93. Jeremy Poock, Senior Attorney Match How to Successfully Plan your Succession

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In many industries, acquisitions are a familiar route for those planning their retirement, yet when Jeremy Poock looked at the legal industry in the 2010s, he found the practice to be far less common. Instead, senior attorneys were more often opting to hand the kingdom keys over to an internal successor, or to shut up shop and divide up the clientele.

Adamant on ensuring senior attorneys receive the rewards they deserve, Jeremy set about researching how best to facilitate acquisitions for law firms, and in 2013, Senior Attorney Match was founded. The company helps attorneys with 30 plus years of experience to design and implement succession plans specifically tailored to suit their needs.

In todays episode, Jeremy and I chat about the benefits of acquisitions, both to senior attorneys and to growing firms, as well as the intricacies that go into finding the right match.

Whats In This Episode

  • Who is Jeremy Poock?
  • What are the succession options available to senior attorneys looking to step down?
  • Why does Jeremy recommend seeking an acquisition as an exit strategy?
  • How does the acquisition of a senior attorney practice benefit younger, growing law firms?
  • What characteristics should a senior attorney look for in a buyer, and why are shared values so important?
  • How can senior attorneys adapt and respond to developments in marketing strategies?
  • Where can growing law firms look for practices to acquire?

Transcript

Jeremy Poock

We referred to lawyers between ages 50 and 70, as they’re in their MVP years of their career. They’re comparable to a star athletes and their twenties and thirties.

Chris Dreyer

There are so many ways to expand your business, but one you might not have considered is the acquisition of a firm who’ senior attorney is looking to step down.

Jeremy Poock

Senior attorneys bring to the table their client lists, their referral source lists, they’re good will, and their subject matter knowledge. Easy. Drop the microphone on that.

Chris Dreyer

You’re listening to Personal Injury Mastermind- the show where elite personal injury attorneys and leading edge marketers give you exclusive access growth strategies for your firm. Jeremy Poock is a legal matchmaker with an aim to ensure no retiring attorney walks away from the industry with money left on the table. His company, Senior Attorney Match, helped bring together those leaving the business and those looking to expand. Jeremy and I sat down to discuss the different succession options available to senior attorneys, their value to growing practices and key characteristics to look out for in a buyer.. I’m your host, Chris Dreyer, founder and CEO of ranking.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 guests. Here’s Jeremy Poock, founder of Senior Attorney Match.

Jeremy Poock

So probably like a lot of history majors our options were, are really aren’t all that many. So where my dad is an attorney, my paternal grandfather’s an attorney. I figured to myself in my sophomore year at Brandeis university in the Boston area that, all right, why don’t I go to law school and increase the GPA? Struggled by admission with the LSAT, but went to law school and probably should have gone stage right, instead of stage left. That is, should have probably gone to business school because those entrepreneurial sort of spirits inside and the attraction to businesses and how business operates, that’s always been at part of my core, Chris. And actually both my dad and I didn’t really realize it at the time when I was in my early twenties, but both dad and paternal grandfather practiced for a number of years. And then they went out and did their own thing outside of law. They both went into real estate. And so it’s sort of unsurprisingly. When I look back at it, Chris, and think about Hawk, I went to law school, gravitated to business law, and then gravitated to working with business brokers. Willy enjoyed hearing the stories of those sales and purchases of the businesses that business brokers were brokering on behalf of their clients. And really trying to develop a reputation among business brokers that I’m a lawyer who works hard to get deals done instead of coming up with roadblocks for why deals shouldn’t get done.

Chris Dreyer

So is this kind of the time where you notice that gap for succession plans? Is this where this all was birthed from? You have these relationships with these brokers and you saw this need unfilled?

Jeremy Poock

Yeah, it’s fascinating. I mean, there were two things that led to a crisp one was among the business brokers who, you know, at the time of… so hard to say turn of the century, it makes me feel so old, you know, 2000 to 2010, even at that time, business brokers are concentrating so much on baby boomers. Okay. The baby boomers that will be selling their plumbing companies, their HVAC companies, their travel companies, their restaurants, all these things. I was looking around the room with the business brokers thinking, huh? Why aren’t these guys brokering law firm sales? And at the same time I was working for a senior attorney. That is an attorney that’s been practicing more than 30 years. He very much wanted me to take over his practice, but I knew that wasn’t in the cards for me. And he made someone else in his practice the partner in the practice. And that person had been with him for a number of years. And then we made that person partner. That person would always been a key employee worker bee. Once he started to look at the P and L, and having to run the place, he freaked out and he bolted. And at that time, the lawyer I was working with it’s about 65 years old. And I said to him why don’t you just try to sell the law practice and that together with working with the business brokers and noticing that they weren’t brokering law firms sales, that really led me to the books. Like, all right. How can lawyers actually sell law firms because it’s not happening? All right. So there’s a need for it. Plenty of boomer attorneys out there that have a lot of value when there was practice. So that started a really a multi-year exploration on how do you actually structure and facilitate the sale of a law practice?

Chris Dreyer

Yeah, that’s incredible. And it’s been a gap that it still exists. It’s just doesn’t happen as frequently as you would think. So you saw this attorney, he took over and he just wasn’t ready to be an entrepreneur. And you thought, you know that this, I opened your eyes to start thinking hey maybe someone else is right to buy the firm and it shouldn’t always be this no pun intended seniority type of situation.

Jeremy Poock

It took me a while to realize that piece of it, Chris. But what I realized then was when this lawyer was really disappointed that his internal successor wasn’t going to be the one to take over the practice. It’s still it even juiced me up more in terms of thinking, well, wait a second. You’ve got such great value. He may not see that. Okay. Your internal successor may not see the value, but wow. I’m coming into this office every day and the firm did estate planning and real estate. Okay. And the estate planning side of it, we had two gigantic fireproof files filled with wills. And I said that’s great value. You’ve got hundreds almost over a thousand wills in that wills cabinet. Somebody is going to want that value that you, senior attorney, have developed over the course of your career. Similar. I think a lot of entrepreneurs at that point, thinking, huh, there’s something here. Okay. There’s gotta be something here. And how do we try to bring this to one?

Chris Dreyer

After spending your career building up a practice, deciding what comes next can be daunting. I asked Jeremy to walk us through the different options available to senior attorneys.

Jeremy Poock

So the options are… really three, at least as we see it. Option one is the internal successor, right? Someone that’s been working in your firm for a number of years. Can you internally transition the practice, transition ownership to that person? Let’s come back to that in a few minutes because what we’re seeing in the marketplace is option number two is sell to a growing law firm. And here, what we say, Chris, is that we try to find for our clients, the mirror image of themselves from 20 to 30 years. That is our clients are both great lawyers and also good, if not great business people, they’ve developed a great law practice as a business. And in terms of who do you want to purchase your law practice to become the successor to you? You really want to find someone like yourself. So we’re often looking for when we’re representing clients, let’s see a PI client, pI client that, that focuses on, let’s say TBS. Traumatic brain injuries and has developed a, let’s say a statewide regional, sometimes even a national reputation in the TBI area. And that lawyer is, let’s say in his or her sixties, at this point, we would be looking for PI for. Or med mal firms that focus on TBIs in their market region or nationally because those firms are always looking for what they’re looking for new clients, new referral sources. They want to build their practices. And that’s why we are very bullish and continue to be bullish that the right buyer for a law practice is a growing law firm that practices in the same vertical as a senior attorney. And then I’ll just say quickly, Chris, cause those are the three options. The third option is what we call status quo. Just don’t do anything. You know, you may be 55, 65, 75, some attorneys. Although I always, Chris just sort of snap my fingers or shake my head when I hear about a lawyer that hangs up their cleats and just packs it in. I always, you know, shake my head like you left money on the table, but there are lawyers that are willing to do that. And they’re just done. And just pass out the clients and their open cases. I shake my head on it, but that is an option.

Chris Dreyer

Just gives me chills. Just thinking of the value of a website, the backlinks, the brand equity, the book of business, maybe the wills, you know, your future probate will contest all these things. There’s just so much money on the table. The other thing that you said was I was thinking more along the lines when you were saying this, instead of the expertise, I was thinking more along the lines of value, like the core values, like your personal values. And then, we have a mutual acquaintance Andrew Finkelstein, he’s done several acquisitions and he had, was very transparent, said that, you know, the one that didn’t go through was the one that had different values than them.

Jeremy Poock

Yeah, absolutely. If people cannot see eye to eye from a firm culture and focusing, let’s say on PEI and let’s use that TBI example of how does this firm, how do they work up their cases? Okay. How do they do intake? How do they pay for their experts? Okay. All these different values that you’re talking about in terms of the culture and reputation, the style in and of itself. Is absolutely huge. And it’s a fun and frustrating part of what I do, Chris, because I’ll come up with… when we’re working with lawyers, senior attorneys, we’ll come up with a list, okay. A list of potential growing firms. And I can’t tell you how many times, we spent hours putting together this list and I’ll show it to my client. They’re like nope nope no, no, no I’m like, wait a second. These guys are like the leaders in TBI. Like they’ve got everything. Okay. And I’m biting my tongue because I don’t want to see a bad word right now, but they’ll just say, this person is a bleep bleep, bleep, bleep bleep. Okay. And after one or two bleeps, I just throw in the towel on it, but you’re right. If the, if they’re going to force, they’re going to force it, Chris, just because on paper, it looks right. It’s not good.

Chris Dreyer

That’s interesting. You say that I’m sure there’s some egos that go into play because they probably were competitors at some point, but then it probably does make sense that Hey, we should probably team up.

Jeremy Poock

And sometimes that does happen and I’m often saying to my clients we got to keep an open mind because your friendly competitor let’s push back a little bit. If that friendly competitor is not somebody that you’re saying bleep bleep bleep about, it’s just. Okay. When cases are being sought after, and a client is meeting with two to four really competent attorneys, and you lose out to that attorney from time to time, but you think they’re amazing trial attorneys, right? I actually say to my clients, that’s exactly who we should approach. If you actually respect them as formidable competitors of yours. And you think that they actually run a decent practice and they’re honorable people then just because they’re your friendly competitor, they really would be flattered if we approach them.

Chris Dreyer

You know, let’s focus in on the senior attorney, those PI firms that are considering acquisitions. You know, let’s talk about both ways first. What are the benefits of a PI firm that’s growing to look to consider acquisition of a senior attorney firm?

Jeremy Poock

Great. So first let’s just make it clear that growth by acquisition is here. It’s taken a while to get here. Chris, we see it in so many other industries. We see it in among accountants. We see it among financial planners. We see it among dentists, not as much among doctors anymore because of the whole healthcare industry where that’s gone. And as growing pie firms are thinking, and they’re working. Yeah, tremendous companies like yours. Chris have so much respect for what rankings dyo does, you know, in terms of your SEO and dominating first page. But there’s a case cost acquisition to that, right? Your clients know that they’re investing in you and your investing. On behalf of them to get them onto the first page of Google so that new prospective clients will find them well growing law firms should also consider in terms of, from a growth by acquisition standpoint.
Wow. If I. Purchasing and welcoming into my practice. Senior attorneys that practice in my vertical, what am I getting out of that? Well, I’m going to get their open cases. I’m going to get their client lists. I’m going to get there were forest service forest less. Let me get their good will. Their subject matter knowledge. And this is a huge for PI practices. And Steve Gersten, great interview you had with Steve Larson, but Steve put his finger right on it. Trial attorney, senior attorney, trial attorneys, the insurance companies track them. They know they’re willing to go to trial. I did a deal in early 2020 Chris, where the buyer was so interested to purchase my client’s practice because he knew the buyer knew that the moment that, that senior attorney who was a former president of a local trial attorney association and great trial attorney for 30 plus years, the moment that attorney joined his firm, his case values across the firm already went up instantly. Huge value.

Chris Dreyer

It’s interesting. Steve Gerson had that story where he was added to his father’s trials and had all these open cases and then automatically the case values were just going up because his name was on it. And he had mentioned that Colossus software that all the insurance companies are using. The other thing that you mentioned. Is that acquisitions are here. We heard Glen Lerner talk about how consolidation is coming. You know, let’s came and every other area, every other industry consolidates, you’ve seen dental consolidate and you get these economies of scale and efficiencies, you know, are there similar types of economies of scale for legal? On just the consolidation itself. I know the, you know, getting the referral list, things like that’s important, but what about those economies of scale?

Jeremy Poock

Yeah, absolutely. I think that Glen still a little bit ahead of his time. Okay. But I think that consolidation is here when Glenn talks about that his accounting department has 50 people in. Okay. And the budget that, that he has to cast such a wide net. And we’re not even talking about Morgan and Morgan yet. I mean, like we all Countrywide people know about, about, about Morgan and Morgan. And I’m saying right now, Chris that I think that law and PI, I’m going to say in particular, because there’s just so much more access to marketing dollars because of the nature of the business, that law is bound to be Uberized. Okay. That is that the taxi cab medallion owner in Manhatten from 15 years ago that thought that, wow, I have 15, 20 taxicab medallions. That’s my retirement nest egg. Okay. And then Uber comes out of nowhere and vaporizes that value. I’ve been talking with senior attorneys across the country, especially after COVID. And we all know that volumes down. Okay. People were driving for much of 2020. But I talked to senior attorneys that their phones are not ringing as much. And I talked to firms that invest in the type of digital Omni channel, digital marketing that you talk so much about that therefore, W do not necessarily stop ringing and they’re getting text messages and emails and yes, traditional phone calls that are going into that are going into call centers. So one of my, I don’t think warnings the right word by then. We have to at least call it out. Chris, that lawyers, senior attorneys that depended on what we call 1.0 world of depending on word of. Okay, then go to this TBI lawyer because that lawyer is the best in the, is the best in the industry. Well, new clients today, aren’t even going to lawyers to ask necessarily for referral sources to go straight to Google. And so to get back to your question on the consolidate on the consolidation piece and where I think that Glenn’s a little bit ahead, but not that far ahead, because right now the multimedia digital marketing companies, the PI firms, they’re just attracting so many more clients today and the senior attorneys have to be thinking of so cheese, what are we going to do to attract more clients? Or maybe our values could it be used in a better from a utilization standpoint, perhaps it could be utilized better by joining these broad groups.

Chris Dreyer

When Jeremy looks at how marketing strategies have evolved over the years, he identifies three key developments, all of which can be a value to a growing law firm. I asked him if he could start off with his definition of generation 1.0.

Jeremy Poock

It’s hard to believe for any. Th that was born after, I don’t know, 1985 or something that that the world existed before Google. And that’s the world where 1.0 is word of mouth. That is these amazing trial attorneys that they cut their teeth going to all kinds of trials they’ve they led CLS for four years. They belong to AAJ. ATLA is I think it was previously called and really develop themselves as these tremendous leaders so that when some kind of accident, going back to our TBI example, you would know go to attorney Jones because attorney Jones is the leader in this field because we’ve heard it worked. We’ve heard it word of mouth over the years.

Chris Dreyer

Yeah. And now I’d say probably yellow pages, word of mouth. Probably that 1.0, that pre. And uh, you know, yellow pages used to work back in the day and let’s go to 2.0 you know, what’s 2.0?

Jeremy Poock

So 2.0 we frame 2000 year, 2000 to the year 2019 is 2.0, that is 2000. It’s when Google is entering into the lexicon and into our search criteria. We’re not totally hooked on it yet, the way we are right now, but people were starting to Google things. People are realizing that I can’t just survive off of a yellow page ad on, on page 342. When someone goes to, you know, the PI section of the lawyer section of a yellow page of book. So let’s put out a website, let’s create a LinkedIn profile. Okay. Let’s just dip our toe in the water effect, essentially with digital marketing.

Chris Dreyer

You know, and the funny part is Jeremy, on this area, especially in the early two thousands, it was like trying to convince someone to get a website. No, like you, you really need to use get a website because there’s this thing called the internet. And there was a challenge just to get individuals on Google. Let’s talk about 3.0, that 2020 plus, 2020 to present. How do you define it.

Jeremy Poock

Yeah. So 3.0, we are a totally digital society. We would have gotten to where we are now, but, you know, I subscribed to what did 2020 do to us? It brought us so much closer to 2030 than it did the 2019. Meaning that when we were all stuck in our homes, you know, for that six to nine month period, we got even more hooked on searching for things on Google, ordering everything in anything on Amazon, meeting people on, you know, on zoom. Why does, why the heck does someone have to drive into San Francisco to meet with their PI attorney when they can get on a zoom or a zoom meeting with that person, you know, instantaneously, you know, we are creatures of convenience. Okay. And we have gone from word of mouth to, to original Google, to now where everything is totally at our convenience in order things and get things so quickly. So how does this affect law? Right when consumers, let’s say somebody is in an auto accident, right? They’re in an auto accident today, are they really gonna call their brother, their cousin, their wheels? They’re the person that helps sell their houses as a real estate attorney. They’re just gonna go straight to okay. Auto accident attorney near me. And that cuts out the middleman altogether. And as a result of, as a result of 3.0, we have lawyers today and great for them. Okay. They’re smart. They’re marketing well. They’re investing their dollars. They’re investing their dollars well. They’re keeping track of case costs acquisition. But that’s where consumers are going to. We’re often saying Chris, the number one referral source for lawyers in America today is uncle Google.

Chris Dreyer

I couldn’t agree more. And it makes me think of the eliminate concept now. So basically let’s think of your law firm as a lemonade stand, except for all lemonade stands are on the same street. How are you going to be different? What’s your unique selling proposition? So that’s why review. Or so significantly more important than they were in the past, because in the past it was just, Hey, word of mouth. I know this guy that can do the trial. He’s great. And that referral brought all the trust you needed, but now consumers, they just automatically go to Google and then they can read all the reviews right there. They can read their awards. They, that’s why it’s so important to have social proof online.

Jeremy Poock

Yeah. And so many senior attorneys, it’s just not the world they grew up in Chris. And so to, you know, to say to a senior attorney, you’ve really got to spruce up your LinkedIn profile, you’ve got to get reviews from your last hundred clients. Your just amazing at TBI. Like you could start your whole own podcast, you know, on TBI, at least do a video on it and their response is I just want to work. You know, I just want to meet with the clients. I want to get into that deposition. I want to knock the hell out of the insurance adjuster, let alone the defense counsel on the other side. And that’s where we just see such again, going back to the opportunity when you were asking about, okay, why should growing PI firms consider these senior attorneys? They may not be able to keep pace in a 3.0 world with marketing. But can they keep pace and subject matter knowledge and the good will that they have developed? A hundred percent.

Chris Dreyer

And on the counter to that, you know, how can PI firms that are adopting a 3.0 strategy? Say, you know, like recently we had Ali Wadd on. He’s got over a million Instagram followers, you know, how can they approach working with senior attorneys from a lead generation perspective?

Jeremy Poock

And there we talk about a couple of things. So one is, and we haven’t talked about it yet, but it’s really worthwhile to spend a minute or two on. This is what we call the trusts training. Okay. That is when a senior attorney is working with a ruling law firm and joins a woman law firm. The senior attorney has tremendous trust that Goodwill that we’re talking about and to bring in the younger attorneys that let’s say are generating the cases. And now there’s going to be that first meeting, whether it’s on zoom or in-person you have the 30 something that’s or 40 something. Our typical buyers for what it’s worth most are typically. Mid forties to early fifties, right? They’ve earned their chops. Okay. Sometimes it can be in the thirties, but it’s typically your mid forties to early fifties and you go into a meeting with a client, you know, that’s suffered a terrible injury. Let’s say, unfortunately, and you’ve got the mid 40 something with the mid 60 something and the mid 60 something to say, listen, you’re in good hands with us. You’ve got my knowledge of having done this 20, 30 years. And you’ve got our younger bench- they’re trial ready and I trust them. Okay. So not only do you have going back to the burst and effect of the insurance companies know that you willing to go to trial? You’ve got a client sitting there thinking, well, I’ve got this senior attorney that’s been there, done that X number of times and the youth that’s here that’s just going to be burning the midnight oil to make sure that I’m getting the results that I do.

Chris Dreyer

Fantastic and trust, I mean, that’s the bottom of the funnel that’s and every conversation is a conversation of trust. You know, if they’re going to go with you as an attorney or someone else. So let’s talk about a few more things in regards to the acquisition, but I think we really highlighted how it can be a tremendous benefit. So first, how do you find these opportunities? You’re that young 40 something you’ve really been successful. And you want to add this to your repertoire. You want to add this to your pipeline and value creation strategy. Where do they go? Where do they look for these opportunities?

Jeremy Poock

Maybe at some point when I’m at senior attorney match 2.0 or 3.0, we’ll actually have, you know, listings on the website. But for now Chris will, what we explained to hungry buyers is we share with them the following, which I really can’t say as a secret. It’s not, I think it’s, I think it’s right out in the open. Is that the perceived internal success? For a successful senior attorney led for is very often not capable to take over that. And that’s why I remember when I graduated law school. And here’s a guy that should have gone stage left instead of stage. And was thinking, well, how am I going to get a job? You know, I work with a job, a career coach, and he said to me, Jeremy, you know, there’s a hidden job market. All right. That’s cool. What the hell does that mean? If you have a position in mind, Okay. That you think can add value to a pre stablish business. That’s not listing it yet. Come at them and say, look, I’m your guy. You’re clearly going in this direction and I’m your guy or I’m your gal because I can help you. I can help you scratch this itch that you don’t even realize is all that. Why am I even bringing this up because what I’m finding and we’re promoting this and we’re seeing that we haven’t gotten into the end zone yet, we’re going to very soon, is that the growing form that 45 year old knows in his or her market, that there is a 65 year old kick ass senior attorney that has two 50 somethings that are named partners. And if we look under the hood, those 50 somethings want a job. They are not going to take over that senior attorney. And then it’s a matter of approaching that senior attorney. And often we do recommend it’s better to go through an intermediary because you don’t want to offend somebody, but you’ll go through an intermediate or just approach the person and say, you know what? You are amazing. Your firm’s amazing if you’re ever considered. Any kind of succession planning. Why would we love to talk to you? Because we think that we could add tremendous value when we’ve seen this happen. Okay. Again, I said, I haven’t brought it to the ends on myself, but I’ve had clients that, that’s how they’ve come together because the 40 somethings did approach the 60 somethings. And then we get involved in paperwork and those have been tremendously successful deals because it takes a while for senior attorney to realize that their perceived internal successor, who they hired as a key. They have to get through their mind. That person really is not meant to be a business owner.

Chris Dreyer

So my big takeaway, you’re not going to go to a buybizsell.com and do a, you know, a marketplace type of situation. It’s going to be relationship-based, you’re going to have these conversations and that’s why there’s no competitors. So we can all, you know, there’s a lot of abundance out there and that’s where it starts, those relationships.

Jeremy Poock

That’s where I see we’ll eventually get to that biz, buy, sell, you know, standpoint when there are more attorneys willing to put their practices. You know, up for quote a quote-unquote sale. Yes. But at this time where it’s just not happening as much, if people were thinking about, huh, how do I grow? And they’ll call me and say Jeremy, we want to buy, I’m often saying to them, well, guess what, you know who the sellers are and let’s come up with a list together and we’ll approach the ones that we really believe or do not have those internal successors lined up for the practice.

Chris Dreyer

So the next, and this requires a tremendous amount of expertise. How do you value the firm? What’s like your approach to value in the firm. Yeah.

Jeremy Poock

And you know what, I’m going to pop that balloon because it actually doesn’t take all that much expertise. Well, because I find, and this, and now we’ve used a lot of 1.0 and 2.0 you know, metaphors, but in what I’m calling a 1.0 era of sales of law practices, I do not subscribe to whether you can actually value a Law practice. And the reason why is because so much of the value today with senior attorneys practices or is based upon the Goodwill. Of the senior attorney people come, this is going to be an anathema to where you live in the 3.0 worlds, Chris, but in my world where I’m dealing with these of attorneys in 1.0 world, word of mouth, people come to these attorneys because of the good will that TBI attorney we’ve been talking about throughout, you know, throughout our conversation today, they come to that person because of their reputation. So when it comes to value, we’re not putting an absolute value on the practice. We’re typically structuring around. For as long as the clients and referral sources are coming into the practice because of this senior attorney growing law firm, this works really well. And P BI, by the way, going law firm will treat that attorney as a referring attorney. And so all we’re really negotiating over is client. Referral source list and then matters that are attributed to the senior attorney, paid out as a referring attorney over a negotiated period of time. Two interesting footnotes on that footnote. Number one is query whether a senior attorney can be paid real money upfront based upon the value of the inventory we’ve done. Okay. And there are banks that will lend on that. So for senior attorney has a hundred open cases, 500 open cases, 2000 open cases. Okay. There can be upfront money plus an earn-out footnote number two, which I think is really exciting for your clients, Chris. And I think that the 3.0 people of the future Ali Awad because listening as you know is a great example for this too, as a CEO lawyer, right, is brand value. Okay. The brand is also this new 3.0 term that we’re hearing more and more of you not seeing lawyers today as much opening the Smith, Jones, Clark, and you know, whomever as the name of the firm, we’re finding one name law firms, or we’re finding, you know, that lawyers are coming up with trade names. When you’re building brands, then there’s going to be a whole new element to the value placed on law first, and then you can value them.

Chris Dreyer

The interesting part too, and those open cases, the thing that I immediately, my brain went to was there’s one bank in particular that I’m aware of Esquire bank. They actually really work closely with lawyers and they can actually put a true value on those cases, as opposed to a traditional bank or a that maybe couldn’t give the same, you know, value in terms of. Because they worked specifically with legal.

Jeremy Poock

Yeah, that’s right. And Esquire was founded by lawyers, headed by lawyers, they lived not just lawyers, trial attorneys. And they help both with case costs. And also I’ve had conversations with Esquire as well. About funding, the purchases of PI firms it’s coming, Chris really is coming.

Chris Dreyer

Fantastic. And you know, the other end of that spectrum, what I hear discussion of acquisitions, I hear, you know, they want the people capacity, right? They want more utilization, more leverage, I need more bodies, more people to do cases, more people to do the paperwork more intake, you know, How does something that like get factored in, as opposed to maybe the smaller solo practitioner, maybe with a smaller firm, you know, how does that come into.

Jeremy Poock

So it doesn’t come into play as much as, okay. This is going to increase the acquisition costs. Although spreading that net, we mentioned a minute ago in terms of the value of the firm is the client’s attributable to the senior attorney led firm and their referral sources. So more lawyers that come over bigger firm that comes over that net can be wider in terms of what qualifies. For fee sharing, going forward in terms of the value to growing firms. When it’s so hard to find well-trained lawyers, especially lawyers that have real trial attorney experience. When you can, as a senior attorney, you may have those going back to our example, four of those 50 somethings, okay. That aren’t meant to run the business, but boy, you can send them to a seven day trial any day of the week. You can drop them into a three day deposition, and any day of the week to growing up. Such huge value. I asked a client of mine, you know, my clients joined their firm and I talked to the growing law firm lawyer couple months after they had joined and all along, we’d been using the sports analogy because we’re both huge Boston Celtics fans. And so that the second big three era in Boston was Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and KG. And you know, after they’d finished with the Celtics, they went on to other teams and they came off the bench. And you know, when I said to that, where I’m like, you know, how are these guys doing? How are they doing coming off the bench? He said Jeremy, they’re not coming off the bench. They’re almost starting from. Of course they’re on the starting five because these guys that actually helped Dawn on me to Chris, that I now think of senior attorneys. So now anybody who’s over 50 years old, that’s listening to this, Chris, we’re going to make them feel really good. Okay. We refer to lawyers between ages 50 and 70 as, as they’re in their MVP years of their. They’re comparable to a star athletes and their twenties and thirties, because they’ve got the subject matter knowledge. They’ve got the Goodwill. Okay. They know, and they’ve been there, done that multiple times. They should be on the court, on the field as often as possible. And when growing law firms get that, then like that growing law firm, you know, business owners said to me like, yeah, Jeremy, they’re on the starting five.

Chris Dreyer

Incredible. That makes me think of the Malcolm Gladwell. The, before you can call yourself an expert, you got to put that 10,000 hours into your craft. And these individuals have that rep you know, that consistent amount of experience. So Jeremy, this has been fantastic. And I want to kind of do a summarized version of this, like the Pareto principle, that 80:20, what are the big benefits of having a senior attorney, acquiring a senior attorney for your firm.

Jeremy Poock

Sure. It really comes down to four things in terms of the value, right? That is senior attorneys bring to the table their client lists, their referral source lists, their good will, and their subject matter knowledge. Easy. Drop the microphone on that. Those four things, client list, referral sources, subject matter knowledge and good will. And these are people that are not in that 3.0. And offer tremendous opportunities to growing PI firms across the country.

Chris Dreyer

I love it. So Jeremy final question here, you know, where can people go to find you? How can people get more information?

Jeremy Poock

Yeah, thanks so much. So seniorattorneymatch.com and I’d love to connect with people on LinkedIn. They can find me Jeremy Poock. Chris, really appreciate the opportunity. Thanks.

Chris Dreyer

Acquisitions can be a real win-win situation. They help growing firms to utilize the resources left behind by retiring attorneys will simultaneously ensuring those senior attorneys are fully rewarded for their hard work. It was so great to hear Jeremy’s expertise on the matter. And I particularly liked his advice about finding the right buyer. I remember, even if it looks good on paper, a matchjust won’t work if the company cultures aren’t aligned, I’d like to think Jeremy Poock from Senior Attorney Match for sharing his story with us, and I hope you gained some valuable insights from the conversation. You’ve been listening to Personal Injury Mastermind. I’m Chris Dreyer. If you liked 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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