We recently connected with George Edwards and have shared our conversation below.
George , looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. Your ability to build a team is often a key determinant of your success as a business owner and so we’d love to get a conversation going with successful entrepreneurs like yourself around what your recruiting process was like -especially early on. How did you build your team?
When I started practicing law, I thought I could do it all. The Court hearings, the mediations, the phone calls, the filing, organizing and making notebooks. I learned quickly that this was wishful thinking. For example, in my litigation practice, pre-COVID court hearings in person were always necessary, and it could take an entire morning to organize a single file. That was not going to work if I was going to building a practice with hundreds of cases. Not at all. I needed a team, and I needed one fast.
So I started small. I hired a good head hunting firm and we got to work. Before long, I hired on my first paralegal. Suddenly, I had a lot more time to speak to clients, prepare for hearings, and importantly, generate more business. In my experience, business is generated outside the office, not inside it. So I had to get out there, pass out cards, attend luncheons and conferences, which all meant time outside the office. But with a team in place, time outside the office does not mean time stops at the office. Oh, no. Things are getting done on a continual basis.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
My practice involves civil rights, personal injury and transactional. We are navigators for the client in an ever more complex world. For example, a lot of people think that if they are injured by a police officer or deputy, and they did nothing wrong, liability against the city or county in which they work is automatic. Not so. The judge-made doctrine of qualified immunity has a lot to say about that, and if not properly navigated and overcome, can wreak serious havic on an excessive force/police brutality case. Some of these cases break your heart. But the path to justice is not a straight line, but can take many twists and turns. We handle the case from start to finish. The same applies to our personal injury and transactional practices. How often can a client call the lawfirm and actually speak with someone who knows about their case and has worked on it? The runaround is real, and we steer clear of that for our clients. With Edwards Law Firm PLLC, clients are getting seasoned attorneys who know the law and can navigate the Court system.
Any advice for managing a team?
High morale at the office is critical. Your team are like family members and any smart business owner will take care of them. We offer a lot of paid holidays and pay attention to the little things, like firm lunches and birthday celebrations, which go a long way to making the team feel welcome and excited to come to work. We also have flexible work arrangements for our attorneys who have responsibilities outside the office. We are in the digital age, so our attorneys can access a file from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
Any stories or insights that might help us understand how you’ve built such a strong reputation?
In the legal field, reputation is key. Often, a lawyer’s reputation precedes the lawyer. We maintain and hold our reputations in the highest regard. How do you build it? Give every case your all, update your clients regularly, and shed anything that does not move the ball forward for the client. When clients see this and results, word spreads. We also maintain good relations with other law offices for cross-referral of client matters. When another attorney can trust you with their client’s sensitive matter, it helps. Maintaining good relationships with our vendors is also key. Vendors often deal with more than one law firm, so having those connections and friendships are key.