You can either be your own greatest asset or your biggest hindrance. Determining which one you are as a committed law firm owner can have a great impact on your success.
But what happens when you lack that clarity as a leader? What happens when you just can’t see the big picture of the business you’re building? What if there was someone who could guide you toward the light and down the path of least resistance? How would this change the way you run your practice?
Take it from a law firm that experienced all of this and more. Benson Varghese and Anna Summersett of Varghese Summersett PLLC couldn’t help but feel like they were only getting in the way of their law firm’s success, and they knew they had to do something if they wanted to turn their organization around.
Varghese Summersett began as a boutique trial law firm and quickly built a reputation for being relentless and unwavering during their criminal defense trials. As the model proved successful, the firm created two additional units under the Varghese Summersett umbrella: Varghese Summersett Family Law Group and Varghese Summersett Injury Law Group, both based in Texas like the original practice.
Being a team full of ambitious, determined, and hard-working individuals, Varghese Summersett has never backed down from a challenge. In fact, this firm has always welcomed any obstacle in their path, as that just meant it was something for them to overcome that competitors couldn’t.
But even the mighty have the potential to fall behind at some point.
As Varghese Summersett grew and expanded, more questions arose — and many of them didn’t seem to have any answers.
What were they going to do?
While some organizations may have backed down and given up completely, the team at Varghese Summersett decided to do what they did best: remain the ambitious, determined, and hard-working group of people they’d always been and strive to be better than yesterday. They understood it was time to take a step back, get out of their own way, and call for backup.
They were ready to get their questions answered, get back on their feet, and create the successful legacy they knew they were destined for.
Who did they call?
Read on to find out…
Owning and operating a business comes with its fair share of challenges, and running your own law firm is arguably one of the most challenging businesses of all.
But that never stopped Benson and Anna from coming together and doing what they loved: bringing justice to others.
While their law firm had always run fairly efficiently and effectively, changes were afoot in their market and the industry as a whole, and they weren’t necessarily prepared for all that was to come. That’s when they knew they needed support.
They soon welcomed Crisp Coach into their lives, and they never looked back.
Crisp Coach is a closed-door community of the highest-performing law firms in the country, and Varghese Summersett couldn’t wait to become a part of it as well. They were ready to become the number one firm in their market, run it like CEOs, and prepare it for the future.
A daunting task? Perhaps for some. But Benson and Anna were ready for anything because they knew they had tried everything — and something had to give.
When they joined Crisp Coach, they were looking to:
- Begin scaling their firm quickly and appropriately
- Meet the needs of their growing team
- Nail down their hiring process
The faster their firm expanded, the less equipped they were to scale their firm to match it. They weren’t sure when to hire someone, whether to hire someone, and what role they would need that person to fill. Because of their uncertainty, they knew they began letting their team down as well.
An office is nothing without a great culture and a set of important values, but when those aren’t prioritized or acted on, that can all get thrown by the wayside. Once that started happening at Varghese Summersett, morale and productivity became majorly affected, as well as a general sense of belonging or happiness while at work. In turn, this left them indecisive regarding their hiring process to bring on new team members.
Every great organization should have a set, thorough hiring process that follows the same procedure with every candidate. It should never waver from the same procedure because it helps nail down exactly what your law firm needs and where to find it, weeds out bad fits, and ensures consistency and predictability in the pipeline.
These are the foundations that Varghese Summersett needed to learn, and they hoped that Crisp Coach would have the answers to their problems.
“We just weren’t pushing far enough or fast enough,” says Benson. “There was a lack of accountability, lack of support, lack of processes for proper implementation, and we needed a trusted outsider’s perspective on the health of our firm and what growth could and should look like. We needed tools, from a business perspective, that could actually assist us in reaching our goals — and Crisp delivered.”
Once they nailed down what needed to happen, Varghese Summersett and Crisp got to work implementing their new strategies together.
Read on to see how it worked out for them.
Crisp empowered us to make major leaps in our practice and we are seeing those decisions pay off in spades. They helped us find and remove the barriers that were slowing us down.
After discussions were had and plans were made, it was time to jump into action. The Varghese Summersett team’s questions were finally going to be answered, and they would once again have clarity around how to effectively manage and grow their firm.
Crisp Coach is known as the #1 law firm growth program in America for a reason. The program offered Varghese Summersett many solutions and improvements around their firm, including:
- Achieving transformational growth
- Creating the ultimate client experience
- Making strategic and actionable decisions to benefit their firm
- Capitalizing on momentum
- Aligning their legal team
- Learning to delegate like pros
- Managing their time
- Running their law firm like true CEOs
Benson and Anna were paired with their very own Program Advisor (PA), the strategic partner who would serve as their guide toward a more successful practice. Their PA would ensure that the team created aligned goals, set and met deadlines, planned and strategized, and executed on their vision. Thanks to regularly scheduled accountability calls, everyone was able to stay on the same page and not miss a beat.
Another major draw of joining the Crisp Coach program is the ability to meet like-minded law firm owners in similar situations at quarterly workshops. At the state-of-the-art Crisp Training Center in Atlanta, Benson and Anna both quickly met some valuable peers and legal legends to connect with, learn from, and share experiences, thus helping the entire program grow together.
“Talking to other attorneys of similar law firm size has helped us troubleshoot issues we have in common,” explains Anna. “We’ve provided solutions for them and they have provided solutions for us. We have identified areas of improvement and they have as well, and it’s expanded our knowledge base and cut down on time wasted troubleshooting alone.”
In addition to increasing their network and referral sources, Benson and Anna were able to gain brand recognition and exposure like never before. This came at the perfect time as they were expanding their firm into a family law practice and a personal injury practice, and increasing their social media presence helped boost every area of the business from the start.
Their Client Success Manager (CSM), worked closely with the Varghese Summerset team to put together an individualized marketing campaign that would work best for Varghese Summersett’s ideal audience, thus helping them stand out in their market and build valuable brand credibility. Regular updates and optimization ensured that if ever anything needed to be updated, their CSM was the first person on the case to make it happen.
Most importantly, however, Benson and Anna were able to focus on and prioritize their team’s needs. They were finally able to craft their true core values and act upon them while encouraging their team to do so as well. When it came to hiring, they put measures in place to determine whether each potential candidate would be an ideal culture fit and contribute positively to the team in every way.
Benson and Anna said they were ready and willing to do whatever it took to become a market leader, run a more efficient and effective practice, and oversee their firm as CEOs would. They knew it could be done, but they were in their own way and needed someone to clear the path ahead with them.
“Investing in our firm and partnering with Crisp was the right thing to do,” assures Benson. “While we had the vision, we didn’t have the execution. Could we have gotten to where we are now on our own? Maybe. Would we have done it quickly and efficiently? No way.”
It’s obvious that the team at Varghese Summersett was ready and excited to make some serious changes, but how did it work out for them in the end? Were they able to turn their practice around and generate the success they were looking for?
Read on to find out what happened to their firm next.
Crisp has grown up with us. As we have grown, they have recognized and taken on the new challenges with us. As long as Crisp continues to adapt and grow, we will always have new places to go together.
When it comes to the Crisp Coach program, those who choose to be a part of it will only be successful if they’re willing to give it their all. The law firm owners who truly want to learn and be successful are the ones who ultimately will be.
Varghese Summersett is one of those law firms, and they continue to see transformation and reap the benefits day after day.
But their firm hasn’t just seen day-to-day changes. They’ve seen some serious quantifiable growth as well.
“Our revenue has increased over 60% in the past year,” recounts Anna. “Our staff, similarly, has increased by 60%. Our intake, at a conversion level, has increased by over 10%. In 2022, 10 of the 12 months were the best revenue months the firm has ever seen.”
Take that in for a moment.
60% increase in revenue.
60% increase in staff.
10% increase in conversion.
10 of the most successful months ever.
These are real figures, real results, and real changes that Varghese Summersett has brought in over the past year — and they’re far from finished. Crisp Coach also helped them create a strategic hiring process that they now leverage for every candidate who applies to an open position with the firm. This has helped them sift through mediocre candidates and successfully zero in on the best fits in an objective way. Better yet, it’s worked.
“Crisp pushed us to finally hire an Intake Director,” shares Anna. “With a dedicated person overseeing this process, our conversions have increased dramatically. We answer expeditiously, land the case, stop the shop, and ensure follow-through with regular client touchpoints.”
The team at Varghese Summersett has made sure that they are never the hold up when it comes to client communications, and that’s largely in part of their new procedures, plans, and people. In fact, they’ve learned that the future of the legal industry depends on all law firms adapting to this model.
“People want answers and resolutions almost immediately. Firms have to reduce their friction points to ensure they are never the hold up,” explains Benson.
Overall, it’s safe to say that Benson, Anna, and their entire team are ready for whatever challenges they will face next. Thankfully, we get to stand by their side as they tackle them all.
“Crisp has grown up with us. As we have grown, they have recognized and taken on the new challenges with us. As long as Crisp continues to adapt and grow, we will always have new places to go together.”
Here’s to the future.
Increase in Staff