I am so excited about this week’s episode of the Legal Marketing Made Easy podcast. This marks the first of many episodes in which I plan to interview other solo practitioners about their experiences, successes, failures, etc. Whether you are thinking about starting a law practice or are just trying to gain some traction in your current solo practice, this podcast will be a tremendous resource to you. Tre Morgan is a good friend of mine and fellow family law attorney in Raleigh, North Carolina. His advice and guidance are well worth listening too.
Tre Morgan is an excellent lawyer and all around nice guy. He is a Board Certified family law specialist in the state of North Carolina and owns his own law firm, The Law Office of Randolph Morgan III, which he founded in 2010.
Tre graduated from law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2001 and made the decision to go solo in 2010. Throughout law school and in his early years as a practicing lawyer, Tre never dreamed of starting his own law firm. The tipping point for Tre was when he decided to start practicing law collaboratively, rather than litigating family law cases. He would not have been able to do this and remain at his firm at the same time.
How his family reacted to his choice
Tre received a great deal of support from his family and friends. His wife was especially helpful – she guaranteed that he would not fail, but told him that if he did fail, life would go on. This permission to fail was a great comfort to Tre. In addition, his colleagues at his old firm were extremely supportive.
The first few months of building his firm
Because his old firm was willing to work with him, Tre was able to bring some clients with him from his old firm, which helped him to smooth the transition to his new practice. He also had referral sources in place that helped him to bridge the gap and gain new business.
A major failure… Bookkeeping
Trying to be his own bookkeeper was a self-proclaimed huge mistake for Tre. He freely acknowledges that he is terrible at keeping the books, so he hired a bookkeeper for assistance.
What does he like most about being a solo lawyer?
Tre has no interest in partnering with another attorney right now. Life as a solo is simple. His calling is to do collaborative law and he doesn’t have to worry about outside pressures from other partners, bosses, etc. He enjoys the control and autonomy of being a solo lawyer.
What about marketing?
Tre doesn’t enjoy all aspects of marketing, but he does enjoy the parts that work and are hard for many young lawyers. He enjoys writing, speaking, and networking with small groups. He focuses on the right kinds of people when he networks. He is naturally drawn to social workers, psychologists, therapists and other people in the “helping” professions.
He rarely asks people for business. That is not who he is, or what he does. If you strive to give first, the law of reciprocity says that good things will return to you.
Advice to young lawyers
Having good relationships and protecting your reputation is the key to building a successful law practice. Find a niche that works for you and don’t follow every single case that comes in the door. It is ok to not know everything. Be confident in your legal knowledge and know where to go for the answers.
If Tre had to start his practice from scratch, he would go out and start building relationships with key referral sources.
Items Mentioned in the Podcast
- Cloud-based case management software – Tre uses Clio and my firm uses MyCase
- Having two monitors is extremely helpful to a paperless solo
- Fujitsu Scansnap scanner
- 5 Useful Mac keyboard shortcuts
- Call Recorder to record Skype calls (Mac Only)
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Are you interested in being interviewed on my podcast? Do you know someone who would make a great guest? Please leave a comment below, or send me a message via my contact page.