Lessons from Market Leaders: John Morgan
7 minutes to read
If you know anything about the legal industry, then you’ve probably heard the name John Morgan. The massive successes of his nationally-known law firm, Morgan & Morgan, are no secret.
Since its founding in 1988, he’s reached monumental heights settling 7-figure cases, growing the practice from two to 700+ attorneys, and ultimately securing the coveted spot as the largest personal injury firm in the country.
But it wasn’t always silver spoons and million-dollar verdicts for John Morgan.
He learned the value of grit and determination at a young age, often switching out his paper delivery bike for a snow shovel to make ends meet before noon. In doing this, he gained a unique perspective and unbreakable work ethic that led him to defying odds and catapulting his career on an upward trajectory ever since.
Most recently, he joined Crisp Founder & CEO Michael Mogill on not one but TWO episodes of The Game Changing Attorney Podcast where he shared his story, the best practices he lives by, and invaluable insight on the legal industry that he’s acquired over his wildly successful career.
So you can take his wisdom with you wherever you go, we’ve put together an exclusive list of his best insights, law firm advice, and key takeaways to provide some inspiration and keep you on track towards YOUR long-term vision.
- The Role That Luck Plays in Everything We Do
- Find Your “Send and Delete” Person
- Lions vs. Sloths
- A Data-Driven Approach is the Only Approach
- What the Legal Landscape of the Future with Look Like
1. The Role That Luck Plays in Everything We Do
Life is luck.
John proclaims this as he explains the true root of not only his success, but the success of all other business leaders across the globe.
While many would like to claim that their ability to rise to the top is because of their own doing, John believes much of that is simply chalked up to being in the right place at the right time.
He shares an example of this in his original podcast episode, “Building the Google Law Firm & Why You Can’t Teach Hungry,” when he tells the story of taking on one of his first big cases — which happened to fall into his lap after a phone call from a friend whose patient was in dire need of an attorney after a crash at 3:00 in the morning.
John didn’t anticipate this case, as he was a young lawyer still busting his chops to learn the tricks of the trade, but he did take it in stride, ultimately kick-starting his career and proving that he did have what it took to make it in the competitive legal landscape.
All this to say, John doesn’t pat himself on the back when fate delivers fortune to his doorstep. He instead challenges those in similar positions to remember the role luck plays in our lives, from where we’re born and who we marry, to the career events that bring us to where we are now.
2. Find Your “Send and Delete Person”
When John joined fellow powerhouse attorneys Joe Fried, Alexander Shunnarah, Mark O’Mara, and Anthony Johson for the greatest crossover event since Avengers: End Game (aka The Legal Legend LIVE episode of The Game Changing Attorney Podcast) he was asked:
“How do you balance your time working in and on the business, while also making time to work on personal growth?”
As a founding attorney at a law firm boasting over 700 attorneys spread out over 50 offices in 14 states, there is no question that John Morgan has a pretty full plate on a day-to-day basis.
Not to mention, he’s also juggling a wife and four children, proudly supporting the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, and penning and releasing not one, but TWO books.
His answer to this burning question?
Identify those who you can wholeheartedly trust within your firm, and make them your “Send and Delete” people. This is someone who you can count on to take care of tasks delegated to them so that YOU can simply send it over and delete it from your radar.
Freeing yourself up to focus on your non-negotiable responsibilities is the greatest gift you can give yourself, your team, and your organization.
Once you are able to fully disconnect and ruthlessly delegate to your “Send and Delete” people, John promises efficiency follows close behind.
Interested in what else he had to offer in The Legal Legends LIVE? Check out the trailer below for a sneak peek, and listen to the episode of The Game Changing Attorney Podcast FREE on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and the official podcast website.
3. Lions vs. Sloths
In his solo podcast episode, John discusses the innate qualities of success and the fact that you’ve either got “it” — or you simply don’t.
He paints a vivid picture of this idea, comparing lions and sloths in the jungle and the automatic advantage one clearly has over the other, simply because of the circumstances each are born in.
In the jungle today, a lion will be born. And that lion is the king of the jungle, just because he or she is a lion. The same day, a sloth will be born. Same day, same jungle, same deal. That sloth is so f*cked. He can’t even describe it. All he can do is barely muster up enough energy to come down the tree, grab some berries, go to the bathroom, and go back up and go to sleep.
Sure, each person technically has free will to improve, progress, and ultimately do what they please, but John argues that it really all comes down to how we are BUILT.
The same way you “can’t teach hungry,” you also can’t just decide to be a lion if you’ve got the habits and mindset of a sloth.
4. A Data-Driven Approach is the Only Approach
Although John Morgan can now pride himself in having the largest personal injury firm in the country, it’s important to note that things weren’t always like this, and he couldn’t always count on when another case was coming in the door.
So, when asked what he would do now if he were just starting out and trying to build his business to get cases on the table in the Legal Legends LIVE podcast episode, his answer was simple: you must pay attention to DATA.
“Without [data],” John explains, “It’s like driving without a map and going nowhere fast.”
He declares that he doesn’t just want some of the cases — he wants all of them. In order to make this happen, John stresses the importance of using numbers to get a read on what it will take to do that.
Within his own firm, for example, they look at the reported number of car crashes in an area versus the number of car crash cases the firm is currently taking on. If the numbers don’t match up, there is work to do and slack to make up for.
5. What the Legal Landscape of the Future will Look Like
Attorneys often speculate about what the future of the legal landscape will look like based on factors such as improved technology, the economy, and the state of the court system.
Curious as to what one of the industry’s top leader’s’ thoughts are on the matter?
When asked about the impending state of the industry, John offers a unique perspective, predicting billable hours will be a thing of the past, particularly within commercial litigation, and instead envisions a future of single prices for services.
He argues that charging by the hour is really just grand larceny and the cause for many a felony within large firms, giving this example to illustrate his point:
If you got a guy that mows your grass that says, “Hey, I’m going to charge you by the hour to mow your grass,” you’d be like, “Get the f*ck out of here. I’m going to pay you a hundred bucks and that’s it.”
Going further, he also predicts that law firms will shift from private entities to being owned by public corporations and being consolidated, with a need for fewer lawyers — something he doesn’t necessarily think is a bad thing.
Have you gotten your fill of John Morgan inspiration? Maybe you’re looking to delve deeper into the mind of one of the nation’s top legal industry leaders?
You’re in luck.