S5:E25: The Final Stretch of the Year & Dealing with Firm Finances

In this episode, you’ll get a seat at the table where Seth and Jay share their personal experiences and strategies concerning the fiscal health of their firms. Here’s what you can look forward to:

– Financial Clean-Up: Seth Price discusses the critical practice of financial decluttering to identify potential issues before they snowball.

– Lending and Investing: Jay reveals his considerations for reinvesting in the firm versus seeking external return opportunities.

– Financial Struggles and Fears: Jay gets candid about the need for expert guidance in managing firm finances.

– Bonuses vs. Base Salaries: Engage in the bonus-versus-base-salary debate and its psychological impact on staff.

– Staff Retention: Seth suggests that competitive salaries might be key to keeping talent from exploring greener pastures.

– The Mini Summit: Discover how Seth’s mini summit aims to unite his firm’s global team under one roof for collaborative growth.

– Onboarding Excellence: Jay examines structured training’s role in creating a consistent, quality onboarding experience.

🔊 Listen, Learn, and Join the Conversation

This episode isn’t just about dissecting problems; it’s about practical outcomes. Learn from the hosts as they consider their approach to bonuses, the recruitment challenge, and the critical role of middle management in a firm’s growth trajectory. Plus, they don’t shy away from the big question: When is it time to profit from your firm versus reinvest?



Jay Ruane 0:00

Hello, hello, and welcome to this edition of The Law firm Blueprint. Thanks for joining us today. My name is Jay Ruane CEO of The Criminal Mastermind and one of the founders of this Law firm Blueprint group. Right there over there, Seth Price, CEO of BluShark, digital as well as managing partner of Price Benowitz, DC, Maryland, Virginia and South Carolina lawyers. Seth, we are in December now, we’re struggling to get to the end of the year. How’s your last couple of weeks been?

Seth Price 0:34

You know, it’s doing okay, you know, I love this time of year you’re getting the office parties in place wer’ee

Jay Ruane 0:40

You and your extrovert bull!

Seth Price 0:43

Well, okay. But you’ll like this, you’ll like this piece. We are, if if I am told correctly, we have five of our international, I hate the term, but VAs for what the audience would call them, international employees who are getting on planes from all over Latin America and coming and will be attending a mini, a summit, we’re doing a day and a half at the law firm for all of our out of town people, both domestic and international. And then with some of our local people, and then a party with basically 5 the real exciting part is five people. And we’ve done this at BluShark we bring everybody together domestically, a couple times a year and it’s awesome. But I also know when you start something like this, that the programming can be dicey, like what do you do with your time? And I know the first time we started this, how could we possibly fill it, I remember, we literally, we were starting at 11 ending at three because we didn’t want to stress the Gen Z population too much, or do too, too much stuff. And now we have a full two day programming for BluShark. This is our first at Price Benowitz. So it’s gonna look much more like that, but time for the teams to work together. But again, I’m just tickled the sort of sorry, the, the exciting part was two people were invited, three people said we want to come on our own dime. And we were like, of course we’re not letting that happen. But if they’re willing to pay for it themselves, we can cover it.

Jay Ruane 2:13

So let me ask do you have a videographer photographer coming in doing headshots of these people while they’re overseas, so you could, you know, doing all of those things that, that’s actually one of the things that we should talk about, because one of the things that I’ve challenged my marketing team to do in 2024 is really sort of formalize and systemize the onboarding of a new person, like what videos to get, what went headshots to get, you know, get all of that stuff lined up, we have an interview that the, the marketing team does with the new hires. And so we’re really trying to get that all lined up so that everybody really onboards a particular way. I mean, I’ve spent a lot of time curating my onboarding process, but it’s kind of broken in that we don’t follow the same system every time, which is terrible for me, you know, as, as an ADD Person, I need the systems to get through it. But we’re, that’s one of the things that I’ve got my, my, my administrative team working on making sure that that stuff is all set in place. And we can really have a nice onboarding process over the you know,

Seth Price 3:20

So we have an entire training person now, who does nothing but from onboarding through additional training. And so I went from understaffed in that space. I won’t say to overstaffed, but we’re, you know, we are now investing in those people to make sure because as you know, systems are great, but unless they are monitored, that they really implement in the first place, that don’t mean much.

Jay Ruane 3:45

Yeah, we actually, we’re actually recruiting for that position now. Where, you know, it’s funny, I look back at my numbers, I’m preparing for my State of the Union speech that I give every year, to sort of set our goals for the following year. That’s coming up later this week. And I’m looking at my numbers after the downturn of of COVID. And losing people for a bunch of different reasons. I think we were at 17. than last year, we were at 27. This year, we’re at 37. I don’t see a scenario where we’re under 40. Next year, we’ll probably be at 45 to 47 people, and adding 10 new employees a year is a lot for any, any business that doesn’t have a formalized onboarding plan in place. So one of the things that we are recruiting internally is a director of training. And we’re also recruiting now, additional help in our pods because we have a number of pod leaders that are going to take maternity leave in the next year. And we’re going to hire a discovery clerk because I think that’s some thing that we haven’t really done yet. So we’ve got a roadmap of what our hires are going to be. And I want to talk to you about that. Does Price Benowitz have a roadmap? Or is it more of if we want to expand in these areas? This is what we need to do? Or is it something where it’s just sort of your gut is telling you, hey, we need to add in this position, let’s, let’s, let’s start adding in that position, or is it something that you you strategize and plan for, you know, systemically?

Seth Price 5:30

You know, I think it’s a combination, on the PI side, we’re taking it very seriously, we’re using EOS we’re strategically figuring out how to build, how to put metrics in place, all the best practices, you know, when it comes to other areas, we’re using EOS to sort of come up with the, to sort of focus group within our own with our own leadership team, to what to do, we have a pretty good formula as far as if we can find the right talent. And so to me, what’s been limiting has been, there are certain areas where a firm can grow, because they have, you know, if you say, I’m going to do DUIs, I’m gonna add these many DUI lawyers and those DUI lawyers are coming to you with questions. You can go a lot more junior. We’ve discussed this over the years, right? So if it’s Jay Ruane managing three junior people, you can get a first year, I mean, you may have less hair, you may have more aggravation. But at the end of the day, when they screw up, you could go and cover it. It’s doable. As I have gone and sort of move geographically over, oe over the years practice group wise, the downside of that is our philosophy is we need to have stalwarts in place that know this stuff, in order to be able to make that happen. And look, I’ve had four turds over the last 20 years. When I say turds, these aren’t like, hey, somebody who wasn’t like doing this, when you could share in a minute, you just had a administrative issue. But we’ve had lawyers who’ve done stuff, and thankfully, all but one incident, you know, never affected a client. But we’ve had people do some pretty awful things. Substance abuse is a real stuff, we talk about it academically, we’re told you’re a protected class once you disclose certain things. But it is unbelievable how people who are you know, who either become unfit or make themselves unfit. And you’re dealing with so many people at a time that I always feel that I want to hire at a certain level that can reduce that risk, its not 100%. There was a hire that I almost made recently, where it was a perfectly suitable person. And as you dug deeper in the industry, you realize that yes, somebody’s been around for 25-30 years, but there were some real deep issues. And, you know, we talked about recruiting, we talked about doing references, backdoor references, but it’s scary. And so that’s part of why most of my real issues were with the un- were with untested people, people in their first three years, and you could fake a lot for the first, you know, six months or so. And that, that is so when it comes down to we have a playbook of what we want to do. It’s recruiting that is the limiting factor for me, because, yes, I could, I could scale faster, not that I haven’t scaled well. But I could scale faster than we even have, but I am concerned that. But I’m deeply concerned that I’m not going to be able to produce the quality that is needed. Because when you again, go back to your first years, when they break, if not supervised, it can be catastrophic, not so. And so it limits me because I have as you get beyond this is sort of a good lesson for everybody else. When you’re at the beginning, sweat equity allows you to take more of a chance. And this, you know, this is a situation where I don’t want to take that chance because I don’t have that safety net. And I’d rather grow incrementally. Whereas if I do, when if Dave is supervising somebody in criminal, I can do whatever I want. But if David gets beyond the point where he can’t supervise it, you know, what good does it do?

Jay Ruane 9:16

Yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s one of the things I mean, we’ve talked to a bunch recently about having that middle management and, you know, the more talented your people are, the less they necessarily need that middle management, especially on the legal side, we’re still we’re still struggling with the mentorship role. You know, I think that’s something that I’m going to try to transition to, is just to not have my hands in any files whatsoever, but sort of, you know, be that offensive coordinator up in the booth, saying, hey, have you thought about this? Have you thought about that, but letting the letting the the lawyers on the street make the make the final play call?

Seth Price 9:50

I would go a step beyond that, though. It’s not that, not that the mentoring isn’t that amazing. It’s the granular quality control. And that again, if you do it, it’s great. But it is, it is challenging to, meaning, when I look back at the situations where issues arose, it is generally what are those checks and balances, and its a pull and tug. Because the more you want to scale, the faster you want to go, the less of those checks and balances there are. And it’s a question of how much pain can you take. And most of the issues I’ve had have not been somebody’s not doing a good job, it’s when somebody shuts off. And that’s where like the dead man’s scortch on the train. I think technology is helping us with that. We used to crowdsource angry client calls back in the day, that was you could literally get a cadence as to incidents happen if people had heard from their lawyer, there’s always a certain amount of that, but when it went too high, but that to me is it’s those checks and balances.

Jay Ruane 10:53

So I got a question for you to talk a little bit about as we hit the end of the year. And it stems from, you know, me, my firm really being in a decent financial position right now. You know, I pay myself a modest salary every week, you know, because I like the consistency of it. I think that was one of the things that really helped me out early on and getting into the firm is, is I’ve been able to pay myself regularly. And I can live on that. And live well. I’m not saying I don’t you know, I’m in a good spot. But the firm has built up a reserve. We’ve built up our payroll reserve, we’ve built up a long term savings account we’ve built up, you know, our profit first account and our tax account. And I’m looking at the bank account I’m seeing there’s there’s money in these accounts. And I also have paid off entirely my credit line, and my credit line increased. And so now I have this situation where I’ve got access to a credit line, and God forbid, I would need to tap into that for making payroll or something. But I also have these savings pots that are just sort of sitting there. At what point do I just say, I’m going to take this money because I look at my life? And I’m like, What am I going to spend it on? Like, I mean, I’m not going to take more trips. You know, I save a lot as it is, I put money away for my kids. Like, what are you? What are you like, I?

Seth Price 12:31

Why are you leaving it in your firm, you’re paying taxes on it. It’s not like you don’t pay taxes, if you leave it in your firm?

Jay Ruane 12:35

Right! I leave in the firm-

Seth Price 12:36

The answer is if you did, like it sounds like you need some financial management to sort of make those calls objectively because you’re not doing it yourself.

Jay Ruane 12:45

And that’s the question I have for you, used at what point do you bring in a pro to say, looking at your books you should have X amount in reserve, X amount in a credit line, everything else take out? Because

Seth Price 12:55

Well look, because it depends on your sensibility, a lot of that. But look, you got your credit line, you got your reserve, what the hell else is there? So I’ve seen different schools of thought, unless you’re investing in the firm, why is it sitting there and not your account or a brokerage account get at least 5% interest now, it used to be we didn’t care, because the interest was negligible right now, but right now, why, that I would argue that with a less given the way you’re doing things with your profit accounts, which is great. The fact that you’re sort of managing that way, to me, can lead to issues in that you don’t see things because it’s just a plot of money. And it may be more, it may be less. So I don’t love that. To me, one of the things that I’ve seen it like at BluShark is we are very distant, like whereas the law firm is not nearly as clean. Money comes out quarterly with reserves left in, but that we are you know, it is like clockwork, we know what our margins are, we know what money comes in when money goes out. Great. Whereas in a law firm, I always feel like we’re all waiting for the shoe to drop. I just got a $10,000 bill on it some ethics matter where a crazy client is making claims and I now have to go double down and spend more even though the courts have said no, they appealed it. I mean, insanity stuff. So like we always know that there’s stuff that could come some stuff covered by insurance, some stuff not, but that it’s this big, big melting pot of things. And that we are sitting in a situation where what I don’t love about it is when it gets too large, like you pay taxes on it, what are you doing?

Jay Ruane 14:31

Right, like, it’s that’s the thing like I mean, I almost think that there comes a point where when you know you have a credit line and you know you have a decent amount of reserves, you need to start taking the profit. And-

Seth Price 14:43

I think that you’re also, you have a legacy firm now as we do, its not when you’re newer, this is easier to see there’s money in an account or not. You know, we’ve gone back and forth for us, because our laws are so strict on escrows when we have money in our operating account, it’s, it takes a lot to get there. And once it’s there, we we have less need for the reserves, hypothetically, other than, like, a pandemic, you know, so that, you know, to a certain extent, I think that you’re, that you are, and I don’t think you need to have, like, you know, the, you know, the somebody from our Sultan of Omaha, I’m using the wrong term, but the you know,

Jay Ruane 15:27

Oracle of Omaha!

Seth Price 15:27

Anybody, or, thank you very much, I just couldn’t spit it out, the idea that you are dealing with a situation where you sort of have a pot of money sitting there, if you like, if you say, hey, I know there’s 1.5 sitting in there that I can take at any time. I don’t love it. But okay, the fact that you don’t know, I think is probably the bigger issue, where some financial oversight, and will it be perfect? No, of course not. But the idea that like, oh, I need to save for a rainy day, I’m just going to save with post tax dollars sitting in my firm, that like, look, that’s the part that always gets me, I’m writing tax checks for money I’m not getting that’s it’s the opposite, where I’m like writing quarterly checks. I’m like, I wish I had this much money, where’s the money, and then then it pushes you. So to a certain extent, I think that, again, tail of two cities, at BluShark I started saying that I didn’t, I would take the money out. And I was like, oh, shoot, now I have to pay taxes, its a lot of money. So I’m like, having to go. And so now it’s like, hey, I love the fact you have multiple accounts. But shouldn’t there be one account for quote unquote profit, and one account for taxes and all your operating? If you’re doing that clean out the profit account? What, why is it sitting there?

Jay Ruane 16:20

Yeah, I mean, that’s, it’s a challenge for me, because, you know, you know, recent history has had the bottom drop out.

Seth Price 16:30

So what? And so, you’re, it’s your firm, you’re behind it, you know, you want to keep 100,000, you pick a number for your reserve. But once you have that number, and you have a credit line, like-

Jay Ruane 17:00

That’s the thing, you know, do I even need to keep any of that stuff there? If I have this credit line.

Seth Price 17:06

I would say I would say no. And the reason I would say that is, if, if you’re managing that way, which we all do at different levels, right? There’s, there’s the people who are at the highest level of perfection on their numbers. And there’s people that are awful, and assuming that we’re the humans in between, what I would say is, hey, like cleaning it out, will allow you to know, when you have a problem, that’s, that’s what I don’t like about the way you’re doing it. If you have a lawyer who’s who’s who’s totally not profitable, and it takes you a while to figure it out, money’s gone. Whereas if you all of a sudden, you’re like, okay, there’s a capital call, I’m going to my credit line, you’re like, it’s going to force you to dig into what the hell’s going on.

Jay Ruane 17:43

Yeah, I mean, that. And that’s what I think. And there’s nothing to stop me from loaning that money back to the firm. If, if I needed it.

Seth Price 17:49

Absolutley, why don’t we we do this, Jay’s buying, you know, dinner for everybody, next time, we’re out, he’s gonna take all this money, he’s gonna move it over there. And literally, it used to be it didn’t matter, because there’s no interest. But if you put this in a Vanguard account, is it 5% just sitting there!

Jay Ruane 18:04

Right? I mean, that’s it. That’s, that’s the big thing is, you know, I’m just at a point now where I’m like, I think I need to talk to people about money management, as I’m getting to a point with my firm.

Seth Price 18:17

And it’s like, this is the part of it, that’s tough for people. So spoiler alert, getting a great CPA is doable, may have to kiss some toes, but you’ll find a great CPA, that is something and again, there are different levels of CPAs, guys, that’ll put you in, you know, way, way aggressive guys that are way too under, all that stuff, but you’ll figure that out right? To me, one of the hardest things we’ve had is finding that fractional CFO person, we’ve had a bunch of really, really tumultuous situations with that over the years, multiple people that we were, high expectations and didn’t get get us what we needed. That said, like, this piece is like the pieces in between the two. In some respects, you can have somebody who shows you how to run your firm, and you can have a great p&l, all that stuff. But at the end of the day, if its your, I always say, it’s your mishegoss which is if you have an account with profit in it, why is that? Number one, you know, once you’ve paid everything else out, that should be your draw count. That’s, that’s cleared out (inaudible).

Jay Ruane 19:18

Yeah, I mean, and it’s, it’s a challenge, and I think it’s, you know, it’s almost like you need a therapist, you know, because I’m thinking, you know, as you known my story, like, you know, COVID wasn’t the first time that our firm got flattened. You know, we had another situation a decade before that, where we lost everything over a six month period. And we’re really sort of struggling and hustling, and that type of thing. So it’s like, I’ve got this thing in the back of my head saying, leave the money there. Don’t take it something, the bottom’s gonna fall out. And I think that’s just I need to go to a therapist and get over that and realize that, you know, as somebody wise once told me, you know, dude, the money’s already out there. You just got to go and get it. You know you’re in, and I think it’s a middle class mentality that there’s a finite limited number of dollars in the in the universe that, you know, that you’re gonna get. And it’s just, you know, as an entrepreneur, it’s almost like you need to do that. So let me ask you this question. Can you be a law firm entrepreneur? Can you do what we do and not be an optimist?

Seth Price 20:25

No, but it’s funny, it goes back to my rehearsal dinner speech years ago. And I remember somebody saying, like, you know, they were talking about me as a person in the fact that you wake up every day and I did a bunch of real estate, we were stolen from, and we had a guy who came in as our business partner and literally, like, put the money into a Ponzi scheme and lost it all, I mean crazy stuff that’s beyond, the guy ended up doing, getting a federal conviction for what he did. It, cra- contractors who finished a job and took all of our money and never put the air conditioning units into the commercial building. Beyond crazy, so yes, and that was from the real estate side, law side. I mentioned four lawyers, who we paid good money to who didn’t do what their job requires, the bar requires, and what common decency requires. All of that’s there. So yeah, I think that with the number of moving parts, dealing with our clients, it’s the highest rate of malpractice claims, every person who doesn’t win at a higher level has on their list of things to consider as to whether to drag you down with them. You know, Dave has had several in recent memory, where did everything you could possibly do, and some guy is claiming that, you know, plea agreements weren’t shown to them beforehand, when they said, I’m never taking a plea in my life. And of course you did, like, you know, all sorts of crazy, crazy, crazy stuff. And the idea that, yes, so the book that I never wrote, you know, can’t teach common sense. No good deed goes unpunished. And, you know, one of the, money solves almost any problem, like we deal with a lot of stuff. And some of its emotional, we, you know, we (inaudible) together, it’s like, nothing, not everything goes perfectly and like you’re, you’re sitting there and you’re, you’re trying to figure out how to do right by somebody. And sometimes it’s your fault. Sometimes it’s not sometimes, it’s always, it’s something in between. And so, with people, you know, you think you’re doing right by an employee, they see it differently. It’s, it is, you know, an add to that a criminal defense clientele. It’s, it’s a slog.

Jay Ruane 22:34

So next question up that I want to talk to you about is end of year, what do you do in terms of bonuses? Are you a firm that gives out bonuses? Do you do it to lawyers? Do you do it to staff? Do you do it? How do you do it when people have joined you three months ago or six months ago and not the full year? How are you handling that, on the back end, I’ll tell you how we’ve decided to handle it.

Seth Price 22:58

So, it’s funny, because we’re a tale of two cities. The Personal Injury department had very, the leader of that had very strong feelings, with the personal injury world acts a certain way, that is more bonus heavy than our world. And we think, I don’t want to say begrudgingly but we agree that if that’s what they were comfortable with, and that was the ethos that other people were getting out of their firms, we didn’t want to do that. Our lawyers were paid on percentages. So there is not a, for for lawyers that are paid on percentages. There, it is a straight, it is a straight salary for the most part, meaning, meaning their bonus, which is they’re paid extremely well, for the most part is based on. Like instead of having a discretionary bonus, it is all based on pure performance. Right? This is the piece that I think is most interesting. So taking out the PI piece, which is part of the compensation. Because, and again, I like it, there are people that do this, this is the piece I’m gonna throw back at you, I’ll ask you back the question because I struggle with this. How much do you put into base salary? Versus bonus, and I’ll give you an example. Somebody is at $60,000 a year. You are expecting to pay them 65 next year. They’re, they did a great job. And you want to give them a $5,000 bonus. Are you better off pushing them to 70 without bonus? Or are you better off? Leave them at 65 with a $5,000 bonus?

Jay Ruane 24:39

Well, that’s a tough question. But I think, you know, my dime store psychology would be give them 65 and a $5,000 bonus because it feels to them like they’re being rewarded for their work. Whereas if you give them 70 gets divided by however many pay periods and that quick,

Seth Price 24:50

And it’s future I get that-

Jay Ruane 24:55

And they don’t feel it, or feel special.

Seth Price 24:59

Understood, but this is part of my logic. And again, I say this publicly, I wish that there was some, if a staff member had a true feeling about it, I think I would support it. But what meaning if somebody said this, this means something to me one way or the other, what I have found is that if you take a $60,000 person, would say that they’re labeling that when somebody’s making $60,000, and you get them to 70, you have just put a barrier to exit, that let’s assume that nobody’s leaving you for $5,000. Right? Optimistic, but that 10,000 is the number that would get somebody to make it for money, who is less, they would come to you that they need it, or that they would, that there’s a small enough number, I don’t want to belittle $5,000. But $5,000, after taxes is a number that if you’re being treated well, and everything else is equal, likely will move the needle maybe as you move up the food chain. Right? And so what I would say is that by getting yourself to that number, 70, let’s say, are you getting to the point where for somebody to poach your person, they need to come in at 80. And that’s giving you and them some security, that you’re you’re pushing the mark, you’re pushing them into a market as high as you can, they can count on it. And the question is, and this is sort of what this, is the question I don’t have an answer to is, how do you pr- like, how is it you’re saying it’s perceived, they’re very happy. But when somebody says, what do you make? Are they saying 65? Plus bonus? Or are they saying 65?

Jay Ruane 26:00

I think they’re all saying 65. Because bonus is bonus, and they don’t know what it’s going to be, even if you tell them this is the framework of you’re going to be in this range, right,

Seth Price 26:11

And you can’t count on it, right. So that if we do a, there, you know, bonuses are paid, intermittently based on a bunch of different factors. But generally, my attitude has been, rightly or wrongly, maybe it’s the market that I’m in, I want to lay everything I can out on salary. Because they know people know they’re getting it, that it that, it’s it’s regular. It’s not they can count on it, they can pay bills with it. And that it’s not that we don’t do special nice things for people who have incentive things and bonuses in place, and like not that we don’t want to throw other benefits out there. But with, you know, is what is going to prevent somebody from being now if you have no benefits, that would be an issue, right? And so it’s not like it’s not like there’s a one answer to it. But it is something that every year that I struggle in, and we had a top person on a personal injury firm been with us for a long time, it was solid, and I saw like a $5,000 raise, and a $5,000 bonus. And I’m like, You know what, this person needs both. They need to go to 70. And so that, again, it’s there are times when it is, but in general, it is something I talked to my staff about every year. And there there are years where I’m like, you know what, we really just got to put as much money on the table as possible. Inflation is high, if we don’t keep up with it, we’re hurting somebody, you know, 3% right now isn’t really going to keep people caught up with inflation. And so are you better off even though it’s not as fun? You’d like to be big Jay handing out money, at the same time, if you’re, if you have somebody who’s counting on that money every month, maybe with somebody else’s salary combined or not. That it is, that that extra money towards base will allow somebody to continue their quality of life, rather than, you know, when I wish I had the answer. So what are your What are your thoughts on this question.

Jay Ruane 29:01

It’s it’s one of the challenges that we’re facing. I mean, you know, historically, I have not paid lawyers bonuses. Because if they want to make more money, start hustling in some clients, you know,

Seth Price 29:12

Do you pay a percentage of the money that comes in?

Jay Ruane 29:16

No, we pay them a flat salary for as much as they.

Seth Price 29:20

What if they bring in a DUI?

Jay Ruane 29:23

They bring a DUI and they work it they get 50% of that fee. So I mean, the thing is, is that my you know, the people that have worked for me historically are not go getters.

Seth Price 29:28

They come to you for a reason.

Jay Ruane 29:30

Exactly. And one of the things that I’m we’re going to talk about in my firm is, you know, we can’t have this firm be Jay dependent, you know, you need to, so we’re building systems this year, we’ve doubled our referral business, just by creating systems in place for my team to execute on outreach that doesn’t involve the lawyer so we’re doing things you know, sending gifts and sending note cards and that type of thing. And, and we’ve been really able to focus on the referral business, which has helped,

Seth Price 29:58

It helps, but at the end of the day, I’d like I remember I talk to Andrew Finkelstein, he has been a friend and guest to the show. And his attitude is like he loves it when they do. But he does almost he, he is not pushing for that. That’s not his game. His game is I know how to get cases in, and I need people who can work it. And it works both ways I my economic incentives for for the non PI lawyers, is based on the fact just like you, if somebody brings it in and works it, it’s 50 cents on the dollar. And what I love about that, is that it pretty much deincentivizes anybody, if somebody thinks are gonna do it themselves, I think we do that much better than 60 something cents on the dollar. So for a few cents less, they have all the security, they get everything that they want.

Jay Ruane 30:40

Right. That’s why I do it at that point. Because it but it’s just it’s amazing to me how many lawyers out there have zero desire to generate any business? And, you know, and new businesses, the oxygen that I breathe, you know, so I think it’s just,

Seth Price 30:54

But you say that, and we’ve had this debate for years, I just think it’s misguided, that you don’t want them because if they were you, they’re not staying. And that, you know, there was one moment early, early on, I liked her a lot. She was a fire pistol, she did decent numbers. But that’s the person who now has her own firm. And ironically, seven, eight years later, the person that replaced her and had a great run with us, just left to go there. So what I’m saying is, to go to her fledgling shop. So my point is, it is you it is great that people can develop business, I want it, it gives them the opportunity to make more money. And I think that’s great. But you got to look at Andrew’s perspective, and say, hey, how does this how does this play out?

Jay Ruane 31:01

Well, yeah, and that’s one of the things I think you have to start to, you have to start to think about, if, if you’re telling people that they can make some money on their own, at some point, you’re gonna have other people in their ear saying, you know, you could do this on your own and you can make money.

Seth Price 32:04

No, that’s not it’s if they love that, you always say office parties, Seth loves it, you know, what my what I love, what I don’t love. If somebody loves pounding the flesh and go to court and finding a meeting people, then it’s not like, I’m not worried about the person who wants to do it on their own. It’s the person that has their own ability and that X factor that is going to bring in all that business.

Jay Ruane 32:30

And you know, to be quite honest with you, I don’t know if those people are going to law school anymore. You know what I mean? Like like that, you know, not for nothing but think about it. The cost of law school is expensive. The opportunity cost of losing three or four years of your life and livelihood.

Seth Price 32:47

And there is great opportunity. There’s so many cool things to be doing right now. The world is changing. If somebody just graduated law school and learned how to operate prompts on Chat GPT, they’d probably be a millionaire in three years.

Jay Ruane 32:58


Seth Price 32:59

Exactly. Very cool, let’s, let’s land this plane.

Jay Ruane 33:03

Alright, so well, that’ll do it for us this week here on The Law Firm Blueprint. Thank you for tuning in for us. Of course, if you want to catch us on the go, you can subscribe to The Law Firm Blueprint podcast, wherever you get your podcasts or you can check us out every week live in our Facebook group, The Law Firm Blueprint. That’ll do it for me, Jay Ruane, he is Seth Price. Thank you all for being with us. Have a wonderful rest of your December. We hope to see you again soon. Bye for now.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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