• Podcast

Episode 136 — The Law Firm of the Future: Live from the Game Changers Summit 2022

Expert attorneys on the front lines can see what’s coming to the legal industry. Ready to find out what the future holds?

In this special episode of The Game Changing Attorney Podcast recorded live from the Game Changers Summit, these four lawyers let you in on their top lessons and predictions:

  • Anthony Johnson, America’s Techiest Lawyer
  • Bob Tharp, Founding Partner of Meriwether & Tharp
  • Alexander Shunnarah, CEO of Alexander Shunnarah Trial Attorneys
  • Eric Chaffin, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Chaffin Luhana

Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, and Spotify.

Show Notes:

Anthony Johnson — The value of a lawyer. “In five to 10 years, I would say there’s going to be a much bigger budget allocation towards things like coaching and business process outsourcing. It starts with the people, then process, then technology, so I think we’ll automate a lot of things. Like I’ve always said, moving a paragraph from here to there should never be something you get paid for as a lawyer, but I think there’s value in fighting for the clients and the consulting, thinking, and decision-making we do as lawyers that should be valued more.”

Bob Tharp — Prioritize business matters. “If you’re not already, you need to think about the business side of your practice in that we need to get over our fear of KPIs. I think a lot of people wonder what KPIs even are, even though really there’s not a firm owner in here that doesn’t have KPIs for their team members. But we all need to look more closely at it and ask why that profit and income exists, and then try to improve every step along the way.”

Eric Chaffin — Always do good by doing right. “When we started our firm, we had one core value: Doing Good by Doing Right. I think we had an idea of what that meant to us personally, but to be able to clarify that vision and then communicate across the firm, it’s been a rallying call for us. 15 years ago, you didn’t see many law firms working in the communities, so having a foundation showing what they’re able to do to impact their clients, but then more broadly, it’s something we’ve been doing since day one — and I think it is something that we all feel good about.”

Alexander Shunnarah — Switching from traditional to digital advertising. “Up until 2017, we were 100 percent traditional. The only technical term I knew was SEO. But in 2017, I obviously saw things changing. We’re probably 70/30 now in digital. We still have some traditional practices in the states that we’ve known, but overall, it’s really allowed me to grow a national practice.”

Anthony Johnson — True storytellers. “Without overcomplicating the answer, lawyers are in the business of telling stories — especially trial lawyers. That’s our job. The only difference between that and like a novelist is it has to be based on the truths and information. If you have more data and if you have a way to take it and create business information, it allows you to make a better decision. We’re finally at a point in time where you can get everyone’s data. It’s either no one knows it or everyone does. So if you need information, it’s just about going and looking for it, knowing how to use data, how to buy it, and how to manipulate it for your purpose as a lawyer.”

Bob Tharp — Goodbye to billable hours. “The future is not billable hours. The marketplaces won’t dictate it. For family law firms and other firms that are on a billable hour model, that’s not what the consumers want. They don’t want unending and unknown expenses coming at them. So I think in the future, there are going to be more flat rates. There will be expectations for the total cost of the case. I think consumers want that type of security, and that’s going to be critical to the future.”

Eric Chaffin — Provide an exceptional experience for your clients. “To me, the way to compete in terms of the Wall Street money coming in is to create the best client service so that when the clients need an excellent trial attorney, they’re going to go with your firm because the trial attorneys believe in your culture, what you’re able to do, and handle big cases. They know how to handle the clients, how to counsel them, and not just get them through the trial, but to help them heal afterwards. Embrace the data, move with it, and don’t make that the only thing, but make it a piece of the puzzle.”

Alexander Shunnarah — Find your motivators. “I have a responsibility to 125 attorneys and 400 staff members, and a lot of people rely on me, including my family. If that doesn’t motivate you, then nothing will. I take that as a serious responsibility in regards to continuing to learn. I guess I’m smart enough to understand that I don’t know everything. I really don’t know too much. You know, since I joined Crisp about four years ago, Michael has been instrumental for my firm for those years. He has made us much better.”

RESOURCES & REFERENCES
Game Changers Summit 2022
Wall Street
Attorney Group
Meriwether & Tharp, LLC
Chaffin Luhana, LLP
Alexander Shunnarah Trial Attorneys

CONNECT WITH MICHAEL
Text directly at 404-531-7691
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