Brooke Lively: From Panic to Profit in Your Law Firm

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Brooke Lively discuss:

  • Running your law firm by the numbers.
  • Secrets from Brooke’s book, From Panic to Profit.
  • Finding your baseline to manage and improve your numbers.
  • The ideal ratio in your law firm’s financials.

Key Takeaways:

  • We have to pay more attention to the way we’re running the firm and running it like a business than we used to.
  • Rather than a budget, call it a profit plan to help you stay on track to hit your goals.
  • If you know your revenue is going to be good for 3-4 months, then you can take marketing risks or even take a vacation.
  • The further you look out, the more strategic you can become.

“If you don’t know what it is you have nowhere to start, you have no way to improve it. Once we find that baseline, we start to manage that number, and things start to improve. “ —  Brooke Lively

Connect with Brooke Lively:  

Website: &







Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.



Book: The Ambitious Attorney: Your Guide to Doubling or Even Tripling Your Book of Business and more!

YouTube: Steve Fretzin

Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911

Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.




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Narrator, Brooke Lively, Steve Fretzin


Brooke Lively  [00:00]

Once we find that baseline, we start to manage that number and things start to improve. And just like the title of my books, as you start to go from panic to profit, you start to find the reliability. In your firm, you start to be able to really count on some things. And you start to have confidence in what your firm is doing.


Narrator  [00:27]

You’re listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author and lawyer, coach, Steve Fretzin, will take a deeper dive, helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.


Steve Fretzin  [00:51]

Hey, everybody, welcome to be that lawyer. I hope you’re having a lovely day, I am shot out of a cannon once again and ready to rock and roll with a great guest for you. First, just a bit of business. As you know, Fretzin is the place to go for business development and coaching training. We are not just doing coaching, we’re doing both coaching and training. So what does that mean? That means you get one on one attention for me. But I also put you in a room with 1015 other attorneys that are also highly motivated to learn business development to roleplay to work on your business and learn the skills they never taught you in law school. They never taught you at the at the law firm level. And we get in depth we get into the weeds and we teach it so that you have it internalized. You never need to go through the program twice. One time, do it right, get it done rock and roll. And as you know, we also do peer advisory. So feel free to check out my to learn more about that. But on to the meat and potatoes. Today we’ve got author and president of cathedral capital. And that is Brooke lively. How’s it going, Brooke?


Brooke Lively  [01:56]

Steve, it’s awesome.


Steve Fretzin  [01:59]

It’s awesome in Fort Worth, it’s awesome. Is that what you’re saying?


Brooke Lively  [02:02]

It is awesome in Fort Worth it you know it’s only like 90 something degrees today we’re not in the triple digits. Okay. You know,


Steve Fretzin  [02:10]

and then you were we can but you’re heading off to Europe is what you’re telling me? Why you going to Europe?


Brooke Lively  [02:16]

I rented a boat and I’m going to cruise the Dalmatian coast in Croatia for a week. Wow.


Steve Fretzin  [02:23]

Okay, well, you’re the third person that said they were doing that to me today. So I’m not sure what’s gonna be crowded. It’s gonna be very crowded over there. That is crazy. Are you are you’re a sailor so you sail or?


Brooke Lively  [02:35]

No, I I have a cruise you cruise.


Steve Fretzin  [02:40]

Okay, my son did sailing over the last couple summers. So he’s like, you know, a three person vote. He can he can manage. But I think if it gets too big, then might be a different story.


Brooke Lively  [02:49]

Yeah, this bed holds that. Well, it’ll hold 12 guests plus four crew.


Steve Fretzin  [02:57]

Okay. Wow. Well, that sounds like a dream trip. Well, good for you. Yeah, a little jealous. Gotta tell you a little jealous.


Brooke Lively  [03:03]

So this is my going away deal. I get to talk to you today.


Steve Fretzin  [03:08]

Okay, well, let’s make it Let’s make it count. Make it Stick. You know, the show is all about helping lawyers to be that lawyer someone who’s confident organized a skilled Rainmaker. In order to do that there’s all these different elements that go into it. So what’s your background in dealing with lawyers and law firms?


Brooke Lively  [03:26]

Oh, gosh. So I have this thing about attorneys. My father’s an attorney, my brother’s an attorney, two of my uncle’s. I don’t know how many cousins and really, basically every guy I’ve ever dated. Literally, the guys I dated in high school grew up to be six foot two left handed lawyers who wear glasses. I really need to stop dating this type. Yes. I’m unmarried. And I did have this was hysterical. I was in DC, and I got called for jury duty. And, you know, my father has always said the two people he didn’t want on his jury were an attorney or an engineer, because they’re going to poke every hole. Oh, sure. Oh, yeah. This case, right. So but I did learn early on to raise your hand for everything during voir dear. Which, by the way, in Texas, it’s called voir dire.


Steve Fretzin  [04:26]



Brooke Lively  [04:28]

It really is. It’s more dire in Texas. I don’t know why. So do Verdier and I’m raising my hand on everything. And I get called up to talk to the judge. And she’s like, well, like how many attorneys do you know? So? Well, you know, I had a dinner party last night, there were eight of us. Seven of them were attorneys. And before she could catch herself, she said, You need a better class of friends.


Steve Fretzin  [04:53]

The lawyer jokes are endless, right?


Brooke Lively  [04:55]

I know. And the judge made it so. Yeah, I love pliers and I always have,


Steve Fretzin  [05:01]

yeah, well, I got beat up by one my whole life growing up with my father and my my audience knows I’ve got a father lawyer. And this is a guy who would take a 13 page document, come back to me with 15 pages of notes and say, here’s all the changes we’re going to make to this document. I go, Really, the other side’s gonna agree to that. He goes, Oh, no, they won’t agree to any of it. Okay, well, can I have three hours of my life back that you just spent explaining this to me? Yeah. Or so what was the purpose of that? Yeah, yeah. But anyway, he had all the best intentions with me and everyone else that he engaged with, no matter how painful it was at times. And by the way, we, you know, why’d you park on the, you know, park on the lawn? You know, he asked me questions like that. I don’t know why. Anyway, those are some college days, we won’t talk, we won’t go back. So alright, so you’re involved in lawyers on every potential aspect of your life, and working with them, too.


Brooke Lively  [05:54]

I work with them, too. I, you know, one of the things I was working for my father’s law firm, I went to grad school and got this, you know, MBA in finance, and it did what you’re supposed to do and ended up, I was working for a hedge fund. And then ultimately, I ended up running my father’s law firm. And it was really interesting, because we hired a consultant at one point. And his clients started coming to me and saying, can you do for us what you do for your father? Can you teach us how to run our businesses by the numbers, and that was when I realized that attorneys are kind of intimidated by their numbers. And, you know, I just I love it, I get the attorney mindset. I understand how your firm works. And there’s just nothing better than going in and making a change that helps a firm, see where they are and make decisions better, and, you know, make more money?


Steve Fretzin  [07:03]

Yeah, I mean, we keep going back to this concept of, you know, it’s the business of law. And I know that that there are people that want to push back on that and everything, but it’s just getting more and more that way as the years go on. And it’s less of a Wild West Show, where people just make stuff up as they go, because that’s sort of what it was right?


Brooke Lively  [07:23]

Well, I think that, you know, 50 years ago, when my father started practicing, or 55, however long it’s been, I think there were fewer attorneys, there was less pressure on pricing, I think it was easier to make money as an attorney in that environment. And, you know, I haven’t looked at the stats recently, but a few years ago, law schools were pumping out more attorneys than there were jobs. So the law to some extent, is becoming a commodity unless you really differentiate yourself somehow. Yeah. And so I think that we have to pay more attention to the way we’re running the firm and running it like a business than we used to.


Steve Fretzin  [08:11]

So what are some of the things that you’re seeing? Maybe it’s culturally, maybe it’s it’s a lack of attention to the numbers, that you’re seeing, like, on a regular basis that you just roll your eyes and go, oh, boy, another one?


Brooke Lively  [08:27]

I think it’s just the apprehension about everything financial. Yeah. You know, What’s the joke lawyers go to law school, because their promise no numbers? Or, or my other favorite one, there’s only one calculation an attorney can do in his head. And that’s, you know, contingency fees.


Steve Fretzin  [08:52]

Quickly, yeah.


Brooke Lively  [08:53]

Oh, yeah, we can get those one thirds really fast. And I think that I think that there is just some apprehension about the numbers. And in and I totally get it. You go to law school. And in they tell you that you’re the you’re supposed to be the expert, and you’re supposed to have the answers. And it is very hard when you get out. And maybe you practice in another firm, and you think I can do this differently. And you go and you open your own firm, which let’s face it, the vast majority of attorneys are working in solo and small firms. It’s it’s not what you think it was. And it’s a little bit harder. And, and I think that just teaching something so that so that attorneys feel more comfortable. Because where do you turn when you’re the one that’s supposed to have all the answers?


Steve Fretzin  [09:51]

Right? Well, I think the answer is to other experts. And I think it’s slowly happening. If you’re not a marketing person, you wouldn’t need to hire a marketing expert? If you’re not a business development person, you know, I might be on a list if you struggle with the numbers and looking at the finances and understanding what you need to do to grow and be as profitable and sustainable, then, you know, call Brooke. That’s it. So we just solved all the world’s problems there. All right, so let’s talk about your book from panic to profit. And let’s go through some of the key things that you share in that book. And we’ll obviously give all that information, the details in the in the, in the show notes. So if you want to go grab that book, it’s on Amazon, I’m assuming? Oh, gosh, yes, of course, of course. And soon the audio version, right? audio version is


Brooke Lively  [10:41]

coming soon. I got that recorded. I don’t know when it’s going to be live. But okay. Yeah, it’s on Amazon, it was an international bestseller on Amazon. So here’s the book in a nutshell. I don’t think the numbers should have to be hard. When I talk about looking at the numbers in your law firm, I want to look at six numbers. And I want them to be fairly simple. And my team and I came up with this, I was at a an EO meeting Entrepreneurs Organization, which is a group of entrepreneurs. And I was at a meeting a few years ago, and one of the guys asked, okay, if you were on a desert island, at a five star resort, and there’s no phone, no internet, no TV. The only way you get information is from the captain of the boat, who comes by once a week to drop off new guests, pick up departing guests and deliver supplies. What three pieces of information would you need? And I was like, Oh, I don’t know. And so I took it back to my team. And we said, Is it three? Is it 13? Is it five? Is it 20? You know, what’s the number. And what we finally did was we looked at a firm, and we divided into six parts. And we said there is a key number for each part that will basically give us the pulse of the business. So if we wanted really simple numbers, we wanted easy things to find. So if you are on the desert island, and you want to stay for another week, the six numbers you want to look at are your cash flow forecast. How much cash Are you going to have at the end of every week for the next six to eight weeks? What’s your owner compensation? We want to know that because we want to know if you’re getting paid. So this is the category of ideal ratios, how are we spending our money? And are you getting what you should get? And then we wanted to know about production is work moving through the firm. And the key number there is your whip your work in progress. Once we also want to know marketing and sales, is that working? And how do we know if that’s working? Well, we look at sales calls book. Case management is a big one. How much pressure does an average case put on your firm? What’s the average price? The average length the average staffing? And are you appropriately staffed? Can you handle all of this? And we know that by net new cases. So cases opened minus cases closed. But your net new? And then the last one is your budget versus actual? I know nobody wants a budget. I get it. Budgets are limiting budget suck. I totally agree. We’d like to call it a profit plan. But you know, are you on track to hit your goals? And that’s a big one for us. So four of these are forward looking and to help you get back on track. Owner compensation and budget versus actual help you make sure that you’re going to hit your goals?


Steve Fretzin  [14:17]

Well, I think there’s so many other once you understand these numbers, then you have the ability to make some pretty dramatic and interesting changes. Because if you see for example, that your your net new isn’t where it needs to be, well, maybe there’s an investment that needs to be made in sales and marketing right and getting those cases in. If you see that your owner’s cap isn’t I mean, definitely you need to get paid, right. And so why aren’t you and how much are you looking should you be making based on the total profit or total gross, right? Yeah. So when all of this is said and done, and you’ve gone in and you’ve calculated all the six points within a law firm, what’s the general response or reaction is it is it usually what Have A thought is it completely different than what they thought?


Brooke Lively  [15:09]

Horrible. Attorneys are shockingly optimistic when it comes to their numbers. Okay. I get it. So there are times when I show them numbers, and they’re like, Well, no, that can’t possibly be right. I’m like, yes, yes, yes, it is. And as we start, you know, what’s the expression? If you measure it, you can improve it.


Steve Fretzin  [15:37]

Right? Can you measure it you measured? Well, I usually say, if you can measure it, you can manage it. And then there’s another saying on top of that, that I just did this earlier today. Somebody said the, like one up to me, like I said, if you can’t measure him, he’s like, You can’t, you know, there was something even better than we should have written it down. Oh, well,


Brooke Lively  [15:57]

well, yeah. So measuring manage, if you don’t know what it is, you have nowhere to start, you have no way to improve it. And once we find that baseline, we start to manage that number and things start to improve. And just like the title of my books, as you start to go from panic to profit, you start to find the reliability in your firm, you start to be able to really count on some things. And you start to have confidence in what your firm is doing. So instead of Oh, are we going to make it is it going to be bad are we going to be able to make payroll in three days, you’re starting to look at things. So you know, your cash flow forecast tells you if you’re going to have money next week or not, it’s going to tell you by week, but then you also start to look at whip, this month’s whip is next month’s revenue. And then when we start to look at net new cases, you know, the the new case, the person that signs this month, is going to be revenue in one or two months, when we look at sales calls, sales calls booked this month are going to be clients next month, which means we’re going to have billing the month after that, and revenue the month after that. So when you start to see these numbers, we’re no longer trying to figure out if we’re going to make payroll in four days. Now we’re starting to look out and we’re like, our sales calls are really where they’re, where they should be, our revenue is going to be fine for the next three to four months. And that gives you a whole different outlook, it gives you more time, it gives you a longer runway to try new things. Yeah. So if you know your revenues good for the next three to four months, then then you can take a risk on a new marketing thing, you can go on vacation. I mean, Steve, how many attorneys have you talked to, that have gone on vacation for a week and have come back and everything has ground to a halt in their law firm because they’re not there to manage it, they’re not there to do sales calls. So their clients,


Steve Fretzin  [18:14]

yeah, it’s just adds to the roller coaster ride, they’re already on a feast or famine. And usually they come back, they come back, hoping to be stress free, and then it actually is double double the stress, right?


Brooke Lively  [18:26]

Because now they’re in a cash crunch. And they have to make up for lost time. So yeah, everything we do is trying to build a solid foundation and a firm so that the owners can look further and further and further out. Because the further out you look, the more strategic you become.


Steve Fretzin  [18:47]

Yeah, and I’m trying to help lawyers work a year, not a full year out but quarter to quarter within a year to achieve goals, right to get their sales numbers up to, you know, if they want to get from a half a million to a million or, you know, individual lawyers, for example. And, you know, my job is is to understand that the there is going to be an ebb and a flow with how busy they get. And so that it’s business development at high, you know, in a high high rate. And then if you slow down, maybe it’s at a slower rate, but never, never 100% off, you always got to be right on to some degree, but sales, business development, sales, whatever we want to call it, you know, I’m obviously very focused on that. And is there something that you’re finding within the numbers that make sales less important than something else? Or there’s other ways to find money or an efficiency that can actually make up for sales? Well, like I was gonna say, like, maybe finding inefficiencies or finding where there’s profit that they just didn’t realize that maybe they should capitalize on that type of thing.


Brooke Lively  [19:52]

Yeah, there’s there’s a phrase that I learned when I was in retail, and it’s sales cures. All right. Here’s the problem. If you’re losing money on every sale, selling more is just digging your hole deeper. Yeah. So yeah, there’s some things that we really look at. And it’s in that section on ideal ratio. So we believe in running a law firm on the rule of thirds. 1/3 of revenue goes to the people doing the work. So the attorneys, the paralegals, you know, 1/3 goes to payroll 1/3 goes to overhead, rent, marketing, copier, rental, phone, and 1/3 should go to you as profit. Mail. When you’re growing a firm, you might give a little on some of those, you might say, I want to I want to do this big marketing thing. I know that’s going to be expensive. I know it’s going to have great results. So I need to bring on another staff. And you may, for a certain time, make a decision to reduce your per portion of profit to plow it back into the firm to make more money. Yeah, it’s


Steve Fretzin  [21:15]

an investment.


Brooke Lively  [21:16]

Right? You’re making that investment that really, if you’re spending 80, or 90%, on your people, I don’t care how much you sell, you are never going to make any stinking money.


Steve Fretzin  [21:31]

Yeah, that’s a big problem. When you when you have such high over I mean, I had that happen to me where I was, you know, I was running for companies, I had three offices, I had 13 employees, my overhead was 35,000 a month, I hadn’t taken a paycheck. And I had to pay everybody and take care of everything before I got paid. And then at the end, it’s not that I lost money, I didn’t lose money, but I certainly wasn’t making what I could have or should have. And so I think I had like a tough, a tough lesson to learn early on in my career. But


Brooke Lively  [22:02]

you’re being compensated for your time. Oh, no, or effort, or the risk that you’re taking on? Because let’s be really clear. When you own a business, when you own a law firm. It is your name, your social security number and, and your credit report on the line.


Steve Fretzin  [22:21]

Yeah. Yeah, that’s, that’s it. And so we have to, you know, we want to have fun, but we also have to take things, you know, sometimes definitely serious, especially if you’re running a show. And even within a law firm, just for those listening that say, Well, I don’t have that problem. I work at a law firm. You know, they, they’re thinking about your compensation, they’re thinking about, you know, you know, are they profitable on you. And if the business slows down, or if the margins start getting caught, or procurement departments start stepping in, you know, your, your job isn’t guaranteed. Right. So


Brooke Lively  [22:58]

it’s not and, and we talk a lot. So you know, pricing is one of the first places we look. Are you paying your attorneys properly? And are you charging appropriately for your attorneys? And we say that a law firm should get between a three and 5x return on the cost of employment. So all in salary, bonuses, taxes, 401k. All in? Let’s say someone is we’re paying them $100,000 a year. So that’s like, I don’t know, let’s say that’s an $85,000 salary and a little bonus and some taxes. We need to be getting between we need to be billing and collecting. Collecting being the key word here. Between 305 100,000 For that attorney.


Steve Fretzin  [23:52]

Yeah. And that’s what makes the legal industry so profitable is that type of a return if you can find good people and get them to work and build those hours. And you have that business coming in. That’s why when a firm has 1020 30,000 attorneys, they’re making bank Yeah, right.


Brooke Lively  [24:13]

If you are properly priced, if you’re properly incentivizing your attorneys, if they are properly compensated, compensated, and if you are charging the right amount for them.


Steve Fretzin  [24:25]

All right. Here’s Can I throw a trick question at you? Yeah. Okay. So there’s something going on right now in this is this is probably going to be you know, in October when this posts, okay. But there’s something going on right now where attorneys are able to make more than they’ve ever made. There’s, there’s either shortage of talent, there’s people leaving, they’re getting compensated, sometimes 50 50% of their additional to their current salaries. How is that going to impact the legal industry in the future, if that’s going on, like people are getting really well? All compensated now maybe too much.


Brooke Lively  [25:03]

Alright, so I’m going to have to have you clarify. Are you saying that clients are


Steve Fretzin  [25:09]

paying 50? Per No, no, no, let me let me let me sorry. Let me start over. So, okay, a lawyer gets a job gets recruited to another firm, okay, gets a job offer that’s 50% More than the current salary. So maybe making 250. Now he’s getting 50%. More. Okay, on top of that goes back to his current firm says, Hey, this is what I’m being offered at this other firm. Their firm says don’t leave, we’ll pay you the same boom, guy just made 50%. More through a couple of conversations. The firm does that 1020 3050 100 times because that’s what’s going on. How is that going to impact eventually that firm?


Brooke Lively  [25:46]

Yeah, so who was the biggest firm that that declared bankruptcy? What do we love if it was somebody else?


Steve Fretzin  [25:58]

Was that the case, though? They were just, they were way overpaying. They were for the talent. Yeah,


Brooke Lively  [26:03]

they were overpaying. And that’s the thing. If, if you can get that job as an attorney, oh, grab it with both hands. But also be aware that that law firm may not be there for a long time.


Steve Fretzin  [26:18]

Yeah, that’s that’s the interesting way to look at it. Because you know, they’re not they’re not maybe thinking rationally because they real well, maybe they also realized if they lose that attorney, they’re losing that five to 10, you know, that three to five times and what they’re currently getting 550 an hour, or whatever that works out to 2000 hours or whatever, it adds up?


Brooke Lively  [26:41]

Well, it does. So here’s the thing, if a law firm is going to pay you $250,000, then they better be collecting almost a million dollars on you. Yeah. If you’re only billing half a million, and you know what I mean? Come on, every attorney knows how many hours they’re billing and what their billing rate is, right? I mean, we know this. I also so Clio does a kind of a report on it’s called the legal Trends report, they put it out every year, about the state of the legal industry. And I think they pull information from their system to be able to give those numbers, they say the average collection rate in the US is 86%. I think that’s total BS, the only way they can possibly be getting a number that high is by counting all the contingency firms that basically collect 100%. So I think the average collection rate is really somewhere closer to 75 to 80%. So if you’re billing half a million, and you’re working for an average firm, let’s say that they’re collecting 80% that means they’re paying you 250 They’re only collecting 400. And that is not sustainable. Yeah. So grab the money and go, if you’re billing 250. If, if they’re paying you 250, and you’re building a million dollars a year.


Steve Fretzin  [28:10]

Everybody’s everybody’s winning, except everybody’s winning. You may not be, but you may not, you know, if you’re if you’re billing, you know, you’re working maybe too much, they’re overworking you to get to that number. That could be an issue. But


Brooke Lively  [28:22]

that can be an issue. But you know, something that we’ve discovered when I talk about billing goals, because they talk about billing goals a lot, and I talk about setting them, I talk about managing them. I think it should be a weekly discussion with everyone on your team, the attorneys and the paralegals. Are you hitting your billing goals? Why aren’t you hitting your billing goals? How can I help you hit your billing goals? What one thing are you going to commit to doing differently this week? Does it your billing goal? I get a lot of pushback about it. And one of them is from those hourly attorneys that are like I got at a school and I went to work for big law. And I had to build 2000 hours just to keep my job. And I was sleeping on a partner’s couch. And I hated everybody. And I don’t want to do that to my team. That’s fair. I don’t think you should. We think you can run a really profitable firm billing between 12 and 1400 hours a month, I mean a year.


Steve Fretzin  [29:24]

But law firms are going to need the guidance to get to get things worked out so that it’s so because I think this, this without knowing the numbers and without having the kind of advice that you’re providing Brooke, like there’s going to be some cultural breakdowns. There’s been them in the past and there’s going to be even more in the future, especially with the way the world is changing. So I think more now than ever, if you’re listening to this and you run a firm or you have contacts that the heads of your firm may want to reach out to Brookings and maybe not right away because she’s well, she’s going on a trip but you’ll be by the time you guys hear this. She’ll be back from her trip. I’ll be back tomorrow. only going to be gone for two weeks. Oh, okay, okay, then you’ll be in good shape. But if people want to reach out to you to get more, and obviously they can go on to Amazon and get your book, but if they want to reach out to you to have them come in and really evaluate their firm, or at least have that conversation about engaging you, how do they reach you?


Brooke Lively  [30:16]

The easiest way, there are two ways you can go to calf ca th ca And there’s a Contact Us button on you know, every page on our website, I know you’re shocked. But you can also email me personally, and my email address is Brooke br o ke at Cath And I am incredibly responsive on email. So


Steve Fretzin  [30:42]

yeah, well, you’re not only responsive, but you’re also just highly not knowledgeable in an area that many consultants are not including myself. Like I can read a p&l I can get through basic level stuff, but you’re at a whole nother level. And so I like to stay in my lane business development, marketing sales, social media, right. And if you’re looking to improve the way that your law firm functions and and find those gaps, I think you want to reach out to Brooke. Let’s wrap up though Brooke if you don’t mind with the three best of you are in Fort Worth, Texas. Is that correct?


Brooke Lively  [31:20]

I am otherwise known as cow town or where the West begins.


Steve Fretzin  [31:24]

All right, well, very cool. cow town. Okay, so is beef. The hot thing there? You got to go out and have a steak.


Brooke Lively  [31:29]

So yes, steak here is big. We are at the Chisholm Trail ended here. So when the meat packers were all in Chicago, they would drive cattle from across Texas to Fort Worth, slaughter them and then put them on the train to Chicago. Yep.


Steve Fretzin  [31:49]

And that’s all that’s in there is the connection between Fort Worth and Chicago. I was hoping I’d hear that. So if I’m coming to Fort Worth, and I want to have the best steak in town or I want to have a great meal, where do I go?


Brooke Lively  [32:01]

Well, as much as we are a steak town and we are don’t get me wrong. I think if you come here, the place you really need to go to is Joe T Garcia’s.


Steve Fretzin  [32:10]

Joe T Garcia’s. Okay. Yeah.


Brooke Lively  [32:13]

So it is when I was little, it was this itty bitty little house and you had to walk through the kitchen to get to the dining room. They only accepted cash, there was no menu. And at the end of the meal, they would kind of and there was one thing. Like you sat down, they just brought you food. Like there was no choice.


Steve Fretzin  [32:36]

It wasn’t the same food or was it different every time? Nope. Same thing. They made one thing really well. Yep. Okay.


Brooke Lively  [32:43]

It and they would kind of look around, they count how many people are at the table. And then they would count either the empty pitchers for Margarita or the beer bottles, and they would throw out a random number. Okay, okay. It’s a little bit better. Now. The house is no longer leaning over the street, they’ve propped it up and it’s now leaning kind of away from the street. And they have blocked bought up for square blocks. And they keep enlarging it. And so it now has beautiful gardens with you know, like a water fountain and there’s a reflecting pool and incredible landscaping. There’s also they’ve also added on to the interior. You no longer walk through the kitchen. Okay. But it is still all cash.


Steve Fretzin  [33:33]

But you haven’t told me what the food is.


Brooke Lively  [33:35]

It’s Joe T Garcia’s


Steve Fretzin  [33:39]

Mexican food but Mexican food there’s like so. So 10 or 20 different options, right and


Brooke Lively  [33:45]

the menu is slightly larger now. Okay with dinner, you can either get the Mexican dinner, which is what they’ve always served which is nachos that are like the size of your head. Okay. You get nachos, you get to cheese enchiladas, rice beans, GWAC. Two tacos. That sounds about right. Okay. Yeah. Or you can get fajitas okay, can be they might have shrimp I’m not sure. Because I mean hello. I get the Mexican dinner.


Steve Fretzin  [34:14]

Yeah, that’s what I’m getting. I know that


Brooke Lively  [34:17]

and they do have the best margaritas anywhere.


Steve Fretzin  [34:21]

Really? Okay. Well, listen, you’re setting you’re setting up for worth right now. And if I’m coming there and I after I maybe before I have that hearty meal, what’s the best thing to do in Fort Worth? I’m coming to visit I want the best thing I can see best thing I can do. What is it? So


Brooke Lively  [34:39]

there are two things and they’re at the opposite ends of the spectrum. So the first is right near Jyoti’s on the north side, which is where all the cattle was so it is truly cow town down there. Every day at noon, we have a cattle drive with Longhorn cattle Very cool. I’m into it. And so that’s fun. Okay. The flip side is we have the top privately endowed Museum of European art. In the US here. We also have the top one. It used to be the top Museum of Western art. Now, it’s just a really excellent Museum of American Art. We also have a modern art museum. So, cow town and culture, it really does go well together, but we have incredible museum exhibitions. Okay, Georgia, O’Keeffe, Monet, I mean, all these huge names that, you know, come through here,


Steve Fretzin  [35:40]

look for worth coming over, come into play. I like that. All right. And so then what are the people into people like you and your neighbors? Like, what are you what are you other than trying to avoid getting COVID? Like, what’s the next the other hobby?


Brooke Lively  [35:54]

So for those of you who are listening, he kind of prepped me a little bit for this question. He’s like, what does everybody do? I’m like, we’re trying not to get COVID


Steve Fretzin  [36:04]

It’s everyone’s hobby right now. It is


Brooke Lively  [36:06]

everyone’s hobby. You know, this is a great place to live and raise a family. So generally, things here, there’s a lot that revolves around your children, and families that have known each other for generations and generations. And so, you know, it’s it’s high school football games on Friday night, and the TCU frogs on Saturdays. And, you know, we do like our sports teams, we’ve got plenty of them here and in we’re in to kind of family activities. Okay. Very


Steve Fretzin  [36:45]

cool. Very cool. Well, listen, this has been delightful. And I think the people listening should be getting, you know, I’m sure I’m getting a lot out of it, whether you’re going to Fort Worth or whether you’re trying to improve your law practice. But I just want to thank you for for being my guest for sharing your wisdom and your your mind about this. And in how people get in touch with you. It was just, it was I enjoyed our first conversation and even I’m even more of a fan now.


Brooke Lively  [37:11]

Well, thanks for having me on. Steve. I love talking to you too.


Steve Fretzin  [37:15]

Well, we’re just at the beginning of something here. I think so. All right, everybody, listen, if you haven’t taken a couple of notes or you haven’t given us a little bit of thought and how the numbers relate to running a law practice or being a part of a law practice. You know, check out Brooks book and on Amazon all that everything will be in the show notes. And again, it’s all about being that lawyer confident organized a skilled Rainmaker. Take care everybody be safe be well.


Narrator  [37:47]

Thanks for listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website For additional information, and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes