In this episode, Jim & Tyson interview William D. Umansky, “The Law Man”. Bill is the owner of The Umansky Law Firm, a Criminal Defense Firm down in Central Florida. Listen as they go over Bill’s entrepreneurial journey growing his business and the self awareness mindset that keeps him moving forward and improving.
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- About Bill
- He runs a Criminal Defense Firm in Central Florida and does about 75 to 100 cases a month
- He practices Personal Injury himself
- 75 – 100 criminal cases a month
- Criminal is a low margin business
- Good lawyers to handle that volume
- Follow through with what you sell to people: REFERRALS
- Success and money
- Signing cases
- Building his firm: The Journey
- From Prosecutor to Defense Attorney
- Horrible bosses and problems with authority
- Only and best choice: opening his firm
- Help people
- Perfect your craft
- Grow and evolve
“If you have passion and you enjoy what you’re doing, the business side it’s important and it’ll come later you should start planning now for your business, but if you love what you’re doing, it all works out.”
- Scaling the business
- Get your INTAKE right
- Track, track, track!
- Know the numbers
- Going into everything without an agenda
“When you are trying to get business, to be something, I find that that takes so much energy that it kills your joy of who your are. Just be. Just be yourself.”
- The Go Giver mentality
- “If it stops being fun then why are we here?”
- Power Principles for Success
- The chapter Bill wrote in this book is about overcoming bad situations and turn negative into positive. Flip it.
- Business: Technology
- Personal: Am I too selfish?
- Power Principles for Success
- Self-awareness and being honest with yourself and others
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Transcripts: Grow Your Practice to 100 Cases a Month ft. William D. Umansky
William D. Umansky
That’s how I started my practice. It’s based on passion. And for every one of you guys out there that’s listening. If you have passion, and you enjoy what you’re doing the business side, it’s important, it’ll come later, you should start planning now for your business. Or if you’re just yourself, and you’re handling that case, if you love what you’re doing, it all works out. If you hate what you’re doing, then you shouldn’t be practicing law even as you’re starting out as a solo practitioner. Because now’s the time to enjoy your craft to help people the way you see it the way you envision it. Run your law firm the right way.
This is the maximum liar podcast, podcast, your hosts, Jim hacking and Tyson metrics. Let’s partner up and maximize your firm.
Welcome to the show. Welcome back to the maximum lawyer Podcast. I’m Jim hacking.
And I’m tasting mujer. Jimmy, I don’t know if I’ve been this excited about an episode in a long time. I mean, we have amazing guests all the time. But the one that we’re gonna have today, we teased him last week on the podcast. I have a feeling that could get interesting. I don’t know. So I heard you had a pretty eventful day in court today.
Yeah, I was arguing the case with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. And it was fun. Usually the Eighth Circuit is very anti immigrant. But on this one, I have the law going in my favor. So it’s sort of fun. Seeing them toss this office of immigration litigation lawyer around like a rag doll.
Funny, you know, you get to put on your big boy pants today, you know, go into court. And it’s funny how your how your demeanor changes whenever you go into court, and you actually get to practice and Big Boy law. So I’m sure that was fun. Do you want to introduce our guest who’s laughing right now?
But yeah, of course, it’s the law man, William de Umansky. We’ve met through our friend, John Fisher. And he’s been a great supporter of the podcast, and he’s so much fun to be around. We’re really, really lucky to have him he’s got a very successful law firm down in Central Florida. I think that anybody who is looking to grow a practice could not find a better mentor than William, we’re really excited to have you on the show, brother.
William D. Umansky
Thank you. I really appreciate that. But I don’t want to interrupt too much. But Tyson, that’s such a do long because I hear it in his voice making doesn’t change. Like, are you gonna be like more nauseous, Jim now because you’re like, are you going to tell it like you? Do? You sound more formal today? Like, we’re not good enough to be on your show or something? I mean, he was just laughing.
My wife said, Why are you talking to me like this? Because I’ve been like, I’ve been very combative the last two days as I got ready for argument. I don’t know it’s not good. And
cheap. We need a petition to keep Jim out of the courtroom is what we need no more gym in the courtroom. That’s, that’s not ideal. I mean, I don’t really know where to start with the assumption. It’s heavy to say who the hell you are and what you do and kind of a little bit of your background. Sure, my name
William D. Umansky
is Billy Umansky. Or Jim calls me, William, some people in my life call me Billy, I won’t tell you who, but I, you know, Dumansky a lot of people just call me Umansky. I’m a lawyer down here in Central Florida. And like I said, met you guys had a mastermind several years ago. And Jim recently, at a mastermind and John Fisher’s and practice, I run a criminal defense firm, do about 75 to 100 cases a month, and I practice personal injury law myself. So I have a fun practice, actually,
they’ll talk to us about 75 to 100 criminal cases a month, I mean, what does that even look like from start to finish?
William D. Umansky
So you got to have I think different lawyers have different philosophies from those a low margin business. But if you have really good lawyers, to handle cases, you have to have the number of lawyers to handle that volume. Or you’re just become known as a high volume firm by itself. So it looks like each lawyer gets approximately 15 to 20 cases a month. Unless they’re handling large sex cases, they may only get maybe seven to 10 cases a month, because those fees are larger. And of course, there’s more work involved, and more stress involved with them. But you know, you build that over time. So my first year out, I think I was signing up two or three cases a month. And that was back in 99. I’ve been a lawyer since 92, but practice 99 And now on average between 75 to 100 cases a month. But you can only do that, not just based on the internet, you’ve got to really follow through with what you sell to people and are able then to get referrals from former clients and other lawyers that trust you at the end. You guys know that very well. So can all be internet based, even though we do get a lot of traffic from the internet.
You’ve made a ton of money I mean, what you you’re you’re very, very successful and so at what point in your or career did you say, you know, what, were you able to kind of sit back and think like, Man, I’m actually doing pretty good at this. I mean, can you address that?
William D. Umansky
Yeah. So I think I had that conversation you Tyson, you brought it up when we talked last about when you first met me. And I told you, I was scared of losing the money. Because to me, it’s not about the money. It’s about what you can do with the money and the quality of life that you can live. And for me, I started a firm based upon, you know, like Carpe Diem, which is basically seize the day. And I wanted to build a firm that I can help support my family, make sure that I was taking care of them. But I’m also fairly selfish individual. And I’m on record for saying that. So it doesn’t matter to me, but I also want to live life having fun, since I’ve seen so many people in our business, get depressed, die, commit suicide, and a lot of other stuff. So there was never that one time. Every day, I still get up with the idea of today. In fact, it was slow. Yesterday, we signed up zero cases. And I don’t panic anymore. But I do you know, when it is slow, I think to myself, Is this the time now it’s gonna go bad? Are we on a downward trend? Is this the end of it, it’s not panic, which is that three thoughts come into my mind. And then I just leave the building, because I can’t stand when the phones are quiet. And then today, for instance, we are back up signing up five or six cases. And I know that with, you know, don’t take things for granted. But there’s never been a time to answer your question I ever thought to myself, you know, now’s the time I made money. It just it doesn’t go away, actually. And I’m okay with that. Because that means you’re alive. I’m okay
with that, too. And I think it’s an important mindset. I’m always, you know, thinking that, Oh, this was the beginning of the end, this is where I got too big, too fast, or this is where, you know, just bad things are gonna happen. And I think that that can be a motivator, as long as it’s not debilitating. Bill, I want to ask you to go back in your time machine. I think for a lot of our younger listeners, they’re not going to be able to relate to signing up that many cases a month. And maybe tell us a little bit from the beginning, in sort of detail about how you even build this thing that you have now with who Mansky law.
William D. Umansky
Yeah, I mean, I don’t want to drone on because I have a nasally sounding voice. So you guys can just interject when you want. But the story is simple. Basically, I was a prosecutor after I got out of law school, I was an asshole. tried a lot of cases back then. Your younger lawyers won’t relate to this because there’s no phone books. But when I would win trials, or hang up the faces of defense attorneys on the wall, I never had a concept of doing business with them. They were the enemy. I was a complete prick. Until one day a defense attorney played football with me in a parking lot. And it’s a story for another time. But after that I kind of know about and I left went to work for the city, I was working for the city attorney’s office as a legal adviser, and as a city prosecutor. And I got tired of that. And I started looking for jobs around town. And I was back then a very risk adverse person. I was scared. I didn’t want to open a business. I didn’t know anything about business. I didn’t know anything about risk. I didn’t play poker back then, like I do now. And so I got my first job with a lawyer here in town actually was at a party I was out last night. And I won’t mention his name. But he was not really a great boss. And I realized at the time I worked for him that I had issues. I’ve always had issues with authority got thrown out three high schools. He was a horrible boss, I was a horrible employee. Let’s just put it this way. I had to quit that job. And there was a paralegal that maybe had to separate the boss and me and went to look for two other jobs got into a personal injury firm. Some great guys I continue to work for. But I was offered an opportunity from a double board certified lawyer in med now and pi and I left and went to work with her for about a year. But again, I had a problem. I always had a problem with authority. And basically there was a day that she came to my office and said, you know, Bill, you’re a great lawyer, but I can’t handle you. And I can get you a job somewhere else. But we just had three trials in a row, they’re up on appeal. I can’t afford your salary anymore. I’m not firing you. But no bill, I can’t employ you anymore. And I kind of I don’t want to curse but I did fuck up the situation because she was gonna get me a job was someone else and helped me with a very prominent law firm in town. But as I was on my way out of the office, she had also let go of two legal assistants one who had been with her for over 20 years. And the person was crying in their office, and she had to go play tennis and she wouldn’t spend the time necessary to sit down with her to kind of console her. And I was pissed. So I went back in her office and more words flew out the window and And I ended up out in the street without a job. Looking for another personal injury job, as Tyson knows, was not easy to get. And I had to make a decision, do I work for someone again and have issues with authority and probably lose a job again? Or do I finally open my own firm. So I ended up opening my own firm based upon really not having any other choice. And it was the best decision for me because it was the first risk, I think, in law that ever took. And after that, it really was all history. So I can go specifically into little things. But that’s how I ended up opening up my firm. So Bill,
I mean, if people you’re listening to this, they can sort of feel the energy that you have. And I love it, whenever you’re around you, it’s the same thing, it’s actually magnified quite a bit like, what is it that is inside of you, that drives you, that gives you the passion that you have.
William D. Umansky
So you know, there was a guy on your podcast the other day, who just is starting his own firm is a criminal lawyer, I think. And the passion is, is to help people, I mean, you both have it, and to really, really perfect your craft, and to continue to grow and evolve, and just be alive. So like for anyone who’s starting to practice, you know, my first office was in a executive suite with green carpet, green chairs, and a plastic table. And, you know, I was humiliated when clients would come in, and how fast you learn to really like yourself or challenge yourself, when you think you’re the shit, you’re the greatest trial or you lost several jobs, you quit other jobs. And now you’re going to sign up your first client on a plastic table, who’s referred by a financial planner. And the guy, you know, was a doctor is a professional, you got to try to sign up this kid. And he comes into your office, and he looks at you. And I had a nice suit on but I had plastic chairs. And I almost didn’t go into the conference, I was scared of myself. And I was humiliated. But it was like the best therapy in the world. Because as I sat down with him, I realized, I know what I’m doing. I want a lot of trials as a prosecutor, I have faith that I can help this this guy’s child. And as I talked to him, I forgot about where I was, what I was doing. And he gave me $1,500 For my first misdemeanor case that I had. And at that point, I realized that as long as you have passion for what you do, it’s not naive to say this people will overlook a lot of things about where you start, what car you drive, who you’re with, what name you have, what color of the skin, that they see that you really care about what you want to do for them, and that they know that you’re not bullshitting, they will sign up, especially if it’s you, and you’re not running a business if you’re the one that’s practicing. So that’s how I started my practice. And it’s based on passion. And for every one of you guys out there that’s listening. If you have passion, and you enjoy what you’re doing the business side, it’s important, it’ll come later, you should start planning now for your business. But if you’re just yourself, and you’re handling that case, if you love what you’re doing, it all works out. If you hate what you’re doing, then you shouldn’t be practicing law, even as you’re starting out as a solo practitioner, because now’s the time to enjoy your craft, to help people the way you see it and the way you envision it. So that’s kind of how I started out. And I probably talked too much, but I’m so passionate about what I do guys that, you know, please just interrupt me because I’ll just go on and on and on about it.
Now it’s great. Well, it’s great stuff. How do you then scale that I understand the passion. And I completely agree. And one of the great things I appreciate about you is how you view the person as a whole. And both us as a lawyer. And as clients, you’re not just looking at your clients as you know, another brown folder to fill up with paperwork, you actually care about your clients, and you also care about sort of your well being and your team’s well being how do you scale that as you begin to grow?
William D. Umansky
So you know, we have a common friend, you know, Seth Price, who talks about intake. And in order to scale your business, you got to have objective, you know, matrixes and those are, frankly, some of our struggles. The first step of scaling, in my opinion or business is to get your intake right. You know, know where you’re spending your money. Know how you’re getting your cases, know who to thank who’s sending your cases, and track track track track, because without that aspect, you can’t scale or grow the other factors. You guys know more than me because you guys are very much into Infusionsoft. But you’ve got to have a reliable case management system that’s efficient and and then know the numbers you know, have a budget in place. For instance, I think I reached out to you guys the other day and said look, you know I’ve got a profit and loss analyze each Last, but I know my budget, but I don’t really have it written down and plan financially for things. So scaling is really hard and means different things to different people. But for me, you cannot scale unless you first manage your intake process so that you know where you’re spending your money. The secondary process to me would be, then making business decisions not just based on emotion, and feelings, but looking hard facts, financial facts, and that, for me is a struggle. Because when you have a lot of passion, and you try to live an authentic life, you sometimes forget, but you can make a mistake, because you can pay an associate too much. And then, you know, realize that you bonus them too much. And that you can never go back again, you know, because once you take money out of people’s pocket, they’ll never look at it. So you have to have objective matrixes in place, not just in tracking your intakes, but also your money, you know, what you’re growing your business, your expenses, your overhead, and you’ve got to have a number to know the overall strength of your business. Criminal is a very difficult business to scale. You know, people can do it, but it is really hard a lot. A lot of people have tried it, and they failed at it. Because the margins are very, very slim in it. So I think that I’ve done it because I’ve been able to hire the secret for me is not because of me. But because I’ve been able to hire through the years quality lawyers who do great, great work. And they get referrals back from the clients that we service and bring into them. So I think for me, scaling is a product of the people I’ve hired, not necessarily because of the matrix I’ve put in place, because that’s a struggle for me that I’m this this year, I’m working on a bill, you
and I had a really interesting conversation yesterday to say the least we won’t get into all of it. But you talked yesterday about going into everything and the every interaction, every conversation, everything without an agenda. So will you talk a little bit about like, what you mean by that, and sort of why you could do that. So yeah,
William D. Umansky
we’re not gonna talk about everything, are we? I’m not, I think, no, no, not
at all. Not at all, just just about gender in general.
William D. Umansky
I’m teasing you, you can actually ask whatever you want, and I’ll leave a choose to answer it. So you know, not having an agenda is really, really hard. Right? You know, but I find that as lawyers, and as professional class, I call it, we have so many people that are looking at us, you know, judges, clients, competitors, friends, that are lawyers, your spouse, your children, you know, there’s a lot of pressure on us to be perfect. So we go into court, and we try to act smarter than we are or, you know, we put on our best suit, or we go into a bar meeting, or, or a happy hour event that there are judges that are attending and we engage in conversation because we want to try to show them who you are and how to impress them. You know, I find over the years that that takes a tremendous amount of energy. And I for me personally, I really feel it’s a waste of time. And last year, we had a lawyer in town, Mike December, and he was known as The Godfather. The guy was built like a bull, and a lot of personal issues. But he was an amazing lawyer and amazing guy. And he fell at his desk at 11 o’clock at night, had a heart attack his head hit the corner of the desk. And when I saw him in the hospital with another dear friend of mine was another criminal lawyer in town who’s also growing his practice, but now losing his hair and you know, getting more stressed out. You know, we we looked at this guy that we thought was the ball in the bed and he was kind of talking like twerking. That’s a bad word, but he was talking but subconsciously or whatever is flopping in the bed. And you see this guy who used to benchpress like 250 pounds, you know, laying in a hospital bed and he soon died thereafter. And you know, you look at that and you’re like, who is there for that person at the funeral. You know, who was there to care about what he was how great glory he was or you know how great a father even or husband or maybe he wasn’t either whether pro or con who cares. And having an agenda where you’re focusing on even I know this is hard, it’s maybe more Buddhist but and someone like Greg Goldfarb could could approach this, but when you’re trying to get business when you’re trying to be liked when you’re trying to be something, I find that that takes so much energy, that it kills your joy of who you are. Just be just be yourself and let people know who you are. You know, I have an article that I’m writing about judges using the bathroom. It’s the old adage I’m sure you guys know but you know, my parents told me everyone takes a shit in the same place. And that’s the truth. I mean, we’re all humans. You know, we all have foibles, we all have weaknesses. So, when I engage in relationships with people, I just want to see where it goes naturally, and has made me a much happier person, you know, because I don’t feel like, you know, I need or want something from them. And I’ve told that to people and people’s response back is, well, that’s easy for you, because you’re rich. I’m not rich, you know, I spend a lot of money traveling and going away. But I am rich and happiness. I mean, we’re all sad and happy. But I love my life. I mean, and I feel like when I don’t want something from anyone, it makes it a lot easier. I focus on giving, not getting, and I want to get rid of the people in my life, that they’re all about taking and getting, because their agendas, and you start looking at people, Tyson, don’t you guys feel that way that you started a business? I’m gonna ask you guys a question. Don’t you feel that you had started a business? You know, you may or may not make money with this coaching thing yet? You’re trying to figure it out? But don’t you feel the reason you got into it originally? Initially, the real core reason of doing is, is that you were helping your fellow lawyers out in your state, and then meeting lawyers out of state but you were giving to people. And don’t you feel like you get a lot more out of that.
Yeah, I mean, I think like when we were doing this, we were just like, we were already doing it. They like, okay, we can spread the love with us and spread the word. And I mean, I don’t I mean, Jim may disagree with me, I never thought it would get to the level that it is. And I never thought that the engagement would spread as much as it has in Facebook group and on the podcast. And it’s been quite incredible. And dear, I mean, we we started with the mentality of really just giving kind of the Go Giver mentality, and just really just spreading what knowledge we had, what limited knowledge we had, it really just took off from there.
For me, I got started with Tyson just because I was teaching the class back at the law school trying to go back and help people who wanted to open up their own firm. And we talked about all this stuff all the time. And Tyson you might not remember this, but I just remember the other day I was with my kids at Culvers. And it was really just the chance reconnection. We hadn’t seen each other for a while. And we both happened to be a culvert. And we sat and talked. And that’s sort of where we got back connected and started doing our mastermind stuff together. And it always was just like you said, Bill, you know, right out of a place of giving and connecting and best practices and systems. And you know, I’ve learned a ton from Tyson and I think he’s learned some stuff from me. And I think, yeah, it’s all from an energy of positivity.
William D. Umansky
So the one thing I would ask both of you is that once you start, you know, that’s the biggest challenge is that we, in our law practices, especially, or in any business that you do, you know, it’s silly to say there’s no agenda in order to establish goals and benchmarks of how to get somewhere where you can earn income from your practice or coaching or any other kind of business. But at the same time, when we’re going through that it’s almost life is a paradox because it almost then takes someone