In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Justin Weinrich discuss:
- Justin’s journey of building his own firm in a city where he knew nobody.
- Scheduling your networking without burning out.
- Creativity in your networking connections (not everyone wants more business).
- Niching down to perfect your craft and be known for that among your network.
- Strategically plan who you are going to network with will allow you to make the most out of your networking time.
- Be constantly communicating with your clients. Those who refer others to you want to know that you are taking care of those referrals.
- Get to know people. Your best clients may take years to come, but you’ve built the trust and rapport and will get more referrals from those clients.
- Perfect your craft – that is what you owe your clients, and that is what will sustain you and your family.
“You have to work together to try to figure out how you can help each other. I always tried to give a little bit of something, even if I felt like the other person was helping me a lot more.” — Justin Weinrich
Connect with Justin Weinrich:
Cell Phone: 636-795-7256
Episode 162: Kate Curler: https://www.fretzin.com/kate-curler-the-power-in-people/
Thank you to our Sponsors!
Legalese Marketing: https://legaleasemarketing.com/
Connect with Steve Fretzin:
LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin
Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.
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.
Justin Weinrich [00:00]
You’d have to work together to try to figure out how you can help each other. I always tried to give a little bit something, even if I felt like the other person was helping me a lot more.
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 [00:35]
Hey, everybody, welcome to be that lawyer. Hope you’re having a fabulous, lovely, terrific and wonderful day, I just keep adding more and more to that point. I’m Steve Fretzin, your host and I hope you’re going to get something good out of the show. I know that the guest I have today is going to impress you and is going to give some great putting the pressure on you Justin right off the bat there. But listen, this show is all about being that lawyer someone who’s confident organized skilled is skilled Rainmaker. And I love to bring in people that sort of exemplify that description that have sort of like self made, built it on their own and really did it. And I’m going to introduce Justin in a moment, I want to take a second just to thank our sponsors, legalese, marketing, and money, Penny. You’ll hear more about them later. But they’re terrific partners for the show. And for me, Justin, thanks for setting up this quote. First of all, welcome to the show. How are you doing today?
Justin Weinrich [01:25]
Good to see you. Thanks. How are you?
Steve Fretzin [01:27]
I’m well, apparently I’m doing wonderful and spectacular and all those things. You submitted a quote, which I think is fantastic. It’s, it’s the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is right now. And that’s a John Morgan quote, why did you submit that that’s a really interesting,
Justin Weinrich [01:42]
quote. Reason I submitted it is because it was it was really good for me to be able to get my practice and my own business development off the ground after the first few years of being a lawyer not really doing anything. And I beat myself up a little bit about it. And so the quote was from a book called, you can’t teach hungry by John Morgan, who’s a fantastic, nationally renowned Trial Lawyer down in Florida. And his book is about okay, well, you haven’t done this in the first two years, or three years or five years, but why not start now? And so I think it allows people to stop beating themselves up about Well, why didn’t I go to that event last week? Or why didn’t I try this six months ago, and that was really helpful for me when I began my own practice.
Steve Fretzin [02:21]
Yeah, and I’ll tell you, for me, it’s, it’s, you know, I’m dealing with people in their 50s, and their 60s. And I always hear the same thing. I wish I had worked with you and learn business development 20 years ago, and they’re just kicking themselves, but it’s like, sometimes you don’t know, what’s the right move to make until it’s the right time or until you can, you know, make it feel like you’re in the right place to make it happen. But, you know, that’s the thing, like you get out of law school, you get in jump in with both feet, and you maybe are in a in a big firm or something and business development, marketing, networking, they’re all kind of pushed down to the bottom. And if when you eventually come up for air, hopefully you’re not 50 or 60. You know, getting fed all your work. But that’s but that’s that’s kind of what it means for me is I hear that quote, it’s, you know, it’s a little bit about regret, but it’s better still to do it now than to never do it.
Justin Weinrich [03:09]
That’s exactly right. Obviously, they don’t teach us how to do this in law school. And if you’re fortunate enough to get a job out of law school, you may be on a salary, and your incentive to bring in business may be somewhat low. So if you’re busy, and you’re on a salary, you don’t really financially need to bring in your own business right away. It’s easy to just kind of continue skating through on the work you’re given. And my concern was that, you know, in the back of my head, I always knew, you know, someday I’m going to have to do this on my own. Someday, I’m going to have to have people who are calling me not because of the firm I’m at, but because they just want to call me for this.
Steve Fretzin [03:45]
Yeah. And it’s, you know, I’m not getting calls from lawyers who are desperate, because they’re just, they’re in a panic to get business because they have not, in many cases, it’s lawyers that have business, they’re being fed work. And they’re just they’re having the epiphany at some point that, you know, building my own book and having my own clients is the path to freedom, it’s the path to sustainability, to portability, and control. And so it’s not like I’m just dealing with desperate you know, lawyers, it’s mostly people that are pretty sophisticated and successful. They just realized that they got to take it to the next level and and I appreciate that because dealing with someone that’s desperate and in debt and and is you know, is having difficult paying bills, that’s a really tough place to kind of come back from and invest in someone like your time with me. So Justin, you are the founder of weinrich law firm and you’re in Crystal Lake and people that have heard this show many many times know that I have a relationship with Crystal Lake I just shared it with you and you’ll have to look it up but yeah, it was in a plane crash in Crystal Lake and 96 crashed into a house and you’ll have to look that up in the Daily Herald or something or read or in my book sales, reselling. I kind of go through that story. But how do we critically question
Justin Weinrich [04:55]
off my desk? Why was that my job off my desk when when you when you started? because I had no idea about any of that.
Steve Fretzin [05:01]
Yeah, I’ll take I’ll take you back a few years. But it’s Crystal Lake. So beautiful place. You know, if you’re gonna practice in a town like I’m in Deerfield, which is also beautiful, it’s like, you know, there’s the hustle and bustle of the city. And I get it and I in the city can be a lot of fun and a lot of it, you know, action. But it’s also nice to, you know, have the kind of the common relaxing of forests and parks and right, it’s kind of chill out out Northwest by you.
Justin Weinrich [05:27]
Yeah, exactly. My practice is still probably 85% 90% based in Cook County and the city of Chicago and I have cases in just about all of the all of the suburban courthouses. But yeah, to be out here, and have the space and a little privacy and a little less hustle and bustle, I really appreciate it is a nice place to be.
Steve Fretzin [05:47]
Yeah. And so tell talk a little bit about your background and how you got started in in in launching into your own firm, because I feel like we’re gonna get into, you know, be that lawyer and how you became that lawyer that sort of made it on his own. So take us back and roll us up to the current.
Justin Weinrich [06:04]
So I came out of law school in 2009, when the market had sort of collapsed around everybody who came out of law school. And I was fortunate enough to have a clerkship and then an associate position at a small boutique firm in St. Louis. And I was fed work, and I enjoyed it. And I’d like to think I was a good employee, but I didn’t really bring in any business on my own. And then, in 2011, my wife got a job offer up in the Chicago area. And she works in healthcare, and we brought legal pads out at dinner, we did pro and con lists, we prayed about it like crazy, we had absolutely no idea what to do, we were extremely torn, because we love St. Louis. That’s where I’m originally from, but my wife is broke here. And this was a great professional opportunity for her. So we ended up making the jump to move up to the Chicago area at the end of 2011. And so once we move up here, she goes off to work. And I literally have almost nothing to do. I had become a quote partner in the firm that I was in, in St. Louis. But I really didn’t have any of my own work, my partners were all busy with their own books. So I literally had to figure out beginning in about December of 2011, how to fill a day. And not only that, but to do it in a city where literally, I could count the number of people I knew, on a single hand, a couple of fingers really. And so I had to figure out pretty quickly that how to network, something I had never really done before. And first it was a matter of just filling hours getting out in the city and beginning to try to meet people and then it just sort of over a period of years. It takes a lot of time as your as your listeners know, it’s started to build and build and build.
Steve Fretzin [07:41]
Let’s take a minute and just just let’s both play a game called What was my biggest mistake you you go first What was your biggest mistake and networking one that you that you realized after doing it for years thereafter? Just like oh my god, I can’t believe I was doing that. And then I’ll give mine and we’ll see who’s who’s we’ll see if I can one up yet.
Justin Weinrich [07:59]
I think I exhausted myself. That’s what I remember about the first couple of years. I’ll recommend a to your listeners if they haven’t already to listen to the episode of K curlers, a colleague of mine, Kate and I started our practices about the same time. And she and I listening to her her episode, she and I had a lot in common we probably multiple meetings together. We started a practice around the same time, we would do three meetings in the morning. And then we do one in the afternoon and we do the happy hour. But the stuff in the morning just filled me the stuff really early morning because of how far I was coming from. Yeah, so I got to the point where I was, you know, and thankfully I was able to do this before we had kids. So I would have been even more tired than but I really I really ran myself into the ground. It’s good to be scheduled. And I don’t regret that at all. But I think I was a zombie a lot. Yeah, and I just sometimes I wonder what did people think of me sitting there half asleep looking up.
Steve Fretzin [08:59]
And if you want to hear that episode with take curler it’s episode 162 She’s a dynamic networker, amazing lawyer, great, great person, and a very funny person to which which is always, you know, good to have. I will share that I read some books early on that are very, very good. I’m not going to name the books, but essentially the gist is go out and help everybody go out and be a match go out and build karma. Like you you the more people you help, the more business you’re going to get. It just works that way. And I did it I did it like ad nauseam like I was I was meeting with people all day trying to figure out two three connections for everybody. And I built a tremendous amount of karma. But it didn’t build a lot of business. And it took me a while to realize and eventually I wrote a book on it called the attorneys networking handbook that it isn’t that you shouldn’t give it isn’t that you shouldn’t build karma it you have to do it intelligently. You’re just you can’t be with everybody, especially if you’re billable. That’s just impossible. You can’t be Everybody, so if you’re gonna do it need try to meet with the right people for the right reasons. And yes, give to them and don’t expect something in return. But you can also follow a process where you agree to help each other and try things out into like testing, like trying on a pair of pants, see if they fit. And so that was that was like not only a big mistake I made was just just meeting and giving selflessly for years I did that. But then doing it without any kind of plan or process or intelligence. And I like though that’s one of those situations where I was exhausted like you just and I was like, my wife would just look at me and go, are you serious? You’re going out to a meeting tonight? I’d be you started at 7am. And now you’re going out to like, a seven o’clock, you know, a cocktail party. I’m like, Well, this is what I have to do. And I was like, Oh, my God. Now I’m like,
Justin Weinrich [10:45]
I had no, yeah, I had no plan whatsoever. At all, yeah, other than going and trying to meet people. Now I could get away with it. Because I literally had pretty much no cases. Yeah, at the time. And we had no kids. And I had a lot hours to fill. So I just went out and it was a complete shotgun approach for over a year was probably a solid 18 to 24 months that I was just meeting with anybody and everybody. So that was okay for me. But I bet I’m an outlier. The fact that I moved somewhere and I literally didn’t know anybody, so I had to get to know people. But the vast majority of people I think, who are considering hanging out there in Chicago and starting their practice probably have a fairly fairly substantial network just in terms of people they’ve interacted with in Chicago or wherever else over the years. So at some point when I when that network got bigger, I had I remember I distinctly remember sitting in a meeting with a guy who was trying to sell me I think T shirts, and I remember thinking that I gotta stop this. Calling me I have I could be meeting with other people. I could be home with my wife. What am I sitting here? What am I sitting here doing? Yeah, I need to get a lot more strategic.
Steve Fretzin [11:44]
And as it turns out, you you were in desperate need of T shirts at the time so right what’s your name? Oh,
Justin Weinrich [11:51]
that’s that’s the thing Kate’s a lot funnier than funnier than me so I I don’t have a good one for that but I seriously I’ve I had a buddy just give me his law firms t shirt. And I I now wear it all the time. I love it. Yeah, but
Steve Fretzin [12:06]
now yeah, my firm is still voting as other lawyers I could
Justin Weinrich [12:09]
give I could give my parents I guess I could maybe give them to my in laws, but I don’t really know who would wear my firm’s T shirts. So I still haven’t bought any
Steve Fretzin [12:15]
well if it’s gonna make you feel better Justin I met with someone from Amway and people that you know know Amway know that it’s like a pyramid scheme type of situation. And not only did I meet with this guy for like, 90 minutes, he then coaxed me into going to some it was way out in the in the burbs even further out than I was maybe 45 minutes out, I drove at night, to go and sit in a room and basically get pitched this this amazing opportunity. That was clearly, you know, yeah, you can sell products, but then you got to find people under you, and they find people under you. And you’re the it was like, Oh, I just rolled my eyes. And well, what the frick that I just do here? Oh, my God,
Justin Weinrich [12:50]
that’d be your biggest mistake. That yeah, that
Steve Fretzin [12:53]
might be yeah, that’s, that’s at the top of the list. Absolutely. And I’ve got probably a dozen of those stories or more, that just one is more disappointing than the other. But yeah, getting sold stuff. That’s like the worst networking meeting you’ll ever have, in some some some financial planner saying, you know, working the over for like 10 names. You ever been through that meeting?
Justin Weinrich [13:13]
Yeah, there’s one particular financial services firm that you and I probably know, we know who they are. Yeah, we know who they are. And when I would meet with them, anybody from this company? I would literally start with me, this is actually probably pretty rude. But I would say, Look, I’m not interested in being pitched. If you try pitching me. Yeah, I’m way too busy. I actually wasn’t too busy, but I’m way too busy. And if you pitch me, I’m gonna walk out. Yeah, I want to learn how I can help you. And we can talk about how we can try to help each other but I’m not going to pitch.
Steve Fretzin [13:43]
Now here’s the irony of that. I met with a bunch of those folks and got hit up for those names. I think one of them I actually gave it out. And then I regretted it instantly, because that’s how green I was. And I ended up I my financial guy is with that company. And he’s fantastic. He’s one of the best financial planners I’ve ever met him in May ever meet. But he has a very different approach. So I think they’re they’re youngins that they’re training in. We’re taught a very salesy approach for networking. And it’s absolutely brutal, but that’s how they did it. And it seemed to work for them at the time. And I don’t know if it’s still how bad it is now for them to you know, if they do that today, I mean, I can’t even imagine. Let’s talk a little bit about some of the things that you did to build your law practice around networking. So clearly, you and I agree that there’s a lot of ways to screw up in networking, a lot of mistakes to be made. But you you like myself learned and we improved, we learned and improved. And that’s really the key to success at anything. So talk about some of the things that you figured out that you do now, like as a regular practice that work for you.
Justin Weinrich [14:44]
Well, one of the things is when you begin to get referrals and it’s really isn’t a networking thing, but it does go back to the people who send your business they want to the people who send you business want to be confident that you’re going to take care of their client or their family member, whoever it is. So you always even if you have 60 or Are ad cases you have to be constantly communicating with your clients. Because if you don’t, that’s going to get back to the person who sent them to you. Yeah, that’s number one. Number two, I am constantly I probably get 60 70% of my business from other lawyers. And I’m constantly communicating with my referring attorneys to because I know if I was an add seat, I would, I would want to know about the status of the case that I’ve referred out. So as we all get busier, and we can’t go out to, you know, lunch five days a week anymore, we can’t go out to for coffee meetings a week anymore. This is a real easy way to get another, you know, another touch and other interaction with the people that are sending you business. And as somebody who sends out business myself, I know that I appreciate that I always, I always appreciate learning what’s going on with a client or something like that, that I preferred out. The other thing that I did is, even when I moved here, not having anybody in my network, I felt like I had very little to give. I always tried to help the other person, even if it’s just an introduction to sort of a second degree, professional connection, whether it’s an accountant or a financial adviser, a different type of lawyer. Even if I didn’t feel like I could directly help that person. And generally, you can’t generally business active new clients aren’t gonna be passing in networking do you have to work together to try to figure out how you can help each other I always tried to give a little bit something. Even if I felt like the other person was helping me a lot more. I think that goes a long way.
Jordan Ostroff [16:25]
legalese marketing is not your traditional marketing vendor. Instead, we’re a true fractional cmo that helps you save time and spend your money the right way to build a practice of your dreams. We help through the entire process, from customizing your intake system to driving leads, and even getting more reviews afterwards, schedule your free call at legalese marketing.com.
Hi, I’m Steph from Moneypenny. We’re trusted by leading law firms and attorneys to answer calls virtually professionally and brilliantly. Our high tech receptionist service enables us to route calls to your team’s wherever they’re working, and even recognize and prioritize calls based on whether they were a repeat caller, a new client or a VIP claim your exclusive partner rates and Free Trial by quoting Fretzin. Today,
Steve Fretzin [17:16]
well, let me share that I was so desperate to network and help others that that I was in a networking group where I would just start buying their stuff, I was the guy actually buying those T shirts, you mentioned earlier, I was buying a Fretzin pens and all kinds of tchotchkes I was buying insurance, I was buying anything you know, I could do just because I didn’t have anything to give at the time. And a lot of the attorneys that I work with have that same issue. They’re like, look, I want to network with this other lawyer. But I don’t have anything like I don’t have direct business to give this other lawyer. And I said, but that’s why you need to have a network because you can connect the dots and still play chess, even if you you know, you’re not moving your queen, you can move upon you can move a rook or a knight. And that comes in the form of of strategic partners that you move around. So I’m not introducing you to someone who has a personal injury, right. But I’m introducing you to a lawyer that is tertiary to what you do. Right. So there are certain types of lawyers maybe that are more highly likely to refer you than others. You know, a big corporate attorney at a huge law firm may not run into personal injuries the same way as a local estate planner, a local criminal attorney. Right. So my thought was, yeah, I don’t have a business to give Justin right now. But can I introduce you to a strategic partner, a center of influence? Can I advise you, can I send you a book? Can I invite you to an event, there’s a whole list of other things that we can do for people and lawyers need to think creatively about how to do that.
Justin Weinrich [18:44]
That’s exactly right. And you shouldn’t ever be scared off from a meeting. If you feel like well, I don’t have a client for this person. Or I you know, that’s part of why you sit down and you talk, you learn how you can help each other. And if you’ve been doing this for more than if you’ve been practicing law, or you’ve been in your business for more than a year or two, you’re probably going to be able to help that person across the table from you even a little bit with a name or an introduction or something like that. And from my perspective, if I walk away from a meeting with a couple of names in hand are a couple of nice introductions to people who could potentially send me business that’s a successful
Steve Fretzin [19:18]
Yeah, again, it’s all about the give and take and also, by the way, understanding what the needs are of your, of your client and of your strategic partner of the person you’re networking with. So like for example, there may be someone you’re networking with, that really doesn’t need business want business, it’s just not it’s they’ve got more than they can handle. What else can you help them with? Right? It might be they would love to be on a panel with you. They’d love to write a chapter of your book, they’d love to co author an article, we need to ask questions to really elicit out what people’s interests our needs, our wants are as opposed to just assuming that they want us to send them business. That’s not necessarily always
Justin Weinrich [19:54]
the case. Yeah, that’s exactly right. And again, you’re not going to know that unless Do you sit down for that meeting and if the meeting is a flop, then it’s a flop and you and you try to do a little bit better next time. But it’s, if an attorney is interested in meeting somebody else and wants to reach out to somebody else and thinks this particular person is a good contact for them, you just go do it and make your best effort of trying to figure out a good way to help them.
Steve Fretzin [20:20]
Yeah, and you know, interestingly enough, I, I have done my best to try to communicate with my strategic partners with my podcast guests, and other people that I come in contact with. And just now I’m in the process, working through law Maddox with my marketing team, legalese marketing everybody on an automated system of how I’m going to touch base with my network, maybe I shouldn’t be giving away that secret, because it’s supposed to look like me. But the reality is, like, I need to do a better job, we all need to do a better job of how often and how we touch people and connect with people and get back together with people. The problem is, is that we forget, like I forget that, you know, like, how long has it been since you and I have spoken? It’s probably we bumped
Justin Weinrich [21:01]
into each other in an elevator probably two and a half years ago, when I was going to a deposition we talked for Okay, I
Steve Fretzin [21:07]
think was that one at North? LaSalle? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Cuz I Yeah. So I mean, the fact that we just bumped into each other well, that I’m not going to rely on bumping into people as a way of like, of monitoring and managing my network and the people that I like, and the people that I want to, you know, you know, hang out with and network with. So I, you know, I think it’s a very basic level, we need to have a plan in place that that says, look, I’ve got a context B contacts, and C contacts, that can be clients, that can be lawyers, that can be whatever, and I need to the A’s, I need to touch more, because they’re the ones that are feeding me the business. They’re the ones that I’m on their mind, they’ve worked with me before we’ve gotten great results, whatever the case might be, these may be a step down. And we’ve talked about this on the show a couple times. But I don’t know that lawyers are really getting organized with how they keep in touch with people. And I think that’s probably a misstep that we you know, with automations. Hopefully we can remedy that in the next year for many attorneys. But how are you? How are you? Because you’re, you’re basically referral based? I know, you, we talked earlier that you’re not really advertising like some lawyers, right? They spend millions and millions of dollars advertising and doing lead generation that way, that’s not your jam. Is that Is that accurate?
Justin Weinrich [22:20]
Yeah, that’s correct. I’ve never advertised everything has been by referral since day one, right. And
Steve Fretzin [22:25]
so some people like the idea of that, because obviously, you don’t have a huge spend. But others would say, Well, wait a second Am I can spend 10 cents and get 20 back because of the paper clicks and the billboards and all that stuff. So talk about how you’ve made it made us built a successful practice without advertising and primarily just deleveraging relationships?
Justin Weinrich [22:48]
Well, what I do personal injury with 90% of it is helping people who are involved in car accidents, and helping them deal with an insurance company on the inside and frankly, is trying to take advantage of them. There’s an immediate need, and people have to immediately trust you. And the person who makes the referral has to immediately trust you. And you have to develop a rapport really quick with the prospective client. And so ultimately, it’s a matter of, on the front end, engaging with people, and you know, kind of doing life with him, trying to help them establishing yourself, you know, to a lay person establishing yourself as an expert in this area, having a brand I mean, I’ve all of us have a brand like it or not. And my brand is if you’re hurt, you need to call Justin, Justin doesn’t know how to do anything else in the legal sphere. But this is what he does. And that’s it. So establishing yourself as an expert in this one specific area. And then honestly, you got to wait for specifically what I do, you’ve got to wait for the time to come in for that person that you’re connected with to trust you enough to send you a referral. And then once that happens, you do the best job you possibly can for the client. And the best clients. I mean, the best cases over the years are probably not going to come from your website, they’re probably not going to come from pay per click, they’re going to come from having you having worked with people. And my case is sometimes can take years. So I get to know people I get to know my clients really, really well. And there’s a really deep degree of trust that they have in me to handle this once in a lifetime issue. And so when that case finally concludes, and I hope they’re satisfied with the work I’ve done, and then that’s going to lead them to refer me more people. So, you know, I have had, we’ve all had varying levels of clients in terms of clients we want to work with and clients we’d rather not work with anymore. And no doubt about it. The type of client you want to work with is a client that is a very, very warm lead personally introduced by somebody who trusts you, whether that’s a former client, that’s another lawyers or is that somebody you’ve just been networked with for a while.
Steve Fretzin [24:53]
And how important is it for you as it relates to being memorable and building you know, building the credibility that you’re not As a personal injury attorney that handles everything. Now, you mentioned a minute ago, you know, you handle like mostly car accidents. You didn’t say slip and fall, you didn’t say, you know, bus crash or train crash or you didn’t say I mean, there’s a lot of different ways people can hurt themselves. And you mentioned car crashes. So is that and I’m not trying to put you, you know, in a box, but I’m just trying to ask is that is that specific to where your focus is? And that and there’s a reason you said that? Are you handling everything and taking on everything that comes your way?
Justin Weinrich [25:28]
That is the vast majority of what comes in, because unfortunately, that’s the way that the vast majority of people are injured, right? So I used to say kind of anything and everything. If you know, anybody who’s ever been hurt in any way, try not to leave anything out. And ultimately, I think you need to be specific. And what are people going to encounter most is going to be car accidents. And the thing that has personally, this is just for me personally in my little niche, but the thing that’s helped me build credibility and relatability with people is the fact that a lot of people have an idea of what a personal injury attorney is, because everybody’s seen one, whether you’re driving down the highway and seeing a billboard or seeing a cheesy commercial. And so what I’m a regular guy who walks into a meeting, sometimes I’m wearing a suit if I have to go to court, but if I’m not, then I’m just wearing jeans and a sport coat. And I walk in and I start talking and I sit there like everybody else. And I wait my turn and I will talk about my big verdicts that I’ve gotten from my big settlements that I’ve gotten over time people like, Well, gee, I didn’t, I didn’t expect a personal injury attorney just kind of walk in and hang out with us and walk in and be a regular guy. And so the bar for me that I didn’t realize is when I started my practice, the bar for me to clear has been really, really low, because of the really poor opinion and impression that the general public has about people who practice in the area that practicing.
Steve Fretzin [26:48]
Yeah, it’s one of the few areas that gets a bad rap, because I think there’s so much advertising that’s done and the more outrageous, the better is sort of the sort of the direction it’s gone, you know, to get people’s attention, because it’s hard to get people’s attention, you know, period these days. So I get it in. But I love the idea that a you’ve you focused on an emotion Yes, look, you know, I just did a show it published today on risk. And you know, you took a risk by by, you know, not focusing on everything that could be every new being a general practitioner and doing every kind of law to being a personal injury attorney, but then to focus on where the business is, which is car crashes. And it doesn’t mean that you can’t take on other stuff. But I think by promoting that people can remember you, you’re memorable for something and then if they like you and know you and trust you because you’re an average guy, a normal guy, you’re not some crazy slicked back, you know, Shyster, then they really appreciate that they’ve got someone they can trust, which is probably the most important thing when you’re giving a family member, right over to someone
Justin Weinrich [27:49]
to a lawyer. Yeah, they also want to know that you specialize in this area, the Supreme Court doesn’t like it when we use the word specialists. But ultimately, they want to know that this is what you do I get that question a lot still is, yeah. Do you Do you do anything else? Is this all you do? How many cases have you handled? And I can confidently answer those questions. But the other thing in terms of networking is, if you’re not trying to do everything, if you can bring other people around you, not just different practice areas, but even different sub specialties within for instance, for me personal injury, like it just gives you a lot of resources. And that gives you a lot of other potential referral partners. And that establishes you as another, you know, an expert within one lane, and other people nearby are going to look at you for just that one specific lane. Because ultimately, that’s what you want.
Steve Fretzin [28:37]
Yeah, exactly. Well, listen, let’s wrap up the segment with Game Changing books you’ve got. Now it’s interesting that the quote and the book are the same. It’s again, this our friend, John Morgan, you can’t teach hungry. What What about that book was unique and really hit home for you.
Justin Weinrich [28:56]
First, it was the quote that that was really encouraging me as I was starting my practice that it’s, it’s okay, that you’re not doing this right out of the gates and law school. But it also really put a focus on perfecting your craft and doing the best job you can for your clients taking cases to trial, if you need to, even if they’re not great case, it’s just showing your opponents that you’re serious. And so the next time around, they’re going to know that if need be, you’re going to take the case all the way for him. And that’s ultimately this is, you know, this is getting into stuff that’s unique to my practice area. But that’s critical being a personal injury attorney, because our opponents are these giant behemoth insurance companies who have all the resources and lawyers in the world. So on the one hand, it was about look, you need to you need to dig inside yourself to put in the work to develop a network and develop cases and, you know, planting a tree now and seeing where it goes but on the other hand, perfecting your craft, because that’s what you owe your clients and that as much as anything is going to be what helps you build a firm that’s going to be able to sustain you with your
Steve Fretzin [30:00]
family. Yeah, and I haven’t read the book, I’m interested in checking it out. But I love the title. You can’t teach hungry. And it’s so interesting because I teach everything around how to grow a law practice. But the one thing I can’t teach is hungry. I can’t teach ambition. I can’t teach motivation. So I’m constantly pushing lawyers to understand why they’re hungry, why they’re motivated, why they’re ambitious, because I can fill in all the other blanks, Justin, I just can’t fill in the blank of, are you going to go do this stuff? Are you going to follow the the marching orders and go out and get the business and be that lawyer? And so I think that’s just such an interesting, you know, like, my wife. And I always say you can lead a horse to water. But that’s about you know, right. That’s an old saying, but it’s, it’s similar to what what I think John is talking about in his book.
Justin Weinrich [30:50]
Yeah, we all went to law school, we got through three years of law school, we all pass the bar exam. I mean, this is a lot less daunting, going and developing your own business, or even if even if it starts as a couple of meetings a week with people over coffee. That’s how it started. For me, that’s a heck of a lot less daunting than walking into law school on your first day, or sitting and trying to figure out how to study for the bar exam. This is to compare to that, which we all did not most of us did in our early to mid 20s. This is a heck of a lot easier.
Steve Fretzin [31:24]
And if you haven’t heard, by the way, it isn’t rocket science, legal business development, rocket science available on Amazon shameless plug right there, threw it in
Justin Weinrich [31:32]
put, just put it on a tee for you.
Steve Fretzin [31:35]
Justin, thanks so much for being on the show, sharing your wisdom, telling your story for the attorneys that are in a place that you were where they’re going out on their own, they don’t know many people, they’re new to the area, they’ve got to kind of build it from scratch, final tip of advice, just say, you know, this is, you know, just, you got to do this. What is it?
Justin Weinrich [31:54]
Anybody that you know, I mean, really anybody that you know, irrespective of what they do, be great if they’re a lawyer, but if they’re not that, okay, go out, and take them out for lunch, and have a networking meeting with them. Tell them what you’re trying to do. Ask them for advice, and ask how you can help them what’s going on with them? What’s going on with their family? And chances are, they’re going to ask you the same thing and ask how they can help you. I’ve been really pleasantly shocked at how willing people were to help me early on, when I when it seemed like I was the new guy in town, and I had nothing to give. So I think people are probably going to be a little bit more strategic than me, I didn’t have a business plan. I didn’t, I didn’t really put a whole lot of thought into it other than I’m gonna go meet a bunch of people. Yeah, and we’ll see how long this takes. I think that having a plan is probably a good idea. I think I would have been able to streamline things a lot more in the first couple of years by actually, instead of doing things in a scattershot fashion, actually had a plan, but going out and engaging with the people that are already in your network, and telling them what you’re about to do, because I bet they’re gonna be wondering. Yeah, I
Steve Fretzin [33:01]
think, you know, look, back to shameless plugs. I mean, that’s all I do all day is help lawyers plan and work them through processes to be efficient with how they get business in the least amount of time with the least amount of effort. And it’s, it’s not rocket science, it isn’t easy, it’s probably not as hard as is passing the bar and going through three years of law school. So that’s a good thing. But it’s something that you either have to do on your own and read and watch and listen to enough stuff to get the tips and ideas so you can do it on your own. Or you need to you know, consider you know, bringing in a coach, a mentor and advisor, someone to help you cut through the BS and cut through you know, to the, you know, to the to the to the the warm read center of where the business is and how to get to it quickly because we don’t have time. You know, we can’t spend you know, 10 years figuring it out, you got to get to it. Justin, thanks so much for being on the show being my guest and sharing your wisdom. If people want to reach out to you and network with you or throw business your way what what’s the best way for them to reach you?
Justin Weinrich [33:58]
Best way to reach me is to do exactly what my clients do is to call me on my cell, which is 636-795-7256 all my clients get it and if people are if they’re lawyers in the in the position I was in 1011 years ago where they’re starting their own practice, you’re absolutely invited to call me because I love talking shop with people about business development starting a practice things like that.
Steve Fretzin [34:21]
Yeah, we’re gonna throw that in the show notes. So it’ll it’ll definitely be there. So thanks again, man. I appreciate it. It’s good to catch up with you and and let’s let’s make sure that you and I keep in the loop and you know, we I think we both know a lot of lawyers, there could be some value in us and step to maybe doing some networking as well.
Justin Weinrich [34:38]
Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate you having me Steven, It’s good seeing you again for more like 10 seconds.
Steve Fretzin [34:42]
There you go. There you go and passing passing ships in the night. Listen, everybody you know, this show is you know, is all about being that lawyer, someone who’s competent, organized and a skilled Rainmaker and I think Justin really laid it out that it’s all possible to have your own show, get your own business and not have to spend a fortune on advertising if you can really leverage the the relationships that you have in your, in your local area. In particular, if you’re enjoying the show, be that lawyer and I really appreciate you telling a friend about it give us some good ratings on your Apple phone or wherever you’re listening to this. And let’s try to keep it going. I’ve got 180 episodes are something under my belt and I want to get to 500 as fast as possible and with with, you know, with your help, we can get more downloads and more people listening and giving more value to attorney. So that’s the goal, man. Listen, be safe be well have a great rest of the week, and we’ll talk soon. Thanks again. Bye bye.
Thanks for listening to be that lawyer, 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