How to Build the Right Support Staff to Achieve Peak Profitability with Brett Trembly
May 25, 2023
There is only so much an independent lawyer running their own practice can do. Although feasible, your limited time and business expertise hold you back from achieving maximum profitability. Stacking workload from multiple responsibilities means fewer clients served and increased chances of oversight. Missed calls, lack of rapport, and collections issues can all contribute to a loss in profit. What you need is to hire key administrative staff to reduce workload.
The optimal setup for a law firm has lawyers focused on legal work. This frees up time for more clients and ensures efficiency to unlock peak profitability.
In this episode, Brett Trembly joins us to discuss his new book, 24 Months to Freedom: How Modern Law Firms Use Smarter Staffing Solutions to Fast-Track Their Way to Success. He explores how you can resolve the issues a solo lawyer faces by building a support team. Brett also highlights the benefits of hiring offshore talent.
If you are considering support staffing solutions to boost your profitability, then this episode is for you.
Here are three reasons why you should listen to this episode
- Discover the liberated lawyer lifestyle with offshore staffing solutions.
- Learn the seven key roles to fill in a law firm.
- Understand that your law firm’s inventory is your staff and available hours.
24 Months to Freedom: Towards the Liberated Lawyer Lifestyle
- Lawyers desire to reach a level of freedom where they can make decisions out of confidence and facts. The burden of a heavy workload with no support puts you in a place of fear.
- Hiring and training a support team can decrease your workload, allowing you to focus on legal duties.
- Brett established the foundations of a profitable business while leading both his law firm and Get Staffed Up to success. But it isn’t easy.
Brett: “You can’t skip steps when it comes to training people and building a team. As your team gets bigger and bigger, then the people you hired and trained two years ago, now they can start training your team.”
- There are seven roles to fill when building a support team.
- Brett’s book is for up-and-coming lawyers who operate alone or with a small team of 1-2 individuals.
The Business of Law Firms
- The fundamental business of a law firm is the same as any other business: to sell a service. A lawyer’s inventory is human capital.
Moshe: “Your inventory is your people. It’s the number of hours available — it doesn’t have to be the lawyer’s hours. There [are] a lot of other functions that happen. And it’s all a package that you’re selling to your clients.”
- Solo attorneys have limited inventory in legal services because they also have to answer calls, generate leads, and bill clients, among other tasks.
- Growing your inventory means having more of people’s time to sell.
- Establish a team of assistants and administrative staff depending on the needs of your business.
Moshe: “As long as you are holding on to all of those other roles that assistants are doing, you’re limiting the capability of your firm to produce peak profitability.”
How to Avoid Missed Opportunities
- The first role you need to fill is that of an executive assistant. You can boost your profitability from just one hire.
Brett: “If you don’t have an assistant, you are an assistant. And that’s the fastest way to free up a good chunk of your time.”
- Your second hire will be a receptionist. They will handle incoming calls and inquiries. They will forward the call to an intake specialist when necessary.
- The 2020 Clio Legal Trends report showed that many lawyers miss opportunities because they cannot answer or respond to potential client phone calls.
Moshe: “One of the easiest ways to differentiate myself from the competition is to simply answer the phone.”
Lead Generation and Retention Roles
- The third key role is a marketing assistant. They are in charge of lead generation strategies, like newsletters and events.
- The fourth role, an intake specialist, is in charge of filtering clients and referrals. They also schedule appointments.
Brett: “When we do anything other than legal work [like answer phone calls], we’re giving the impression that we’re not in demand. Our time is easy to come by, therefore, we must be really crappy lawyers.”
- The intake specialist works with the receptionist to provide a positive over-the-phone experience for potential clients. They also create a good impression for the lawyers.
- Offshore hires are a cheaper solution if you have a tighter budget. Furthermore, unique personalities can contribute to the charm of a business.
Billing and Collections Issues
Brett: “Billing is the bane of most lawyers’ existence. We just sit on hundreds of thousands of dollars of accounts receivable that we don’t send invoices for, or we don’t track properly.”
- The fifth role, a billing clerk, is in charge of collections and invoices.
- Clients can give you a hard time regarding fees. A billing clerk can help you avoid dealing with those issues by acting as a middleman.
Moshe: “The billing clerk could care less. They don’t have a relationship with the client. They don’t have answers to any questions the client has. All they know is: ‘you have an outstanding invoice, and I’m calling you to collect it.’”
- Billing clerks can ensure you are staying on top of retainer replacements.
- Having a support team also avoids the need for discounts due to mismanagement of time on service.
Keeping Yourself and Clients Comfortable
- The sixth role, a legal assistant or paralegal, is tasked with legal support work. This includes research, drawing up contracts, among other tasks.
- You can train legal assistants to become very reliable. Sometimes, all you will need to do is sign the papers.
- The seventh and final role is the happiness coordinator. They make your firm stand out
- They are also in charge of keeping up relationships with clients.
Brett: “There’s so many little things you can do to stand out that’s going to create raving fans and make people refer to your business.”
Brett Trembly is the CEO and co-founder of Get Staffed Up, a company that helps lawyers find smart staffing solutions towards delegating their way to freedom. His second book, 24 Months to Freedom, paves the groundwork for building the right support team necessary for a law firm to unlock peak profitability.
Brett is also the founding partner of Trembly Law Firm, where his legal team currently consists of over 40 staff, including over 10 attorneys. He is also a former president of the Miami Kendall Bar Association and former Vice-Chair of the Florida Bar 11th Circuit Grievance Committee. Furthermore, Brett is a three-time Super Lawyers Rising Star in Florida and was named a Super Lawyers for the past 2 years.
Connect with Brett on LinkedIn.
Looking to build a support team for your business? Connect with Get Staffed Up on their website, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. You may also call (866) 763-4405.
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