Stewart Wessel: Preparing for a Lateral Move

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Stewart Wessel discuss:

  • How Stewart got into legal recruiting.
  • The control and freedom that comes from having your own book of business.
  • Building your network.
  • Understanding the market for 1+1=3.

Key Takeaways:

  • As a younger lawyer, you do not have to start building your book alone – you can bring a more senior attorney with you to help close the deal.
  • The optimal size of your book when making a lateral move is different depending on where you are trying to move.
  • When making a lateral move, look for a fit outside of just a monetary fit. The cultural fit and what you’re looking to get out of the firm will also make a difference in where you want to look.
  • There are many questions you need to understand so you go into a move with your eyes wide open.

“The truth of the matter is, that’s the baseline. The expectation is you’re a great lawyer, but you need to have business in order to have some control and some freedom over your life and make moves.” —  Stewart Wessel

Get a free copy of Steve’s book “Sales-Free Selling” here:

Thank you to our Sponsors!


Get Staffed Up:

Get Visible:

Episode References: 

Connect with Stewart Wessel:  


Email: [email protected]


Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Instagram: @fretzinsteve

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.


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.


[00:00:00] Steve FretzIn: Hey everybody, if you’re looking to supercharge your success in 2024, you’re going to want to attend our final event of the year, uh, December 18th. Um, go to our website at fretzin. com slash events to learn more, but this is the one you’ve been waiting for. Hope to see you there.

[00:00:20] 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, will take a deeper dive, helping you grow your law practice.

[00:00:38] Narrator: Now here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.

[00:00:43] Steve FretzIn: Hey everybody. Welcome to Be That Lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin. I hope you’re having a lovely day today. Listen, this, uh, this is another opportunity to be that lawyer. Someone who’s confident, organized, and a skilled rainmaker. If you’re hearing about Fretzin for the first time, just to give you a little insight, uh, we really only do two things.

[00:00:58] Steve FretzIn: We work with lawyers over a number of years to help them dramatically grow and sustain their book of business and really, really build. The, the, the control and the freedom that is going to allow them to be, uh, their best selves and have control in their career. Uh, we’re actually going to talk about that today with Stuart.

[00:01:13] Steve FretzIn: Stuart, how are you doing? I’m doing great. How are you? I’m doing well. I’m doing well. I’m talking about Fretzin. What else could be better than that? Um, I think about myself, I guess, you know, the ego, let’s see how much ego I have at this point. And guys, don’t forget about our pure advisory round tables.

[00:01:29] Steve FretzIn: If you ever feel like you’re on an Island and you don’t really don’t have anyone to talk to at your firm, business development and rainmaking is your passion. And you want to be in a room with other successful attorneys from around the country to talk shop, solve problems, and just feel like you can have a confidential environment.

[00:01:44] Steve FretzIn: To talk it out, let me know about our business developers, array maker round tables. Happy to chat with you about that. So here with Stuart today, Stuart, how long have we known each other, a few years, two, three years? Yeah, something like that. It’s not about, right. Okay. We’re both provisors, group leaders, and we’re big provisors guys.

[00:02:00] Steve FretzIn: We love that. We’re going to see at the, uh, the meeting coming up. I’ll be there. Looking forward to it. Awesome. Me too. Uh, tip of glass together. And, um, So Stuart, I always like to start the show off with the quote of the show. People love our quotes. Now, this is funny because we don’t have an author to this quote, other than every lawyer ever.

[00:02:19] Steve FretzIn: And that is why don’t they teach business development in law school? I mean, how many times have you heard that? How many times have I heard that? You know, it could probably write a book that would just be a hundred pages of that written over and over again. Absolutely. But I’m curious why, of all the quotes you could have submitted that that was the one that you wanted to put forth.

[00:02:38] Stewart Wessel: Well, basically that’s what I, I, I hear a lot when I’m reaching out to folks or meeting people who are interested in making a move, one of the biggest things that I hear is, uh, you know, I’m a really great attorney. Doesn’t anyone just need a good attorney anymore? And the truth of the matter is, that’s the baseline, right?

[00:02:56] Stewart Wessel: That, that’s, that’s the expectation is you’re a great lawyer. But you need to have business in order to, you know, have some control and some freedom over your life, uh, and, and make

[00:03:07] Steve FretzIn: moves. Yeah. And, uh, Stuart, you are the Stuart Wessel. Everybody is the founder of the Wessel Group. He’s a top notch legal recruiter based in Texas, just outside of Dallas.

[00:03:17] Steve FretzIn: And. I’m just so excited to talk to you. I know that we’ve been, we’ve been kind of networking together for a few years and really having some great success there, but give us a little bit of your background cause you weren’t always a recruiter, right? No,

[00:03:29] Stewart Wessel: uh, not at all. I, I, I was in sales, uh, coming out of school, uh, did sales for my whole career, sales manager, vice president of sales, uh, and kind of had a, uh, I don’t know, like midlife crisis or something and was looking for something different.

[00:03:47] Stewart Wessel: Something where I could kind of have my own business and have some freedom. And I had the opportunity to work with another legal recruiter and, um, went out on my own about four or five years ago.

[00:03:59] Steve FretzIn: And, uh, it’s not easy. I actually, people don’t know this, uh, cause I don’t share it openly. Um, I’ve run a number of businesses and one of them was a sales recruiting business.

[00:04:08] Steve FretzIn: I ran it for about six years. And when I, when I got into working with lawyers and it took over everything that I am and that I do. I tried to convert the sales recruiting into legal recruiting, and it was an absolute disaster. The recruiters that I had in sales, they couldn’t figure out how to work with lawyers.

[00:04:24] Steve FretzIn: And so I ended up selling the business to my, my number two and, and moving on. But, uh, it is a tricky business. And so talk to us about that. And then, and then what would it, did you have a, be that lawyer tipping point? Or was it just, was it moving into the legal recruiting space?

[00:04:40] Stewart Wessel: Uh, it, it was. You know, uh, moving into the space, I assume, uh, it’s, it was, you know, for me, you know, in sales, I was dealing with people who, you know, I was looking for a white collar kind of environment.

[00:04:56] Stewart Wessel: Uh, I wanted to deal with intelligent people who were driven and, and wanted, uh, the best for their careers. Uh, And it’s all about listening, right? That’s what sales is to me. That’s what recruiting is, is, is listening to what the firms are looking for, listening to what the, the attorneys are looking for, and then finding that perfect match and, and making it, uh, so it’s, my philosophy is one plus one equals three.

[00:05:23] Stewart Wessel: So the, the sum of the, uh, you know, the attorney along with the firm should, you know, equal greater than, than the sum of the parts, sir.

[00:05:32] Steve FretzIn: Okay. Yeah. Right on. And we know that. You know, obviously I’m in this business for a reason. I, I saw in 2008 and nine with the great recession that, that lawyers really hadn’t thought much about business development.

[00:05:47] Steve FretzIn: I mean, some did, there’s always the rainmaker at the top that was bringing in all the business for everyone else. And then when the recession happened and that in an hour slowed and people got laid off and such, I just noticed that there was such a need for lawyers to learn business development and to hone that particular skill.

[00:06:04] Steve FretzIn: Because Because of what you shared earlier that, you know, you don’t have control and freedom without it yet. There are many lawyers who just refuse, they just refuse to do it. They’re going to keep their head down and maybe it works out. Maybe it doesn’t. I, I’ve known a number of people that have gone their entire careers, keeping their head down and it worked out just great.

[00:06:21] Steve FretzIn: And there’s others that have found themselves in terrible, terrible situations where they’re calling me kind of at the 11th hour. And it’s almost like, I don’t know, you got like six months left. I can’t promise, you know, I’m going to be able to make you millions in six months. So talk to me a little bit about why lawyers seem to struggle with, with that concept or the actual execution of business development.

[00:06:42] Stewart Wessel: Well, I think most of them, depending on what kind of a firm they’re part of, but in big law. If you’re in big law, then you, you killed it in grade school. You killed it in high school and college, and then obviously law school. And everyone told you you were great and you were top of the line. And you just know that if you do what you got to do, then everything’s going to work out.

[00:07:04] Stewart Wessel: And in the business world and in big law. It’s, uh, you know, you’ve got to develop that business in order to achieve partnership in order to achieve, you know, top line success. You have, you have to have that business.

[00:07:20] Steve FretzIn: Yeah. And they struggle in my opinion, because, and this is, this is not for me, this is coming from a number of my, my attorney clients that.

[00:07:27] Steve FretzIn: You know, when they go through law school, they’re, they’re set up on a pedestal that they’re better, you know, than everyone they’re noble because they’re in the law. Like this is a noble profession. I can’t argue with any of that. I mean, better than everyone. Okay. You know, Larry, the lawyer, my father would, would maybe agree with that too.

[00:07:43] Steve FretzIn: But the, um, the reality is that, um, it doesn’t set them up to do the grunt mindset of sales. The word sales isn’t even used in legal because it’s such a scary word and it’s so beneath a lawyers in their, in their minds. Yet it’s unfortunate because to the point of what they don’t teach in law school, it’s become maybe the second most important thing a lawyer can do to make sure their career is not in jeopardy and that they, you know, we keep saying control and freedom because those are the two words that keep coming up over and over.

[00:08:15] Steve FretzIn: So I’m sorry is I can say, I’m sorry to everybody that that’s the case, but it’s, it is, you know, there’s no way around it. I don’t think. Sure.

[00:08:25] Stewart Wessel: No, I, I would agree. You, you know, talking to associates second, third year, you know, they’re on track, they’re doing great, and everyone’s telling them they’re doing great and they’re, they’re getting great experience and they’re, they’re, they’re tops of their profession.

[00:08:39] Stewart Wessel: Fourth to sixth year. Uh, you know, I, I tell, look, you gotta start a networking. You have to, you, you know, are you, you meeting people? Do you have any clients? And you know, the majority say. I don’t have time. I don’t, I, you know, it’s, you know, I’m working, you know, I’m billing over 2000 hours. I, you know, I don’t have time to do that, but the reality is, is the people that are doing that are the ones who are moving forward.

[00:09:07] Stewart Wessel: And then I get the call from the 7, 8 year attorney saying, uh, I just got the talk, which is, hey, we really like you. We appreciate you, but you’ve got. You know, six months to figure something out and they’re in a panic, they, they don’t have business and, you know, there’s not a lot I can do to help them.

[00:09:28] Steve FretzIn: Yeah, that’s, yeah, that’s, and that’s, and that, and again, that’s, that’s sort of across the, across the, the gambit of what I’m hearing every day as well. And I try to, you know, convince recruiters like yourself to, you know, Hey, send me your people, hopefully not with six months. I was in a window, but, you know, send me the people who are not placeable.

[00:09:45] Steve FretzIn: Let me fix them up, the fixer uppers, right. And then send them back to you with a half a million to a million. So they’re somewhat placeable. And, um, I’m actually surprised more recruiters don’t. Don’t think that way. Well, I don’t know why that is. It doesn’t seem to make sense. But they are that, and maybe you can give me your, not your take from you, cause you do send me people, but what the mindset is of recruiters that don’t think to send their, you know, that’s what I do when people aren’t good fit for me.

[00:10:10] Steve FretzIn: They need marketing. They need something. I send them, they need a new job. I send them out. I don’t try to, you know, just say good luck. Well, for

[00:10:16] Stewart Wessel: me, I do this long term right. So, and I’m trying to build relationships and I’m not about. Just trying to make a quick placement and, and move on. And I think a lot of people in my profession are a no book click that, you know, I like to try and have a conversation and build a relationship because you never know down the road.

[00:10:39] Stewart Wessel: And, and honestly, I do what I do because I love to help people. I want to help people get into a better situation. I want people to succeed. I want. To, to help them and, and that’s at the core, that’s what it’s about. And I’m not sure everyone in my space, uh, feels that way. Yeah.

[00:10:57] Steve FretzIn: Just, well, it’s, it’s, but it’s, you know, and it’s the right thing to do, even if they don’t come back to the recruiter.

[00:11:02] Steve FretzIn: I mean, you know, send, you know, get them the help they need. I mean, the other thing I want to go back to is the point you made about lawyers, just being too busy billing 2000 hours a year, and really, you know, just head down constant work, constant pressure. They have their family at home, two kids, and they’re thinking, how the hell am I going to do business development?

[00:11:23] Steve FretzIn: That, that isn’t even a blip on my radar because I’m, I’m just so overwhelmed. And that’s not an unusual situation for me to come across. And the idea that we have to talk it out. And figure where the, the, the, the open time may be, um, what we can delegate it. Here’s the weird thing too. Sometimes lawyers don’t realize they can say, no, they’re not going to get fired because when a lawyer comes, a partner comes to them and says, Hey, I need you to do this, be able to say, look, I.

[00:11:53] Steve FretzIn: I have a, you know, I have all these hours I’ve got, you know, I, I’m overwhelmed. I can’t take it on, you know, is there someone else that you could find to do it and leave that little gap of space open so that you can do the marketing, the business development, the networking, um, because otherwise you’re never going to get out of that trap and that’s kind of what it is.

[00:12:10] Stewart Wessel: That’s right. No, I agree a hundred percent. You know, there’s also, you know, what I run across is. Challenges with the bill rates when you’re working at a top top law firm. I mean, I don’t know how many 30 to 35 year olds know a ton of have a lot of connections to people that can pay over a thousand dollars an hour for legal services, right?

[00:12:33] Stewart Wessel: So sometimes it’s positioning getting into the right platform where you have some bill rate flexibility and you can do some things in order to achieve those goals and meet with people who, who can actually pay for those services.

[00:12:49] Steve FretzIn: Well, right in the, in the big, in the big firm lawyers that are younger also feel like they’re on their own.

[00:12:54] Steve FretzIn: I mean, you have to identify the opportunity to get in front of a GC, to get in front of a CEO, and don’t feel like you have to do that by yourself. I mean, bring your top partner along with you, lock up that business. And my hope is that you have some way of getting origination. And if you don’t, you know, then you have to, you know, I guess, wait until you, you build enough hours to get elevated to partner as a title, only a name.

[00:13:19] Steve FretzIn: And then maybe you get some origination and then you can start building stuff. But I think to your point earlier, you know, building that network so that people are thinking about you thinking about, you know, what you do and how you do it better, faster, stronger, how your firm could support, you know, if there’s leads that are generated, that can be really helpful.

[00:13:36] Steve FretzIn: So how does that, let’s get into like, like, what does a lawyer need to have as far as a book size to be successful in making the lateral move? Because those numbers have moved up and down. Before and after the pandemic.

[00:13:50] Stewart Wessel: Sure. So it’s all an equation, right? It’s a billable hours times rate equals book or, uh, portable business.

[00:13:59] Stewart Wessel: Uh, it depends where you want to go, really. Uh, if you’re going to a regional firm that maybe has some excess work where that can kind of fill the gaps, you know, a half a million is, is sufficient. You know, getting into the more national mid level, I call Midwest based national firms, those platforms, you know, you need 750 a million.

[00:14:24] Stewart Wessel: Um, and then at the top firms, you know, you need millions to, for, to make sense

[00:14:31] Steve FretzIn: for the firm, right? Here’s everything you need to know about Lawmatics. Ready? They are the number one law firm automation platform in legal. They help law firms win new business, speed up intake, and boost efficiency. They integrate smoothly with your favorite practice management tools like Clio, Smokeball, and Practice Panther.

[00:14:48] Steve FretzIn: And get this, on average, Lawmatics users get 25 percent more clients, save six hours a week, and grow their revenue by at least 25 percent. Curious? I think so. Give Lawmatics a try with a 10 percent discount by going to lawmatics. com slash Be that lawyer. That’s Lawmatics, L A W M A T I C S dot com slash be that lawyer.

[00:15:15] Steve FretzIn: As you all know, finding amazing employees can be the toughest job for any law firm leader. You deserve to run the law firm you’ve always dreamed of, but you can’t get there without a great team. To get staffed up, they will help you by staffing your law firm with incredible full time offshore executive assistants, legal assistants, marketing assistants, and much more.

[00:15:34] Steve FretzIn: The best part, they will find you a highly qualified English speaking VA based in Latin America for only a fraction of the cost. Locally. At Fresson we use gett, staffed up for Marketing person, and you know how good our marketing is. Learn more at gett Staffed.

[00:15:53] Get Visible Digital Marketing Agency: Lawyers, there’s an easy way to boost your law practice.

[00:15:57] Get Visible Digital Marketing Agency: Partner with GetVisible, the digital marketing agency that makes you stand out. Meet Sarah, an awesome lawyer, but a terrible marketer. GetVisible helped her build a powerful website and boost her online visibility. Now she ranks high on Google, gains clients through ads and engaging content. Tired of feeling insignificant?

[00:16:16] Get Visible Digital Marketing Agency: Make it rain. Visit GetVisible. com and stand out.

[00:16:21] Steve FretzIn: And so let’s go back and forth. You and I can do sort of a speed round here of what types of things can lawyers do to get to the half a million, seven 50 million mark, if they, let’s say they’ve already started building a network, they’re on a track, maybe they’re locked in at a hundred to two 50, and now it’s next level stuff.

[00:16:39] Steve FretzIn: And I can say, yeah, I, or me, and that’s my, that’s my game every day. But let’s, let’s give them some actionable tips that you have found work for lawyers that are looking to up their game on the, on the business development origination side. Well, a lot of them,

[00:16:52] Stewart Wessel: I don’t know, a lot of them, that’s why I have you.

[00:16:54] Stewart Wessel: Well,

[00:16:54] Steve FretzIn: all right. I mean, I don’t want to give all the tips. I have all the tips. I don’t want to give all the tips, but

[00:17:01] Stewart Wessel: yeah, get involved. The bar association, get involved in, in different groups. Uh, You know, just get to, to know people and be in places where professionals are, you know, whether it’s a charity work or, you know, it doesn’t have to be driven by, you know, specifically work, it’s getting to know people, it’s getting to like people, it’s getting people to like and trust you, um, and, and, and think of you and being in front of them enough where, um, They run across someone else that has a need and they think of you.

[00:17:40] Stewart Wessel: That’s kind of the key is, um, you know, working towards being top of mind when, because when you’re networking and you get to know other people and they understand at, at like a first, like, so I would understand what they do. Yeah. Uh, like a first grade level, making sure that you have a pitch that you can tell everyone, you know, in those groups of what you do.

[00:18:04] Stewart Wessel: Um, so. So they understand it and when it’s like having a, a team of a sales team out there working for you without even realizing you have that, that

[00:18:16] Steve FretzIn: team. Yeah. I mean, I would say yes, and I would take a step back and say, you need to commit as a lawyer to understanding the importance of the originations and the book of business, and just decide that you want to be a student of the game.

[00:18:32] Steve FretzIn: You know, if I want to, if I, so here’s what I did over the summer with my kid. We bought a, we, I won a Traeger grill and a, and a golf outing, um, straightest drive or whatever the hell it was. And I was very proud of it anyway. And we started smoking meat and we have been reading up and watching videos and really learning about different rubs and different methods of saying, well, look, we’re no pros.

[00:18:55] Steve FretzIn: We’re not going to win the barbecue contest here in Chicago. Okay. Lawyers similarly need to start reading. Watching video, listening to podcasts like this and others, you know, I love the entrepreneur, a lawyer. I love, you know, uh, uh, Matt Kerbis has the subscription lawyer. There’s just a ton of great podcasts to learn about business development, marketing, personal branding.

[00:19:18] Steve FretzIn: So I would say number one, become a student of the game. And that’s going to include Stuart to your point, networking, you need to become an expert networker. And I’ve got a book called the Attorney’s Networking Handbook. It’s on Amazon. It’s super cheap, easy to buy, gives you tips on all different kinds of elements of things you’ve never thought of regarding networking.

[00:19:38] Steve FretzIn: You don’t just show up and hand out cards and leave. There’s so much more that needs to happen that you can plan for and execute on. That’s going to get you better results. And if time is money, which is really what. Lawyer’s issue is, is that their time is so limited and that means that their, you know, ability to make money is limited that we need to, we need to make the best use of that time through the, the, the learning and the execution of business development, marketing, time management, best practices.

[00:20:07] Stewart Wessel: You know, I would agree a hundred percent. Uh, you know, go to conferences where you’re, you know, that where people in those circles are, you know, just get involved.

[00:20:17] Steve FretzIn: Yeah. And here’s the other, the other dirty little secret is. Yeah, people will want to help you people when you go out and meet people and you try to help them and you make a relationship and people feel good.

[00:20:29] Steve FretzIn: I just interviewed Diane. She was my last guest. D’Arresta on my show was introduced to me by, um, Jennifer Gilman, who’s a recruiter friend of mine as well. And I was so thought, so it was so thoughtful that she sent me her and that we got along great, we put out some great content last week. Our last episode and, um, you know, and I’m continually trying to figure out how to add value for people.

[00:20:52] Steve FretzIn: They’re trying to add value for me. And lawyers need to learn how to do that because that’s at the, at the heart of how we build business.

[00:21:00] Stewart Wessel: That’s right. Well, you know, uh, one of the provisors, uh, edicts is the being go giver, right? When I meet with people that aren’t necessarily in the legal space, I do everything I can to make an introduction to see what I can do to help them.

[00:21:17] Stewart Wessel: Uh, and it comes back tenfold. It’s, it’s been

[00:21:20] Steve FretzIn: amazing. Yeah, let me give one more tip. And then I have another question for you about how lawyers need to prepare to how they’re, what’s the best things they need to do to prepare for a move. They’re ready for that change. The last point I want to make everybody is really about.

[00:21:36] Steve FretzIn: Personal branding, I think part of it is business development. And then there’s another aspect that accentuates it, which is personal branding. You know, what’s your persona, how are people seeing you? What are you putting out on social media? Do you even have a LinkedIn profile that’s, you know, readable or, or, or that, that makes your, you stand out.

[00:21:53] Steve FretzIn: How are you continually creating content in your space to become known as the top person or one of the top people in your city, in your space? And you’re, you may be sitting there saying, well, I’m not doing any of that. Well, you’re behind, you’re behind the other people who are. It’s a, it’s a competition.

[00:22:09] Steve FretzIn: Lawyers are competitive. So be competitive. Look at what everyone else is doing. Don’t copy them, but be yourself, but understand you’re either hosting on social media or you’re not, you’re either out networking or you’re not. You’re either cross marketing effectively, or you’re not even thinking about cross marketing in your firm and other people are doing it and you’re not.

[00:22:28] Steve FretzIn: Not a good thing, not a good thing. So, all right, I’m a lawyer, I’m at a mid market firm, the culture’s gone to shit and I’m at a point where I’m not being supported, I’m not being, all I’m doing is banging out everyone else’s work. Um, I’ve been able to carve out a half a million for myself through sheer effort and force.

[00:22:49] Steve FretzIn: How do I best prepare to, to move? Well, you

[00:22:53] Stewart Wessel: need to, uh, get all your numbers together, understand where you are, what your rate structure is, where you are rate wise, understand your clients. If you go somewhere, can you raise your rates deep? Would you have to lower your rates and then. The biggest piece is, is finding a firm in your market matches your goals and what you’re trying to accomplish, or has synergies within, within your space with others.

[00:23:23] Stewart Wessel: There are firms who are, who are looking for specific practice areas. Some are really strong in that area. Some are, you know, looking for the right person to build out that. And so if you’re a real estate attorney, you know, transactional side, and, you know, do you want to go to a place that has a really strong group already where you can benefit from that, or do you want to go to a place where, you know, you can kind of be the trailblazer and, you know, benefit from.

[00:23:50] Stewart Wessel: You know, a strong M and a group who’s kicking off some real estate work, you know, you kind of got to understand the market and, and realized who’s, who’s out there and, and we’re the one plus one can equal three.

[00:24:03] Steve FretzIn: Yeah. And the grass isn’t always greener. So what do they have to do to work with you and to figure out what’s best for them?

[00:24:12] Steve FretzIn: I mean, law firms are, are doing the same, right. They want to bring in the right fit, but the lawyer has to, has to be, they’re the product. So they need to also find out like if I’m going to take my book, if I’m going to leave this firm, I’ve been with five, 10 years or whatever to go over. And I want to make sure the grass is green or the things that they need to, they need to look into to ensure that they’re qualifying the firms that they’re interviewing or that are interviewing them to identify best fit.

[00:24:38] Steve FretzIn: Well,

[00:24:38] Stewart Wessel: I would recommend with working with a solid recruiter, obviously not to be a self promoting or anything, but. You know, we’re dealing with this all the time, you know, attorneys are knee deep in, in the day to day, they’re not really aware of all the firms that are out there, but if you’re doing it on your own, when you’re, you’re talking to other firms that talk to the other partners, understand what they’re, you know, what the culture of the firm is, what the expectations are, what is the expectation different than the presentation, right?

[00:25:09] Stewart Wessel: A lot of firms say, Oh, well, we have this policy. Or, you know, we expect X, well, then you start talking to the other attorneys and you realize they’re not really looking for X, they’ll accept X, but in order for you to really thrive and get where you want to go, you’ve got to do X plus Y, and, uh, you know, just understanding and getting to know the other attorneys, are they really You know, just asking some basic questions, you know, what’s your typical week?

[00:25:40] Stewart Wessel: What, where, where are you, uh, how do you develop business? How, you know, does the firm support that? Do they support your marketing efforts? Do, are they willing to. You don’t bring money to the table or does it all come out of my pocket? How does business development work within the, within the platform?

[00:25:58] Stewart Wessel: Yeah, those are all things that are really important to know.

[00:26:02] Steve FretzIn: Absolutely. And in that one of the reasons I think some lawyers do want to leave firms is because they are, they aren’t being supported by the firm’s marketing department, this dev department, they, they’re not, they don’t have the proper associates under them to handle the workflow and they feel like they’re doing a ton of associate work.

[00:26:18] Steve FretzIn: I mean, there’s a lot of. A lot of reasons and, you know, firms are still, I think, struggling to find. I think now there is a, I don’t want to say a shortage of lawyers, but there seems to be, you know, it’s tougher to find the, you know, to find the associates to, to feed the work down to them. Maybe it was a number of years ago.

[00:26:35] Steve FretzIn: Oh, I think, yeah, if I can

[00:26:37] Stewart Wessel: jump, I think that’s happening at the mid level and lower firms, just because with COVID the, you know, the big firms are stealing from the lower firms who are stealing from the regional firms who are stealing from the mom and pops. And it’s really hard and the expectation of compensation has been altered.

[00:26:56] Stewart Wessel: And so, you know, young attorneys are going, well, my friend works at, you know, a firm and they’re making this, so I should be making at least this, but. You got to understand it’s all, it’s a business, right? So you, you have to understand that if you were charging a thousand dollars an hour and now you have to charge 500, well, then there’s less money for overhead.

[00:27:19] Stewart Wessel: There’s less money for associates. So when you’re looking at a platform, you need to understand, am I going to have to do a lot more work as a partner that I would have previously just been able to send to associates, how many associates are on the platform, how long are associates staying there? They’re all questions that you need to understand.

[00:27:39] Stewart Wessel: So you, you want, you go in with your eyes wide open.

[00:27:43] Steve FretzIn: Spot on, spot on. I appreciate that. And let’s kind of wrap things up though, Stuart, with, um, your game changing book or podcast. In this case, it’s a, you know, for those who are not in the sales space, um, or haven’t really studied sales. There’s a gentleman who’s been teaching it for many years.

[00:27:58] Steve FretzIn: In fact, when I was in the, it was in there, maybe the early nineties, it’s one of the first books I read. And one of the, and I used to, you know, buy the tapes, everything of Brian Tracy. Um, Brian Tracy, I think is a little, a little, um, older these days, but I think he’s still kicking. I think he’s still kicking.

[00:28:12] Steve FretzIn: And the book is Eat That Frog, which is a crazy title that I love. And I think it’s one of these books, and you tell me if I’m right or wrong, Stuart, I don’t think you need to read the book. I think it’s the, it’s the concept of the book that really is the book. Some books, some books are written like that.

[00:28:27] Steve FretzIn: Maybe I’m wrong. No, you’re absolutely right. Oh, okay. The

[00:28:32] Stewart Wessel: Eat That Frog is, uh. It’s something that I think everyone struggles with, and we all have things that we really love to do, and we have things that, uh, maybe aren’t our favorite things to do, and the whole point of the book, it’s, in addition to time management, it’s eat the frog first, right?

[00:28:51] Stewart Wessel: If you have something that, you know, for me, cold calling is, is no fun, right? Right. So for me, I try to get in. And knock out my cold calling, if that’s what I’m got scheduled on my calendar first, rather than, you know, having one eye on my email and go, Oh, I could do this. It’s being productive as opposed to being active, right?

[00:29:13] Stewart Wessel: You want to be productive and

[00:29:15] Steve FretzIn: it’s, but it’s taking, it’s taking the thing that is, that is most unsavory, like eating a frog and getting it done first and getting it knocked out first. And then the rest of the day is easy. That’s kind of the. That’s gist of it, I think. Right. So business development sometimes fall, like I try to get lawyers to do business development early in the day.

[00:29:34] Steve FretzIn: And it’s not cold calling, it’s sending out four or five emails a week or whatever it might be that they need to do, or contacting someone that, you know, can help them get a presentation set up, whatever it is that we have on our plan to do and getting it done early is always great. The other thing that I like to just talk about is.

[00:29:52] Steve FretzIn: I set up a lot of my clients with accountability buddies. So it’s like a workout friend. So instead of hanging out, you’re just getting on a zoom. Saying, look, I’ve got five emails to get out. What do you have to do? Okay. And let’s put it on mute. Let’s come back in 30 minutes and say that we actually did what we were eating.

[00:30:10] Steve FretzIn: That frog, we actually ate the frog. We got out the emails. It’s done for the week. And you can always feel good about when you get something done that wasn’t your favorite thing.

[00:30:19] Stewart Wessel: Absolutely. And in fact, you know, I live it. So, you know, when you do. Your day is so much better, that weight is off of you, cause otherwise it just eats at the, it eats at you, and you’re always thinking about it, just get it done, and move on.

[00:30:36] Steve FretzIn: Right on, right on. Hey, as we wrap up everybody, I want to thank our, our wonderful sponsors, of course, Lawmatics, which is the top layer in the, you know, client relationship management space and automations are amazing. I use Lawmatics every day. And then, I mean, even Stuart getting on this show, that was all automated through Lawmatics, which made it really easy for you to get on the show and fill out the form and do all the stuff you needed, um, of course, get visible working on the digital marketing for everybody, helping them with their websites and such, and get staffed up.

[00:31:05] Steve FretzIn: And if you love my marketing, guess what I use, get staffed up. Well, I’ve got my guy, Sergio down in Bogota, Columbia, who’s working diligently every day to make sure my marketing shines. Stuart, if people want to get in touch with you, they want to talk to you about their career. What’s the best way for them to reach you?

[00:31:19] Stewart Wessel: Yeah, they can either, uh, go to my website, uh, which is the Wessel dot group. Or send me an email, Stuart, uh, spelled S T E W A R T at the Wessel dot group. You know, you can find me there and reach out, give me a call, shoot me an email. I’d love to, to talk

[00:31:38] Steve FretzIn: to you. Well, really appreciate you coming on the show and talking shop with me.

[00:31:42] Steve FretzIn: Um, obviously my favorite subject is business development for lawyers, and I do have empathy for lawyers who. You know, who don’t have the book of business and find themselves in a bad position. And I’m, I’m always open to helping them and giving them advice and trying to, you know, help them out of that, out of that, you know, poll that they’ve dug or that they’re in.

[00:32:02] Steve FretzIn: And then obviously, you know, we’d love to continue to, to network with you and, and, you know, try to figure out good, you know, mutual connections for each other. Um, that’s what this is all about guys. It’s all about helping each other and paying it forward and, and, uh, you know, being a mensch, uh, you know, for those of you with the Jewish persuasion.

[00:32:18] Steve FretzIn: Uh, so thanks again, Wessel, uh, Stuart Wessel, I appreciate it. No

[00:32:22] Stewart Wessel: problem. Thank you, Steve.

[00:32:24] Steve FretzIn: I appreciate your time. Yeah. Yeah. Of course. And thank you everybody for spending some time with Steward. I today. There’s another opportunity to be that lawyer. Someone who’s confident, organized, did a skilled rainmaker.

[00:32:33] Steve FretzIn: Take care, everybody. You safe. Be well. We’ll talk again soon.

[00:32:40] 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