Questions continue to swirl about how law firms should navigate the current situation and what the legal landscape will look like when this is all behind us.
With those questions in mind, Crisp Founder & CEO Michael Mogill recently sat down with Mark O’Mara of O’Mara Law Group, the nationally recognized criminal defense and family law firm from Orlando, to talk about the changes he’s seeing already when it comes to team culture and the legal system at large.
Check out the full conversation:
1:09 Silver linings. “My hope is one of the silver linings will be that we will turn out to be a less litigious society. We’ll refer back to the Corona days when we had to do this and that, we’ll almost quote ourselves. This situation will make us realize how many of these disputes we can actually settle outside of the courthouse. So I think that might be one of the silver linings.”
1:51 Necessity of law firms. “We are always going to be necessary. When somebody comes to me regarding a divorce, you need to figure out the asset structure. You need to figure out how to split it up. You need to figure out what’s going to happen with the kids. You need to figure out alimony and support and what the future looks like as a non-married co-parent. That all takes good expertise, but what I like about that is that if we move it over to a more collaborative approach, we’re not putting lawyers out of work.”
3:50 Protect our clients’ health first. “We’re going to protect your health first, then the health of the team. By doing that we can affect proper focus on the health of the firm. There’s no question that there’s going to most likely be a downturn in overall clients coming in, and that’ll affect revenue. But having said that, I’ve got to tell you, I’ve been looking at the last several weeks as a great opportunity because we’ve become more efficient here. Everyone in the country now seems to know what Zoom is and how to use it properly. We’ve all found this more efficient way to interact.”
7:05 Ways to de-stress. “I once took this for granted, but I’ve realized that I need to make sure my team members understand the importance of and best ways to de-stress. We’ve been doing some meditation and light workouts. Our office is right by a lake, so now we walk the lake maybe once a day or so. And what this all boils down to is letting the team know that we’re here for them and we’re here for their health — and doing it in a way that acknowledges their heightened stress right now. But we, as attorneys, tend to take on other people’s stress. That’s what we do for a living. Now we just want to make sure that with the heightened stress that other people are going to be placing on us, that we’re protecting ourselves. And I think the team’s doing a very good job of managing that.”
9:38 Face the wind. ‘The ones who face the wind and the ones who deal with this head on are the ones who are going to survive. And it really is all a matter of perspective. My abilities and my talents are no better than these other lawyers out there. It’s a question of how you perceive it. If you perceive it as an opportunity to be more efficient, to cut away some of the fat — then take advantage of that. This is a time to be a little bit more lean and to deal with inefficiencies so that when we come out on the other side — as a country, as a profession, as a firm, and as an individual — you’re going to come out stronger.”
11:22 Leadership style. “The attorneys who have taken advantage of the opportunities that exist and who take a leadership style that shows their team that they are there for them through thick and thin are the ones who will come out ahead. It’s easy to be good to your staff when you have extra money in the account. But now suddenly the account is tighter and there are more stressors. If you can be good to your staff then and show them that you’re going to withstand the battle with them, those are the firms that are going to come out ahead. They’ll have shown their team, fellow attorneys, the judges, and all the people who look at us that they responded in that positive way.”
12:11 Build reputations. “If you want to build your reputation right now, you have an opportunity to build one of two reputations. You can build a reputation of stress and strain and fear — and that’s a reputation that judges and other lawyers will see you as — or you can build a reputation of strength through adversity and taking advantage of the opportunities. When you’re sailing and you’ve got to go against the wind straight, you tack, right? You just learn how to use the benefit and the energy of the wind — whichever way it’s facing — to your benefit. That’s what will help a successful law firm be more successful.”
If you’re viewing this challenging situation the same way Mark and Michael are, text Michael directly at 404–531–7691 to tell him how YOUR team is stepping up right now.