Lessons from Market Leaders: Alexander Shunnarah

6–7 minutes to read

Many would argue that Alexander Shunnarah wrote the playbook on legal marketing.

Over his 15+ year-long reign as one of the most recognizable and successful personal injury attorneys in not only the state of Alabama, but the entire country, Shunnarah has created a legacy built on the back of hard work, consistency, and well-executed marketing strategies.

This has led to him cementing his name as not only a legal virtuoso but also a niche pop culture icon. He’s been impersonated by many on Halloween, has his own fan-made meme page on Facebook, and has heard countless coos from passersby reciting his famous catchphrase, “Call me, Alabama!” as he goes about his day-to-day life.

Plain and simple, his law firm is pretty much the blueprint for what building a brand is all about.

We are so fortunate to have Shunnarah as a member of the Crisp family, where he has been able to share his insight and acumen with us through his guest appearances on two episodes of The Game Changing Attorney Podcast (you can stream them ANY time, by the way), as well as during his time as a member of the Crisp Coach program.

The knowledge he has is just too great not to share with you, our audience. With that being said, we have compiled 5 of the greatest lessons the incredible market leader has shared with us so that YOU can continue toward a path of growth and fulfillment in your own personal and professional life as a law firm owner:

  1. The Importance of Branding 
  2. You Can Only Take Yourself Out of the Game
  3. Everything is a Teaching Moment 
  4. Absentee Ownership
  5. You’re Never Too Big to Ask for Help 

1. The Importance of Branding

It is no secret that Alexander Shunnarah is one of the most recognizable and influential attorneys in the legal profession. In fact, he is a prime example of one of our own cornerstone beliefs that “no one can hire you if they don’t know about you.”

In his solo episode of The Game Changing Attorney Podcast, titled “The Thin Line Between Success and Failure,” Shunnarah talks about why cementing his name in people’s minds early on in his career allowed him to grow to the heights he has today.

“People have a very short memory and there is only so much they can remember. You have to be synonymous with something,” he advises, “When I first started this company 20 years ago, I remember thinking that when they think ‘Alex,’ I want them to think ‘car wreck.’”

Since then, he has expanded beyond traditional mediums, dipping his toes into everything from television and social media to his bread and butter of phone books and billboards in order to stay top of mind with potential clients across the nation.

2. You Can Only Take Yourself Out of the Game

When it comes to being an attorney, it’s vital to not only focus on honing your craft and improving on your professional skills but to also put a great emphasis on taking care of your mind and body.

When asked what it would take for someone to beat out his business and take his place at the top, he answers that while fear and paranoia are helpful to keep you motivated, at the end of the day you are responsible for your own actions and truly only you can take yourself out of the game.

“When I go to bed at night, I pray for a sound mind and body,” Shunnarah explains, “Because if my mind is sound and my body is sound, I don’t think anyone could ever take me out.”

Plain and simple, it’s your responsibility to perform at the top of your game for the benefit of your business.

If that is not something you’re capable of, then taking your law firm to new heights may not be in your wheelhouse either.

3. Everything is a Teaching Moment

You’re probably wondering how a man as invariably busy as Alexander Shunnarah keeps his team at the top of their game. Truly, how does anyone have the time outside of normal working hours to continuously spur a massive amount of attorneys towards betterment in order to become not only better lawyers but better businessmen and women?

His secret? Treat everything as a teaching moment.

“We have a duty and a responsibility. We’re supposed to be competent, zealous, diligent,” Alexander proclaims in his solo episode of The Game Changing Attorney Podcast.

In order to do this, he constantly keeps his team on their toes, arguing that if they decided they wanted to be a part of one of the highest-regarded law firms in the country, they better act like it and do what it takes to represent it well for the benefit of those who matter the most — their clients.

4. Absentee Ownership

Shunnarah, along with fellow industry powerhouses Joe Fried, Mark O’Mara, Anthony Johnson, and John Morgan sat down with Crisp Founder & CEO Michael Mogill in the crossover event of the year — the first LIVE episode of The Game Changing Attorney Podcast.

In this episode, Alex discusses his thoughts on working in the business versus working on the business, stating that there’s no one that can really balance it.

Instead, it is all about how you prioritize what is most important to you in your life.

After having traveled through much of the country, he’s realized there’s a much bigger issue plaguing law firm owners across the nation: absentee ownership.

In this episode, Alex discusses his thoughts on working in the business versus working on the business, stating that there’s no one that can really balance it.

Instead, it is all about how you prioritize what is most important to you in your life.

After having traveled through much of the country, he’s realized there’s a much bigger issue plaguing law firm owners across the nation: absentee ownership.

He argues that if you’ve decided to be the name and the face of your law firm, you’ve got to get in the weeds and get some dirt on your hands to give your business the attention it deserves, stating: “When someone asked me what my normal work hours are, I just told them ‘Eyes opened to eyes closed.’”

Instead of compartmentalizing work, play, and rest, Shunnarah instead focuses on just “doing life” with the people he’s surrounded by, arguing that by aligning yourself with people who have similar aspirations and beliefs allows you to grow and spur one another on.

5. You’re Never Too Big to Ask for Help

The most successful people are the ones who are humble enough to constantly seek out knowledge and guidance, regardless of what stage of life they’re in.

Even Alexander Shunnarah, a nationally-known legal industry legend is not exempt from this.

We’ve had the pleasure of having him as a member of the Crisp Coach program for the last few years, where he has the opportunity to meet and grow alongside attorneys from around the country.

“It has helped me learn about how to run my practice and team more efficiently,” he shares. “I’ve been introduced to the digital and social media space, leadership, and finance — Michael and his team deliver on all those aspects, and they really teach you the business side of it.”

Alexander Shunnarah is living proof that even after breaking records and crushing goals, there’s still always room for improvement.

Final Thoughts

As you can probably tell, Alexander Shunnarah is a force to be reckoned with — but these 5 lessons just scratch the surface of the wealth of knowledge he’s acquired over his career.

If you’re interested in more, you can listen to both of his episodes of The Game Changing Attorney Podcast (and MANY others) on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or the official podcast website.


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