James Grant is the Co-founding Partner of Georgia Trial Attorneys at Kirchen & Grant, LLC, which provides innovative legal solutions in personal injury, family law, and criminal defense. As an aggressive and experienced litigator, he has helped clients injured in auto, pedestrian, and truck accidents. James founded Georgia Trial Attorneys as an outsourced litigation company to help other personal injury firms grow. As a seasoned courtroom veteran, his prior roles include assistant solicitor general and senior associate attorney.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- How James Grant identified a litigation niche to launch an outsourced trial firm
- Strategies for marketing your unique business model
- James talks about acquiring trial lawyers
- Leveraging technology and automation to streamline your law firm
- The most demanding aspects of business growth
- James’ secret to a thriving firm — and his ideal law firm client
In this episode…
When it comes to litigation, many lawyers pursue seven and eight-figure trial cases while avoiding less lucrative civil cases. These cases are often overlooked entirely due to a lack of experienced staff. How can you outsource litigation and other tasks to streamline and scale your business?
As an outsourced litigator, James Grant has observed that most law firms either rely on pre-litigation experts to represent trial cases or overpay experienced lawyers to perform pre-litigation functions. By outsourcing litigation attorneys, law firm owners can place staff in appropriate roles, tighten their sales cycles, and focus on their strengths to scale effectively. James also recommends automating your workflows to reduce repetitive tasks and implementing software to streamline business operations.
Listen to a new episode of The Guts and Glory Show as Luis Scott hosts James Grant, the Co-founding Partner of Georgia Trial Attorneys at Kirchen & Grant, LLC, who explains the value of outsourcing for law firm growth. James shares how to market a unique business model, the most challenging aspects of business growth, and his secret to a successful litigation firm.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Luis Scott: LinkedIn | Website
- 8 Figure Firm
- Bader Scott Injury Lawyers
- James Grant on LinkedIn
- Georgia Trial Attorneys at Kirchen & Grant, LLC
- Georgia Trial Attorneys phone number: 833-484-3946
Sponsor for this episode…
This episode is brought to you by 8 Figure Firm.
After their own law firm scaled from $3.5 million to $30 million in annual revenue in just two years, Luis and Seth started 8 Figure Firm to share their strategies and help other law firms achieve exponential growth.
Visit www.8figurefirm.com to receive a consult call and start scaling your business today.
Are you ready to make it rain? Learn from the best in the biz on how to take your business to the next level, you’re now entering the growth zone, on The Guts and Glory Show with your host, Luis Scott.
Luis Scott 0:16
Guys, welcome to The Guts and Glory Show, a show dedicated to helping you learn just a little bit more. So you can be bigger and better than you were before. My name is Luis, I am your host. And I’m really excited to have a guest on the show. And as many of you know, if you follow me, most of my shows do not have guests. So when we have a guest, we know that this is going to be power packed, and it’s going to be valuable content and information. And today, I’m gonna be talking to someone who has basically turned the paradigm of law on its head. And to be honest with you, I don’t know many people who do what this guests do in the legal space. And so today we have James Grant, the CO founding partner of Georgia Trial Attorneys. And he has revolutionized the field of personal injury law by focusing on a niche that a lot of people are scared of. And that is trial work, believe it or not, in the personal injury space, which I’ve been a part of for 20 years, a lot of people shy away from the trial work. And James is here to say, You know what, there’s a profitable way to make this work. And he has decided to make that work. And we’re really excited to hear about his business model, how he does this. And then if you’re one of those lawyers who just doesn’t want to go to court, how you can get your cases in front of him, and I’m sure he will be more than happy to take them. So with that, James, welcome to the show.
James Grant 1:37
Wow, Luis, that was quite the introduction. I’ve got a lot to live up here. So we better we better deliver today.
Luis Scott 1:44
I love it. Well, you know, I was very fascinated by what you told me pre show and the concept of you just taking the trial work and getting rid of the pre litigation. And yes, there are firms out there that are considered trial firms. But your model is different. You are an outsourced trial firm, like your goal is to bring in cases from other firms and to do the trial work. But in a very specific price point, right? Because many times you hear about these big firms that do the million dollar, you know, the real big, big cases. But in your situation, you have a very specific price point. How did you arrive at this? How did you get to this point in your, in your career? Tell us a little bit about that?
James Grant 2:28
Yeah, I mean, the the journey of entrepreneurship has taken so many twists and turns and you think you end up one way, and you end up on a whole nother side of the globe. And I mean, that’s really honestly, I think the way it works for many entrepreneurs. But when we came to the realization about two years ago that you have to number one, whatever your niche is, you have to have some kind of unique value proposition. And we had always done referral work. And we were going to do the typical thing that so many lawyers and law firms do is they start off with referral work. And they use that as an opportunity to launch a pre litigation department and go into pre lit where the margins are significantly better from a business standpoint. But we kind of sat back and we’re like, well, there’s this business side of the legal the litigation side where no one really wants to be there. Everyone wants the giant seven, eight figure trial cases. But no one wants the cases that are from $5,000 in medical bills to magistrate court, up to maybe $200,000 in medical bills. And we saw it as an opportunity to say well, hey, I want to work with other lawyers, I want to actually help them and help their clients so that the lawyers can focus on what they’re good at, which is marketing and sales and getting new cases. And that we can handle the litigation work so that we can grow together and by us not doing prelit now we’re not competing with them and draw driving up their cost of acquisition. We’re actually complimenting them and growing together.
Luis Scott 3:52
Yeah, I mean, I think that one of the key things that you mentioned was coming to the realization that you needed to niche down and a lot of people don’t come to that realization, they spend years and years and years in multiple practice areas. And believe it or not what you what you said is actually very unique, you actually view trial work, and prelit work as two different niches. And I think that that that’s a very, very key differentiator, because they are in fact, run differently. How is it that that you decided to do because you mentioned that prelit is much more profitable, that can be debated by some people, right? But But how did you land on let’s do the trial work, but let’s limit it to five to 200,000 cases like How did you land on that? Where did you see the opportunity more than anything?
James Grant 4:38
Well, so a lot of it was make boils down to market share analysis, we had to look at, you know, who our competition is who our preferred or prospective clients are, what is our, you know, avatar that we’re going after? And then kind of put all those together and say, Where’s an opportunity that we have to effectively be a disruptor in the field. And you know, kind of like I said we saw that there’s a A lot of people that want the big trial cases, and they’re very well known for that. So that’s kind of an area that’s going to be tough to get into. And then we’re sitting here we’re like, well, no one wants to do what most would deem smaller cases. And when we started looking at then the valuation standpoint, on a staff basis, well, most firms, like you said, have the same staff to do everything. And either you’ve got a really great prelit staff that it’s great at prelit, but they’re not necessarily going to be so great at litigation, or you’ve got a great litigation staff. But then you’re overpaying for them to do pre litigation work. So we realized that there was a real great business opportunity to help a lot of lawyers and a lot of time, the sales cycle can be a little bit longer, because we’re having to have business conversations to say, well, actually, if you let go of this, you’re actually going to make more and have a whole lot more time. And that’s the one thing we can never get more of, and realizing that there was so much opportunity, it kind of just all made sense. And we’ve been doing it for the last year and a half, two years. And it’s it’s been phenomenal.
Luis Scott 6:05
How do you, let’s let’s go through the entire business fun, I’m gonna ask you questions about different parts of your of the business. How do you market this? So let’s say there’s a listener out there, and that they want to do trial work. They don’t want to be in the litigation work, but they want to make sure that they have a continuous stream of clients, which is what you’ve been able to develop? How do you market for this? What’s the Give me one or two strategies that that somebody could take away and implement and immediately start seeing results?
James Grant 6:29
So you have to look at which avenue you’re in? Are you in b2b? Are you in b2c? We’re in a b2b business model. So it’s business to business. And especially in the legal field, it’s really about true business development, that’s really kind of what the marketing position that we have is, it’s a lot of cold calling and having lunches, having meetings, getting to know other lawyers in the area, and building relationships with them, just because it goes back to you know, people do business with those they know, like and trust. So you have to build some level of relationship and trust with them in order to effectively win their business and help them so that you can grow together. So that’s a lot of our business is really just pitching other attorneys to be like, Hey, let’s go to lunch. Let’s go play golf, let’s go to a ballgame. Let’s spend time together to see number one, if we can have a relationship with each other, if we have similar values, and we’re going to be able to work together. That’s a really big part of our funnel. Then we have another part of our funnel, which is through our website, we give away a lot of our free resources being our legal templates, whether it’s complaints or motions, we’re always updating and adding to that website. And when people download our free resources, they go into a funnel, which again, gets us to a similar place to where we can either have a Zoom meeting with them, or take them to lunch, again, extending that olive branch of saying, hey, if this is what you’ve seen, we’ve give away for free. Imagine what it’s like when you work with us. And we use our templates in our way.
Luis Scott 7:58
That’s I mean, I trust me that strategy absolutely works. It’s interesting how many people don’t understand the concept of like, if you give enough value, people must feel like they have to work with you. Yeah. And I think that that’s, that’s a really great, great way to do it, and also developing the relationships. So we undervalue the importance of relationships. I remember, early on in my legal career, I had a relationship with a couple of attorneys who were sending me 50 to 60 cases a year. And I would ask people, How do you get business? And they would say, I mean, I don’t really talk. I don’t haven’t talked to any lawyers. I’m like, You’re telling me you graduated with 150 200 people? And you don’t know a single lawyer who can refer you a case? Like How insane is that, that you don’t, you know, take on those strategies. As it relates to hiring though, because trial work is a very specific type of personality. You know, I’ve always said that the PII lawyers, they tend to have a different disposition, they tend to be a little bit more ego driven, they tend to be a little bit more cocky, a little bit more a little, you know, I don’t know how to describe it. I guess, as a pie lawyer, I should be able to say anything I want. But I’m trying to be I’m trying to be, you know, you know, correct here. Like they’re different. They’re different, right? How do you find these guys to work for you? Like, what’s the strategy for finding trial lawyers?
James Grant 9:12
Well, and even before we talk about the lawyer, I think it’s really important to talk about the staff and the process, because the big realization that I think so many lawyers overlook is what does a lawyer need a law license to actually do? And it’s not much at the end of the day, you only need a law license to give legal advice, to attend depositions, trials, hearings, mediations, and you know, those events where you’re either arguing or, you know, participating in a legal proceeding of some sort, and then really decide pleadings. But now with an E filing. That’s not really a thing of putting a signature on a piece of paper unless you’re in magistrate court, which doesn’t do e file. So really, you’re only talking about two things that you need a true law license to do. So the first thing is finding people that number one can realize that and use their skill set. And those areas and those areas alone with a robust staff and automation and processes that actually give them the opportunity to just work on that. Because at the end of the day, a lawyer does not need to be doing discovery responses, they don’t need to be drafting complaints, they don’t need to be doing all the stuff that we see most lawyers doing. That’s effectively administrative tasks that can be delegated to the lowest paid, but highest competent employ. And that’s a big process that we use as well with a lot of our staff with a lot of our automation and our workflows to make sure that those things happen. So then the lawyers can really shine and do what they’re good at, which is just those few things.
Luis Scott 10:44
One of the things that I heard you say was about this concept of streamlining through technology, like, what what when you say technology? What are some things that you use, that a law firm could immediately deploy to help them become more streamlined and more efficient?
James Grant 10:59
So first thing, I can only speak to Microsoft, we are huge Microsoft advocates. So if you’re automatic, I have no clue how that stuff works. I don’t know what the integrations are. This is not the time for you. But if you are a Microsoft user, we don’t understand how much Microsoft actually does and controls and can offer it is astounding, how many tools and systems and pieces that are just they’re effectively on a shelf just waiting for you to pluck it off and put it into your system. You know, simple things. For instance, like we have built workflows for answers, when an answer can come in, we can have a workflow that says alright, within the first 50 or 60 words, does the word answer up here? Okay, if there is an answer, then are there affirmative defenses? All right, if there’s affirmative defenses, is there a service defense, if there’s a service defense, then go check the file? Is there an affidavit of service in the file, if there’s an affidavit of service in the file, send this template email to the defense attorney saying this is a baseless, affirmative defense, please withdraw within 10 days, or we’ll file a motion that happens in a matter of seconds. And being able to automate those things, then puts the ball back on the defense attorney and the insurance company. And with a lot of these smaller cases, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and they resolve a lot faster. And it’s not that it’s really hard. But it’s just building what we call robots. It’s just automated processes through computers that are just repetitive, that just run. And when they run and fail, it sends a message to the paralegal or the administrator and say, Hey, this was an error, go check this out. But otherwise, the system just operates and being able to leverage technology like that is huge.
Luis Scott 12:46
That, you know, to me that that reminds me of one of the things that I tried to instill in firms I work with, which is you don’t want to have a lawyer driven system, you want to have a system driven system, which is, which is something that could be almost offensive to lawyers, they’re like, What do you mean, you don’t need me, you know, it’s like, well, we don’t need you, we, we like you, we don’t want you to be gone. But we don’t need you. We want the system to really drive it. Because it’s much more scalable to have a system that drives your business than to have to depend on individual personalities in your business to grow it. What have you found to be the most challenging part of growing your business because I saw that you had a really massive growth spurt. In your business, what did you find to be the most challenging part of that period of time?
James Grant 13:36
It’s probably it’s it’s two things, but it’s an one. The whenever you scale, and a lot of firms want to scale, a lot of people don’t want to scale we want to scale. We’re currently in a scaling up course with Vern Harnish. And when you scale, things just break, and you have to break them, you have to destroy them. Because the way you operate a $500,000 firm is not the way you operate a $2 million firm is not the way you operate a $10 million firm. So if you’re constantly breaking and tearing down and rebuilding things, and then with that there is a large influx and change with staff. Because again, the same principles apply of you know, the staff that you need to run a $500,000 firm, they’re probably not going to be the same staff that you need at $2 million. And when you make these big jumps, and it’s not, it’s not a bad thing. And a lot of this is an entrepreneurial mindset that you’re adapting and learning to operate with as well. But realizing that somebody that’s really good down here at this level, that’s great for them. And a lot of times pushing them to a position where they’re not going to be successful, but just because you want to drag them along with you is actually going to hurt them in the end. So it’s okay for certain people to effectively get off the bus and stay in an area where they’re going to do well and not put them in an area where they’re actually not going to succeed. So having that huge leadership dynamic and understanding how that plays in to a scaling journey of an entrepreneur, that’s been, you know, a difficult aspect to understand, and then everything breaking all the time.
Luis Scott 15:06
You know, the people part of though, is, is really a good point, I feel like we have to say that again, for the people in the back who are way in the back, maybe listening to this, and that is, you’re gonna lose a lot of people. Like, I don’t know how many times I talked to somebody and they go, Oh, my gosh, my people are not staying, I don’t know what to do, like, Am I doing something wrong, I’m not You’re not doing anything wrong. It’s just, when you’re growing your business, like you go through a lot of people, you it’s just, it’s just part of the business. Because you first of all, you don’t know who to hire you don’t know, then you don’t know how to hire, and then you don’t know how to retain them. And so you have to put all those pieces together, you have to know who to hire, how to hire, and then how to retain them. And you don’t learn how to do that. On day one, you learn how to do that through a lot of trial and error. And so it can be a challenging thing. Now, what is the one thing that really has sparked your entrepreneurial journey? Because as listeners listen to this, and they’re they’re entrepreneurs, they’re their business owners or want to be entrepreneurs one day, what is that one thing that has really elevated you as an entrepreneur that has given you the confidence to become who you are today and grow successful law practice.
James Grant 16:09
It’s going to sound cliche, but coaching. By far coaching was the single best investment we have ever made in our personal professional and financial lives. Just understanding that we’re not the smartest, I’m not the best, nor can I be the best at everything in my firm, and bring in people that are better than me, in their given fields. And as long as you give them metrics and controls, you’re going to be fine. But having that understanding of relinquishing control, letting somebody else who’s smarter than you, help you and really tell you and guide you where you need to be. It’s just going to help so much we’ve been with a coach since October of 2018. We’re not stopping anytime soon. And it’s just, I couldn’t recommend it any more to anyone.
Luis Scott 16:57
Yeah, you know, the thing is that you hear that mentorship is an important part. And coaching is mentorship. But but but we don’t equate it we everybody wants to free mentor they want the person who comes into their life says something, you know, instrumental and it dramatically changes you for the next, you know, for the next 10 years. And yes, we would all love to have to do that, you know, to get that in, it’d be free. But there’s a way to do it is to go out and find the mentors and the coaches that you need, pay for them. And then they will help you get you know those shortcuts. And so I think that’s a really, really valuable point. As it relates to people working with because you you work with with other business owners, what is your ideal type of law firm that you’d like to work with? Like, what what’s your ideal time.
James Grant 17:43
So we actually have a couple of different avatars because the funny thing is, right now we work with 22 law firms across the southeast. And across every one of those law firms, all of them do it differently. And I mean, it’s just funny to see because no one firm has the same process has the same things that they focus on their naming conventions, their file structures, everything is really different. So we work with, you know, true solo practitioners, that, you know, maybe they just have a small local base that they go after we work with several large national brands. And it’s, it’s really just about figuring out. Number one, probably the biggest thing in our avatar that we go after is somebody that does have an entrepreneurial or a business view of things, because a lot of times this boils down to a business and metrics decision where some lawyers can see well, well, I’m losing, I’m giving up a portion of my fee. Well, yes, you are. But what are you gaining in return? What is your return on investment, and your return on investment will be monetary, but it will also be other things as well, as far as your time stress level those things, which in my opinion, are so much more valuable. So it’s really about number one, building that relationship, figuring out what success looks like to them, and figuring out how we can say yes, together to that.
Luis Scott 19:00
Yeah, I mean, I think that when you talk about the monetary ROI, and that there’s other things I don’t until you’re at a point where money is not the driving factor for your your work. It’s hard to understand that there are things that are more important. And I think that you know, you want to go you want to go after the money, but at some point, you have to start transitioning your life to be more than money. Or you’re going to find yourself in the constant stream, the hamster wheel of like, how do I make more money? How do I make more money and lose a life which you’re never going to get back? You’re never going to get that that life back. And so I think that’s really, really powerful. James, thank you for being on thank you for sharing this. I know that there’s a lot of PII firms out there, they’re going to find value in this. And hopefully this results in PII firms saying I need someone to do my trial work and I need to contact James right now. And if they if they’re in that spot and they want to do that, how do they reach out to you?
James Grant 19:55
So the easiest way to get a hold of us it’s our toll free number which also happens to be our you URL. So it’s 8334thewin, that’s 8334thewin, either on your phone or.com
Luis Scott 20:08
Awesome. Well, thank you for being here. I’m excited that you were able to share this new model. I know a lot of people are going to find value. And just remember if you’re out there as an entrepreneur know that this is a journey. It doesn’t start or end at the beginning. It’s it’s a lifelong experience. And if you stick with it long enough, you can absolutely do it. And thank you again for joining us on The Guts and Glory Show.
James Grant 20:29
You’ve been listening to The Guts and Glory Show for more and to learn more about Luis hit the website at LuisScottjr.com for consulting opportunities 8figurefirm.com. That’s the number 8figurefirm.com We hope you’ve enjoyed the show. Make sure to like rate and review and we’ll see you next time on The Guts and Glory Show.