Learn How to Build a Successful Estate Planning & Elder Law Practice
with LWP Founder,
Welcome to the Practice Success Podcast!
Episode 37: The Journey to Practice Success: E-Freedom and How To Get There
In this engaging episode, Lisa and Dave shake it up a little! Instead of being joined by a guest, they spend the time exploring E-Freedom, or Entrepreneurial Freedom. Over the past 20 years, Dave has worked to create the E-Freedom structure for lawyers which allows them to live their dream, whatever that means for them. It all begins when you join. We look at your practice on the day you join from the lens of our four pillars. First, is legal knowledge. What do you know? Since a law practice is actually a business, what you know informs what you are able to offer. That’s why we start by defining what you know, what you want to know, and what you want to offer. Next, is determining your competence in marketing and sales or messaging and communications. How are you speaking about what you offer? Do people know what you offer? Third, we look into your operations. The efficiency of your operations is the best way to measure your profit. How efficient are you at delivering your work product? Lawyers who have mastered this are consistently achieving a million-dollar practice! Finally, we look into your culture. How do your values carry through your firm? Have you built a culture of success? This inquiry helps us determine your practice’s model and best ways to help you grow. Most members start with a model that is less than profitable, build to a profitable model, and even achieve a robust model where they are achieving $100-150,000 a month in revenue – with just one attorney and 4-6 staff members! At the end of the day, E-Freedom is about building your practice model so you have the ability to define what entrepreneurial freedom means to you. We want to help get you there!
Episode 36: The Journey to Practice Success: Mitchell Lansky from Lansky Law Firm
Lisa and Dave are joined by Mitchell Lansky, of the Lansky Law Firm, in Nashville, Tennessee. Mitchell has been practicing almost 40 years! He calls his journey “a little strange” in the beginning because he first got his Masters in Tax. Mitchell worked for a corporation for a few years and even ended up as the General Counsel in his early 30s – young for that seat. But he always wanted to practice estate planning. In 2014, he found that taxes no longer drove estate planning and he knew he needed to update his knowledge and skill set in order to keep helping people. In searching for where he could learn more, Mitchell found LWP. And he will be the first to call his time with LWP a journey, a journey he says he may never end. At his core, Mitchell cares about helping people and he’s dedicated to being a forever student so he can continue to do just that. As a more mature attorney, Mitchell leaves us with this salient point…in today’s world if you’re not growing at least a little bit you’re fading away. He wants to keep growing. And if you do too, then you have to give this episode a listen! Mitchell inspires us all to keep growing and expanding, pushing ourselves outside our comfort zones.
Episode 34: The Journey to Practice Success: Adam O’Dell from Gordon Law Group
Lisa and Dave are joined by Adam O’Dell, of Gordon Law Group, in Nashville, Tennessee. Adam always knew he wanted to be an attorney. He started his career as a Marine JAG officer, but 18 months in he unfortunately sustained an injury and found himself faced with a decision. He joined his current firm eight years ago, but at the time the firm looked very different than it does today. The firm started as an entertainment firm, representing country music artists, and was litigation heavy. In fact, estate planning was only about 2% of the business. When Adam came on board, he did whatever the others needed him to do, but business and estate planning were always what called to him. Personally, he’d seen it work really well on one side of his family and wanted to help others achieve the same success. The firm then joined LWP in 2017, and through what they’ve learned and implemented they have been able to eliminate the need for litigation, increased revenue, and decreased stress. The key word in this episode? Pivot. Knowing when to pivot and how to do it in a way that is best for you and your business. Dave and Adam talk about how LWP can help your entire firm find and achieve a work/life balance, fulfillment, and success. By the end of this episode, you’ll be ready to take the plunge too! So, don’t let fact-finding get in the way, give it a listen today.
Episode 33: The Journey to Practice Success: Sharon & Rob Hoskins from Hoskins LLP
Episode 32: The Journey to Practice Success: Alay Ajnik from Law Firm Success Group
Lisa and Dave are joined by Alay Ajnik, of Law Firm Success Group, who is dedicated to helping small law firms be successful. Alay works with attorneys who have left the “big law life” behind and are now forging their own way as the business owner of their own firm. Alay helps his clients across the country to achieve their vision through 1:1 business coaching that focuses on strategy, hiring the right people, and using solid systems. It becomes clear early in this episode how Law Firm Success Group and LWP have a lot of synergy in their approaches. Dave reviews LWP’s four pillars: legal knowledge, value creation, operational proficiency, and company culture and has Alay weigh in on each, along with the overarching element – mindset. If you are done being shackled to your desk and are ready to find freedom and flexibility in your practice, this is an episode you won’t want to miss!
Episode 31: The Journey to Practice Success: LWP Member Michael Rutkowski (Part 3)
Lisa and Dave are joined again by LWP Member Michael Rutkowski, Founder of Rutkowski Law Firm, an Asset Protection and Estate Planning firm in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. This time, Michael and Dave talk about the EOS principle of getting the right people in the right seats and knowing your own “whoness.” Is everyone in every seat a who? Are they empowered to execute their role? Are you able to spend the majority of your time in your unique ability? Listen in for tips on how you can implement this important EOS principle. But that’s not all! We also cover what you need to truly have Entrepreneurial Freedom (E-Freedom). Since what you do this week, this month, or even this quarter can bring you closer to being free from what’s not naturally yours, not your whoness. At the end of the day, E-Freedom is a journey not a destination, and you have to find time to live along the way.
Episode 30: The Journey to Practice Success: LWP Member Michael Rutkowski (Part 2)
Episode 29: The Journey to Practice Success: LWP Member Michael Rutkowski (Part 1)
Episode 28: Entrepreneurial Freedom
In this engaging episode, Dave discusses the LWP Entrepreneurial Freedom (E-Freedom) Program and what it can mean for an Estate Planning and Elder Law attorney and their business. This complete law practice system covers four pillars: Legal Knowledge, Marketing and Sales, Operations, and Culture. Dave defines and explores the metrics needed for each law firm practice success model: Profitable, Robust, and E-Freedom. If you’ve ever wondered what your E-Freedom (or practice success) could look like and how to achieve it, this episode is for you.
Episode 27: The Journey to Practice Success: LWP Member Mitchell Lansky
Episode 26: The Journey to Practice Success: LWP Member Connie Aschenbrenner
Episode 25: The Journey to Practice Success: LWP Member Timothy Crisafulli
Dave and Lisa are joined by LWP member Timothy Crisafulli, Esq, co-founder of Crisafulli Gorman, P.C. in Syracuse, New York. Tim started his life after college as a social studies teacher and continued on that journey for ten years. As he playfully recounts, he was married, with a mortgage and a baby, when he quit his job to attend law school. After a number of years working at another law firm, he had the “entrepreneurial seizure” and hatched a plan with another attorney to start their own firm. In this inspiring episode Tim shares how he balances his high-fact-finder instincts with his need to take risks in moving the firm forward. Dave and Tim discuss lessons learned from Michael Gerber’s book, The E-Myth; understanding your Kolbe score and how that can impact your business; having well executed and purposeful milestones; and more.
Episode 24: The Journey to Practice Success: LWP Member Dinesh Chawla
Dave and Lisa are joined by LWP member Dinesh Chawla, Esq, founder of Chawla Legal Group in New Baltimore, Michigan. Dinesh shares his personal success story from his early years working and building relationships in the auto supply industry to attending law school, working as a healthcare compliance consultant and eventually opening his own practice. From 2019 until now, Dinesh has experienced some major life changes that have led to a complete change in his mindset. He is now “following the signs” toward the positive and embracing a set of inspirational words in his firm…Positivity, Motivation, Execution and Intentionality. Dinesh shares some powerful personal stories of loss and triumph. You won’t want to miss this engaging and inspirational podcast.
Episode 23: The Journey to Practice Success: LWP Member Pam Buff Baker, Esq, Safe Harbor Law
Dave and Lisa welcome LWP member Pam Buff Baker, owner and founder of Safe Harbor Law in Naples, Florida. Pam joined LWP at the onset of opening her law firm, hiring her first employee and joining LWP at the same time. Listen to hear how Pam found success in a highly saturated estate planning market in Florida with help of the LWP systems and processes. Pam shares how she has used the time templates to successfully overcome the time challenges involved with managing a law practice.
Episode 22: The Journey to Practice Success: LWP Member Lydia York, Esq, L.E. York Law
Dave and Lisa are joined by LWP member Lydia York, founder of L.E. York Law in Wilmington, Delaware. Lydia is what she refers to as a second career attorney. Although she spent over half of her life doing other things, she felt called to go to law school and become an attorney. After law school, she was offered a clerkship in New Jersey and took it. Tune in to hear Lydia’s story of her journey to success and how she helps educate her clients about Medicaid and other parts of the law using the LWP systems.
Episode 21: Leveraging the Five Key Focusers from LWP Accountability Consultant, Phil Miner
Dave and Lisa welcome Lawyers with Purpose Accountability Consultant, Phil Miner. As an accountability consultant, Phil helps guide members to set the right commitments to reach their goals using the LWP processes. Listen to learn about the five key focusers Phil uses to hold members accountable to increase their client enrollment and protect their cash flow. Phil speaks on how to smooth out the rollercoaster of owning a law practice by managing the key performance numbers in the focusers and creating consistency.
Episode 20: The Journey to Practice Success: LWP Member Peggy Timmel
In this episode, Dave and Lisa are joined by Peggy Timmel, Esq, owner of Timmel & Associates LLC from New Albany, Indiana. Peggy shares her personal success story from her early years as an attorney through opening her own practice and growing it with the help of LWP. Peggy explains how she never felt like she had a clear vision until she became involved with LWP. She had a real wake up call when the firm she spent five years with did not extend her contract. While she was figuring out her next steps she attended a VA workshop where she was invited to attend an LWP member event. Here she was encouraged to always attend TAPER and follow the LWP system. Listen to learn how her annual gross revenue grew from $130,000 at the time she joined LWP to over $1.3 million in just over nine years. Hear Peggy’s personal story of overcoming struggles and determining when to bring in all the pieces of the LWP system to help her achieve success. Dave and Peggy discuss the E-Freedom program and how implementing these systems have helped her to delegate responsibilities to other key members of her staff. You won’t want to miss this powerful LWP member story.
Episode 19: The Journey to Practice Success: Attorney and Certified Coach Candace Pollack, Part 2
Lisa, Dave, and Amanda Bossow continue their engaging conversation with attorney Candace Pollack, who discusses “what makes her heart sing”—coaching fellow attorneys. Candy begins by describing what it means to be a Certified Coach in the legal industry. She then shares some of the challenges faced by attorneys, particularly with regard to mindset and the Imposter Syndrome (the fear of being “found out” for not knowing everything). Other topics include meta-learning, toleration, and the importance of being open, aware, and adaptable.
Episode 18: The Journey to Practice Success: Attorney and Certified Coach Candace Pollock, Part 1
Lisa and Dave welcome a special guest, attorney Candace Pollock from the firm Hahn & Pollock in Cleveland, Ohio. Before becoming an attorney, Candy was a Paralegal. After earning her J.D. she joined a firm that soon underwent a massive transformation. She had to “reinvent” herself and her career around the time she first met Dave, in 1999, when both were part of a national organization that provided training in systems and processes. Over time she built a satisfying and profitable solo practice—the model that works best for her—in the areas of estate planning, elder law, and asset protection. Some keys to her success include learning to say no to the “distractions of practice,” being intentional, staying focused on her areas of expertise, and taking complete control of her time.
Episode 17: Marketing for Practice Success, Part 3: Advertising
Lisa and Dave share their expertise and experiences in an area that many attorneys struggle with—advertising. They begin by distinguishing between marketing and advertising. Then, they cover a range of topics, including: the importance of being intentional with your marketing formula, path, and plan; traditional, digital, and social media; why you need to be wary of media “deals” and thinking you can do all of your firm’s advertising yourself; collaborating with advertising agencies and holding them accountable; tracking results systematically; LWP advertising tools and systems, such as AMP; taking advantage of today’s technology; and more.
Episode 16: Marketing for Practice Success, Part 2: Relationship Marketing
Lisa and Dave discuss Relationship Marketing and LWP’s Relationship Management System (RMS). RMS is an efficient, cost-effective method for establishing, nurturing, and maintaining mutually rewarding relationships with like-minded allied professionals (financial advisors, CPAs, nursing home professionals, and more). Dave shares what has worked, and what hasn’t, over the course of 30 years as a practicing attorney, as well as the changes wrought by new technologies during that time. You’ll see how, early in his career, Dave overcame resistance from many financial advisors, who thought of attorneys as “deal killers.” Lisa and Dave discuss getting past “the gatekeeper,” the proper mindset, the four components of the Synergy Meeting, identifying synergistic partners and the importance of having an “80/20” conversation with them, the “system” of RMS, and why Relationship Marketing is a numbers game.
Episode 15: The Journey to Practice Success: LWP Member Matthew Deliberato
Episode 14: The Journey to Practice Success: LWP Member Jeff Bellomo
Lisa and Dave welcome LWP Member Jeff Bellomo, Founder of Bellomo & Associates, LLC in York, Pennsylvania. Jeff shares what inspired him to focus on elder law and estate planning, his “Entrepreneurial Seizure” in 2009, the realization that he needed to learn how to actually run a business, and his experiences with LWP over the last 11 years. Initially, Jeff was a true solo—he didn’t have a team member for over six months. He now has a law firm leader managing the day-to-day operations of his firm, as well as a part-time attorney and 17 team members. Jeff defines his current role as a “team member” with a satisfying work-life balance. He holds 16 to 17 meetings a week and spends four to eight hours a week on marketing, RMS, blogs, and videos. See how Jeff went from needing a J-O-B to owning a firm with $2.1 million in revenue—and the challenges he overcame along the way, particularly with regard to learning to trust the skills of his team and Following the Darn System. (We have Jeff to thank for creating the mantra “FDS” back in 2012.) Toward the end of this engaging podcast, Jeff also shares a powerful personal story. You don’t want to miss it.
Episode 13: Marketing for Practice Success: EPLC Attorney Dave Mancuso Discusses RMS
Lisa and Dave are joined by attorney Dave Mancuso from the Estate Planning Law Center (The Lab), who shares his challenges learning the LWP Relationship Management System (RMS). The discussion begins with the premise that there are two ways to get leads: you can write checks, or you can shake hands. The latter involves identifying allied professionals and forging mutually beneficial relationships with them. Dave Mancuso describes how he learned the importance of using RMS to sell himself as a worthy and valuable synergistic partner for allied professionals. Through reflective listening and experience, Dave was able to closely follow and apply the four elements of the RMS approach while making it authentically his own. Bottom line: You don’t have to try to be like Dave Zumpano for RMS to work, you should be yourself… but you must follow the system.
Episode 12: Marketing for Practice Success, Part 1
Lisa and Dave reveal what attorneys need to know about marketing from both a strategic and a tactical perspective. Topics include: how to utilize your marketing budget and the differences between branding dollars, marketing dollars, and advertising dollars; determining your marketing ROI; the importance of having a marketing plan in place; three key elements of a basic marketing plan; why you must know your value and what sets you apart from other firms in your market; keeping your messaging consist across all media; the role of your firm’s website; how attorney marketing and lead generation have changed over time; the difference between a “contact” and a lead; the myth of the magic bullet; and more.
Episode 11: The Journey to Practice Success: LWP Member Daniel Umlauf
Dave and Amanda Bossow welcome LWP Member Daniel Umlauf, Founder of Salem Law in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. After graduating from law school in 2010, Daniel worked at a small firm before going out on his own in 2013 and focusing on estate planning. He joined a professional organization that provided some helpful tools, but two years in his revenue was still inconsistent and unpredictable. Seeing the opportunities available in elder law, and LWP’s expertise in that area, Daniel became a Member in 2017. His firm is now robust, with a reliable revenue stream and solid referral network. Daniel has been able to delegate, thanks to two full-time Paralegals, one of whom also serves as Director of Operations, and a full-time Client Services Coordinator. Daniel credits LWP software, systems, processes, and tracking with helping his firm overcome the income “yo-yo” and become more intentional.
Episode 10: The Journey to Practice Success: LWP Member Andrew Jaloza
Dave is joined by LWP Member Andrew Jaloza, Founder of The Estate Planning & Elder Law Group in Queens, New York. Andrew began his legal career in 1988, working in a variety of practice areas, including estate planning, but his main focus was real estate. Like many attorneys, he was looking to “escape being an attorney.” He went into the mortgage business until the crash of 2008, after which he resumed practicing law. It wasn’t until he took a workshop called “Finding Passion in the Second Half of Your Life” that Andrew decided he was meant to focus on elder law and estate planning. Seven years later, he finally began to do so, after meeting and speaking with Dave. Since then, his practice has gone from 90% real estate to 90% estate planning and elder law. What was once “Andy Jaloza by the seat of your pants law” is now an intentional practice with LWP systems and processes in place. Watch as Andrew shares his experiences with this transformation and the challenges along the way, particularly with regard to team building, mindset, and core values.
Episode 9: The Journey to Practice Success: LWP Member Erach Screwvala
In this engaging podcast, Lisa and Dave welcome LWP Member Erach Screwvala. Erach began his career 23 years ago in the area of insurance litigation. Let’s just say he didn’t exactly love it.
After transitioning into general litigation and theater law, the latter of which Erach found more satisfying, he eventually decided to start his own firm. He quickly discovered that going solo in theater law is not the recipe for consistent revenue, at least in his case. A “recovering litigator,” Erach decided to focus on estate planning. He began by teaching himself the basics and found some initial success. Eventually, however, he was hindered by the same problem so many solos face—how to run a successful business. Erach and Dave discuss this challenge in depth, with references to Gerber’s E-Myth, the Entrepreneurial Seizure, the Fatal Assumption, the Revenue Rollercoaster, and more. Then Erach shares his experiences with LWP, which he joined initially for the sole purpose of learning Medicaid planning. Erach likes to say, “I came for the Medicaid planning, I stayed for the systems and processes.”
Episode 8: The Journey to Practice Success: LWP Member Alan Hougum
Lisa and Dave welcome LWP Member Alan Hougum, Founder of the Hougum Law Firm, LLC, which has offices in Wausau and Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Alan began his career at a large firm doing tax and corporate law before transitioning into estate planning. After discovering LWP 12 years ago (from an LWP email he received), Alan began generating considerable revenue for the firm. Somewhat reluctantly, he decided to take the big leap and founded his own firm eight years ago, bringing two members of his team with him. The relationships he had established with financial planners, CPAs, and other synergistic partners proved crucial in initially maintaining and then increasing revenue. With the new-found control he had as founder, Alan was able to freely implement LWP systems and processes, which led to more relationships with professionals who liked the way he and his team consistently operated and were happy to refer clients to the firm. Hougum Law Firm now has three attorneys (soon to be four) and a team of 16. Watch as Alan shares his experiences with team building, relationship marketing, and more using LWP models, systems, and processes.
Episode 7: The Journey to Practice Success: LWP Member Jack Weyers
Episode 6: Guidr and the Digitization of Law
In this podcast Dave discusses Guidr, the new digital platform that is transforming the way lawyers work and interact with clients. Dave describes the origin and evolution of Guidr, how it differs from existing “self-help” legal services platforms, and how it allows estate planning attorneys to reach an audience they otherwise would have missed: younger people (aged 18-55) who often lack the time and money for traditional forms of in-office planning. You will come to understand that Guidr represents a profitable additional service offered by your firm, a perfect complement to your virtual and traditional services, not a substitute for them.
Episode 5: Pulling Together the Four Pillars of Success
Episode 4: Developing the Mindset for Success
In this podcast Dave focuses on one of the four keys to practice success, mindset (the other three are knowledge, operations, and marketing). You will gain an understanding of what constitutes the mindset for success and why attorneys often struggle to achieve it. Part of the challenge is learning to accept the idea that success cannot be achieved alone. The proper mindset depends on mastering concepts such as “success is about who, not how,” building and training a team that is good at doing what you are not, and adopting LWP’s six core values: open, curious, aware, collaborative, adaptable, and generous.
Episode 3: The Foundational Elements of a Successful Practice
Episode 2: Understanding LWP’s 3 Models for Practice Success
Episode 1: What Is Lawyers With Purpose?
Dave Zumpano kicks off his series of Practice Success Podcasts, logically enough, by answering a fundamental question, “What is Lawyers With Purpose?” As you’ll see, Lawyers With Purpose is not a nonprofit. Rather, it is a community of ‘purposeful lawyers’ dedicated to helping fellow Members achieve success as they themselves define it. Dave begins by exploring the four universal principles of business success: knowledge, operations, marketing, and mindset. He goes on to explain how the right mindset, which incorporates LWP’s six core values, is the key to achieving long-term success, a purposeful practice, and a satisfying work-life balance.