Episode 10: How To Build A Successful Law Practice with Jack Zinda

Episode 10: How To Build A Successful Law Practice with Jack Zinda

Episode 10: How To Build A Successful Law Practice with Jack Zinda

Summary

Could your practice do with a shake up? Are your business processes lacking somewhat? Today we’re jumping back in time to when Jack was a guest on the Michael Cowen show.

Jack has built up his personal injury law practice to include three main offices and 17 lawyers in two different states. How has he been able to do this?

Discussed in this episode:

  • Building up the firm
  • Learning business processes from The E-myth
  • Hire great people
  • What to look for on a resume
  • The power of habit
  • His core principles

 

Could your practice do with a shake up? Are your business processes lacking somewhat? Today we’re jumping back in time to when Jack was a guest on the Michael Cowen show.

 

Jack has built up his personal injury law practice to include three main offices and 17 lawyers in two different states. How has he been able to do this?

 

He shares his story with Michael, including his experience of running a firm and practicing law, as well as the practicalities of running a firm across state lines. Listeners will learn the many tips and tactics he found effective in scaling his practice, and some of the more important processes they follow internally that have allowed them to grow from a small to mid and now larger size firm.

 

“I think a lot of people, especially attorneys, think that doing personal injury law is a quick buck. And they soon realise, man, this is a lot of work. Yeah, a lot of risk.”

 

So pull up a chair, grab a pencil and paper, you’re going to want to take notes.

 

From waiting tables to personal injury lawyer

 

“My dad owned a restaurant. I grew up washing dishes, cooking, waiting tables, bartending, which was great training for being a trial lawyer and learning how to talk to people.”

 

Now, when he hires new lawyers, one of the experiences Jack looks for on their resume is waiting tables.

 

“I find that people who wait tables give good service, even when they’re [clients] being unreasonable.”

 

The influence of the e-myth

 

Jack didn’t rely on consultants to help him grow his business; instead, he invested his time in reading as many books as possible early in his career. The one he credits for giving him the idea to plan how he wanted to grow the firm was the E-myth.

 

“I started off by drawing an org chart for what the firm would be like when we had 30 lawyers, who would be in charge of HR, finance, marketing. And then I worked my way backwards from there to where I was then.”

 

At the same time he focused on the core principles he wanted the firm to be about, while also making sure he still practised law.

 

“I didn't want to become a CEO or a business guy… The reason I like doing personal injury work is you get to help people and work with clients.”

 

How to get cases for his firm while growing it

 

In the beginning, Jack built a referral network of attorneys who sent him cases. He told them to send him everything, the good, the bad and the ugly. He says this took about a year to pay off.

 

Jack also had a rule that he had to attend two networking events a week. A rule he still insists on with his team of attorneys today.

 

Hire great people

 

A law firm is only as good as the people.

 

“We're very analytical in our approach. It all starts with having a great team. Something that it took me a long time to figure out is that who you hire is usually the most important decision you can make.”

 

His theory is that if you have a bad business system but great people, you will succeed. If you hire bad people but have a great business system, you’re going to fail.

 

And you don’t need to hire people who have lots of experience, you just need them to be organized. To get them up to speed with how you work, hire a training and development attorney.

 

The power of habit

 

“We found the software in our processes and checklists help build the habits that lead to success... greatness is built by doing the right thing every single day.”

 

One of Jack’s firm’s core principles is ‘excellence always’, which means they don't do a great job some of the time, they do a great job all the time.

 

They do a thing called a ‘litigation strategy memo’ before they follow any lawsuit. They’ve learned that if they plan it out early, the deposition goes much better when you know where you're going.

 

Don’t take unscheduled phone calls

 

Finally, says Jack, don’t take unscheduled phone calls. Coach your attorneys to step away from their phones and not check email constantly.

 

“We tell our attorneys to turn off their computer monitors when they're having an important conversation with the client, because you'll be distracted and not even know it.”

 

He’s also a big believer in willpower:

 

“You've got to set yourself up for success by setting the atmosphere that you want in order to be successful.”

 

On today’s podcast:

 

  • Building up the firm
  • Learning business processes from The E-myth
  • Hire great people
  • What to look for on a resume
  • The power of habit
  • His core principles

 

Links:

 

ABOUT THE EFFECTIVE LAWYER

The Effective Lawyer teaches ambitious trial lawyers how to grow their skills and create a prosperous law firm. Using lessons learned by accomplished attorneys from around the country, we discuss lessons learned through their trials and tribulations. Our discussions cover a vast range of topics sought out by attorneys looking for advice, from depositions to how to market your law firm. In each show we cover a new topic that an ambitious attorney would want to better understand, while providing practical skills to improve their legal practice.

The show is hosted by Jack Zinda, Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Zinda Law Group. In less than 15 years, Jack and his team have grown Zinda Law Group from 3 attorneys to over 30, spanning several states and handling a variety of personal injury cases from gas explosions to truck accidents.

 

 

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