84. Glen Lerner, Lerner and Rowe – A Steady Hand in a Shifting Industry

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Glen Lerner has built an everyman reputation with his delightful Lerner & Rowe TV ads and no-nonsense style. But it isnt just anyone who can build the 2nd biggest personal injury firm in the US.

On this episode, Glen shares his keen observations on the competitive state of the PI industry, where the smart money is buying ads, and why Wall Street consolidation is coming to law firms. Plus, a masterclass on how to approach a negative review.

Transcript

Glen Lerner

When I talk to people around the country, it’s a brand, this is a brand building exercise.

Chris Dreyer

Building a brand is a lot more than your marketing budget. It’s about knowing your industry, your customers, and most importantly, yourself.

Glen Lerner

Anybody can get one-offs. Anybody can get lucky and get that big case. It’s the consistency of getting those cases all the time. And that’s by building a brand.

Chris Dreyer

You’re listening to the personal injury marketing mastermind, the show where elite personal injury attorneys and leading-edge marketers give you exclusive access to growth strategies for your firm. Glen Lerner knows who he is and he knows a thing or two about building a brand he’s built the second-largest PI firm in the nation, largely on the back of his catchy ads and candid persona. We sat down for a wide-ranging conversation about the state of the PI industry. The media approach that’s brought them success and what to do with the dreaded one-star review. 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. Being on the forefront of marketing is all about understanding people. So let’s get to know our guest. Here’s Glen Lerner, founding partner at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys. Glen, take me back before you were a lawyer you’ve worked, you’re fair share of blue-collar jobs. You were a teamster, a garbage man, how did you make that transition from those jobs into law?

Glen Lerner

I think, I was always a good student and like young Prince Harry. I always knew that the only way I was going to be able to really know people and understand people as if I really worked the jobs that most people work, I knew I was going to be a doctoral lawyer, an Indian chief of something I got into Harvard Stanford document. And, a lot of times when you grow up like that and you’re around those people, you don’t really know what the real world’s and so I, obviously being a garbage man my first dropped when I was 18 or 19 getting ready to go to college. It kept me in great shape. I ran after the truck the whole summer to get ready for soccer. But I just thought it was like to work, man. They said I was the hardest worker, the greatest garbage man they had there, but you know what? I only did that for one summer. Imagine doing that every day, 365 days a year, except the weekends for 25, 30 years. That’s hard. That’s a grind. And it’s easy to, be a superstar for two months during the summer. When, you’re just as, the world’s your oyster, but when this is your life, you get to see a different side of humanity. And so for me, it was really important and I think I never lost it, obviously. I think everybody knows my story. Growing up. I grew up on welfare with my father in jail for double murder. Grew up with a dad in jail for 19 years, went to jail when I was when I was five, I was just starting kindergarten and he got out. And then I was I finished my second year of law school. So it was it differently to grow up, it’s just, it’s all I’ve ever known. So it just, I think I I never forgot where I came from though. I’ve been very blessed, but I’ve never forgotten where I came from, but I noticed like to be on the other side and, in some respects, I guess it gives me a different perspective on everybody’s saying the card just stacked against you in America, the cards on stacked America’s greatest country in the world. We have every opportunity in the world. If you want to work.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, absolutely. And I couldn’t agree more and I’m sure a lot of that showed you work ethic and that you brought right into law firms, and just building your career. It’s just been exceptional, I read an interview that you were considering dropping out of law school, what was that? Did you have a different opportunity? What made you no, I didn’t.

Glen Lerner

I got my first D of my life. And I called my mom. I said, this just isn’t for me. It was after my first semester, second year. And I called my mom. I said, I’m done. I just this obviously isn’t for me. And she said, why don’t you just try to stick it out? And I thought about it for the day and I did. And she was right. And I, but I think I’ve always, I never quit on anything in my entire life. And I think it would’ve been a shame to have quit there. We know, the story’s been a decent story. I hate to think where I would have spent on what would have happened to me if I had.

Chris Dreyer

For sure, yeah. And you’ve certainly had an amazing career and, I want to dive right in, since this is the personal injury marketing mastermind, right into TV ads. You have a ton of experience there. You’ve created hundreds, if not thousands of DV ads over the years, first what made you, what what did you identify that is this Hey, I’m going to jump in. I’m going to start doing commercials. What was that? That big.

Glen Lerner

I was doing some commercials early on in Vegas when I owned my first little business called budget. But it wasn’t anything big. It was a small little budget and not enough to make a dent. And I, in 1998, I had a lady start working for me that had worked for Brian Loncar in Dallas and Brian, God rest, his soul passed away a couple of years ago, but Brian had built a very large practice and he was with A company that was doing the one call that’s all and all that stuff in a wreck need a check. And he said, man, I think this would be really right up your alley. They have fun commercials. It kind of meshes with your personality. Why don’t you go down, fly down to Dallas, speak to Brian. So I did, I had really never done much PI. I’d just done a little bit of PI and through my first seven years of being a lawyer and I went down and met with Brian. And he gave me the ins and outs taught me the ropes a bit. I went back did some spots in the first month for $10,000. We signed up 66 new clients. And I was like, wow, I think we’ve hit on something here. It was a certain type of marketing that meshed with my personality. I am what I am. What it is is what you get. I have a big personality and a charismatic guy. It’s just, I’ve always been, I have a unique ability to make the people that meet me. Everybody thinks. In Vegas, we’ve represented, God even knows I’ve represented about 150,000 people around the country, but Vegas, probably 30, 40,000 people, every single one of them, my friend, so it’s called friends of Glen. It’s called fog. Everybody calls up and says, I’m a friend of Glen’s, and so it’s it’s certainly I guess a cool personality to have in some respects, but I think it becomes difficult when they call me up. My intake, people say, this guy says, he’s a friend of yours.

Chris Dreyer

That’s funny. That’s great. You know that, we’re doing the audio recording here, but you’ve got this big smile, you first jumped on right at the beginning of our interview. It like makes me feel at ease.

Glen Lerner

And that’s, what’s worked for myself and my partner. It’s just, we’re just regular guys. I’m just a regular guy who worked in a garbage truck. I grew up with my dad in jail. I grew up on welfare. I’m just. I just went, I just finished law school. Cause my mom said don’t give up. I never, I’m an approachable regular guy. I’m not a rocket science. I’m good with people. God gave me really good people skills because I’m honest, I’m transparent. My friend Highland Shellenberger who worked in my office for years, he gave me the nicest compliment. Someone asked him what kind of guy is Glen. And he says, the only thing I really say about Glen is an honest man. That’s a wonderful thing to have said about. Yeah. When you think about when you eulogize, how do you want to be eulogized? No one’s ever going to say I was the richest lawyer in America. No, one’s going to say I was the tallest lawyer in America. A couple might say I’m the best looking, they might be from my family, but really it’s going to be what kind of man was he? And I want to be known as just an honesty. Yeah. All oh, my word is my word. If I say something I will die before I go back on my word. And I think that’s why a lot of people respect me. I will never say one thing and do the other, I’d rather lose my whole business.

Chris Dreyer

Oh, I love that. I love that. And that’s a legacy, right? That’s a legacy that you want to ring out and, you mentioned. Yeah, starting out, you did $10,000 and you, the 66 cases it’s saturated by now.

Glen Lerner

That’d be incredible to have that hour. So it’d be a Jeff Bezos.

Chris Dreyer

I was looking at some of the media spins for some of the states and I’m not going to name the specific law firms. I’m sure you probably are aware of those, but we’ve got Texas, we got an attorney spending $10 million in TV and

Glen Lerner

Jim Adler in Houston. It’s incredible bending everywhere. It’s crazy. And it’s getting worse and worse. It’s getting more competitive. And I guess if I can interject for a second, I think. The anomaly here is that people are spending more and more fighting over fewer cases. Right now we are, this is a crossroads, I think, in our business, you have the remnants of COVID and the effects it’s had on our business model, because fewer people working in the office means fewer people on the road. You have the fact that people in perpetuity now know that they can work from home businesses letting people, even we have to stop having, letting our people have the option to work from home a couple of days a week. If we don’t, they’re going to go work for someone else that does it. This is one of the incredible things that happened with this whole pandemic. Was it changed the leverage from the employers to the employees and it’s it’s not a good dynamic for owning a business right now. It’s not a good dynamic for trying to get cases right now, because I think the curve kind of. It’s always a little bit behind how things should be. So people see the success, maybe us or John Morgan or Jim Adler or Morris Bart, having an, it takes them a little bit of time to get up the nerve to jump in. But by the time they jumped in. When you have a market that’s gone. Upside down. So you have a huge concentration of lawyers in so many markets around the country fighting over a finite number of cases. And in fact, a number of cases that’s diminishing. Now, when you throw in the fact that you have all these other people, ancillary players, nipping at you buying your name online, doing this to that, it’s a very competitive business model. There are very few business models in the world as competitive as this, for the one reason that. You could be a, nobody, no one ever heard of your name, but your sister’s cousin’s boyfriend’s barber’s mother, her grandmother had an accident and her grandma had died in a nursing home by chance. It ends up in your lap. You get the case, you refer it out the next day to Brian Panish, you get a 40% referral fee and you know what we assume.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah it’s absolutely insane. There’s just so much there. I feel like it’s attention arbitrage, right? So everybody goes to TV, then TV is more costly than everybody goes to digital and Google ads is more costly. Then they shift over to whatever. I was going to ask you, you have a very strong voice the personality, have you tried things that compliment, have you. I was talking to Gary Sarner recently and he’s got a ton of experience in radio and he’s Hey, he’s you know what, Chris? He’s the thing that’s different about TV is there’s no TV in a car, but there is a radio. So have you tried radio?

Glen Lerner

Oh gosh, we spend millions of dollars a year on radio around the country. It’s, certainly innately our bias. Yeah, actually mimic the the usage of mediums right now, TV is still about 45% of media and media buys. But every year it’s going down, just five years ago, it was over 60%. So it’s a drastic change. And I think we’re going to keep seeing it bit by bit, go down. Streaming is becoming bigger and bigger, but we really haven’t mastered the art of buying streaming yet. I don’t know if any lawyer really, as it’s certainly a nuance online, obviously us as a city, a significant amount of the buys, whether that’s just SEO or it’s with keywords or you’re really going after social media clicks and you know what social media is the bane of my existence. I think it is for almost anybody because with social media, it’s, think about it. Daytime TV, you have peop why do we all advertise in daytime too? Because it’s the audience that is most likely to buy our services. The people that are looking for our services are watching daytime TV when you’re going online. Social media is about relevance and trying to figure out how to make what we do relevant. We are only relevant when they need us. So how do you build a brand on social media? Cause everything, all I ever talk about when I talk to people around the country, it’s a brand, this is a brand building exercise. Anybody can get one-offs, anybody can get lucky and get that big case. It’s the consistency of getting those cases all the time. And that’s by building a brand. But how do you build a brand online? And I think it’s only by creating relevance and we’re still trying to figure out that little off formula, obviously anything that you’re doing with buying keywords online. Gosh. That’s everybody hates it. I think about it. They change the goalposts every six months, a year, Google with their algorithm, the thing that’s working now, they change it. Now you’re back to step one and everybody’s always trying to play catch up and you get, people are able to fuck you to cheat the system and then they figure it out. And then the whole thing changes, like it’s such an inexact science and I don’t like that, but unfortunately,

Chris Dreyer

Yeah it’s definitely the game. You build the brand and they go to Google to search for your firm. One of the things you mentioned, we had James Farrin on from North Carolina. He does it.

Glen Lerner

He’s a sharp dude. He’s a really good dude.

Chris Dreyer

Absolutely. And he talked about, he’s Chris, he’s like a lot of people talk about TV is just brand, but he says I really use it as direct response. A lot of times people say like it’s either, or, but from what I’m hearing from you is you think, Hey TV, it is brand, but it is direct response during day time.

Glen Lerner

Yay and nay. Now ultimately TV is absolutely brand-building. I think certain types of TB marketing, our direct response, for example, your mass torts advertising. Become direct response because they absolutely, oh my God. Oh, I need that right now. But when you’re advertising your normal commercials all the time, a lot of times you just try and get for us. Obviously we have our jingles and we get the branded numbers, in Chicago, two twenty two, twenty two twenty two, call 2, 2, 2 22 22. So it stays on their head. Some people, meet them in the. Your number was the first number my child ever knew. I hear that about a thousand times a year, but that’s creating a brand. Will that be, is that, direct response? I think there’s point. I think there’s a nexus where direct response and a brand intercept, but I still, ultimately, I think we’re about building brands. I don’t think anything’s ever going to Trump, the grant the reason why I like the brand, Nope. Somebody people go online now to find their lawyers. And so if they go on, they find you in the first page. So go down the first page. A lot of times they say they stopped at the top, read, they go through the first page and learn man, I can’t believe I forgot to. So that’s what you’re trying to do. And then of course, the other thing is, the worst thing is payment, Google tax. I think every lawyer in America has to pay the Google tax where you buy your own name. And I know some other firms pay a year. We pay a lot of money a year buying our own name and our markets just to stop other people from buying it. You still have other people buying it. We have a full-time attorney. His only job is to send cease and desist our names, a trademarked. And if you’re buying our name, I’m going to sue.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. And I see that a ton and it’s most of the time that the individuals trying to piggyback off of the heavier advertisers. So they’re buying everybody’s name and it’s it’s like theft of the brand. And I don’t know how back it was Cannon-Dunphy versus habits. She knew it had to been around 2000, what 11, or when that first case occurred. And then it just opened the flood gates. Everyone started.

Glen Lerner

Yeah. John, Morgan’s a very sharp guy. You say what you want about the guy, but he’s a sharp guy and he’s got some great people. And we saw what he was doing in terms of people buying his name and having them, if, even if you’re coming up on my advertising, you’re not buying my name. I want you to put a negative keyword. And so that’s what we did.

Chris Dreyer

Absolutely. Yeah. And I’ve seen that email. So like he’s certainly dispersed that a lot. So yeah

Glen Lerner

It’s just amazing how much you have to spend just to protect yourself from people stealing from you, but it’s the price of plan. I don’t know if you don’t like doing it, find another way to make money.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. I completely agree. For those listening, say that, say they’re wanting to get into TV now. I think it’s still a great opportunity. And I’m a big advocate for a multi-channel approach, to build in that brand. What are some of the, just the basic tips that you need to do for TV? How much what’s the minimum, every market’s different, right? If you’re going to move into a city, what’s the minimum you’re just looking at?

Glen Lerner

I just think you have to, obviously you have to look at the market to see. Oh, the cost per TV households, how much is being spent by attorneys per TV household to see how competitive is, obviously the most competitive markets in the country, Vegas is one of the most competitive markets in the country in every medium, especially TV, but billboards. You go to Vegas and it’s nauseating how many lawyers, ours included, but Atlanta obviously is incredibly competitive. Baton Rouge, Birmingham. There’s some incredibly competitive markets that are just so skewed. They don’t even make sense. If you’re not going to spend enough to be the top four or five players in the market, I just think it’s almost better to find another way to advertise, find a place, find a niche where you can have a strong presence. It just depends on the market. It depends on what your message is going to be. Who are you? I don’t think people can come and say, I’m going to do the same advertising as Glen. You’re not me. And I’m not the same advertising as John now. I’m not John, we’re all different people. I advertise to what I believe in my strengths, my, my ability to just to be approachable and Hey, that guy seems like a cool guy, a regular guy. That’s my commercials are, I’m just a regular guy. That’s not going to work for everybody. Cause people are gonna see through on you. If you’re a jerk, they’re going to see you’re a jerk trying to just be a regular guy. And if you’re a regular guy trying to be a jerk, they’re going to see through that, I’ve always looked at TV as your it’s a jury. I’ve always looked at it like it’s the jury out there and it’s, I’m giving my message. My competitors are giving them a message. And who does the jury pick? Who does the jury listen to? And I think we’ve been, we’ve been relatively successful in our market set, where we’ve been the dominant player in all of our markets. That’s the jury has picked us there been a couple of markets we’ve gone into where they said, you know what? Guilty.

Chris Dreyer

No matter how good you are. If you run a volume business, you’re going to get some negative reviews which can really hinder your conversions. I asked Glen how he deals with one-star reviews and if there’s any way to turn a negative into a positive for his business.

Glen Lerner

I think the thing that’s made Arizona so successful is my partner. Kevin Rowe, being there in the corner office, having a guy like that’s just, I always joke that I sleep like a baby at night, whether there are complaints or not, because I know Kevin can’t sleep, he’s that guy that if there’s one negative review, God forbid he’s op he’s on the phone with these people. He handles every negative review.

Chris Dreyer

Oh, wow. That’s incredible. Because of that negative review, even if you don’t get a change at the review, the responses for everyone else that may hire who may hire you in the field.

Glen Lerner

And there it goes: a hundred thousand dollars worth of TV advertising with one negative review. And the problem is the vast majority of your reviews aren’t real. They’re not true. It’s not how the person really feels it’s, it was. A restauranteur, one of the most famous restauranteurs in America, in New York, Danny Meyer; Danny Meyer once said, the big mistake that business owners make is believing that the customer is always right. No, one’s always right. If you believe that the customer’s always right. You’ve done, you’ve created. A fight between your customer and your employee. Basically you’ve taken the customer side over your employee’s side. That’s a very bad position to be in. So what he said, and it really stuck with me always and changed the way. Cause you know, I was part of that faulty mindset, always. The customer’s always right. What you’re doing. You’re throwing your employee under the bus. Yep. The customer’s not always right. The customer always wants to be heard. And when you look at complaints, we’re always going to get negative stuff, no matter how many wonderful five starts, it’s going to be a one-stop from a person that, just isn’t able to comprehend things, doesn’t understand. The process has unreasonable expectations, whatever those, we just had one with a guy. It didn’t matter what you said to the guy. He said, you guys only called me one time. I only spoke person one time. We had 18, 20 documented correspondences with him, phone calls, emails, but it doesn’t matter sometimes you know that unfortunately that’s a client tug. We deal with a lot of times the price you want to build a big volume practice. You take the good with the bad, right? You can’t cry about it. You just got to figure out you play Lucy with the 5 cents. You some people you can’t, no matter what you do, you take it through to them. So you deal with it. I got a, I’m going to probably have a one-star review forever on there and that’s it. It is what it is.

Chris Dreyer

I’ll say what you were just talking about. Reminds me of that Henry Ford quote, where he’s if I listened to just the customers, we’d still all have horses, be, we wouldn’t have. I can’t remember the exact I’m paraphrasing, but it was something along that lines. And yeah, I think also though, when I see a, from even being a consumer myself, I needed an attorney from time to time, whether it’s a business attorney, whatever, when I go to look and I see all five star reviews, I’m like, really? There’s no bad experiences?

Glen Lerner

We represented a lot of people. Yeah, we grinded out to really provide the best customer service. There’s gotta be people no matter what, they’re not satisfied, but you do the best you can. If you get a complaint, you do the best. You can to turn that around because I’m telling you what, one thing I learned a long time ago. Is if you have just satisfied client and you can take that client and make that client a satisfied client, you have an ambassador for your business forever. Most people, the 99% that have a great experience. I’ll be a Glen. Glen. Glen was great. Kevin was great. The office was great. My attorney was great. My case, man, that’s a great, the settlers were great, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. They forget about you. There was nothing there. It was just, it was what they expected, but man, oh man, I was so angry with them. I called the lady back. Once I caught a 20 times, she called me back 1,920 times. But the 20th time she called me back. I hate them. They never call me back. That’s, you know that’s the nature of our business. But when you take that, you make it better, man. They listened to me, they heard me, they care about me. I’m important. The truth is most people’s lives. Suck. Let’s be honest. The philosopher spinosa said liked the suffering life is suffering for everybody no matter who it’s suffering for, you, it’s suffering for me. It’s just, we suffer with maybe a nicer house in the next guy or more cars or more debt, whatever, but like the suffering. So you have to look at it from that perspective that people have lives, man. They just want to be heard. They want to be recognized. And that’s the most important thing we can do, and I think we’re really good at it compared to most firms. I look at some of our competitors, I care about people and I just feel good about it. I can’t have everybody. I can’t get every client. I’m not everybody’s cup of tea. I might think I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread, but there’s some people that, that don’t like me. They think my smile’s cheesy. They don’t trust me. They don’t want a Jewish lawyer, whatever it is. I don’t know Jewish, especially that’s a real mashugana, dude. But the truth is I’m not everybody’s cup of tea. I realize that, but at the same time, when I see, the experience that we have and, we’ve turned this into an incredible business. Because we’ve learned from so much feel. You’re so many mistakes, but they’re not failures. They’re not mistakes. If you learn. We’ve really taken anything that’s happened. We’ve used it to keep building and getting better, but I see so many of our competitors with somebody, the market’s looking for the easy way out the way, they just, the way they treat people, the way that things go with people and my heart hurts for the clients because they’re getting these crappy settlements crappy results, four to five attorneys in this business, they take whatever they can from the insurance company. They’re not fighting for the client. They’re just trying to make a quick buck. And it was such an injustice. I ain’t never going to let anybody just respect me and my client. Obviously, when discretion’s the better part of valor, of course. But, when you’ve done this for so long, those times, but you can’t take that offers from the insurance companies. It just is going to make you the whipping boy. It’s like giving the bully your lunch money. Once you give the bully your money, you’re done, man.

Chris Dreyer

They got a record. They’ve got that record. They’re going to come for it again.

Glen Lerner

Oh God. I’m amazed by how many lawsuits know I have 20, including my workers’ comp outside of my workers’ comp cases in Chicago. I have over 1800 cases in litigation in Chicago. That’s how many cases we need to file on litigation because we get such bad offers because of the substantive insurance companies.

Chris Dreyer

You’ve built such a brand, with integrity and trust and it’s that eighth wonder of the world is compound interest but that’s also relationship equity and building up over time. You know what? I love

Glen Lerner

that word, man. I love that word. Relationship equity. I love relational equity. Our relationships are the strongest. Currency in this world, I believe, and to have strong relationships, good relationships, trusting relationships. There are two types of people, relational people and transactional people. I’m a relational person. I don’t look at people what I can get out of them. I look at a building relationship if something comes from a great, but the relationship in itself is enough because that’s what we are. We are created. And so at the same time, there were other people, a lot of lawyers are very transactional. What can I get out of this person? What can I get from that person? You got to live with yourself, you’ve got to be comfortable in your own skin. And I just think life in the long run is so much nicer when you go do it off relationships, and that’s my that’s my job. Now. I’m a relationship guy. I’m friends with everybody in the country. I think, I have some wonderful relationships I’ve built over the years and my partner runs the day-to-day of the office. And together, morphed since we’re really nice fun business, where we do some nice stuff, w around the country with our mass torts, which has really taken on a much bigger Absolutely. It’s become a bigger part of our practice. Absolutely. And I think certainly for the diversification, I’d recommend to almost anybody that must certainly put a part of your budget into some mass tort marketing, as long as you have good guidance on it, and you can speak to the right guys. I got a few guys that when they call me and say, get it to this, do this. I do it, off the Luxembourg, Jerry Parker, both of them, very close friends of mine. They say, Hey, get on this. I love this. I love this done. I don’t really trust too many other people. I listened to the guys at the smart money.

Chris Dreyer

Once you get success in your city, The next step is often to try to enter a new market. Glen’s practice reached the ceiling in Las Vegas. So he started offices in Arizona and then Chicago, but it can be a difficult process with entrenched competitors and a whole new customer base. How do you know if you’re ready for that? I put it to Glen: What are the signs that affirms should expand?

Glen Lerner

I think some of it’s faulty wiring, never being satisfied. At the time that we expanded and went to Arizona in 2005, 2006, we certainly were the dominant player in Vegas. You sign up, a couple hundred plus. And there was a wonderful practice had about 90 people just in Vegas. And we were doing very well, but at the same time, and Vegas is a TV market was it’s only going to ever get so big. We were kept. And I think there was something in me as a person as well. We met, we could have had some sort of sustained excellence, but you would have only all you’re ever going to make of this is what you do now. You can only get as many cases as the TV market’s gonna allow you to get. It’s not like we’re going to go from 200, 250 cases in a month to a thousand. It is what it is. You’re only going to have your piece of the pie. In a finite pie. So we said, why don’t we go down to Arizona? And I, I took Kevin Rowe who had worked. It was working with me at the time and it showed a lot of really great managerial skills. They said, Kevin, you go get licensed in Arizona. I’ll give you a piece of the practice. And he did. And it’s like they say is the rest is history. Took us about nine, $10 million of our money. We’d always been self-funded. But within before years we were cash flowing positively for four and a half years, cashflow positively and taken over the market, our brand. And within a couple more years, we had, we’d paid ourselves back and it’s just become a wonderful cashflow practice. The single event, personal injury practices, a cashflow business model. That’s why all the mascot guys always right. They’re like, man, I wish I had the mass torch brag. I wish I had this single event practice cause they’re consistent. Cashflow is not the big gifts. And then we’re like, yeah, what am I in a big hit now? And then I’ll take some of this cashflow and stop putting it some mass torts. And so there’s a segue there, but I think, to answer the question, I think part of it is knowing that a market can only be so big and probably, Never being satisfied, always wanting more, more, because I want more money or I want more reclaim, or I think just always wanting to, push the needle. I think certain people are like that and I call it faulty wiring, it’s but I think you need that. There’s certain guys around the country like that, most guys are satisfied being the big dog in the market and I think that’s admirable. It just wasn’t for me, I think, and then once we were doing well in Arizona, In 2011. I said, man, I want to prove myself in a bigger market. And so I went to Chicago and, within a couple of years we dominated Chicago foreigner with a lot just buying a practice in Chicago. The brand works well, good brand builders, the brand works we’re good brand builders. We’re good managers, you’re just, you’re constantly striving to make it more profitable, make it more efficient, doing more in the community. Part of what’s made us who we are as well as the fact that we are so involved in our communities.

Chris Dreyer

Absolutely tons of Turkey giveaway, tons of backpacks. And I wasn’t going down that route, but yeah.

Glen Lerner

So next weekend the weekend after this for a couple of backpack giveaways, one in Merriville and our Indiana location, where there are about 30 employees. And then then one on the south side of Chicago. And it’s really, that’s a blessing to be involved in your communities because I think people forget, what an impact you can. You’re in. So many of these markets be advertising. Attorney is the most known person in his company. Especially if you don’t want to be pro sports teams, I, gosh, I think, for so many years I was considered the most known person in the bottom, more known than Wayne Newton. Wow. Wow. But the truth is, you get that and then you guys, Arizona New Mexico think about how much impact you can have. And that’s really a pretty amazing thing to be able to touch people’s lives. And it’s so easy to take, oh yeah. Get an accident to come to me so I can make money and you get a little, a few shekels, but to me, really make an impact on your community like we have. And, I think I really am very thankful. I have such an amazing partner. He’s really, he was the impetus for all of this in the beginning. And then I almost being competitive. I took it to the next level and said, okay, we’re going to do this. And then it’s been, we just built this thing out. It’s crazy, 10,000 turkeys a year. God, I don’t even know how many backpacks full of all this school supplies for the year. I reckon it’s probably about eight to 10,000 of those a year. Then our golf tournament, we raised a million dollars last year between the two events we’re doing our first Vegas golf event this year, which is going to be exciting.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. And I got to imagine too, the grassroots types of marketing and efforts, just the community involvement. That’s got to feel a lot better than just going to spend more on Google ads.

Glen Lerner

I just, and again, I think that brings you back to the relational aspect of it. It’s not just transactional. Come to me. I’ll get you money. I’ll make some money and go on and just fit next one up next one. Next one up, I think to be part of a community, so maybe I won’t make as much money. But I think in the long run, I think it comes back to you tenfold. I think just how we are looked at in our communities. I think among other businesses, so many bids, we’ve been named the most philanthropic business and Phoenix once I think, seven years in a row. That’s pretty cool, man.

Chris Dreyer

That’s amazing. That’s amazing.

Glen Lerner

It’s pretty cool. And it’s a lot of fun and you just, man, we always want more. I don’t care. I don’t know what you have and I’ve been given more than I reckon I probably should have and never satisfied. I always want more. How little, most people really have the people that are watching us on TV every day. The people that are looking at our Facebook, how little they really have you realize, man, I am so diagrammed blessed, and I think you need to see that. Sometimes one of the things we always offer attorneys, any guys that are listening to this are ladies listening to. We’re happy to help you with your outreach. I’m happy to talk to you about anything. I love mentoring people. I’m good at it. I care about it. But I think to be able to go out and really help people in their communities, I’d love the opportunity to go, have our people go to people’s towns and show them how to really start an outreach program.

Chris Dreyer

That’s amazing. That’s amazing. So we’ll definitely link up all your contact information. You may have some attorneys listening to reach out. Yeah it’s just

Glen Lerner

an amazing thing because to me it becomes somewhat evangelical in that respect, ultimately we get to go out there and for me, I get to go preach the gospel. That’s what I really, I think that’s what I’m more of an evangelist now than anything else. So I don’t know. It’s just my calling.

Chris Dreyer

I liked that rising tides, the abundance, like everybody wins. There’s a lot of opportunity. I love that. So I’ve got, I want to really respect your time here, Glen. I’ve got one final question here and this one’s just,

Glen Lerner

I hope I actually answered one of your questions.

Chris Dreyer

Oh yeah. Oh yeah, you did. You did.

Glen Lerner

I have the innate ability to go off on tangents. Oh gosh.

Chris Dreyer

It’s a lot of fun. There’s tons of value, so this is the big softball question, what’s next for Lerner-Rowe? You’ve got the. You’re never satisfied. Are you pushing mass torts really heavy? Are you what, like what’s what’s next?

Glen Lerner

and it’s diversify, we’re really building large mass tort inventories and a couple of the, in a couple of the MDLs. Nevertheless, I think, I truly believe in the thing I’ve been focusing on the last couple years is consolidation. Whether that’s with outside funding. Wall street, whatever I believe consolidation is coming to our profession. It has to, there are too many, there are too many people outside on the periphery. There aren’t enough cases. And I think, I remember when William Wallace gathered the clans, the only middle eight, a common enemy is together. It’s too difficult. They’re picking us off one at a time. All the little guys just settling for crap. I really believe consolidation is going to come to the business of law. We’re one of the few business models in the world where there’s been no consolidation. John Morgan’s been opening all over the country and his is unique model where it’s, just goes in markets and refers them out. If it works, you opens up with the doesn’t work. He leaves, ours is, when we opened. But I truly believe this value in other people’s brands. I’m not a narcissist, I don’t need my name everywhere. My, my name has brand value in my markets. I’m not going to go spend the money to go build my name. Now when you know, in Birmingham, Alabama, or some market, I think is a wonderful market. I have friends there, if I went, if I wanted to have a practice in Birmingham, I’d rather go by one of the major things in Birmingham do some sort of a partnership with that person to be involved, bringing on marketing efficiencies, our managerial efficiencies, our software, our intake, and that’s where this business is going. You can’t compete with me if you’re going to try it. Come in and do 10 cases a month, but all of us together can build something really cool with, because the problem is to do this the right way. You need to have a real business. You need to have management place. You need accounting in place. We get close to 50 people just in accounting. Do you want to do that? But if now, if we just add two more to handle four other offices, it just efficiencies business. So it becomes about efficiencies, economies of scale. Can we take your marketing and without marketing cloud, being the second largest advertiser in the country, can we buy better in your market, more efficiently in your market? Can our intake, absorb your intake instead of you spending for people to do that. And then what’s it worth to put all the. But I, this is where it’s going, man. I know it’s going. And this is all I’ve been really focused on the last couple of years and I will get it done one way or another. I’m going to get it done because I truly believe this is the future of law that should. It doesn’t work. There’s no other, there’s no other business model. The world is fractured as our personal injury business model. And I think if you speak to anybody on wall street, they see it now. And I truly believe this is starting to become a focus for them, especially with the new Arizona ruling, the new Arizona ruling 5.4. I think the ability to. For outside investors to be able to earn money with a law firm or to even own a law firm. And I think you’re going to see that happen in every single state eventually over the next few years. No, state’s going to get left behind. Utah had already approved it, but there was a two year a two year period waiting period. We’re the first state Arizona to actually implement it. It’s exploratory committees have been obviously put together. I think 11 other states already. So I think it’s just a matter of time. And I think at some point, I think certainly the next five to 10 years, you’re going to see law firms publicly traded. I think that’d be fun for the, just regular people. To be able to out of that business that may become some involved with think about it. You, everybody invest in Coke, Pepsi, all these firms that they don’t know anything about yet. Now you’d have the opportunity to invest in be part of something where you see the person all the time, you eat lunch with the person, it be fun.

Chris Dreyer

I’d like to think Glen Lerner from Lerner and Rowe for sharing a story with us. And I hope you gained some valuable insights from the conversation. You’ve been listening to the personal injury marketing mastermind. I’m Chris Dreyer. If you like this episode, leave a serve. You we’d 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 master personal injury marketing.

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