Power of Attorney

Are you ready to take control of your career? Your profession? Your life? Step back and take a look at the current state of the legal profession. It’s a troubling sight. Never have so many attorneys felt so disillusioned with their careers.

That’s because many of us get into the profession for the challenge, the esteem, and the ability to make a great living fighting for truth, justice and the American way. But once we graduate law school, we learn that there’s a whole other side to the legal profession—lessons never learned in Civil Procedure or moot court. Some call it the 20/80 Rule, whereby 20% of attorneys earn 80% of the income, and enjoy 80% of the perks and lifestyle benefits. What does that leave for the majority of lawyers? A life of grinding. Working 60 hours a week in nothing more than the darkened coal mines of billable hours.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t have to accept the current state of affairs in the practice of law. And that’s what coaching is all about.

Building Personal and Professional Success
4 Lawyers Only is dedicated to showing attorneys in vivid, real-life detail how they can change themselves, their practices and their profession in order to achieve their goals. For some of us, those goals are more about income than self-actualization. And for you 4 Lawyers Only will help you understand how to earn more money by gaining a deeper understanding of marketing, including how to use the seminal rules of marketing to attract that ideal client—those who will propel your career forward.

I would like to introduce you to Maria—a woman who has referred millions of dollars to my firm and helped us grow by leaps and bounds. Amazingly, Maria doesn’t know the first thing about law, advertising or marketing. She doesn’t even hold a college degree.

Yet, she knows something every lawyer should know—how to extract opportunity from a community. In fact, Maria is a lightning rod for uncovering the legal needs of people in her community and connecting them with those who can help. In the marketing section you will learn how an errant pitch at the opening day of a minor league baseball game introduced me to Maria, and why she—and hundreds of other very special people like her—are so important to marketing your firm.

Balancing Personal and Professional Success
But it’s not all about making money. Coaching is also about achieving more balance and success in your personal life. During weekly coaching calls you will learn how to create a road map for personal success and which benchmarks you must pass in order to find a richer, more fulfilling life. Today’s lawyers are wracked with anguish, in fact, a study conducted by Johns Hopkins University found that lawyers have a higher incidence of depression than any other profession. And a 1999 National Law Journal survey of the nation’s 250 largest law firms reported an average of 18.5% of associates at those firms left for another profession. It can’t be that we’re not making enough money. After all, lawyers as a class generated billions of dollars of revenue in 2008 alone. Rather, it’s more about yourself, where you want to be in life, what you want to accomplish and how you can get there.

Welcome to My Life
At this point, you must be asking, who am I to give this advice? First, I am the author of “The Power of Attorney”, a book all my coaching clients receive and I am committed to sharing with the legal community the techniques needed to find personal and professional success. I share these techniques one on one as detailed in my book. These are the very techniques I have applied to my own law practice, transforming it from a storefront office located in a former barbershop to one of the largest worker's compensation firm in the state of Pennsylvania, one that grossed more than $22 million in sales last year.

But the money has only been a means to an end. That end includes a dream lifestyle, one that allows me to work only 20 hours a week, taking only those cases that I care to litigate. The rest of the time, I pursue my true love: uncovering the tenets of legal success and helping others apply them to their own careers and profession. That is why I began coaching lawyers, to broaden the message and expand my own boundaries on the road to achieving my own goals for the second half of my life.

Please Join Me…
Interested in coming along? Please accept our invitation for a FREE one- hour coaching session with Samy and me. We will uncover strategies for marketing and growing your professional and personal lives through real-life stories of success--like the Maria story. If you are interested in maintaining a constant inflow of revealing success strategies, I invite you to sign up for the FREE coaching session and welcome any feedback that you might have.

—Larry Levin

Everything I Know About Marketing I Learned From Maria

Everyone knows the story of Paul Revere. He roused a nation to action by riding horseback through the countryside yelling, “The British are coming!” But as author Malcolm Gladwell recounts in his book, “The Tipping Point,” there was another rider that same night who took off through the countryside. While Revere headed northwest with his message, William Dawes headed southwest with the same communiqué. And while Revere was remarkably successful in delivering his message, Dawes was so ineffective that no one even remembers his name.

Discovering Connectors In the Community
How could two riders with the same message end up with such different results? To understand this, you have to meet Maria. If you read the introduction to this newsletter, then you know that Maria has been personally responsible for referring millions of dollars of business to my worker's compensation firm over the years.

Now, if you meet Maria, you would be...well, unimpressed. She is a simple, common woman of neither affluence nor education. In fact, she is plain in appearance and personality.

You probably know hundreds of people just like her. But while Maria lacks sophistication, she is a powerful force in one small corner of the world. You see, in her universe—a Hispanic community in a small town—Maria holds a very special status. It’s not a status conferred by wealth, power or money. Rather, Maria is what’s known in marketing as a connector. You see, within every community, inside every network and group of individuals, there are special people who serve to bind that community together. They don’t have to be the most powerful, or ironically, the most well known. Rather, these individuals are often responsible for introducing one person to another and then somehow keeping that relationship alive over time.
Think of them as collectors of people. You know the type—the person who always knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who can unstop a drain, help you get a great table at a top restaurant or who is simply dying to meet you. They collect. And their collections are of people, just like you might collect memorabilia, cars or stamps.

Connecting to the Community
But collections are only part of their magic. You see, these individuals, maybe because they aren’t the most powerful or wealthy, also have tremendous access. And that access isn’t just to the wealthy or influential. Their access is to a broad spectrum of people. Take the case of Paul Revere. The reason his message resonated, and William Dawes’ flopped, was because Revere had access to every level of society in Boston. As a silversmith, he served the most influential bluebloods in town—and he sold them very easily. But he was also a revolutionary, who dealt with schemers, plotters and some would say terrorists—although today we think of them as patriots!

So get it? When William Dawes was out there simply broadcasting “The redcoats are coming!” in the night sky, Paul Revere knew exactly whose door to knock on—those that would listen and respond to the message and continue spreading the word. Because he was a connector, his message resonated up and down the chain of contacts he had built as a businessman, a patriot and man about town!

Which brings us back to Maria. Amazingly, I met Maria at the opening day game of a minor league baseball team. My firm sponsored the team, and I was given the privilege of throwing out the first pitch. Well, 20 years of lawyering had taken its toll on my pitching arm. The ball skipped off the grass and veered to the left, hitting the manager right between the legs.
He doubled over in pain. Most lawyers would have been humiliated. I laughed, ran to help him and then tongue-in-cheek offered my card, “You have a winnable worker’s comp case,” I joked.
Believe it or not, later in the game, a courier came to my seat with a note from the manager. He wanted to talk to me after the game. It seems some of the Hispanic ballplayers on his team needed legal representation. Before I could meet with them, however, I had to call their de facto community representative (more like mother hen). Guess who? Maria.

I Can Help…
She met with me for about an hour that first time. I realized quickly that this woman knew everyone and everything Hispanic in the town. Before the end of the meeting, she was opening her Rolodex telling me whom to talk with. Maria, you see, worked at the local hospital, so she saw many patients that needed medical malpractice help. She was also friends with the area’s only two Hispanic chiropractors, a great source of worker’s comp cases. Her connections at the minor league baseball team allowed her to meet up-and-coming Hispanic baseball stars that also needed legal advice.

One Day, Maria introduced me to a local Pastor, Father Mike. Whenever I was in the area I made a point of stopping in to see Father Mike. During one of my visits he mentioned that many of his parishioners were struggling and probably could not afford to celebrate the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Our law firm purchased Turkeys and all the trimmings and gave them to Father Mike so that he could provide for his congregation. Since that time we have formed a close bond with Father Mike and many of his congregants. Because of Maria and Father Mike many of his congregants are now clients.

You see, like Paul Revere, Maria was a connector and influencer. She interfaced daily with doctors, businesspeople and community leaders as easily as she did with migrant workers. She knew everyone who was anyone in town. They trusted and loved her.
And for that, Maria taught me everything I know about networking, referrals and marketing.

Finding Your Maria
How about yourself? Who are the connectors in your life? Take this test…on a piece of paper, list as many of the people as you know. List the names randomly on the page—not in a single line. Then, start connecting them with lines. How do you know Joanne? Through Bob? And how do you know Bob? Through Hunt? You will find that many of these lines lead back to a single person—that one unique individual, a collector and connector.

Now, stop and think. What markets do you want to penetrate? Maybe it’s a labor union. Or perhaps a chamber of commerce? What about a non-profit support group for a chronic disease? Start your analysis. Who is the connector within this network? Who could help you advance your cause within these communities, carry your banner and refer you to others inside the community? Who is the Paul Revere? Who is the Maria that can help you unlock case flow and attract the ideal client to you?