Did you take a leap in your law career in the past year, or have you been wondering whether the middle of a global pandemic is the right time to make a big change?
Whether your firm is just getting started or you’re looking to start afresh in the new year, you can take steps in the right direction by keeping your eyes and ears open to the realities of a changing business landscape.
In this episode, host Robert Ingalls sits down with friend and business litigator Kyle J. Nutt to discuss his experience of opening his law firm just weeks before COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic.
Kyle shares how he and his business partner relied on good client relationships and a strong network to get the firm off the ground, and how he has turned to technology, such as video conferencing and online reviews to keep their work on track.
From conducting business remotely to staying connected with clients and colleagues, Kyle reveals how staying flexible in the firm’s first year has set them up for success down the line.
“Ultimately, if you've got something that under normal circumstances would be a good venture that you have strong feelings about going out on your own,” says Kyle, “My advice is: Go for it. But do so cautiously and with a good appreciation of the changing world around us.”
Name: Kyle J. Nutt
What he does: Kyle is a Wilmington, N.C.-based litigation attorney who specializes in business litigation, including medical malpractice, personal injury, and construction litigation. He and partner Cory Reiss opened their law firm, Reiss & Nutt, in January 2020.
Company: Reiss & Nutt, PLLC
Words of wisdom: “You have to keep your eyes on what's going on in the world, especially with the Coronavirus, and see: How is it shaping — or reshaping — the landscape of how we're doing business?”
Lessons learned on running your law practice from a distance
Video conferencing is (and will continue to be) a game-changer — Whether it’s conducting remote depositions from several states away or consulting with a new client over FaceTime, video conferencing platforms have been key to keeping the phones ringing and cases moving forward.
Take advantage of this time to get to know your business better — Faced with empty court calendars and no support staff, Kyle and his partner dove deep into the firm’s systems and processes. This firsthand experience has put them in the best position for hiring new employees when the time comes.
Make the most of your web presence — Leverage search engine optimization (SEO), online consumer reviews, and relevant blog content to keep your business development game strong, or even get it off the ground.
[01:08] Taking the leap: Kyle discusses the decision to open up a new law firm in early 2020, and what it was like to be facing down a global emergency just a few weeks into a new venture.
[06:49] Building a network: Kyle reveals the efforts that made the biggest contribution to his new firm’s success as they set up shop.
[13:28] Putting a human face on it: Kyle shares some of the technologies (including FaceTime and WebEx) that his firm has used to make themselves available to clients and move cases forward during a time of social distancing.
[20:57] Keep your eyes open: Kyle’s advice for new business owners hoping to survive, or even launch, amid the uncertainty of the pandemic — pay attention.
[26:58] Minimizing the distance: Kyle’s recommendations for successful business development strategies when face-to-face networking events are off the table.
[24:41] Wearing many hats: Kyle reflects on how the initial decision not to bring on additional employees has set the firm up for stronger hiring practices in the future.
[28:48] Listen up: Kyle credits Judge Albert Diaz as one of his most influential mentors and recommends listening closely to valued voices in the legal community.
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Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay profitable.