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
 
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…
 
We're on a brief break this week after the holidays, 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 to ditch the billable hour pricing format. What could your business be like if you were no longer chained to th…
 
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 …
 
Is your intake process getting your firm the results it needs? Is your intake process creating barriers for potential clients? Could it be refined or totally reworked? This week, we're joined by Billie Tarascio, successful attorney and co-author of Tiger Tactics: Powerful Strategies for Winning Law Firms. Billie is a master of the intake process, a…
 
You don't have the time or luxury of slowly getting new employees up to speed. You owe it to yourself and your firm to get new hires trained efficiently. This week, Matt Gjertsen joins us - he's a former U.S. Air Force instructor pilot and Manager of Training and Development for SpaceX who's founded Better Every Day Studios, focused on transforming…
 
What kind of questions are you asking in your interviews? Do you know what are you even looking for? This week, we're chatting with Davis Nguyen. Davis is a former consultant and founder of My Consulting Offer, where he coaches recent graduates and students on how to get through the interview and promotion process at management consulting firm McKi…
 
Is your website god's gift to legal world? Perfect in every way? I'm gonna bet there's at least a *little* room for improvement, if not a lot. You could be leaving a lot of deals on the table, and passing on a ton of revenue by not optimizing your site for conversions. Our guest this week gives us some simple changes and things to consider when des…
 
How do we integrate new tech in a way that improves the experience for clients and makes it easier for you and your employees to serve your clients? Colin Levy is a legal technologist and former in-house attorney who explains how not all technology, even legal-specific tech, is appropriate for every practice. Tech can be a distraction and a roadblo…
 
How can we delegate and distribute more work off our plate so that things get done faster and more consistently? This week, we're talking with Sam Mollaei. He has started and currently runs seven virtual law firms, outsourcing work without the massive overhead. He's also served over 7,000 legal clients gathering over 2,500 5-star Google reviews. Sa…
 
Is your practice going to be replaced by robots? Should we run screaming away from the impending tech overlords? This week, we're talking with Joshua Lenon, the Lawyer-in-Residence at Clio. Earlier this year, Joshua reviewed dozens of new legal technology options across various categories, looking for the best of what's coming next. When we recorde…
 
When you get on an initial call with a new client, do you know what questions you must have answers to by the end of that call? How much time do you spend building rapport and understanding? In this episode, we're talking with Brock Hendricks, and he'll share how the best practices of premium sales and service can help your legal team focus on the …
 
Are you a firm owner with feelings of burnout? Are you an attorney with work-life boundary issues? It's so common and easy for us attorneys to let our mental health take a backseat to our work and our businesses. Dr. Sherry Walling helps smart people do hard things. She is a clinical psychologist, speaker, podcaster, angel investor, entrepreneur, y…
 
Does the idea of sitting before a state bar grievance panel sound like a fun time? About as much fun as a root canal or an IRS audit, right? But what can we do to help avoid grievances altogether, even from those high-maintenance clients? Lisa Gonzalez is a defense attorney and Associate Judge who served as a member of the State Bar of Texas Grieva…
 
What could your business be like if you were no longer chained to the billable hour? Do you think your business model is even feasible without the billable hour? Does making the leap away from hourly billing sound terrifying? Stupid? Suicidal? Jonathan Stark is a former software developer who is on a mission to rid the world of hourly billing. He w…
 
Great client service is the bedrock of great marketing. It's the core of the snowball of referrals, reviews, and happily returning clients. Legal marketing specialist Jordan Ostroff of LegalEase Marketing and Jordan Law Fl joins us today to connect the dots between our marketing strategies and our client service standards. When we understand what o…
 
Are you thinking about building a course for clients, colleagues, or your own employees? Where do you start? How do you even approach what can be a huge undertaking? Stephen Ladek of LMS Pulse joins us - he's an e-learning expert with loads of experience in the structural design of courses, testing of skills, and e-learning tech. He's got a unique …
 
What if your head wasn't full of stressful thoughts all day? How would it change your work? How would it change your approach to clients, judges, employees, challenging situations? This week we're joined by Olivia Vizachero, the Less Stressed Lawyer. She's here to discuss stress management, understanding what truly causes your stress, and helping u…
 
Not all leads are created equal. What if you could use technology and data to qualify, predict, and automatically parse out the bad from the good from the great potential clients? With a combination of human sense, digital data, and a little bit of setup, you can have a powerful, time-saving system for scoring your leads. Friend of the show and aut…
 
Your service and your marketing are intertwined much more than you think. Your marketing tells clients what to expect, who you are, and how you operate. That expectation sets the stage for your actual service delivery. Gyi Tsakalakis of AttorneySync joins the show to explain how you can reduce client anxiety, friction, and uncertainty with your mar…
 
You might think the billable hour is your only option. You might think that legal subscriptions will be an easy ticket to free, passive income. You might think your practice isn't even suited to subscriptions. Dan Lear of Gravity Legal joins us to challenge all those assumptions about subscriptions, and give you tips on how you can make them a real…
 
Great service and growth starts with your firm's team. The way you screen and attract applicants, and ultimately hire and train your team shapes the entire customer dynamic. Get some invaluable tips on the interviewing, hiring, and onboarding process for your employees - an even a few things to think about from the applicant side. FiveStarCounsel.c…
 
Is your marketing plan a slot machine or a vending machine? Are you just tossing money at marketing efforts hoping to strike gold? Or do you know what results you'll get every time? Chelsea Williams of Core Solutions Group brings knowledge from the accounting & tax world to discuss some really powerful ways to critique your marketing strategy, make…
 
Building out a legal-focus course sounds great, right? A couple hours of work, and the checks keep coming in! Well, not to burst your bubble, but there's a lot more to it than that. You first have to consider WHY and FOR WHOM you're even making it - then get into the details of making, marketing, and sustaining a course. Trademark attorney Joey C. …
 
Your to-do list is never-ending, and it's really easy to get down on yourself for not clearing it (or for not even making it in the first place). Priorities change, new work comes up, and life gets in the way, bogging you down. Making a simple list of limited things you can and must do in your day can help ground you and achieve real, tangible prog…
 
As lawyers, we have so many self-imposed limits on our communication, especially about showing personality or humor. We fear the air of informality will make us look unprofessional or immature. But, clients don’t want to deal with a robot! Empathy and humor ASSUME trust, so why not use that to your advantage with your clients? Copywriter and comedi…
 
Great client service requires making the client's process as easy and efficient as possible. We should aim to minimize the time it takes for prospective clients to go from first contact to face-to-face expertise from you. Our friend Maddy Martin of Smith AI joins us to discuss the ways to increase that "speed to expert," and why it benefits both yo…
 
Hand-drafting your documents is rarely a great use of your time. You need to be automating this stuff - and you can do it without knowing a lick of code! Our guest Dorna Moini co-founded Documate to help attorneys automate their own most common documents with custom, logic-driven workflows, all without needing to code yourself. Making our service d…
 
Attorneys often fear specializing and drilling too deep with their focus, concerned that they'll miss opportunities and steady work. But casting too wide a net carries just as much downside: you stretch too thin, taking on work you're not the best at, and probably don't love. Finding a practice niche can create expert status, steady referral stream…
 
You can't deliver great service if you don't have time. And you won't have time if you're constantly juggling fifty tasks by yourself. Talitha Gray Kozlowski of LAWCLERK joins to talk about finding your highest & best use, making that your focus, and finding ways to remove the work that isn't. With solo & small law firms, figuring out what you can …
 
How often do you hear clients complain that they don't know where their matters stand or what's happening next? Keeping your clients informed is a crucial component of your service, and it saves us time and headaches too. Clients deserve to know where they are in their legal process, what to expect next, and to have clear instructions. But how do w…
 
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