Jodie Zerega: Setting Yourself Up for Long-Term Legal Success

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Jodie Zerega discuss:

  • Why many lawyers are unhappy with their current situations.
  • How longevity can assist in your job search.
  • The importance of having a book of business (and how it plays with the business of running a law firm).
  • Continue learning, find your niche, become the expert.

Key Takeaways:

  • While longevity at a firm is not as important as it used to be, law firms do still want to see that a lawyer gave the firm a chance and had a chance to be valuable within the firm.
  • You need to have a portable book of business. It is important to know what your objectives are going to be at your new firm.
  • Building a book of business takes consistent effort over time. Start early in your career (and if you didn’t, start today).
  • Network both within and outside of your law firm. You never know where someone is going to be in five years.

“From a partner perspective, you have to have a portable book of business. Right now, I’m seeing a minimum of $750K. One thing that attorneys have a hard time understanding is salary – and they bring you over it as a lateral partner, they have a formulaic process that they use to calculate your salary, and it’s usually a third, a third, a third.” —  Jodie Zerega

Get a free copy of Steve’s book “Sales-Free Selling” here: http://www.fretzin.com/sales-free-selling

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Get Staffed Up: https://getstaffedup.com/bethatlawyer/

Overture: https://overture.law/

Get Visible:https://www.getvisible.com/

Moneypenny: https://www.moneypenny.com/us/

Episode References: 

About Jodie Zerega: Jodie Zerega is a highly experienced legal recruiter and founder of Zerega Consulting, a recruiting firm that specializes in placing attorneys in law firms, corporations, and non-profit organizations. With over 20 years of experience in legal recruiting, Jodie has worked with a diverse range of clients, including private start-ups to multi-national publicly traded companies. She is an expert in legal hiring trends, AI in attorney hiring, legal recruiter benefits, job search technology, social media and hiring, and in-house legal recruiting.

Jodie’s expertise in legal recruiting and her extensive experience make her an ideal guest for podcasts with audiences of attorneys, paralegals, law firm administrators, and managing partners. She can provide valuable insights and practical tips to help listeners navigate the complex legal hiring landscape and stay ahead of the curve in their job search. With the recent launch of the Attorney Jobs app, Jodie can also share a unique perspective on how technology is shaping the legal job market and offer advice on how attorneys can use technology to their advantage.

Connect with Jodie Zerega:  

Website: https://www.zeregaconsulting.com/

Attorney Jobs App: https://www.zeregaconsulting.com/attorney-jobs

Email: jzerega@zeregaconsulting.com

Phone: 404-660-3414

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jodie-zerega-8265586/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/zerega-consulting-legal-recruiting/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zeregaconsulting/

Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Instagram: @fretzinsteve

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.

Website: Fretzin.com

Email: Steve@Fretzin.com

Book: Legal Business Development Isn’t Rocket Science 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.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

[00:00:00] Narrator: 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.

[00:00:27] Steve Fretzin: Hey everybody. Welcome to be that lawyer. I am. Steve Fretzin is the announcer always seems to say it’s like he almost knows that it’s my show and that I’m the one that’s going to be hosting today. Uh, but it is a wonderful day here in Chicago. We’re in the middle of the summer and it’s a wonderful time to be that lawyer.

[00:00:42] Steve Fretzin: Someone who’s confident, organized and a skilled rainmaker. If you’re hearing about Fretzen the first time, uh, this is all about helping you to use sales free selling, non salesy methodologies to build that book of business, to gain control and freedom in your legal career. As Jody’s going to talk about today.

[00:00:59] Steve Fretzin: Hey, Jody, how you doing? I’m good, Steve. How are you? I’m doing very well. I mean, you know, she’s a recruiter and has been for many years and we’re going to get into the weeds on it, but it’s so important to have control. Of your book of business and relationships and being able to be portable or just to make sure that you’re really in a good position in your career and well, well, you know, well placed.

[00:01:21] Steve Fretzin: So we’re going to get into the weeds on that a minute, but I really just want to thank you for being a listener of the show. If you’re enjoying the show, please give us, uh, some kind reviews, give us a five star on your phone and don’t be shy about telling other lawyers about the, be that lawyer podcast.

[00:01:35] Steve Fretzin: Jody let’s start off with your quote now this is a quote that you didn’t give me in writing you told it to me and now i’m gonna blow it and screw it up badly and then i’m gonna ask you to repeat everything i just said but essentially it was from your managing partner or someone that was a leader at your firm at one point where it said if you wake up happy and you go home happy then you’re gonna be happy in life is that was that essentially it did i did i mess it up.

[00:02:00] Jodie Zerega: No, no, no, you’re exactly right. Um, the message was from former governor Sanders, who was that used to be the governor of Georgia. Um, I worked for his firm for 10 years as a legal recruiter, and he would always that that was his message to the summer associates and it was, it really just has stayed with me forever and.

[00:02:22] Jodie Zerega: It’s just like what you said, you know, if you wake up in the morning and you look forward to going to work. And then when you finish work, you look forward to going home. You’re you have a great life so that really was it just sort of summed it up into, like, a simple. A simple launcher really that I’ve kept upstate with me.

[00:02:42] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And by the way, he makes some great chicken. I just want to put that out there for everybody to not that he’s not the colonel. He’s a governor, not the colonel. Good. Good to know. Good to know. All right. Well, Jody, that’s a great way to start the show. I’m Jody. Um, Zeriga is the founder of Zeriga consulting and you are, I’ve been a recruiter for how many years?

[00:03:01] Steve Fretzin: So

[00:03:01] Jodie Zerega: I was the internal recruiter to Troutman for nine years from 1995 to 2003 and I started Zara Consulting in 2003. So I just celebrated my 20th year anniversary.

[00:03:16] Steve Fretzin: Like, like within the last couple months or something. That’s amazing. I know. How did you celebrate it? Did you do anything crazy? I worked extra hard that day.

[00:03:28] Steve Fretzin: You didn’t take you to take off the week or something. You’re like, no, I’ve been here 20 years. I got to keep hustling.

[00:03:34] Jodie Zerega: Yeah, but it was a huge milestone.

[00:03:35] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Okay. Well, listen, that is, I’m coming on. I think I’m coming up on about 20 years myself. And, uh, it’s a really amazing, like to look back. And I remember working for all these companies, but then to say 20 years on my own or 20 years on your own, like that’s.

[00:03:49] Steve Fretzin: God, that’s a long time. And that makes us feel old, doesn’t it? It does. It does. So let’s, let’s not talk about that again for at least a little, uh, 10 minutes. But give us a list of your, so your background is as a lawyer and, and then what was your practice area? Like, give us, give us the reader’s digest on your coming to be in, in the legal recruiting space.

[00:04:08] Steve Fretzin: Sure. And

[00:04:09] Jodie Zerega: actually, I am not a lawyer.

[00:04:11] Steve Fretzin: Oh, you’re not a lawyer. Okay. You worked at, you worked at Troutman in a different role. Okay. I was the director. Oh, that’s right. I’m so stupid. Okay. Well, what, and what a great listener I am to, uh, have you just say that and then completely screw it up.

[00:04:25] Jodie Zerega: No worry. I did want to go to law school.

[00:04:27] Jodie Zerega: That was my goal, my ultimate goal. And, uh, I started, was a pretty sure if I was ready to go. So I started working for a law firm and I went to her legal school at night. And in that process, my firm merged. And then I ended up getting hired away as the director or as the recruiter, the internal recruiter for, for Troutman in 1995.

[00:04:54] Jodie Zerega: And I never looked back. So it was, it was a wonderful experience. I’ve had at the best of both worlds. I got to work with the lawyers, but. I didn’t have all the pressures of being a lawyer when I started at the firm, there was 185 lawyers when I left in 2003, there were 525 lawyers. So, um, you know, during that time, you know, I hired obviously hundreds and hundreds of lawyers and in order to be able to support that road, um, I worked with a lot of external.

[00:05:28] Jodie Zerega: Legal recruiter, so that was really, you know, kind of looking at what they did and understanding the value that they add added to the farm and our hiring efforts. I was like, you know what? I can do this. I really want to do this.

[00:05:44] Steve Fretzin: And that was your kind of your be that lawyer tipping point where you’re like, you know what?

[00:05:47] Steve Fretzin: I’m, I’m working with all these folks. I see what they do. We’re working similarly. I can do this and just build my own, build my own, my own business. Absolutely.

[00:05:55] Jodie Zerega: Absolutely. And my 1st client was, was Childman.

[00:05:58] Steve Fretzin: So that goes to show how successful you were in with them that they were just like, Oh, well, all right.

[00:06:04] Steve Fretzin: We still want you. You know, you’re, you’re in a different capacity, but we still need you. That’s really, really great. And, you know, you and I have different perspectives of lawyers and law firms because I’m on the business development side. You’re on the recruiting side, but. I think they work, you know, hand in glove in many ways.

[00:06:21] Steve Fretzin: And what are some of the reasons that you’re seeing on a day to day basis that lawyers are unhappy with their current firm, where they are just in general being a lawyer? I don’t know where we want to go with that, but like, why are, what’s, what’s going on where they just seem generally unhappy? There’s several

[00:06:37] Jodie Zerega: different reasons that can cause, um, an attorney to, to become unhappy in their current situation.

[00:06:44] Jodie Zerega: And I would say. 1 of them is the amount of hours they’re expected to work. There are some I can’t tell you how many I’ve actually met my 1st. First lawyer who is on track to bill over 3000 hours this year, which is just crazy. Yeah, that’s insane. Um, and that’s just not sustainable. That’s part of it.

[00:07:06] Jodie Zerega: Another part of it is the ability to work remote or hybrid. Some folks really got used to that during COVID and going back to the office five days a week just doesn’t work for their lifestyle anymore. Now, I have my own opinion about that in terms of, you know, develop, you know, development as a lawyer, but that’s the reason.

[00:07:27] Jodie Zerega: Also, it’s need the work life balance. I mentioned, you know, the hours. The, the quality of the work is also been. Very really interesting topic to me. Another 1 is, I don’t want to be partner here. You know, my path, if I stay here is, is, is to be a partner and I don’t, I don’t want to be here, or I have all these clients and my firm is not supporting, you know, there are other needs I need to move to another platform.

[00:07:58] Jodie Zerega: So there’s a, there’s a ton of different reasons. Yeah. Pay is always a big, a big driver. Right.

[00:08:05] Steve Fretzin: As well. And I was going to, I was going to add like, you know, not only culture, uh, having a poor culture. But also, you know, just dissatisfaction with, as you said, the support, but maybe, you know, the direct, the, the person that’s directing business your way.

[00:08:20] Steve Fretzin: Um, and I always goof that like, you know, if you’re a lawyer in a partner role or a senior associate role and you’ve got three or four different partners sending you work, you might be thrilled about it. And then you’ve got five or six or 10 clients that are telling you what, so you really have like 10 bosses telling you what to do and moving you around and.

[00:08:39] Steve Fretzin: You know, that’s, you know, for some people, it’s not for me and it’s not for you. I couldn’t imagine having one boss, let alone, you know, 10. I think that’s, that’s a big part of it. And then. The other aspect of it is there are some lawyers that are setting themselves up to be placeable for promotion, placeable for a lateral move, placeable for deciding to go out on his or her own to a partnership or to a solo practice and taking, you know, a half a million in clients.

[00:09:06] Steve Fretzin: I mean, some, some lawyers dream about the fact that if they’re making a half a million, but they’re working to make, you know, 3 million, right, for the firm, what if they did, you know, Quarter of the work and still made the half million, but they get that like directly, right? Or, or some, some of that. So who, who’s, what type of lawyer, what is a lawyer doing to set him herself up to be placeable or to dictate the future?

[00:09:31] Steve Fretzin: So

[00:09:32] Jodie Zerega: that’s a very interesting question as well. I really believe that as an associate in a firm, if you want to make a move, you should at least have some longevity. In the firm, um, while moving around is much more accepted now than it was even 5 years ago, it’s still nice to know that, you know, you’re looking at somebody who has.

[00:09:59] Jodie Zerega: Really given this their firm a chance, and they have just realized for 1, whatever reason, 1 reason or another that it’s just not the right fit for them. So I would say. Um, you know, really, you want to see somebody who has stayed in a practice area who has been successful in a practice area who you can tell, um, from the resume and from talking to them that they have, they have deepened their knowledge and gotten more responsibility as time has gone on with different cases and different matters and that they have been able to get that maybe a little bit more autonomy, maybe, you know, having the clients call them directly, that sort of thing.

[00:10:36] Jodie Zerega: So it’s, it’s being, it’s. Allowing yourself and getting yourself to be seen as valuable inside the firm so that you can then, therefore, when you’re trying to get another job, you can market yourself that way to like, look, I have all this experience. I know what I’m doing, and I just need to leave because of.

[00:10:59] Steve Fretzin: Right. So if you have the longevity of BIRM to show that you can be loyal or to show that you demonstrate that you can stay the course with the place and you’ve developed a level of knowledge and experience that shows that you’re an expert in your space. Is that sort of like the very baseline of what makes someone placeable?

[00:11:19] Steve Fretzin: Like that’s the minimum of what. Would it allow someone to go and make a lateral move? And then what is above that line that makes them more placeable?

[00:11:27] Jodie Zerega: So you’re, some people are not going to like to hear this,

[00:11:30] Steve Fretzin: but I think, but that’s important. It’s important for the, for everyone to hear what’s really going on out there because they, sometimes they hear it from me and it’s not as good as coming from someone who’s in the, in the weeds every day, like you are.

[00:11:41] Jodie Zerega: So there’s some firms out there that still, you know, really care about grades and your transcript and how you did a law school, a little bit, your pedigree. Is is also very important. Now, that is. Isn’t as it’s important, but it’s not sometimes it’s not as important. Or, you know, attorney that we just described who has really proven themselves.

[00:12:05] Jodie Zerega: And, um, you know, has has a track record to show it, but, yes, just to go back to your point, I would say that. You know, really proving that you are loyal to a firm. You’re not just job hopping and you’re not looking around just because you want to see what, you know, you maybe you’re mad at your partner or somebody just irritated you.

[00:12:26] Jodie Zerega: But it’s a very somebody who has a very calculated reason and really understands what they want in their career. And I would think that is something a very important piece. To get across is, you know, when you go on an interview or you’re, or you’re talking to a legal recruiter about, about. You know, joining their firm, have an understanding about what you want to do and how you can add value to.

[00:12:55] Jodie Zerega: Their mission and how you seeing yourself. Becoming an asset to their practice, because law firms, it’s a business. So you have to make the business case, even at an associate level, that they need to hire you. So why do they need to hire you, you know?

[00:13:14] Steve Fretzin: And so without tiptoeing more around it, because I think we are at this point, which is okay because it’s a delicate subject, but the best business case that a law firm has for bringing in a lateral is having a book of business.

[00:13:26] Steve Fretzin: I mean, we. We can just, we don’t have to sugarcoat it. I mean, it’s great to get a lateral move without a book of business because you have experience, because you have pedigree, all of those things line up, but the reality is that most of the law firms that I’m interacting with, they want to bring over a lateral, they want a half a million, they want a million, they want someone that can bring over Their clients, so I know that’s again, uh, it’s, I don’t think it’s a dirty secret.

[00:13:49] Steve Fretzin: I think most lawyers know that. However, most lawyers are clearly avoiding that because client development is hard and it’s scary and it takes away from the bill of the law and it takes away from the family time or at least. That’s perceived to do that, but that’s I mean, is that that’s that’s a lot of what we’re seeing as well.

[00:14:07] Jodie Zerega: You are absolutely right. And I just to clarify, I was coming at this from the associate perspective. I see that from a partner perspective. Absolutely. You, you have to have a portable book of business minimum right now. I’m 750. Wow. And it’s another interesting thing that I’m seeing is, is, you know, one thing that, that attorneys have a hard time understanding is that your salary and they bring you over it as a lot of a partner.

[00:14:35] Jodie Zerega: They have a formulate process that they use to calculate your salary and it’s usually a third, a third, a third. So let’s say you bring over, you know, a book of business of, you know, a million dollars. You’re you got, you have to realize that the mathematics of running a law firm, the business of a law firm, you can’t expect to have more than a 3rd of that as your salary.

[00:15:02] Jodie Zerega: Now, there could be a bonus on top of that, but it’s very important. And I sometimes. You know, I get partners that call me and it just are like, what, I’m not, you know, but that’s just, that’s how it is. So it’s a, it’s

[00:15:15] Steve Fretzin: a business. Yeah, and so I try to, you know, and I’m, I’m just like you, I’m interacting with lawyers all the time that, you know, come to me with their stories and the story is not that different.

[00:15:26] Steve Fretzin: I’ve got You know, I’m in a place where I’m not happy. I really need to get out of here. They’re not supportive of X, Y, Z, all the things we started the show with. And then I asked them, what’s their book of business? And they say, well, I don’t really have one, or I’ve got a couple of small clients, and maybe it’s 75, 000.

[00:15:44] Steve Fretzin: And I say, I mean, I can try to introduce you to some recruiters, but I can tell you they’re going to, they’re going to want, learn from you. A half a million, 750 and they will, how do I get that? I go, well, we can work on that together, but they’re like, Oh, but that can take, you know, it could take years and I don’t have years.

[00:15:57] Steve Fretzin: Well, then that’s a concern. You know, that’s not, it’s not a snapping of the fingers or, or breaking a wishbone or something. Uh, this, this is something that takes a consistent effort over time. Right. Or, um, yeah, you can get lucky and land a big client, but that isn’t necessarily great to bring over. You just bring one client with you.

[00:16:15] Steve Fretzin: If anything happens to that client, then you’re at, you’re at, you know, you’re in trouble there. So. Okay. I think at the end of the day, we’re putting the cards on the table and saying, look, partner level stuff, you have to have that book of business. Hey everybody, check this out. You’ve just had a call with a client where they need help with something you don’t do.

[00:16:34] Steve Fretzin: You’ve reached out to colleagues, you’ve searched the lawyer directories and you simply tell them, you don’t know anyone that can help. Overture changes all of that. Overture is the first private attorney network designed for the country’s best independent attorneys to refer matters to one another. And ethically share in referral fees.

[00:16:51] Steve Fretzin: It’s a great way to keep your clients happy and build your practice with referred clients. It’s by the founders of LegalZoom. Membership is free if you’re accepted, but act now to get priority access to referrals for your state and practice area. Apply for membership at Overture. law. Overture dot L A W.

[00:17:11] Steve Fretzin: Okay, let’s take a quick break to talk about how money penny is changing the game for lawyers who are losing business every day and may not even realize it. It’s impossible to provide amazing client service when you have phone trees, voicemail, jail or untrained staff handling your phones. Every inbound call could be a new client to intake properly or an opportunity lost.

[00:17:32] Steve Fretzin: With Moneypenny, it’s all been ensured. The call will be handled exactly the way you want it every time. To take immediate action on this, write down this email and start your free trial. It’s SVJ at moneypenny. com and just mentioned my name in the subject line. Lawyers, there’s an easy way to boost your law practice.

[00:17:53] Steve Fretzin: Partner with GetVisible, the digital marketing agency that makes you stand out. Meet Sarah, an awesome lawyer, but a terrible marketer. GetVisible helped her build a powerful website and boost her online visibility. Now she ranks high on Google, gains clients through ads and engaging content. Tired of feeling insignificant?

[00:18:12] Steve Fretzin: Make it rain. Visit GetVisible. com and stand out. Let’s transition this conversation to a couple of different ways to do that, because one thing that you and I also talked about in our pre interview was about internal networking and advocacy. It may not always be about taking that book and, and, you know, and, and going to a different firm.

[00:18:32] Steve Fretzin: Sometimes it’s about internal networking and advocacy that can salvage your current career and bring you back, or maybe give you your voice heard at where you’re. So maybe speak to that, to that aspect of it too, because I think that that’s important. Thank you. It is very

[00:18:47] Jodie Zerega: important and I have the same conversation with with partners who maybe don’t have the large book of business and we talk about those.

[00:18:58] Jodie Zerega: Some of the things I tell them, you know, just. First of all, I think just back to one back to one of your points, I think growing that book of business, like you said, does not happen overnight. So, you know, as a mid level or associate, if you can start practicing these types of things that we’ll talk about in a 2nd, then you’re going to set yourself up for success long term.

[00:19:23] Jodie Zerega: And 1 of those things that I would say is, like I said before, just never stop learning always. Always brought in your knowledge within your practice area, try to become an expert in something in some sort of a niche within your practice group so that you have a go to if a client has a question. So, that those clients are going to come to you.

[00:19:43] Jodie Zerega: Those matters are going to come to you always. And those people are going to follow you because you are considered the expert no matter what it is. I mean, it could be in any practice area. I think. Also, there’s touching on the on the hybrid remote work situation, you know, it’s there’s something to be said to being in the office and being able to walk into a partner’s office and say, hey, you know, I loved working on that matter and tell me more.

[00:20:17] Jodie Zerega: Or what can I do more or teach me about this, or this subject came up, what did that, what did that mean? And there’s so much value that goes into that in terms of professional development, being remote, you just don’t get. So back to the internal piece of it. And if you think about it as a partner who has all these clients and they have a new matter co op, and they’re like, who should I give it to?

[00:20:44] Jodie Zerega: They’re not going to give it to the remote person that’s never in the office and they never see, they’re going to give it to the person who is communicated with them and who has shown interest in Who seems invested in their practice and their clients. So it’s really, um, fostering relationships in internally and externally.

[00:21:03] Jodie Zerega: If you can go to any sort of networking events, if you can somewhere you can play golf and, you know, whatever, whatever your firm allows, even if they don’t pay you back, sometimes it’s worth it, you know, take that potential client out to dinner. You never know. What’s going to happen and what that person is going to end up being in five years from now.

[00:21:23] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, it’s all really. Yeah, you’re, you’re, you’re spot on and it’s in lawyers aren’t doing enough to make themselves invaluable internally as you need to develop internal advocacy. You need to have mentors and people that. Are pulling for you and that are going to make sure that you’re progressing in your career.

[00:21:44] Steve Fretzin: The other thing that’s missed too, and this is, this is one I teach on a regular basis because it’s like all this opportunity sitting in front of people and they’re not seeing it as not just networking internally, Jody, but also let’s say that you’re in one area and in one of your lawyer partner partners in different.

[00:22:01] Steve Fretzin: Talk to them about their clients and what you need and see if you can get in the door with some of their clients because they’ve already raised, you can ask for some shared origination because you say, Hey, I’m looking to develop. I want to make partner. I want to make equity. I, you know, I think I can develop business where we can split it and you can win and I can win.

[00:22:19] Steve Fretzin: You don’t have to do anything more than introduce me and get me in front of your client. Oh yeah. And I, I’d love to. And now you’re building business without having to run around. And do some of those external things, which are still important to do, but, but just, just focus internally for a year and you could pull a tremendous amount of business out of that.

[00:22:37] Jodie Zerega: I 1000% agree with you. That is. So, such a good point and cross selling and you can do the same for other lawyers at your firm. You know, hey, my client could use your services. Yeah. Yeah. You know, it goes both ways. And the minute you show that you’re willing to introduce your client. You know, that, that was

[00:23:00] Steve Fretzin: a long way.

[00:23:01] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. But your point made earlier that, and I say this all the time, so I’m, I’m a bit of a broken record on it, but whether you hire a coach, you work with a mentor, you have an advisor, you have other associates that are also interested in growing a book, become a student of time management, become a student of business development, marketing, social media.

[00:23:21] Steve Fretzin: Don’t just, don’t just sit at your desk and crank out hours and go home and then do the same thing the next day. You’re going to find yourself 3, 4, 6, 8, 10 years in without having done the little things that end up working out to the big, important things after 10 years. Now you’re 10 years behind. I get 50 somethings all the time, Jody, that haven’t done anything to develop business, and it’s not too late because they’re going to hopefully work till they’re 65, 70, 75, whatever, whatever.

[00:23:51] Steve Fretzin: So they have a, a window, but jeez, if they had started at 30, 35, what would the difference be, you know, that’s in that, you know, that’s sad and also sort of like where the legal space is right now, you know, in many ways.

[00:24:05] Jodie Zerega: Yes. And I can’t stress how important that is. For every single lawyer out there, you have you have to law from the law law.

[00:24:15] Jodie Zerega: It’s a business. And then I like to say that, you know, despite the shift and where you might set the practice law. The practice of law and the business of law has not shifted. All about billing. Your hours and, you know, producing revenue and being profitable for the

[00:24:34] Steve Fretzin: firm. Yeah, and it doesn’t mean it doesn’t take away from the nobility of the profession.

[00:24:39] Steve Fretzin: It doesn’t take away from the gifted people that have so much to offer. So ultimately, you know, lawyers are, you know, in a profession that’s critical to the, to the world and everything. However, there is also the business side of it. And that’s just the way, you know, the, the, the world works. So the better prepared they can be for the business side of it, the business development, the marketing, the social, as well as, you know, actually, you know, leadership skills and things that are going to help them become more effective as leaders and be going out on their own or staying at their firm and running it.

[00:25:09] Steve Fretzin: That’s all, all positive, all positive for, for their career, you know, whatever direction it goes. Absolutely. So let me ask you this in, in wrapping up, is there one more tip that you would say, look, I’m a lawyer, I, I only have a half a million or 400, 000, I need to get up to 750. What’s one thing that you recommend they do to maybe try to get there in a year, if they’re, let’s say a year out from possibly being able to lateral or make equity?

[00:25:36] Jodie Zerega: The biggest piece of advice I would be is don’t be afraid to ask for the business. So just don’t be, and, you know, make that lunch date or go to that community event, or go to, you know, the chamber event or a PR or a bar association meeting, whatever, or you meet somebody at a party. Like, go have lunch with that person and, and, and ask for the business.

[00:26:03] Jodie Zerega: And don’t be afraid to ask for the business. You, you. Not something to be like you said, it’s not going to take it does not take away from the nobility of the profession at all. And sometimes folks are maybe not even realize how you can actually help them and how much they need you. So, yeah, just don’t be afraid and make sure you

[00:26:25] Steve Fretzin: always ask.

[00:26:26] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, and I work with lawyers on a regular basis on appropriate. Comfortable language to make that ask as opposed to just, Hey, gimme business. Which nobody’s gonna right. Nobody wants to. There’s a good way to ask, and I, there’s a good way to ask and a bad way to ask . One other thing I would add, Jody, and this has been a game changer for many of my clients, is go visit your, if whether they’re local or not, go visit your clients’ office, go visit their warehouse.

[00:26:49] Steve Fretzin: Mm-hmm. Go visit their, their industrial space. And you will be amazed at how much business you will find because they have employee issues, because they have, you know, potential, uh, you know, you know, AR that you never realized they had all this, you know, million dollars in receivables that they’re not getting their hands on.

[00:27:06] Steve Fretzin: And it may be something you can help them with, it may be your partners, it may be something to farm out to a strategic partner, but. Ultimately, that’s something that lawyers have lost the art of, which is just getting out and going and seeing their people. Um, and that’s just kind of another little, another tip on top of yours, which, you know, you’re spot on about asking Jody as we wrap up, we love to do the game changing, a book or podcast.

[00:27:31] Steve Fretzin: And, uh, I think your game changing book, and this is one of my personal favorites is traction. So just want to talk for a moment about that book traction. Sure. Sure. That

[00:27:40] Jodie Zerega: was. The book that really helped me organize. My all of my crazy thoughts that go through your head as a business owner, entrepreneur, whatever you want to call us crazy.

[00:27:54] Jodie Zerega: I don’t know, but it really did sort of help me. Put into perspective and it laid out a path for me to make the company lay the foundation for the company. To be successful, it made me understand how important it was to work on the business. And not always in the business, that’s very hard. To do it’s a very big shift, but I’m also hiring people inside the right people in the right seat.

[00:28:26] Jodie Zerega: That was 1 big takeaway that I learned and it’s difficult to make those. Ships that you have to, but it really did help me create this structure for my company that has proven to just pay off tenfold.

[00:28:43] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, I found the say, I still use it on a yearly basis, breaking down the quarters and breaking down the rocks and the issues and right.

[00:28:51] Steve Fretzin: So, like, what do I have to get done this quarter? That’s necessary. 100%. And what is a great idea? That’s going to distract me because all we want to look at is shiny pennies and, and all types of things that are going to distract us from our core. You know, rocks or functions, and then I put them on this like later list, and then I don’t feel like I have to deal with them because they’re not in my, in my rocks or my, the key things I need to do.

[00:29:14] Steve Fretzin: So I would highly recommend, especially if you’re a solo or a small firm leader that you should buy the book traction, look at EOS, the entrepreneurial operating system as a, as a way of, of, of scaling and expanding and making sure that you’re not just in the business, but working on the business to Jody’s point.

[00:29:31] Steve Fretzin: So Jody, um, Ziga Zaga. Ah, I was so close. called myself. But I called myself. I called myself name. You did, did did Zaga. That, um, if people wanna, you know, learn more about, uh, you as a recruiter, they’re interested in talking to you about a lateral move or anything like that. And then, then how do the end and, and they wanna learn more, how do they reach you?

[00:29:52] Steve Fretzin: Uh, probably the

[00:29:53] Jodie Zerega: best, right? I mean, you can, you can look us up on the web. It’s um, zaga consulting.com. That’s, um, Z E R E G A consulting. com. That will give you a nice overview of the services that we provide and it’ll help you kind of feel comfortable about how long we’ve been doing this. And or you can always email me my email and my phone number also listed in my bio.

[00:30:16] Jodie Zerega: So yeah, any way that is good for you, you can text, call, email,

[00:30:20] Steve Fretzin: any way. Yeah. And we’ll have that in the show notes as well, everybody. Um, as we wrap up, I want to thank our sponsors. Of course, we’ve got Overture. If you’re looking to ethically share. Uh, on those, uh, fees for referring stuff out and getting stuff in.

[00:30:32] Steve Fretzin: That’s the way to go. Overture. law. We’ve got MoneyPenny getting rid of those stinky phone trees and getting you to talk to a human being that’s going to get you to the right lawyer 24 7. And of course, we’ve got GetVisible, who’s just crushing it on the marketing side for law firms all over the country.

[00:30:49] Steve Fretzin: And if you’re interested in checking out my first book, Sales Free Selling, that is still available for free at bretson. com slash salesfreeselling. Uh, sales free selling to pick up a copy of that. And, uh, that’s really the show for today, guys. Hopefully you got a couple of good takeaways. Again, if you’re looking to up your game internally or move externally, you know, you gotta build that book and you gotta, uh, become the best lawyer you can be.

[00:31:14] Steve Fretzin: Um, actually, you just wanna be that lawyer. Someone who’s confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. Thanks, Jody, for sharing your wisdom today. And thank you, everybody. Thank you. Yeah. Listen, this is, this is what I do. Like, you know, what can I say? Uh, everybody take care, be safe, be well. We will talk again real soon.

[00:31:34] Narrator: Thanks for listening to Be That Loyal, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website Fretzin. com 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.