Alan Crone: Finding Focus to Grow Your Law Firm

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Alan Crone discuss:

  • Gaining focus and clarity in what you find the most important.
  • Transitioning clients to other lawyers in your firm, not just seeking you as the brand.
  • Putting great systems in place within your firm.
  • Delegating for success, not for frustration.

Key Takeaways:

  • As long as you work hard, and work smart, you can do whatever you put your mind to.
  • You must run your law firm like a business, because it is one.
  • Invest money in your people and train, train, train.
  • You can’t always hire for potential, sometimes you have to hire for skill. And hire someone who fits the culture, not just has the skills.

“Delegation is the most sincere act of humility – to be able to delegate something to someone else and say that I don’t have to do it in order for it to be successful. Now you’re going to be successful, and someone else is going to be successful. It’s an exponential win-win.” —  Alan Crone

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Episode References: 

About Alan Crone: Alan G. Crone is an Employment Law Attorney, CEO/Founder of The Crone Law Firm, Author of “The Law at Work: A Legal Playbook For Executives and Professionals” (Feb 2023), Ask Alan! Podcast Host and Speaker. Crone’s employment law firm team is committed to helping employees, executives, and entrepreneurs resolve workplace disputes, which may include issues between employers and employees, intellectual property disputes and/or other commercial issues. His new book reflects Crone’s approach when working with clients, which is, “I’d rather solve your problem than win your lawsuit.” https://cronelawfirmplc.com/

Connect with Alan Crone:  

Website: https://cronelawfirmplc.com/

Email: [email protected]

Book: https://cronelawfirmplc.com/the-law-at-work/

Ask Alan! The Podcast: https://cronelawfirmplc.com/resources/ask-alan/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alancronememphislawyer/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alan.crone.7/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thecronelawfirm/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alan_crone/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCS8rpvoDf5SN5z_DcF5Sb1Q

Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Instagram: @fretzinsteve

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.

Website: Fretzin.com

Email: [email protected]

Book: Legal Business Development Isn’t Rocket Science and more!

YouTube: Steve Fretzin

Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911

Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

 

[00:00:00] Alan Crone: Nobody asked when they were buying a Model T, now did, did Henry Ford build this himself? You know, did Mr. Harley, Mr. Davidson put my motorcycle together? Yeah. Does Sears deliver these products? You know, people understand that. I mean, give… Give folks some credit.

[00:00:21] Narrator: You’re listening to be that lawyer life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice Each episode your host author and lawyer coach steve Fretzin We’ll take a deeper dive helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results Now here’s your host steve Fretzin

[00:00:43] Steve Fretzin: Hey everybody, welcome to be that lawyer.

[00:00:45] Steve Fretzin: I am steve Fretzin. I’m, just so happy that you’re with us today Again, this show is all about helping you to be that lawyer. Someone who’s confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. Today is no different. I’ve got Alan waiting in the wings. How’s it going, Alan?

[00:00:57] Alan Crone: Doing great, Steve. Thanks for

[00:00:58] Steve Fretzin: having me on.

[00:00:59] Steve Fretzin: Hey, thanks for being here down in a beautiful Memphis, Tennessee. You guys have some heat this summer.

[00:01:04] Alan Crone: A little bit. We have both kinds of weather here. Hot and

[00:01:07] Steve Fretzin: humid. Yeah. And yes. Yeah. And they say it’s the, it’s the wet heat. That’s the wet heat. Wonderful. And yeah, I was down there with my wife last summer and it was hot, but we, we loved it.

[00:01:17] Steve Fretzin: We had such a great time and. Eating all the great food, checking out the barbecue and the music. Um, home Elvis, right? I mean, it was unbelievable.

[00:01:24] Alan Crone: The king of rock and roll. Thank you very much.

[00:01:27] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Yeah. What’d you think of that movie? The Elvis

[00:01:29] Alan Crone: movie. I thought the movie was really good.

[00:01:32] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Wow. Really kind of sad though.

[00:01:34] Steve Fretzin: Right. Well, you know,

[00:01:37] Alan Crone: yeah, it’s, it just shows you the music business is a tough business. I don’t think Elvis’s story is. You know, is, is that you unique in terms of, you know, how, uh, when you’re starting out, you’re, you’re willing to sell your soul away and it’s hard to get it back.

[00:01:54] Steve Fretzin: And I think a lot of people got kind of screwed over in the music industry, you know, maybe all the way through, you know, Motown and through even maybe into the seventies and eighties.

[00:02:03] Steve Fretzin: And that’s going to be our new topic for today. We’re going to talk about rock and roll history and, uh, no, we’re not going to do that. Ellen. Um, so thank, thank you for being here, man, being the guest. And I love to start the show with a quote of the show. We’ve got, you can do it, which is, uh, And Adam Sandler, it’s in every Adam Sandler movie, isn’t it?

[00:02:18] Steve Fretzin: Something like that. That’s right. That’s right. And so why, what’s, what inspired you to, to put that quote out in front? Well, you

[00:02:25] Alan Crone: know, I think it, it’s just a reminder to me and to anyone that you can do it, that, you know, I think we get a lot of thought distortions and, you know, we think of all the reasons why an initiative won’t work.

[00:02:39] Alan Crone: You know, I’ve just opened my, my third office in Chicago, uh, one in St. Louis and of course, one in Memphis and. You know, 10 years ago, the thought of having three offices, uh, just would have crippled me, I wouldn’t have been able to think that I could get to that point. And at some point you just have to roll the dice and, you know, you got to plan your work and work your plan.

[00:03:02] Alan Crone: You can’t just, you know, go from one office to three offices. It took, you know, several years for us to get there, but you’ve, you’ve got to develop that mindset that as long as you work hard and work smart, you can do whatever you want to do.

[00:03:17] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Most people don’t know this, but my background is in franchising and I helped, uh, you know, sell franchises and oversee and, you know, people always want to expand their business.

[00:03:26] Steve Fretzin: And I say, that sounds great. How’s your first one doing? You know, well, you know, he’s still working on it. Well, you want to franchise, you want to scale out and open other locations, but you haven’t even made one successful, like make one successful, make two successful, then look at a third, right? I mean, it just kind of makes sense that, you know, you don’t want to go to, you know, you can roll the dice, but I’d rather.

[00:03:46] Steve Fretzin: You know, have the dice loaded in my favor, you know, because I, I’ve built the processes and the systems in a way that’s gonna allow me to scale out. So I think that, uh, sounds like what you’ve done. So Alan Krohn, you are the CEO of the Krohn law firm and, um, you’re a podcaster. You’re, you know, you’re running now three offices and I would love to hear your story and, uh, leading into your, be that lawyer tipping point.

[00:04:10] Steve Fretzin: So, you know, I’ll, I’ll hand the mic to you for a minute and, uh, and, and catch us up to your background.

[00:04:16] Alan Crone: Well, let me start with the tipping point and then tell you how I got there. That may be the, uh, the most efficient way. I am a lawyer, but I’m also a, uh, I’m in recovery. I’m a recovering politician. I started my own firm many, many years ago.

[00:04:35] Alan Crone: And I was a lawyer that also was involved in politics and that kind of culminated a few years ago when I was had my law firm and I was also the senior policy advisor for Mayor Strickland, who’s the mayor of my hometown. He and I’ve known each other since since college, so it was a great opportunity when he was elected to go in and be his chief policy advisor and help run the city.

[00:05:02] Alan Crone: And. For a, uh, for a political junkie like me, it was, it was just, it was wonderful. And I did that for four years in a lot of ways, the most fulfilling four years I’ve had professionally, certainly politically. Uh, but towards the end of that, I realized that I was just, I just didn’t have my focus was so dispersed, right?

[00:05:23] Alan Crone: I, I had a full time job helping the mayor. I had a full time job running my, my law office. I had a full time job being a lawyer. And, uh, and then a number of other full time jobs. I was a, I’m a father, I’m a husband. And I said, you know, I just can’t have this lack of focus anymore. And so I really began to think as that, that first term ended, what, what am I going to do?

[00:05:49] Alan Crone: And I said, you know, I, I really need to focus. And so I, uh, I told the mayor, I said, I know I committed to one term that’s coming up, I’m going to have to transition out. So I did. And I narrowed my focus a little more on. Being a lawyer and a couple of years went by and one August, I’m in a member of a mastermind group and you know how at the end of mastermind groups, a lot of times they’ll go around the room.

[00:06:17] Alan Crone: What did you get out of this session? And it came to me and I said, you know, I’ve got to get more focused in my life. And so I’m going to make a pledge to this room that a year from now, I’m either going to be getting a W 2 from a law firm and I’m going to focus on practicing law and trying cases. Or I’m, I’m going to be a full time CEO running no cases and over the course of the year, I came to that conclusion that I was going to do the latter that I thought that I could have a greater impact in my profession by helping other lawyers be great lawyers and helping them to get great results.

[00:07:00] Alan Crone: For their client. And so that’s what I do now. And I wish I could say that I don’t have, I don’t have regrets, but that I don’t have pangs every now and then to get back and get into the courtroom because that’s what I love to do or get back and work one on one with clients and I still do that a little bit, but I really have to be disciplined and stay focused on that.

[00:07:24] Alan Crone: And I can tell you that that was the tipping point for me and my, um, and in the firm as it exists now, once I became a full time CEO, then. My law firm became a full time business and it has greatly improved. And it’s not a matter of I’m a great CEO. I’m probably a lousy CEO in the pantheons of CEOs, because at the core, I’m still a political science major with a law degree, but that focus and that commitment to doing one thing well, um, is at least to the extent I’ve had success is, is, uh, the success, uh, behind it.

[00:08:02] Alan Crone: And, um, my professional goal is to transform the American workplace. And I realized I was going to be, I’m going to be a lot more able to do that if I have a greater impact on a greater number of people, and, uh, I’m letting go of the arrogance that nobody can try a law, a case like me, no one can represent people like I can represent them.

[00:08:26] Alan Crone: There are lots of great lawyers out there that can come in and I can mentor them. I can, I can show them the way I would do it and hopefully that. That increases, uh, their, um, their abilities. In fact, we had a, uh, uh, a, uh, a session, uh, last weekend at my house. Uh, all the lawyers in the firm, uh, came over to my house and, uh, we watched some, um, uh, CDs, uh, or DVDs on, uh, cross-examination.

[00:08:55] Alan Crone: And we would pause ’em and we would talk it through, and it was a great time. You know, I really reject the idea that always bridle when someone usually a consultant talks about the legal industry. I think we can still consider ourselves professionals. This is a profession. But our professional enterprises have to be run like a business because they are businesses.

[00:09:21] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And it’s, it’s the hardest thing. One of the hardest things for a lawyer to do is to make that decision and to flip the switch and say, look, I’ve got to get out of, you know, the billable hours or the practicing every day and being in the weeds. And focus on how do I, well, that could be business development.

[00:09:40] Steve Fretzin: That could be marketing. That could be, you know, the management of the firm, whatever the case is when you’re, all you’re doing is billing hours, there’s no growth and they’re very little or to no growth involved in that. And so I think that’s where a lot of lawyers stagnate. Is they they haven’t figured out how to break the chain of the billable hour To to do something that may actually impact a lot more people.

[00:10:02] Alan Crone: That’s right And and steve don’t get me me wrong and i’m sure you would agree with this that you know I made the decision I was going to build a business and once I made that decision Then I had to leave the the day to day practice of law behind because of what you just said, but it’s perfectly Acceptable, obviously, that if, if someone says, look, I just want to be a solo practitioner and I’m content with, with making what I’m making, the impact I’m making, and I just want to have some autonomy in the way I practice law, a little more power to them.

[00:10:37] Alan Crone: That’s a, that’s also a really great, great way to be. But, you know, I just made the decision that I wanted to build a business. And, you know, and so I think once you decide that, unless you’re superwoman or superman, it’s hard to do that while having to full time job. So

[00:10:55] Steve Fretzin: let me ask you this, when you’re, you know, you’re talking to an audience of lawyers, some that are at, you know, big firms, mid markets, some that are on their own and everything in between.

[00:11:04] Steve Fretzin: And many of them are, are, you know, curious about, all right. So it’s one thing to start a solo practice, or it’s one thing to lead a firm, but I’m still the name person. I’m still the person that, you know, people go to, they want me to run the case. They want, you know, my name’s not your name’s on the door.

[00:11:20] Steve Fretzin: That’s the biggest struggle is like, how do I, how, you know, yeah, my name’s on the door, so I’m the lawyer, how do they get out of that? That’s the trick, right?

[00:11:29] Alan Crone: Well, it’s a, it’s a trick, but I think it’s a pretty. Simple one. Okay. Just do it.

[00:11:36] Steve Fretzin: Does it also, can we say, just say no from the, uh, the old eighties

[00:11:40] Alan Crone: commercials?

[00:11:41] Alan Crone: Here it is. I mean, if you think about it, logically, someone comes to your firm, they want you and they can’t have you for whatever reason, but what’s their alternative. They’re going to get another lawyer, whether it’s someone in your firm or somebody else. So you’re out of the equation. That’s that is a.

[00:12:00] Alan Crone: That’s a budget neutral, if you will issue. So now the question is, all right, how do you convert them from going to the law office next door or to take somebody else in your firm? Well, first of all, all the people in the firm I’ve trained. So you’re getting, you know, you’re getting, um, you know, Michelangelo didn’t paint the Sistine Chapel himself.

[00:12:20] Alan Crone: He sketched the outlines and he taught his people how to paint it all in. And so that’s part of what we sell is this notion that you’re going to get the Krohn law firm way. And I think the best possible tactic you can, you can use to get yourself out of it is don’t do any initial consultations yourself.

[00:12:40] Alan Crone: Um, when you get right down to it, most people come in wanting me because that’s the name they’ve heard. But as soon as they talk to another competent lawyer, they’re very, they’re very, very happy with that lawyer if that lawyer sells them on, on her skill. So I think a lot of being a CEO in this type of environment that we’re talking about where, where I am the brand, no question about it, the Krohn law firm, we have a ton of videos and, and promotional, and you see my mug all over the place, which if it was somebody else, we’d probably do a lot better.

[00:13:15] Alan Crone: But I have to have the humility to realize it really isn’t all about me. That most people just want a lawyer who is, they assume competency. You know, that’s the ante to get in is that you’re an excellent lawyer. If you can, if, if you’ve got a team that makes your clients feel relevant and love, then they’re happy.

[00:13:37] Alan Crone: No matter what the situation, and they’re going to be happy when loser draw, if they’ve gotten that kind of attention. And so that’s what we start out from the very, very beginning with our intake professionals and with the lawyers who do the consultations, and it’s not long before people are saying, Crone, who, who’s that, you know, Bob, my lawyer.

[00:14:00] Alan Crone: And that’s, uh, and I’m, I’m very pleased with that. So I think it’s two things. One is taking yourself out cold Turkey. And the other is having the ability to realize that if you do that, your firm isn’t going to fall apart. In fact, you’re going to leverage all of the talents that are in your firm, and it’s going to be even bigger and better than if it was just you trying to do everything.

[00:14:20] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And I don’t know if I’m getting the phraseology right on this, but it’s like trust via association, right? So like if I’m referring someone to someone, they trust me, trust by association, right? That if I refer someone to an attorney, I refer someone to another coach, which happens That they’re going to, you know, believe that that person is the right person right from the start because of that trust in that association.

[00:14:42] Steve Fretzin: So I think if they’re coming to the Crone firm, right, and they, they don’t get you, but you’re the trusted name, right, then it’s still going to, it’s still going to play out. And then when, as soon as they meet a great lawyer, right, and I don’t think they’re going to, they’re going to shop it. They’re just going to, they’re going to want to just, Hey, I’m right here, person’s, you know, knows what they’re talking about.

[00:15:00] Steve Fretzin: Asked a lot of great questions and, and let’s get this on.

[00:15:03] Alan Crone: Yeah. I mean, nobody, nobody asked when they were buying a Model T. Now, did, did Henry Ford build this himself? You know, did Mr. Harley, Mr. Davidson put my motorcycle together? Did Sears deliver these products? You know, people understand that. I mean, give, give folks some credit.

[00:15:20] Alan Crone: You know, they, they know how things work. And so they’re not surprised when that happens. And it’s more often that if it’s a referral or if it’s a buddy of mine. You know, they want me because they know, like, and trust me. And it doesn’t take long for me to introduce somebody. Now that kind of, that kind of switch may be a little more difficult because of the personal relationship, but once they get to know, like, and trust this other lawyer, you know, they’re happy as long as they’re taken care of.

[00:15:50] Alan Crone: And to me, that’s really the key is making sure you’ve got systems in place. To make sure that these folks that are working for you are delivering the same level of service or the same type of service that the named partner has become known for.

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[00:17:17] Steve Fretzin: Okay. So let’s, let’s break that down. So, all right. So number one, decide that you’re going to run the firm, go cold Turkey. Right. Okay. But that happened. Did that, did you put in systems before you did that? Or did you put in systems after I

[00:17:31] Alan Crone: think you have to put the systems in first?

[00:17:34] Steve Fretzin: Right. All right. So that’s where I want to go. So, all right. So the confidence to go cold turkey, as you mentioned, happens in part because you have a great team. Number 1, I’m assuming. And then number 2 is you’ve got systems in place. What are the top 2 or 3 systems that you have in place? That allowed you the comfort level to say i’m not taking any more cases on i’m going to hand it to my amazing team

[00:17:56] Alan Crone: Well, I think the first thing you’ve got to have is good financial dashboards and kpis Key performance indicators for your back office staff and that sounds kind of counterintuitive, right?

[00:18:09] Alan Crone: Because what we’re talking about is getting out of the day to day practice But I got to make sure that my, my back office is right. And so having good systems and making sure everybody knows, you know, a good example of it is you’re settling the case, you’re a PI firm and you’re settling the case. You got to have great systems to make sure that you’re capturing all of the expenses and know where all of the liens are so that when you finish, you’ve got a good, you know, a good settlement and everybody’s getting paid what they’re supposed to be paid.

[00:18:42] Alan Crone: Now, if you don’t have that system in place and you just hand this off to, you know, a gaggle of associates and and non equity partners who are going to do these things, and you don’t have that system in place, bad things can can happen. So that’s the first place I would start is having good financial systems.

[00:19:00] Alan Crone: And then I would make sure, then I made sure, um, I, I took a year to do this. This wasn’t something I came in one day after a, you know, a mastermind and said, okay, starting today, I’m a CEO. No, I had cases I had to work out of, and I had to put these systems in place. We put in a new case management system and we had to make sure that people were really using it.

[00:19:24] Alan Crone: I’m going to break some news on your podcast, Steve. What’s the worst case management system there is?

[00:19:29] Steve Fretzin: I’m going to say no case management

[00:19:31] Alan Crone: system. No, the one you got everybody, the case management system. They’re always looking for a silver bullet someplace else. You know, who’s the most popular person in an NFL town.

[00:19:44] Alan Crone: It’s the backup quarterback. Everybody thinks their, their case management system is bad. I’ll tell you why, because they did not train and inculcate people with it. They didn’t make it a part of their culture. They didn’t make it a member of the team. Your case management system has to almost be a member of your team.

[00:20:02] Alan Crone: And so if you’ve got a good case management system, you’ve got good reporting. Then you can monitor where people are and you can start to get good metrics on, right? How long should this particular kind of case take me? Is it on track? That sort of thing. And the next thing is you’ve got to, you’ve got to train, train, train, um, to borrow a phrase, train, baby, train.

[00:20:26] Alan Crone: You’ve got to invest money in your people. I send every lawyer. Within two or three years of being hired at our firm, go to the Mark Lanier Trial Academy in Houston. If you haven’t been, it’s great. There are lots of other great trial academies, but I want to make sure that everybody’s been exposed to it.

[00:20:47] Alan Crone: Understands it. And, and that’s how we try cases. Every lawyer in my firm, uh, here’s the, uh, uh, Posner do, uh, techniques on cross examination. That’s how we cross examine, that’s how we try cases. We have a system for written discovery, and we identified all of those areas that were just mission critical and, uh, Develop the systems and then train.

[00:21:16] Alan Crone: And, you know, we’re not all the way there yet. You’re never going to be all the way there on that. But the biggest thing I did for a year was get everybody ready for this. And, uh, you know, I weaned myself off consultations. I was doing consultations. Uh, say the first quarter of that year and I would do the consultation then I would I would hand it off to somebody else Then I started having people in the consultation with me and I would leave halfway through the consultation Then as we got towards the end of the year, I just stopped doing consultation And I made a list of all the things that I just love doing like being on podcast being a guest on podcast and my goal is That’s all I do.

[00:22:00] Alan Crone: I do the things I love doing, the things that give me energy, and I let everybody else do what they do. And so, It took about a year. And if I’m honest with myself, maybe a little more than a year, I started in August and it was probably October, November of the following year when I was really, really out of it because I still had a few legacy cases that I just didn’t feel like I probably could have just walked out of them, but I didn’t feel like that was the right thing to do.

[00:22:29] Alan Crone: But now, like I say, I miss being a lawyer, you know, being a day to day lawyer. Um, but I wouldn’t, and I may go back someday, right? I mean, once the firm is doing really, really well, uh, I may, may start running some cases again. But it’s more important to me to build, to build something and to help other people deliver legal services.

[00:22:52] Alan Crone: And I feel that I’ve just got a bigger, uh, I’m making a bigger impact than I could as just a solo practitioner with a, an associate or two.

[00:23:01] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. Have you, have you found also that it’s helpful to bring up one of your attorneys as sort of your second in command, like to have someone that steps in for you, whether that’s for management, leadership.

[00:23:14] Steve Fretzin: Running the cases, you know, managing the people. Is that another piece of this, of this puzzle?

[00:23:19] Alan Crone: Absolutely. Um, I have a director of legal services and general counsel who is our, you know, is our ethics person, but also supervises our lawyers and supervises our legal team. And right now he’s got in a dual role.

[00:23:36] Alan Crone: My, my goal someday. You know, within the three year plan is to have someone that’s all they’re doing is focusing on supervision and, and the KPIs for the legal teams and training and that sort of thing. Um, but yeah, you, you’ve got it, you’ve got to have that because again. Sitting in a, in a meeting trying to, to, you know, referee disputes between lawyers or help people manage their case managers or whatever it is.

[00:24:05] Alan Crone: That’s not in that list of things that I love doing. Um, so I need to find somebody who loves doing that. And I have a fellow right now who I don’t know that he loves doing it, but he is, he is super at it. He’s great with interpersonal skills and he’s a great trial lawyer. So people will listen to him when he speaks.

[00:24:24] Alan Crone: And, um, you know, again, it’s, it’s all about delegation. And I think delegation is the most, most, uh, sincere act of humility to be able to delegate something to somebody else and say, I, you know, I don’t have to do it to, for it to be successful and, um, you know, now you’re going to be successful and somebody else is going to be successful.

[00:24:46] Alan Crone: It is, uh, is an exponential win win. Well, and the thing

[00:24:49] Steve Fretzin: people don’t realize about delegation is that it’s not something that happens day one in, in, in any kind of complete way, right? So if I hire, if I’m working with an attorney that I want to delegate to, you know, you start off more as a micromanager because it’s their first time and you’ve got to check and balance and all that.

[00:25:06] Steve Fretzin: Then that can just slowly go to the point where they, they run on their own and they don’t need, you know, you for much. And that’s a skill, that’s a, I don’t know if it’s a learned skill, to some degree I think it is. But, but understanding how to delegate in a way that’s gonna, you know, develop success versus frustration.

[00:25:24] Steve Fretzin: And, and this person’s an idiot, doesn’t know what they’re doing. Well, yeah, but then the training comes in, right? How have they been trained to handle the things you’re delegating over a period of time?

[00:25:33] Alan Crone: That’s, that’s right. And I think a mistake that I made and a lot of lawyers make is they, uh, they hire for potential rather than hiring for skill and particularly when you’re You know, wow, this, this, this woman is right out of law school.

[00:25:50] Alan Crone: She went to this fancy law school. She’s really smart. And, uh, she’s got a lot of upside, a lot of potential. I’m going to train her up and, you know, maybe that is the right call when you’re a solo or solo, when you’re hiring your first associate. But at some point you get to the, to the point where I needed someone to lead this team.

[00:26:09] Alan Crone: I need somebody who’s been there, done that. I need to go find someone who’s been out 15 years, 20 years, and I’m gonna have to pay them what their work to get them to come do this. But you’re going to get somebody who, uh, who, as you say, knows what they’re doing. And even then you can’t assume that they know what they’re doing in.

[00:26:30] Alan Crone: Your way of doing things, right. And you’ve got to train, you’ve got to educate, you got to mentor, even people that are supposedly know what they’re doing, because if they’ve been at, you know, a big firm and they’re wanting a different kind of balance and, you know, a big firm may do things a whole lot differently than you do, and they may tolerate a whole lot of things that you can’t tolerate and you’ve got to make sure you have those conversations on the front end.

[00:26:58] Alan Crone: And that’s why culture is so important for a

[00:27:01] Steve Fretzin: law firm. Yeah, and we didn’t really get in and we don’t have a ton of time But I mean if you could just do 30 seconds or a minute on culture because I think you can’t The things that you’re that you’ve done and and you know three offices and building a team and taking an active ceo role I don’t think that can happen without a strong culture Well,

[00:27:22] Alan Crone: like you say you could do 17 shows on culture But I think the first thing is you you’ve got to sit down every organization, including law firms, has to have a mission that is articulated.

[00:27:35] Alan Crone: Our mission is that we’re out, the Cronin Law Firm, uh, is out to transform the American workplace by putting people first one case at a time. And that’s where you got to start with what’s my mission. What am I trying to do and making sure that everybody knows that your mission, you got to have core value.

[00:27:54] Alan Crone: I am the guy 15 years ago that if you set me down and say, okay, we’re going to have a SWOT analysis and we’re going to decide what our. Uh, key values are in our mission as I would tell you to go blank. You know, that’s

[00:28:07] Steve Fretzin: all you weren’t ready to receive that at the time. Oh,

[00:28:10] Alan Crone: no, that’s all hippie mumbo jumbo But look i’m i’m i’m sold on it now because i’ve seen the power of it in my organization and other organizations And and so you’ve got to be intentional about it And it’s not just something you put on the wall.

[00:28:27] Alan Crone: You’ve got to live it every day You’ve got to make decisions about it every day, and you’ve got to let your folks know. That that’s how you’re making the decisions. Once you do, you’ll have a culture and then it’s a lot easier to bring somebody in and say, look, this is our culture. We’re transparent. And, you know, that’s one of our core value.

[00:28:46] Alan Crone: And so, you know, everybody’s going to know what your billable number is. And you’re going to know what everybody else’s billable number is. And if that’s, I don’t care how great a lawyer are, if you are, you know, irritated by that, or, or, you know, that repels you, then you don’t need to work here. Yeah, uh, and there are a bunch of things like that, that just because you don’t buy into that core value doesn’t mean you’re a bad person or a bad lawyer or anything else.

[00:29:09] Alan Crone: It just means you’re not going to be happy here, and we’re not going to be happy with you. Yeah,

[00:29:13] Steve Fretzin: and better to know that, you know, right at the very start, uh, or before it starts, then, then, then later down the road when, when there’s the friction. So. Yeah. Really great stuff, Alan. Um, you’ve got a podcast, a game changing podcast is not, uh, one that you’re listening to, it’s one that you’re doing.

[00:29:29] Steve Fretzin: It’s called ask Alan. Can you tell everybody a little bit about that?

[00:29:32] Alan Crone: Well, it, um, it’s basically, uh, we, we interview entrepreneurs and lawyers and, um, and people that are making a difference in, uh, in our various communities now, uh, Chicago will be one of those communities. And it’s similar to this. It’s a, it’s a conversation.

[00:29:49] Alan Crone: Um, entrepreneurs particularly always say every superhero has an origin story. And so I always like to hear their origin stories. How did they go from being a freshman at Duke University, um, to owning a large wine distributorship? You know, how do you go from one place to the other? And I think that informs young people that, uh, you know, nobody, uh, comes out of the ground, uh, fully formed.

[00:30:17] Alan Crone: I mean, even Fred Smith, who hasn’t been a guest, I’d love to have him. But, you know, Uh, you know, federal express didn’t start out as a big behemoth that started out very small. His family had money, but not unlimited money. And he grew that business from something very modest to a, to a global icon. So I think that’s what the show is really about.

[00:30:42] Steve Fretzin: Well, that sounds really interesting. So everybody check out that it’s, uh, called ask Alan. And if people want to get in touch with you and you’re again, you’ve got an office in Memphis office in St. Louis and now opening opened in Chicago or opening in Chicago? Uh,

[00:30:54] Alan Crone: open. Yes. We’re open.

[00:30:56] Steve Fretzin: Okay. Awesome. We wrote, yeah.

[00:30:57] Steve Fretzin: Welcome to town, man. And, um, if people want to get in touch with you, whether it’s to be a part of your culture, whether it’s to maybe join the firm, maybe it’s to, to network with you in some way, right. To refer you, uh, they may have cases in Memphis and in St. Louis. Um, best way to reach you.

[00:31:14] Alan Crone: Best way to reach me is, uh, uh, email, uh, a Krohn at Krohn law firm, PLC.

[00:31:20] Alan Crone: com. And if, um, if you forget that, uh, you just Google me, Alan Krohn, attorney, Memphis, and we’ve got a good SEO department. We’ll pop right up there and I’d love to hear from anybody.

[00:31:35] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And something you may want to consider and everyone listening is, um, one of our sponsors is, uh, overture. law. And what they do is the ethic fee sharing.

[00:31:43] Steve Fretzin: They figured out a way to do a fee sharing. That’s just like turnkey. You just, you know, you gotta get interviewed by them. Uh, everyone there has been, um, is, you know, is kind of, uh, in a referral network and then they take care of all the numbers and all the details of, of how the fees are shared in an ethical way.

[00:31:59] Steve Fretzin: So that’s a nationwide opportunity there for everybody. So grab your town and grab your practice area. Uh, while it’s still available. So I check out Overture and our other sponsor, uh, Get Visible, helping people to do the SEO and to do the website and, and, uh, they’re working with me on some retargeting campaigns on LinkedIn.

[00:32:17] Steve Fretzin: So you guys that are listening, might be seeing some ads for upcoming events and free books and things that I like to give away and how I like to educate and, uh, as a, as a point to that, um, you can check out, um, and get a copy of Sales Free Selling, which is my first book, 10 years old last week. And it’s a fretson.

[00:32:34] Steve Fretzin: com slash sales dash free dash selling to pick that up and, uh, grab a copy of that. Alan Crone. Thank you so much, man. I mean, there aren’t a lot of attorneys that I’ve interviewed on this show that are so articulate about what does it take to stop being in the minutia of the firm and to step up and really do what a makes them happy and B what’s going to produce results.

[00:32:58] Steve Fretzin: And so, uh, just really appreciate you being on the show and sharing all that great wisdom.

[00:33:02] Alan Crone: Uh, it’s great. I have an overnight success. Just been working on it for 35 years.

[00:33:07] Steve Fretzin: That’s all. That’s all. It’s a quick, it’s a quick, quick 35 year fix. Well, listen, everybody, if you didn’t take some notes on today’s show, either mentally or physically, um, you should, um, Alan was giving you gem after gem after gem, and that’s what this show is all about.

[00:33:20] Steve Fretzin: As you all know, it’s helping you to be that lawyer. And sometimes that means, you know, cutting back on the bill of hours and focusing on other things that are going to help you get ahead and really live the best life you can live. Someone who’s, uh, that lawyer, confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker.

[00:33:35] Steve Fretzin: Take care, everybody. Be safe. Be well. We will talk again very soon.

[00:33:43] Narrator: Thanks for listening to Be That Lawyer. Life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website Fretzin. com for additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal. Business Development and Marketing Trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.