"Everything you've been told about building
an injury law practice is wrong"

The Best Way to Build a Long-Lasting Relationship with Your Clients

There’s nothing better than adding a personal touch with your clients.  The personal touch builds the relationship with your clients and lets them know you’re a real person (not just a suit).  It really doesn’t matter what you do, just that you do something and make it as personal as you can.

Building a personal touch with your clients isn’t easy. But one nice touch is sending an annual letter to your clients about you and your law firm.  Tell your clients about your law firm’s success and failures and most importantly, NEVER BRAG. Your clients will love your transparency and honesty and in the process you’re building a relationship that will survive even your worst screw-ups.

By way of example, here’s our law firm’s “letter to the shareholders” for 2016:

Our Law Firm’s Letter to Clients

Dear Sam:

The sunshine of a new day spreads warmth on our faces as I say “hi” to an acquaintance at a marketing conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. After the customary exchange of pleasantries, I tell this acquaintance that I finally bit the bullet and opened my own law firm. The acquaintance congratulates me and asks when I took the big step.  After a moment in thought, I respond, “Today is my first day in business.”

That was 3 years ago. Seems strange to many that my first day in business would be spent at a marketing conference in Arizona (I actually spent 3 days at the convention), but what can I say? I love marketing and I couldn’t think of anything better for the long-term growth of my new firm.  So sue me!

Fast forward 3 years.  As I’m walking out of a defense lawyer’s office, I’m chatting with Mr. Defense Lawyer and I compliment the professionalism of him and his staff.  Seemingly out of nowhere, Mr. Defense Lawyer stops walking and looks at me square in the face and says, “I’ve never seen you so happy.” Wow, didn’t see that coming, but it comes close to summing up my thoughts after 3 years as a self-employed small business owner.

Some Ups and Downs…a Lot of Gratitude

But to quote Rocky, “The world ain’t all sunshine and roses.”  We had 2 defense verdicts in 2015 and looking back, we just have to take the medicine, learn valuable lessons (never sue in Schoharie County!) and move ahead to our next trial.  And when I’m a little down, I think of the kind words of Mr. Defense Lawyer and everything seems okay.

Besides, I have a helluva lot to be grateful for. Our law firm is run by an amazing paralegal, Corina Skidmore, who wears many hats and does everything except opening statements without a single complaint.  I worked with Corina at our former law firm in Albany, but I never appreciated her commitment and dedication until we took the big plunge 3 years ago. I can’t imagine where I’d be without Corina (and I refuse to think about it).

2015 brought a new member of our team, Alyssa Marcello—officially, our Happiness Creator and Problem Solver. Alyssa taught me an important lesson: ALWAYS LISTEN TO CORINA! Corina handpicked Alyssa over other candidates with more experience and skills. I let Corina make the decision and knock on wood, Alyssa has been a nice addition to our team. Without fail, every day begins with a warm smile from Alyssa.  And I’ve learned a valuable lesson from Alyssa and Corina: when it comes to hiring, Attitude and Character are more important than Skill and Ability.

2016 looks to be our best year.  Over the next 9 months, we have 11 trials of high quality cases (hey, it’s good to be busy, but this is insane). Our trial schedule is booked solid and our marketing pipeline is bringing new cases every day.  While the internet has been good to us, our highest quality cases are still referred by other lawyers.

Why We Exist

We remain committed to a single purpose: “Stopping Medical Injustice”.  And we finally ironed out the details of our firm’s core values that will guide our law firm forever (damn, this wasn’t easy):

  • We only practice catastrophic injury law.
  • We never agree to confidential settlements.
  • We do not accept cases having questionable merit.
  • We strive for continuous improvement.
  • We are completely transparent and brutally honest with our clients.

On a personal note, my wife, Lisa, loves being a Supreme Court Justice. Our 3 little “angels”/triplets, Alek, Tim and Lily, are juniors in high school, and they never fail to remind me that they know the answers to all of the world’s problems…and that I’m dumb.

We Wouldn’t Be Here Without You

Most of all, I am grateful for YOU. You’ve taken a big chance with us and put your futures in our hands.  Hey, we’re far from perfect and make mistakes, but we’ll continue to give everything we’ve got for you.  Thank you for trusting us with your future.

Even after tough days, there is one thing that makes it all worthwhile: when one of our clients says “thanks” (with the occasional hug). No matter what anyone tells you, there’s nothing better in the practice of law.

Your friend,

John Fisher

photo credit: Pen Friends via photopin (license)

Leave a comment below telling me what surprised, inspired or taught you the most (I personally respond to every comment). And if you disagree with my take on running a personal injury law firm, or have a specific, actionable tip, I’d love to hear from you.