Hire, Acquire, and Inspire: Law Firm Leadership with Ross Albers
Jul 01, 2021
Scaling your law firm is not a walk in the park. You need to expend a lot of effort and sacrifices to successfully build your business based on your vision. Fortunately, there are various ways you can scale your business. And today, we have someone who can shed more light on an alternative method you may choose to explore: law firm mergers and acquisitions.
In this episode, Ross Albers, CEO of Albers & Associates, tells us how he grew his law firm by acquiring and merging with other businesses like his. He shares the things he learned from law firm mergers and acquisitions. Finally, Ross discusses the processes and ideas to help you scale your business.
If you want to know more about growing your law firm through mergers and acquisitions, then tune in to this episode.
Here are three reasons why you should listen to this episode
- Discover how law firm mergers and acquisitions can help you scale your business.
- Learn the process behind acquiring law firms successfully.
- Get to know the in-betweens of law firm acquisitions.
- Ross’s first job was at an insurance company where he worked with attorneys to litigate claims.
- But after a while, he realized that he didn’t want to spend his whole life in that kind of profession. Because of this, he decided to enter law school.
- After graduating from law school, Ross worked shortly as a prosecutor at the City of Baltimore. He then joined a small law firm.
- Unfortunately, Ross was fired at that law firm. At that point, he decided to build his law firm, which became Albers & Associates.
Ross: “I think the issue and problem that most people have is they never recognize, never fully understand that—like you started a law firm, you started a business. Your responsibility is to be the leader of that company, not to be the nine to five attorney.”
Stages of Growth in Ross’s Law Firm
- Ross started by hiring a few people to help him with his work.
Ross: “It just came down to just learning those concepts in order for me to earn more, work less, and live a richer life. I needed people, and I had to do that with and through other people.”
- He realized that to scale fully, he had to focus on hiring, acquiring, and inspiring.
- The next stage for Ross after that is to develop himself as a leader of his team.
- As part of his continuous growth, Ross develops his sense of accountability.
- This translates to finding the right people for his team.
Taking Action and Making Decisions
- Ross believes that one of his weaknesses is his tendency to make decisions without thinking things through.
- Some people never get past the hurdle of making decisions and taking action.
- They become stuck in indecision which affects the growth of their business.
Moshe: “I'd rather do something and find out it was the wrong thing than not do anything at all because at least I was trying.”
- One way to address this problem of being stuck in indecision is to constantly review your goals with yourself and your team.
- Make sure that everyone is going in the same direction.
Being Intentional with Your Time
- Ross says that everyone must be intentional with their time.
- You have to block your activities in your calendar.
- Focus your time and efforts on fulfilling these activities.
- Ross learned that his growing checklist is built, created, and modified as he encounters failures and shortcomings in his business.
Ross: “If you're never going to try, then you're never going to fail, which means you're never going to learn what works and what doesn't.”
- Many people have this self-limiting belief about encountering failure. However, failing is key to learning and self-development.
Implementation and Becoming Successful
- Ross believes that to implement changes in your business, you have to hire coaches or consultants to hold you accountable.
- He also mentions that business owners should be relentless in reading books about business, leadership, sales, and management. In this way, you can expand your knowledge.
- Those who become successful in their businesses implement what they learned.
Ross: “Knowledge is not power. Knowledge put into action is power.”
On Law Firm Mergers and Acquisitions
- Acquiring law firms as a growth strategy is an idea given to Ross by his coach.
- Ross says that you have to talk to many attorneys and law firms to find people who will accept his team’s proposals.
- They offer a succession plan for attorneys who want to retire early or those who have health issues. If they roll over to Ross’s law firm, the cases they cannot handle will be properly taken over.
- You just have to be creative in giving them a reason to join your law firm. The reasons you’ll give should not always be about offering a large sum of money.
- If you’re targeting someone you think would be a great prospect, you should ask them what it would take to merge. Then, build your way from that point.
Ross: “The other things I've learned along the way, too, is to ask people what they want. ‘What writing you want? How does this look to you?’ And don't go to them and tell them, this is how it works.”
Structures of Payment for Merging Law Firms
- Ross says that each law firm is structured differently.
- You should meet with your team every 90 days and question them what works and what does not.
- Meeting them keeps everyone on the right track.
Ross: “So as much as you know, my growth has been through, you know, trying to hire and acquire clients. A lot of it is also in the inspiring accountability portion, trying to understand what my people want and helping them achieve it. And the only way you do that is by having conversations [and asking].”
What the Work in Acquisitions Looks Like
- Ross’s law firm is segmented into different departments that work independently of each other.
- They all meet at the end of the week to assess their current status in terms of clients, revenue, and goals, among others.
- For Ross, making these different departments meet at the end of the week is very important.
Integration Between Merging Law Firms
- Ross says that it’s a slow integration.
- You need to look at the established practices by both firms before the acquisition.
- Then, you need to look at the things that can be adopted.
- Through mergers, Ross’s business has eliminated and adopted practices, policies, and procedures.
- It is important as well to show the vision to everyone, including the support staff. Let them know that you’ll help them achieve their personal goals as well.
Ross: “But I think there's folks out there that see the value as, you know what, [in] combining forces, if we're working well together, we'll just be far greater. And we’ll ultimately get what we want, which is to earn more, work less, and live a richer life.”
Sales Process in Law Firm Mergers and Acquisitions
- In Ross’s business, the Sales Team serves as the Virtual Receptionist.
- They make sure that their clients are being scheduled on appointments with an attorney or paralegal—depending on what case they have.
- The sales process is not just about the first initial meeting; it’s about the follow-up.
- It’s essential to build a relationship and connect with the other party.
Ross Albers is a dedicated attorney whose goal is to hire, acquire, and inspire people around him. He has experience in Personal Injury Law, Criminal Defense Law, DUI Law, Divorce and Family Law, and Estate Planning Law. After the setback of getting fired from his previous job at a firm, he got motivated to establish his law firm.
Currently, Ross is the CEO of Albers & Associates. This firm is located in Maryland and specializes in Personal Injury, DUI/DWI, Criminal Law, and Family Law. His company also has a highly qualified legal team that could help you with your legal concerns.
If you wish to learn more about Ross, you can connect with him through his LinkedIn. You can also check out Albers & Associates’ website to learn more about the services they offer.
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