The American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division Spring Conference St. Thomas, USVI You Need Clients, They Need Lawyers: How to Build a Practice Working with Group Legal Services Plans Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort & Spa Saturday, May 15, 2010 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. You Need Clients, They Need Lawyers: How to Build a Practice Using Group Legal Services Plans William R. Go Go and Associates, Bakersfield, CA Presentation to the GP-YLD Spring Meeting May 15, 2010 10:30 am to 11:30 am Preface: "Why Me" I am the guy who bought the new Vega in 1972 Partners/No Partners 1. Never enter partnership for funding alone. A) The "I am entitled syndrome." B) The "no work" return on my investment mentality. Partnership is a participating "investment." 2. Never undertake partnerships based upon "Potential business." Partnership is based upon "actual need" not potential need." 3. Partnership is a merging of skills and personalities, no merger of either results in a "flawed partnership." 4. "The Two Larry’s story, incompatible personalities "caught in the middle." Control of Partner 1. You always need a "managing partner" it is like "Poly Sci " 101, bipolar vs multipolar situation, the "warring nation syndrome." What Is Good About Partnerships 1. Partnerships allow the sale of your equity stake which can be easier than selling a practice if: You Need Clients, They Need Lawyers: How to Build a Practice Using Group Legal Services Plans William R. Go Go and Associates, Bakersfield, CA Presentation to the GP-YLD Spring Meeting May 15, 2010 10:30 am to 11:30 am A) You have a "growing firm" vs a stagnate growth situation. B) Personality is "all important" for both buyouts vs dissolution. C) "Beware" of personalities that lean toward "I am the main man" complex (i.e., I am the "rainmaker." Relegating Authority A) You wear many hats, being a law firm is above all being a businessman. "Are you a businessman or attorney first?" "Can you be both at once. Obviously, you must be both a businessman and attorney, but in managing the firm you must be the businessman first. B) Do you have time to manage? C) Usually three (3) attorneys (including yourself), you will need and office manager. The Office Manager A) "A fine balance between letting go, and overseeing." B) The manager deals more with the "business end," you deal with doing the "work." C) What is business? "The mechanics, billing, payroll, taxes, insurance, personnel, computers. To Rent or Buy A) The best advice I ever heard was "law will not make your money, law will introduce you to ways to make money." B) To me law has been a vehicle to finance real estate purchases, and to find my "best tenants." 2 You Need Clients, They Need Lawyers: How to Build a Practice Using Group Legal Services Plans William R. Go Go and Associates, Bakersfield, CA Presentation to the GP-YLD Spring Meeting May 15, 2010 10:30 am to 11:30 am C) "My best tenants" is my law firm. 1) We are never late. 2) We take good care of the premises. 3) We never squawk over rent increases. D) "Learn to bite the bullet" and use real estate as your retirement, do not live for the day, live for your future." E) "Observation" the millionaire next store complex. Too many attorneys pay for "big hats no cattle." Go’s List Back to law being an "opportunity to find opportunities," consider. "BAD" 1) Teradyne Printing and Graphics (how smart to do printing just when P.C’s came in? 2) Downtown Tire and Wheel (what do attorneys know about tires?) 3) Austin Healy Enterprises (what could we do, the client was "away"). 4) Tokyo Marriage (the name speaks for itself). 5) The "Spice Farm" (the tale of the "Kangaroo Rat" and the "shotgun." HOWEVER: "GOOD" 1) Go and Associates Bar preparation. 2) Go and Associates Catering. 3) "The Light Bulb service" for "H.O.A.’s." 4) "Margo" The Real Estate 3 You Need Clients, They Need Lawyers: How to Build a Practice Using Group Legal Services Plans William R. Go Go and Associates, Bakersfield, CA Presentation to the GP-YLD Spring Meeting May 15, 2010 10:30 am to 11:30 am 5) The Car Exporting Business AKA "TR3's" to Finland. Finding Your Office Image A) The "Three Bears Story" 1) The storefront: Every nut case in the neighborhood. 2) The High-rise: Do you validate for parking? 3) "Just Right: Our own building. The Law Is My Career 1) Do a "Sadick," what are you working for? There is life outside of law. 2) Do you have a mechanism in place to allow you to retire? 3) What about the high probability of being out for personal reasons (illness, etc.), who can assume your duties. 4) In speaking to retiree’s who were "bound to their job," everything they planned as "projects" for their retirement were accomplished in the first six months of retirement, what next? 4 Biography William Go is the principal of GO & ASSOCIATES, a long-time Legal Plan Provider and access attorney. A 1974 graduate of California State University at Northridge in history, and a 1977 graduate of San Fernando Valley College of Law, Mr. Go has been practicing law since 1977. In addition to his legal pursuits, William Go holds a Lifetime California Teaching Credential and has taught at every collge level including law school. As a lecturer on the law, Mr. has lectured at every major California Law School, as well as being retained as a consultant on legal education by many of the nation's largest law firms, the State of California, and by former members of Presidential Cabinets. Published widely, Mr. Go has written several academic papers and is considered an authority on the California Performance Exam and Bar Exam.
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