By Chantelle DiLorenzo
About a month ago I had the opportunity to represent the Geller Law Group at a legal conference in Las Vegas recognizing some of the fastest growing law firms in the country. I ate great food, reveled in desert sights (including a coyote spotting during a run!), and had the chance to unwind a bit but also recharge. Yes, recharge personally, as anyone else who has a toddler and 3 dogs understands, but also recharge my approach to and appreciation of the legal practice.
I was surrounded by hundreds of entrepreneurs who were going through growing pains of hiring, learning how to manage their exploding – and I mean that positively- caseload, and figuring out what technologies were best for their firm. We shared ideas and learned from the best. I walked away with a few things, aside from this little gem, outlined below.
Happy employees make happy clients. Our founding partner, Rebecca Geller, has made this the firm motto from day 1, and it shows. For those of you who do not know, our firm allows employees to work remotely and has always emphasized family first. Since there’s about 13 billion children between us (I joke), this is helpful for things like snow days or those scary trips to the ER. We adjust, we flex, and instead of people feeling penalized for their family, the team steps up. We have community service days where we all get together, get dirty, and give back to the community. The list goes on, but the purpose behind the happiness is not just internal: it is to be shared. Positive employees imprint happiness onto clients. Did you know that within seconds into a conversation, one person will typically mirror the attitude and energy of the other? I did, which is why I answer the phone grinning like a fool. Always.
Technology should be invested in wisely and used efficiently. Not surprising, but the legal field isn’t the fastest to evolve with technology. The conference highlighted many new software programs that streamline processes to allow attorneys to focus more on practicing law and technology to handle administrative tasks. It’s just a matter of finding the best fit that will grow with your firm, and trust me, we are growing…
Growth is only sustainable if you have a team to grow with. It’s not just attorneys that make a firm, it’s support staff and professional referral partners too. Our growth at GLG is amazing. When I joined the firm in early 2015 there were five of us- 5! We are now a staff of 21. I work with phenomenal legal minds, but we are also supported by an administrative staff that is personable, quick to trouble-shoot problems, and takes ownership of projects.
You’re only successful if you can step away and things don’t fold. You need to have mechanisms in place that don’t rely solely on you. You need a team, you need technology, and you need happy clients that are okay if you’re not responding to email within 5 minutes, because you’ve got a track record of being dependable every other time the client needed you. This is the measure of success and sustainable growth, and to personal happiness. Because sometimes, you need to press pause and recharge so you’re ready for the next big thing.
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