“I had already hung my own shingle and was networking like crazy, and everyone I talked with made it sound like they were raking in money… until I pressed for details. Everyone talked a big game, but few of the lawyers I talked with had any real data to back up their claims.” – Sam Glover
In this foreward to Tiger Tactics, Sam brings up a pervasive problem in the legal profession: a culture of “fake it till you make it” and just plain faking it that hinders meaningful growth for practitioners looking to better run their law firms.
But Tiger Tactics is essentially the opposite of that loud, self-promotional lawyer who presents the image of success, wealth, and invulnerability with nothing to back it up.
Tiger Tactics is a modern take on how to have a successful law practice from five lawyer co-authors (Ryan McKeen, Billie Tarascio, William Umansky, Theresa DeGray, and Jay Ruane) who discuss their successes and failures in detail. They share from their law firm journeys of what they did (and why) to successfully tackle things like intake and marketing, but they also share what they did wrong, as a cautionary tale.
They do this all with a refreshing amount of candor uncommon in the legal profession. And it’s inspiring to read something so willingly vulnerable; really, it demonstrates that the authors are so self-possessed and confident in their practices, that they can humbly divulge what mistakes they have made along the way. This book is like having five mentors from very different practice areas advise you as you figure out the pieces of your law practice.
It’s quite unlike anything else out there, in a good way. The other books out there that show you how to start your practice are more how-to guides with the answer to all your problems. This book, with its format of having the co-authors contribute parts to each chapter, is more of a brainstorming session with colleagues. It’s like sitting in on a group mastermind session.
Tiger Tactics acknowledges that you should not expect that after reading this book your firm will suddenly go from making $100,000 to $1,000,000 this year. The process of growing a firm is constantly iterative, with lessons to be learned and experience to be gained along the way. This book is sure to get the wheels in your head turning, thinking about what processes and strategies you want to implement.
Tiger Tactics tackles all the important aspects of managing and building a law firm, from your firm’s vision to financials to marketing. This book includes tiger tactics on these topics:
- Online Marketing
- In Person Marketing
- Client Service
- The Best Advice I Ever Got
One thing this book demonstrates is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Some of the strategies they recommend do not work for every practice. And some of what they share contradicts each other.
“This is not a ‘how-to’ kind of guide. We’re not going to tell you how to set up a filing system or which legal research engine to use, or how much to spend on marketing. We don’t agree on all points because we each face different business realities.”
In the online marketing chapter, for example, Jay swears by pay-per-click advertising for his DUI practice. Meanwhile, Ryan, a personal injury lawyer, advocates for blogging. Each author comes with their own experiences that helped them grow their practice. Like they say in the beginning, “This is not a ‘how-to.’” The reader is not meant to get a checklist from this book, but be inspired, get ideas, and determine what is best for them.
Beyond having different recommended strategies, the authors each have a unique voice and perspective. This is best exemplified in the chapter on Vision, Theresa shares her thought-out plan for establishing a firm’s vision, including devising a business plan and setting goals. Meanwhile, Bill mentions how he racked up $7,500 in credit card debt partying to discover his vision. Remember, it’s not one-size-fits-all.
Billie backs up her strategies with cold hard data. Why did she stop giving free consultations? Because she saw that in one month she did 102 free consultations, giving away 50 hours of free time, yet retained only 6.7% as clients.
Jay and Ryan have more of a storyteller approach. They share how they learned from their failures to be able to build a better law practice. Jay mentions how he stumbled into online marketing after sitting next to a table of Googlers in Las Vegas and picking their brains. Ryan tells how he got business from the city by inviting the mayor to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at his office.
And the sections written by Theresa and Bill are more straightforwardly-packed with tips and strategies to consider in all aspects of your practice, with supporting justifications. In the chapters on Intake and Hiring, Bill walks you through step-by-step how to set up your intake and hiring processes. And Theresa shares a plethora of offline marketing strategies and how to execute them.
So, what’s the tl;dr? Buy the book. End of discussion.