show episodes
 
What would a law firm built by the founders of Disney, Four Seasons, Amazon, and Zappos look like? Lawyers (and other professionals) aren't in the same "service" industry as those companies, but that doesn't mean we can't benefit from employing their rigorous service mindsets. We give you inspiration and tactics to smooth out your processes, bolster your reputation, and increase your revenue - every episode of Five Star Counsel has actionable tips for you to build the firm that clients rave ...
 
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show series
 
We're on a brief break while we gear up for Season 2 of FSC, but we still want to give you something to think about (or revisit) in the mean time, especially if you missed it the first time around. Check out our chat with Jonathan Stark about how (and why) to ditch the billable hour pricing format in your firm. ---- What could your business be like…
 
We're on a brief break while we gear up for Season 2 of FSC, but we still want to give you something to think about (or revisit) in the mean time, especially if you missed it the first time around. Paul Kortman details out the process for turning your inbound leads into actionable data in this super-valuable chat. ---- Not all leads are created equ…
 
We're on a brief break while we gear up for Season 2 of FSC, but we still want to give you something to think about (or revisit) in the mean time, especially if you missed it the first time around. Molly McGrath joined us to deliver A TON of invaluable tips for hiring the perfect addition to your firm. Great employees + a great fit = great service.…
 
We're on a brief break while we gear up for Season 2 of FSC, but we still want to give you something to think about (or revisit) in the mean time, especially if you missed it the first time around. We talked to entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson about how to *sanely* grow and manage your firm. ---- Do you find yourself slogging through the days …
 
We're on a brief break while we gear up for Season 2 of FSC, but we still want to give you something to think about (or revisit) in the mean time, especially if you missed it the first time around. Check out our great Season 1 chat with Maddy Martin about getting your paying clients in front of the expert (you) as quickly as possible. ---- Great cl…
 
We're on a brief break while we gear up for Season 2 of FSC, but we still want to give you something to think about (or revisit) in the mean time, especially if you missed it the first time around. Check out our crucial Season 1 chat with Adam Anderson about growth stages in your business. --- If you want to effectively grow, scale, and improve you…
 
It's Five Star Counsel's 100th episode! We're amazed and thrilled to have shared the last 100 shows with you. We've had truly incredible guests, and we hope you've learned a whole lot along with us. We've used our time thus far to talk through John's big ideas on service, get inspiration and guidance from smart people in the legal field, and contin…
 
Why do we attend legal conferences? What makes a great conference? Where do we find the most value? How can we make the most of legal conferences and how do we make the mediocre ones better? After a couple recent conferences, I got to talking with friend of the show, Mike Whelan, about what makes bad conferences bad, and makes great conferences gre…
 
Where should we be looking for inspiration when improving service in our firms? If you've been listening for a while, you know, I've spent a lot of time talking about my time with the Four Seasons Hotels, but of course it's not the only place you can get high-end experiences. This week, we're bringing you a conversation between me and Ernie Svenson…
 
Does customer service ever feel extraneous to you? Does it seem like too much effort and too lofty a goal for your busy work week? How can you achieve amazing service and why should you bother? Our guest this week is Shep Hyken, Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations, and an award winning author, speaker, and consultant on customer servic…
 
Are you a believer of the old idea that "the customer is always right?" What happens when that rule comes into conflict with a trusted employee? Is there room for a better, more holistic approach to your firm's service? Our guest this week, Stephanie Everett, is here to advocate for a people-focused, not just client-focused, approach to running you…
 
How do you interact with your clients? Is it a clinical, business-only relationship? Could you be more empathetic with your clients? Should you? What is the true value of empathy with your client, both to the client and your business? Our guest this week is Jordan Furlong of Law Twenty One. Jordan is a legal sector analyst and advisor who’s deeply …
 
When's the last time you looked at your website's privacy policy? Do you even have one? Are you automating tedious tasks like this? Our guest this week is Donata Stroink-Skillrud, founder of Termageddon, a company that automates the creation of Privacy Policies, Terms of Service and more, and keeps those automatically updated on your site as your w…
 
Are you comfortable with your online presence? Can you effectively separate your business and personal personas? Should they be the same? What are the Rules and guidelines for playing online, especially on Twitter? Our guest this week is attorney Ruth Carter of Carter Law and GeekLawFirm.com. Ruth's practice covers IP, social media and internet law…
 
John is back, delivering some fun, quick-hitting tips, tackling a host of great listener questions. How do you respond to clients who want to go to the front of the line and skip your normal intake process? How to respond when you've screwed up? You mentioning Disney and Four Seasons makes sense when discussing service, but why do you include Amazo…
 
Do you come from a non-legal professional background? Wonder how you can build a practice that draws from that knowledge you have? Our guest this week is Boyd Shepherd, founder of Legal Dental. Boyd started his career as a dentist, and eventually transitioned to practicing law, focusing his specialty on helping dental professionals with their parti…
 
This week, we're once again taking a look back at the last nine episodes of the show, recapping the main points, and adding a little more perspective and discussion. We've had such great guests, and want to really sink these lessons and takeaways in, and give you a chance to hear the main points on any episodes you might have missed. 81. The Art of…
 
Do you understand what legal consumers actually want? What level of service they need? What potential clients are afraid of? What can we, as attorneys, learn from other non-legal industries? Our guest this week is Kim Bennett. Kim is the founder of K Bennett Law LLC, a boutique subscription legal services law firm that helps small businesses protec…
 
In March 2022, I attended the fabulous ABA Tech Show in Chicago, and I had a chance to hear from some amazing speakers, and even chat with a few for our show. I asked our guests the same four questions: Describe the topic you’re talking about at the conference Give me one takeaway from your session Tell me one thing you've learned here at ABA Techs…
 
How often do you make decisions based on a limited sample size? A hunch? A loose smattering of options and outcomes you've experienced? It's time you start making your business and legal decisions based on hard data. Our guest this week, Ed Walters, is the founder and CEO of Fastcase, a legal intelligence company, and author of the book Data-Driven…
 
If you spend any amount of time online, you're getting bombarded with every new tech invention that's out there, but should you be investing any of your time as a lawyer in getting these new technologies invested and integrated in your business? I've brought back Jess Birken and Jared Correia, because they both have strong thoughts on how and when …
 
Are you toying with the idea of going solo, but scared to take the leap? How do you know when it's time? How do you know where to start? How you do effectively serve your clients and run a business by yourself? Our guest this week is Carolyn Elefant, and she's a guru for lawyers ready to start their own practice. She's the author of "Solo By Choice…
 
Could you be making more money with a subscription service? Possibly, but how do you create one tailored to your client base? How do we make sure we're delivering value for subscribing clients? Our guest this week is Jon Tobin, founder of Counsel For Creators, where he helps creative businesses on legal matters involving intellectual property, tech…
 
How many hours a week are you spending on your email? Think about it. Is that time spent really your highest and best use? How are you going to find YOUR email solution? If you've been listening to the last two episodes, I think you know that you should be thinking about outsourcing your inbox. But there are still so many questions about how to rea…
 
How do lawyers get started with an email-focused assistant? How do we overcome the biggest personal mental roadblocks to handing off those reins? What’s stopping YOU from doing this today? This week’s episode is a little different than normal - it’s episode two in our three-episode series on outsourcing email. I took part in a panel discussion host…
 
Are you spending half your day replying to emails? Are you staring at a big red number in the thousands on your email app? How can you possibly get your emails under control and even off your plate? Emails are robbing you of your valuable time, and though it sounds impossible, you really can delegate and hand most of that work off to an assistant. …
 
It's time for our listeners to get their burning questions answered! John delivers some fun, quick-hitting tips, tackling a host of great listener questions ranging from tech tools to gifting to Web3 to John's penchant for The Dillinger Escape Plan. As we mention at the end of the episode, if you have questions for our next Q&A episode, please send…
 
This week, we take a look back at the last nine episodes of the show, recap the main points, and give a little more perspective and discussion. We've had such great guests, and want to really sink these lessons and takeaways in. Join us for some quick-hitting breakdowns and service wisdom. We break the episodes down thusly. Workflow/Management/Empl…
 
For the first time on this program, we're turning the tables a bit and inviting our guest to receive live feedback and consultation from John on their firm's client service systems and overall philosophy. This week on Five Star Counsel, we're talking with Greg Steele of Greg Steele Law in Anderson, SC. Greg has some unique challenges as both a smal…
 
Are you curious about using webinars to attract clients? How do you get started? What's the right path for you and your firm? Paul Yokabitus is our guest this week. Paul is the founder of Cary Estate Planning and Planwell Legal, where he practices Estate Planning law. Paul took what was looking like a disastrous downturn at the start of the pandemi…
 
Is your office culture non-existent in a post-pandemic world? Are you struggling with a hybrid, virtual and in-person, work arrangement? How do you create a working environment that suits the new normal? I think most of our listeners understand that the new expectation for many workers in the U.S. is a higher level of work flexibility, in both time…
 
Is your sales process structured? Do you even have a sales process? How can a sales process affect your overall client service? Allison Williams of Law Firm Mentor joins us this week to discuss just that. Law Firm Mentor provides coaching services for solo and small law firms, and one of her specialties is perfecting their sales process. We've talk…
 
As a small attorney, you know how important Google is to your business. But you might not realize that your Google My Business profile - the info that pops up when someone googles or searches for your firm in Maps - might be your firm's real key differentiator between you and your competitors. This week, I'm joined by Paul Cashman and Wes Lungwitz …
 
What would happen if your firm's network, your email, your social accounts or your client files got hacked? How devastating could it be to your company? More importantly, what could you be doing now to protect your data and your business? Our guest this week is Tom Lambotte, of Boba Guard Security, who joins us to discuss preventative measures lawy…
 
Do you find yourself slogging through the days and weeks, buried in work? Are you frustrated at your current growth? Is your company culture simply some version of “Work hard. Bill hours. Make money?” Are you happy with that? Our guest this week is a brilliant entrepreneur, David Heinemeier Hansson. David is the cofounder of Basecamp & HEY, creator…
 
We're on a brief break this week after the holiday, but we still want to give you something to think about (or revisit) in the mean time, especially if you missed it the first time around. Check out John's take on setting your firm's standards. You have standards and expectations for service in your personal life - shouldn't your firm have standard…
 
Is every member of your staff on the same level when it comes to tech proficiency? Is it possible that you actually *losing* efficiency by employing tech? This week, we're joined by Alicia Pierre of Legally Techie, who specializes in legal-focused tech training. We want to get a lot out of our tech tools, but a lack of competence and a lack of trai…
 
Do you want to know how to make your job postings pop? How do you weed through a sea of applicants and land that dream employee? How do we make the hiring process better and easier for law firms? Our guest this week is Molly McGrath of Hiring & Empowering Solutions. For nearly 25 years, she's coached and consulted law firms to get the best results …
 
We're on a brief break this week, but we want to give you something to think about (or revisit) in the mean time, especially if you missed it the first time around. Here's John's take on the importance of your firm's values, culture, and standards. Client service should stem from an overarching goal or philosophy. Our firms' values, standards, and …
 
Has tech made traditional legal assistants and secretaries obsolete? Think your firm can slash costs AND improve productivity by letting that support staff go? Not so fast. Law firms are laying off their support staff at alarming rates, thinking that automation is going to improve their service and efficiency. The big problem is, the automation inf…
 
Is your firm's efficiency still being judged by hours logged? Are your firm's flexibility policies still resulting in micromanagement and long hours? How can we get out of this paradigm of management by clock? Our guest, Jody Thompson, is the founder of CultureRx and creator of the Results-Only Work Environment or ROWE - a management strategy ancho…
 
How much do you earn every year from referrals? What if you could dramatically increase that number with some simple steps? Our guest this week is Stacey Brown Randall, Referral Ninja Master, and creator of the Referrals Without Asking strategy. Her program is designed to generate referrals without asking, without manipulation or feeling inauthenti…
 
Throughout the first year in our podcasting journey, we've learned a lot from our guests, and our core tenets have been honed and adjusted. We thought we'd take this time to refresh our growing audience on the essentials, and talk about the core concepts of Five Star Counsel that have come into even clearer focus. We'll discuss our show's goals, ou…
 
Are you fearing a new future where big tech companies push you out of business? Where the Amazon of legal services makes you obsolete? My guest and I are here to tell you to put those fears to bed. Conrad Saam is the founder of Mockingbird Marketing, an agency focused on marketing for the legal industry. He previously spent 6 years running marketin…
 
Are you ready to bring on new associates? Great! Now, how do you expect those new employees to know and understand your firm's processes, values, and work culture? You can't just throw them in the ocean and assume their law school knowledge will keep them afloat. That is old-school, 1984-law firm stuff, and we have to be better than that. Modern on…
 
Is a client going to pay for a service they don't value? Even if they do, are they going to be happy about it? Ed Kless is the Senior Director at Sage Accountants Solutions and host of the Soul of Enterprise podcast. Ed has fantastic takes on pricing and billing for professional services, and we had him on the show this week to discuss the concept …
 
Lee Cockerell is a customer service icon, and I was thrilled to have him join our show. Lee served as the Executive Vice President of Operations for the Walt Disney World Resort for ten years. This means he ran 20 resort hotels with over 24,000 Guest rooms, 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, 5 golf courses, a shopping village & nighttime entertainment c…
 
Does the term "Sales" make you shiver? Are lawyers, law firms, and legal services somehow above a lowly sales process? Sales is all about need fulfillment, and your clients have needs! That you can fulfill! You're not selling them on something they don't need, you're helping them solve their problem, or move their needle on an important issue. Stev…
 
How much time could systems and processes save you every week? If one new program or app or template could save you 2 hours a week, would you use it? Stacy Carlson is the Partner Manager at TextExpander, where she helps businesses consistent communicate smarter and faster across all their channels. She focuses on systems and processes, and is a sel…
 
Do clients need to understand the process, terminology, and documents we're creating for them? Of course they do, and clients are much happier and less stressed when they understand what's going on. And, as a bonus, they appreciate us and the value what we bring to their situation. But how do we make it easier to explain and translate the specific …
 
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