James Grant is the Co-founding Partner at Georgia Trial Attorneys, where they help personal injury lawyers make more money with less stress through litigation. He is an experienced personal injury attorney and has worked for The Law Office of Angela M. Kinley, was a Senior Associate Attorney for Atlanta Trial Lawyers Group at Jaffe Law Center, LLC, and worked as the Assistant Solicitor-General with the Gwinnett County Solicitor-General’s Office and the Municipal Court of Suwanee.
James graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a BS in civil engineering and from Faulkner University with his JD in Law. He is active in his local community and has appeared on several law-centered podcasts.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- James Grant talks about how they are changing the game for personal injury attorneys through the litigation model
- How to handle a marketing and sales system to generate revenue
- James explains why hiring a business coach was the best decision
- Why you should focus on processes with systemization to build your business
- James discusses how networking with numerous mentors is beneficial
- James talks about his daily rituals to boost productivity
In this episode…
When the process for litigation can be challenging, how can you grow your firm faster and with confidence? How can you bring personal and professional development to your firm?
By putting a training regimen in place, you are laying the foundation of a sturdy firm. James Grant knows the efficiency of hiring a business coach to align your employees with long-term goals for success. But success doesn’t come from just training. James recommends building a business plan and continuously networking and interacting with mentors and people you know. This builds trust and strengthens your network for growth.
In this episode of 15 Minutes, Chad Franzen of Rise25 sits down with James Grant, Co-founding Partner at Georgia Trial Attorneys, to discuss developing a career in litigation and networking with attorneys. James talks about their litigation model to handle the marketing system, reaching goals through a business coach, and what you should focus on to build a successful law firm.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Gladiator Law Marketing
- Chad Franzen on LinkedIn
- James Grant on LinkedIn
- Georgia Trial Attorneys
- Mark Kirchen on LinkedIn
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.
To learn more, go to gladiatorlawmarketing.com or schedule a free marketing consultation. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chad Franzen 0:01
You’re listening to 15 Minutes, where we feature community leaders sharing what the rest of us should know, but likely don’t. Hi, Chad Franzen here I’m one of the hosts of 15 Minutes 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 marketing campaign successful marketing campaign and make sure you’re getting the best ROI. Your firm needs to have a better website and better content. Why Gladiator Law Marketing uses artificial intelligence, machine learning and decades of experience to outperform the competition. To learn more, go to gladiatorlawmarketing.com and schedule a free marketing consultation. attorney James Grant is a premier personal injury lawyer representing injured victims throughout Georgia. He and his law firm Georgia Trial Attorneys help other personal injury lawyers make more money with less stress, and in less time they are litigators who are well respected by their clients and peers, yet feared by greedy auto insurance companies. Hey, James, thanks so much for joining me today. How are you?
James Grant 1:11
Hey, thanks, Chad. I’m super stoked to be here. Really excited. And looking forward to it.
Chad Franzen 1:14
Yeah, great, good to talk to you. Hey, tell me a little bit more about Georgia Trial Attorneys and what you guys do for other personal injury lawyers? Yeah, so
James Grant 1:22
it’s kind of taken a little bit of a turn through the years. But we found that there’s kind of a niche that not a lot of people are in, and the few people that are in it, are really willing to go all in like we are. So I’ll kind of give you the 50,000 foot fly review of how we got here today, and kind of what we’re looking at going forward. But when we started, you know, we realized early on when we started the business that and I want to say we I mean my business partner, Mark, when we started the firm, we’re like, you have to be an expert in something, you can’t just dabble in everything you can’t do, you know, 17 different practice areas and do all of that well. So we’re like, you know, we really enjoy personal injury, we’re good at it, we get very good results, you know, there’s just a lot of benefits that we can provide to the community to others. You know, I like the whole David Goliath analogy of taking on the greedy insurance companies. I mean, it was just a wonderful fit for us. And that one practice area where we could just, you know, go all in on it. So that’s what we did. And we got our start litigating for other law firms. So other law firms would send their cases to us, they’re difficult cases, they’re cases that they weren’t are equipped to handle. And we would litigate those cases for them. And that has been very much a large part of our business. However, we were also doing the pre litigation marketing at the same time. And so many of the others that do what we do or what like what we do, they would use the litigation referral business as more of a crutch to then generate their own pre litigation cases. And I mean, that’s at the end of the day, most personal injury attorneys want to be in that pre litigation phase where, you know, they’re focusing on the marketing. So they’re, you know, hustle market sale, they’re going to get the client signed up, they’re going to get them into treatment and get them better, send a demand letter, negotiate their case, and then get a good result for the client and move on. You know, that’s the general model where a lot of high margin businesses and personal injury litigation component isn’t necessarily a high margin business. So a lot of people use the litigation to subsidize, we wanted to flip it and say, you know, what, if we’re going to do business with other law firms, and if we’re going to help other attorneys make more money, in less time, and with less stress, then we don’t need to be double dipping, so to speak, I don’t need to be talking about both sides of my mouth saying, Hey, let me help you and work on your litigation cases, while also driving up their cost of acquisition on the pre litigation cases. So what we decided is, you know, what, our unique value proposition is that we’re all in on litigation. That’s the only thing we want. That’s the only thing we care about. And that’s the only thing we’re going to serve. So that way, when I go and I network, and I meet, and I’m pitching another law firm, to help them to help them grow, I can also tell them with confidence. I’m not driving up your cost of acquisition. I’m not going after your clients. I only want to work with other law firms and other businesses like you so that we together can help each other grow and get better results. And that’s kind of how the model was born and how we’ve been just mashing the gas. Yeah. Wow.
Chad Franzen 4:35
So so it’s a pretty unique business model.
James Grant 4:38
It’s unique in the fact that there are a lot of people that litigate and want to litigate cases for other law firms, but I don’t know of anyone else that is said we want to go all in and that’s the only thing we want to do. So I think in that aspect, we are very unique.
Chad Franzen 4:54
So when auto insurance companies here Georgia Trial Attorneys what goes through their mind
James Grant 5:01
I mean, they know we mean business, you know, there’s a lot of firms that are out there. And we work with a lot of where the insurance companies know that it doesn’t matter what they tell them, because it’s not going to stay with them, or they know that they’re not going to put up a fight. So you know, when it gets to us, they’re like, Alright, fine, you know, and one of two things is going to happen. Either, they’re going to immediately put more money, or we’re still going to get more money later on, because we know how to work the game. And we know the process a lot better. And also, from a business perspective, when you look at it, managing a pre litigation department is so much easier than managing a litigation department. If you have a successful personal injury law firm, you effectively have to run two entirely different business models, because the staff, the processes, everything that goes into each firm is so vastly different. So my pitch is just, you know, we’ve perfected our method and our process and our procedure and our oversight and our training and our retraining. Just let us help you so that you can take more money thrown into marketing, throw it into sales, and grow your prelate department and grow your firm even faster. And let us worry about your litigation.
Chad Franzen 6:12
So tell me about how you kind of you guys kind of got started with Georgia Trial Attorneys. How did it come about?
James Grant 6:18
Oh, man that is looking back. It’s it’s nuts how we actually even got off the ground floor. But about 14 months before we started, Georgia trial attorneys, my business partner and I mark, we met at a small law firm that did what I call door law, meaning, you know, if you walk through the door, and you had a case, they were going to take it, and probably not the best business model to operate under. But we got a ton of experience. I mean, we were just thrown into every type of case that’s out there. So we got a lot of experience. And we very quickly realized that there’s a better way to do this, we can actually run a business that happens to practice law. And so we just need to figure out how we’re going to do that and put our spin on it. We now have a business coach, we now subscribed very much to coaching and personal and professional development. back then. We didn’t even know what those words are much less how to spell them. So when we started, I mean, we had we had no plan. We had no clients, we had no referral sources. I mean, I tell a lot of people, we were just two dudes hanging out in Marc’s basement. I mean, it was it was literally just like the boys club. And I don’t know how we did it. But we got cases, we got clients, we, you know, we were successful and profitable our first year, and then we were just able to grow year after year from there. So
Chad Franzen 7:42
he said, You don’t you don’t know how you did it? How did you go from hanging out in the basement playing poker, whatever you guys did to, to, you know, being a fully functioning firm like you are now. Some of it,
James Grant 7:55
I mean, obviously, there is very much, you know, hard work determination, sheer will, you know, neither of us were married at the time, like we had, this was what we devoted our time to, and we’re going to put a lot of effort in and lay the groundwork so that we could get to the point where we’re now more working on the business, not necessarily in the business, because I think that helps the business grow more when leaders are actually working on the business and have the foresight, as opposed to down in the trenches where you can’t necessarily see the forest for the trees was. So when we started, I mean, it was the big three of kind of, I’ve said it before hustle market sell, you know, that’s your first year or two, that’s all you need to worry about as a business owner, because without clients without cases, you’re not gonna be able to generate revenue, you’re not going to be to help other people and help more people. So you’ve got to be able to have a marketing and sales system in place right away, or you’re just dead in the water from the get go. So I mean, luckily, we were able to start and build that quickly, and then move into the other areas of you know, building a business.
Chad Franzen 9:00
Sure, was it? I’m guessing it wasn’t your idea, like when you first started to start trying to work with other personal injury lawyers, or was it?
James Grant 9:09
No, I mean, well, it was a little bit, you know, we have some relationships with other law firms. We maintain those throughout our transition from our current or our prior firm to our firm. And then also it’s just more of networking with other law firms and doing a lot of that pre litigation marketing, because, again, we were marketing to anybody and everybody that was in an accident didn’t matter what the circumstances were because we just wanted to help people but also, we wanted to help people so we could also pay our bills too. So it was it was a combination of both.
Chad Franzen 9:40
What would you say have been some of the biggest turning points.
James Grant 9:44
October of 2018 was the most defining moment in our professional development as business owners. That was the month that we hired a business coach, and it is something that I recommend to every entrepreneur newer every business owner that’s out there, especially in the legal field, I mean, in the legal field, we are done a disservice so much throughout law school. And honestly, through a lot of what we receive from the state bars, and law school, we don’t learn anything about business. Most of the problems that the state bar’s face, I would say a vast majority of them are attributed to bad business practices. So many of them are dealing with trust accounts and theft. And they are to reconcile and, you know, all of these things where if you just put simple business principles and teach those, and impart those to either up and coming lawyers, or re import them and retrain them on lawyers that are barred, currently, you’re going to just save yourself a lot of trouble. And really, when you think about it, you know, most attorneys at some point in their career are either going to be very high up in the decision making process of a law firm, or they’re going to own their own law firm or be a partner in a law firm. And with that, in order to run successful business, you need to have some business backing some business acumen, some level of understanding of what entrepreneurship is and how you run a business. And once we did that, I mean, that just that catapulted us in October of 2018, to where we are today, I mean, looking back then, you know, Mark, and I were working crazy hours, we were working in the business, not on the business not focused on growth. And now we’re to a point where are we can step back, we can look at things we can put people in the right positions that are smarter than us, you know, my job as a business owner is to hire people that are smarter than me and better than me, in their particular field. So that way we grow because I don’t have to know everything, I don’t have to be the best and everything, I just have to be able to put the vision forward, impart that to my team, and put the pieces together so that they are able to be successful in their own way. And so many times as business owners as lawyers, we don’t realize that or think that that’s an option. Was that
Chad Franzen 12:05
something that you learned going through this journey that you don’t need to be the best at everything? Or did you? Or did you realize that already?
James Grant 12:13
No, no, I thought for so long, even probably the first year or so of our coaching, I thought that, you know, I have to understand everything, and I need to be able to do exactly what they’re doing the same or better, so that they know that they can come to me with issues. I can’t know everything, it’s not possible, no one is going to be the best at everything. And when you let go, then you can let other people do what they do and what they want to do what they’re good at, you know, if if somebody’s good, really, really good at, you know, PPC or you know, whatever marketing Avenue you’re talking about, let them be good at that don’t also put them in a sales role. If they’re not good at sales, don’t put them in, you know, the production of drafting pleadings. If they’re not good at that you don’t have to be a one size fit all, you can just be good at what you’re good at, and we can build a system around you.
Chad Franzen 13:08
Sure, that’s that’s kind of like I guess, for lack of a better word, you know, accepting reality, I think, I think hiring a business coach is accepting reality. Well, what were the circumstances that led to your decision to do that?
James Grant 13:20
It was a product of there had to be a better way. When I look back at you know, September of 2018, I mean, you know, working 80 hours a week, you know, that’s normal, in the legal field, like working 60 7080 hours, that’s commonplace. So a lot of times, we’re desensitized to that. A lot of the marketing that we see as well, that are so many of my peers that are out there, you know, posting Instagram stories and tick tock videos of, oh, hey, it’s, you know, 3am in the morning, and I’m working on this motion for my client and like, Go me, and I’m sitting there the next day, like, no, that’s awful. That’s just showing the world that you’re a bad manager of your time. And it’s, it’s not a level of success to be working 80 hours a week, it’s not a sign of success, to be working on a client’s case at four in the morning. It’s a sign of success, to say, I’ve built a team and a process that gets things done during business hours, and delivers a high level of results, so that my team can go home, and they can be refreshed for the next day, as opposed to just being in this constant state of stress, which I feel like so many legal professional.
Chad Franzen 14:35
So when when you hear somebody say like you know, I don’t have that’s just another expense, and I’m too busy to have to spend the time meeting with some business coach, you would say what?
James Grant 14:45
No, I again, I’m talking to myself several years ago with all of these responses because I thought the same thing, whether it was a business coach, whether it was a new hire of Well, I don’t have the money. You don’t have to look at it in annual perspective, which so many of us think of, you know, let’s let’s talk about just an employee, let’s say you’re hiring an employee, not a business coach, and it’s $100,000 salary. Well, so many of us are like, I don’t have $100,000 in the bank account, I can’t hire this person, because I don’t have this money right here. But when you step back, are you going to pay that person $100,000, tomorrow? No, like you’re going, they’re going to be with you for a year. Now, if you’re hiring somebody at $100,000 position, they better be able to be productive very quickly. So give them two or three weeks of onboarding. But by week four, they’re producing attorney or whatever the position is. And the way a business has to be successful is they have to be able to produce their salary, cover their overhead, and then produce a profit for the business. So as long as you put the training regimen in place, so that they can be on boarded, and they can be up and running in three or four weeks, they’re paying for themselves, and then some, and the same thing goes with the business coach. Yeah, there’s some onboarding, there’s some understanding, there’s some learning. But, you know, if I want to make a deal with you, where I give you $1,000, and you give me $100,000. Let’s do that deal over and over and over.
Chad Franzen 16:24
Hey, is there a challenge maybe that you have had to overcome either personally or professionally to get to where you are?
James Grant 16:32
Oh, yeah, lots. It’s all right here, like this guy, me, I am the biggest hurdle. Because so much of becoming an entrepreneur, it’s all mindset. It’s all personal development. We don’t like to think in those terms. But you have to learn how to think like a business owner, you have to learn how to think like an entrepreneur, you have to learn how to think like Jeff Bezos, because the way he runs Amazon, is the exact way you can run every single law firm that is out there. Everything can be systematized, everything can be run in such a place that it works, and it functions without you. You have to do a lot of mental gymnastics, and a lot of learning and a lot of education to realize and get to that point. But so many decisions. And the way we view things have to be objective. If you don’t have a business plan, for instance, if you don’t have a business plan that you update quarterly, you are running your law firm or your business, on a whim on gut on feel on intuition. That joke is wrong all the time. Whereas if you say, you know, q2, I’m supposed to have, you know, $1.8 million in income, and the profit is supposed to be x. And we’re supposed to have this many cases, great. That’s an objective metric, I can then measure and say, have I achieved that? Are we on track? Are we over? Are we under? Do we need to adjust? Do we need to increase our goals? You know, what do we need to do, but if you’re tracking with objective metrics, then you can succeed as opposed to well, you know, I think this case is going to come through and do really well for us. Never put your hopes and your goals and your your staff, you know, never put them in a position where they’re relying on hopes and dreams and wishes.
Chad Franzen 18:23
As you as you look back on your time so far with Georgia, Trial at Trial Attorneys, is there a moment that you are kind of especially proud of like a big success or our proudest moment?
James Grant 18:34
Probably all of it. I mean, there’s no one defining moment where it’s like, yeah, we just did everything, right. I mean, I think, you know, when you look back in history, like the history of the law firm, yes, there have been successes, there have been, you know, million dollar settlements, there have been verdicts at trial that we were very happy about. But I have trouble trying to just say, Well, this was just one defining moment. Because I don’t think that there’s such thing as one defining moment, I think there are a bunch of little small decisions that led to a defining moment. Whereas if you took away one of those small decisions, the big result never happens. So it’s more of making sure that you know, you’re, you’re down in the weeds, so to speak on the little things, if you get the little things, right, the big things will come. And I think we’ve been able to do a lot of that with our processes with our with our systemization with our automation, with our training and with our retraining to to build a business that works for us and gives us feedback as opposed to the other way around.
Chad Franzen 19:40
I just have a couple more questions for you. Hey, what are some daily rituals that you find most important, like what’s a typical day for you? I see you know, you don’t have your typical office background there in the video.
James Grant 19:50
So yeah, I mean, yeah, this right here. Physical health is so important. And when when we built our gym here in our basement, I was like, You know what I mean, there’s no reason why I can’t have my gym in my office, the one in the same. I mean, we’re almost an entirely virtual law firm. Even though we have more than 20 people in our office across the US and other countries, no one actually goes into the office full time, no one is in the office every single day. So we were able to build in such a way where, you know, I can work from home, and I was like, I have to work out. I, you know, number one, I enjoy it. I am competing in my first amateur strongman competition on Saturday. That was the goal that I set out last year. So as long as you build in your goals and objectives to just like with business, for your physical health, I think that really helps a lot. So you know, working out, however many days you set, you need to make sure it happens. And then waking up early, waking up early is something that so many people fight. But if you get up at five o’clock, you can do so much for yourself, which you can’t do otherwise, I mean, I’ve got a wife and two kids, you know, things start getting crazy at 6.30. So if I get up early, if I get up at five, if I have some time to myself without my cell phone, no, no cell phone time, no cell phone time before, like 6.30, or seven. Because if the first thing you do is pick up your phone, and look at an email, you’re gonna get frustrated, or you’re gonna get upset, or you’re gonna get in the news, or you’re, you’re going to do things that aren’t productive. It already happened. It’s not going to change until six or seven, that you get started with your day. So get up early exercise, and just spend some time with yourself without the cell phone. And that really helps center your entire day. That’s just an easy recommendation I can give to everybody that anybody can do
Chad Franzen 21:53
What kind of events are in the strongman competition? Are you going to be hauling logs or something?
James Grant 22:00
So this one’s got it starts off with a they call it a press medley. So picking up objects and you know, pressing them over your head. So there’s, you know, 120 pound dumbbell 180 pound sandbag, 150 pound break drum. And then one other I can’t remember off the top of my head. And then there’s a deadlift event where we’re dead lifting a car, were doing a truck pull. So there’s a UPS truck, and we’re pulling it with, with a rope, and a 250 pound concrete stone Atlas stone that we pick up and put over a bar for reps. And then there’s one other event that I totally can’t remember. So yeah. All right,
Chad Franzen 22:39
well, hey, good luck. It sounds sounds like it’s going to be intense and fun. Well, fun, fun for you, hopefully. Sounds great. Hey, one more question for you. But first, before I ask you that, tell me how people can find out more about Georgia Trial Attorneys.
James Grant 22:55
So the best way to get a hold of us is just go to our website, or it’s our phone number. So it’s a good way to remember everything. So you know, if you’re in a car accident, just call 833-4TheWin. And that’s our URL as well. 833 the number four, the win so just plug that into your you know, your phone 8334thewin.com You’ll get me and we’ll get you started.
Chad Franzen 23:18
Okay, great. Hey, last question for you, who is a mentor of yours? And what is that person’s best piece of advice for you at the risk of putting you on the spot? No, I
James Grant 23:28
mean, I think everyone needs a mentor. And you don’t just have to have one mentor, you can have a different mentor for different things. Because again, no one is good at everything. So finding good mentors for different things. But I’m thinking of one mentor, in particular, when it comes to networking. This man is the world’s greatest networker. And I think everyone needs to find somebody that’s good at networking, so they can learn from them of how to be a better networker. Whether it’s business or personal. You generally do business and interact with people that you know, like and trust. And the only way that you can truly build that is through relationships. So being able to network with other people go into a room where you don’t know anybody. Stick out your hand, shake your hand introduced to somebody new and start working a room. That is a huge skill that I think everyone needs. And finding a mentor that good at that will just help you in so many levels.
Chad Franzen 24:27
Hey, James, it’s been great to talk to you today. Thank you so much. Thanks for your time and your insights and best wishes on your strongman competition.
James Grant 24:34
Yeah, thanks. I’m really pumped. So we’ll see what happens. All right. Thank
Chad Franzen 24:37
you. So long, everybody. Thanks for listening to 15 Minutes, be sure to subscribe and we’ll see you next time.