Meet the 2023 CrispX Firm of the Year Award Winner
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The 2023 Game Changers Summit was for Crisp Coach members only, and the event was largely crafted around celebrating the accomplishments of those firm owners.
Throughout the two-day Summit, Michael and Jessica Mogill took the stage to recognize the most committed members for their incredible transformations and contributions this year.
Winners of these brand-new, highly prestigious Crisp Game Changer Awards at each level (ELITE, PREMIER, and CrispX) were determined based on the factors that impact a successful business, an influential leader, and a true Firm of the Year: Leadership, Firm Culture, Client Experience, and Community Impact.
Although competition was fierce, one firm owner stood out in all four key areas and truly earned the title of CrispX Firm of the Year: Jan Dils of Jan Dils, Attorneys At Law!
Meet Jan Dils
Jan Dils founded Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law, to fight on behalf of everyday people who are disabled or injured.
“When I was younger, I experienced firsthand the challenges people face when applying for Social Security Disability,” she reflects. “My aunt was battling cancer, and I went to the SSA office with her. When she got denied, I watched her break into tears — and I knew then I wanted to dedicate my life to helping people like her.”
In 1994, Jan opened her own firm as the solo attorney and employee. She built a name for herself by fighting hard for her clients, treating them with the compassion and kindness often absent from the process.
“But I have always been ambitious, and I did not want to stop at Social Security,” Jan remembers. “We expanded our practice to include personal injury and then veterans benefits. Eventually, we bought the SSA building where I watched my aunt get denied — and my office sits in the space that used to be the waiting room.”
Today, Jan owns the largest female-founded firm in the country. Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law has gained national attention with awards like Top Workplace 2023, National Trial Lawyers Top 100, National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys Top 10, and more. The firm is powered by a client-centered team of 150 individuals with unparalleled work ethics and a passion for helping people.
As Jan says: “The firm has changed over the years, but one thing remains consistent: our clients are at the heart of what we do, and nothing is more important to us than fighting to make their lives better.”
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law: A Year in Review
Jan Dils has been a member of the CrispX program since its inception in 2018. While she has implemented strategies learned at workshops, developed relationships with fellow firm owners, and regularly connected with her Crisp Coach to hold her accountable and support her growth, in 2023 many of the initiatives she put in place came to full fruition.
Check it out for yourself:
Community Impact at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law
One of the core values of Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law is community, and the firm has been involved with their local community since day one.
They’ve established a number of programs: two scholarships for veterans or their dependents, one scholarship open to anyone, an annual spaghetti dinner that is free for veterans, a 5K fun run to raise money for veteran organizations, and more. Jan’s team also takes pride in participating in events hosted by community partners. As Jan says, “If our clients are there, we want to be there, too.”
Crisp has worked closely with Jan and her team to elevate the firm’s presence at events.
“Since joining Crisp, we have implemented a comprehensive events handbook to ensure we are organized. Through Crisp, we got the idea to begin tracking and incentivizing our team members’ community engagement. We set KPIs in the form of engagement points, establishing a dashboard to track them and a handbook that clarifies expectations. Finally, we have gotten inspiration from the high-quality events that Crisp puts on,” shares Jan. “This is especially true for our event marketing, which now includes omnichannel digital campaigns and high-quality video.”
At the firm’s 2023 Freedom Fun Run 5K, they had a record number of participants — “and we raised more money for veterans than ever before,” says Jan. “This was due in part to our comprehensive digital strategy, which included video from last year’s event.”
“Our clients are at the heart of everything we do, and our community efforts are no different. Many of our events support veterans because I believe in giving back to the people who have fought for our country. Moreover, many of our clients need financial and community support,” asserts Jan. “Our mission is to meet them where they are.”
Firm Culture at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law
Through her Crisp Coach membership, Jan received the structure and support needed to clarify and communicate a set of firm core values that aligned with her own:
- Continuous Improvement
- Client-Centered Focus
“To ensure we live up to these values, we’ve assigned one core value to each quarter to guide our efforts,” explains Jan. “We’ve instituted biweekly one-on-one meetings between team members and their direct supervisors to address problems proactively and encourage open communication.”
The focus on culture has spread through the ranks at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law — and the entire team is benefiting as a result.
“Our HR manager and culture director began leading a Leadership Development Book Club after getting the idea from Crisp,” shares Jan. “Her involvement with Crisp has given her new perspectives on serving our internal team. We also formed a dedicated Culture Committee — a group of team members who enthusiastically bring forth initiatives to foster engagement and support continuous improvement in our culture.”
The Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law Culture Committee even formed Team Member Interest Groups, including a group for gardeners, a paranormal/cryptid group, a group for single parents, a group for video game enthusiasts, a true crime lovers group, a board game enthusiast group, and more.
In 2023, the Culture Committee also generated monthly discussion questions for one-on-one meetings, held cross-departmental meetings, accomplished a suite of internal team-building activities, and defined new areas for growth and exploration through Lunch and Learns.
“Since implementing what we learned at Crisp, our firm culture has strengthened in tangible ways,” reflects Jan. “As a firm, we stay focused on our core values and take on initiatives related to each one regularly. Team members that show leadership potential now have a path forward to develop as leaders and grow with our firm. Communication has greatly improved because our work weeks include structured opportunities to connect and share openly. We regularly get feedback from new hires that our culture is unlike any they have seen before. I am so proud of the culture we have built.”
Client Experience at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law
The experience Jan provides her clients has always been important to her. However, her CrispX membership has given her tools to take the firm’s client experience to the next level.
“While we have always treated our clients like friends or family, we now have systems to ensure that each client gets the highest level of attention,” she shares. “Each team has evaluated pain points in the client journey that they can address, and we continuously review our client service for opportunities to improve.”
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law invested in building systems and processes to ensure each client gets what they need when they need it, including tools to make filling out client paperwork as easy and efficient as possible and electronic signing for new clients.
“By regularly evaluating the new client journey, we can keep improving and pinpointing gaps in our processes,” says Jan. “We also have a documented process for recording and responding to client feedback, which helps all of our clients feel heard and gives us the opportunity to keep getting better.”
Jan’s firm has built its client services around where potential new clients are in the funnel, ensuring communication methods match their needs, whether that’s a text, an email reminder, or a phone call. They’ve produced videos to answer common questions and prime clients throughout their journey, and they regularly perform internal audits of inbound call experience, from dial to agent.
“Continuous improvement has become the standard, and we are constantly seeking ways to adapt to our clients’ needs,” she says.
Leadership at Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law
Jan cites one of the greatest lessons she’s learned from her CrispX membership is the importance of an organization’s leader creating and supporting other leaders.
“A successful law firm relies on effective leaders,” she says. “Even more, growing and scaling a law firm requires a dedicated and agile team. I need to be able to rely on the firm’s leadership to provide excellence even when I am not looking, which is why I am so committed to evolving our leadership team.”
As she elaborates: “Because of Crisp, all leaders complete Kolbe and PRINT profiles so we know how best to communicate with each other and understand team dynamics. All potential new hires complete the Wonscore and Topline profiles prior to hiring, so we can identify how they will fit into our team and culture. We composed formal training materials to alleviate the burden of training new team members. We also created a firm master KPI sheet that includes every department. With each metric, we identify the person responsible. As a result of these changes, we have a cohesive team of strong, adaptable leaders who support excellence in the firm.”
Jan says she believes that people do their best work when they are their best selves, so she has also emphasized personal growth for her team, not just professional growth. To put this conviction into action, she implemented “better human goals” as part of biweekly one-on-one discussions between leaders and team members.
“Each team member is encouraged to identify areas they would like to improve. This could be a goal of being more patient with clients or their kids, drinking more water, or practicing mindfulness,” Jan explains. “Our leaders are there to support them in reaching that goal with as much passion and dedication as if it were a KPI. We value this personal as well as professional growth because success in one area of life breeds more success and motivation to achieve.
Personally, Jan thanks Crisp for pushing her to move out of her comfort zone as a leader.
“I never thought I would be a guest on a podcast, and I am more comfortable in a courtroom than behind a camera — but I have grown as a result of all the opportunities Crisp has provided me,” she says. “I want to give my team the same opportunities to push past their comfort zone and grow as leaders, too.”
Ultimately, the leadership growth Jan has experienced has rippled out in meaningful ways to every member of her team. Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law is experiencing the tangible impact of a leader multiplying her impact — and they’re just getting started.
“With Crisp’s support, I have seen how great leaders truly make a difference for a law firm.”