99. Bob Simon, Justice HQ Collaboration before Competition

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When Bob Simon started his own law firm over a decade ago, he came across a number of obstacles that any solo practitioner or small firm would recognize. Having overcome these barriers and gone on to build the incredibly successful Simon Law Group, Bob was adamant to help others on their own journeys, and so he co-founded Justice HQ.

This membership-based organization encourages collaboration over competition, and arms solo practitioners and small firms with all the resources and support they need to compete at the same level as large practices.

In this episode, Bob and I talk about the transformative work of Justice HQ, the marketing strategies of the Justice team, as well as Bobs experience both as an attorney and a business owner.

Whats In This Episode?

  • Who is Bob Simon?
  • What improvements would Bob like to see in legal education and training?
  • Why is collaboration so key to the success of small and solo practices?
  • In what ways can Justice HQ assist small firms?
  • How has Covid accelerated the need for technological innovation within the legal industry?
  • Why does Bob value working with family so highly, and what benefits does he see in doing so?
  • What approach does the Justice Team take towards marketing, and how do projects such as Bourbon of Proof come to fruition?

Transcript

Bob Simon

When I went on my own, this was about 2010, 2009. It was much more expensive and much more difficult than it is now.

Chris Dreyer

Just because you’re a solo practitioner doesn’t mean you have to be alone. If you ask those at Justice HQ, they’ll tell you collaboration is key.

Bob Simon

Fast forward to 2020 when we opened our first doors at Justice HQ in downtown LA, it was a thought process of let’s eliminate all the bullshit that the lawyers have to deal with. Give them mentorship paths, access to cases, help them with their media to get more cases, teach them to be specialists in their space, and do it as one big collective.

Chris Dreyer

You’re listening to Personal Injury Mastermind, the show where elite personal injury attorneys and leading edge marketers give you exclusive access to growth strategies for your firm. Bob Simon is one hell of a success story. Having started his own practice just three years out of law school, he now runs the ever-growing Simon Law Group, and has won his clients over $100 million dollars. On his journey to success though, Bob saw several issues in the legal world that he was determined to address. And so, set on modernizing the industry and bulldozing the barriers to entry for small firms and solo practitioners, Bob co-founded Justice HQ, which provides all the resources needed to scale a practice. Bob and I discussed a whole range of topics in this chat from the shortcomings of law school, to the creation of Bob’s podcast series Bourbon of Proof. I’m your host, Chris Dreyer, founder and CEO of rankings.IO. We help elite personal injury attorneys dominate first page rankings with search engine optimization. An important first step for any lawyer is to really understand the people around them, so let’s get to know our guest. Here’s Bob Simon, owner of the Simon Law Group and co-founder of Justice HQ.

Bob Simon

So I first decided to become a lawyer, this is back in the early nineties. I was born in 80. I’m still an eighties baby. My dad’s uncle, who is really his age cause we’re a big Irish Catholic family. So my grandma’s one of 12 she’s one of the oldest, he was one of youngest. Was my dad’s same age, but he was his uncle. Whatever we’re all good friends with him and his kids are my cousins, second cousins, whatever. But he was hit by a drunk driver, paralyzed, and we were all working blue class families. And to see somebody catastrophically injured and they’re trying to blame him, all this crazy bullshit. I saw his lawyer fight for him and they ended up selling that trial, settling midway through trial. And they were able to set up his family with dignity, respect that he was able to have some quality life right, provide for his family. And my cousins were able to get trusts set up for them so that they can go off to college. And it was just eye-opening to see what happens whenever you have somebody catastrophically that’s the breadwinner in the family. And how can it affect everybody? Not just your intermediate family, but everybody around you. So, I’ve always wanted to fight for the little man, little woman, little people, and that was at the start of my journey. So after that I was like fuck it, man, I’m going to go to. I always eventually want to do politics. People laugh at me, but whatever. When I go to DC, learn how to be a lawyer, get into trial practice, help injured victims. And then eventually when I don’t have to be holden to anybody and have enough financial security, I will become president of the United States. But that’s a very lofty goal. We’ll discuss that later.

Chris Dreyer

I love it. We’ll have to boost this so it’s at the top, when you’re running for president. That story. That’s such a powerful story and it really imprints on, emotionally, and I’ve always heard the opposite. Hey, someone worked with an attorney and, they weren’t giving it their full effort and maybe they just didn’t represent the family members or the parties as best as they could. But you did you have the opposite experience? You actually had a really good advocate.

Bob Simon

Yeah. A hundred percent the opposite experience and growing up the only lawyer that we really knew was a lawyer on TV. This guy called Edgar Schneider, and he’s still around, man. He’s still doing all the PI commercials in Pittsburgh and he say, I don’t get money unless I get money for you. So people take for granted that as a lawyer, being in our lawyer spaces, that we all know a lawyer, right. It’s not true though. Most people just do not. Like growing up did not. I remember the first lawyer I ever physically met, I like put his business card in my pocket and I was like, dude, I’ll call this guy for anything. I don’t even know what the fuck he did, but I having a good experience initially with that lawyer, I think change the trajectory. If they know if there’s a bad experience, maybe it might’ve been a little different. Or maybe if it was a bad experience, I might have said I wanna be a better lawyer because that was such a bad experience.

Chris Dreyer

My next question, you’re leaning into a little bit you’re leading me to is, and I know you’re super passionate about this. And I saw, I think I saw Tik Tok video on it. Law school doesn’t prepare you to go out to the business world, so what are some of those things that, that law school just doesn’t prepare attorneys for?

Bob Simon

Yeah. In real life, look, I learned a crap load at law school. I remember going to law school the first semester and be like, dude, I learned more than I did all of college in high school. But they teach you the basics and all the things that you’ll never use. Like trigonometry and calculus in high school. Like we don’t really ever use that, but it’s good to get your brain thinking a different way, but I think that law school could be the first year as it is all the basics, get all your brain move in the right way. And then after that, it should be apprenticeship. It should be preparing you just to pass the bar and that should be it learning how to practice, learning how to actually get out there and do watching very observation, learning to run your own practice. Having business school type atmosphere where you can learn. Look, if I want to start going from here’s what you got to do, finding mentor, but I actually think law school is way too freaking expensive. I mean, to put me in a big financial debt going out. It makes you not go with what you’re passionate about doing. If you wanted to go into just civic service and to helping indigent people that doesn’t pay a lot, right? You can’t really do that if you’re carrying 150, 200 K in law school debt. So I honestly believe Chris. This is a wild concept. I think law school should be free. I think there’s a lot of people out there that are willing to give up their time. People like me and others that can teach even online classes help you pass the baby bar. Like here in California, you don’t have to take the bar. I mean, you don’t have to go to a college or even a law school. You could take the baby bar having an apprenticeship. And I think that is the best path right out the gate to be a great lawyer, to really help people because you understand how to do things. And it gives everybody the opportunity regardless of your financial status to be able to do. Then you have a network coming in. If you have all your quote-unquote professors and these, your classmates that are the same type of person that had the same type of drive, I think it just changes the trajectory. But yeah, I mean, that’s my wild thought for the day.

Chris Dreyer

I’ll say I had Patricia Ruffo on and I was asking her questions about, so what I’m hearing is, are you like, are you on the advocate side of in Arizona and I think Utah it’s Hey, you don’t have to go to law school, or are you saying to become an attorney, then you get like venture capital in, are you saying, Hey, go to law school, but let’s change it up the game.

Bob Simon

I think go to Law school and change the game or to change the game that you’re in law school. I think that it’s very dangerous to have folks not trained lawyers or have that apprenticeship for that qualification to be able to advocate for clients. Now look, you can, in limited fashions, I think it’s okay. And look, I’m a huge fan of technology and having it must be embraced into our practices because it cuts the overhead significantly for lawyers, which that means it doesn’t bleed on to clients. It can be way more efficient. You could . Handle more. You can do a lot more for your clients. So I’m a big believer in technology. I think that there should be a perfect marriage between the tech and VC world and still having the attorneys do all the legal work and be the real advocates. But I do think that we should embrace it and I think it will fit the hole in the market and my opinion of you know right now, the lawyers that people are seeing that consumers are not the best lawyers and they’re advertising themselves as having all of these credentials. And I’m the best of the best. I’m the best trial lawyer of all these results. And then it’s not even fucking true. Like they ended up just being middleman or sending those cases out and just run it like a chop shop. Right. So there may be a way if you can figure it out with big tech and the VCs and such, for them to be able to be ethical and advertising and what’s going to happen. And then to have the real lawyers that are the best in their spaces, the specialist and their spaces work on them. So, and that’s kinda the vision of how I started this journey with Justice HQ to concept maybe three years ago, two years ago with kind of that in mind. I think that these solo specialists and small firms are going to be the ones that win the day. I think that when the battle over the big firms, because they’re just done to be, there’ll be irrelevant. Technology will evaporate them. But yeah, that’s it, in a nutshell.

Chris Dreyer

In March of 2020, Bob, his brother Brad, and their marketing director Theresa Diep launched Justice HQ, providing both the virtual and physical community in which small firms and solo practitioners could share resources, advice and cases. I asked Bob how his own experiences shaped his decision to form Justice HQ.

Bob Simon

When I started my own firm, I was about three years out of law school saved enough money, not a ton of money, tried a couple of cases. And it was just that, well, fuck it. Moment. Who cares? What’s the worst thing that could fail. You go back work for another firm who cares. But I always had the ambition. I don’t like being told what to do, or like working for myself, blah, blah, blah, blah. But when I went on my own, this was about 2010, 2009. It was much more expensive and much more difficult than it is now. So, I had at least an office that was like 1700 bucks a month. LA is expensive and it was a single office. It was me. I hired my little brother out of college. We had a copier scanner in my office and that copier scanner plus that office space alone was like two grand a month. Right? In fact, in all the other stuff, like I was probably paying 3 to 4,000 a month just into like base overhead before you were talking about profitability and such, and it weighs you down, half our day was scanning the mail I believed in paperless back then. Scanning it, naming it, put it where it needs to go happening into systems. It was just so archaic and it took so much time. So fast forward to 2020 when we opened our first doors of Justice HQ in downtown. Now scaling quickly, but it was a thought process of that’s eliminate all the bullshit that the lawyers have to deal with. Give them mentorship paths, access to cases, help them with their media to get more cases, teach them to be specialists in their space, and do it as one big collective, however, everybody’s independent. So every member of Justice HQ has their own firm or part of a firm. We have premier members like mine. There’s about four of us that pay a lot of money to be members of the club. We get about 10 memberships and other vendors. So that takes care of like firms like mine now are ones that are sending in a lot of cases. There are case exchange to the members they’re outsourcing work either on cases or outright of a case that comes in some of the members that are there are, do a, generate a lot of business and like to refer it out for a percentage, Justice HQ exchange makes it really easy to do that. So. The concept was born. Hey, what product would I have needed 10 years ago that would have accelerated my career exponentially. Give me a quality life. Be able to stay home and practice most of the time. And then that’s what we created. If all the lawyers are look for a base membership is 700 a month, right? It’s also our office based solution. All members get 24 7 access to all of our spaces, their media solution. We do all of that. Media headshots help with their social media, do all their plugs, teach them how to brand themselves, teach them how to use, here’s the company use for SEO. This is how other people do it. This is not to set up your website to maximize it. This is how you write blogs has your mentorship. We have all of the big trial lawyers like myself, Gary Dordick, Chris Dolan. And these are all people that are part of this community that are on virtual chat rooms and live in a spaces to help them mentorship process. And they’re, it’s all consumer advocates. You have to be vetted and approved to get data. We have a membership committee, every member has to approve somebody that comes in. So it’s hard to get into the organization. Again, we want those specialists in their spaces, so probably 50, 60% or so those are people under five total in there from counting on. And it helps them really succeed because there we do their mail scan and sort for them. So all of their mail gets scanned OCR, et cetera. Into their platform if they had a case management platform or if they have Dropbox or I’ll look, it goes directly there. Big time Sabre. We have all these vendor relationships that people get discounts, get taught, how to use technology. We have people that are experts in building your business, sit down with this person and talk about how your business can be more efficient, how you can outsource naming the mail or whatever the fuck you want to do. Right. So it gives a path and it’s also fun. Do those, like a lot of like-minded progressive lawyers that are in this. Physical space and also the big umbrella virtual spaces. I mean, we have members that are out of state that don’t use any of the physical spaces whatsoever and are more than happy to pay the membership fee because it helps accelerate their career. They get case referrals from it. They can help them with their media, their notoriety, it’s just an exponential push. So now it’s the point where we can’t get the spaces up fast enough. We can’t scale for the membership fast enough. That’s a good champagne problem to have, but I do think it’ll correct. Societal problem in the legal world thinks that one, you need an old stuff, the lawyer to be your lawyer, to that you think you have to go to a big firm in order to succeed. Right now you’re given the tools of a big Alcart law firm. Like we have specialists that all they do is one emotion, right? So like you get on a, we’re on chats with all of them. Sometimes they’ll do it for free. Sometimes they’ll do it for a small percentage of the fee. You I’ve seen pleadings where there’s 10 different solos that are on the pleading for the plaintiff’s side, just splitting up the work, sharing the costs and just being in their specialist space to annihilate. And now you’re outgun in the biggest firms in the world. That’s where we are. I mean, that’s the big vision. So, I mean, it’s been way more successful than we had ever thought. When we opened our first doors, March of 2020 during a pandemic.

Chris Dreyer

I think that this is brilliant. First of all, and in the legal vertical, you have this fractured environment and you don’t get economies of scale like you do in other industries. And the model kind of reminds me a little bit of a couple. So, walkup advertising, they, they pool ad spend so that they get the economies of scale for lower cost per acquisition for Google ads. And then you’ve got law tigers, right? They have the one law tiger website. They could pull in and everybody gets those referrals. Not to mention just all the operating costs. Super smart. I wish I was an attorney because that’s right up my alley, but let’s talk about that. So, how is you answered my question about the space, but I wanted to ask in terms of a couple channels, right? So I’m an SEO guy and when I hear remote, love remote love the low cost. I love, the shared wework or the virtual spaces, but then you’ve got things like, Google maps or local service ads. So is it one of those things that you defer those channels at the start until you get some success and then go look for the brick and mortar to jump into those types of.

Bob Simon

And it’s weird. The brick and mortar ends up being the least valuable part of a lot of people’s memberships. I mean, some of the people out the gate, those new lawyers are in their own practice. They might be there every day. Lawyers like me might be in them a couple of times a month, just to, for advanced or mentorship or take meetings or do mediation. So most of them are the conference room, heavy, a lot of private offices, all of them have a lot of tech intuits. You can legit. Open the doors from your phone, reserve it from your app, reserve any room, invite guests from there. So, it’s all automated, right? There’s monitors in there, so you can plug it. Like I go in there, just plugging my surface pro that’s all. I just operate my entire farm on a service, bro. Plug it into these monitors, my walk in and go are my entire firm. People don’t know this Simon locker by 22 lawyers in house. We have maybe 60 other staff. We’re completely virtual and it surprises a lot of people and it’s guys, when do we ever really need to meet a client? I either meet them in our home, which I like to do. Cause I like to build damages for trial. I do a lot of trial work. If we bring them in the opposite, take a deposition. We need a conference room or private office. It’s just, it’s way more efficient for our employees not having to travel everywhere. So, be that as it may. So the flex office space, some people are there every day, some people, a couple of times a week, some people a couple of times a month, but it allows everybody to not pay a shit ton for the stuff that you’re not actually using. So for the SEO thing, like when you’re talking about. Google and the geographic stuff that you have to do. So premier members for instance, will be part of that geographic location. So they’ll be able to get that stamp. Right. So there’s other ways to do it by maybe breaking up because. We own most of the buildings that we’re going into a couple of them when we lease, but it allows us to be creative in some of the things. And then some members also have their own separate space outside of Justice HQ. Like I have my own office here in Hermosa beach by the beach, which just as a bunch of lockers and surfboards in it. But, we still take, we do work there. But that again gives me that Google stamp that you need to be able to compete in the SEO market. And as you said before, you wish you were a lawyer, one California, you could have to pay a fee split. And I always thought, wouldn’t be interestingly to create a funnel for lawyers where they can do pick up a ton of work, SEO, whatever it may be, which is probably the most cost effective thing to do. And then funnel it into the Justice HQ case exchange, negotiate the best deal for the market. Get it to a case specialist, get a percentage of your fee. And you’ve just created a funnel because our exchange can spin the data. Doesn’t depend on where the data’s coming from. Doesn’t matter what your lead capture is, lead doc or whatever it may be. There’ll be able to sort into the membership. So now you have this scaling members of super specialists, and if you have somebody creating that front end concierge service funnel to go directly into it, now you’re taking a percentage of each fee, giving the client the best result you’re getting the best lawyer cutting the overhead massively, everybody wins. So the whole thought process, and we created all those funnels early on. To compete. If these things happen in Arizona, Utah happened in Washington back in the day. If paraprofessionals can come in under big tech and come in, we’ve already solved the problem, having the elite lawyers and stuff, you need the license for to be able to push forward. So that’s it in a huge, and I love talking about this stuff, Chris, and you can see all the extra places you can go just with the vendor relationships, the ability to have people one click or have on a virtual chat room, their investigator, their deposition company, like a person setting up their website. You can run a fucking empire from the Maltese if you want it to. Right. And you’re, that’s it, that’s the dream. I mean, that’s my dream.

Chris Dreyer

It’s fantastic. It’s the learn by others’ mistakes. So you’ve got all these vetted vendors that you’ve had success with. So there’s no opportunity costs missed where you can invest your money. So that saves a lot of time. Let’s talk about, some of these. Technology has really ramped up because of covid. Let’s talk about some of the best apps technologies that help you with this.

Bob Simon

There’s so many ones that like, I mean, the good thing about what I call a great pause is for folks like me, who was running around, trying a lot of cases, the courtroom to courtroom. It allowed me to sit back and actually invest time into looking at different technology solutions, educating myself on what’s the best fit for XYZ. And so since that happened, I’ve become a huge believer in CRMs, right? Being able to collect all of your data meaningful. To have a purpose with who your market is, who you’re advertising to. I think it’s a different fit for different folks. I’m a big fan of case management platforms because everything’s integrated the same space. There’s, there’s e-discovery company called Esquiretek that I’m going to be a big believer in there’s this, all these things and it all starting to integrate because, I make introductions to one another there’s one that’s she has a called it’s called cloud something. But whatever I found a cloud company that allows you to, they have an algorithm that predicts when you’re actually using cloud storage, cloud computing, and allows you to jump back and forth between Amazon or Google whomever. So you’re actually only paying for the time that you’re using. So it’s taking people’s costs from if you’re paying, I mean, these big companies that have a lot of storage on their a hundred thousand a month, they’re paying five to 10,000. I mean, that is a huge. These things are the AI technology and there’s another one called stacks, which allows, I mean, it’s crazy what we’ve been able to do. Like I can take a, get a case, probably look at a ton of cases where the lawyer’s supposed to, where my business comes from. They can give me the case as a matter of the format I can drop in our algorithm and then it’ll shoot me out. The medical summary is how I like to see them, the data I like to see in the medical records, the property damage photos, like all the stuff that I want to see, like insurance limits. Negotiations demands. It can, the AI has learned how to pull it stuff out there. So I can review cases very quickly that are coming to our office. God, there’s just so much shit out there and the more that I. It’s like Case text. Case text is awesome. There’s all kinds of just these different that allows people, lawyers, the solos that are just absolutely compete. So it’s going to be, it’s fantastic. And we’re have a petite Shaw on later today and we’re excited to speak with him about some of the other tech. And I imagine too, just a, I want to jump into other growth strategies in a moment, but I’m really interested in what you’re doing because I think this is super smart. The, I would imagine having these individuals who. Just the, so a lot of times people talk about like, how are we going to make more money? And they think, okay, we need more leads. Right? Well, it’s not just necessarily more leads. You can increase the amount that you earn per a case, or the big one that a lot of people don’t talk about is your win rate percentage or your conversions. Right? So you have these individuals and you get a referral opportunity. That’s not right for you. It’s probably a significantly higher percentage chance that they’re going to land the referral than passing it to some other that’s. I mean, I am the biggest fan of outsourcing stuff and getting a percentage of that lead, you should be able to monetize every single thing that comes through your door. Like I tell all these young lawyers that are starting up what should I do? How should I generate business? Because I mentor a shit ton of young lawyers and people in law. And I tell them you are sitting on a probably Mount referral sources just by being quote-unquote general councils. Going back to that, we talked to having that lawyer’s card in my wallet. I didn’t know what he did, but if I called him, he would have been my general counsel to tell you, well, you got to talk to this person or you got to you idiot. You were drinking and driving around when you’re 17. Go talk to this lawyer. So that’s what you have to be able to do. And that’s why I think these systems are so important because that’s what we’d be able just say to you in exchange is if I get an employment case, if I get a civil rights case, I can shift it into there. There’s a specialist in that space. I can still negotiate and monetize what I built that brand. That Goodwill of business, to be able to get that lead, to capture that lead, and you should be able to monetize every single one of those. So you’re right. You’ve got to scale the quality and the monetization of each one of those. So now my firm, we only take cases that are worth a million plus that are in our wheelhouse, everything else we’re outsourcing. That’s just the way that our firm is built. That’s anything that’s worth our time. So, I think you’re 100%, right? It’s the scalability of the. The specialized profitization where you’re not doing as much of the work as you have to and doing the only shit that you want to do that you’re great at, but making a percentage off of all of it.

Chris Dreyer

That’s incredible. And it’s very intriguing and it’s different. So it’s really refreshing to hear. It’s just a different strategy. I want to, I want to pivot just a little bit, because I want to talk about a couple other things that I think you guys are doing really great. And first, just popped in my head. So you have that saying. Before we jump into the pivot. You have that saying it’s like any case, any practice, any location? I don’t know the exact tagline. I thought that was super smart.

Bob Simon

Any case, any courtroom, any time we actually copyright, we copyrighted that and the justice team that’s trademark. I mean, it’s crazy,

Chris Dreyer

When I was doing my research from an outside observer, I was thinking, well, wait, you guys really niche in a PI and now it makes sense because you have these resources that you can truly do.

Bob Simon

Yep. And then, I mean, we were known, I was known to resist very young lawyers, trying a lot of cases early. So I was at the time, I think it was the youngest person inducted to the Los Angeles abode American board of trial advocates. Right. Because you have to have certain qualifications, you have to try a bunch of cases and have certain results and do it with a civil thing. So I was like 34 when I got in and very young, but I preached people getting in there early. I have a guy that tried two cases while he was at Law School. So I want him to be the youngest, beat us all, but then Sevy Fisher, partner at my ops who made partner. Sevy got into 32 and then Greyson, a partner office, just got it at 34. So we just went on this boat trip in Hawaii. And it’s we’re like the generation younger than anybody, at least like most everybody’s in their sixties, seventies, and some in their eighties. And there’s us guys in our thirties. I’m 41, but by far the youngest one’s there. but we had that mentality, like I just never saw the value that what the insurance company was offering was the fair market value for what the injury was, what the loss was. Again, going back to what happened to my uncle. I see dude. People aren’t just, they get the surgery… paralyzed… This is the way that it is. No dude, like you got to tell a story. This has affected me for generations. So I made a point of trying a lot of spine injury cases. That’s my niche. Fusion sec, dummy to paraplegic quadriplegic because I’ve seen it. It’s real for me. I can get up there and explain to the jury. This is what’s going to happen in the future. And this is what. I’m asking you for $10 million for a fusion alone. So I reset the barometer early on for trying the spine injury cases. And that’s the niche that we’re known for doing and still getting huge results. And I taught this to all of our lawyers. So all of the lawyers now in our office, we do them in teams that teach a young ones, how to try cases. This is our specialty. We’re going to go and try these cases. We get the biggest verdicts in the country on a specialized things, but we get a ton of referrals just from doing that. But at any case, any courtroom, any time was the moniker we had early back on. Cause we were just, we get in there, try anything. And now the moniker is happening. Just HQ where all these young solos were like, dude, I just want it. I want reps. I’ll get in there. They’ll try anything like anywhere. And it’s fascinating to watch. Exchange and our message boards when someone’s Hey, I have trial coming up in two weeks who wants to do with me? You’d have 30 people paying just to do it for free, just to get the reps in and just to go in there and swing. It’s amazing. It’s so refreshing because I would love this product as a young lawyer, I’d have time to go. How am I going to go try a case? How can I get, let a client go in and do that from, for me? How am I going to be able to get these reps solve that solution? So.

Chris Dreyer

Bob and his team are amazing marketers, from 15 second Instagram stories to hour length podcasts and videos. Everything they make is entertaining, eye catching and modern one project that particularly stands out to me is the podcast bourbon of proof, where Bob catches up with legal professionals over whiskey. I asked Bob to explain his thought process behind his marketing strategy and how he came up with bourbon of proof.

Bob Simon

Yeah. So we always want to do stuff that I thought was personally fun or things that I liked to do. And I always hated that old stuffy, everything about lawyers, how they’re perceived and, we were at our firm, we were on Instagram, very early doing just funny shit. I always believe that you want lawyers, you want to hang out with or any professional look, we’re in a sales and marketing business. Like you want to see somebody you’re like, if you want to be around. And I like hanging out with my family, drinking a lot of bourbon watching sports and talking shit. So that’s a lot of what I do. So bourbon approved Theresa Diep has been my marketing director forever then started our creative. She’s a co-founder of Justice HQ. She’s one of the brightest people on the planet. Cause we do podcasts, Justice Team podcasts. There’s a group of us. We have a bartender, people are drinking and we’re talking about different topics. It’s fun. It’s light. It has a huge following. And she’s like we should do one where it’s more of like a one-on-one masterclass and you guys just have to drink a lot and just talk and like I’m game, let’s set this up and do this. So we’re trying to think of like the name we’re actually thinking of the working title while we were shooting the first one. And after a few drinks, I was like, how about Bourbon of Proof? And we’re like, oh my God, that’s amazing. They were like screaming. That’s such a great name. It was a great name. So it wasn’t taken ando so we grabbed it. And then the other concept too, is that it’s bringing in people that are successful at law and in life and their journeys are different and it’s over a series we ended up doing three bottles each, it was like three drinks. It ended up being six drinks. It has to be a lot because I have a big, you have to drink and my penny up, finish it, no matter if it’s terrible or whatever, but if the conversation gets funnier and funnier and I made them. I tried to shoot four in one day, by number four, it’s unintelligible. And they’re like, we just have to cut this up as like a highlight reel because I don’t remember shooting it. But I mean, I remember eating pizza when I got home and falling asleep and waking up the next morning like dude, I don’t remember the last episode, but yeah dude, that’s it. It’s fun. And now we want to take. I was talking to my marketing director. There’s so much, I’ve noticed the love for for bourbon and laughing is very prevalent amongst lawyers. So I wanted to start a. Like a bourbon approved conference, which is just about branding and mentorship and personal relationships and do it on the bourbon trail. So we’re trying to coordinate, coordinating that now. I just think it’d be very fun to have different groups go to different distilleries, be on different shuttles with different vendors that are specialists in their spaces with different lawyers, specialists in theirs, and just have that intimate drive there, drink and have fun drive there, go to the next one and then have, the legal conference that way. Again, think of new fucking fun shit. Do fun shit.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. A lot of fun. So it’s making me want to go to the end of each of those episodes in the three seasons, like towards the 3/4s mark

Bob Simon

The one that just came out Michelle Russo. The third one, I was, that was my, I think that was my second of the day. And we started shooting earliest. You could start to see me go downhill a little bit. But the day I shot one, after that with a guy named Maura Fjord. And they had to stop. I remember they had to stop filming so many times because the production crew was laughing so hard at us. Like we were almost falling over if he was drinking in the green room the whole time. And he was just telling these outrageous stories and I was like falling out of my chair.

Chris Dreyer

The production quality is so good. It’s entertaining and it’s, it’s not just about the law. It’s there’s personality, there’s personal stuff. Yeah.

Bob Simon

And these, so these there’s been a lot of TV producers that have approached me and my family because at our firm, it’s my twin brother. And I run the practice where lawyers are little, brother’s a partner there, he’s a lawyer, both my sisters run Justice HQ. My one sister, she’s the CEO of the other one, the membership director. Membership director’s husband is the operations director. My dad works at the firm. My mom and dad are divorced, but my mom works at the firm. My dad’s new wife worked at the firm. My dad’s wife’s daughter works at the firm, so, and then we have the Justice HQ stuff and all this stuff that’s going on. And so we build up in produce, a lot of producers have reached out to us and I never thought that I always thought there should be a channel on apple TV that was just like Justice HQ or law or whatever like that. And just said all these other type of shows that lawyers did. They’re funny, big personalities. Why not produce the stuff your own? Like we do the bourbon of proof for, or your show or, Justice Team podcast and have it all live within that channel. And just streaming for people, young lawyers to be inspired or law students to learn, or just to laugh and have fun. And a lot of people watch a lot of these legal stuff, how public, as long as law and order bid on or all their spin on. Right. What to do it for free for the consumer to get into watch it. So, yeah, that’d be cool. Yeah.

Chris Dreyer

And you mentioned, so I’ve only got a couple of questions, so you have this really good tagline above all else the story of the Simon law group is a story about family. And, I, wasn’t going to ask like the boring questions of, why did you do this? And I wanted to ask like a really direct question, family member isn’t performing. How does that conversation go? How do you fire somebody in the family?

Bob Simon

We come from a very working class family. And there is the work ethic is just insane. Like we all work anybody. I mean, when it’s fine, we work, but you know, in our specialty or time or hours, I don’t think it would ever reach… nobody would ever want to be fired or whatever. We are just such a very close like-minded family. That if, I mean, I’ve been reeled in many times, like my brothers and sisters will yell at me because I move at a breakneck speed. I have a big vision. I demand a lot of things that people, cause I want to move. I want to go, I want to do it quickly. I want to be the first of the market to do XYZ. And then I have go groups of time. Like I’ve been in a trial for six weeks. That’s all I can concentrate on. So I get out of there. It was like, all right, let’s go. Let’s go. So let’s go. So I get yelled at sometimes or. But it’s like those old things. When you’re growing up with your siblings of one of five that I used to fist fight my brothers, and then we would be best friends, right after that same mentality, like we’d yell at each other, then it’s. I mean, who cares, but we all have fixed scan and it’s all good like that. So I don’t think whatever happened, then again if my dad divorced his new wife, maybe it’s a different conversation. Cause we would likely choose her over him. That’s the big joke at big Bob. He’s my best friend, but yeah.

Chris Dreyer

That’s awesome. That’s amazing. That’s good. Then it has that competitive side where you guys really care. I mean, everyone says like our company, we treat everyone like family, but yours is family.

Bob Simon

The other thing that drives me constantly is I want all of our family be a success. Everybody has as much success as others. So I always feel like I always have to be bigger, stronger, better, faster in order to provide through Justice HQ or through the Simon law group, all these opportunities for our family so that we can have. My dad always said the most valuable thing in life is free time. Stress-free from finances with your family. If you can figure out how to do that and do that all the time, that’s how you win in life. So I’ve always angled to work for myself to be able to be on when you’re away with the kid, you can maximize that time. I always have this tagline never not working because I’ll still take that call and I’ll still try to, there’s still shit going on, but you can still maximize the time with your family and not be stressed out about the financial side of it. So, Yeah, I do. I feel like there’s, I don’t think I’ll ever stop. Could retire right now comfortably if I wanted to. That’s just not what’s in my DNA and not the mission. I think that I was put here to do that sounds altruistic. I know, but that’s up to you.

Chris Dreyer

I love the motivation. I love the vision. I want to talk about just a couple final questions here. I want to talk about the vision a little bit, so. In the last bourbon of proof you mentioned you own a gaming company, you played D and D I used to play D and D back in the day. So please relate, so, so talk about the vision, like your other entrepreneurship things. I also, I was thinking, oh, okay. So you own some of the buildings. You could maybe have the real estate company leasing to the justice HQ, and now you’ve got this gaming company. How does it all fit together for the big vision?

Bob Simon

I was just trying to do projects and things I love doing as a kid and make money doing them. I love hanging out with the people. I love drinking. Let’s create something like that. I love video games. I love Dungeons and dragons. Let’s bring this back so we can play with our friends and do things like we did. And we had fun. My wife owns a skincare and supplement company called Kayo. That’s stuff is exploding. It’s just every day’s a little different people was asking me, what’s your day look like? Or your week? It’s all completely different. Today, we’re doing this early 6:00 AM because it’s the only time it fit. I have kids stuff in the morning till I get them off to school. Then nine o’clock I’m going to legislate a meeting for California for a lot of the initiatives are trying to get through. Then I got a meeting with a VC at 11, and then I got to go do a shoot for a company called steno, a big believer in stuff that they’re doing. They started as a tech company doing depositions, and they’re just, they defer a lot of their payments again, help solos and other lawyers be able to compete whatever space. So. Doing a shoot with them. And then I have a meeting after that and I get to pick up my kid from school and then be dad for a few hours. And then at night I’m very close to getting admitted as a Texas bar. So there’s a few other things that I have to do. So that’s what will be my day. So it’s a long day, but that’s what today is. And tomorrow is completely different. I might be working on my wife’s company tomorrow and I might be doing stuff with a gaming company. We’re in the testing phase right now, the gameplay and stuff. So. Very interesting time. And then I usually come into it more whenever it’s marketing time, or that’s figuring out how we’re going to get these channels, or if we need more funding, what it’s going to look like, because we still want it. Every single one of our projects, we’ve never had to use the VC. We’ve used our own money. Never take a line of credit. And I’m trying very hard not to do that with any of these companies, but it comes a time where it is. I think you have to do it because your time is it a scalable as you can be, but it’s not absolute, it’s not definitive. So that’s where we are.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. And it sounds like we could probably do another episode about delegation and hiring. Closing up here on, on a one final question, Bob this has been fantastic. It’s been intriguing and I think justice HQ is a super smart. Bob, where can people go to connect with you and learn more?

Bob Simon

Easy. So if you’re watching is the texting platform 3 1 0 5 6 4 8 9 8 1. Email is Robert@justiceteam.com. My handle on Instagram is @planetfunbob. And that’s probably the best way to reach me because I’m addicted to the thing. I love interacting with folks. So those are the three easiest ways to do it. Actually emails are now becoming archaic, in my opinion. It’s a lot of SMS and DMS is the future where it’s going to go until we microchip our heads.

Chris Dreyer

Bob’s abilities to juggle so many different projects with such incredible results is super impressive. Between Simon law group, Justice HQ, the podcast and everything else he has going on, it’s obvious that he works crazy hard, but clearly he has a lot of fun doing it. And it’s created a ton of success for him. I’d like to thank Bob Simon from Justice HQ for sharing his story with us and I hope you gain some valuable insights from the conversation. You’ve been listening to Personal Injury Mastermind. I’m Chris Dreyer. If you’d like this episode, leave us a review. We love to hear from our listeners. I’ll catch you on next week’s PIMM with another incredible guest and all the strategies you need to take your personal injury practice to the next level.

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