If you’re a law firm owner looking to create a firm that doesn’t require your constant presence, take a page out of Jordan’s book and start implementing the strategies he talks about in this episode, today. This podcast episode is a presentation from MaxLawCon22 about running a law firm that doesn’t require the owner’s constant presence. Jordan, shares his experiences, processes, and strategies for creating a successful law firm that allows for remote work and delegation of tasks.
He emphasizes the benefits of having more family time and empowering his team in his absence and also discusses the importance of:
➡️Creating standardized processes and procedures
➡️Delegating tasks to specific team members
➡️Implementing marketing strategies to grow the business.
With hard work and dedication, you can achieve a work-life balance that allows you to focus on what matters most, all while growing your business and serving your clients to the best of your ability. Enjoy!
03:19 Taking a 14-Month road trip
04:46 Jordan describes his weekly schedule, including meetings, networking, and social media, and how he prioritizes his to-do list
06:45 The benefits and drawbacks of running a law firm remotely, including more family time and team empowerment
09:38 Process for training employees remotely, including screen recording and transcribing procedures
12:49 Difficulties of networking and childcare while running a law firm from the road
14:09 Start with the most time-consuming tasks
17:06 Marketing strategies, including recording videos, social media, re-engagement, and advertising
20:31 Outsource marketing tasks
🎥 Watch the full video here.
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Transcript: Driven, How I Ran My Companies From the Road with Jordan Ostroff
In today’s episode, we’re sharing a presentation from Max law con 2020. To keep listening to hear Jordan Ostroff as we share his talk driven how I ran my companies from the road over the last year, you can also head to the maximum lawyer YouTube channel to watch the full video. Let’s get to it.
Run your law firm the right way. This is the maximum lawyer podcast, podcast your hosts, Jim hacking and Tyson metrics. Let’s partner up and maximize your firm.
Welcome to the show. So I know I always love this group. And I couldn’t put my finger on it till just now the fact that everybody’s sitting in the back means we have none of those stupid gunners from law school that knew every answer, right? Like that’s the group that this is. So this is driven running a law firm that doesn’t need you. So for those of you that don’t know, since the last one, I have been on the road. I’ve been back in Orlando, which is where my offices for maybe five or six weeks since October. And we’re gonna go through why and how you can do that. I’m not telling you that you have to get on the road and do a 14 month road trip. But ultimately, it’s how to have a law firm that doesn’t need you on the day Today’s how to make a law firm in which you are in a central. So we’ll start there, we’ll talk about us I’ll do a day in the life. I’ll show you what my weekly calendar looks like go over our processes, our marketing and how you get started, should you want something similar. So if you are in essential to your firm, guess what you get to work less. But also you get to work on what you want to work on. If you don’t have to be the one answering every phone call. If you don’t have to be the one doing every console. If you don’t have to be the one doing all the legal work, you get the opportunity to focus on those more serious tasks, the $10,000 an hour tasks like Brett talked about, you get more time for your life, because you’re not at the mercy of every issue of every client of every emergency that comes up. You get to have a business and not just a job. I want to be clear, there is nothing wrong with being a lawyer who does all the legal work at your firm in any way, shape or form. Just know that’s a job. That’s not a business because if God forbid anything happens to you, the business can go on. And you get a third way to grow revenue. If you are hourly. Basically, the only way you have to make more money is either work more time or charge more. If you’re a flat fee, you can work more, you can charge more or you can make your stuff happen faster. But if you are essential to your business, you can grow by scaling by hiring other attorneys. If you can generate enough work for three other lawyers, you can hire those lawyers to do it and make more money if you can get to generate an offer a fourth or fifth or sixth or seventh. So this is me. I am 34 years old. I like Disc Golf, hiking, Pina Coladas getting caught in the rain, etc. This is my wife, who’s on the trip. I’m not allowed to tell you her age. And we have our son with us who’s also on my T shirt who’s four years old. I think my kids favorite part of this entire seven month so far road trip has been the one week that my wife’s parents spent with us, regardless of anything else. And I think he would rather spend time with them than travel around the country. But so be it. Also though he is keeping track of how many different states he’s peed on a tree in. So we are up to eight states. So this is where we did. We left Orlando the week before the last Max law con, we went up to Atlanta, we dropped him off with one of my sister in laws and flew up here. So then from there, we went to Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Hawaii. And now we’re back in California, which is crazy to think that in seven months, we’ve seen like a third of the country. When this is over, it’ll be about 1415 months, we will have seen like maybe 25 states. So the country is a gigantic place. And the best part is I’ve worked from all of those are two days a week. From all those places, there is no need for you to be in your office. There’s no need for you to be 20 minutes from your office. If you get the right systems processes people in place, you can be anywhere. To be honest, the hardest place to get consistent Wi Fi has been California for whatever reason, did not think that would be the problem. We were in Hot Springs, Arkansas. But apparently California has been the biggest Wi Fi issue. All right. So why did we do this part of it was because of the pandemic, one for the way Florida’s handled it two from the way the court system has a lot, a lot more virtual stuff. Another one was my kid, he turned four over this trip. So we will get back. He will do the second semester of pre K into kindergarten. And then Greg rents my house so we’re like a company town over at legalese. But anyway, so that’s why we did this trip. So now I want to get into the part where I talk about my day like this is what I’m actually doing for the most part every week. I pretty much only work Mondays and Thursdays. So Monday I do a modified level 10 us meeting I think the tagline of this one has been EOS or traction. We’ve talked about it a ton. So we do that for an hour. Then we have a very similar meeting at legalese for an hour and a half. We go over everything. I will try to do some sort of networking. Obviously if I’m in Orlando, it’s a lunch if I’m not, it might be talking with people on social doing zoom meetings, whatever it is along those lines, then Monday afternoons, I do consults for legalese, not for my law firm, I do a live show for each. And I do presentations sort of like this not as cool, I don’t get to be on a real stage, I get to stare at a computer in a hotel or Airbnb somewhere. And then Thursdays, I do a mastermind for an hour in the morning, I do my to do list. So Tyson talked about getting your to do list on your calendar. I’m a huge fan of it. But because I’m not as organized, this is how I do it. So I schedule an hour and a half every week for my to do list, I get to the stuff on my to do list at the end of that hour and a half, I prioritize the next week. So rather than scheduling each individual task on my calendar, I have them in order to have the hour and a half put in. To be honest, I don’t think you’re ever going to finish your to do list, you’re always going to have things on it. And you have to be okay with that. It has to be liberating. So for me, instead of being worried about having 75 things I want to get to, I know that I have an hour and a half of my week on my calendar every week to get to them. And it makes me less freaked out about it the other 168 hours of the week, like we learned something along those lines. So then we do a social media meeting slash content creation, another networking, some sort of lunch or virtual thing. And then again, back to the consults the live show presentations. Other than that, all I do is fuck around on social media, in some sort of idea. But ultimately, I want people to remember where we are and that we still exist. A huge thing that we do, I’ll talk about a little bit later, I share a ton of client testimonials, because I know a lot of my referral sources by this point know that we’re on the road all the time. My wife and I are the two attorneys at the firm. Even though I don’t have an illegal work for about four years, I want them to know that the work is still being done correctly. So this is my child’s day, really tough. He gets to do, I don’t know some sort of book, he gets to play, hang out, eat, he has seen, I don’t know 30 Different zoos, peed on all the different trees, etc. And then I want to talk about the pros and cons. And really, these are the pros and cons for us from the trip. But for you from not being in the office all the time, you get more family time or time that you can put in for whatever you want. Now there are pros and cons to having more family time. I’ll admit that earlier this week, my kid referred to my wife as a fucking stupid idiot lawyer. So next year, you can come to my TED talk on how to raise children. But But no, but honestly, it has given us so much family time to get to know each other through a pandemic through whatever the new normal will be, etc. The part that’s really important that I didn’t expect was the team empowerment. So before this trip, I was working about four days a week. And that helped empower my team, but honestly with us not there. It is amazing to me the things that they have figured out how to do. And we had good systems in place beforehand, they’ve gotten that much better. But the lack of opportunity for them to just call us and get an answer has forced them to be empowered to solve problems. One of the best ones. So again, you saw my schedule, I’m doing like two hours a week for my firm, definitively other than networking. We were on a cruise ship, the internet went out on the cruise ship, we couldn’t do the meeting. So guess what my team did the meeting recorded it and sent it to me. So when the internet came back on, I can see what happened shoot out two or three emails on some stuff to follow up. Would they have done that if I was there? No, because I would have done it. But ultimately, they were empowered to do what they knew had to happen in that time without me and honestly probably did a better job than I do at the meeting. I think they were more honest with each other with what they were sharing. Obviously, with it being recorded for me to say. So delegating, if you want to remove any sort of mental block on giving things to other people, just don’t be there or just know how many limit hours you have, it makes it that much easier to delegate because what happens is you start seeing where you’re the bottleneck, you start seeing where you saying yes to everything, or doing all the work yourself or doing all the consults is holding up all of your team members from doing their job. And that gets you to delegate in a way that actually makes it easier for them. One of my staff members like genuinely, like cries disappointed that we are leaving every time we leave. But she does a fantastic job with everything she has to do whether we’re there or not. If I’m in the office, we share a wall. If I’m not in the office, we’re 2000 miles apart, and it makes no difference on her job. And then training. Not being in the office has made me so much better at training people how to do things. If you take nothing else from this presentation. This is how Jordan Ostroff says you should be doing your processes, policies, procedures, whatever you want to call them, you should do them screen recorded, you should walk yourself doing it in a way that is recorded the way you want it done. You should send that video over to the person who is delegating it. And we use otter.ai Something to transcribe it. If you want to use Rev you can have it transcribed. So now it’s in video and it’s written out. Have them do it whatever number of times, five times, three times 10 times they don’t care. Let you know what feedback. What do they think they can do better having run through it a few times. Talk about that, confirm it and then they do it. They record it They upload it to Tetra or Google Drive. Wherever your policies procedures are stored, with the recording with the transcript, and it’s there. And really that takes 10 seconds extra on my end to click loom. When I’m doing something, it takes an extra 20 minutes to have that conversation. But we haven’t done standardized and consistent. And even for things that take five minutes here and there, you know, five minutes a day times five days a week, times, 50 weeks a year times 20 years at the firm will be open, it adds up so quickly, in something that takes a minimal amount of my time to make sure everybody else can do it correctly. And don’t get me wrong, you will have to update systems. That’s what that EOS level 10 meeting is, that’s what Kanban boards are, that’s what negative client feedback is for, like you will find out when a system is no longer working. But in terms of building it. That’s my two cents on how to do it, especially when you’re virtual. But even when I go back, I’ll still do it that way. As opposed to talking through it this way. If somebody’s a visual learner or an audio learner, they want to read it. They’ve got all the options right there. They’ve got the screen shares, they’ve got the passwords, they’ve got the walkthrough, they’ve got the transcript, etc.
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So what’s harder, we’re normally in Orlando and East Coast. Being here one hour behind no difference being two hours behind not a huge deal being three hours behind frickin impossible. I don’t know why. But that 930 meeting that 630 in the morning is tough. At 730 in the morning, it was totally fine. I have no idea in person networking. And honestly the thing that I’ve come to learn about that I have referral sources that send us fewer things when we are gone. Because ultimately they realize their business wouldn’t run as smoothly without them. So they think it’s happening here. Whereas the referral sources I have that run really successful businesses instead of having really good jobs refer more stuff to us, knowing how I’m not going to screw it up, knowing how it’s going to be handled better. So one of the things we’ve done for networking, not being there has been sending people postcards, especially when it something that means something to them. We had friends who went to Hawaii for their honeymoon, we send them postcards from Hawaii, we had friends who met in Phoenix, we send them postcards from Phoenix, really something that mattered to them, for the people that I know run businesses and understand and appreciate that everything will run smoothly. For the people that don’t think their business could run as well without them. So think we have a problem. There’s not much you can do. That’s on them. So just be aware of that as some issue. Childcare, childcare is harder. So I work Mondays and Thursdays, like you saw, for the most part, my wife works Tuesdays and Fridays, we usually travel Wednesdays and Saturdays. So we’ll do about three or four days in the different cities. But at the same time, I get to spend more time with my kid than anybody I know. And other than when he’s cursing out my wife. He’s hilarious, we have a ton of fun. You can follow him on social media, etc. The other one that I didn’t expect to be so hard logistics when we’re back in Orlando, it’s actually harder to be in Orlando than it is not from where we are. We leave one car on the road. We fly back. So we were driving with a Jeep Cherokee, no RV, we said Airbnbs and hotels. So we leave the Jeep in the other airport. We fly back, it says there. So now both of us in Orlando with one vehicle. And we get booked for things more frequently. So weirdly, Being home is more complicated than being on the road. When we go back to having two cars, it probably won’t. But for those you that are in Florida, like we have no public transportation. So it is what it is. All right. So we talked about how to do the processes. But if you are interested in being an essential to your firm, where do you start? This is my thought process on it. You start with what you do the most. Why? Because you want the thing that will free up the most amount of your time. At the very beginning of this time is the most important thing for you to utilize to be in essential. So the things that hold up the most of your time are the things that you systematize and delegate first, whether that’s to automation, whether that’s outsourcing, whether that’s hiring somebody, whether it’s another lawyer or paralegal and intake person, whatever, save yourself the most time first. So that way you have the time to use as you go down the list. So second becomes the things that are most important. Why? Because I don’t want you to rush them. If you do the most simple Certain things first from delegation, you’re gonna rush getting them off your plate. Instead, you do the things that save you the most time and you have extra time to spend on the ones that are the most important to get delegated. So you can delegate them correctly. Then once you have an idea of the systems that you want in place, that’s when I would start looking for programs for automation, for outsourcing for time tracking, for case management, whatever it is, if you have those in place now awesome. Don’t get rid of them to do this, if you don’t have any in place, make sure you have the systems in place first. That way, you’ll know like the 10 features you really need out of a program. You know, if you hate billing, really boiled down to how you want your billing to run, really look at what the issues are, and then really find the program that addresses your issues in the way that makes the most sense. So then you get to carve out the actions each team member takes, you’ve got the system down, now it’s delegating it to a specific person, you got it saved online as a manual. And most importantly, put someone in charge of it, someone who is not you. So for the example I gave and how we do all of our policies and procedures, it goes to the person taking it over. And then in my case, Andrea at my office is in charge of Tetra. So now I have two people, the person who’s getting it needs to get it set up. Andrew needs to make sure it’s there. And it’s there correctly, I get two sets of eyes on it. And then in our next Monday meeting for an hour, we talk about what were the policies and procedures are they in there, it’ll be a task that we’ll do week to week, like traction talks about protip edit processes. when needed. Lawyers like to tinker, don’t tinker. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There are things and on a scale of one to 10. There are things in your firm that are like a two or three or four. Work on those. You’re things that are seven and eight out of 10 Don’t mess around trying to get them to nine or 10s. Because as you address the more serious bottlenecks you have more time more money, more cases more energy to make those more and more specific. Make sense? All right. So in terms of marketing, obviously, we talked about referrals a little bit. From a search engine standpoint, it’s really easy to record video everywhere. I’m recording this presentation right now phone, camera, whatever. It’s really easy to do that no matter where you are. Thank God, this would have been way more difficult without an iPhone. It’s really easy to be on social media from anywhere. And honestly, you have to look at the most common times that your people are on and understand as you move timezones, it changes the time. If you have clients nationwide, it’s not a big deal. But for Orlando, if most people are on Facebook, over lunch, that’s 12 o’clock. If I’m in California, that’s 9am you have to think about how you accommodate those things, reengagement so my firm for every two cases gets one either a client comes back for repeat business, or they refer somebody else. So we have a newsletter that we do for them, we have social media for them. And then we also host events when we’re in town. So my birthday is on Cinco de Maya, we do a Cinco de Mayo event every year or a safe demo event this year because that was Friday. And then of course advertising, advertising doesn’t matter where you are. So internally for my team last Halloween, three of my team members dressed up as Jake from State Farm, the Geico Gecko and Flo from progressive, it was hilarious. We hate them. But they dressed up and then made jokes from the stuff we’ve heard from insurance adjusters over the last year, hilarious for PII attorneys. So they’re doing intake, my wife still does the consults, but they are doing everything else related to intake, including scheduling those consults, they’re obviously doing legal support. And I promise you the most fun thing is when one of your staff members can get like $100,000 policy limit on a case that you didn’t talk to at all, super cool, based upon having great policies, procedures, client service, huge thing for people that are in the office that are there more consistently, you got to make sure you have people that have great client service. So pro tip, one of your KPIs, I think should be tracking the number of five star reviews you get on Google that mention your employees by name, because by looking for five star reviews, that means they did a great job. They did it quickly, they managed expectations and exceeded those expectations. I don’t want to track how many phone calls they received. So they rush people through. I don’t want to track how much work they send out. So they rush through it. I don’t want to track if there’s no spelling mistakes, or they spend too much time I want to track the impact it has on clients by looking at this five star reviews. And then my team does a really good job on social media content. So for all the stupid days that makes sense to our brand, national burger day, whatever, they will go get their favorite burgers, we’ll record it with an internal team, etc. And then have that posted. While we’re on the road wherever we are. For us. My wife has the consultations for the law firm about 80% of them. I do the consultations for legal ease about 80% of them. We do a lot of the networking from a virtual standpoint, we do the HR and hiring on the law firm Greg does the HR and hiring on legalese. We are talent for a lot of the content will focus on some of the stuff we’re in town more specifically, but honestly me walking in a park with my kid and recording is a lot more engaging than me talking on stage. So for our ideal client from a law firm standpoint, as a blue collar, teacher, cop realtor, it’s a little bit better than the high produce stuff on stage. So it’s cool for us to do walking, and then we’ll do feedback and approvals for everything. Or Right. So from legalese agency from outsource marketing from an in house marketing team, whatever it looks, you really want ideation and topics. You want to not be responsible for that. Probably regardless, certainly, if you’re trying to travel on the road, you need help on content production in some manner, social calendaring, awesome, super helpful. Maintaining your website, maintaining your CRM, super helpful. I’m a huge fan of a CRM. We could talk about that later. And then obviously overseeing the advertising because that doesn’t need to be me. They’ll have videos of me that they can advertise on. Okay, cool. Thank you all.