Jonathan Breeden is the Owner of Breeden Law Office, a family law and criminal defense firm dedicated to representing families and individuals in North Carolina. The firm was founded by him in 2000 and operates across four locations in Raleigh, Angier, Garner, and Smithfield. With over two decades of experience, the Breeden Law Office has earned a reputation for its client-centered approach in the intricate and often sensitive arena of family law.
As an attorney, Jonathan Breeden specializes in navigating complex issues like divorce, child custody, property distribution, and alimony. His emphasis on child welfare and alignment of legal outcomes with the best interests of the child sets a clear tone for his practice. Beyond family law, he also represents individuals charged with traffic violations, theft, assault, and other criminal offenses.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- What Breeden Law Office specializes in, and what sets it apart from other firms
- Jonathan Breeden talks about why he chose to specialize in family law
- The value of providing a good experience despite unpredictable court outcomes
- How Jonathan started his law firm after he got out of law school
- Law firm marketing strategies and growth
- The importance of a client-centered approach and helping people become the heroes of their life stories
In this episode…
Is effective marketing the key to a successful law firm? How can lawyers balance compassion in their practices, particularly in family law?
According to Jonathan Breeden, a dedicated advocate in family law, successful marketing strategies combined with a client-centered, compassionate approach can significantly contribute to a law firm’s success. Drawing from his two decades of experience, Jonathan emphasizes the importance of crafting a law firm’s operations to serve clients better and meet their needs, especially when dealing with sensitive family legal matters.
In this episode of 15 Minutes, host Chad Franzen speaks with Jonathan Breeden, Owner of Breeden Law Office. They discuss how effective marketing and client communication played a critical role in the firm’s growth and how focusing on the welfare of children became an essential guiding principle in Jonathan’s practice. They also touch upon Jonathan’s unique philosophical belief of enabling his clients to become the heroes of their life stories.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Chad Franzen on LinkedIn
- Gladiator Law Marketing
- Jonathan Breeden on LinkedIn
- Breeden Law Office: Website | Facebook | X | LinkedIn
- Breeden Law Office’s contact number: 919-661-4970
- The Federalist Papers
- NC State University
- Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law
- Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know by Jonathan Breeden
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing, where we deliver tailor-made services to help you accomplish your objectives and maximize your growth potential.
To have a successful marketing campaign and make sure you’re getting the best ROI, your firm needs to have a better website and better content. At Gladiator Law Marketing, we use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and decades of experience to outperform the competition.
You’re listening to 15 Minutes, where we feature community leaders sharing what the rest of us should know but likely don’t.
Chad Franzen 0:12
Hi. Chad Franzen here, one of the hosts of Share Your Voice where we talk with top notch law firms and lawyers about what it takes to grow a successful law practice. This episode is brought to you by Gladiator Law Marketing delivering tailor made services to help you accomplish your objectives and maximize your growth potential. To have a successful marketing campaign and make sure you’re getting the best ROI, your firm needs to have a better website and better content. Gladiator Law Marketing uses artificial intelligence, machine learning and decades of experience to outperform the competition. To learn more, go to gladiatorlawmarketing.com where you can schedule a free marketing consultation. Jonathan Breeden is the owner of Breeden Law Office, which he started in the year 2000. The firm is located in the suburbs of Raleigh, North Carolina. His firm has represented families in Johnston, Harnett and Wake counties in North Carolina for the past 23 years. At Breeden Law, their goal is to provide a client centered approach to family law, which allows their clients to be the heroes of their life stories. Hey, Jonathan, thanks so much for joining me today. How are you?
Jonathan Breeden 1:14
Hey, thank you. I appreciate you having me on. I’ve been looking forward to this for a couple of weeks now.
Chad Franzen 1:20
Good. Yeah. It’s great to have you. So hey, just tell me a little bit more about Breeden Law and kind of what you guys do and specialize in?
Jonathan Breeden 1:28
Yeah, the Breeden Law Office is a full service family law firm here in the suburbs of Raleigh, North Carolina. We do have one of our satellite offices in the downtown Raleigh area. We have offices in Johnston County with two offices in Johnston County, including our main office here in Garner at the intersection of i 40 and holiday 42. We also have an office in Smithfield. And we also have an office and you’re in Harnett County. We currently have five attorneys and five or six support staff working with us and we serve clients and Jonathan Hart in Wake County. So for your listeners that aren’t familiar, Raleigh is where Wake County is located and as a couple of million people and then our to two of our other primary counties or the suburbs around Raleigh, and smaller suburban counties that have exploded like a lot of counties around the area, the Raleigh, North Carolina area being the fastest growing area in North America. In a lot of surveys, sometimes it’s either first or second or third. So there’s a lot of young families we’re able to help right now. And we do all types of family law, child custody, divorce, equity, distribution of property, post separation support, alimony, adoptions, we do wills, powers of attorneys, guardianships, if it is for your family, we help people do it every day.
Chad Franzen 2:57
What would you say maybe separates Breeden Law apart from other firms who have a similar niche?
Jonathan Breeden 3:04
I think it’s our client centered approach, that we really work very hard. On the cases that we have, we move the cases, to conclusion as fast as possible, we communicate with our clients every single day that they asked to be communicated with, I would bet that 95% of all communications to my office are returned by somebody within 24 hours. And what we’ve found out here is that most law firms are not responsive to their clients, as they probably should be, they are woefully understaffed, which we are not. And so they do the best they can, but they’re not able to really focus on the client. And, you know, we our goal is really to try to answer a question before it’s asked, you know, you’re not going to come work with the Brady law office and not know what status your case is in, or what’s going to happen next, or when your next court date is, or even if your case has been filed, you’d be amazed at the people that come in here that know nothing about what’s going on in their case, they paid lawyers thousands of dollars because they haven’t been communicated with. And so that’s really what we try to do. You know, I put all of my staff I haven’t listened to podcast and read things as it relates to Disney. So there are a lot of ex Disney executives out there. We’re podcast, I asked my staff to listen to those. I listen to those. I find that the way Disney provides customer service is excellent. And if I can do the same thing for my clients that Disney does for the families that go there, I think I’m doing a good job.
Chad Franzen 4:45
Wow, that’s that’s very interesting. I haven’t I haven’t heard that. What made you think of that? The Disney aspect.
Jonathan Breeden 4:52
You know, I The funny thing is I’ve not been to Disney. Um, since I was a since I was in high school until about two years ago, but I have a business coach who helps me out. And at one of the conferences I was at a former Disney executive came and spoke about how to sort of Disney-fy your practice. And he talked about the things that Disney does to enhance the customer experience that you might not even realize while you’re there. You know, from from, from the, from how the cast members dress to how the cast members address you to little tricks, like they have people whose job it is to sit out front of a gift shop and bounce your kid a goofy ball, so that the kid will bounce back that creates an interaction, then you bond $25 goofy ball, you know also about how Disney is constantly improving itself. By getting advice, from the people doing the job, everything can be improved, no process is completely complete. And you know that it got me to thinking about how could I do that here? How could we better the processes here? What are the little things that we could do here to make the difference that Disney makes that you might not even realize, after that person spoke at this conference I was at in 2020. I then went to Disneyland in 2021. And then I went to Disney World in 2022. And was really amazed at the things I saw the things that I need to look for how to listen to the speaker. By then I started listening to some of the former Disney executives podcasts that are out there. And they talk about how Disney does things. And it really was fascinating, I spent as much time watching the interactions and having and I was very fortunate and a great, I have a cousin who works at Disney, who took us around a little bit and showed us some of the things that she had been trained to do. So it really is fascinating, but Disney really is focused on the customer experience. And I think 80 or 85%, or maybe more people that go to Disney every year have been there before the repeat customer. And so, you know, I just now think about how can we get you know, like the outcome and family law is often predetermined a little bit by the decisions that people have made before they get here, right, whether they, they drink too much, they there’s domestic violence, maybe they have a drug problem they haven’t been able to handle. But financial crisis is, you know, a lot of things happen, right, a lot of everybody’s doing the best they can do. And so, you know, and so the judges are gonna make decisions that they think are best, they’re gonna follow the law, or they’re gonna make decisions that are best for the for the children. And the client may not always agree with that. And I can’t, I can’t control what that judge decides, I can’t really change the facts, but I can affect how your experience is with my office and with the court system, and then you’re getting a good value for the money you’re spending. So a lot of money to hire divorce lawyer in this area, you know, it’s 1000s and 1000s of dollars, you know, it’s a lot of money, I don’t care who you are, whether you have a lot of money, you don’t have a lot of money, it’s a lot of money. And I’m not going to forget that. And if you’re here working with us, you know, we’re going to make sure you get as good a value for the money, you’re paying as possible. And you have a good experience, even though the outcome will get you the best outcome we can, but sometimes we can’t, you know, we don’t control the outcome because we’re not the judge.
Chad Franzen 8:40
What, how and when did you know you wanted to become an attorney?
Jonathan Breeden 8:44
You know, it’s funny, I’m asked that question all the time. I think it was when I was in a ninth grade, high school civics class and Laurinburg, North Carolina, at Scotland high school taught by a teacher who passed away a few months ago got a Spencer Willard, and in high school civics in North Carolina, part of the curriculum is that you read the some of the Federalist Papers, and you study a little bit of the Constitution in that class. And when I read those federalist papers, and I saw how these English subjects, I guess, saw their country and the government that they wanted and what they didn’t like about the king and the oppression that they were suffering from. It was really fascinating, you know, to read about those those ideas of the government and, and, and, you know, and so that’s when I really, that’s when I really thought this is really neat, right? These men put their lives on the line, all of them knowing that they were going to die at the hands of the British by doing what they did, knowing that they probably would lose all of their riches by attacking the British Just like they were willing to do, but you know what ultimately led to the Declaration of Independence and all of that. And so that really was fascinating to me. And that’s when I started thinking that I really made me want to become a lawyer was when I was in the ninth grade. And if any of your listeners have not been to Colonial Williamsburg, and Williamsburg, Virginia, I would highly recommend it. I go on a regular basis. There, there are probably 75 buildings that have been rebuilt of original buildings, I think are still there. They have lots of reenactors, who tell the story of its citizens at the time. And it’s a fascinating place. I think everybody should go to Williamsburg, Virginia, at least one time.
Chad Franzen 10:41
So once you decided to go into law, there are multiple avenues you can go down what attracted you to this type of law practice family law.
Jonathan Breeden 10:49
You know, I kind of ended up in it, I thought by accident. But now looking back on it, I think it was really kind of a calling. I went to NC State University. I’m a huge Wolfpack fan. When I got out of NC State. Finished in three years, I went to Campbell University’s Law School, which is now in downtown Raleigh at the time I went, it was in buoys Creek, North Carolina, where the main University is. And, you know, I went to that law school because I wanted to start my own law practice and not law school at the most practical training in North Carolina at the time, and gave a good general overview of the law and all of its students at an extremely high bar passage rate. And I thought, well, if I if if I can get through it, I’ll probably pass the bar. If I have a license, maybe I can make a living. And so when I came out, I came right here to this intersection in Johnson County, 15 miles from downtown Raleigh, because it was a fast growing area. And I came out wanting to do criminal defense, I had interned in the DHS office of law school. In high school, I didn’t turn in the public defender’s office back in Scotland County. And it being in the Dean’s office made me realize I did not want to be a prosecutor, I wanted to be a defense attorney. And so I came here. And I started doing criminal defense court appointed work, but also started representing families whose children had been put into foster care to the Department of Social Services. And I found that to be more rewarding working with those parents who had lost their children, often through drug or alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and working with those parents to try to get them vocational skills and the different things that the step that the county in the state can offer to help them get their children back. And I found that to be more rewarding than I found the criminal defense even though I found a criminal defense to be very rewarding. And being in the suburbs, a lot of young families started showing up needing help, and I was a young attorney who needed work. And so I took a custody case. And then I took a property case. And then I took an alimony case. And I learned a lot from the other attorneys who were willing to help very collegial bar out here in the suburbs, friendly, you know, this is Eastern North Carolina, a lot of really nice people. And so and I really, I enjoyed it, I enjoyed working with the people, I really tried to focus on the children, and what the outcome was best for the children. Because your client always isn’t always looking out for the children, your clients feelings are hurt, they’re mad at the other side, they want to get back at them. And they often want to try to use the children as weapons. And that’s not good, right. And so I would spend a lot of time saying, Well, let’s look what’s best for the children. And I still today, try to focus on what’s best for the children. And as we started to get good outcomes for these children, getting them back out of foster care back with their parents, you know, fixing it were dads who are not being able to allow to see their children for no reason other than my mom was mad that she got left for another woman, getting those dads back in their children’s lives, you know, getting some children out of abusive situations into more positive situations. And that, that’s when I really said, Okay, this is what I want to do, right? I was just so happy. You know, and I got so much joy, watching how these children got better. And then the children would come back by and they would visit me and I would see him on Facebook. And I would see him at the little league ballpark playing with my kids or they would be in my kids classes. And I would know where they started. And I can see where they are. And to know that I played some small role in helping those children have the best outcome they were going to have or could have was was extremely rewarding. And I tell a lot of people that you can do a lot with a God given talent that I have. But the thing that if you can help a child, you know, there’s nothing better. And so that’s what I tried to focus on now because family law is hard, right? The facts are hard. The emotions are hard. People are upset, they’re stressed. They often take And out on their attorneys. And the attorneys have to be willing to accept some of that if they’re going to be in family law. And it’s been a really, it’s been a really fun, fun and enjoyable time to help children. And now, those children, I’ve been doing this so long at the same intersection, that those sort of grown up and they act children, and I’ve gotten to know those children. So I’m just a really big family law kind of guy. And I find out my passion and trying to make children’s lives better.
Chad Franzen 15:31
That’s great, fantastic. What did you did you just start your own law firm, right after you got out of law school then?
Jonathan Breeden 15:37
I did. I came right here to what we call us 4042. Right here in the labor community, Johnston County right outside of Raleigh. And I started a practice, I didn’t have any help. I did it myself for two years. And been right here. This has been my primary office the whole time, I’ve had, you know, a lot of different associates and paralegals and staff helped me over the years. And I’ve been right here. And I’ve been growing the business since then. But the business really took off about four or five years ago, when I know you were Gladiator Law Marketing, and I changed marketing companies, and I got a very good marketing company. And if you can check, you know, once you change the number of leads you have, then the rest of it can change too. It’s it’s hard, I think it’s easier to get the leads that convert them and provide a good service. But it’s but but once we got a different marketing company than the one we’ve been with, things are really, really took off. And if you’re out there, and you’re an attorney, and you’re listening to this, and you don’t have the leads that you think you should have, or you don’t know what the leads are, you need to find out because you can tremendously change the future of your business, by marketing the right way. In any community in America, I don’t care where you are, if it’s marketing correctly now with Google.
Chad Franzen 17:02
So what were the what were the early days, like when it was just you and you obviously weren’t working with a marketing company? How did you go about getting clients?
Jonathan Breeden 17:11
Oh, my goodness, that’s Oh, man, that was a long time ago, I, I did a lot of Chamber of Commerce events, I went to a lot of ribbon cuttings and breakfasts is and after hours, and I still go to those things. Now. You know, I’m not looking for business there. Now, as much as I’m looking to catch up with friends and make people remember, I’ve not gone, I also bought a small yellow page ad. And you know, and then within a year of starting out, I developed what was my very first website, which, you know, there weren’t very many websites back then. And we sort of started to go to go with that I was working with firewall back then, really weren’t with him anymore. But they were able to help me when I was early on.
Chad Franzen 17:58
And then you mentioned that over the past four years, things have really taken off for you what has been the big difference between marketing companies.
Jonathan Breeden 18:07
Um, I think getting a website that works the way Google does, you know, I, you know, SEO is a constant game. And you have to be looking at it or having somebody look at it every week, because the algorithms change. Google changes the rules, they prioritize certain things, they, they don’t prioritize other things. You also have to be creating new content. And putting that out there into the world, whether it be video content on YouTube, which Google owns, whether that’s blogs, you know, and you also have to focus on your, your Google My Business page, I don’t know if they still call it Google My Business, but I will always sort of call that and make sure that that page is optimized, and it’s doing the things you need it to do for you as well. And it’s not a single thing when it comes to marketing. I also wrote a book that is also available for download on my on my website at breedenfirm.com about divorce law in North Carolina. And the way I choose to go about doing that and why I do what I do, which is some of the stuff I’ve just shared with you. And you know, we we’ve got we’re shooting videos every month now we’re putting those on YouTube. We’re we’ve got blogs coming out every month. We have a publicist now, who looks for chances for me to answer questions and be quoted in national magazines and national websites, like msn.com, and stuff like that. So So you really have to look at it from a holistic approach. And it’s not one single thing. And when I changed marketing companies, that’s what they taught me, and that’s what we’ve done. And so Now we get lots and lots and lots of leads. And we have to, you know, figure out how to deal with them.
Chad Franzen 20:06
Oh, that’s, that’s good. So you’ve been at it for 23 years now, is there a moment or a few moments that stand out as like, highlights of the times that you’re particularly proud of?
Jonathan Breeden 20:18
You know, I mean, there’s been a lot of things to be proud of, you know, you can look at individual cases, where, you know, you’ve got really good outcomes, particularly when you get kids out of really bad situations. You know, we’ve gotten some kids out of situations where they were being they were being harmed, they were being tortured. You know, it’s, you know, so I think about those. You know, as far as you know, the individual cases, we’ve done some pro bono cases, over the years that have been very rewarding, where we, we’ve still got one, it’s still going on right now where the young man had gotten in trouble. early in life, he had a child or went to prison. He was he was selling drugs, you weren’t using drugs, he was selling drugs. But he came out, he got stranded, he completed his probation. And the mother for whatever reason, just didn’t want him to see the child. And this was somebody who was a janitor in Alabama, who did not have the money to have an attorney, but he wanted to be in his child’s life. And the mother just didn’t want him to be in the child’s life. And we took that case, after being contacted about father’s rights group out of Atlanta, in Raleigh, we’ve had that case for five or six years now. And that father, Nana has full custody of his son, from not being able to see a son at all. Finally, the court got tired of the mother did not follow the court’s order, the court put the mother in jail for violating the order, and gave the father deceit his son and his son has done great, he’s now in high school, and he’s doing awesome. So you know, those are the cases, you know, those are the ones that sort of think about that. From a business standpoint, you know, you know, changing from firewall, back in 2016, to the marketing company, where we’ve now, you know, was was a big change. And, and that, you know, that really did change the direction because we’re able to get a lot more leads and serve a lot more people. And, you know, I really feel like the regional office does things the right way. I think we’re client centered, we’re trying to help people become the hero of their life stories, we meet people where they are. And that’s all really important. And but now that we have more leads that we can serve more people, I think more people are served correctly. And that’s the thing is that we can help more families and more children, because we can reach more people and the way that we choose to do it, which I believe is better than the way other people do it.
Chad Franzen 22:39
I have one more question for you. But tell me how people can find out more than about Breeden Law.
Jonathan Breeden 22:44
Yeah, they can. They can, they can give us a call at 919-661-4970. Or they can reach out to us at breedenfirm.com That is breedenfirm.com. Where we have our book we have, you can chat with us on there, get download our book, you can read all our blogs, that website has over 300 pages, and over 100 blogs on it along with over as a link to our YouTube page. You can just search bring law office on YouTube. There’s over 150 videos, where I asked I just common questions that we get every day. And so that’s how you can reach out to us. I’m also on LinkedIn, just Jonathan Breeden on LinkedIn. And of course, everybody’s on Facebook Breeden Law Office on Facebook and Twitter @breedenlawnc, I should be able to say this a lot quicker than that. But anyway.
Chad Franzen 23:41
No worries. Sounds good. So last question for you. You talked about people being the hero of their own life story. How did you kind of come up with that vision? And what do you mean by that?
Jonathan Breeden 23:51
I mean, everybody, I believe I know, I would like to be the hero of my story, right? We all see ourselves as heroes. And maybe we don’t always act the best. You know what I mean? We’re all human, we all sin. You don’t I mean, we all make mistakes. But we’re all trying to be the hero. Because we grew up watching heroes in the movies and stuff like that, you know, you have Batman and Superman and all of that. And so I think that’s what people want to be. That’s what I would like to be. And oftentimes, when people are going through a divorce or separation or a custody battle, even though they weren’t married, you know, they’re down on themselves, right? They’re disappointed in themselves. They’re disappointed in the other side. You know, sometimes they’re, they’re disappointed in their own children in the way their children are behaving in the situation. And they want to they want to get back there and so we can help them be that hero that they want to be and that they are right we all are the heroes in our life story, whether we look at it or not, right. So we try to get people to look at this more positive Like, yeah, maybe that was a mistake. Maybe you drank too much. Maybe you got addicted to drugs. But you know, nothing is permanent, right? We always want to move forward. We always want to be positive. You know, nothing today is going to change tomorrow when I’ve been promised tomorrow, so we can help people get back to doing things the right way. Get back involved in their children, you know, then they can be the hero that they want to be. And that’s what we strive to achieve.
Chad Franzen 25:26
That’s great. Good for you. Hey, Jonathan has been great talking to you today. Thank you so much for joining me and sharing your story and your time. Really appreciate it.
Jonathan Breeden 25:33
Hey, thanks a lot. I appreciate it.
Chad Franzen 25:36
So long, everybody.
Thanks for listening to 15 Minutes, be sure to subscribe and we’ll see you next time.