Marcia Wasserman: Law Firm Evolution in Changing Times

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Marcia Wasserman discuss:

  • Challenges law firms are facing today that they’ve never had to before.
  • Managing generational differences to the benefit of both parties.
  • Where to start when everything seems to be going sideways.
  • The benefit of a peer advisory group.

Key Takeaways:

  • Managing expectations for both the law firm managers and the younger lawyers is key to making sure everything is being accomplished at the right profitability.
  • Clients are also getting younger, not just new attorneys. Understanding how the younger generations think can be crucial for your law firm success.
  • It doesn’t take a certain personality to be a leader – it takes listening skills, vulnerability, and transparency to your vision.
  • If you delegate more, you will be more effective in what you are best at.

“It’s getting the lawyers who manage the firms to understand that things have changed and they are not able to do it the way they’ve always done it.” —  Marcia Wasserman

Get a free copy of Steve’s book “Sales-Free Selling” here:

Thank you to our Sponsors!



Get Visible:

Episode References: 

About Marcia Wasserman: Marcia Watson Wasserman is the Founder and President of Comprehensive Management Solutions, Inc., which provides “C.O.O. to Go” law practice management consulting services to boutique and midsize law firms. Her expertise includes operational management reviews; management and leadership development and training; succession planning; strategic planning; retreat facilitation; law firm start-ups and mergers. Marcia serves as a coach, mentor, and accountability partner to Managing Partners, Attorneys, and Legal Administrators. Marcia also leads multiple law firm Managing Partners’ and Legal Administrators’ Roundtables, focused on thought leadership and sharing best practices. She is a Fellow in the College of Law Practice Management and the author of 2 books published by the ABA.

Connect with Marcia Wasserman:  




Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Instagram: @fretzinsteve

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.



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.


[00:00:00] Steve Fretzin: Hey everybody before we get to the show just want to mention we have a be that lawyer live tech talk Coming up on the 31st of august. I’d love for you to be there. Um, you can sign up by going to Fretzin. com And clicking on our resources page and events and you will find it there We’ve got three amazing technology gurus that are going to be there to answer your toughest questions.

[00:00:23] Steve Fretzin: So please join us and sign up today.

[00:00:31] 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.

[00:00:53] Steve Fretzin: Hey everybody. Welcome to Be that lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin. I’m just happy that you’re with us. And, uh, another opportunity to be that lawyer. Someone who’s confident organized in a skilled rainmaker. Um, as you know, twice a week, uh, every week for many, many years, we have tried to put out the best content we can to help you learn all the soft skills of being a lawyer.

[00:01:13] Steve Fretzin: That could be, uh, the marketing. It could be the business development. It could be health and wellness, leadership, you name it. We brought it to you. And we are going to continue to do that with new and interesting people. And, uh, I’ve got a doozy for you today, and Marsha, how are you, Marsha? I’m terrific, how about you?

[00:01:29] Steve Fretzin: I’m doing well, doing well. You are my last of nine meetings today, so I’m, uh, going to try to keep my energy up for you. I think I, uh, I didn’t even drink any caffeine, but I think I’m, I think I’m on a good, I’m on a good level right now. So we’re going to have some, some good interaction and fun. And as all of you know, if you’ve listened to the show before, I love to start off with our quote of the show.

[00:01:48] Steve Fretzin: What’s the quote of the show? Well, you know, something that really means something to my guest and then having kind of talked to that. So, The quote of the show for Marsha is only by attempting the absurd, can we achieve the impossible? So a who said that I think it was attributed to Einstein But you might be someone else and then tell talk a little bit about what that means to you and welcome to the show Thank you for

[00:02:13] Marcia Wasserman: having me on the show Um, Einstein’s, it’s been attributed to him, but supposedly before he ever adapted it, a Spanish writer named Miguel de Unamuno, earlier than he, uh, was the one who ostensibly said it.

[00:02:32] Marcia Wasserman: Why it has meaning to me, years ago, I was on the National Board of the Association of Legal Administration, and I was in charge of special educational projects. Our national president was Nancy Siegel. And my project was trying to bring to fruition, um, a leadership institute at the Graduate Management School that everyone had talked about for years and years and it never happened.

[00:02:58] Marcia Wasserman: Well, under my watch it did, it happened at ECLA where I had a relationship. So to thank me, Nancy gave me a button that looks like a campaign button and I have it to this day, which says, only by attempting the absurd can we achieve the impossible. So that was, that was my rep. At the time, and I, I hold that phrase dear to me because I’m a creative analytical.

[00:03:22] Marcia Wasserman: I’m always looking for how to solve a problem, even if it appears that it’s

[00:03:28] Steve Fretzin: impossible. Yeah, I think that’s important for lawyers. I mean that you never know until you try and the more creative you can be to solve problems, you know, you never know, you might find a. A way around something that other people have and I know my dad, Larry, the lawyer was excellent at language and manipulating the language and manipulating, you know, an angle and right.

[00:03:47] Steve Fretzin: And that’s what good lawyering is. So, and Marcia, you are Marcia Wasserman, as you know, you know yourself. Uh, you’re the president of Comprehensive Management Solutions, and I’d love to hear a little bit more about your background leading to your Be That Lawyer tipping point and kind of what you’re up to today, if that’s, if all of that together.

[00:04:06] Steve Fretzin: Well, I grew up

[00:04:07] Marcia Wasserman: managing law firms from the time I was an undergrad at UCLA. I sort of stumbled into working in law firms, and I did legal secretarial work, paralegal work, backup bookkeeper. I, Took on management roles and continued my education at the Anderson School at UCLA because management was very interesting to me.

[00:04:27] Marcia Wasserman: So eventually, I was an executive director of a multi office law firm. And politics being what they are in law firms, my tipping point was a change in leadership after I’d been somewhere for five years with a pretty good track record. And it was clear it was no longer the right situation for me. So there was a transition.

[00:04:50] Marcia Wasserman: I left and I did a lot of soul searching at that point and realized that I had more of an entrepreneurial spirit than I had recognized before. And that’s what led me into being a law practice management consultant. And, uh, I never looked back except for one time when I went back in the house. As AMLOC 200 Forum for three and a half years, just to see if I

[00:05:17] Steve Fretzin: could.

[00:05:18] Steve Fretzin: And what’s the, what’s the, the tipping point as it relates to being an entrepreneur? There’s some people that, that like me and you that are just, you know, we just know it in our bones and there’s other people that get pushed into it, you know, where that wasn’t their first choice, but they sort of were forced into it.

[00:05:35] Steve Fretzin: You know, due to, you know, other circumstances, but how did you know that you were an entrepreneur? Like, what was the, like, what happened? Or did we just, you didn’t like being told what to do? You didn’t like the, the uncertainty of a new boss. I mean, what, what kind of things, what, you know, put you where you were?

[00:05:50] Steve Fretzin: Mostly

[00:05:50] Marcia Wasserman: internal politics of a bigger law firm. And I really don’t like that. And I’m outspoken and I, I want to tell people what I think I want to solve problems. I want to. Fix things. I’m, I’m a fixer and I’ve been called the law firm whisperer because I get under the hood of law firms and I see things others don’t necessarily see.

[00:06:14] Marcia Wasserman: So I have the skill set. And decided it would be way more fun to be able to do it on my own than to be subject to changing, managing partners and chairs and executive committee members and all of the politics that came

[00:06:30] Steve Fretzin: with that. Yeah, and again, when you’re inside a company, you know, they, you can, you can solve problems and come up with ideas and they just get shot down by whoever’s in charge.

[00:06:39] Steve Fretzin: And when you’re on your own, people are just going to pay you more for that. So it’s kind of like an opposite. Effect type of a, of a situation when you can be your own boss. And that, that was the one thing my dad taught me from a very early age. Not only a good work ethic, but you know, Hey, if you ever have a chance to be your own boss, I recommend it because you know, then you’re just, you’re not taking orders from people.

[00:06:58] Steve Fretzin: And, uh, other than my teenager and my wife, those are like the two bosses I have, I guess. But, um, let’s since, since you’re the law firm whisper, I’ve been called the lawyer whisper, although I think someone else has that trademark, so I don’t want to take it from them. But what are you then seeing is like the top.

[00:07:14] Steve Fretzin: Like two or three issues that law lawyers and law firms are having You know, in facing today, maybe different than 10 years ago, like what, what are the top things that, that you’re, that they’re coming to you for?

[00:07:25] Marcia Wasserman: Well, what they’re facing today is the issue of the virtual and hybrid that pre pandemic many law firms were not prepared for.

[00:07:34] Marcia Wasserman: And it changed with the younger generations, gen Y, gen Z, and what their values are. They don’t necessarily have the same core values as Gen Xers and Boomers that are still ambling around in the workplace. So, how to make hybrid work, how to train people, how to prevent turnover, because the younger people don’t stay if they don’t feel they’re being nurtured.

[00:08:03] Marcia Wasserman: Those are among the issues. It’s, it’s… Communication with people, developing people, and lastly, and by no means least important, is the technology between cyber security and what’s blooming with AI.

[00:08:24] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, it sounds like there’s a lot of internal stuff that’s happening that normally it’s like a, I see it more as a slow moving train, but I think it’s starting to chug up at a little faster pace and not everybody’s prepared for the, that train to change, you know, speeds, not

[00:08:38] Marcia Wasserman: everyone pivots as well. Yeah, I mean, I’ve seen it in just through the pandemic with law firms that I’ve worked with where some of them adapted rapidly and they went virtual.

[00:08:50] Marcia Wasserman: They had the software in place. Didn’t skip a beat and others that totally freaked out had antiquated systems antiquated procedures software that wasn’t adequate or maybe it was out of date to And those people are still struggling, so sometimes I get brought in to deal with those issues, where they realize they have to change, and they need to do something, and they ask me to come in and look under the hood and figure out what they need to do with their people, you know, are the right people on the bus, is the bus going in the right direction, should it be electric, should it be gas?

[00:09:28] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And going back to the kind of the first thing you mentioned there definitely is some resentment that i’m observing of the gen xers and the boomers to the younger generation that they’re not the last one in the office the way we were they’re not the. They’re not working like we did, like there’s all this, and I get it, like there’s hours that need to be built and work that needs to get done.

[00:09:49] Steve Fretzin: What, how are you helping to manage those situations to benefit both parties? The younger folks who are feeling either unappreciated and that want, they’re looking for different things than the older generation. How are you managing those, those kind of those groups? Managing

[00:10:05] Marcia Wasserman: expectations in the first place.

[00:10:07] Marcia Wasserman: In some cases, it’s getting. The lawyers who manage the firms to understand that things have changed and they are not able to do it the way they’ve always done it. So they better figure out alternative means of billing clients. So they’re not just tied to billable hours that people are compensated for their overall contribution.

[00:10:30] Marcia Wasserman: And it doesn’t matter as much whether the work is done. Physically in the office, or whether it’s a young lawyer with children who gets back on the computer at 10 and works till 1 in the morning for them as long as the work gets done, and it’s looking at the client list and the client base. And are, do you have the right clients for what it is you want to accomplish and what profitability you want?

[00:10:53] Marcia Wasserman: Don’t just blame the younger lawyers. And the younger lawyers sometimes have to step up, but, but often it’s an issue of transparency where management of the firm doesn’t really share enough financial information and strategy with the young lawyers or involve them in the process. And that’s where they make some missteps because if they feel included, they will step up and be way more loyal and put in extra hours if they understand how they fit into the overall scheme.

[00:11:24] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, that’s really interesting. And I know that it’s, it’s, it’s hard to change people’s mindsets once they have them and they’ve had experiences dealing with, with other generations that are different than themselves. And, um, I think it’s important to, to maybe, you know, take just another minute on that to say like, other than other than, you know, the communication.

[00:11:45] Steve Fretzin: Yes. Transparency. Yes. But how do we get someone that’s a Gen X who, you know, had, you know, worked 60 hours a week and built a firm and et cetera, to understand the mindset of a millennial of a Gen Y, uh, folk?

[00:12:00] Marcia Wasserman: Some of it you can do training and, and have conversations between the generations. You can get someone to come in and facilitate those conversations.

[00:12:10] Marcia Wasserman: Really taking time to mentor and listen to the younger people and what drives them and also understand that as time goes on, the clients are going to be younger and have the same mindset as your young lawyers. So what you think works isn’t going to necessarily work anymore. I mean, I know a story of a lawyer who a state planning lawyer, senior partner in a firm.

[00:12:36] Marcia Wasserman: Client dies and he’s ready to go out and have a meeting with the next gen who now inherited the business and he’s going by himself. And it’s like, wait a minute, don’t do that. Go with someone younger who the client will relate to because the client doesn’t have a relationship with you. They’re young.

[00:12:53] Marcia Wasserman: They’ll see eye to eye with your young associate. And he brought the young associate. They of course hit it off and they kept flying it. If the partner had been stubborn and gone on his own, they would have lost a really big client. So, there are so many ways to encourage younger people and mentor younger people.

[00:13:12] Marcia Wasserman: They really want that. Yeah. So, it’s opening your eyes and, and giving them time, time to grow and give them the right support.

[00:13:21] Steve Fretzin: Something I’ve noticed and observed also for my business and other coaches I talk to is that the younger, you know, 30, like, let’s say under 34, you know, younger lawyer, Isn’t really focused on business development and we all know how important that is, you know it, I know it, most, you know, folks know it and I have a friend who kind of explained to me his philosophy was he thinks it’s because they’re riddled with, with, uh, student loan debt and that, that, you know, taking that extra time to do business development versus just billing hours and keeping your head down, like they’re not thinking about building the book and, and, and leading or, or having that power, that control.

[00:13:59] Steve Fretzin: They’re just thinking about. Okay. You know, how do I power through and just make my, you know, make my time and get out and go hang with my, my family, whatever. I don’t know that that’s the answer, but I’m curious what your thoughts are on it. Is that a, is that true? And B, is that, do you think that might be one of the reasons?

[00:14:14] Marcia Wasserman: That is true. But the way to fix it is to change with compensation system. If all you do is compensate somebody for hours work, then that’s the result you’re going to get. So it’s the same way if you have a law firm and partners are only compensated for originations, you have a bunch of sides. So you have to allow for team cooperation, for other contributions to the firm, and you have to give them an allowance for marketing and you have to give them marketing, coaching and access to information.

[00:14:49] Marcia Wasserman: And so, and you have to mentor them and, you know, partners going. A lunch with a colleague, a business contact you bring the lawyer with and ask them to bring somebody who’s also younger and they get to know one another and build relationships. So you, you have to be supportive of them. They’ll open up to it, but you have to change how you compensate

[00:15:14] Steve Fretzin: mentally.

[00:15:16] Steve Fretzin: It’s not happening enough. The comp isn’t enough. The time that they’re spending with the younger folks isn’t enough. I think the hybrid work, right, which you mentioned is a big problem. And that Is hindering then the younger folks really getting into, you know, the mentor mentee relationship that they may need at a firm to be successful, not only on learning the law, but also on the proactive business development side.

[00:15:41] Steve Fretzin: Absolutely. Yeah. Hey everybody, check this out. You’ve just had a call with a client where they need help with something you don’t do. 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.

[00:15:57] Steve Fretzin: 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. It’s a great way to keep your clients happy and build your practice with referred clients. It’s by the founders of LegalZoom.

[00:16:13] Steve Fretzin: 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. 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.

[00:16:34] Steve Fretzin: 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. With Moneypenny, it’s all been ensured. The call will be handled exactly the way you want it every time.

[00:16:52] Steve Fretzin: 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.

[00:17:04] Marcia Wasserman: Lawyers, there’s an easy way to boost your law practice. Partner with GetVisible, the digital marketing agency that makes you stand out. Meet Sarah, an awesome lawyer, but a terrible marketer.

[00:17:15] Marcia Wasserman: 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? Make it rain. Visit GetVisible. com and stand out.

[00:17:31] Steve Fretzin: So let’s talk about where a law firm would start. I mean, we’re talking about, you know, culture and comp, and we’re talking about, you know, all the different elements that make up a successful law firm.

[00:17:42] Steve Fretzin: And then there’s law firms that are not doing well or not successful, or the managing partner’s pulling her hair out every day, trying to figure this whole thing out. Weird. Where do law firms typically have to start in, in, in deciding how to fix things? Because maybe there’s a bunch of things that could be improved.

[00:18:01] Marcia Wasserman: Well, I know when I get called in, it’s often because there are communication issues or their finances aren’t what they’d like them to be. Or there’s been too much turnover and I’ll come in and do an organizational man, an operational and organizational management review where I’ll look at everything.

[00:18:18] Marcia Wasserman: I’ll look at the people, I’ll look at job descriptions, I’ll look at financial reports for the last couple of years, what software they’re using, do they have good management information? I work a lot with smaller and boutique and mid sized law firms. They don’t even have a budget. They have no idea as to their profitability, let alone the profitability of an individual lawyer and what their contribution might be.

[00:18:46] Marcia Wasserman: So I will dissect it, like, pull it in a million different pieces, like we’re dealing with a puzzle, and put it back together again, and, and work with them, and, and frequently have strategy meetings with the partners to try to ascertain what’s working well, what isn’t working well, what is their culture, what kind of culture do they want, what are, what is their vision, and then try to figure out a structure that will work for them, you know.

[00:19:14] Marcia Wasserman: And make sure they’ve got policies and procedures and technology that support what they want. And that they’re, they look at their clients and the profitability of clients and which ones make them happy to work with and which ones should they be referring out.

[00:19:30] Steve Fretzin: All of here. I’m hearing, I’m hearing you talk and I’m shaking my head.

[00:19:33] Steve Fretzin: And the reason I’m shaking my head is because I’m trying to, I’m trying to imagine a managing partner. Trying to figure this out on his or her own. Like, I just think that’s a layer. Like, I don’t know how that would happen. Like, they’re not going to think strategically, Marsha, the way that you’re talking, that they’re going to come up with how to break this all down and how to look at communication.

[00:19:53] Steve Fretzin: I mean, there’s so many moving parts to a business and law firms, our businesses that to do it on their own. And a lot of them try, I mean, is that a fair assessment that a lot of them just they’re smart people, they’ll figure it out. Many of them attempted.

[00:20:06] Marcia Wasserman: They don’t write

[00:20:09] Steve Fretzin: and how does that go? Right? So then you end up, you know, maybe they call you or, you know, you’re in there with things that have gotten really bad because they have tried to, you know, do it themselves to do it.

[00:20:18] Steve Fretzin: Yourselvers and I have plumbing issues in my home and I, the last thing anyone needs is me trying to fix a plumbing issue in my home. So. Another thing I wanted to hit you up on is, all right, so there’s all these problems that can happen within a law firm environment, and then there’s a managing partner, and generally speaking, that’s the, that’s the leader, that’s the, you know, the, the, the head of the, you know, the head of the, of the fish, and if, if the finch stinks from the head down, you know, you could figure out the rest, so what is the mindset or what Does the mindset have to be of a successful leader, managing partner, person, uh, in a, in a law firm?

[00:20:55] Marcia Wasserman: They need to have a growth mindset and an open mindset, not a fixed one. And, you know, there could be in any number of personalities can be a leader. You can be a benevolent despot, but if you do it in a kind way and you really know what you’re doing and you may have got an MBA along the way, people will follow you.

[00:21:18] Marcia Wasserman: And other people are big on consensus building. So, any number of means gets to the right end, as long as you, as a leader, listen well, show vulnerability, show transparency. People will follow you as long as you have a vision, and you can include others to build that vision. It doesn’t necessarily mean you woke up and…

[00:21:44] Marcia Wasserman: You’re the only one who has an answer because likely other people need to contribute to it for it to

[00:21:50] Steve Fretzin: work anyway. Yeah, and they’re in the up, the opposite side is there are managing partners that have certain attributes that. You know, maybe worked in the seventies, eighties and nineties, but in 2023, uh, not so much.

[00:22:05] Steve Fretzin: And so what are some of the traits that you see in the managing partners and the, yeah, I don’t know if you come across like ever, all the managing partners I work with work with are like the best people, most amazing people. But I know that there are others out there that, you know, we both have come in contact with at times where we go, you know, Oh, that’s not someone that I would want to work for.

[00:22:25] Marcia Wasserman: The ones who have a fixed mindset and are living in the past, people will follow with their feet out the door. I mean, I’ve seen that with some law firms during the pandemic, where certain managing partners decree that we’re an exception to the rule, you must come into the office, we have enough space, we’ll spread everybody out.

[00:22:49] Marcia Wasserman: And rarely would let people work from home unless they legitimately had child care issues or a sick parent they were taking care of or whatever it might be. And those sperms have a really hard time retaining their people and some of the managing partners just couldn’t see it. They wanted their assistant outside their door, bringing them coffee like they always did, even though it wasn’t in the least bit necessary.

[00:23:16] Marcia Wasserman: And wasn’t being fair to the employee, so the people who don’t jump into where we are now, let alone that we’re on this fast moving train that. Because of AI, there’s going to be so many more changes to the legal profession. Those firms won’t exist.

[00:23:36] Steve Fretzin: Well, and the thing that I, you know, worry about most is, you know, just, you know, the people that work for, for those folks that feel like they’re sort of handcuffed in because they don’t have a book of business, uh, because they’ve been doing this.

[00:23:50] Steve Fretzin: You know, rainmakers work and bidding for five or 10 years. And then when that slows down, or if things are continuing to go south, they really don’t have a lot of options. Um, and that, that I see that on a regular basis, that can be very troubling.

[00:24:03] Marcia Wasserman: Some of those people will figure out that they need to develop a book of business, and then they’ll come to somebody like you because.

[00:24:10] Marcia Wasserman: They’re desperate during the pandemic, and it’s no longer the case, but particularly in certain practice areas like employment law, which was significantly impacted by the pandemic, big law was hiring away people from mid law and boutique firms. And so even if you didn’t have a book of business, they had the business for you.

[00:24:33] Marcia Wasserman: So a lot of people moved and were protected in that way, long term, not so much protection.

[00:24:40] Steve Fretzin: And they’re probably, they’re probably being overpaid, right? Cause they were, they were, you know, scalping people for not, you know, like for, you know, 30% more than maybe they were making at their current firm. It was a little outrageous.

[00:24:51] Marcia Wasserman: Right. And some of those people have been laid off or about to be laid off and may go back or want to go back where they came from. Yeah. But with their eyes opened a bit. A

[00:25:01] Steve Fretzin: little bit, uh, and a little bit of rawness maybe from the, from the firm side, but, uh, Yeah. Cause they were left hanging. I mean, the small firms were just left hanging, like, like freaking out, like, how do we get this work out the door?

[00:25:13] Steve Fretzin: So and I want to kind of wrap things up with this conversation because you and I both do something and I think we do it differently. I think we both do it very well. That is just such a great treat for attorneys that get Get to be a part of a round table, get to be part of a, of a pure advisory group of some nature.

[00:25:29] Steve Fretzin: And then there’s a lot of options and choices, but I think a lot of lawyers don’t know a, that they exist and B, they don’t know like how to sell, like how to get in one or how, what, what happens in these round tables. So maybe, you know, we can go back and forth on this, but I’d love to hear. And I had such a pleasure, by the way, speaking yesterday, yours, and hopefully everybody was, was happy with, with the, with what we did.

[00:25:49] Steve Fretzin: But, um, but I’d love to hear your take on, on, you’ve been doing this a lot longer than me too, by the way. So, you know, kudos to you and, and talk, talk to us a little bit about what’s a, what is a peer advisory group for, for lawyers and what’s the value?

[00:26:01] Marcia Wasserman: Well, the intent, at least from my perspective is leadership and management best practices.

[00:26:07] Marcia Wasserman: Particularly the, the people that come to my group are in small to midsize and boutique law firms exclusively. Some of them are multi office, some aren’t, and they want to be able to openly share information with one another. Whether it’s using the list as a listserv because they need a mediator and they have three names and they don’t know any of them.

[00:26:34] Marcia Wasserman: And maybe someone in the group does, and somebody’s looking for new accounting software and three people will pipe up and go, Oh, we just bought an installed coyote. It’s great. Or we have this one and it’s horrible. And so they’re there to support one another. And my job is to try to keep them. Not on the bleeding edge, but at least well acquainted with best practice.

[00:27:00] Marcia Wasserman: It’s a passion of mine. It’s my way of paying it forward. So I care about it very, very much. And I think that comes through in the meetings. And, and we, we talk about AI, we talk about retention. You came and talked to us about networking, and that was great. I try to include younger lawyers occasionally in some of the meetings and some of the meetings I include their legal administrators and COOs because that’s an interesting dynamic when they’re in the same space sharing information with one another and there’s a lot they need to know and I try my best.

[00:27:39] Marcia Wasserman: We do a book club that’s a leadership or management book club once a year also so that I make sure that they have the tools that they need. And they have the support of other people if they’re going through a crisis, we periodically have a what keeps you up at night meeting. And if somebody’s going through a difficult time, they share with the group and people give them feedback.

[00:28:02] Marcia Wasserman: And that’s been incredibly helpful to some of the members.

[00:28:05] Steve Fretzin: Yeah, I mean, my groups are more growth oriented, but what happens is we have to get in all the stuff that you’ve talked about for the last 30 minutes. Like, it’s like, we want to talk about growth and getting that managing partner or that rainmaker out to do it.

[00:28:18] Steve Fretzin: And then it comes back to, hey, here’s all the things that are going on, keeping me from where I need to be, which is out building business. And so, you know, that’s where, you know, I bring in a lot of experts. Like, I’d love to bring you in, Marsha. And I bring in, I brought in Ben Grimes and, um, and folks that deal in finance and folks that deal in health and wellness and just like anything around helping lawyers to be their best versions.

[00:28:43] Steve Fretzin: And, um, I try to, you know, ask them too, like, who do you want me to bring in? Like what kinds of, of experts? And so that, that helps. But I think to have a, a group, a confidential group that you can meet with and share what’s going on and share best practices and, and, and learn from each other. And you know, it’s just stuff that you’re not comfortable necessarily talking to someone.

[00:29:03] Steve Fretzin: At your firm about, uh, right. You’re, if there’s a weakness or something where you’re feeling un insecure, not necessarily something you wanna share with, with every, you know, as a leader, you know, with every, although that could be okay, but I’m just, you know, I’m putting it out there.

[00:29:16] Marcia Wasserman: Yeah. I mean, the biggest, one of the biggest problems they all have, and all lawyers have is the big D word, delegation.

[00:29:23] Marcia Wasserman: They would find more time if they’d be willing to let go. And uh, that was part of why. I co wrote lawyers as managers for the ABA and we have a section delegated, designated rather to delegation because lawyers have a hard time doing that. It’s managing partners think they have to solve it all and handle it all and they would be much more effective if they didn’t.

[00:29:49] Marcia Wasserman: And yeah, firms have managers, they have non lawyer managers may well have an MBA and be better off the business side and they could delegate a lot more. to them than they do. That was another reason I left the big law world because you have the ability to do things and then you don’t have the authority to do it.

[00:30:13] Marcia Wasserman: A lot more fun doing it the way I do it.

[00:30:16] Steve Fretzin: Right, right. Well, we make our own rules, which is, which is, which is the best. Awesome stuff, Marsha. Let’s wrap things up with your Game Changing Booker podcast. In this particular case, it’s Game Changing Book. And it’s called Measure What Matters. And can you talk a little bit about that book and why it matters?

[00:30:34] Marcia Wasserman: Sure. And John Doerr, who wrote it, is a venture capitalist. He came out of Intel many years ago. And it, what’s great about the book is it provides a framework, a structure for measuring goals and objectives and key results. And lawyers are not good at that. Doing things within frameworks and it helps you accomplish goals that you have by your overarching goal and then breaking it down into smaller ones and then making things measurable and people accountable.

[00:31:07] Marcia Wasserman: And I came across the book because a client of mine managing part of a law firm read it and said, I want to put this in our law firm. So read the book. And then I worked with him and another. Consultant that works on that client with me, and we rolled out. Okay. Ours were the first time in that firm several years ago, and they’re still doing it at the team level to support the strategic plan and the strategies of management in that firm, and it moves them along and they’re much more successful at whatever their goals are.

[00:31:46] Marcia Wasserman: They came up with dollars in the door people want. Firing people, progressing, developing people, all of those things, they’ve had them as goals and they’ve hit a lot of their targets really, really well because they focused on it. So that’s why I like the book. It isn’t nebulous. It gives you something concrete to

[00:32:10] Steve Fretzin: work with.

[00:32:10] Steve Fretzin: All right. Wonderful. Great stuff. So everybody check out that book, Measure What Matters. As we wrap up, I want to thank, of course, our sponsors. One of them is Overture, who’s fantastic for ethical fee sharing. If you’re interested in Making money and getting money based on, uh, on the, the platform that they’ve, that they’ve worked out, which seems to be amazing.

[00:32:30] Steve Fretzin: We’ve got Money Penny, who’s taking the phone trees and, uh, the full time receptionist off your back and giving you that virtual option. And then of course, Get Visible, who’s helping everybody on the digital side to market, put their best foot forward. And, uh, Jason Cement was on the show a couple shows ago, talking about partnerships and, man, he’s, he’s just killing it for me every day.

[00:32:50] Steve Fretzin: And so I appreciate Jason and the folks over at Get Visible. And if you’re interested in checking out my first book, Sales Free Selling, it’s still a freebie. Uh, that you can check out by going to my website, bretson. com slash, uh, sales dash free dash selling, and you can pick up that copy of that ebook.

[00:33:08] Steve Fretzin: No problem at all. Marcia, thank you so much. If people want to get in touch with you, they want to be either in a round table, they want to understand, like, have you come in as their management consultant, you know, how, how do they get in touch with you?

[00:33:20] Marcia Wasserman: It can go to my website, comprehensive Management Solutions, Inc.

[00:33:25] Marcia Wasserman: Or they can email me at emma

[00:33:32] Steve Fretzin: Yes. And all of that will be in the show notes. So if you didn’t have a pen to write that down, you can just look at your phone. That’s the easy way to go. Thank you so much. I mean, you’re just amazing. Everything that, you know, I’ve observed from you from the time we met at the co advisors, coaches and consultants to today has been, been far beyond any expectation of, of just someone that’s really helping the legal industry that’s making a big difference.

[00:33:57] Steve Fretzin: And you’ve been terrific to me and I hope that we can continue to. Figure out ways to collaborate, um, but, uh, just thank you so much. I look

[00:34:04] Marcia Wasserman: forward to it, and thank you for having me on, I appreciate it. Yeah,

[00:34:09] Steve Fretzin: yeah, it’s my pleasure. Listen, I’m the, I’m the one who gets treated, so. Uh, and thank you everybody for spending some time with Marsha and I today.

[00:34:15] Steve Fretzin: Didn’t, you didn’t get some takeaways from this or didn’t really learn about law firm, you know, culture and management and comp and all the different things that we covered today. You weren’t really paying attention. So listen to it again. No, you don’t have to do that, but really take, you know, the advice that an expert’s giving you and really consider, you know, getting some help to, You know, make your law firm really work in, in, in a smooth way and, and that’s what this is all about.

[00:34:38] Steve Fretzin: You know, you ultimately want to be that lawyer, someone who’s confident, organized and a skilled rainmaker. Take care, everybody. Be safe, be well, and we will talk again so very soon.

[00:34:52] Narrator: 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. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.