About Our Guest
Erin GerstenzangEHG Law Firm is located at Ponce City Market in Atlanta, Georgia. We provide concierge-level services to clients facing drug and alcohol-related criminal offenses as well as subscription legal services for hemp businesses in Georgia.We are always exploring new opportunities to deliver expert client service. ... Learn More
In this episode of our GNGF Interview series, Mark Homer (CEO Get Noticed Get Found and author of Online Law Practice Strategies: How to Turn Clicks Into Clients) talks with Atlanta criminal defense attorney and legal tech superstar, Erin Gerstenzang. She shares some of the lessons she’s learned from her personal experience with her firm including finding what separates your law firm from the crowd, how technology and branding can impact marketing engagement, and solving new problems all while creating and balancing the life YOU want. Erin is one of the founders of Atlanta Legal Tech and the nationwide Designing the New Legal a community of legal innovators with a passion for shaping the future of the legal industry.
Erin’s firm provides concierge-level service to clients and is known for their amazing approach to legal services. EHG Law Firm is a leader in innovation and Erin herself co-founded Atlanta Legal Tech.
– Thanks for joining us. This is our extended interview with Atlanta Criminal Defense Attorney and Legal Tech superstar, Erin Gerstenzang. The first part of this video is from the GNGF Live, which happens every other Wednesday. The second part here is the bonus extended interview, where we dive into some of the stuff Erin is learning from Atlanta Legal Tech community and how she balances work, community, and family so well. So if you already saw the live, I’ll put a timestamp to the extended interview below. So be sure to like and subscribe to follow along with all our great conversations on legal marketing and the business side of running your law firm. And to watch this video on the platform of your choice, you can find everywhere we stream at GNGF.tv. Welcome to GNGF Live, your bi-weekly Ask The Experts about all things all for marketing and business growth. I’m your host, Mark Homer, author of “Online Law Practice Strategies” and founder of Get Noticed, Get Found. Today, I’m very excited for our guest. Erin Gerstenzang and I have run into each other for years at different legal technology conferences. I am very excited to talk to her today, not just about her solo practice, but also the community she’s helping build that supports small and solo law firms. Today, please forgive any audio-visual issues. For example, I am having to look at a screen and not a teleprompter today. So please forgive any issues as we are both, Erin and I, working at our respective home offices, due to quarantine in each of our states. So if you see a kid come in or a dog bark or something, just understand because this is the new normal. As always, be sure to like and subscribe our page, not just the video, so you can get updated the next time our episode goes live. Of course, it does never hurt to show just a little love and high-five that like button with your mouse right now. We do have moderators in the chat, so please ask questions and interact while we’re live. If you’re watching this in the future though, after we’re live, we do monitor Facebook and YouTube comments, so we’ll work to reach out to our guests and answer any followup questions you have. That’s because we love you all and we love getting to meet you in person, or virtually in person. So come see us virtually. Let’s see, we just finished up a whirlwind set of events with Lawyer Forward, Nevada Bar, Louisiana Bar, where were we at? Florida Bar, on a whole bunch of panel discussions around practicing law remotely and technology and marketing. But our next even is the Small Firm Bootcamp, May 6th or 8th, I believe. Joe, you can get a link to that in the chat. It was supposed to be in New Orleans but now it’s virtual. It’s a great, great event that Ernie Svenson puts on, so be sure to check it out. I think it’s a great price now too because it’s all virtual. So should be worth checking out. You can watch it from your office or home office. So be sure to look for us there. And on weeks that we’re not streaming videos, we do drop a video as part of GNGF Tips series. These are in-depth videos focusing on topic at a time. So check it out on our YouTube page. Joe, can you throw the latest video in the chat? And also throw that one in there that Chris did about running a remote law firm. And check ’em out. Like I said, we drop a new video of GNGF tips every other Friday. All right, let’s get to the interview. Erin Gerstenzang, thank you for joining me today.
– Thanks for having me. I’m really excited to be here.
– Awesome, so quick question, you come from family of criminal defense attorneys. We talked about that before, everybody in you family pretty much is a criminal defense attorney, parents, sister, is it brother too, I think?
– Yeah, one of the two , one of the two brothers.
– One of the two, you have a black sheep of the family? What do
– We do, he’s in Singapore, obviously.
– In Singapore. So tell me how that influenced you, growing up in a legal family?
– Yeah, so I think anybody who grows up in small business with their parents owning their small business, part of your identity is attached to that because it’s not just your parents work, but it’s really just part of how your family operates. So I think growing up in that environment we were all very much exposed to the kind of work that he was doing and clients have emergencies, not necessarily nine to five, especially in the criminal defense world. And so we would often hear those conversations happening at home or see that work happening. So that has always been, I think, that was a really big part of, not just for me but probably also for my siblings, of growing up. We have very strong memories of that. So, yeah.
– So what lessons in watching, because I mean if you grew up in a small business, like I know my kids have to help me do stuff all the time in the business, so what kind of lessons did you learn that you hold onto, now that you have your own law firm?
– I think some of them you know and you realize that you’re learning them explicitly as a child, and because maybe your parent is there telling you this is why we do this. And then I think some of that’s more sort of things that you absorb and realize as you form your own business. But one of the the things I always think about, because I get to talk to lawyers now, and when I first started getting on stage and talking to lawyers about technology, I’d always talk to them about being accessible to clients and having your cell phone and giving your cell phone number to clients, and I always found it was so funny that the pushback I would get from lawyers. They would be so horrified about the idea of giving that kind of access. And I think nowadays people are much more comfortable with that but even three or five or seven years ago, people were not handing out their cell phone number. And so I think when you ask me, one of the things I learned growing up, we at a very young age, all of us, had to know how to answer the phone and take a message for my father because clients would call us at home. The outgoing voicemail box of his law firm was like, “If this is an emergency, “call Peter Gerstenzang at 518-439-0157.” And if you didn’t
– And that was the home number
– And now it has the same thing, it just has his cell phone. So I think that access to that idea that you’re not irritated by clients who call with problems during the dinner hour, if they need to talk to you. That’s sort of embracing that and being there for your clients. So I think that’s always been one of the cornerstones of my practice has been accessibility and sort of working as a team together, as opposed to trying to put up those barriers. But, when I think about it, that was definitely part of when I thought about growing up with a father who’s a practicing lawyer definitely meant the phone could ring at any moment and whatever we were doing might get sidelined for some kind of work emergency.
– I can totally picture you having to learn to answer the phone as a kid in a very professional manner. Assuming that
– Oh yeah. We don’t give kids enough credit. I think kids can do a better job at that than we give them. But then we would all get dragged in very early on. At the time, we thought we were getting responsibility, being brought in to answer phones on vacations, but looking back on it, I’m the oldest of four, I think they were just pulling us out of the house to make life easier for my mom with the kids at home. But we were working in the office summers and all vacations, taking messages, greeting people at the door.
– That’s great.
– I don’t know how it was perceived but it seemed to go fine.
– That’s awesome. So on the other side of that though, so in growing up with the family law firm, what do you think you do different now than you saw growing up around your parents’ firm?
– It’s funny, ’cause my parents’ firm still is very active and thriving. And they have a criminal defense firm and my brother works there as well, so it’s not something that is even a historic kind of thing, it’s still thriving and we have a lot of different approaches. So we often get in debates about actually technology and marketing. So I’ll tell you, you’ll appreciate this, my father has done very little marketing in his law firm ever and he established expertise and dominance in his field early on, and wrote a book and did this very traditional sort of, I don’t know if it was traditional at the time, but now looking back on it, traditional ways of raising your profile. And so he became the household go-to name for DWIs in New York. But whenever we talk about marketing and SEO, the pushback is, “Look, I’ve never had to worry about that.” And it’s like, “Okay, well that’s true, “if you’ve had a website for 20 years “and you’re the person.” You know, it’s hard to argue with somebody about what you should be doing in today’s modern world of marketing, when they’re still crushing it and they’re doing none of those things. None of those things are happening.
– Yeah, it’s interesting, ’cause there are a lot of firms who just, especially if they had a website early on, there’s just inertia, right? It’s just, hey, that website’s been around so long where it just gets a lot of traffic. But, we’ve talked about it, there’s something to be said for if you can brand around the expertise, you can do a lot without spending crazy amounts on digital marketing. So, makes sense.
– Yeah, no, that’s true. And I think one of the ways that I’ve continued to do the same thing that they’ve done is public speaking and speaking at legal events. And my brother does a ton of that in New York, my dad does as well, and they always spoke to judges, and police officers, and other lawyers, teaching them procedures, and that’s how I started speaking as well, was in training and instruction on the law. And that has always been that old school sort of method of marketing. And so I think, although maybe it doesn’t get you as much SEO push as it might’ve historically, I think that what was true when my father was building his career is still true and has worked very well for me as well.
– Yeah, you do a lot of speaking and you get out in the community. I mean, that comes around. So speaking of that, you’ve also been a voice for many of the small law firms to understand the business side of running a law firm, from technology, branding processes, marketing, you name it. How did you get into that side of it? ‘Cause it’s not just out there talking about criminal law, but it’s talking about the whole process and technology. All the time I hear you talking about those things.
– Sure and I think that actually, this might be a really good example of one of those moments where growing up, being raised by an entrepreneur, and actually my father’s parents ran a small pharmacy in upstate New York, so he was raised by an entrepreneur. So I think part of my answer to your question about how I got into helping other lawyers run small businesses is part of how I was raised. What I found as I had been practicing for somewhere between five to nine years, my friends who had been on a similar career path with me, my colleagues, they started branching out and opening their own law offices. And what I found was there was a lot of insecurity that people had if you weren’t raised in that environment. If you hadn’t already seen what it was to run and manage a successful law firm, or maybe you had been working at a small law firm, but that wasn’t, you know, you had seen all those things go wrong and you didn’t want to replicate those, what I found was a lot of my friends were looking for outside resources and, at the time, there really weren’t many out there. And we have locally some consultants here in Atlanta who my friends would reach out to and pay a lot of money to, and they would do basically nothing . They wouldn’t be helpful at all. Some of my friends would have spent thousands and thousands of dollars, money that they really didn’t have but they thought this is what I need to open up and what I watched was a ton of deflation and shame as a result of spending all this money and not moving forward and then sort of giving up. Like, “Well, I already tried it. “I guess this idea of running “a modern office is not for me.” So I think that there’s a lot of overwhelm and a lot of unknowns around that process. And it was frustrating to see my colleagues really get stymied by people who said they were gonna help and didn’t. So that’s sort of where it came out of a passion project, really.
– You jumped in and helped.
– I did and it happened to help that along that timeline, I was also getting ready to go out on my own. Went out at about year eight from a law firm and I had an amazing boss who gave me so much support and time to sort of organize what I wanted to build and do and I knew I wanted to open a law office without hiring someone on my team. And so I knew I needed technology to do that. So I taught myself, well, let’s be honest, YouTube taught me how to make all these things happen. And so I was on that path myself as well, implementing those strategies, but I think being raised by an entrepreneur and having gone to work, even at my first legal job here in Atlanta at a successful law firm, that really gave me the confidence to feel like I could just learn a little bit of technology and make it happen.
– Awesome and so looking back then over the last few years or many years, what have been some of the most important tools or process changes or just approach to the business side of law that you have made with your firm?
– So I think there’s the philosophy side, the softer answer of that, and then the more pragmatic side. The technology was huge. So I think one of the things that we always, and you’ll hear a lot, is it’s not technology just for technology’s sake. So many lawyers, we wanna get in there and just fix the problem and not do a lot of designed thinking around what kind of firm we wanna build. So I think that that’s one of the most important things that I’ve done, is bring intention around it. And my intention isn’t always right. And I guess I could explain this better with an example, which is I started inviting a lot of process and this technology into my life and my law firm, when I wanted to leave my law firm and go out on my own but not hire someone. And so my intention and my design was making my life easier but I found a happy coincidence was when I adopted all this technology, it also made my clients lives easier. And that gave me a new idea to start designing my firm not just around what was working for me but what was working better for them. As opposed to letting inertia, well this is how I’ve always done it, so I’m just gonna repeat this process until someone forces me to stop. So I think that that is sort of the philosophy. The softer answer is bringing this idea that I could approach problems not just like, “Oh, there’s a nail, now I need a hammer.” But take a step back and think about how can I enhance this experience, either for myself, which lawyers really we don’t think enough about, even though I think lawyers get a bad rap for being selfish, we don’t think, “How can I solve this legal problem “for other people more simply for myself?” But I think also designing for our clients is new. So that was sort of the big picture. The small picture was I just started. The biggest improvement I made to my firm is I just picked a technology that was outside my comfort zone. I found one place to just start, it’s sort of like peeling a sticker that’s hard to come off a bottle and you just start one corner. And it’s amazing how excited I was to learn. I think one of the first places I started was electronic signatures. And it was such a game-changer around how I on-boarded clients and how quickly people started paying me money and that was exciting and energizing. And so I was like, “Well, what else can I do?” And I moved to online forums and on-boarding forms. And so that’s the other thing that I think people, when the approach technology, it can be fun and exciting. And it will work best if you find a way to make it fun and exciting. And so that was really, I think, a secret to me continuing down that path.
– Yeah, I mean, the point about just getting started, that’s something that we tell people all the time, it’s like, “Don’t overthink this, “just do one thing and move the ball forward.” So that’s the important takeaway but I liked rolling it back to your point of it’s just thinking different. Like you said, the design thinking, which maybe is a word that scares people anyways, but it’s really just approaching, like okay, what am I trying to solve to be better? And then going and doing something. And doing that over and over and over, it starts becoming just probably like a way of life now for you, right? You probably just see all these little things and go, “Oh, well we need to work on that next.” And work on that next and just always improving.
– Yeah, I can’t decide if that’s a benefit or a curse some days. It’s like, “No, now I’m working on online course “for people to handle tickets on their own.” So I’m always, it’s fun, you’ve gotta stay focused, but that’s a great problem to have. If you have too many cool, fun ideas to chase down in the practice of law, well then that’s a whole new world for a lot of people.
– So this kind of brings me to this philosophy thing you talk about, how you always talk about how lawyers can get better at solving new problems. So tell me more about that.
– Yeah, I always love the idea of encouraging lawyers, especially small law firms to think of new problems for clients to solve. Because it’s so easy, inertia is such a powerful force, and if we’re not constantly examining how inertia is influencing out business, then it can take over. And so I think we have this inertia in the practice of law, especially small law, of defining very narrowly the kinds of problems we solve. So family law, so as family lawyers, we solve family law problems, which means a lot maybe to lawyers but we don’t even have good ways of talking about it to the public because there’s all kinds of different ways that you might need an expert in laws that impact family. So one example, one classic example that I love in the criminal world where we talk about this, it’s just clever marketing. This isn’t actually, I don’t think, a super unique problem, They just figured out a unique way of talking about the same old problem, that is just excellent marketing. And this is, in the criminal world, there’s a criminal defense attorney who branded themselves as “I help teens charged with drug and alcohol offenses,” as if they are a firm that only caters to teenagers, and that’s teens who are going to be treated as adults. So there’s no real specific distinction. They’re not honing in on a distinction in the law, they’re honing on a distinction of an emotional experience that people have. Like who’s hiring a lawyer for a 19-year-old who’s charged with minor in possession or marijuana offense? Often it’s gonna be their parents and when their parents are looking for a lawyer, the parents aren’t thinking, “My cute little 19-year-old needs a criminal defense attorney,” they’re thinking, “Oh no, we need a law firm “that specializes in teen offenses.” And so I think that that’s a really clever way of they’ve identified this sort of new way of talking about a problem that for the most part criminal defense attorneys, ’cause from our perspective, as sort of surgeons, we’re like, literally doesn’t matter, that part doesn’t matter to us in the courts, but it very much matters to the emotional experience that the people who are hiring have. And so I think that smart marketing for lawyers is sometimes about how we talk about the pain points that people are having. On the flip side, there’s all kinds of new problems that people are having, like leaving it in the criminal defense world, there’s new kinds of offenses like cyber bullying. A lot of moments under the law where you wouldn’t have traditional, what I think what that type of world thinks of as like traditional criminals, whatever stereotype that is, there’s all kinds of new offenses where we have a lot of people who don’t consider themselves to be criminals who are getting charged and we need to think about how we reach those markets and think about those new problems that they’re encountering. So that might be like school disciplinary hearings as a result of criminal charges. We have a new registry in Georgia that people are getting put on that prevent them from being able to get work in the future. And so looking for those new opportunities and paying attention to what are people coming to court for or what, even checking Google searches, what are people googling around this topic I think is really valuable for lawyers to start reframing how they talk about their business and how they talk about the ways in which they help people solve different kinds of problems.
– Yeah, I mean it’s interesting. You mentioned this even when you were talking about your designed thinking. You started off by saying, “What can I do to make the practice of law easier for me,” and then realized that, oh, wait a second, as I’m doing some of this stuff, it’s now helping my clients. They’re getting more excited about working with me or more satisfied and think I’m easier to work with. Kind of similar thing here, right? It’s like solving new problems and it’s also maybe just listening more to the audiences that are out there looking for legal services and saying, “Well, what are they actually asking?” I mean, the example I always give on a similar topic, is the attorney bio pages, of the standard old-school attorney bio page. It’s where you went to school, who you clerked for, the things that mean a lot. Like who you clerked for and where you went to school and stuff, to another lawyer, those two or three bullet points is enough for somebody to go, “Okay, I’ve just now judged you,” at some level. To a consumer who wants legal services, unless they’re in house council they have no idea what that means and don’t care.
– And it’s baffling, ’cause you’re like, do you see some of the lawyers who have the signature line of their email and it has every possible emblem, seal that you can get from organizations that they may be good, they may not, the legal consumer doesn’t know. And any lawyer who you’re emailing with who sees it is probably irritated by it, so it’s like, oh that’s
– Very irritated but to the consumer, it’s something.
– Yes, sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t but I think lawyers assume that those sort of things signal something that maybe they do or don’t. Another place people I think can think about solving those new problems, you mentioned listening, one of the things I’d love to encourage lawyers to do, is think about how you might be able to monetize things that you’re already doing for free for a client. So people who are calling your office and maybe they have a pain point that hasn’t traditionally been a place where you could charge enough money for it to make sense for you to help. Well these are also opportunities that you can build in new services and revenue streams of like, where there’s a white paper you can download for $15 and this explains all of your options, and so this is what we’ve made available. And you can build that into an automation. So I think thinking about those questions that you probably are an expert in answering and solving already and you just really haven’t tried to be creative or curious about how can we maybe scale that for a larger audience and make that in some way profitable.
– Yeah, ’cause there’s a big gap, right? There’s the people that don’t even know they need a lawyer, there’s people who think they need a lawyer but think they can’t afford it or don’t know where to start. And then it seems there’s a big gap of just here’s the traditional way of practicing law. And so looking at that gap for creative problem solving and a lot of times the problem solving is, to your point, just messaging, saying, “Look, I understand your pain. “You are going through this one specific thing. “Let me talk about this one specific thing “over here that I helped with.” The way I helped.
– Yeah, and there’s so many opportunities to help and I think as law firms right now, in particular, are thinking about future-proofing, think this is really a place where we know that there’s such a large access to justice, that’s not going away. There’s not a lot of things that we can be completely certain about when we’re experiencing disruption. But there are so many people who have legal needs that are unmet. And I think that when attorneys in times of uncertainty are thinking about future-proofing, thinking about ways to tap into those scalable, smaller legal solutions, it’s a great place to play because you can easily launch MVPs and you can experiment very easily, but it’s also a good way and a good opportunity right now to get to know what those unmet legal needs might be and how can you develop really interesting and creative solutions.
– All right, so we’re getting close on time, so I wanna make sure I get to talk about because Atlanta Legal Tech. So tell me a little about, well tell everybody else, I know what Atlanta Legal Tech is, but tell everybody else about what Atlanta Legal Tech is and how it kind of came to be.
– Yeah, I’m so excited. So we are a women led organization, Jen Downs and Kim Bennett are my co-founders here out of Atlanta. And we’ve been at this now for well more than three years and we started out as a MeetUp group. I got introduced to Kim and Jen through, you know Legal Tech’s so great, you meet somebody awesome at some conference all the way across the country in Legal Tech and then they connect you to people who, actually, Jen Downs lived in my neighborhood. So Dan Lear connected us and the three of us love working together and love helping people in technology and run small businesses, and so we teamed up and we’ve been running events for the last three years. And it’s really about designing the new practice of law. We are women led, we’re not exclusive though. We love having all of our male members but we’re really a community filled with people who wanna design and think differently about the practice law and we’re tak-
– [Mark] And not just Atlanta either, right?
– No, we’re the Southeast and then at our events now, increasingly we just have people flying in from all over the country. So it’s a really fun way to sort of bring our local community, to connect the local community with everything else that’s happening in Legal Tech, ’cause we have so many fun friends, like you, in Legal Tech, where we know how valuable the experts are and we love bringing them to our community.
– Yeah, it was great. I went there thinking it was this Atlanta MeetUp group and there were people from all over at your event. Carolinas, Nashville, Texas, Florida, so it was great. It was a really good community, very, obviously, hungry for knowledge. So I wanna talk a little bit more about MeetUp and some of the things we did there and then also, you have a very interesting work/life balance ability, with all the stuff you have going on. I’d love to talk a little bit more about that. People always wanna know, how do people juggle all this? So if you mind sticking around for a little bit and we can post a little bit more of the interview on Friday?
– Awesome. Before we do that though, how can people connect with you online?
– So you can find me on most channels at EHG Law Firm and just reach out.
– And then Atlanta Legal Tech is atlantalegaltech.com?
– Yes, atlantalegaltech.com, find us, sign up, engage. We have a really fun social happy hour every Thursday night right now while everybody’s virtual, so join us and get to know us and find out more.
– Awesome, well thanks so much. Hang on one second and we’re gonna end the Facebook Live here. So thanks everybody for joining us today. Be sure to like and subscribe to our page, it means you get notified when our next episode goes live. We’re gonna keep going here in the GNGF studios, so be sure to look out for the extended interview with Erin on Friday, where you can learn a lot more about Atlanta Legal Tech and the stuff they’re doing specifically and then just work/life balance when you’re juggling a whole bunch of things, and family, and law firm and stuff, and how Erin does it so gracefully. So check back in on Friday, thanks. All right, thanks for sticking with us, Erin. So I wanna talk more about Atlanta Legal Tech. So I’ve been to some of your MeetUps and you and your partners in Atlanta Legal Tech have obviously helped a lot of lawyers. I mean people are just really passionate about your group, which is awesome to see. But I’m curious, what do you personally get out of the community?
– I think it started as excitement, if I’m honest, friends. One of the driving forces, one of the reasons that me and Kim and Jen have worked so closely together is connection and, I think, even more so than ever, that’s something that we don’t necessarily always have in that community. And so, yeah, I’d always been part of the legal community through my criminal defense channel. And so all of my friends, all of the people I knew, we all did the same kind of law, even niched down to DUI defense in criminal defense, like a whole subsection. But that made my community really small. And so finding Legal Tech and then finding Kim and Jen, it wasn’t just them though, because the community, Legal Tech, as you know, is pretty large and once you start going to conferences, it’s sort of hard to not make awesome, smart, friends around the country. And so I was lucky enough to do that. And I saw immediately, if you look and track my firm for the last probably now five years, since I’ve been involved with Legal Tech, I’ve done so many more experiments. I’ve done so many more interesting things online and found new opportunities for revenue because of the community. You know, Megan Zavieh, and Erin Levine, and Jess Birken, and all of these amazing people, Stephanie Everett, who have been such a strong influence on the decisions and have been available to me when I call them and ask them about a crazy idea that I have, how should I do it, what advice would you have. So that advice has been so valuable to me, so really with Atlanta Legal Tech for me personally is recreating that with all these other lawyers who I saw, at least when first came to it, I was like, “Hey, these are all the lawyers “who were on the ground.” You know, doing all God’s work in the courts. We need to get this information to them in a digestible way. And so it’s been growing that community, not just the national Legal Tech community but now local attorneys here in Atlanta who are building apps for people to file personal injury claims on their own, and experimenting and doing new things. It’s so great to see them succeeding. But, selfishly, now I have an even better, smarter crew of people to draw on when I wanna innovate in my own practice.
– That’s very symbiotic. You get to give back but, at the same time, by being there and listening and seeing the ideas and stuff, you come back and you’ve implemented things in your firm because of all this.
– Yeah, and you get to report to wins. Solos, it’s very lonely running a solo. And so it’s so awesome to launch an online class, and then have your friends be like, “Okay, how many sales happened today?” And celebrate and, you know, it is. It’s a great, fun thing to be a part of and see it succeed in your business.
– I mean, it is a great community. What are some ways people can get involved in that community? ‘Cause I know I was there for one of its summits, is it summit it’s called, right?
– Yup, mm-hm.
– The summit was great and I can’t wait to go to the next one. You guys just recently had some virtual happy hours? ‘Cause we can’t have actually happy hours right now, because this is being recorded in the midst of the coronavirus crisis going on, to date the interview real quick but .
– Yeah, that’s right .
– But, yeah, I mean the virtual happy hour had like hundreds of people on there.
– Yeah, I mean, I think people do wanna connect and it’s fun way to do it. So, right now, we’re doing this happy hour as well, everybody is sort of cooped up, so I don’t think they’ll continue to be on a weekly basis. But people can also come. A lot of people onboard, if you’re new to our community and don’t already know us, then lot of people onboard by coming to one of those summits. We’re gonna have another one, we’ll see, end of August. It will be happening, so the question is how much of it will be in person and how much of it will be virtual, as every event is sort of in that purgatory right now. So that’s one way people onboard. Or people can join our online platform, you’re member there as well, on Mighty Networks, and you can get master classes and more sort of one-on-one content and just connection with the community. So it’s a place where we can all experiment, and innovate, and bring our ideas, and help each other. So that’s the online portion but you can find out more about it online at our atlantalegaltech.com.
– Awesome, and we’ll make sure we get that in the chat, that URL, if Joe hasn’t done that already. I’m sure he probably already has, ’cause he’s faster than I am to put that in our chat. So now let’s switch gears a little bit and talk about the fact that you run a successful solo firm, you’re helping grow Atlanta Legal Tech community, you’re traveling around speaking about Legal Tech, in California and Chicago and everything, where I see you everywhere, but you’re also very active at home. I think we’ve talked, you said you’re a big Crossfitter, we’ve talked about health and fitness a bunch. Gosh, I think we spent an hour talking about health and fitness one day. You’re a yoga junkie, you camp, hike with your family. How do you think you’ve been able to strike that balance? I don’t know if you’ve really ever stepped back and think about it. Because I know a lot of solo lawyers out there who have trouble just finding the time to keep their practice moving forward, and you’re kind of doing three or more things.
– Yeah, well Instagram lies. So don’t believe the lies. Nobody’s doing all that, nobody is that superhuman that you just described. And the best any of us can do is succeed at one while failing at the other. And you’re just trying to keep that sheet that’s too small and get it on the bed. But I think that that’s been later in life. So I haven’t always been so committed. I always hated the people who were like, “I love to camp,” and I’m like, “Who loves to camp?” Like who would possibly enjoy that? So I haven’t always been a person who enjoyed these things. But I think one of the reasons I’ve really loved growing old, it’s been such a great experience for me, is it’s allowed me to grow into those ideas, that same sort of intention and optimizing that designer’s eye that I’ve started bringing to my business. But also, one of the nice things, is I’ve brought it to my life as well. And so, whereas I didn’t necessarily have all those pillars of trying to eat well, and get movement into my daily routine, and be outdoors and spend as many hours as possible outdoors. Those are things that I’ve sort of slowly optimized for with a designer’s eye of trying to pay attention to what makes me feel better, what makes me happiest when I’m in those moments that maybe I’m not enjoying, like trial prep, you know, and I’m stressed out? Well it’s so nice to know, okay, well I have these other things that I can fall back on. But I think it’s just a question of grace, extending yourself grace and not making yourself be perfect at any one of those things. But having an idea of what you’re doing it for. ‘Cause if I was just blindly working and working the hours that I work and didn’t know the why, didn’t know what to do with my time when I stopped/ And, you know, I was raised by an entrepreneur, I know what that looks like up close, so I think that that for me has been trying to make sure that I don’t lose sight of well, what is that I’m working so furiously to do to get to? And part of it is maintaining those things sometimes in a big way. We got to camping recently. But sometimes that has to be on the back burner because other things get in the way.
– All right, and so it’s interesting because we talked about how that design thinking and then being solution oriented and just listening a lot kind of feeds itself in your law practice. But it’s actually fed itself at home for you and in your personal life.
– Well and I think you would agree. You love to work out and eat well. And I think that if you’re honest about what keeps you doing that and the day’s work really sucking and you don’t want do it, and you really wanna do that other thing that smells so good or looks so good, you focus on how does this make me feel? And that’s something that we actually talk to my daughter about. That difference of is this gonna make me feel better? And I think that that’s always a really good barometer to try to design around but requires being willing to experiment and also honest with yourself about, that was really amazing but I feel terrible for two days later. So maybe next time you optimize for something else.
– Yeah, it’s like don’ be perfect but just constantly improving, I like that. Well, with that, that’s all the questions I have for today. So thank you so much for joining me, Erin.
– Thank you for having me. So fun to see you and connect with a real live person.
– Inside these walls .
– One of these days we’ll be able to travel again and I’m sure I’ll see you at a conference somewhere soon.
– That’s great, hopefully Clio’s still on. Do you have any predictions as to when it is?
– It’s October right now, right? I mean, October’s feeling safe, but let’s, you know, let’s cross our fingers for that. And it was funny, all the names you rattled off, I’m like, “Yeah, they’ve either been on Facebook Live “with us or will be on a Facebook Live.” So that was a good list of people right there.
– Perfect (laughs lightly, nailed it.
– Thanks, Erin, we’ll catch up with you.
– Awesome. Thanks, Mark, have a good one.
– Hey, what’s up? I’m Josh. Thanks so much for joining us. If you feel like you learned something today, think of how beneficial it would be to chat with myself or another one of our marketing consultants one on one. Go ahead and visit our website to schedule your free consultation, it only takes a minute.