Last Friday, I read an attorney’s status update on LinkedIn that asked a simple question, one which many of us often take for granted.
“What is the cost of inaction?”
As a lawyer, that really resonates.
Inaction, and some other “I” words like indecision and inertia, are what hamper our personal growth as lawyers. Risk aversion may be part of attorney DNA, but entrepreneurship is most certainly not.
Avoid the cost of inaction by cashing in on opportunity.
It may not feel like it in 2020, but these are still times when an opportunity presents itself to advance your career in ways not previously imagined.
Over the past several weeks and months, my law firm, FisherBroyles, has been on a hiring surge! I have spoken to several partner lateral recruits before they commit. These are usually candidates that have been practicing law for a decade or two. They come from the AmLaw200 — the top 200 law firms in the country based on gross revenue. These are attorneys that have established themselves as leaders in their area(s) of practice. They have amassed $500K+ books of business — many with seven figures — and an upward trajectory.
But often, traditional law firms do not pay these attorneys fairly. Plus, there is the crippling inertia that sucks these stars into the vortex of using busy schedules, making end-of-year billable-hour requirements, and pearl-clutching for a decent year-end bonus as excuses for putting off a potential lateral move.
(Been there; done that.)
So, during my conversations with these partner candidates, I explain the FisherBroyles business model thoroughly. There is no star chamber, we do not play favorites, we do not have glass ceilings, and we never cut pay. Indeed, FisherBroyles pays attorneys objectively (up to 80% based on work that attorneys bring in and perform).
Here is where I pause and let recruits run the numbers in their head. Usually, I can pinpoint the moment when their mind blows.
And I smile. 😁
I also mention the work-life balance of a distributed law firm model with no commute and no billable-hour requirement. Plus, I stress the flexibility (and client appreciation for) being able to set your own rates. There are many other reasons to join.
Still, some remain skeptical.
“But, what about collaboration among attorneys?” they ask. “I’m used to working with certain lawyers that I know can service my clients.”
“Yes, we hunt in packs; we collaborate. FisherBroyles financially incentivizes us to service another partner’s clients,” I tell them. “When I need help in or out of my area of expertise, I send a firm-wide email. Inevitably, I will get several responses within minutes. And if you have a big enough book of business, bring some of the members of your existing team to FisherBroyles with you.”
“I regret not coming here sooner.”
I end these conversations by sharing my only regret about FisherBroyles, which is why didn’t I come here sooner?
And that, my friends, is the cost of inaction.
In my head, I became preoccupied with the worst-case scenario about switching law firms. Tell me if any of this sounds familiar:
- What if my clients leave? They will not. Most attorney-client relationships — the keyword is “relationship” — transcend the law firm to the originating partner. Most of my clients read this blog. Thank you!
- What if my book of business suddenly declines? Sure, I could have a down year. But, no, all of the wheels will not fall off the bus suddenly. As it stands, I’ve more than doubled my book of business since arriving here in March 2018.
- What if I can’t transition from brick-and-mortar to a remote-based model? It’s 2020. I think we all know the answer to this now rhetorical question.
Like I said at the beginning, take a good hard look straight in the “I’s.” If you don’t like what you see, I encourage you to do something about it. You have great odds of success. It’s time to wager on yourself.
FisherBroyles used to be “The Most Important Law Firm You’ve Never Heard Of.” Now, we are getting more unsolicited inquiries from laterals than ever before! According to the American Lawyer, we have added almost 30 partners this year, more than nearly all other American law firms. Actually, it’s 40 partners (including 5 internationally), but who’s counting? 😉
I have personally pitched some of you already to join me at FisherBroyles. For the rest of my lawyer readers, consider this an invitation to pick up the phone, email, or text me. If you don’t practice employment law, hey, we’re a full-service law firm. I would love to hear from all of you.
Even better, I would love to work with you.