay? I can then take that and then hand it off to someone else, assign it to them, and let them take it from there. Really, really cool feature. Another really cool feature is, and this is probably my favorite feature on this, is that your ability to chat about the email on the side, and it's actually attached to that email. And this way,

Let's say you have to have a discussion about the discovery or about setting depositions, you know, hey, Quincy, here's the chat, you know, hey, Quincy, will you respond to this email and say, let them know that we're, you know, we want to take depots at our office, whatever, whenever it may be, whatever the communication may be, you can do that on the side. So it's not inside the email, it's on the side, it's on that email. So the topic that you're discussing, it's right there. So you're not having to go into somewhere else to find it. It's right there. That's a really cool feature.

Tyson (06:41.706)
Another feature that this has that was not in, I don't know how long Gmail has had this, but Gmail does have this feature as well, but they have this option of, you can delay the email or you can snooze it, I guess, where it pops up whenever you choose to snooze it too. So if it's something I don't really need to look at for a week, you can snooze it and then come back to it. So it doesn't pop back into the inbox. I mean, you can search for it if you needed to search for it, but…

It's really cool where you can snooze it and then come back to it, really like it. Oh, and something I didn't mention in those chats is that you can actually tag someone. So you put the at sign and then choose them as the options, which is really cool. That way they're notified of it as well. Another thing when it comes to assigning those emails, you can choose to follow an email or unfollow an email. So that way you're not getting alerted every time. And your, so your inbox.

If you just wanna see the ones that are assigned to you, you can do that. You can just go straight to their boom, the ones that are assigned to you. So the R options on it are really, really cool where you don't have to see all the emails at any given time. You can just see the ones that you wanna see, which is really cool. There's also the option of, if I need to share an email with someone, you can copy the thread URL, which is really neat. That way, instead of you saying,

you know, respond to that email from State Farm Insurance. No, here's the threat. Boom, click, and the email pops up right away, which is really, really cool. An added feature, there is an, and I don't think it's called activity section, but you can see the activity on it. So you can see if someone opened the email, you can see if someone responded to the email. So it's sort of a, it's a…

condensed view of all the activity on that particular email, which is really cool. Instead of going through every single email and scrolling through all the text and all the signatures and all of the disclaimers at the bottom, but you just look and you can see, okay, we responded then, we sent a follow-up here, they then responded and you can go, a note was made here, all of that is done right then, right there, which is really, really cool, which I like.

Tyson (09:02.942)
Email templates, which is something that Google has now too, they did not until fairly recently, I don't think. I may be wrong about that, but email templates are something that's really, really good. If you're sending the same emails quite a bit, let's say you're sending follow-ups to a demand that you've sent, or follow-ups to discovery, or sending discovery, you can add all that to the template. You may need to make some changes to the actual template, but that's fine if you need to.

you know, shortcuts, saving some time if you're doing the same thing over and over again. What's also kind of cool is you can personalize things, you can have your own templates versus templates for everybody. So the firm has access to a bunch of templates, but you can also make your own templates if you don't want everyone to have access to it, which is another really cool thing that we use. All right, so.

Tags just a couple of things. I just want to go over with it really quick So I'm kind of I'm going through an actual presentation I did last year with the firm and I just want to make sure I hit everything that I think would be beneficial To all of our listeners and so I want to make sure I hit all those tags is another way where we can tag The we use actually the client's name is the tag so that way we can sort everything is organized We have access to everything it integrates with a lot of different things and that's something you want to make sure that

You can have different automation rules set up with it, but any type of email, especially when it comes to a team inbox, you wanna make sure that you have access to other integrations, because it'll allow you, especially your case management system, organizing it, all of that makes it a lot easier. And then I guess another thing I'll talk about is you can share an email. So let's say I draft an email. And…

It needs to be sent by an attorney, but the pair legal drafts it. Okay, and I think that may be a fairly common thing, but you want the attorney to review it before it goes out. Well, and this is something that we do where the case managers will draft something for the attorney. The attorney will go in, take a look at it, make sure it's good, and click send. Very, very helpful. That way the attorney's not having to draft that email, but they can go in there, get it done, and take a look at it, and it'll go out right away.

Tyson (11:24.366)
There are different signatures, so everyone can have their own signature set up, which is pretty cool. That's a really nice little feature. So if you're worried about that, you can have your own custom signatures if you want it, which is also a pretty cool one. From the owner standpoint, law firm owner standpoint, there's analytics and reports that you can look at. You can see who is responding to their emails, who's not responding to their emails. You can see how long people are in there. It's really, really cool.

And so that's something from an owner's standpoint. It's really good. You can also look at the activity log where you can see It's a separate thing. So you have all the team inboxes that you might have in your firm You can see all of the activity as to what's going on if you need to okay really good ours We have encryption which is obviously important that we have the two two-factor authentication It's we also it's you know role-based access. So we have control of overall of that

Not everyone has access to everything, which is pretty good. But that is enough on this topic. I know it went a little bit long, but I thought this was kind of a fun one. I think maybe it's something that you can get some use out of because it's, I will tell you, it helps free up your own inbox. It allows you to get out of your inbox and allow the team to do the work as opposed to just it all following on you, because especially those of you that do litigation, a lot of litigation stuff, it's gonna go straight to you. Right?

even though it comes to you, the team is the one that has to work on it. So this is one of those things that it really does help free up that time. But that is all I have today. Make sure that if you… I would love to hear from you, but if you want to go… Oh, hold on, I'm not going to redo this part. I'm trying to pull up something.

Tyson (13:17.8)
Let's see.

Tyson (13:21.43)
you're gonna do some uh… have to do some clever editing on this one.

Tyson (13:39.214)
Let's see, I'm gonna pull up Becca's email.

Tyson (13:53.23)
I don't know where it was, well hopefully you can splice this together. Alright but that is enough for today. I would love to hear from you. We get a lot of texts, a lot of good texts from people and I would love to hear from you. Even if it's just to say hi, make sure you put your name in there so I know who you are. But text me at 314-501-9260, would absolutely love to hear from you. But until next week, remember that consistent action is the blueprint that turns your goals into reality. Take care.

Watch the YouTube version of this episode HERE

Are you someone who is looking to transition into law? In this engaging podcast episode, Jim and Tyson sit down with Bill Gshwind of Minnesota Construction Law, who shares his unique journey into law after a 25-year tenure in business.

Bill shares lessons learned from a business failure which led to a transition into the legal field. After spending over 5 years owning a business where many financial mistakes were made, Bill decided to take a chance and sell the business after realizing he had lost control. Transitioning into the legal field came from working with a lawyer who did not understand him as a small business owner. From that point on, Bill dedicates his time working with clients in which he understands what their needs are as business owners.

Bill provides insight in his decision making processes and how it structures his firm. One thing Bill has implemented is strategic planning, which involves long term planning and mapping out how you will get to your goals. This can ultimately lead to certain decisions being made to ensure that goal is reached. Bill also shares the importance of ensuring the responsibility for the performance of work is not put on a client. It is important that lawyers are doing what they are hired to do and have clients leave feeling satisfied.

Take a listen to learn more!

Jim's Hack: Tell clients that: Just because you can doesn't mean you should.Tyson's Tip: Get your blood tested.

Episode Highlights:

  • 12:16 The impact of the business failure on the decision-making process
  • 18:38 The challenges of the billable hour system 
  • 19:24 The importance of delivering value to clients 
  • 22:27 Using tools to solve client problems

Connect with Bill:


Transcripts: Becoming a Law Firm Owner as a Second-Career Success with Bill Gshwind 

Jim (00:07.25)
Oh, sorry. Welcome back to the Maximum Warrior Podcast. I'm Jim Hacking.

Tyson (00:13.412)
And I'm Tyson Mutrix. What's up, Jimmy?

Jim (00:16.322)
I was a little distracted when the show was supposed to start because I was looking at what I'm going to use for my hack of the week. And so I was a little distracted and Tyson started pointing at me because I was sort of spaced out.

Tyson (00:28.985)
You missed the countdown and I was like, just give me the finger, the good finger, not the bad finger. What's up dude, how you doing?

Jim (00:32.383)
I'm sorry.

Jim (00:37.342)
I'm great. It's Friday. We had a good day of recording yesterday. This is take two of our Attempt to interview our good friend bill gush wind bill. How are you?

Bill Gschwind (00:47.609)
Um, I'm here again. Yeah. Apologize for yesterday. You know, the, uh, technology is a great thing when it works, but man, it can sure get in the way when it doesn't.

Tyson (00:57.3)
Yeah, but you know what, we're, trust me, Jim and I have gone through several technical difficulties over the years, so that was nothing. But let's do a, I'll do a quick little bio of you. I've had the good fortune of sitting next to Bill at dinner and having a good conversation with Bill, but let me give you a little bit of his background, we can talk more about it in a little bit. But Bill Gishwind decided to practice law after more than 25 years in the business world,

Bill Gschwind (01:05.315)
I'm sure.

Tyson (01:27.854)
as owner of an equipment rental company, which is a pretty interesting story in and of itself. The decision was triggered when the rental franchise he joined after 10 years as an independent business began to fail. Bill felt business clients needed a lawyer who understood the heart of a small business owner through good times and bad, lawyer who understood business enough to really know how to integrate legal advice with business practices. And we'll get to that in a little bit, but Bill, welcome to the show.

Bill Gschwind (01:55.133)
Thanks much for having me. I really look forward to spending some time with you. My first experience with the Guild was down in Scottsdale. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect but I'll tell you it has been very pivotal for me and I think it was a great experience. I really look forward to this time with you and continuing to work with the Guild.

Jim (02:15.394)
Bill, yesterday I mentioned that I had taken two years off between law school and college, and that when I showed up in law school and the other law students who had come straight through from college were telling me how hard it is, I sort of giggled to myself and just kept going. What was it like, I think you said yesterday that you were 48 when you started law school, what was it like?

going back after that big of a gap. I know you'd gotten your MBA, but what was it like just being there and what was your sort of mindset going through law school?

Bill Gschwind (02:47.533)
Yeah, I think, you know, I was going into it really understanding, first of all, I knew why I was there. I knew what I wanted to do with it. I still didn't really understand what it meant to be a lawyer. I didn't really understand what it meant to practice law or what law really was. I'm not sure that I really figured that out until a couple of years, probably after I got out of law school. But…

But there was a focus and there was sort of an understanding. I wasn't in law school for the idealistic reasons of being there to help people and go after mean, nasty businesses. I was there to really learn how to help other people and give myself the tools to be able to help other business owners not have to go through what I went through. There was just a maturity level.

I think between myself and a lot of the other students. I was, I went to, I lived here in Minneapolis, St. Paul area, the Twin Cities. We had four law schools at the time, we're down to three. The school that I went to, William Mitchell College of Law was at the time, known mostly for its nights.

program, kind of a part-time program. So most of the people that were in that program were second career individuals. And they did have a day school at the same time, and there were a couple of courses I needed to take that were only offered during the day. And I'll tell you, when I went and took those classes, that's where the more the traditional student was. It was just night and day, the difference between a student who had…

who was there as a second career and the people who were going through sort of the more traditional undergrad right into law school and just the approach that they had. So it was a wonderful experience. It really was. It was also kind of a reality check in many ways. I was a 48-year-old guy and now I'm in school with a bunch of 22-year-old people.

Bill Gschwind (04:40.025)
And, you know, the view of the world was very different and the reasons for being there was different, but it was fun. It was, I enjoyed the studying. For me, business, my day job, I was doing business coaching and consulting. So my day job, my eight to five job was doing the coaching and consulting. And then my second job was the law school and that was my 5pm to 8am job. So it was a bit, you know, it was busy. But.

We got through it just fine.

Tyson (05:12.616)
I want to go backwards from there. We usually will go in chronological order in most episodes, but I want to go backwards. I want to go to probably a pretty painful time for you whenever you've had some business failure. Tell me how, maybe give a little bit of background about that and then how has that shaped the way you've run your firm?

Bill Gschwind (05:21.671)

Bill Gschwind (05:29.499)

Bill Gschwind (05:40.937)
Yeah, that's you're right. It was a very painful experience to go through. Um, you know, looking back on it, um, it was a, it was a, it was an educational experience. I learned a lot about myself. I had to, um, step back and ask how much of what happened was, was preventable, was foreseeable. Um, and what kinds of lessons did I take from it? So.

I had started my rental business on my own. It was a Greenfield start. I started in 1994. I ran it through to about roughly 2000, 2001 or so. And the business was beginning to change quite a bit. The rental business was beginning to change. It was moving more from a homeowner to more of a construction commercial side. And in order for me to be able to stay in the business, if I wanted to stay, I was gonna have to invest a lot of money, which I…

wasn't really interested in investing. And along came a franchise opportunity where they were making an awful lot of money available. So I ended up going into several million dollars of debt in order to buy equipment to make this transition from a homeowner store to an equipment, a contractor-oriented store, much larger equipment, entirely new location. But after a few years, the franchisers program, they sort of had a franchising program that was set aside next to their,

new equipment manufacturing and selling program and the two divisions within the company didn't really agree. They battled. It caused the rental program to just, it didn't work well. The program didn't work well. So after probably a year, year and a half of fighting, meeting with a lot of other franchise owners trying to figure out what we were doing, my head was beginning to get just all foggy. I mean, I couldn't make decisions. I couldn't move forward. I didn't.

This was my presence in our community, the people that knew me because I was the guy that owned the rental store. So, it's an awful difficult thing to walk out and yesterday my store was open and tomorrow it isn't. I had two kids in college at the time, I had another two in high school. So to close that store was really tough. What changed though, and it was interesting…

Bill Gschwind (07:59.169)
I felt very lost and I felt very confused, but what I mostly felt was out of control. And I just ended up waking up one morning and said, you know what, this is BS. I can't function if I can't control things. And while I'm going to lose the business, I'm trying desperately to save it. But in trying to save it, I'm preventing myself from being able to move forward. So when I woke up that morning and said, I'm done with this, I'm not going to play this game anymore.

I am going to move forward at shutting this down and moving on. And that was, the worst of the pain was done. Now it was a process of working through the process of winding out of the debt. I engaged a law firm in town, it was really one of the first times I spent a tremendous amount of time working with a law firm. I think the attorney did a decent job, so far as I could tell, seemed to understand what's going on. But I felt like I was battling my attorney quite a bit. And a lot of that,

came from, as it turned out at the end, when I asked when we were all done, when we finished, it came out okay. I ended up not filing bankruptcy. The debt got wiped out, the equipment got taken back. I still left with a bunch of cash. I was left with a building. I couldn't practice, I couldn't run that business anymore. We had a non-compete, so I couldn't go in and do that rental business anymore. But…

I wasn't crushed by it and I sat down with my attorney when it was all done and asked him, why was this so difficult for us to get to this place? Why was it so difficult for you to get to this place with me? And he said, you know, I've never been in a situation where with the amount of debt you had, we ended up anything above zero. Typically we, you know, the hope was to get you zero, you could walk away without a bankruptcy, but most often it's a bankruptcy and then you walk away with nothing.

And that was for me, that was the click was he didn't really understand the heart of a small business owner. He didn't understand how much we invest in our businesses, how much of ourselves goes into that thing that we build. We, it's like birthing a child and raising it and to have it yanked away from you is a very painful, difficult experience. And so what I think I came away with as much as anything Tyson is when I

Bill Gschwind (10:14.189)
work with my clients, I work with people who I understand have everything that they have invested in their business. It's more than just the thing they do, it's more than just their job, it is their identity, it's who they are, it matters to them more than it matters to most anybody else that works with them or most anybody else that they typically interact with who don't own businesses. And so, you know, one of the things that I, and the way that I incorporate that really into the way that we've…

we practice and what I try to work with my team on is understanding that, and we do represent all businesses. Our clients, it's a very narrow niche. We're business attorneys, but our clients are all owner-operated construction companies. So it's a very, very narrow niche, which helps quite a bit. It also, it's obviously for a lot of reasons, like with your businesses, the sort of case intake and all the things that are dealt with in more of a consumer-oriented is a very different scenario. But I look at it,

As one of the tools that I have in my box when I work with my clients is the golden ticket, the lawyer license. And I can do things that lawyers can do. But the old saying, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail, right? Can be real problematic if you don't understand the heart, you know, the bottom line of what the business is. If all you do is go in and approach the problem as a lawyer, then you tend to look at the lawyer solutions.

and figure out which one of those are the ones that should be applied to the problem as opposed to looking at the problem and figuring out is it a legal solution that is going to be best or is it a business solution that's going to be best and which one of those do we incorporate. I find that I, peeling, most of the people, one of the sayings that I use quite a bit Tyson is that, and Jim, is that people come to us out of desperation, we want to keep them out of inspiration, right?

They come to us with what they perceive as being legal problems. We need to peel back enough of the onion to find out why is there a legal issue that we're dealing with. And more often than not, it's a business issue, not a legal issue. So we, by, and then we have to figure out what is their goal? What is the objective? What are they trying to accomplish? And then we have to figure out is the business solution the best one that's going to get them to their ultimate goal? Or is the legal solution going to be there? Or what combination of the two is going to get us there?

Tyson (12:45.032)
Jim, you're on mute.

Jim (12:50.142)
Thanks for sharing that story Bill and I'm sure that was a very tough time One of my very good friends got laid off from a big company yesterday and it just reminded me you know why one reason why I do this which is that I Can have a little more control over my own destiny and I'm wondering that experience of being sort of beholden to the Franchise or and having to get out of all that stuff. How has that impacted your decision-making and how you want to structure your law firm?

Thank you.

Bill Gschwind (13:22.469)
I think it's…

Bill Gschwind (13:27.725)
It's made me more thoughtful about what I do. It's, yeah, it's an interesting question. How has the, you're thinking, Jim, the beholden piece of it, the beholden to the franchise piece, is that what you're referring to?

Bill Gschwind (13:51.673)
You know, it's interesting. I've come to learn that I think franchises work best for mid-level corporate management people. They are not good places for entrepreneurial people. Entrepreneurs are people who are always looking for a different, better way of doing something. And franchisees need to follow the plan that somebody else developed for them, right? I mean, if you own a, you know, let's take a…

If you own a McDonald's franchise, you don't get to go buy your napkins at the local Costco store. It's not part of the franchise model and part of what makes the consistency, part of what makes it, you know, the customer goes to the McDonald's in Minneapolis and then goes to the McDonald's in Atlanta, they get the exact same experience or very similar experience because that's what the franchise model is designed to do.

So I don't know that going through what I went through changed me so much in the sense that, I guess what I learned was that I'm not good in an environment in which other people are telling me how to run my business. I have to sit back and think very clearly what is it that I wanna do? When I was doing my business coaching and consulting, one of the things that I learned part of the learning back business and figuring out how to do that is,

is really the understanding of strategic planning. And I think strategic planning, and I apply that in my law firm, and I think it's probably the most important thing that I could probably share with anybody that's listening to the podcast, is strategic planning is different than business planning. A strategic plan is different than a business plan. A strategic plan is a long-term vision of where you wanna go and what you wanna do. And a business plan is a one-year implementation process. And so, to me,

In order for you to be able to build and grow a successful business, you have to have a really good, clear picture of what you want that thing to look like when it grows up. I always try to look at a three to five year horizon, and I ask clients the same question. Same thing that I ask my clients, I ask myself. If everything works out exactly the way you want it to work out, what does your business look like five years from now? And the more clear, solid, that you can paint that picture in your head.

Bill Gschwind (16:14.829)
If you can see a brick building, if you can see what the door looks like, if you can see when you walk in what they're sitting at, you can see what the services are that you're offering. The more concrete that you can make that vision of where you want to be in five years, the more able you're going to be able to work backwards and build the plan that gives you the step-by-step piece to arrive at that destination. I refer to it as my two o'clock on Space Mountain on Tuesday.

and share a little story with you. This is sort of the analogy that I would use. Two families are leaving on a vacation on a Friday afternoon, two neighbors. And the one neighbor, when you ask them, where are you going? They say, I'm going to be on Space Mountain at 2 o'clock on Tuesday. And the other neighbor says, I'm going to Disney World. And so they both take off and they head down the road. And as they're going down the freeway, they hit a detour in the road. And they both get off on the detour, get off the exit. And at the top of the exit, there's a sign that says, Corn Palace. And.

The one family says, corn palace man, we've never been there. That would be awesome. We're going this way. We were on vacation. We've got some time. Let's go check out the corn palace. And the other family says, we got to be on space mountain at two o'clock on Tuesday. So they keep heading down, followed the tour, get back on the road. The other family goes up to corn palace has a wonderful time. It really wonderful experience. Get back in the car, start heading again. They get down a little ways and they get to the next place.

and they see a sign wall drug. Son of a gun, we've never been to wall drug. What a great experience, it's vacation. Let's go check that out, right? So now we're about three or four days down the road. The second family's made it to about Denver. The first family, it's Tuesday at two o'clock and they're on Space Mountain. And the family in Denver says, we've run out of time. We're gonna have to turn around and go home.

And the purpose of the story is if you don't know what your two o'clock on Tuesday in Space Mountain is, you don't know whether the opportunity that's presenting itself is an opportunity or a distraction. And the only way you can know that is to have a really good idea of where you want your business to be, to be able to make that decision. And so for me, the way that I run my firm is I've always put together a strategic plan. And I know where I want to go and I know what I want to build. And so the things that come along are not going to distract me.

Bill Gschwind (18:34.465)
And the very, you know, when I'm looking at hiring people, I know exactly why I'm hiring them and what role. Doesn't mean we don't make mistakes. And it doesn't mean we don't, you know, do things in ways we shouldn't have done them. But it's easier to see that we're on the wrong path because we know where we wanna go and we can see that the path isn't taking us where we wanna go. It's easier to evaluate the opportunities and whether they truly are. If we know where we're trying to go and we have it in our head. You know, one of my other, and I think this ties in real tight is,

You know, the old saying I use is, when you're up to your ass in alligators, it's really difficult to remember your job was to drain the swamp. And you know, so much of what we do when we're running a business every day is we get so caught up in the cases, we get so caught up in the little things that go on every day, the problems that come up every single day. And if you just get yourself wrapped up in solving those and forget the big picture, then five years from now, you're exactly where you were five years ago and you haven't grown and done anything with your business.

Tyson (19:35.7)
You know, you were making the wall drug family and the corn castle or whatever it was called, sounds pretty appealing to be honest with you. But, so you've got opinions on the billable hour. And so, and I think it's interesting because I actually am of the opinion, I'm sure people are gonna hate this. I think that the billable hour is a beautiful model for business owners. I think it's great. It also, I think it's also, it's very equitable for the business owner. I know it's removed some predictability for the clients,

Bill Gschwind (19:44.067)

Bill Gschwind (19:48.388)
I do.

Tyson (20:05.934)
I think it also helps harness clients. This is also coming from someone that's never billed, but I just viewing it from the outside looking in looks like a beautiful model. So what are your thoughts and what are the alternatives?

Bill Gschwind (20:20.741)
Yeah, I think the challenge with the billable hour, and again, remember I work with contractors, right? So I work with people who, before they start building a football stadium, have to give a reasonably predictable dollar amount for what that project is gonna cost them. And everybody knows in the middle, no construction project ends in the exact same way that it was expected to start. There's always gonna be changes.

There's going to be things that pop up that weren't controllable. And so a part of the reason why I have the perspective I have or the discomfort I have with the billable hour is because it is designed to shift all the responsibility for the performance of the work onto the customer essentially. It says I don't know what's going to happen.

I can't tell what, you know, how this case is going to go. I don't know what opposing counsel is going to be like. I don't know what the scope of discovery is going to be like. And because I can't control any of those things, I can't give you a price. So I'm just going to do it on an hourly basis. And I understand that. I understand that it feels that way. But if you're a professional doing the work that you do as a professional, you ought to be able to understand what some of those things are that are going to come up. You ought to be able to predict some of those.

and much more than your customer can, right? Much more than the client can. So the other reason that I find it challenging is that…

We don't sell time. People don't come to us purchasing time. They come to us to get solutions to their problems. They come to us for the value that they need to receive from the services that we provide. And you know, customers have to make a profit too. We don't always understand that. Our clients have to see a profit too. When you go in and you buy a hamburger, let's pick out McDonald's again, if you end up paying six bucks for a hamburger that you felt was worth three,

Bill Gschwind (22:27.429)
you've had a loss and you're not going to go back and buy that hamburger again. But if you pay three dollars for a hamburger you thought it was a six dollar experience, you've now made a profit. As a customer, you've received more value than what you thought you had to pay to get it. You've made a profit and you want to go back and do that again and again. I think the billable hour removes the concept of delivering value to our clients.

And that's one of the big issues. The other concern I have, and I think that this is sort of a problem with the industry and I think it's one we're gonna be wrestling with, especially with AI coming in, is how do you justify as a law firm, how do you justify spending money on things that will make your firm more efficient, reduce the amount of time it takes to provide services to your client?

if the end result is you generate less revenue for yourself. It's a loser, right? It's hard to justify investing in efficiency in your firm if it's gonna mean the billable hours go down. What we should be looking at is how, is like any other business looks at their services, how can we provide our service at a lower and lower cost with an increased value so that the price that I can charge for it creates profitability for my business?

And when you start thinking about how you deliver services to your clients that way, then you can begin to find ways to increase the value of your firm vis-a-vis other firms. I have, I don't have it now, it's being updated, but we do a profit and loss. We do a P&L on every one of our litigation cases. And so we know, you know, we know what the attorneys cost, we know what the staff costs, we know what our overhead is, we know what our billing rate is.

Now, a lot of our litigation, we're still working on coming up with a good way to flat fee that. We do flat fee conciliation court matters, but we do the same thing. We have to figure out what the value is, what the client will pay for it, what they're comfortable with. And I'm a big, you know, I really believe that price drives cost more than cost drives price. So, if you know what the price of the services is you're going to sell and what your clients can afford.

Bill Gschwind (24:51.033)
You've got to figure out a way to produce that within the price that you have and the profitability margin that you have. The other piece I think that's important is we as lawyers have a lot of tools available to us to help solve our clients' problems. If under the billable hour concept, I'm going to pull out every one of those tools and in fact in law school, one of the things that they teach us is you know when you're done researching when you keep coming up with the same things you found before.

Is there a reason why you needed to keep searching that long to get to that point before you knew you had enough information to move forward with the case? Well, in the bill of blower, yeah, you're going to keep doing the research. You're going to keep spending the time until you know you've uncovered and turned over every one of the rocks, because that's what we were taught to do. And the only way to do that, the bill of blower rewards you for doing that. But if under a under a price value profit model.

you have to make a decision. And of course you do that in conjunction with your client and what their ability is, but it gives your client the ability to help and set a budget. I don't have, as a client, I don't have unlimited funds. I've got so much money that I have available that is reasonable for me to move forward with my case. And being able to make the decision on whether I'm gonna settle or not settle is gonna have an awful lot to do with where I am in my budget. I have to help my clients be able to make those kinds of decisions.

So I think a significant amount of the work that we do is flat fee work. A lot of the transactional work is all flat fee. We've got to fix prices. And I know a lot of the, a lot of firms, I mean, I've seen that one when I was in Scottsdale. It sounds like a lot of the criminal defense firms, some of the state planning firms are moving more to a flat fee model. Some of the other cases that have a little bit more litigation involved them are

are billable. But I think we're going to see that as AI comes in and as more technology comes in, we've got to wrestle with that. The other side of it is I have a real problem with giving my staff a billable hour goal. We don't have billable hour objectives. We don't have, we don't use the billable hour as a measurement tool in any way, shape or form because I don't want my staff to be motivated to find ways to spend more time doing stuff.

Bill Gschwind (27:19.606)
to not find the most efficient way to resolve a case. One of the things.

Tyson (30:03.328)
I think there's a lot of great advice in there and a lot of wisdom in that as well. So I think time will tell. But we are up against the times, Bill. So we are gonna start to wrap things up. Before I do, I wanna remind everyone to join us.

in the big Facebook group if you've not already. There's over 6,500 people in the group, so we'd love to have you there. If you wanna have more high-level conversations with people like Bill, who clearly has got the experience, and you can just tell he's got some expertise that he brings from many years of running businesses, we'd love to have you in the guil

If you've gotten something from this episode or from any of the other episodes, we'd love it if you gave us a five-star review and it helps us spread the love to other attorneys all over the country, really all over the world. Jimmy, what's your heck of the week?

Tyson (30:57.192)
You are on mute again, sir.

Jim (31:04.566)
So I have a lot of clients who sometimes want to do dumb things or take a chance. And so what I've done with that, you know, one of my favorite things to tell clients is just because you can doesn't mean you should. And so I sent off for a set of Dungeons and Dragons dice. So I have a four sided die.

An eight sided die a ten sided die I don't know how many this one has twelve and this one has twenty and so depending on the percentage of Stupidity that I think they're exhibiting I tell them to pick a die and then I roll the die and say Can you afford for this die not to come up in your favor and it usually makes the point pretty clearly? So that's my hack of the week get yourself some die so you can explain to your clients how dumb they're being

Tyson (31:52.677)
You know, I'm not surprised by this hack at all, not one bit. Coming from you Jim Boat, so this is good. That's fun. No worries, I do too. So we'll wrap this up Bill. Bill, so we always ask our guests to give a tip or hack of the week. What you got for us?

Jim (31:58.986)
I gotta go guys, I'm sorry, I gotta call, I gotta go.

Tyson (33:15.016)
I would agree with that. I think that's one of my favorite books. It's a fantastic book, so highly, highly recommend it. My tip is drastically different from anyone's, yours or Jim's. Mine is to get your blood tested. Go to the doctor, get your blood tested, and have the doctor go through the results with you. It's something that I do regularly. I was having a conversation with Chris Nicolason fairly recently and we talked about it. It's a highly valuable tool.

to adjust many things you're doing, your diet, exercise, all that kind of stuff. So something I highly recommend that you do. But Bill, thank you so much for coming on. Really appreciate it. I got a lot from this episode. So thanks for sharing your story.

Tyson (34:03.188)

Watch the YouTube version of this episode HERE

In this episode of the Maximum Lawyer Podcast, co-host Tyson Mutrux explores the strategic use of target lists in law firms. Target lists are more than just a to-do list; they are a strategic tool (spreadsheet) that can focus your firm's efforts on specific cases, ensuring that you're not just busy, but productive. 

By identifying the cases that are most likely to be resolved within a quarter, you can allocate your resources effectively and increase your chances of success. This approach is about working smarter, not harder. Listen into the full episode to hear how Tyson does this!

Episode Highlights:

  • 02:51 The components and tracking methods of target lists
  • 04:43 How target lists allow teams to focus on specific cases
  • Ask us a question about starting your own law firm here!
  • Peak Performance Intensive with Dr. Jason Selk, sign up here!


Transcripts: Creating and Using Your Target Lists with Tyson Mutrux

Tyson (00:00.616)
Hey, it's Tyson. Welcome back for another Saturday episode. And today I've got a fun one. I think it might be a shorter than normal. I sometimes will say that and I'll go a little bit longer than I expect, but this is one I think will be a little shorter, but I think it's going to be a beneficial one for some of you, maybe not all of you, but for some of you. And I'm going to be talking about target lists. Okay. That's what we're going to be talking about. And I'll tell you what that is in a second. Before I get to that though, I want to tell you about…

An event in June. It's June 11th in Miami. It's the peak performance intensive with dr. Jason Selk, who's a performance coach. He's the former sports psychologist of the Cardinals Both and he helped essentially turn the the Cardinals around and for their last two World Series He was a sports psychologist unfortunately when he left he they've not won since but

Hopefully at some point he'll have to go back and see if he can get us another win. For those of you Cub fans, then I'm sure you're not very happy with that, but he's that good and I don't know if I like that part.

get a little rambly. For those of you that don't know who Jason is, he is the former sports psychologist for the Cardinals. I've been working with him for several years. Jim has been working with him over the last year. I've gotten amazing results. It's quite, it's just extraordinary what he's able to do when it comes to unlocking you. But he's got an event in Miami. It's exclusively for attorneys. So it's going to be a really, really good event, solid event.

It's June 11th from 9 a .m. to noon, so you don't have to be there the whole day, 9 to noon, and it should be just an absolute, just a great event. And he told me the other day, I was talking to him yesterday, and he said, listen, here's the deal, Tyson. You tell those people, if they don't get a 10 times return, I'll give them their money back. He said, I'm that confident in this. So I'm just telling you.

Tyson (02:13.768)
It's something that he is, he puts his money behind it. He backs up what he's saying. He walks the walk. He truly is. He's an extraordinary person. I've gotten to know him and become friends with him. And I can tell you, he puts on a good event and you're really getting a lot out of it. And there's also follow -up coaching that comes with it. So it's not just that. There's also four 15 -minute group sessions that he does.

after that. So you're getting more than just that event. You're getting the four follow -ups as well. But I highly recommend it. So I'll put the link in the show notes. So now let's get to the topic of today. And we've been using Targetless for quite a while. This is something we didn't call them Targetless before. We call them something else a while ago, but we've been using for several years.

We've recently, I think in the last year, year and a half, maybe two years, started calling them target lists. And I'm actually looking at one of my target lists right now. And yeah, it looks like we've been doing it for a couple of years. So a couple of years, we've been calling it an actual target list. And what we have on that list, it's the cases that we want to resolve in that quarter. And so it's assigned by team as the status of the case. We track the offers and the demands, and it's got some notes on it.

It's got our fee, whether or not we ever see the check on it. It's got our total fees based on the settlement dollars. And again, you're going to have to adjust this based on yours. You can also create a dashboard. We could easily create this in a dashboard. Okay. So you, we actually have this one in a spreadsheet. This one specifically in a spreadsheet, but we can easily put it in a dashboard. We've not done that. We just, we just like it this way. It's kind of easy to just kind of share the link, but we can easily do this.

in a dashboard in Zoho if we wanted to, because we do track all the same dollar, all the same information, but we just, we prefer a spreadsheet for this. We have the number of cases settled per team, how much in fees has been brought in per team, the amount in outstanding fees that has not yet come in, okay? Cases settled for the quarter and then cases remaining to be resolved, not necessarily settled but resolved. And…

Tyson (04:36.072)
One of the quarters, it was, let's see, it was two quarters ago and it was clear the decks, I think it was the theme that we had. And so we had, we tracked that separate number and that was resolved cases. It wasn't just settled cases, it was resolved cases. And on that, the reason why is because there were some cases we wanted to kind of filter out and that's either refer out, withdraw, things like that. So we were tracking a separate category. And what this does,

is this allows us to focus. These are the cases we're gonna work on. And this list will change, okay? So we will usually have each team come up with a certain number of cases that they wanna focus on that quarter. That doesn't mean that other cases are gonna get neglected. That doesn't mean that other cases are going to, they may not, it doesn't mean that they're not gonna settle, they might. But this allows us to focus on these cases, okay? These are the top of the list that we wanna work on.

This doesn't mean that these are the most valuable. This just means that these are the top that we want to work on that have the chances of resolving this quarter. And what it really allows us to do is push these things over the edge to getting them resolved. So this is a really easy way you can do it. You can do it for estate planning. You can do it for family law, whatever it may be. But it allows you to focus your efforts where they need to be focused. And so.

Hopefully you get something out of this episode. Hopefully this is something you can use in your practices. I think you can, whether you use it in a spreadsheet or even if it's a handwritten list, I don't care, but it's gonna allow you to focus your efforts where they need to be focused. But all right, before I go, so I'm gonna wrap things up before I go, I wanna tell you about something new. We're opening submissions for questions on all things starting and running a law firm.

for us to answer on a future episode of the podcast, whether you're dreaming of launching your own firm, you're knee deep in the trenches and could use a lifeline or anything in between, we are ready to listen. The lines are open and you can submit your video questions on our website at maximlawyer .com forward slash ask. So that's maximlawyer .com forward slash ask. We would love for you to submit your videos there on starting.

Tyson (06:55.528)
Running a law firm so you can have questions you may have a submission you might have tips But we'd love to hear from you. So Do that and if you want to reach out and just send me a text Do that would love to hear from you three one four five zero one nine two six zero We have a lot of great suggestions and questions all the time I would also love to hear from you in the video too. That would be that would be really cool. So check us out at Max Maler .com

But until next week, remember that consistent action is the blueprint that turns your goals into reality. Take care.

Watch the YouTube version of this episode HERE

Are you a lawyer who is thinking about starting their own firm? In this episode of the Maximum Lawyer podcast, Jim and Tyson speak with Lauren Klein, co-founder of Flourish Law Group. Lauren shares her transformative journey working in a large firm to starting her own boutique firm.

Lauren provides some insight on the challenges and rewards that come with leaving Big Law and starting a small firm. One of the rewards is the focus on marketing. For small law firms, there is flexibility to focus on the clients you want to and design a marketing plan that is unique and not controlled by a larger company. Another reward that comes with having your own firm is the ability to control the delegation of tasks and create a system or workflow that works for you as the owner.

Transitioning from big law to a small firm owner can allow you to help guide new law school graduates. Most new graduates are eager to work in big firms because it means more money and more success. But, Lauren dismisses that idea in that the team and culture you have regardless of the size of the firm is what matters. Asking questions about work life balance as well as what a typical day looks should be used to make a decision.

Listen in to learn more from Lauren!

Jim's Hack: The phrase “first party data” which are the emails and phone numbers of people who consume your content. From an analytics perspective, it is important to know who is watching your content and how to connect with them.

Lauren’s Tip: Do not fall into the trap of thinking that in order to become a successful attorney, you need to be overworked, unhappy and unhealthy. 

Tyson's Tip: Just let it go. If you are having feelings of resentment or anger towards someone, just try to find a way to let it go and focus on yourself.

Episode Highlights:

  • 2:57 The challenges and rewards of starting a law firm
  • 6:30 The struggle of delegation
  • 16:01 Experiences in big law 
  • 28:19 The myth of overwork in the legal profession 

Connect with Lauren:


Transcripts: Flourishing in Law: A Journey from BigLaw to Boutique Firm with Lauren Klein

Tyson (00:11.726)
And I'm Tyson Mutrix. What's up, Jimmy?

Tyson (00:33.29)
Yeah, our guest today is Lauren Klein. She is the co -founder of Flourish Law Group, a boutique law firm specialized in estate planning, elder law, and probate administration. Lauren has over 12 years of experience in trust and estates and tax planning, as well as an LLM in taxation from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

and is passionate about educating our community about the power of estate planning. And we're gonna get into the rest of all this in just a little bit. Lauren, welcome to the show.

Tyson (01:17.071)

Tyson (01:30.767)

Tyson (01:52.88)

Tyson (02:21.2)

Tyson (02:35.193)

Yeah, so I was going to ask you, how are things now? Are you happy with your decision? How's it been?

Tyson (03:11.506)

Tyson (03:22.642)

Tyson (03:38.226)

Tyson (04:07.059)

Tyson (04:47.927)

Tyson (05:02.837)
Yeah, there's a lot that goes into running a law firm. And I wonder what, like, in your opinion, what do you think is the most valuable use of your time right now?

Tyson (05:33.303)

Tyson (06:03.095)

Tyson (06:48.952)

Tyson (07:36.721)
All right. I don't like it, but I didn't get enough.

Tyson (07:51.45)
That is, that's for sure. So you have a couple coaching programs that I want to ask you about. And so they're mindset and success coaching programs, ones for law students and then ones for lawyers. I want to talk about the one for law students. So what was the mindset behind doing that? And tell us a little bit more about it.

Tyson (08:18.573)

Tyson (13:35.424)
I think that's great. And so I know that this probably was not the intention, but I do wonder is there any benefit to your business from doing this where maybe you get referrals from it? Because I do think that there is a pretty clever strategy in there where you could do something like this for law students and then use that to get referrals. So I just wonder if there's maybe some residual benefits to it.

Jim (18:00.873)
Oh, the countdown never started over here. Okay, cool. Welcome back to the Maximum Lawyer podcast. I'm Jim Hacking.

Jim (18:10.113)
Well Tyson, I'm excited. We have a great guest for our listeners today and I'm always happy when we have mom lawyers on the pod. I think that it's a hard road to hoe being a mom and a law firm owner, but we've had so many great members do it. My wife has done it and so you want to go ahead and introduce her?

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (18:37.384)

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (18:50.746)

Jim (18:53.769)

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (19:03.684)
Thank you, Tyson. Thank you, Jim. I'm excited to be here.

Jim (19:09.481)
So Lauren, I want to get in our time machine and go back to the month before you went out on your own. So you were working at Big Law. You probably had lots of people saying you were living a great life, you know, had everything in the palm of your hand. Talk to us about that month before when you decided, man, maybe I should go out and do my own thing, or maybe it was longer than that.

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (19:30.44)
It's a great question and I'm very happy to hop back in that time machine. So right around the time that I left Big Law and I went to start my firm was a very exciting time. And I had already done so much work and planning that when I actually pulled the trigger, made the decision to leave and start, I was so ready to go. I had spent…

Jim (19:37.403)
. .

Jim (19:48.105)
Thank you.

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (19:57.352)
a year or so, you know, behind the scenes, just with my mindset, trying to trying to get myself to a place where I felt comfortable. You know, I had the skills, I had money saved up, I had investments, I had passive income coming in from real estate, you know, investments and things like that. So I knew practically speaking, I was ready to go and, you know, follow my dream. But I had to get the head to kind of catch up with that. And so it was about a year spent just working through all the limiting beliefs of who I'm

Jim (20:19.497)

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (20:24.36)
to start a law firm? Why, why, you know, why me? Do I, am I really ready for this? So that last month was really, okay, go time, let's do this. Really exciting, still, still nerve wracking, but one of the best decisions I've ever made, truly.

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (20:44.882)
It's been really great. So next week is our one year anniversary. So we're excited to celebrate that. It's been hard. It's a lot tougher than I expected, to be honest. We've all heard the stories, okay, now you're not just a lawyer, now you're running a business and you're doing payroll and you're marketing and you're wearing all these hats and it's true. But it's been fun. It's been a lot of fun. I feel like it reinvigorated my love of the law in a lot of ways.

Tyson (20:46.706)

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (21:14.664)
and it allowed me to choose the clients I wanted to work with and choose the people we wanted to market to. So it's been great and you know talking about being a mom and a lawyer when I started the firm my youngest was I think seven months and so it's just crazy to kind of watch my kids grow three years old one years old now you know grow with the firm and it's it's been great it's the best decision I've ever made I'm so happy that I did it but it's hard you know there's no sugar coating.

Jim (21:20.187)

Jim (21:31.881)
. . .

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (21:43.56)
starting a law firm is is no small feat. I would say my my favorite part besides you know the

Jim (21:45.869)
Well, that's our favorite thing to talk about on this podcast are the things that make it hard. So what were the things that you've had to overcome or that you've enjoyed sort of beating back and what's sort of driven you crazy?

Tyson (21:50.199)
All right, so I've been excited about asking you this question since you mentioned this. I like the idea of having someone sit down and write a letter to their future self. So this is your opportunity to speak to your future self and give your, I guess, do the same thing you would ask the people in the law student program to do. Do the same thing and now's your opportunity to do that.

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (22:04.712)
and estates just practice of law, which I love. It's the only area I've ever been and I really, really enjoy it. But I think my favorite non -legal aspect of owning a law firm is the strategizing on marketing. Okay, which clients are we going to target? How are we going to do this? And not having those constraints of a big corporate law firm and saying, we could really do whatever we want. So we've done…

Jim (22:13.193)

Tyson (22:25.192)

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (22:28.008)
We've done a ton of webinars, we've done a lot of live in person events at parent groups and mom groups, you know, why night out? Let's go talk about what is a will versus a trust? What is estate planning? Is it only for people who have, you know, $20 million or they're 85 years old? You know, what is it in educating the community? That's been my favorite part, the marketing and the education side of things. I really, really love it.

Jim (22:43.817)

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (22:52.488)
I've gotten really proficient at Canva and social media. Eventually we're going to have to delegate it more, but I do, I do love it a lot, which was surprising. I mean, definitely, you know, working with the clients, meeting the clients and getting the strategy in place, whether it's a high net worth,

Jim (22:53.545)

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (23:21.648)
client who, you know, we, for example, just this week, we have a client who is dual US, Canada. So we're doing planning for them, making sure that their estate plan in the US makes sense from a tax perspective and a legal perspective up in Canada, we're going to be coordinating with attorneys up there. So the strategy side of things, you know, even for the non complicated, non complicated clients, just making sure, hey, do we understand your family dynamic? Are we drafting your documents effectively? And then,

Once we have the strategy as the lawyers, we found it's really helpful to delegate the drafting and a lot of the other tasks that we don't necessarily need to do. We're just reviewing it on the back end. And really, it's hard. It's hard to delegate and then to kind of take a step back. That's definitely not the big law model. So I've kind of had to unlearn a lot of those tendencies that I learned in big law.

Jim (24:03.093)

I like that way you phrase it, the things that we don't need to be doing, but and you say that we know a lot of lawyers really struggle with that delegation as you mentioned. How did you sort of get over that? How did you actually make that shift in mindset?

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (24:22.12)
It's still a struggle, but I knew in that year that I mentioned, I referenced, you know, spending, getting my mindset ready. I knew that if I was going to start my own firm, I didn't want it to be a situation where it's me or, you know, I have a partner, me and my partner just

Jim (24:45.577)

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (24:49.896)
wearing every single hat and struggling, you know, and not making a lot of money or, you working 18 -hour days in order to make the money that we want. I knew that's not the life I wanted and I'm very much all about being intentional and so we really designed our firm from the beginning to have

processes and procedures written down very clear. We try very hard to get our team members really engaged and know what their roles are and, you know, lead by agreement where we all agree this is what we're doing, not dictatorship, you know, like I've, that's been my relationship with many bosses in the past and I just don't, I don't think it works. It doesn't keep people motivated and loyal. And so we were really intentional about it, but that's not to say that it isn't hard. It's really tough to kind of, you know, hand a client over to someone else or hand a task over.

Tyson (25:15.228)
I loved it. I enjoyed hearing it. So very good. Hopefully you'll kind of tuck this away and then put it on your calendar to check it back in a year. So I think that'd be pretty cool.

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (25:37.61)
As attorneys, we are generally A type and naturally control freaks, which can be really hard to unlearn.

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (25:49.32)

Tyson (25:54.111)
I love it. I love it. Alright, so we do want to be respectful your time, so I'm gonna start to wrap things up. It's been a great episode. I just love hearing your story and there's a lot of great lessons in this, so hopefully people will go back and re -listen to this one because it's really good. I am going to get to our tips and hacks in a moment.

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (26:08.52)
So when I got the job offer to work in Big Law, I had been practicing at that point, maybe four years. Before that, I was at a boutique firm. I was the only tax associate and I was stressed like crazy. I did not know how to take care of myself mentally, physically. I just kind of thought I had to run myself ragged in order to be successful. So I thought, okay, if I'm now accepting this job at this…

Tyson (26:20.447)
But Lauren, will you tell people how they can get in touch with you if they want to reach out to you?

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (26:30.92)
big law firm making twice as much money if not more. How am I going to be able to handle that if I'm already really stressed out and don't feel like I have the tools?

Jim (26:34.555)

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (26:42.184)
Adding to that, I had a really long drive. I was commuting from Fort Lauderdale to Brickle. So I was like, you know what? I'm going to take this time. I'm going to dive really deep into personal development and personal finance. Because if I'm going to go to this big firm and really dedicate my time and my life and blood, sweat, and tears to working in this big law environment, I want to make sure I'm doing it in a smart way. That A, I understand my money and my money is working for me.

I had read, you know, rich dad, poor dad in college. And I was like, okay, I think this is what he was talking about. I can be this high earner, but if I don't know where my money's going and how I'm using it, what am I doing? And then also if I don't have a good grasp on my mindset and I'm not confident and I have all these limiting beliefs and I'm just like anxious all the time, that's not good either. And we all know that's kind of the norm in the legal profession.

Tyson (27:06.242)
it. Perfect. Thank you for that Lauren. Alright I'm gonna wrap things up before I do I want to remind everyone join us in the big Facebook group go to Facebook and search MaxMillory you'll find us there. If you want to hang out with guild members go to maxlawguild .com that'll give you access to a lot of tools and resources but then also our quarterly masterminds which are pretty awesome we like to have them in cool nice places so go to maxlawguild .com you can join us there.

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (27:31.048)
So I took this deep dive into personal development, personal finance, and I just wanted to be okay. But what happened, which was very surprising to me, was I, all of the sudden, like I just took off like a rocket. I was more confident at work. I was, you know, we'd sit down in these big strategy meetings for these high net worth clients, estate tax planning, and all of a sudden I was coming up with ideas. I was more focused and I was more clear. And so by getting, you know, just a good grasp on my own mindset and meditating and working out,

Tyson (27:34.056)
And while you're listening to the rest of this episode, if you got something of benefit from this, if you'd give us a five -star review, we would love it. It helps us spread the love. Jimmy, what's your Hack of the Week?

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (28:00.744)
was becoming a better lawyer. I was like, oh my god, I, this is not, this was not my intention, but it was amazing. So flash forward, pandemic hits, I'm pregnant with my first son, I'm sitting in my home office, you know, like all of us were, I was working so many hours a day and I was listening to all these life coaches just trying to keep myself, you know, above water, like, like we all were. And I had this aha moment, you know, there's coaches out there for lawyers, um,

But I was like, why don't we have this for law school? You know, I think by now we've all heard the stats from it, whether it's the ABA or other organizations, the mental health statistics in law school are abysmal. They're bad, they're awful. And you know, maybe the school will come up with an initiative or a law firm will come up with an initiative and it usually doesn't do anything. And I thought, why don't I do this for law students? Why don't I create a program in a community where law students can understand their mindset, learn to dream big.

Tyson (28:31.789)
That's that's extremely valuable advice. That's really good Jimbo I don't think that anybody's come remotely close to actually making that offer or offering those advice. I think that's I think it's perfect very good Jimbo Lauren we always ask our guests to give a tip or hack of the week It could be a quote. It could be a book could be a podcast you name it what you got for us?

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (28:55.24)
set financial goals, set life goals, and have a place where we can think positively, you know, rather than you get to your first day of law school orientation and they're like, you're gonna be miserable and it's gonna suck and, you know, only look to your left, look to your right, you know, those two people won't be here in five years. That's kind of the mentality. And I said, why don't we, why don't we, you know, kind of flip the script a little bit? And that's how the idea was born.

Jim (29:19.049)
So let's go from there. So what did you do? How did you start it? And what's it looking like now?

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (29:24.296)
So I started, well,

I started with a beta group of six students, it was five law students, one pre -law, and we created the program together. So there's modules ranging from designing your law school and lawyer avatar, where do you see yourself? We do an exercise that I do every year where I write a letter to myself now from Lauren two years or five years ahead of time. And I say, okay, where do I wanna be? Who am I spending time with? What am I doing? What am I wearing? What am I driving? Where am I working? And I reverse engineer my life based on where I wanna be.

Tyson (29:42.792)
We lost Jim, but very good. Excellent, Lauren. For my tip of the week, it's a good segue from yours. Just let it go. If you're harboring anger or frustration with someone or with something, just try to let it go. Just…

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (29:55.914)
in X amount of time. So we do that with the law students. We talk about money mindset and abundance and manifestation. We talk about organizing your day, your week, your semester and your law school experience. So we are intentionally moving through law school rather than just all marching towards big law or, you know, the dream job and winding up there, not even really enjoying that area of law. We talk a lot about networking because networking for me has been the biggest boost.

Tyson (30:01.992)
There's no point in harboring that anger. It doesn't benefit you. I like to think it maybe benefits them. That's probably what they want if you are angry. So just let it go. It will serve you very, very well if you can just find a way just to kind of let stuff like that go and just go on and live your life. Focus on yourself and not on other people. So that is my tip of the week. Lauren, thank you so much for coming on. Really appreciate it. It's been a pleasure talking to you.

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (30:24.616)
did in my career other than the mindset of, you know.

Grades are important, yes, but the people that you know and the relationships that you build are, in my opinion, way more important. We talk about time management, we talk about overcoming limiting beliefs, and so we created this program together, myself and these Beta students, and it really was just magical. And so now I offer this program to law students, pre -law students, anywhere. It's really affordable. We offer monthly yoga classes taught by my good friend up in Canada who is a partner at a law firm and an owner.

Tyson (30:33.896)
Great chat with you too.

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (30:58.154)
a yoga company just for lawyers. So cool. We do meditation. We bring in thought leaders. We talk about money. It's all my favorite things and all the things that I think the legal industry sorely, sorely needs. And now we have a new program that we're rolling out for new lawyers as well. It's another time in that legal career where it's a huge transition. So many things come up. And I think that, you know, kind of talking about all of these same issues as you're transitioning from law school into your legal practice will be really, really

really, really invaluable.

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (31:55.56)
Yeah, there are and it was 100 % unintentional. When I started the firm, I was talking to a friend of mine who's in marketing and she's like, do you know what you've just done? You've created a funnel. And I was like, I don't know what that means. And I didn't mean to do that, but awesome. You know, sounds great, especially because we do talk a lot about money, you know, in my course.

both the law school success blueprint and the lawyer success blueprint. And I'm really passionate about talking about money with law students and lawyers because I…

was basically at the, if you're looking at like the law from like a very, you know, general perspective, I was about to make partner at a big law firm. I was kind of rubbing elbows with some of the top partners in this big firm. And I realized that even though they were making a lot of money, they did not feel wealthy. They did not feel abundant. They felt very trapped by their money, by the golden handcuffs. They, number of partners relayed to me, I wish I could retire. It's just not possible for me. And I'm thinking,

you're making millions of dollars, you know, maybe million dollars a year, maybe more over how many years you've been practicing. How are you not able to retire if you wanted to? And it just, it was another aha moment in my career. It was like, oh, it's not about the money. It's about the way we look at the money and how we utilize our money. If we're only W2 workers and only making that active income trading time for money, it's, you're on this rat race, you know, and nothing wrong with trading time for money by

any means, but if we're making all this money, why don't we put our little money soldiers to work in other ways as well? And I think we just get trapped in this, we have to work, work, work, work, work, do, do, do, do, do, and we lose sight of what are we building? What legacy are we building? I kind of went off on a tangent from your question, but going back to it, yes, I guess I unintentionally created a referral source to our law firm.

Jim (33:58.761)
How has working in Big Law and like you said, almost being made partner, how has that really impacted it? I think a lot of solo firms say, well, we don't really stress out our attorneys. We don't really put a lot of pressure on people. I don't have as much pressure on myself as I did because I'm not in Big Law. How has the fact that you've been in both worlds sort of helped you guide people?

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (34:24.84)
I think…

a couple of things. One, it's helped me to structure the way that we operate as a law firm and the way that I now operate just as a human being. You know, for me, work is important. It's a huge part of my identity and I love it, but it's not everything. I have many, many other sides to me. You know, I'm a mom, but many other things. I love to travel. I love to eat. I love to, you know, spend time with friends. I love to work on other businesses. My husband and I invest in real estate. There are so many things to me and to so many other things.

Jim (34:49.225)

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (34:57.242)
of us, I mean to all of us really. So I think for me, you know, I kind of lost my identity in big law and now I'm moving away from that. I think that happens a lot. I also think that, you know, the billing structure in big law is not always…

ideal for efficiency for the clients. And it's a hard conversation. Even in our firm, we struggle, especially with high net worth clients, hourly versus flat V, versus percentage on a probate, what's the right way to do it? But I think coming from Big Lawn seeing like there's only one right way to do things is kind of, it's a myth. I don't know if that's answering your question. Was there something specifically you wanted me to?

Jim (35:23.529)

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (35:42.632)
There's so many things I could talk about with respect to that question. Was there something specific you were thinking?

Jim (35:47.753)
No, I just think law students often think we're going to work for a big firm. And so when a lot of them end up in a smaller firm or on their own, I just wonder as students are going through your course and learning about what do they really want before they dive in. And then maybe could we also touch real quickly on how student loan debt plays into these issues?

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (35:52.424)
Good. Good.

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (36:05.544)
Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So I think for, you know, for law students, new lawyers or even pre -law students kind of touching on the first question who they have, you know, and this happened to me, I got into law school and, you all of a sudden big law was the ideal, even though when I started law school, that was not my intention. But you get stuck in this, you know, this mentality. And I'll be honest,

when I worked at boutique firms before Big Law, I worked just as hard. So I think it's not necessarily big firm versus small. I think it's the team that you're on and the culture that that team creates. And so yes, when you're interviewing for your first job or two, you might have to be not so picky, but I think it's important understanding what the culture of the team is, understanding.

Jim (36:51.401)

Jim (37:01.897)

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (37:03.272)
even when you're in law school, what are the different practice areas like? What are the attorneys in each practice areas day to day lives look like? Are they traveling? Are they spending time with family? Are they constantly in court? No wrong answers necessarily, but just knowing ahead of time what you're kind of getting into I think is really important because this is a long game. For a lot of us, we love being lawyers. We want to stay in the law. We don't want to just be in it for a few years, burn out, and then move on.

And then with respect to law school debt, we talk about it a lot. We talk about it from a mindset perspective and a practical perspective. So from a mindset perspective, I always tell students, because it's one of the first questions they usually ask me, you know, I have all this law school debt, it's stressing me out, I don't know what to do. And I say, let's just take a step back because.

we could go down the rabbit hole of law school is very expensive and wages aren't growing at the same rate. We could go down that rabbit hole, but we can't change that in this moment. So I think we should table that and think about what we can change and how we can look at things. And I always tell my students, debt is not positive or negative. It's a neutral thing. It's a circumstance.

we get to choose how we feel about it. When we're, if we buy a house and we're sitting in the house, most of us aren't like, oh man, this mortgage, this mortgage sucks. Like you're not thinking about it constantly. You're like, wow, I have a house. This is great. With law school debt, it's different. It's, oh man, it's this shackle around my neck. This is awful. It's bad. It's negative. And I tell my students, look, we can choose how we talk about our money, how we talk about our debt. Let's take a step back and just say, okay, I made this investment in myself.

I took this sum of money and now I owe it and it's an investment of myself. Let's just start there so we can kind of take that negative energy away from it and and you know that's always my starting point and then it's okay. Do you understand how much you owe? Do you understand the repayment? Do you understand your options and do you understand how much you're going to be making? Do you have a budget? Do you have

Jim (38:55.561)

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (39:03.61)
you know, an understanding of how to negotiate a salary. There's so many factors that go into it and how we're going to pay it off and just being smart about it. And there's so many good, you know, financial advisors out there who will specifically help you get a game plan. We help you get a game plan, but you know, we're, I'm not a financial advisor. I'm just an attorney and, and.

someone who's passionate about this stuff. But I even bring in thought leaders, specifically financial advisors who talk about this to my students and how to get a really solid game plan. I think from my perspective, it's taking away the negativity around it and having a plan and being aware of your money, not just putting your head in the sand. That to me was a big shift for me personally, and I think for my students as well.

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (40:12.264)
Oh, I love this. No one's ever asked me this before. Okay, so every year I do this at least once a year and I usually pick either a year ahead of time or like five years ahead of time. So I'll do a year. I'll do a year since the law firm's coming up on one year. I think this is gonna be a big year for us. So.

Jim (40:28.923)

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (40:31.344)
One year from now, I see myself living in a new home. We have two kids, three bedrooms, and luckily a home office that I'm in, but a new home. I see myself not working on Fridays. That's one of my big goals. I see myself having a bigger team, a couple paralegals, an associate, as well as myself, my law partner, and our current team. I see myself, you know,

I haven't really done that many, I think 2025 is gonna be more of a 10X kind of year. We're still kind of growing the firm, but let's just go with it. So I would love ideally, you know, to really grow the firm, not just incrementally. And I think that's going to really force me to look at what I'm doing on a day -to -day basis and figuring out even more so what do I not need to be doing.

you know, like emails. I don't need to be in my emails, but I am. I'm in there a lot and it's a big time suck and we all know, we all know how that goes. And so really, like being very strategic on what I'm delegating, even to the point where it makes me uncomfortable. You know, you have to be uncomfortable to grow. I see myself one year from now traveling with my kids every summer.

Jim (41:29.307)

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (41:49.672)
So working remotely for an entire summer, I want to be able to take them every year somewhere really cool. Greece is next on my list. Go there for a summer. I want to do a Spanish immersion program at some point. So going somewhere in Latin America or back to Spain and bringing the kiddos with me. I see myself spending my time very intentionally with high level people who are smarter than me and who are doing bigger, scarier things than me so I can continue to grow.

Jim (41:51.881)

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (42:17.672)
And I see myself hanging out with my husband and my kids and our friends and eating really well and treating our bodies well and working out. Those are all the things that I would put and I do put in my letter to myself. I get more specific, like what am I wearing? What am I driving? You know, things like that. But for the sake of time, those would be like my big things that I would put. And it's a really fun exercise because you can kind of see, okay, if that's where I want to go, what do I need to do and what should I not?

be doing. You know, because otherwise we get really caught up in just the day -to -day. It's so easy to do. It happens to all of us, but it really forces you to stop and think, what do I need to do? Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4 of this year, what do I, what steps do I need to put into place now if I want to get, you know, to where I'm going? That was fun. I've, no one's ever asked me to do that. That was really cool, Tyson. I love it.

Jim (43:15.319)

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (43:21.554)
I have to tell you, I go back and I reread my old letters and it's so cool to be like, oh that happened and this happened and this happened differently, but you know better than I imagined, or oh this didn't happen. Why, why did this one thing not happen? It's really really cool and it helps you to…

someone said this to me recently, they they do a vision board, but they also do an achievement board, and it's kind of like that, like a mental achievement board, like oh look at all the things that I said I would do, these promises I made to myself, and then I then kept.

Jim (43:54.735)
Thank you.

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (44:20.584)
Absolutely, so I'm Lauren A. Klein on LinkedIn. I'm on there all the time. I'm getting, you know, more active on LinkedIn. I'm also at Lawyer Lauren Klein on Instagram. I'm on there a lot as well. I have, you know, pages for both my wealthy lawyer squad program, which includes the coaching programs for lawyers, new lawyers and law students, all the information, and then Flourish Law Group is our law firm. I would love to connect with…

other attorneys, new lawyers, law students, even if it's just popping in my DMs on Instagram or LinkedIn and just asking me a question. I'm always here to give advice and connect with other people.

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (45:33.082)

Jim (45:41.033)
I heard a phrase on a podcast the other day and that phrase is, first party data. First party data. And what that means is emails and cell phone numbers from people that consume your content. If you are relying on these social media platforms to be your conduit between them and you, you're going to be in real trouble if they kick you off or if they change their rules or if they start charging for that kind of stuff.

From the very first YouTube video I did back in 2013, I had a call to action and at the end of it was to try to find ways to get people to call or email our office. You've got to capture that first party data because if you're relying on middle people to get you that, you're at their mercy if they decide to change up the rules.

Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (46:51.752)
I would say one of my biggest tips and it's something that I really, I live by in my day to day life is just don't drink the Kool -Aid that in order to be a successful attorney you have to be overworked and constantly stressed out and unhappy and unhappily.

It's a myth that has been perpetuated time and time again, whether it's by the water cooler or in the content that we're consuming or from your law school or your law firm. But it's just not true. And I think that it's important that we all recognize that we can have happy, joyful, successful, abundant, high -earning careers and still enjoy our lives and be happy. So that would be my biggest hack or tip for you guys.


Lauren Klein. Esq., LL.M. (48:20.04)

Thank you, Tyson. Thank you, Jim. It's been really great. Thanks for having me. It was wonderful chatting with you guys.

Watch the YouTube version of this episode HERE

Are you looking for ways to spice up your team meetings? In the latest episode of the Maximum Lawyer Podcast, Tyson reflects on his law firm's recent quarterly meeting, which embraced a "Future is Bright" theme. 

Tyson shares the activities that occurred during the firm's quarterly meeting that can be impactful for staff. Activities included functional games that had a purpose. Some included playing games where you would get feedback from colleagues or games to get to know each other. The goal for these activities is to share ideas that could lead to a change in how something is done in the workplace or the implementation of a new process. Another aspect of these quarterly meetings is to go over the company’s core values, mission as well as the review of the past 4 months to see what has been accomplished.

Listen in to learn how to incorporate Tyson’s ideas into your quarterly meetings!

Episode Highlights:

  • 1:35 Explanation of the theme for the quarterly meeting 
  • 4:32 Description of the light-hearted activities that happen during the meeting
  • 7:03 Discussion and sharing of simple yet impactful ideas
  • 10:01 Review of priorities and future focus for the upcoming quarter


Transcripts: Setting Up Your Quarterly Meeting with Tyson Murtux

Tyson (00:00.636)
Welcome back everyone to another episode of the Maximum Lawyer podcast. This is one of the Saturday episodes. Thank you so much for listening. These are bite -sized action episodes. And so they're meant to be short. My last one was a little bit longer than I expected it to be, but that is completely fine. But I, in that episode, I mentioned talking about what I did for this, this quarter's quarterly meeting.

And so I'm going to talk about that because we did it different than what we normally do. Normally what we'll do is we'll have, we'll send out a very, very, a very, or somewhat detailed survey. Last quarter we did an extremely detailed survey, which I find was, was the best way of doing it. But as I mentioned in the previous episode, this is one where I wanted to give everyone kind of a break a little bit where everyone had really been working hard.

and I wanted to reward them a little bit for that by not bombarding them with an extremely dense quarterly meeting where we're just really digging in. And we were able to achieve a lot of the same goals, just it was a lot more relaxed.

And the slides reflected that too. So it was a really, really cool feel. And you know what, for people that are watching, I guess I can pull this up briefly and I'll show you the intro slide just to kind of show you what it looks like, because it was a different, definitely a different one from our normal. The theme of the quarter is future is bright. Okay, future is bright.

And I'll tell you how I came up with that in just a moment. Before I do, if you have something you want me to cover on this show, I'd love for you to text me, because I like hearing from you. And I like getting ideas. I love it whenever you are, because there are things that I may think that are really tiny that I don't really think you all would want to hear about, and you all tell me otherwise. So I would love if you told me, hey, I want to hear about, you know,

Tyson (02:20.19)
Whatever, you name it. Something that I've mentioned that you want me to cover, let me know and I'm happy to do it because that's where I get a lot of great ideas from you and I just kind of overlook them. So, text me 314 -501 -9260. So shoot me a text, 314 -501 -9260 and just let me know what you want me to cover.

Or if I glossed over something in another episode, we're like, hey, I'd like to hear more about that. Just tell me. Love to hear from you. So do that. But the theme, I'm gonna get back to the theme of the quarter because it actually comes from a couple things. The wording of it specifically where I came up with future is bright. It's kind of a play on, or it is not a kind of, it's an actual exact rip off of.

a guy named Pat, Pat bed David, and he's got a podcast. It's a really well -known podcast. So many of you probably know who he is, but he, he's got a, well, it's funny cause I'm an injury attorney, but I'm kind of talking about this guy that owns an insurance company, but he is a really positive guy. And he's, he's been kind of down with the negativity of the world. And so he's trying to push the idea of futures bright. I like it. But Jim,

sent me a text message a couple weeks ago, and I had sent him a something, I'd sent him a card or postcard or something like that, and he's using it as a bookmark, and he showed me the note, and in there I said, the future is bright. And the quarter, so fourth quarter, our theme was a little bit more intense. It was about going to war. And so,

I wanted to make it a little brighter because it is. The whole point of it was is like, listen, you all are working hard. The future's bright. You know, we've been going through some really tough things recently. And so let's keep fighting. The future's bright. And I wanted to kind of pass it on to people. So the agenda, what we did was it was a lot more lighthearted than what we would normally do, where we usually will…

Tyson (04:43.838)
We'll mix in things that are lighthearted. The games we would normally do usually are kind of games where you would get feedback from people. And I kind of mixed in some of that a little bit. But with this one, I started, I intentionally started it and I will always start with music during the breaks. There's always music. So when we take our 10, 15 minute breaks, I'll actually, I'll have on YouTube, I'll like search like positive music or if I'll…

If there's a certain theme for the quarterly meeting, I'll search that type of theme and I'll play that music during the breaks. And at the beginning, um, I, by the way, I put a lot of work into these. These are, these are something I, I prep these like I prep a trial. All right. They're very, very detailed. So I, I, that's why in the last one, I was very ticked at myself that I screwed up the survey, uh, which I talked about in the last one for teammate of the quarter. I'd, I'd screw that up. And I was so ticked because.

I test the links and I do all this different stuff. And I get help from people. People are usually, this one I took all on myself, but usually what I'll do is I will have, I'll split up things of the agenda. And I didn't do that this time. I intentionally didn't do that this time. But what I did is I started with a game, I guess it's a game kind of, something we call Sweet 16. We do it at my house with my family. We do it. And…

It's something that there was a guy in, I think his name's David Glover. I think the guy in St. Louis that has a radio show and they, I don't know if they still do it. They used to do this thing called Sweet 16 where, and I think this is apropos because it's Marsh Madness time, but you would go through and we'll pick a topic and we will then vote on who makes it to the next round. So on this one, I just picked the first thought that popped in my head and it was,

best toys of all time. And it was really just kind of interesting because you go around and so everyone gets to get a pick. So you go around, everyone picks who they think is the top toy and you go around, you vote. And you go from round, round, round. And then you get to the final four and then you get to the championship game and then you pick a winner. And it was…

Tyson (07:05.95)
It was fun. It was a lot of fun. Everyone really enjoyed it. So that's a little something. It was not business related at all, not one bit, but it was a cool little thing for everyone to do. And so if you need ideas, that's one of those things that you could do if you want to. So I recommend that you check it out. And then after that, we did a…

played a video and this is something where I mentioned about texting me if you have an idea. The video was obvious to you, amazing to others. And the whole video is about, you know, there's things that you have or that you do or ideas that you have or things that you do that seem very obvious to you, but not to others. They're amazing to others. And so everyone watched that was like two minutes. It was a really short video.

And then after that, we had a discussion. We broke into groups and we had a discussion about things that we think might be really obvious, but they might be amazing to other people. And this is one of those sort of those quote unquote games, that one really wasn't a game, but what we would normally do is have some sort of game instead of the video, and then we'd go into a discussion and you start to collect information. And we did that with that one where…

We broke into groups and then we reconvened and everyone shared what they had. Because I wanted to be able to start to share small in small groups and then get into the big group and then share. And it was great. I had some of the best ideas we've ever had. Really cool ideas. Like such, it was great about it. Such simple ideas that have a massive impact. It was so cool. A really good idea. Or.

Not really good. We had a lot of great ideas. It was awesome. So then what we went into, and we do this during every single meeting, and that is we go over our core values, we go over our mission, we go over absolutely everything. So we have our one phrase strategy. So one phrase strategy is a really important thing. Strike fast, strike often. We even trademarked it. So…

Tyson (09:27.518)
and we go through what that means to everybody. So we go through our mission, we're living in the playing field, so our clients have access to the medical care they deserve, money to rebuild their lives and equal access to justice. So, and we go through each of our core values, we go through our X -factors, our brand promises, what our grant guarantee is if we don't actually meet our promises. So we go through all that. I think that's extremely important to continually remind our people.

about those and so that's something we do. And then after that we go through our Q1 review, that's what we did. And we'll always do that too, so we'll do our quarterly review. So these are the things that we set out to do and these are the things that actually happen. And you know what, news alert, we don't always achieve them. We don't always achieve them. Sometimes things happen and you don't. So.

but you learn from them, that's what's great about it. So sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but as long as you're learning, that's what matters most. And then after we do that, after we go through our review, this is where we spend a good amount of time. What are we doing well? That's the three questions. What are we doing well? What should we start doing? And what should we stop doing? Okay.

Those are immensely, immensely powerful questions because you'll come away with a list of things. What was interesting is that when things are not so great, okay, you're gonna get a lot of the, what should we stop doing and what should we start doing? Okay. And what I was very happy with is we didn't have a whole lot of those this quarter. It was good. We had great feedback, it was awesome. So we're not perfect, but.

It was great. We had a lot of, it was interesting with, because we have a new team basically. We've intentionally gone through some turnover with the top grading. It's been a, now at this point about two year process. But it's been intentional and it's the team we have is just, I'll put it against anybody is what I'll say. I'll put it up against anybody. It's pretty awesome. But so we've, I think because of that, we've made a lot of great moves.

Tyson (11:53.374)
fairly recently and so things have been looking good. But after that, we go through our priorities and our rocks for the coming quarter, is what we do. So we go through, okay, what are our priorities? What are we gonna focus on? And what are our rocks? I can talk about that stuff in another episode. That's definitely a more detailed episode that, yeah, it would take way more time. They may not even be a short episode, but I can talk about that in another episode, because that is pretty detailed.

And then I ended it with one of my favorite Ted Talks. It's about 23 minutes. And actually, I don't think that most Ted Talks are that long, but they gave Brene Brown like 23 minutes on this one. I don't know what the actual average time is, but I don't think it's normally 23 minutes. I even think that she got like the, hey, get off stage thing, because there was a moment where she kind of almost acknowledges them, I think. But it's the dare to be.

Here's what I put it, the video, Dare to Be as Great as I Know You Are. That's not what the name of the video is. It's the one where she talks about the quote, daring greatly. And so I intentionally, I really wanted to have that quote in there. And so we talked about that a little bit, but we didn't have a discussion. I I kind of gave, what we did was essentially, I gave like a couple of minutes at the end of it for people to kind of chit chat a little bit about it.

talk about the video because they loved it. There are people actually like tearing up a little bit which I thought was interesting but we watched that video and then right after after a people just kind of chitchat for a second I went into the wrap -up which is kind of like my rah -rah speech for the next quarter and it was it was great it was cool you know people teared up I may or may not have teared up myself I won't tell you but it was

It was cool. So it was a different feel this one. I'm not usually the soft, you know, frou -frou type, but I did this quarter and it was, it worked out well. But I've talked about other quarterly meetings, I think in another podcast, but that's what we did this quarter. Hopefully you all got something from this, this podcast and from me talking about this, this quarterly meeting. But I would love, again, I'd love to hear from you. If you do have anything you want me to cover on the podcast or if you have any questions about.

Tyson (14:15.646)
this agenda that I just went through for this quarterly meeting. But I'd love for you to text me 314 -501 -9260. And if I've not told you who won the Sweet 16 and Legos was the winner. So I hope some of you all were wondering that the whole time, but Legos was the winner. But.

Time to wrap things up everybody. Have a wonderful week. Until next week, remember that consistent action is the blueprint that turns your goals into reality. Take care everybody. See ya.

Watch the YouTube version of this episode HERE

Are you a law firm owner who needs to market their firm better? In this insightful episode of the Maximum Lawyer Podcast, Jim and Tyson engage with Vaidas and Steve from RizeUp Media to explore the intricacies of selecting a digital marketing agency. 

When searching for a marketing agency, it is important to find one that aligns with your goals as a firm. Vaidas and Steve share a few red flags to look out for and some things to consider. One red flag is working with a company that does not truly understand the vision of a law firm and what the firm needs from a marketing standpoint. Marketing a firm involves a lot of things, including knowing who your audience is and where they are located. A good marketing agency is going to do the research and work with you to determine these factors.

When it comes to the relationship between a firm and a vendor, like a marketing agency, communication is key to a successful partnership and results that will make the firm money. For a firm it is important to let your partner know what is and isn't working. To maintain consistent communication, set up recurring meetings for 15-30 minutes to go over how things are going for the firm as well as strategizing if a change is needed.

Take a listen to learn more!

RizeUp Media is offering Maximum Lawyer listeners a free audit! Claim yours here! Or email [email protected] or [email protected].

Jim's Hack: Using the phrase “happy and grateful” which for him means something needs to get taken care of.

Vaidas’s Tip: is to use the app Loom, which is a recording tool and can be utilized to record short videos or snippets to send to people.

Steve’s Hack: is using legal directories as an analytics tool and seeing how many calls you get from individuals who have found your firm through a directory.

Tyson's Tip: Use a Notebook LM which is a virtual AI assistant. You can upload documents and ask the tool anything which will then provide answers using those documents.

Episode Highlights:

  • 2:49 Discussion on red flags when hiring a digital marketing agency
  • 7:51 Seeking exclusivity in their marketing partnerships.
  • 17:33 The importance of communication for successful partnerships 
  • 19:42 Importance of regular follow-ups and communication with clients

Connect with RizeUp Meida:


Transcripts: Key Considerations for Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency with RizeUp Media

Speaker 1 (00:00:01) - Run your law firm the right way. The right way. This is the Maximum Lawyer podcast. Podcast. Your hosts, Jim Hacking and Tyson new tricks. Let's partner up and maximize your firm. Welcome to the show.

Jim Hacking (00:00:23) - Welcome back to the Maximum Moyer Podcast. I'm Jim Hacking.

Tyson Mutrux (00:00:26) - And I'm Tyson Matrix. What's up Jimmy.

Jim Hacking (00:00:29) - Tyson good to be recording with you again. It's been a minute.

Tyson Mutrux (00:00:32) - Yeah I agree I was I always enjoy these sessions when we can get back to recording with each other again. It's always, always fun. And luckily today we've got a couple people that have been on before with us that are amazing with Rise Up media. What's up Vitus, what's up?

Speaker 4 (00:00:49) - What's going on Tyson?

Steve (00:00:50) - What's going on?

Jim Hacking (00:00:50) - Guys, guys, we're really happy to have you back on the show. For those of our listeners who don't know a little bit of your story, why don't you just tell us what Rise Up media is, what you offer and sort of how you came into contact with us at Maximum Lawyer, basically who we are.

Jim Hacking (00:01:06) - We are a digital marketing company.

*Vaidas * (00:01:08) - We specialize in helping law firms with online visibility. We do everything from website design, SEO, advertising, with Google, PPC, social media., we came to be introduced to you by one of our clients, and now I think we're at a year and a half, I think, of partnering with you guys. We've been to a couple of your,, I think three now of your masterminds and,, have just had an amazing experience working with the people that are part of your organization and with you guys obviously have a lot of people that we work with now in Maximum Lawyers. Well, here we are so.

Tyson Mutrux (00:01:44) - Funny because like Jim and I, we we run into a lot of vendors, like we, we just talked to a lot of vendors. We have a lot of people on the show. And I mean, I truly mean this, like, you all have been great. Our members just love working with you. And so I've I've literally never heard a complaint about you all, which is extremely rare, especially for an SEO company.

Tyson Mutrux (00:02:03) - So I think that that's just just amazing. It's a testament to to you all. So thanks for everything you all do. But enough two year olds horn. We we want to talk about the things you should look for when it comes to a digital marketing agency, because that's something we we get questions about all the time. You know, people want to hire like I mean, it could be a PR firm too, you know. But it could be, you know, we want to hire an SEO company. We want to hire someone for for Google Ads, you name it, social media, whatever. But I mean, there's there's I know there's some names that Jim and I would say definitely avoid, but we kind of want to give people just a way of looking at things that things that they can look for to, to make sure that they, they hire the right company. So I guess we'll start with, I, you know, I can take this a term. We'll start with Vitus and then Steve, you can go after Vitus.

Tyson Mutrux (00:02:49) - But I would say what are well, let's start with some red flags. What are some red flags that you might see when it comes to hiring a vendor.

*Vaidas * (00:02:56) - That okay, that's that's a great place to start because Steve and I just got off a phone call with with somebody that contacted us from your last mastermind won't mention names, but the red flag that we ran into specifically with this firm is that they are having an enormous amount of content added to their website with no direction, no no consultation, no strategy at all with the firm, and in this case, content is being written for geography that has no relevance to where those types of cases even come from. So I bring that up as a red flag that you, whoever you partner with from a marketing standpoint, it needs to be a partnership. You need to have someone that's going to sit down and talk about what do you want, where do you want it from, and how do we get you there? Who's your competition? What's a priority for you? Because, you know, there's a lot that goes into getting visibility, whether it's through ads, through Google, LSA or PPC, or in our case, our you know, what we really do well is the search engine optimization.

*Vaidas * (00:04:02) - And in our case, we almost on a, on a on a daily basis. And we have conversations. We run into people that have content on their website, and they don't understand why they're not getting the results they want. And what we find more often than not is there's no strategic research done on content to be written to show up. So as an example of that, if you're in a very competitive marketplace, let's say New York City, and you're looking to show up for, you know, gun crimes or some sort of, you know, really competitive area, you're going to you're going to need 3 or 4000 words of content on a page for Google to give you that visibility. And there's many, many other options out there where, you know, you might get 500 words, a thousand words and, you know, hope for the best, but there's no chance you're going to get visibility in that. So, you know, our approach is basically to analyze the competitive marketplace of where someone wants to show up.

*Vaidas * (00:04:58) - And then with our team, we utilize our tools to come up with what we need to do to get them to get that first page results. So a red flag is somebody that's writing or doing anything as far as your marketing strategy, without input from you and without constant feedback from you and, and and a collaborative effort, if you will. Yeah.

Jim Hacking (00:05:19) - So I'll add in on that.

Speaker 4 (00:05:21) - So track ability. Accountability is extremely important. If you're spending thousands of dollars a month, it's out of your pocket from your law firm. You should really know where your money's going. It should be able to track it. I think the biggest red flag is you get some of these marketing agencies that will we call them the Bronco. The old set it and forget it., you know, you you they build a website that right. Initial amount of content, maybe ten pages or whatever. And then they say they're doing SEO every single month. Well, 25 years in the business, if you're not writing content every month and adding backlinks to the back of your website, you're not doing SEO.

Speaker 4 (00:05:58) - If you're not doing that on a monthly basis, you're not doing it's not really, truly SEO. A lot of marketing companies will send will will have one phone number. This is probably prevalent in most of the big box marketing companies. Your scorpion's your just is your final. And they'll sign that tracking number to every single bit, every single one of the their marketing platforms, whether it's PPC, if it's there, if it's their website, if they're GMB, that that's the big red flag. If they're not tracking your GMB, where somebody is looking for your name and calling you from your GMB, and they're using the same marketing numbers that you're using for your website, it it's it really falsifies what your true analytics are. That accountability I mean it's it's if you're not talking to your marketing company at least once a quarter, and if you're spending a great deal of money, you should talk to them once a month to find out, hey, what's working well, what's not working? Well, maybe we should shift some dollars to go from here to there, because this seems to be generating a 10 to 1 where this is generating a 2 to 1, then you're it, it it almost is astonishing to us that we have conversation with the guys that are spending five, six, seven, eight, nine, $10,000 a month, and they don't talk with their marketing company.

Speaker 4 (00:07:10) - But once a year when it's time to renew. So I think I think partnership and accountability are probably the two biggest red flags.

Jim Hacking (00:07:17) - I'm old enough to remember when the Yellow Pages person would come to the office and make a pitch to get a full. They call it full truck or something. And full truck. Dad.

*Vaidas * (00:07:26) - Yeah, Steve. Steve works for him so he can fill in any blanks.

Jim Hacking (00:07:30) - What I always wondered was, well, if they're going to all the attorneys in my town about getting this double truck ad, you know, their their incentive for the Yellow Pages is to sell as many ads as they can. But when it comes to SEO, how does that factor in when you're talking about your marketing company, should you be looking for exclusivity? Should what should you be thinking about as a law firm owner on that, on that front?

Speaker 4 (00:07:51) - Well, I'll take that one by this. So it's, it's it's an interesting conversation because there's a couple big box store that started that way and say, okay, we're going to work with three criminal lawyers and three personal injury lawyers in this city.

Speaker 4 (00:08:03) - What they found was, well, now we're going to go to zip code. We're only work with three in the zip code. And then they're saying, okay, well you want criminal law, but they specialize in DUI. You know, exclusivity is it comes up all the time. But our point is there are literally thousands and hundreds of thousands of variations of searches. And if you're getting found on the internet through these variations of searches, which generates at least our goal is to get you a 5 to 1 return on your investment. What does it matter who else we work with? If you come to me and say, okay, I want to spend $10,000 a month, but I want to make 50,000 in return, and you're doing that, what difference does it make if we're working with one of your competitors? And that's the way we approach it, that we tend, you know, we're we're a relatively small company compared to some of the big box stores. And I will tell you that vice and I have had five, four meetings today and it's 11:00 am.

Speaker 4 (00:09:01) - So we're not we're not going after we're not using our clients to go after other clients in certain cities and certain markets invite us. Yeah. And to add to.

*Vaidas * (00:09:11) - That, I think that would be a relevant conversation. And it does come up. Right. Like, well, if I work with you, you know, what's to stop. You know, you working with the other three guys down the street. And to Steve's point, like one, we don't have time to do that. And second of all, it really doesn't matter if there was only like if you run a Google search and there's ten results. And that was the only ten results that we had to work with, then you could say, well, there's only so much real estate. But like Steve said earlier, there's there's so many different ways people search for things. There's so many different things that firms want. Firm firms will tell you, well, we all want the same thing, but that's not true because maybe you want it from this geography, or maybe you only want this version of the these and you don't take these types of things.

*Vaidas * (00:09:54) - Or maybe you're only willing to spend, you know, this amount, whereas this firm is willing to spend four times that. So it's not an apples to apples comparison. There is plenty of business out there for firms that do this, and we have yet to run into somebody going, oh my God, my business got cut in half because you started working with somebody else. The key is, is we want to get you first page results. It doesn't really matter who else is on that first page, because you're going to be compared to somebody anyway. You're our job is to make you one of those top choices. And then at that point, you know, it's up to you to close them.

Speaker 4 (00:10:29) - So and I'll piggyback on that. Vitus, you know, the guy we just talked to you today, he he's in he's in a state where his if he wanted exclusivity, when he says, okay, I do criminal law in all these cities, but when we drill down, we start asking them like, what do you want, traffic tickets? No, I don't want traffic tickets.

Speaker 4 (00:10:48) - Do you want do you want misdemeanors? No, I don't want misdemeanor. So when you say do you give exclusivity for a criminal lawyer, if you actually have a marketing company that asks the right questions, like, Will you take this case in this geo, or in this case, will you take this case in this Geo, not this case in that Geo. When you get down to the when you get down to actually doing a good, having a good conversation with a law firm, it you all really don't want the same thing as what you perceive as your competitor.

Tyson Mutrux (00:11:16) - I think that's fair. It's a good it's.

Speaker 4 (00:11:18) - Not a lawyer that only does car wreck. Yeah.

Tyson Mutrux (00:11:19) - And I honestly I've not really thought about it from that perspective. So I think that that's I think that's a good perspective. I think it's right. Let me so Steve you sort of mentioned hinted at this before is is you know data and information is there are there some baseline numbers that every person should expect to at least receive some sort of proof that they've got, that they've done a good job in the past? Is there something that we can ask for when we're talking to a digital marketing company that everyone should provide this, you know, baseline of data?

Speaker 4 (00:11:52) - Oh, my God, that's such a good question.

Speaker 4 (00:11:54) - Yes. Today, in today's today's landscape for digital marketing, you can track everything. I mean, you can be paralyzed by by analytics with the amount of analytics we can pull. And there's a couple there's a before I go into this, I'll say there's a couple of sites out there that are software that will run your analytics for for you. You can ask your agency to send them the SEMrush. It's, and you can run individual websites for any website on the internet. And it will it will give you a pretty accurate detail of how many visits you get, where they come from, what people are searching for to get to your site. And the other one is Ahrefs. Those are the two main ones that most agencies like ours, or any kind of marketing agency uses to to look at data that we have, we track everything we'll run. The other one is called rel. They should request to have callrail or some type of service like call rail that can track numbers. We will track everything from where somebody came from, what they typed in to get to our website.

Speaker 4 (00:13:03) - Did they use Yahoo? Did they use Bing? Did they come from an RLS local service that did they come from a paid and did they come from their GMB, which is now a GST app? They keep changing the name. We track data on all of our websites. I think we're close to 500 websites, but every time Google has a change in their in their analytics or the change in their their rhythms, we will actually visibly go into each one of our, our clients to see if they are affected by that change. So we're getting ready to have a change this month. We just don't know what day Google's already put it out. But yeah, you should be able to tell how many visitors you had, what they typed in to get to your website, how many people called you from those visitors? Where did they call you from? What page did they call you from? I literally can go into I literally can go into detail that just is is it goes into the weeds a lot with clients that we don't go into.

Speaker 4 (00:14:00) - But if you don't have a marketing firm that's giving you this information, or if they're just sending you, all right, you got you got 800 visitors and you got 140 phone calls this month, but they're not showing you the names of the people who called you or how people got there. It the the the analytics are there. They're just not providing them. If you want to jump in on that.

*Vaidas * (00:14:20) - Yeah. And that that's a good segue to kind of what my point was going to be when we ask firms that we talked to you, like, do you get any kind of analytics? The typical answer is, well, I get something sent to me once a month. Do you look at it? Yeah. I don't really know what I'm looking at. No one goes over it with me. A lot of times they'll ask us to take a look at it and it's it, it's almost such lack of information that it's meant to confuse versus actually provide real value. And, and one of the things that I'm seeing a lot now are firms that are using the term impressions.

*Vaidas * (00:14:54) - Impressions are a absolute BS analytic that is meant to make it look like look at all the impressions you're getting here. An impression is the equivalent of the road in front of your office, and the cars that drive by are our impressions to your office. They have no no clue, no care, no interest in your business. But they're driving by your office. That's an impression. And impressions are huge because, hey, you had 300,000 impressions this month. It's an absolutely, absolutely irrelevant stat. And I have now seen that these other companies lead with that. Like, that's such an enormous, amazing stat that they're providing for you where it's got nothing to do with it. Exactly, Jim. So what I, what I see like what Steve went into the details and your question, Tyson, is sort of should you have a baseline of of what you are starting point or something? One anybody you work with should be able to provide references, not just show you stuff. But hey, can I talk to some of your clients? Can I talk to someone that that does the same practice area that I do doesn't have to be in your town.

*Vaidas * (00:16:03) - I guess that, you know, you don't want to necessarily talk to someone that's doing exactly what you do, where you're at. But let me talk to a solo attorney that practices criminal law in a non large metropolitan area that you guys work with. If they're not willing to let you talk to their clients or connect you that way, that's a that's a red flag. And more importantly, show the statistics and analytics of what we do. Steve said earlier. We we go into everything with our clients from the pages that we're going to write for you, the pages we did write for you, how those pages have performed. And if you're not having these conversations on a regular basis, especially if you're spending, you know, thousands and tens of thousands of dollars, then then you're you're you're not getting what you should be getting from, from somebody who's a partner in your success.

Jim Hacking (00:16:48) - All right. So we've covered sort of all the ways the warning signs, the, the sort of sleazy things that some marketing companies do.

Jim Hacking (00:16:54) - I want to change gears a little bit and talk to you about attorneys who own law firms. And I would imagine that just like we see different clients with all different kinds of philosophies and worldviews and approaches to things when it comes to law firm owners who are interested in SEO, who what are the characteristics of law firm owners that have been the most successful with you? What are the. And obviously, we could say just the ones that spend the most money. Those are great clients to have. But what's a good client for you guys? What what's a good partner? Vitus talked about this being a partnership. What what can attorneys do on their end to help the partnership succeed as much as possible?

Speaker 4 (00:17:33) - Communicate. You need to have an open dialogue with your marketing company, especially if you get above five grand a month that you're spending on your marketing. Yeah, and that's that's about baseline of what people should be spending. But if you're if you're spending $60,000 on marketing, you should communicate with your with your marketing partner and be honest, say, hey, look, I'm getting all these calls and I'm not really converting anybody.

Speaker 4 (00:17:56) - And let us dig into the calls and listen to the calls and find out what's going on. And maybe there's something we can tweak to generate better calls. Right? And especially through local service ads and paid ads, you get what you ask for with those,, or refocusing the campaign for content to go after practice areas in a different geography. But really it's a communication with your with your marketing partner. And that's why I've always said, I meet with vice and I have a lot of clients. We work with a lot of a lot of Max law clients we work with. And we we meet with them once a quarter of minimum, and most of them will meet with once a month just to check in. We'll have a reoccurring meeting just for 15 minutes or 20 minutes. If it's a content strategy, call me a little bit longer, but we want to. We want to work with you and find out what's working so we can tweak things that aren't working to make it better, or refocus dollars to go into the things that are working.

Speaker 4 (00:18:50) - Vitus.

*Vaidas * (00:18:51) - Yeah, and on that note, I think, I think most people, unless they're a brand new firm, have, you know, people ask us all the time, like, who's your biggest competitor? It's not a company. It's an experience. And most attorneys today have had a bad experience times. However many, they've been told the same thing. They've been promised this and they've been disappointed. So how are you guys different? I've heard of that before. Yeah. The last guy said the same thing. You know, one, that's one reason for us why we don't do contracts. Everything's month to month with us and that holds our feet to the fire for performance. But to Steve's point, I can't tell you how many of the people we work with are just, like, thankful that if they need something, if they text me, I get sometimes a text on a weekend where someone needs something and I respond, or I pick up the phone and they're like, wow, like, I thought you wouldn't get back to me till next week.

*Vaidas * (00:19:42) - And I mean, that's that's just one small thing. I don't want to make it sound like my phone's blown up over the weekend, but responsiveness and attention and feeling like like they're a priority. And to that point, Steve and I try to schedule. We're not perfect, but we try to schedule on a regular basis follow ups with with our clients to go through where we are, where we've been and where do we need to go from here. And we and we have to do that because we're consistently writing new content every single month. So we need to know where the company's wants to focus, whether it's geographically or practice area., Jim's,, both of you guys. Right. So, so to that point, we get feedback all the time. Like, I have a couple firms that I work with it. It's a ten minute phone call, ten minute zoom call, just like this. Once a month. It's on the calendar. Hey. What's up? Tell me what's going on.

*Vaidas * (00:20:33) - Here's what I'm seeing. Here's what I see on your end. Anything different? Nope. Great. Talk to you next month that they appreciate that there's a partnership there versus hey, I haven't talked to anybody in a month, but now they're calling me because it's time to up the contract. So like Steve started the thing, it's it's communication and feeling like you actually care about their success versus just getting a new contract.

Tyson Mutrux (00:20:55) - All right. So I'm going to turn the tables a little bit because for attorneys sometimes it's there's a lot of times where we have red flags when it comes to clients. And I sometimes I'll tell the clients, if you don't listen to my advice, it's not it's not because and if we get a bad results, not because I'm a bad attorneys, because you're not listening to my advice and taking my advice. So I'm I'm sure that some people, when they go and hire a digital marketing company, they're just bad customers. And so that's part of the reason why they don't get a very good have a very good experience.

Tyson Mutrux (00:21:26) - So what are some ways that you could be a good customer? In some ways you could be a bad customer. So I'll let you take it from either angle.

Speaker 4 (00:21:35) - You take good or bad.

*Vaidas * (00:21:36) - Steve, which one you want?

Speaker 4 (00:21:37) - I'll take bad I think the majority. I tell every client, if you're going to do something, I think the two of you know more than anybody. We're not, we're not we're not a pushy agency. We're not one to send you 400 emails or call your call your office to try to get on your calendar 65 times. But I will tell you that there are some good agencies out there, but I don't take any law firm out there that's listening. Whatever type of marketing you're going to do, do it right. Don't don't do, don't put don't put a little bit here, a little bit there a little bit just to see how it works. You need to go all in if you're going to go all in. And to that point when we have conversations with attorneys, we do a lot of research.

Speaker 4 (00:22:15) - We know who we're meeting with, they know what practice area they are, and we know what what county and what city they're in, what state they're in. We'll do research on who their competitors are, who's showing up just based on what we're reading on their website or what they want. And when we when we recommend the program or we recommend a budget if they're not willing to work with us, we're not going to work with them. If we say, listen, I need you to spend a minimum of $3,000 because that's where we feel comfortable that you're going to make the return on investment. That that is what your expectation is to get 5 to 1. Well, you're going to need to spend this to get 5 to 1 if anything less. We're not going to work with you because the worst thing I can do is listen. I've been working with a law firm for 25 years. My dad's an attorney, and my brothers are attorneys. Listen, if we make you guys happy, you tell nobody.

Speaker 4 (00:23:01) - If we piss you off, you tell everybody. So we might have to have come to a point in our career where we know what's going to generate the 5 to 1 or the ten, whatever their expectations are. And if they say, I don't want to spend that, I'll spend half. We just won't work with them because we don't. You know, everything we do is built on our reputation and our, you know, how we treat our clients. And I would much rather not take the money than have somebody to be bad about raising media, because that's how much we care about our reputation. Vitus.

*Vaidas * (00:23:35) - So that's the bad, right? The good clients are the ones that are responsive and participatory. And what I mean by that is, you know, our whole point of working with someone is not to take enormous amounts of their time. And we understand they've got to go to court. They're they're getting paid to be lawyers. But it's hard for us to do our job if we don't have feedback and and strategy from them, because we can assume so much, but we need their input on again, if we start with somebody and say, look, let's we need you to talk to our SEO team about what you want, where you want it from, and then we're going to get to work and come back with you with suggestions.

*Vaidas * (00:24:17) - Right. So same thing from a, you know, a design standpoint or whatever standpoint. Like we just started with, with somebody recently that also a max law person that we just started running LSA ads for them and they were like, hey, is this going to work? We don't know. And, and you know, how quickly can we get results? Well, first day that we turn the LSA ads, I called them, I said, you got five calls today. And he was like, wow, like I thought, I thought you were going to wait a week to get back to me. So that's our element of being participatory. But he's incredibly, I guess, happy. The fact that we're paying attention to it on his behalf, because he's he's got concerns of leaving the relationship that he had because he, he had a very long standing partnership that wasn't working, but nonetheless, he severed that to go with us. And now he's seeing that partnership in our communication. So a good client is someone that makes even just a little bit of time to talk about things and share with us.

*Vaidas * (00:25:13) - By the way, what are you seeing on your end? We can look at data all day long, but we don't know what's going on. As far as how many people are hiring you, what kind of revenue are you generating? So the only way we can collaborate those things is if we get that, that feedback directly from from the lawyer.

Jim Hacking (00:25:28) - For my last question, it's something that we haven't really talked about, but it interests me. You guys have obviously had a lot of success and experienced growth. How have you, as business owners, handled that growth and made sure that your clients still get the attention that they deserve and that you want them to get? I think that would be a good lesson to law firm owners from a customer satisfaction standpoint.

*Vaidas * (00:25:50) - Yeah, I I'll I'll start with that one, Steve. And then you can parlay that to that point. We we are we're growing like crazy, but we're growing in a way where we're being careful not to get ahead of ourselves. So we're hiring.

*Vaidas * (00:26:03) - We're we're adding people on the back end. Steve and I personally are delegating some things that that free us time, free of our time to actually communicate directly with the, the customers, the law firms that we work with. There's some back end stuff that we can have some Vas sort of help us with, but we're we're at the point now where we're trying to come up with the best model to make sure that something doesn't fall through the cracks. Then we continue to give the attention that's required. But as a company, I think we've doubled in size over the last year as far as the growth of everything from designers to SEO to account managers, project managers, because we want to make sure that we can continue to provide the the quality and the results that that we've got have gotten us this far.

Speaker 4 (00:26:51) - And I'll I'll jump on that as well. So the one thing that we've all had, we talked to our owners every day, you know, we're all good friends and we we will not hire quantity over quality.

Speaker 4 (00:27:03) - We're still hiring quality people. We're sourcing quality people. Luckily, when you're in this industry, when you're in the legal marketing industry, you know, a lot of people that are not we all know each other. All the other agencies, we all know each other. So there's a pool of people and there's a background where we know who they are, but we're not going to we're definitely not just hiring to hire. We're hiring quality over quantity. The growth we we've actually. We doubled every single year. I think we were 95,000. I think we were on number 800, 810. I can't remember the number, but we are one of the fastest growing private companies in America. But it does. It comes with I mean, bison are busy. We have we have seven appointments today. We had six yesterday. We are we are getting help on the back end of stuff. But it doesn't stop us from talking to our clients. But it is a good question. But to answer your question, we are not.

Speaker 4 (00:27:54) - We are not picking quantity over quality. We're our biggest fear that we're not going to give the quality the attention that our clients need. And so far, it hasn't affected the attention that our clients get or the outcome.

*Vaidas * (00:28:08) - And if I can, if I can add to that based on something Steve said just a few minutes ago, is that we'll turn away your business if we don't feel that you're willing to, in a sense, listen to our advice so you can be successful. Because, again, we do everything month to month. So we we put a lot into what we what we strategize with you to get results, and we know what's going to work and what isn't. And if you're not willing to, you know, take our sort of expertise and our suggestions there, then we'll turn your business away, because we don't want to work with you for five months. And then you'd be like, oh, rise up. They didn't know what they were doing. They didn't work. So we're selective with firms that we work with, and we'll turn down clients that say, hey, I'll start with you, but I can only do this much.

*Vaidas * (00:28:53) - Well, you know, that's really not going to get us to where we where we need to be. And, you know, we'd love to work with you if things change. And you and you, you know, get in a position where you can, you know, follow our advice. So again, selective sort of choosing who you work with.

Speaker 4 (00:29:08) - And to that point one more point, Tyson, I know you want to say something, but to that point, if we if we if we're talking to a client and they want immediate phone calls and SEO is not a good strategy for them because it's SEO is a long term play, you know, it's six, seven months before you start indexing. We will say, listen, let's not work on SEO. Let's let us run some LSA ads to get your phones. Your phone's ringing right now. Bring in some business so that when you start your SEO, you can fund it the first six months through the office ads. So it is. It is listening, growing, growing the right way and growing with people that are are good in the dugout, so to speak, all compatible in the dugout, I think.

Speaker 4 (00:29:49) - I think that's.

Tyson Mutrux (00:29:50) - Important. Yeah. I think what you just said, Steve, is, is really important. You know, working with a company that understands law firms as a business and the need to actually get get some some money through the door whenever you're spending, you know, thousands of dollars with these, with these agencies. So I think that that's I think it's brilliant. So I'm glad you said that. Before we wrap things up, how do people get in touch with you all? Vytas I'll let you or Steve, either one. Whoever wants to give the pitch on how to get in touch with you if they if someone wants to work with you.

*Vaidas * (00:30:16) - Yeah, you can reach us by email. You can reach us by both of us. Our cell phones, our emails, our first name at Rise Up Mediacom. So mine is Vitus Vidas at Rise Up Mediacom Rise up, spelled with a Z. Steve's is Steve at Rise up media com my cell phone number. You can text me, call me.

*Vaidas * (00:30:34) - (704) 953-7051 Steve, your cell phone is (412) 713-2764.

Speaker 4 (00:30:44) - But there's also a link on maximum, I believe.

Tyson Mutrux (00:30:47) - Yeah. So I was gonna be impressed if you knew Steve's cell phone off the top of your head by us. But I definitely do not know. Jim's off the top of my head.

*Vaidas * (00:30:54) - I don't know my mom's cell phone number. I just hit dial, so.

Tyson Mutrux (00:30:59) - All right, so we are going to wrap things up before I do want to remind everyone join us in the big Facebook group. Just search Maximum Lawyer and Facebook and you'll find us there. Hopefully Facebook is not down on the day that you do search it. And if you want a to join us at one of our quarterly masterminds, we are going to be in Minneapolis and we're going to be in North Carolina. So Charlotte and Vegas, we were in Scottsdale earlier this year. We were at Miami last year. So we had a few few cool places that we've been to and that we're going to. So if you want to join us in the Max Law

Tyson Mutrux (00:31:31) - Jimmy, what is your hack of the week?

Jim Hacking (00:31:34) - So I have a team member. She's relentless. Like she does not give up. She just keeps insisting she's like the Terminator. She she doesn't give up. And that includes when she wants me to do something. So like, there's this there's this issue right now. It's incredible to me. I'm not admitted to the new Jersey bar, but I do file a case from time to time in new Jersey and federal court. But I have to pay a fee. Apparently, I have to pay a fee to the new Jersey state court system for the privilege of filing proactivity. It's just a total racket. It's a money grab. But she has just not given up about this. And she's been driving me crazy with it. And I came up with a phrase with my assistant today because I wanted to say, please just leave me alone. I don't care about this. Just make it so right. So my new phrase is happy and grateful. So when Jim says he's happy and grateful, please take care of this.

Jim Hacking (00:32:23) - Jim is happy and grateful that you're doing it. So that's that's our new code word. For this is sort of not something I need to be aware of. Just take care of it.

Tyson Mutrux (00:32:32) - Jim, I am happy and grateful that you're on this podcast today. I always love recording with you, Vitus. And then we'll go. We'll go to Vitus and then Steve. I'll go to my left or right. So Vitus and Steve, you all, you all have done this a couple times now. We always ask our guests to give a tip or a hack of the week. Vitus, you're up first. Steve, you are next.

*Vaidas * (00:32:52) - Yeah. My tip of the week. There's there's a tool out there called loom. I discovered it actually first by I was actually getting physical therapy done with a guy and he was using it. And he. It's a recording tool. It's a free tool you can actually download and you can basically record. We could record this entire thing that we're doing here and send it in a snippet.

*Vaidas * (00:33:13) - And so the value that I see in it now from our, our business sense is I'll talk to somebody and they'll say, hey, this is great, but now I need to go regurgitate it and tell the partners and whatever. And of course, things would get lost in translation. So what I've done is said, hey, how about if I do a quick little two minute overview video of everything we just did? And you can just have your partners watch my video. And that's been incredibly well received. So you can utilize it for any element like that. But it's a real easy way to send a message to somebody, even as a follow up, as a, hey, I just wanted to talk to you real quick. Here's a couple of things. Steve and I have even used it to give people a quick analysis of their reports, because it records anything that I do on my computer gives them a little link. They can watch it as they need be, and it's a great way to sort of touch base with people.

Tyson Mutrux (00:34:00) - Love it. Very good. Steve, what you got the.

Speaker 4 (00:34:03) - Legal directories, if you're running thousands of dollars in legal directories across the country or statewide or citywide, have your marketing company give you a tracking phone number on that legal directory because they can already track how many people click into your website if they're tracking analytics, but the phone not put a tracking phone number that goes to your office that you can track. Not the marketing, not the legal directories, and get a true sense of how many phone calls you actually get from the legal directories.

Tyson Mutrux (00:34:32) - Love it. Good stuff. It's great advice for mine. It's a tip that that Kelsey Bradshaw, Jimmy and his buddy gave me. I was actually in the middle of responding to a motion for summary judgment, and he just sent me a text. Hey, hey, have you,, seen notebook LM? And I was I didn't know what the hell it was. I thought he actually spelled it wrong, but it was. It's notebook LM Google.

Tyson Mutrux (00:34:53) - And it is. They call, I think they call it a virtual AI assistant. So you can take you can upload documents or PDFs to it. You can upload text, it can sync with Google Docs. And unlike like ChatGPT and other, these other platforms where you ask for it to do something, it pulls from whatever database it comes from, the database is whatever database you give it, which is kind of cool. So if you have a bunch of case law and you could people like I could see injury lawyers doing this with, you know, demand letters or, or even per case. You could, you know, have it analyze medical records for you. It's pretty cool. So you upload whatever you need for it and then you can ask it questions. So I was playing around with it and I uploaded some case law to it. So I was just kind of asking it questions. And then what it'll do is would give me the answer and then give me the direct citation in the PDF so I could click on the citation.

Tyson Mutrux (00:35:44) - It would take me straight to that PDF where I could then read the case law. And it was really cool. So it's free. It's free for now. So I would check it out. Notebook LM which is notebook LM, Google, it's pretty cool. So check it out. Vitus. Steve, thank you so much for coming on. Thank you for being such a great partner with Maxwell to Rise Up media. It's a great company, like I said. And I'm not just saying it. I've never heard a complaint about you all. I've only heard really good things. I've heard lots of compliments. All the guild members that have used you have reported back success. So. So keep up the great work and thanks for everything you do.

Speaker 1 (00:36:20) - Thanks for listening to the Maximum Lawyer podcast. To stay in contact with your host and to access more content. Go to Maximum Have a great week and catch you next time.

Watch the YouTube version of this episode HERE

Are you a law firm owner that is looking for ways to show appreciation to your staff? In this episode of the Maximum Lawyer Podcast, Tyson delves into the positive impacts of the "Teammate of the Quarter" award at his law firm. 

Tyson shares some highlights of the award and what makes it such a great aspect of the law firm. Since law firms are such busy environments, it can be difficult to stop, reflect and recognize the hard work of those who work at the firm. What this award does is cultivate a culture of appreciation for those that contribute to its success. Having a positive work environment is crucial to any successful law firm, and awards like the Teammate of the Quarter help achieve that goal.

The Teammate of the Quarter award contributes to better collaboration and engagement amongst a team. The award allows for team members to get to know each other on a personal level and it can lead to better collaboration when working on tasks and projects. Tools like Zoho and Google Meets Polls can be utilized to create surveys for staff to provide their input on who the Teammate of the Quarter should be!

Listen in to learn how to integrate this award within your firm!

Episode Highlights:

  • 00:24 The benefits of the Teammate of the Quarter Award
  • 3:16 How the award drives a positive work environment
  • 10:28 The success of the award process


Transcripts: Teammate of the Quarter Award?! with Tyson Murtux 

Tyson (00:01.112)
Hey everybody, welcome back to another Saturday episode of the Maximum Lawyer podcast. I hope everyone has had a wonderful beginning of the year. I know that ours has been extremely busy. I'm hoping that all of yours has been extremely busy, but that you've had plenty of opportunity to relax because we got to work hard, but you got to have fun at the same time. So.

Today, I want to talk about something that we did at our recent quarterly meeting, something we've been doing for quite a while, but it had me thinking about it. And so I wanted to talk about it. And that is our teammate of the quarter award that we give to a teammate. And so I'm going to get into some of the details of that and how that looks in just a moment. But before I do, we are still, still…

I don't know how much longer this is going to last, giving away stage one of maximum lawyer and minimum time, absolutely free to our listeners. We give this to stages one, two, and three. We give that to guild members. But if you're not in the guild, we will give it to you for free. Stage one for free. You don't get stage twos and two and three. You only get those if you're in the guild. But if you're a listener, you can get stage one.

All you have to do is text stage one to 314 -501 -9260. That's 314 -501 -9260. And it will be sent out to you via text right away. So hopefully you'll check that out. Something that Jim and I have put together. It's the roadmap to building the law firm of your dreams. We think it'll help you along your journey. All right, so let's get into teammate of the quarter. And…

This is something, you know, honestly, we should have done it, started doing it a long time ago, but I don't even know where we picked it up. We might've gotten the idea from someone else. I don't know. If I'm not giving someone credit, I apologize, but it's something that it is a very cool thing to watch because people, you can tell when they win it, they feel appreciated. And…

Tyson (02:25.272)
Sometimes we're not the best as law firm owners because we're so busy. We're running law firms and we're going to court and we're working on wills or whatever you do. And we forget to thank the people we should be thanking and really giving them the credit that they deserve. And this helps with that. And it helps you, one of the benefits, this is my first thing I want to talk about is cultivating that culture of appreciation. And so…

One of the main parts of this for us is it does, it really does drive that home. Having that award, knowing that person, that they won that quarter, it really is cool. And it's that reflection of the just genuine acknowledgement and respect that your teammates have for you. It's really, really cool. It helps foster that positive work environment that…

that everyone is looking for, right? That's what we're looking for. We want to have that positive environment. And that's something that we have been really working so freaking hard at our firm is making sure we have A players, but not only A players, but people that are just positive people that have the energy, they bring it. Another way of putting it, a more negative way of putting it is just not having toxic people, right? That's a more negative view, but sometimes you have to kind of…

Some of you maybe need that punch in the nose a little bit. But it is a great way of cultivating that environment. Which part of that is just a boost morale. People get motivated because they know that their efforts every month, every day, every hour that they put in that they're going to be recognized. And so…

This episode isn't necessarily just about, I guess, teammate of the quarter. It's really about, it's really about just try to cultivating that environment that you want when it comes to that, that appreciation of your employees, of your team members, of your teammates. Another, another part of this too, is it, I think it helps encourage teamwork and collaboration because I can tell you, I, cause I don't, I remove my name from the survey. I think that you should too, by the way, you can do it whatever you want.

Tyson (04:48.665)
Even though they're like, hey, we want you to have your name on there. I don't, I'm not, I'll never have my name on one of those surveys. Um, I don't think you should either, but, um, it is, I can, I can, I see trends. I see whenever people are, are, have been collaborating with each other and they vote for each other. So I, I, I see it and, um, great. I think it's good. I think it's fantastic. Um, you, you, you have that, that collaboration between team members. I think that's great. That's what you want. It's exactly what you want.

Something else is like, this is something that is maybe a little bit overlooked is that you have the collaboration, but there's also that engagement with each other too, right? Collaboration and engagement, they're two different things, right? Collaboration is where we're working sort of towards this common goal. Engagement is like we're getting to know each other. We're interacting with each other. And it enhances that engagement that you're looking for when it comes to your employees as well.

And then I'd say the last thing, and then I'll get into sort of the nuts and bolts of how we do it, is it drives a little bit of healthy competition. Okay. And this is one where you are in the survey, you're supporting each other. So it is a healthy competition. There can be unhealthy competitions for sure, but this is one of those things where people want to win this award. Okay. They want to win this award. And I know that if I were eligible for it, I'd want to win it too, if I were an employee. So.

People are going to want to win it. And so they're going to, they're going to, you know, competition, healthy competition usually, usually leads to better results. So think about that as well. All right. So the mechanics of this, we've done this, you know, a few different ways. I, this time, I tried to do a little bit different this time, but we, I didn't realize the limitations of Google meets polls, but the, you can't do more than 10 options. I don't think on a -

hole in Google Meet. So I just sort of scramble this quarter. But what my plan was is we'll do a live hole. And I thought it'd be kind of cool to have live results. That's why I wouldn't do it. I thought it'd be kind of cool. And it didn't quite work that way. But what I did was I went back to what we normally do. I made a copy of an old Zoho survey that we use where we have in that survey.

Tyson (07:12.184)
And I didn't do it this time because I was pivoting very quickly, but usually we have, you list your name, you list who you're voting for. And then we talk about the, we have two questions that we have on there. And the first one is about, tell us about a moment that, and I'm paraphrasing by the way, but.

Tell us about a moment in the last quarter where this team member has really excelled. And that's not the exact wording of it, but it's somewhere along those lines. What we're doing is we're looking for a story, right? We want them to tell a story about the teammate that they're talking about. And so the, I like being able to hear that because that.

we can then repeat those stories. Those are things that we can use in the future, which I think are helpful. And so that's a question that we have used. Another question that we use, it's just very simple, you who's your choice? I've done this where it's anonymous before too. I don't know, I like to have them identify themselves, but you can do whatever you want. We've had one where we ask, you know, what makes them special? Actually, I think it's kind of a cool.

question and that allows them to sort of freelance a little bit with it where they can go a little bit deeper. When you ask that question you do see a lot longer answers because it's a little bit more thought -provoking. And so those are a couple questions or a few questions that we ask them.

And we get some pretty good feedback. We get some pretty insightful responses as well. So it's a pretty simple survey. We normally will send it in the week or two before, because we sent a survey in advance of our quarterly meetings. And what we've… So there's something I've been doing recently where we've been testing out a couple of different things. So in previous quarters, we sent just a…

Tyson (09:35.768)
fairly simple survey where we ask a little bit. Q4 for that survey, we sent an extremely detailed survey. Okay. And then this quarter, no survey. Okay. And I wanted to test and see, I wanted to compare them and see what was better and see if it made any difference on the meetings. We actually just had a phenomenal meeting to be honest with you. It was really, really good, but the…

The feel of the meeting was different. People had been working really, really hard. This quarter has been one where everyone's just working, working, working, working super tough. So I sort of want to reward them with a little bit of a lighter quarterly meeting because they can be a bear. For those of you that do them, they can be kind of a bear. They're extremely important. They're something that we can't not do. We've got to do them because they're just so, so important. But we…

We wanted to sort of, so it was a, we started with, actually, I'll talk about this in another episode, what we actually did this quarterly meeting, because I think it was a little bit different, but it was cool. Really enjoyed it. The feel was different and our team deserved it. But for getting business done, I'll tell you, doing the more detailed surveys, that's the way to go. But I can talk about it in another episode as well. But.

Hopefully you all got something from this. Oh, I guess I didn't finish. After we do the survey, we will normally announce it at the quarterly meeting. That's how we do it. So we will announce it at the end of the day, and then the winner gets a day off of work that's paid. So it's an additional vacation day, which they all love. They all like being able to take an additional day off. And so it's one of those just added perks to it. It's not just…

I mean, you could give cash prizes too and all that if you wanted to. Maybe sometime we'll try that as well, but right now we give a day off and people seem to like it quite a bit. So that works pretty well for us. Test out what you like and what you don't like and I'd love to hear from you. If you do have a tweak that you want me to make when it comes to the teammate of the quarter or if you've got any ideas or if you have any questions, I would love for you to text me at.

Tyson (11:55.449)
314 -501 -9260, 314 -501 -9260. I love hearing from you. We get lots of text messages and I love to see them when they come in. So keep them coming, really appreciate it. Until next week, remember that consistent action is the blueprint that turns your goals into reality. Take care, everybody. See ya.

Watch the YouTube version of this episode HERE

Are you a law firm owner who is thinking about integrating automation into your workflows? In this episode of the Maximum Lawyer Podcast, Ali Zahid, CEO of LegalMate, delves into the transformative impact of legal tech on law firms. 

Ali shares the concept of LegalMate and what it tries to solve for law firms and lawyers alike. LegalMate is an automation platform that is integrated with CRM’s like Clio to streamline processes that would otherwise be done using traditional paper based methods. What makes LegalMate so efficient is it takes away the manual labour and gives time back to lawyers. Tasks like intake can be time consuming and using a paper based system is prone to error and can get lost if not filed properly. LegalMate does all the work for law firms and helps with keeping everything in order.

When it comes to integrating automation with workflows, Ali recommends it is best to start small. This is more so for law firms that do not have an automation system in place at all. It can be tough for teams to adapt to a new system if too many things are being implemented at once. It will take time for teams to learn a new automation system and let go of the old way of working. For firms that have a process mapped out already or currently work with some kind of automation, it is still best to start small but aggressively expand to move things along quicker.

Take a listen to learn more about automation in the legal space!

Episode Highlights:

  • 1:42 How Legal Mate helps law firms streamline processes
  • 8:43 The process of assessing law firms' workflows 
  • 11:02 The approach for law firms to start small with automations 
  • 29:43 Discussion on injecting AI into workflows 

Connect with Ali:


Transcripts: Automating Legal Tasks: Making Lawyers' Lives Easier, One Click at a Time with Ali Zahid

Becca (00:02.212)
Welcome to the Maximum Lawyer Podcast, Ali. How are you?

Ali Zahid (00:05.683)
I'm pretty good, how are you doing today?

Becca (00:07.636)
Good, good, so glad that you're here.

Ali Zahid (00:11.018)
Absolutely, I'm excited to be here. I've been following the group for a long time, so excited to kinda jump in and be part of it.

Becca (00:20.016)
Yes. So today we're going to dive into the topic of automations and law firms. And that's where you come in. So why don't you tell us what is LegalMate and what's the number one pain point that you solve?

Ali Zahid (00:26.817)

Ali Zahid (00:33.31)
Yeah, so LegalMate is an automation platform that we've built for legal services that sits on top of different CRMs and things like Clio's of the world, and we help stitch all of these systems together. Our biggest main pain point that we kind of go after is giving lawyers their time back. Many law firms still rely heavily on manual paper-based process, which are pretty inefficient and prone to a lot of errors.

We build all these different automations on top of all these different platforms that are designed to reduce the manual work that the law firm does. A lot of the same repetitive tasks like intake, closing a matter and whatnot. So our aim is to give the lawyers their time back and increase their time that they can invest more in the human judgment and working with their clients and giving their expertise to the clients instead of doing the repetitive task over and over again.

Becca (01:33.236)
Absolutely. Okay, so who started LegalMate and why was it started?

Ali Zahid (01:39.058)
Yeah, great question. So started by me and two of my other two close friends. The story kind of goes a little bit like this. My best friend from university was working at this company called Clio that a lot of your listeners might know. And he was also my housemate at that time. And he would come home every day as being all tech guys, being like, man, like legal services are changing a lot. There's like absolutely brand new opportunities. There's this misconception around lawyers that they don't really.

Becca (01:52.873)

Ali Zahid (02:08.726)
adapt to new innovative technology and take up new software. And he, like, I used to kind of poke fun at it, but, you know, when he started to show me Clio and different things they were doing, I was kind of like, wow, this is like a brand new opportunity. So we got a team together and started to work on different areas in legal. I myself am an immigrant to Canada, so dealt with a lot of like immigration lawyers and I always thought like, oh, they can really use the technology. So…

We all came together and started a company around the legal tech systems and started to go deeper into it. So that's who kind of created it. One of our co-founders worked at Clio, the other one and myself were sealer entrepreneurs that have worked in big tech companies. And we're like, OK, let's try to put our heads together and work more on the legal side. And it was also kind of the human part of it too that like

A lot more of the law firms that I dealt with were really big law firms, but the real like, 90% of the lawyers work in small to medium sized law firms. So I really liked working with small businesses because that was my previous company. And I was like, wow, this is where I kind of wanna be. And yeah, so that's how we kind of created LegalMate itself. How do we kind of solve this like automation problem is kind of like the next part of it. When we started to…

come up with different areas that we can tackle in legal tech, a lot of the law firms kind of came to us and were like, hey, can you help us set up Zapier? And we were like, as programmers, we were like, hey, this is supposed to be a no code, low code tool, like you should be able to do it. And when we started to go deeper into it, we were actually amazed how complex some of their workflows were and what they were trying to do. And Zapier is just not built for that. As computer scientists, we're like, yeah, like what you're trying to do is pretty complicated.

It was not possible with Zapier. So we started to understand their workflows. We kind of got ourselves embedded in different law firms, became part of their teams, and understood what people were doing, and started to build this platform to help them reduce the manual processes that they were doing and automate that. So.

Becca (04:23.412)
Absolutely, I love that and that is something that we hear a lot is that you know Zapier is there but they're not really able to do that on their own.

Ali Zahid (04:33.074)
Yeah, you got to understand what an API is, what a JSON object is, how the APIs work, all of the if-else statements that can happen inside your process, what happens when an API changes, it breaks the whole process. So there's a lot of these things that came up. And when I would sit down with an attorney, I'm like, hey, they don't have an open API. They're like, what is an API? And I was like, OK. We got to like…

take a step back and that's how the platform kind of started to get created. And we knew right away that we can't build a platform that we can just hand over to an attorney and let them configure it. So that's how we kind of created this more custom as shop where we go into a law firm and we work with them one-on-one and become part of their team. So if they use like Slack, Google chat or Teams, we're part of that. So very much kind of involved in deep into it because

It wasn't one size fits all is what we also saw. Even though different law firms might be practicing immigration, they're all working at it a little bit differently internally. So we wanted to kind of be able to support that and help them kind of build the dream law firm that they've always wanted to do.

Becca (05:47.452)
That's awesome. And I do want to dive into the customization. But first, so on your website, I read that you have legal services should be accessible to everyone. That's why we built LegalMate. So, I mean, that's something that gets brought up a lot in our community. So define accessible to everyone.

Ali Zahid (06:07.018)
Yeah, so we think a lot about how lawyers can help more people and serve more people. We started in immigration as the first sector and always were like, hey, as an immigrant, like both of my other partners are the same, they've immigrated to different countries and have always felt that. And it was always that, you know, you want to hire a lawyer, but it was really hard. You will call a law firm and then you won't hear back from them.

or they'll be too busy and you have a dying question and you can't find an answer to that. So one of the things that we kind of realized was like, if we can make law firms more efficient, just the way like big tech companies are, that they have a lot of these tools, we can help those lawyers serve more people essentially. So if you make them a bit more efficient, it can have a drastic impact on everybody else around them and allows them to be able to serve more people around them. And

When we started to look at that, we were like, hey, everyone go straight to the client, but the people in the middle who are actually doing the bulk of the work are the ones that should be a lot more efficient. So that's what we mean is, hey, can we make these lawyers and the law firms more efficient, help them run it like an efficient business, and remind them to work on their business, not in their business? That means more people can be able to get their services in the end.

Too many attorneys I talked to are like drowned with leads and they're like, we just can't get to them. And that's when kind of like the automation comes in and whatnot.

Becca (07:41.972)
Absolutely, I love that. Okay, when someone gets started with you, you do a workflow assessment. So what does this process look like and how long does this process take?

Ali Zahid (07:46.946)
Yep. Yeah.

Ali Zahid (07:54.186)
Yeah, so essentially there's two types of law firms that come to us. One that exactly know what they wanna automate. They have a standard of procedures like SOPs written out. They're very articulated. The managing partner or the owner knows exactly what they want to do. And those are kinda like, you know, one in a hundred usually sometimes. And we love working with them because that gives us a roadmap. We go in, we look at their…

SOPs, we audit them and we're like, hey, this is where you can automate this section. This is where you can automate this section. But a lot of the other ones, they have some type of SOPs or some type of workflow, but they're too busy. They haven't had the time to actually write it down. You go talk to the attorney and they exactly know, hey, let's say for an immigration, it's adjustment of status. They exactly know what steps need to be taken. But they never had the time to like sit down and really think about writing them out. So what we do is,

We usually first start off being like, hey, what's your goal? What do you want to do in this year? And then from there on, we sit down with them and kind of interview them for an hour, where the first question that I will ask is like, hey, I gave your office a call. I'm one of your main clients that wants to work with you. Walk me through exactly what happens next. Who picks up the call? What questions do they ask? And what email do they get? Who sends that email? When does that email get sent? Who sends a text message?

So we interviewed them for an hour essentially. Usually that's the amount of time it takes. And then we take that information back and sometimes we build a system diagram out of it, or we write like a task list that they do, or some of that sort of thing that we create that we're like, hey, can you follow along this workflow that you're doing? And that's where we kind of start auditing a lot of their workflows and kind of being like, hey, you know, this process over here is gonna break or becomes a bottleneck in terms of getting the people.

through and that process usually as I said takes in about an hour. It takes more of our time in the end after synthesizing the interview that we did, taking all the information out and that takes two to three days and then we kind of come back to you and be like, hey, this is your workflow.

Becca (10:04.364)
Awesome, that sounds great. So where do you recommend that law firms start? Should they start out small and incorporate some automations if they don't have any? Or do you recommend mapping out the entire process or processes and going all in?

Ali Zahid (10:21.074)
Yeah, that's a big question, right? And I'm going to say it all depends on the law firm. If they have the whole process mapped out from 0 to 100, what we end up doing is we start chunking it into smaller bits and start working with them. What we've always seen is starting small and expanding is the right way to go. It's really hard for change management internally with your team.

with all these new processes coming in and things will break. That's just the reality of the world. I don't wanna over promise you anything like that. So we go in very lightheaded and being like, this is how what the process is. So we always usually start with a small process and then start expanding it out from there on because when they see the power of one small process automated, they're like, they want more. They don't wanna keep doing the same thing over and over. So.

Most of the time we will start one process and then expand, but some law firms are like, want to go 100 and they have everything kind of written out and have all of the SPS kind of done. And then we just, you know, still start small, but we aggressively expand then.

Becca (11:30.036)
Awesome. Okay. So we hear a lot about customization when it comes to products and services for our law firm owners. But another thing that we hear is the huge complaint is that the build out times for customized things are a lot longer than what they anticipated or what they would have hoped. So what is your build out time? And you can give an example because like we just talked about, you know, depending on the project, it will change. But what would that look like typically?

Ali Zahid (11:59.166)
Yeah, so, you know, with Nick's experience working at Clio, we have a lot of exposure to this exact problem, you know, take legal or any software implementation, which is like software as a service, if it's done poorly, it will take forever to implement and kind of get going, especially on a bigger team. So this is something we've been very, very mindful of from the starting and we work with the firm very closely. So think of us like an engineering extension to your team.

We will kind of come in, we will work with you. Again, as I said, we are part of your communications. So that's if you're using Slack, Teams, or Google Chat, or whatever internal system you're using, we're part of it. So you can message us at any moment and we will be able to work with you. And we try to move really, really fast, as fast as the law firm wants us to move, because we are part of their engineering resource at that point.

So, you know, to kind of give you an example, a project can take one month to three months to implement, but that all depends on the complexity and the scope of the project of what they want us to do. It can be all the way from like, I just want this small thing to happen to, here's the whole like complex tree of if this happens, do this, if that happens, do this. And one of the other things that we've kind of realized is like we become critical path of the firm doing the work.

So if anything goes wrong, we need to be there because the firm kind of halts in place almost and we don't wanna abandon you or anything. So we give that care, we are part of the team still and we'll be moderating and creating this observability layer that we call it, that once we implement it, we will observe it with you for a long, long time. Essentially, because we're working with your team, we will be there, which is really important from that perspective.

Becca (13:48.188)
Awesome. Okay. So when someone decides that they want to work with you, are they doing project base where it's like one love, some payment, or is this a subscription plan? What do your packages look like? And can they do a setup through you without ongoing management or is it all encompassing?

Ali Zahid (14:07.974)
It's all encompassing. So what we do is we are a platform that sits on top of all these other software that you use. Our aim is that you never come to our platform because if everything works, like you don't need to ever come to us. So it is both a project base and then there's a subscription after. And the subscription is the world's changing every single day. Software gets updated every single day. API changes. And we want to be part of those changes for you.

There's always security patches coming out, et cetera. So that subscription is to have us around to make sure everything's getting fixed. So it's both, it's we will scope out a project with you, which makes the most sense. And then we will go in and have a subscription going on from there. So you can message us at any moment. All four clients have my personal cell phone number. So, you know, I get text messages all the time where we jump in and help you out.

And as I said, we're part of your team. That's the biggest thing, which is different. We're not gonna just give you a tool, make you spend like 20 hours and get frustrated and leave it.

Becca (15:15.26)
Yeah, that's amazing. Okay, so I polled some of our Maximum Lawyer community members to get a better sense of their current challenges when it comes to creating and implementing automations in their firms. So I have a few questions from them. All right, so what would you say to this member? They said, I'm wrestling with the decision of hiring an in-house technology person versus outsourcing consultants.

Ali Zahid (15:28.032)

Ali Zahid (15:41.356)

Becca (15:41.488)
We want to embrace innovation and make our practice technologically advanced, but that is a unique knowledge set and where to find it and keep it is challenging.

Ali Zahid (15:50.35)
Yeah, so there's a lot of thoughts on this one. Hiring somebody in person, which is going to be like quote unquote, like an engineer, like a software engineer, is going to be really, really hard for a law firm. They're really expensive. And then you're competing with like Facebooks and Googles of the world, where they have infinite amount of perks and money. So usually I never recommend the firm to hire somebody full time, because one, it's expensive to, you know,

It just doesn't feasibly make sense for the business that they're running. So that's never a good recommendation to hire somebody full time because then it's a really expensive cost. Now the second one is outsourcing consultants. I've given this a lot of thought. So a lot of people kind of ask me this question, are you guys consultants? And we're like, no, because we're not just gonna come in and make you an SOP. We're like,

Software engineers, we want to build stuff. We like building and helping you build those things out in the end. Consultants to me is like, I don't know, my kryptonite almost, because we actually like doing things and building things in the end instead of telling you what to do. So for the way, if you want to hire a consultant, first thing you want to know is how technically enabled they are. Are they like software engineers? Do they understand?

what the capabilities of these software are, can they read documentation on the API side and be like, hey, here's an endpoint, this is what it does and what it doesn't do, because there's a lot of times a software will say, we have an open API, but they will not have everything open to you. So having the understanding and deep knowledge is really, really helpful. And if they don't have an open API, how do you kind of tackle those challenges too, if it's an RPA or another technology?

you should be able to assess that and the complexity and the stability of those two. So yeah, long story short, if you want to hire a consultant, you want to wet them a little bit and make sure that they understand what they're talking about. And the easiest way to do that is get them to talk to one of their customers or clients. And if there's somebody new, you really want to interview them just like you would interview hiring somebody in-house and ask them very technically enabled questions.

Becca (18:07.72)
Perfect. All right, what would you say to this member who said, finding a tech person that understands what the software can do and can explain options. Conversely, I don't want someone who asks what I want and assumes I have a grip on the software options. So I'm wondering, is this something that you guys educate on? I mean, someone knows that they want automations, but they don't know what there is to want.

Ali Zahid (18:33.85)
Yeah, yeah, we get questions like this all the time where we will jump on a call in. They're like, I don't know what to automate. And that's where we will ask the question of like, OK, walk us through what happens internally in your firm. And that's where the workflow assessment kind of comes in very handy. And if they have like just general questions, a lot of the time that's about generative AI or LLMs or how to use AI in their firm. And like they kind of asking us all those questions. And.

My co-founder was the CTO of this company called Ada. They're one of the biggest chat bots for customer service and he helped build it out. And they are used over a billion times a day now all across big companies. So he's very, very well rehearsed in this and kind of has built these big teams of 100 plus engineering teams. So we can go really, really deep if you want in terms of a technology aspect of what and what can't a technology do. And we understand that, you know, you're not like a

big law firm of like, you know, thousand plus attorneys working here, so you don't need all the bells and whistles like they would want. You would, you're looking to solve your challenges. So we will ask you, what are you trying to solve? What is a problem that you're running into? What are your goals? And then help you assess those. Cause a lot of the times, you know, tech people have the tendency of like showing you the software instead of understanding what the pain points that those people are trying to solve for.

So we really want to understand what are you trying to solve for and can we help you solve for those? And if the answer is yes, then we will kind of tell you different technologies that are out there that can do that and what the reliability of those are.

Becca (20:11.24)
That sounds super helpful. Okay. All right, so I thought this next comment was very interesting. They said, I compare software companies to MLMs. They sell you a dream when you really need to put in the work to make the dream come to life, either by dedication to learn or hire. Secondly, even when you hire, the best consultants are going to give you a turnkey process implementation.

Ali Zahid (20:21.378)
Ha ha.

Becca (20:36.836)
Every law firm is unique, therefore time with your consultant is imperative and definitely a commitment, both financial and time. So what do you say to this? And what are your expectations time wise for the people that you work with?

Ali Zahid (20:50.23)
Yep. Yeah, so, you know, there's no silver bullet to this. As I mentioned, you know, we're coming with a team of like extensive tech background and also having work in legal tech specifically. We have a lot of discussions like this exactly with a lot of firm owners being like, hey, you know, what you invest in this is what you're gonna get out of this in the end too. So I'm not gonna sell you all the dream. I'm gonna make it very real being like, look, this takes time.

but the outcome on this could look like this. And we understand that sentiment all the time because there's a lot of consultants that will kind of show you something fancy on generative AI. And then when you start to implement it, you're like, this is not what you promised me. And then you never hear back from them. That's the exact opposite of things that we want. Our entire mission and the technology that we're building is to main goal is to help you automate your work and give lawyers their time back. So we're builders at heart.

We're gonna give you the right timelines and expectations. In terms of expectations from the client's time, the max that we've ever seen is about an hour to three hours a week, which is like very, very intensive, frankly. It's more of like, we will come, we will interview you, we will go, we will do our thing, we'll come back with, hit these are the requirements, do these look right? And ask you very detailed questions of like, who sends this email? What does the email look like? What is the subject line?

who goes into CC, like exact, like very, very detailed requirements. And because we're part of your internal team communications, we don't want to jump on calls back and forth. That's not how we like to work. We like to have asynchronous communications, so, and fast communications. We don't want to wait for an email that you might reply back to in a week, and then we're waiting. So we like to work very asynchronously and try to get in front of you as fast as possible.

because if you have one or two questions, we don't want to wait for you to answer those. So yeah, commitment from the firm, usually an hour to three hours a week max, and that's on like, hey, this is a very complex project and we need your time.

Becca (22:59.848)
That sounds incredible and very realistic. So I like that. And it kind of sounds like the magic there is in the questions that you're asking them. So that's how you're getting that information in such a short amount of time.

Ali Zahid (23:10.982)
Yeah, like sometimes firm owners get annoyed with us because I'm peppering them with a million questions. And frankly, sometimes they don't know the answers to that. So they will pull in their paralegal or they'll pull in their front office staff. And they're like, can you answer this question? And sometimes none of them know it because it kind of just goes out, no one does it, even though they thought someone was doing it. And that's totally okay. That's like, I'm not trying to embarrass them or anything. I'm just trying to get the answers out of them.

and help them realize that, hey, this is a process that we're gonna go through and on the other side, the outcome is gonna be something that you know will be good for your firm.

Becca (23:48.616)
So glad that you just brought up bringing in other team members. That was going to be my next question. So this is another one from someone in the community. And their question was, I hired an outside consultant, spent lots of time explaining our processes, what I want to do, et cetera. Then I made the mistake of completing the project to a team that panicked at the first glitch and shut down all automations, deciding applying them manually was better.

and delegated back up to me to solve the problem and complete the project. By then I didn't recall where I stood, I'm back at square three. So when you work with clients, are you typically working with one team member or a group of people? And have you ever had anyone shut down their automations after creating them?

Ali Zahid (24:35.954)
Yeah, so never had anyone shut down the automations. And we usually work with a small group of team members. So that might be the paralegal or case manager or the managing attorney who's leading it. And it's always a team because no one knows the answer to every single detail. So we try to involve as many people as possible that will get affected by the automation that we're doing.

When we launch, we are launching with the team. We keep a very clear to eyes that there will be bugs, there will be glitches, this is software. Nothing in the world is perfect. So like we are very honest with them. And that's why we're like all hands on deck when we launch, we don't launch 100%. We start off very small section of it and then we kind of expand from there. And before that we do extensive testing with them on their own systems.

as a fake client to make sure all of the conditions are met. So that's like all of, we kind of make this extensive plan for a launch and kind of go through that. So it's never like, oh my God, a launch, it's sent email out to all of my clients and you're freaking out. So we never do that because, you know, as a company owner, I would never want to do that either. So we have a pretty drastic launch plan with you where we will go in and tell you how to exactly happen.

And then we also create a lot of videos so all of your staff knows exactly what's happening in your system. So it's not like, we launch it and kinda go away. We're still gonna be part of your team, we're still gonna support you. So this situation will never happen with us because we're never gonna build an automation and just leave. We're gonna launch it, we're gonna monitor it because there might be some conditions that you might not reach for first month or second month.

that you might reach in third month. So we wanna be there for all of it and be part of your team. So that's like the biggest difference in us is like, we're not consultants, we're not trying to sell you a platform and then leave. We're more of like a custom shop almost that works with you to figure out what is right for your firm and builds it on our platform with all of the tool sets that you already have.

Becca (26:48.764)
I like that rollout process. That seems really great. I actually recently bought a product and it's a subscription and then they got delayed in shipping. And it's been at least three times that I can identify that an automation has fired to send us emails. And you know it's going out to everyone because it's an order like confirmation or a shipping confirmation. And then a real person has to send us an email apologizing.

for the rogue emails going out on their own. And this is, I mean, it's been quite a few times and I feel so bad for them.

Ali Zahid (27:23.51)
Yeah, yeah, that's, it's hard, right? Because like you've, someone else built a system, they've gone, and now you're just trying to manage it, there's no way to turn it off. And it just fires off. So no, you know, like, that's very real. And that's why we want to be kind of the engineering attachment to your firm to be able to figure these things out. Because glitches and these things happen, you want to have all the stop conditions kind of.

understood because when things go rogue and you can't stop it, it's like the machine has a life of its own.

Becca (27:56.404)
Absolutely. Okay, another community member, they commented just perfectionism. That's what they said holds them back from creating and implementing automations. Do you see this come up a lot with clients you work with? And do you have any recommendations for someone who knows they could benefit from automations, but their perfectionism is holding them back?

Ali Zahid (28:18.054)
Yeah, great question. So no automation is going to be ever perfect. We believe in iterations. We're a startup itself. So like a startup iterates a lot before they find like a product market fit, if you may. So we will iterate on your automation, we will like implement it and you will start using it and you'll come back to us and be like, actually, this doesn't seem right. Something's up with this. Can you change it over here? Can you change it over that? So

we are part of that process with you where it is an iterative process to figure out what works the best for your firm. That's why before we go full D building it out, we will ask you a million questions. We will make you share your screen and be like, watch you do that process to make sure this makes the most sense. And sometimes candidly, we will be like, this doesn't make sense, there's a better way to do this. And we will show them the better way. So, buy size chunk, start very small.

And remember, things will iterate. It's not gonna be the same, you know, just like you're working on a motion or something, there's gonna be version one, version two, version three. It's same with automations. There's gonna be a bunch of versions, but I think one of the things that most people get is overwhelmed with all the things they want. So kind of where to start, where to begin is a pretty big questions that they usually like to ask us.

And that's why we like to bite size it, make a very small project for them and get them started to understand what automation does. We have a pretty good framework for this too, is we teach them is trigger, filter and action. So think through like, what is your trigger? What are the filters that you do about it? And what is the action on the end that you want? And those actions can be time delay, whatever, you know, kind of go crazy at it. And that's when we will kind of come in and look at it and help you with it.

Becca (30:05.14)
Awesome. All right, before we wrap up, let's look into the future. What does the future of workflow automation and AI have for us?

Ali Zahid (30:15.226)
Yeah, this is something that we talk every single day in our company. So, you know, a lot of firms are already probably using some type of AI in their workflows. That might be summarization. You know, if you use Gmail or Microsoft, that might be auto replies on your emails now or giving you suggestions on your email. I think that a lot of them are already doing that. The next step is, in our view, is like injecting AI into your already driven workflow. So…

That's taking information out, parsing that information, and summarizing it. So that could be a receipt that comes in from USCIS and categorizing it appropriately, and sending an email out to your client on your behalf, letting you know, hey, this receipt came in. This is when your next interview is. I've sent you a calendar invite, et cetera. So that's kind of like the next step, is you inject an AI into your workflow, which we're starting to see now happen a little bit too.

The near future that we are seeing already in software world is agents. They're called AI agents. Essentially, you give them instructions, and you kind of unleash them on your computer, and they go do the thing that you want it to do. Now, software engineering is easy, because it's a deterministic characteristic. It's either a 0 or a 1. There's nothing in the middle. So.

you kind of give them an outcome that you want and you let the system figure out how to get there. It's a bit different in legal where there's a lot of gray areas and I think there will be a long, long time before we can get there. I think the role of lawyers will change in terms of being the, you know, almost being the creator of the thing, they will become the editor of the thing to make sure they're practicing law the way they want to practice, where like an agent will create their motion.

or they will create their discovery or what have you, and then the lawyer will look at it and edit it and get to the next level. So what might have taken them five hours now will only take them 30 minutes. And that's kind of the future that we're gonna be seeing. And that's kind of comes back to the accessibility. There's a lot of latent demand in legal world that kind of goes unmet. Jack Newton from Clear talks a lot about it. So I'm pretty excited that latent demand can be met from this.

Ali Zahid (32:41.23)
And I wouldn't be scared of it. It's like, you gotta embrace it. Technology's coming and how can you utilize it?

Becca (32:47.696)
That's amazing. The possibilities are endless and it's very exciting.

Ali Zahid (32:50.922)
Yep. Absolutely. We're excited to kind of build that future and help more attorneys get there.

Becca (32:59.024)
Yes. All right, before we wrap up, if somebody wants to reach out to you about your services, what's the best way?

Ali Zahid (33:07.026)
Yeah, go on our website, sign up or reach out to me at ali at You can reach out to me anywhere, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or send me an email or a text or whatever works for you. My phone number is out there, too. So we're always available. That's kind of also our unique position is we are proud of ourselves with giving the best customer service, if you may.

We want to be part of your team, so we treat you like our team.

Becca (33:40.008)
That's amazing. Thank you so much for joining me today.

Ali Zahid (33:43.51)
Of course, thank you for having me.

Becca (33:45.532)

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