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Trial Lawyer and Digital Marketing Expert – Mitch Jackson – S4E1

In this episode of the Legally Speaking Podcast, and our Season 4 opener, host Robert Hanna is joined by Mitch Jackson. Mitch is a top lawyer, entrepreneur and author based in California. 

By day, he’s an award winning trial lawyer and equity partner at Jackson & Wilson, which specialises in personal injury disputes and business litigation. Partly thanks to his strengths winning the cases others wouldn’t take on, he was awarded the ‘California Litigation Lawyer of the Year Award’ in 2013 and the ‘Orange County Trial Lawyer of the Year’ award in 2009. 

Alongside this demanding role, he helps other lawyers boost their digital marketing impact through his ‘LegalMinds Mastermind’ initiative, and has also written a popular book on the subject. A firm ‘techno-optimist’, he embraced social media (and the internet) when so many dismissed it, and has achieved much professional success from this mindset. 

In the episode, Mitch discusses:

  • His story, from growing up in an Arizona ranch to becoming a top trial lawyer in California
  • How outdated legal marketing courses led him to embrace the internet and social media for his personal brand & practice 
  • His digital marketing advice for 2021, including why he thinks Clubhouse is so revolutionary
  • Why the pandemic will mean long-term efficiency gains for the global legal industry 

Transcript

Robert Hanna (00:00): 

Welcome to the Legally Speaking Podcast, I’m your host, Rob Hanna. This week I’m delighted to be joined by Mitch Jackson. Mitch has been a trial lawyer at Jackson and Wilson since 1986, serving clients across Orange County in personal injury and wrongful death cases. When Mitch isn’t trying cases, he uses social media to help good attorneys become great trial lawyers and to show everyone how to communicate better. Mitch is also an entrepreneur, investor, brand ambassador, speaker and author. Mitch published his book, The Ultimate Guide to Social Media For Business Owners, Professionals, and Entrepreneurs in 2018, and has since become a number one bestseller in multiple categories. In addition to all of this, Mitch has also created LegalMinds Mastermind, a cutting edge, online private mastermind for lawyers showing how to embrace the power of social media and expand their brand. So a very, very warm welcome Mitch.

Mitch Jackson (01:00): 

Rob It’s good to be here. What a kind and generous introduction, I appreciate it. Good morning from California.

Robert Hanna (01:08): 

There we go, well it’s my absolute pleasure, and before we dive into all of your amazing achievements, we do have our customary icebreaker question here on the show, which is on the scale of one to ten, ten being very real. How real would you rate the reality hit series suits in terms of its reality?

Mitch Jackson (01:27):

I don’t think there’s a television show or movie out right now, that’s anywhere close to reality. If I could take a case and within an hour, get it in front of a jury and get the case done. Right. Uh, I’d be a happy camper. I’d say a five.

Robert Hanna (01:42):

Yeah I think that’s fair, and a lot of people say the fact that he switches from corporate to litigation to whatever it might be, again, if you can find me a attorney lawyer that can do that, I’ll be amazed.

Mitch Jackson (01:53):

You know, what’s interesting, Rob is I, you know, unless I have something positive to say about somebody or something, I’ve learned at this old age, just to keep my mouth shut and, uh, you know, everybody marches to the beat of their own drum. Um, you know, some lawyers can switch hats, but most of us can’t. So it is what it is.

Robert Hanna (02:14):

Well said. So let’s start at the beginning Mitch, tell us a bit about your family background and upbringing.

Mitch Jackson (02:19):

Oh, sure. Wow. Going way back. I grew up on a ranch in Tucson, Arizona. So I grew up a cowboy. We had 30 horses. We had guests coming in from all over the world that would play cowboy for a week. Uh, people like John Wayne, Rock Hudson, Morley Safer from 60 minutes, and my mom and dad worked together, uh, went to the University of Arizona. Graduated, went to law school, met my wife in law school. And, uh, and she grew up in a family where her mom and dad worked together also. So we opened up our firm together. It just seemed like a nice natural extension of what we wanted to do. And for the last 34 years, we’ve been helping catastrophic injury and death, uh, victims, uh, hold wrongdoers accountable in court. I love trying cases over the last, probably 15 years. We’ve expanded that out to business litigation and really helping online business owners and entrepreneurs navigate their way through the murky business and legal waters that seem to be changing every single day on social media and with digital. So that’s kind of the short version.

Robert Hanna (03:24):

Great. Well, let’s, let’s sort of break that down a little bit because you mentioned you started your own law firm, Jackson and Wilson in 1986. So firstly, did you always want to set up your own law firm and also what would you say was your intention for starting the firm?

Mitch Jackson (03:40):

So I actually thought I was going to the resort industry after college and moved up to Lake Tahoe. I became a ski bum for a couple of years. Didn’t help open up Caesar’s Tahoe working in the hotel side of things, met a lawyer who I skied with every day. And he said, Mitch, if you do want to go to law school, because that’s all you talk about, do it now, before you have too many obligations. After two years, I realized, okay, let’s give law school a shot. And I always knew I wanted to do my own thing. I wanted to open up my own, my own practice. So what I did is I started clerking while I was in law school, which is like interning for five or six different lawyers on the same floor. I got a taste of family law, bankruptcy, criminal defense, personal injury and business litigation, and then kind of focused in on what was of interest to me.

Mitch Jackson (04:24):

So the first tip I’d share with anyone watching this or listening to this podcast is find something that you’re passionate about that’s of interest to you. The practice of law is stressful enough. There are a lot of obligations and requirements and everyone that comes into your office generally has some type of life changing challenge that they need help with. So as long as you’re practicing in an area that you enjoy, it’s fascinating to you, you like helping people. Um, you know, that’s probably the most important decision that I made was going into the type of law that I practice. Then what happened was I realized after passing the bar, okay, I don’t have any clients. Now, what I was doing is playing basketball down at main beach every single day, which is Laguna beach. There are courts right on the beach. It’s a beautiful area.

Mitch Jackson (05:08):

And I was running the courts with some guys that needed a good criminal defense attorney. And so those were my first two clients. I was networking down on the courts. And from that point, just, just continue to try to get good results from my clients. Always put myself out there, even when it wasn’t comfortable, I’d walk into a bar association meeting, uh, make a point to stick my hand out and meet new potential referral sources. And, uh, we did that from about 86 to 96 and 96. We put up our first website, six months later, a million dollar case came in through that website. This is when lawyers did not have websites. And although I’ve never been accused of being the sharpest knife in the drawer, I realized there’s something to this internet thing and went all in from that point forward, you know, to social media, uh, to live video podcasting and recorded video and have never looked back. This has been the best approach tapping into the power of social media I’ve ever seen to expand your brand from local to global and to acquire, uh, referrals not only from across the street from the front of the other side of the world.

Robert Hanna (06:16):

And we’re definitely going to jump into a lot more around the social media a little bit later on, but you mentioned as well, the firm helps people suffering from serious personal injuries and families experiencing tragic wrongful deaths. How have you found that helping people in such situations has been a particularly rewarding area of law for yourself?

Mitch Jackson (06:35):

Well, I became a lawyer because I wanted to take on the bullies. I’ve always been that way. My whole life, I have zero tolerance for bullying. I have zero tolerance for people that are wrongdoers that are not treating people fairly, that are putting profits over people. And so for me, being a personal injury lawyer, a catastrophic injury and wrongful death lawyer, if somebody is drunk driving and they run a red light and cause a fatality, uh, I enjoy helping those families work their way through that. Um, if somebody a distracted driving and they’re driving around with one of these in their hand, and spending more time looking down at their phone, as opposed to where they’re going, there’s nothing that gives me more joy than to go after that person and make sure that they’re held accountable for turning my clients’ lives upside down. When I’m representing a company that, uh, a contract’s breached by a larger company and they feel like they can bully that company and push them around. I like stepping into court. And as you well know, you know, here in America, trial by jury, I can take on the biggest corporations in the world. And even though it’s me and maybe an associate at counsel table, they’ve got one lawyer and maybe an associate on their side and it’s game on and the best lawyer wins. And I’m okay with that. That’s the way we get our results for our clients.

Robert Hanna (07:50):

Love that, love that approach. And I love your passion and enthusiasm to do what’s right for your clients. So on that note, then what advice would you give to other lawyers who might be thinking of setting up their own law firm one day or particularly enhanced that thinking of the result of this pandemic and what are some of the positives of running, uh, you know, the birth and growth of virtual law firms nowadays.

Mitch Jackson (08:12):

I mean, putting aside the health and safety, COVID-19 issues that have just turned our world upside down and my heart goes out to everybody that’s been affected. Uh, what we’ve noticed though, from a business and legal standpoint is there’s never been more opportunity for lawyers and other business owners to, to start their practices, to build out their brands. And I say that because everything’s happening in the cloud right now, uh, we can meet clients if you don’t, even if you don’t have a nice office to start your practice off in, you can meet clients in a zoom, you can do what I’m doing right here and use a green screen and create, uh, a beautiful background that gives that nice first impression you can execute documents using DocuSign. You can use BombBomb to communicate with your clients in a video email. There are so many ways right now that you can provide an exemplary client experience.

Mitch Jackson (09:02):

So to answer your question, I would build my practice around cloud technology. I’d incorporate platforms like Cleo that allow you to create a 24/7 client portal for the client so they can tap in and see what their court calendars are. They can exchange documents with you. They can communicate with you privately at three in the morning. If they need to everything you need, you can do on your laptop right now. And so I would encourage today’s lawyers to embrace the cloud. I would also remind them to be, to have more empathy for what’s going on right now in your client’s lives, or even in your juror’s or judge’s lives and the posing counsel’s life. We all need more empathy right now, so I’d focus on that. The last thing I do is really pay attention to creating an exemplary client experience right now, we’re all missing that human connection, and I think lawyers that take that extra step and ask the question, how would you like me to communicate with you? Do you want me to use email, text Instagram, DM, Facebook messenger, snail mail, traditional email, and then communicate with the client as best possible in that fashion. These little things I think are what allow you to build the type of brand that lawyers need to build in 2021 and beyond. It’s not complicated, it’s not hard. It just takes a lawyer to be proactive and actually execute on that game plan.

Robert Hanna (10:28):

And this is why I was so excited to have you on the podcast, Mitch, because everything you’ve said just resonates completely with me. And it’s exactly what I hope. Lots of people take action. And I love what you’re saying there about human first, then a lawyer as well, and understanding that there are so many resources to embrace technology for the good so make you actually build your brand, but also win business and communicate better with your clients. So a hundred percent love everything that you’re saying. So a big, big fan of

Mitch Jackson (10:58):

Say that again Rob, I like that. You know, it’s interesting, Rob, you know, what’s interesting is, is, uh, I was listening to a friend of mine, Jason fried, who’s the co-founder and CEO of base camp yesterday on a clubhouse room. And for those of you that don’t know, Jason, he wrote the book Rework along with some other best sellers, just amazing businessman, but he talked about how he doesn’t have goals. He talks about how he pays attention to his team and they want to have fun at work. And Rob, if you’re working for the company and you want to take a paid vacation, take a paid vacation, there’s a lot of trust within the company culture. We run our law firm the same way. Okay. We, I look at this as I want to have fun and enjoy what we’re doing. I look at what I do as being an artist in court.

Mitch Jackson (11:37):

And what I mean by that is I don’t want to try my cases like everyone else, every single file, every single case is different. So put on your creativity hat and approach it from an artistic standpoint as to how you’re going to present the evidence. How are you going to hold the client’s hands? How are you going to take what happened in that case and incorporate it into your branding and marketing for future cases, I’d love to see more lawyers embrace the creativity aspect of what the law allows us to do and become artists in human beings, as opposed to legal robots that seem like they just need to cross their T’s and dot their I’s. If anyone listening to this, walks away with that message embedded deep within their soul, you’ll have a much more rewarding career as a lawyer.

Robert Hanna (12:25):

No, and I, I truly wholeheartedly mean it and I think I’m smiling. So anyone who does watch this cause I’m just resonating so well with everything that you’re, you’re saying Mitch, but in 2013 you were also named one of California’s litigation lawyers of the year. And in 2009, you were Orange County trial lawyer of the year. So how do you do it?

Mitch Jackson (12:45):

Hey, not bad for a, a cowboy from Tucson that moved to Orange County, California. And I knew one person Rob first-generation lawyer, right? Uh, first one to go to college from my immediate family. First lawyer in the family that I know of. And, uh, I did it because I just tried to, to help people. The case in 2009 was a case that, uh, Johnny Cochran’s law firm, uh, turned down very well-known trial lawyer before he passed away. A lot of, you know, Johnny Cochran from the OJ Simpson trial. And, uh, it was a case where it took us five years to get it to trial. We got a, uh, at that time it was one of the largest verdicts in that particular County in California, very conservative County. And it’s because I had great clients who were wronged by the defendants. And all I did was just help share their story in court.

Mitch Jackson (13:36):

So I took a case that nobody else wanted to answer your question because I believed in the client in 2013, it was a case where we made new law in the state of California. And I was surprised that that award came down the pipe. I was humbled by it, but it was fun to, uh, fly up to San Francisco with my wife, Lisa who’s my partner, and be handed the award by the chief justice of the California Supreme Court. It was a big day, a big weekend for me and Lisa. And, um, all I can say is, you know, you never know what’s going to happen in life, but if you, if you take the right cases and, and you do the best that you can in court, usually good things come around. And, uh, I was fortunate to be the recipient of those two awards.

Robert Hanna (14:20):

Yeah. And many, many congratulations once again, and I can just see the passion and enthusiasm for your clients and that thirst to kind of challenge the status quo. So I love that. And now onto your, your book, The Ultimate Guide to Social Media For Business Owners, Professionals and Entrepreneurs realized in 2018 and it’s been extremely successful. Can you tell us more about it and have you always had a passion for writing?

Mitch Jackson (14:45):

So here’s a little secret Rob of the 52 chapters in the book. I think 44 were written by experts, other experts and friends of mine from around the world. So I realized I didn’t have the time because I had my full-time trial lawyer to write the book I tried. I just didn’t have time. So I started reaching out to friends of mine, experts on Twitter and Facebook, Facebook live, LinkedIn, Instagram, and everyone contributed chapters. And the reason I put the book together was because I had friends of mine watching what we were doing on social media. And they’d say, Mitch, how do you do this? How do you do that? And I didn’t have time to answer all their questions. And so for anyone listening out there, if you’ve got a book inside of you, I wish I had written this book, Rob, or participated in putting the book together 20 years ago because it’s a great calling card.

Mitch Jackson (15:32):

It’s a great business card. You guys that’ll get you on a lot of stages. It’ll get your name out there. But what’s interesting is the foreword was written by David Meerman Scott and David’s the marketing expert and personal friend of mine who has gotten me on stage the last couple of years at Tony Robbins. He speaks all over the world. So what we realized was by putting this book together, it allowed us to show other lawyers and other professionals and entrepreneurs how to give themselves permission to share their human side on social media. And just real quick, because I think this is relevant. We talked about in the book, there’s three components, in my opinion, to social media, number one, you have to have the right mindset. Lawyers don’t necessarily have the right mindset when they’re creating content for social media. It’s this is not like a late night lawyer television ad.

Mitch Jackson (16:17):

What you want to do is you want to just add value and you want to give and give and give some more, right? And so Bob Burg co-author of the Go-Giver series of books wrote the second chapter in the book. There’s a reason why that chapter is really the first chapter. I wrote the first one, which was like an introduction. And I want everyone to know, have that mindset of giving and giving and giving some more don’t promote yourself too much. Number two, understand the personalities of the platform. What works on Twitter may not work on Instagram. LinkedIn is different than Facebook in number three. The third section is about communication. My favorite section, Rob, and that is what we’re doing in court and how we’re, how we’re negotiating million dollar cases that the mediation approaches, the persuasion techniques. They work on social media too.

Mitch Jackson (17:03):

So we have about 15 chapters in the last section of book. Most of them are contributed by experts, such as Carmine Gallo who wrote the book Talk like TED. Carmine interviewed 200 top TED speakers. What makes them so special? And then what Carmine did is he wrote the book talk like TED, but he wrote a chapter for my book on how to take these principles and approaches and apply them to social media. So there’s three easy to understand and digest components that I can now just hand the book, Rob to a friend of mine and say, that’s a great question. Read the book and take action. And you’ll be good to go. So that’s why the book came out.

Robert Hanna (17:40):

But that’s a great final point. You mentioned that action. You’ve got to take action. You know, you can read, and that’s the thing with lawyers, they will sort of research read, and then you’ve just got to put yourself out of that comfort zone. I always say, if you increase your vulnerability you’ll increase your visibility, which should increase your conversations, which in turn good things will happen. So I love all of that.

Mitch Jackson (17:58):

I love that. I love that. I need to write that down. That was very good.

Robert Hanna (18:03):

Talk about that more for sure, because you’re a big advocate of social media. It’s very clear in technology to assist, not just lawyers, but everyone, because it’s very clear. You like to give back to not just lawyers, but as many people as you can, but I’ve seen you’re very active. And we touched on it earlier clubhouse, which is something we’re particularly keen on the Legally Speaking Podcast. We also have our own legally speaking club room, which you’re officially invited to, which you’re going to come on at some stage. But why do you think, uh, that platform is, is helpful on how do you think lawyers and students should utilize it to get the best out of the platform?

Mitch Jackson (18:37):

I’ll tell you what. I have not seen a platform that has offered so many opportunities to meet movers and shakers in whatever industry you’re interested in. Um, the best of the best thing to be on the platform, uh, leaders in venture capital health and signage law, business entrepreneurship. I’m about an hour South of Los Angeles of Hollywood. Uh, I’ve got brands and clients in that business and industry. So I can pop into a room on clubhouse and talk with industry leaders, us movie production and studio CEOs they’re in this app, it’s probably because, and you tell me, but it’s probably because of how the app originally rolled out at a Silicon Valley, which is in Northern California. Uh, you can invite five people. People are pretty careful with who they invite into the app. So fast forward to today, we’ve got this community for the most part of fascinating people that have already achieved a level of success who now want to give back to the young business owners, the young entrepreneurs, the young lawyers, right?

Mitch Jackson (19:38):

The young social media, uh, agency owners. And for me, that’s, what’s been incredibly powerful about the platform. Quick tip for lawyers is it’s fun to participate in the lawyer rooms. And I love doing that. You know, I’ve got my own club club room too, but, um, stick your toe into the other sandboxes on clubhouse. If you enjoy, for example, racing, motocross or paddle boarding, find some rooms where people are talking about those activities. You may find that in 50 or 60 people in the room talking about a new board or a new dirt bike that’s coming out, you might be the only lawyer in the room. And if you handle it correctly, if you work the room properly, guess what? When any of those 60 people need a lawyer, you’re going to be top of mind. And that’s how I’ve always used social media, Rob, on all the platforms. I try to be the lawyer that’s adding value. I try to create a top of mind brand, and I’ve just noticed that on clubhouse. And I think you’ll agree with me. It’s been easier. It’s been faster in the quality of connections. Really It’s been 10 X over what I’ve experienced on social media over the last 10 years, have you experienced the same, same type of, uh, uh, feedback and results on clubhouse?

Robert Hanna (20:52):

I’m just echoing everything you say, Mitch. So I, as a, as a business owner investor, someone who’s connected to legal community and I’ve always been, LinkedIn has always been my platform. I’ve gone all in on and I’ve got, you know, tens of thousands of connections and built that up. And I’ve been on the platform for a decade, but this is a completely different ball game. This is the best thing I think that’s been invented for audio networking and you’ve hit the nail on the head, the closeness to interesting key decision makers, knowledge, bank sharing so much you can get from that. And like you say, getting access to other communities you’re interested in. It’s fascinating. So yeah, I think it’s one of the best things. I’m all in on clubhouse. I’m a massive advocate of it. I’d even say, you know, it’s more important to me now than LinkedIn and people who know me and followed my story as a recruiter and as a recruiter, you know, LinkedIn used to be everything. Um, but as a recruiter to our business person, entrepreneur, I’m a big advocate for the platform. So everything you say makes sense, but we have to talk about some of the legal. So in 2016 you did create your LegalMinds Mastermind Group, which is very much a cutting edge community created to help lawyers master their people business and digital skills. So tell us more about that.

Mitch Jackson (22:02):

Wow. Time flies. It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago, but, uh, what was happening Rob is I was, uh, speaking in keynoting at different legal events across the country. And what I realized looking out into the audience, listening to the other speakers is what was being shared was really ideas and approaches, whether it’s marketing or branding practice development that were five or 10 years behind the times they weren’t talking about what’s happening right now on digital. When we talk about clubhouse, for example, you, and I don’t know if it’s going to be around in six months or in six years, but right now it’s the hottest spot to be. And that’s why I’ve intentionally and with purpose dive all in putting in some long hours, I’m building out that brand on purpose. Well, what I noticed at these conventions is that these types of technologies weren’t being discussed.

Mitch Jackson (22:48):

So I came home and I don’t really like to travel and speak that much. I’m kind of a family guy. I like where I live and what I’m doing. And, um, I decided just looking at with some friends of mine were doing outside of the legal community, which is tip number two as a lawyer, look at what other industries and professions are doing and bring it back into your practice, whether it’s, how to make an argument, whether it’s, how to build your firm. And I’ve already talked to you about that with the communication aspects in my book, I didn’t learn that in law school. I didn’t learn that in court. I learned that from other industries, marketing and sales, when it comes to team cooperation, team satisfaction in the law firm, I didn’t learn that in law school. It’s what Jason freed and others are sharing on how to build out a team.

Mitch Jackson (23:31):

So what I decided to do is share what I was picking up at all the different social media events that I was speaking at or attending and, uh, and share that in a mastermind where I’m glad it’s to digital mastermind, especially after the last year, that was a good move where you know everything, if you’re a lawyer, if you’re a professional and you want to learn how to build your brand out and build relationships on social media, everything you need is within, you know, it’s a click away on your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. Once a week, we have a one hour live zoom video of members where we crowdsource ideas and answer questions. And usually the first five or 10 minutes, I’ll come in and share a new tip or a new approach, or when clubhouse rolled out, you know, I was immediately, and this is what you guys need to be looking at.

Mitch Jackson (24:19):

And so it’s built this community. That’s global, which I love. And, uh, I think lawyers are enjoying the networking aspect of it. They like, uh, learning about how to do a live video show and then starting to show in their community. And they just built out their brands quickly. They’ve, they’ve gone from unknown to unforgettable. And for me, when I see that it’s just make, it just warms my heart because there are a lot of really good lawyers out there that nobody knows about. And that’s fine if that’s what you want, but if you want to expand your brand and you want more people to know who you are, what you stand for, what type of cases you represent and handle, uh, you’ve got to get your message out into the world. Digital and social allows you to do that. And if you do it the right way, you can do it inexpensively. I don’t spend money on marketing and advertising. Everything we do is what you see on social. And it just works really well. So that’s why I set up the mastermind. That’s kind of how it has matured over the last three or four years. And frankly, it’s only picking up steam primarily because of clubhouse.

Robert Hanna (25:25):

Yeah. Yeah, no, I couldn’t agree more. And I’m glad that it is because it needs as much, um, championing and visibility. Cause I think what it stands for is great. So arguably, and we have touched on this, but one of the most important things about providing legal services is that clients have that human touch from a firm in order to feel valued, respected, but with COVID-19 making this much less possible, how do you believe lawyers can use the power of social media to really show that human side? I think

Mitch Jackson (25:54):

It gets it’s more possible now because of COVID-19. Let me share why, because for example, what’s been happening with us is people still need lawyers in fact, more so over the last year. So they’re reaching out to the, the better firms in town for help. Let’s say my firm is one of those five firms, the other four firms, maybe they’re taking a telephone call, but nobody’s in the office right now. And the way they’re answering services set up, they’re just leaving messages. The other firms are responding by text or email. Probably not even text, maybe an email 24 hours later. Yeah. If you’re positioning yourself right now, where if you were to reach out and you and I are on a zoom, just like this 15 minutes later, or I respond to you with a video email using the BOM BOM, BOM, BOM B platform.

Mitch Jackson (26:42):

So of an email, you get a video for me. Hey Rob, I’m glad you reached out. I will get back in touch with you in 30 minutes. I can’t believe your family’s been put through this. Hopefully I can answer your questions. And if there’s anything we can do, I’m here for you. Imagine getting an email like that with a video from the senior partner, uh, it allows us to make that human connection more so because nobody else is taking the effort or making the effort where they don’t know how to do it. What’s funny is when COVID hit out, a lot, lot of lawyers reach out to me, Mitch what’s what’s zoom. Is that like a digital phone call? And I would explain to them what it is. You mean it’s a video platform. I can actually like talk to somebody on video. This is where the legal world was 99% of them before COVID hit.

Mitch Jackson (27:32):

Now of course, uh, listening to what Jack Newton of Cleo talked about in his keynote a few months ago in 13 of the 17 sectors lawyers have floated and adapted. And now we’re towards the top. When it comes to adopting cloud-based technology, this is the way we need to connect. I don’t see it changing. I see this continuing moving forward as an option. Most consumers in today’s world want to be able to communicate with lawyers using the cloud, using digital technology. So what we’re going to be doing is doubling down on embracing this technology. Once we’ve got COVID handled and out of the way, of course, we’ll also, if you’d like to come in, we can set an appointment and we’re set up to do that. But I have a feeling most consumers that, that, that I’ve seen, they, they love meeting over zoom. They love meeting using some of the other platforms that we’re using and they’re comfortable with it. And as long as the consumer’s comfortable with it, and that’s what they want, we’re going to keep providing our services in that fashion.

Robert Hanna (28:36):

I completely agree with you. And I know there’s a big appetite to, to go back to the pre COVID world. And I, I completely understand that particularly from the working environment perspective and people are missing out on that kind of presenteeism, some of colleagues and just catching up and the coffee chats and the water cooler chat. But I think you’re right from a client perspective, you know, the biggest commodity all of us have is time. And so the more precious we are with our time, this can really help us. It reduces travel time. It reduces so many things for the good. So I definitely think moving forward, a lot of the technologies and platforms have been created out of COVID. They’re not just one, one trick ponies. I think they’re very much here to stay and I’m excited to see where that goes.

Mitch Jackson (29:15):

You know, what’s interesting, Rob is I hope lawyers listen to what you just said, because I think this creates new options. What we’re doing in the past and especially for the young lawyers is you get in the car, you spend an hour and a half in traffic. You get down to the courthouse. There’s 50 matters on calendar. You’re number 40. You wait two and a half hours to get your case called. You have a five minute back and forth with the judge and then you drive an hour and a half back to your office. Your whole morning’s gone. Now what’s happening is we’re doing this in 10 or 15 minutes with zoom, with a phone call with text, with the clerk of the court. And I think everybody’s realizing that we were so darn inefficient back then that we can balance, okay. We can balance things.

Mitch Jackson (29:55):

For example, I’ll drive to court. When I want to, when I feel it’s important for me to, to shake hands with opposing counsel and, and, and build some rapport and talk about paddle boarding or what he or she did last weekend, just to build the relationship, which will help me get the case done. But now we have options. And I think those options are more so today than they were a year ago. So I’m hoping lawyers balanced the different options available to them with the client needs with what’s in the best interest of positioning the case towards the resolution you’re looking for. And then with the quality of your life, how are you feeling today is driving to court, going to stress you out? Is it not a good day for you? Should you stay in your pajamas? Throw on a sweater. Yes, I do have pants on, okay. Drawing your sweater or, and just handle it by zoom. Is it better for you as a human being? So it’s kind of fun to see all of these different options float to the top, and now we can select which ones are best for us on any particular day. It’s about being creative. It’s about being an artist.

Robert Hanna (31:01):

Yeah. I love that expression. So thanks so much for sharing that Mitch. And I guess whilst it’s essential, then to know your area of law, that’s got to be a given. Would you argue that it’s also equally important to build your personal brand in order to become an effective advocate for your clients? And if so, what do you think the COVID 19 pandemic has made this more apparent? Do you think it has made it more apparent? I think

Mitch Jackson (31:27):

At a minimum lawyers need to know the law. They need to know the code of civil procedure. They need to know the evidence code. Those are the basics. Those are the gimmes. That’s nothing magical, but most, a lot of lawyers don’t got to get that stuff down, especially if you’re a litigator and a trial lawyer. Okay. Now having said that the next level of what it takes, I think to be successful when building out a law firm are people skills are being able to genuinely care about other people speaking from the heart, walk into a room and really read the room, almost instantly ask the right open-ended questions and, and develop relationships. And you don’t learn that in college or law school, you learn that just from doing it and through walking through life, one of the best books, Rob that I’ve ever read, uh, I like to mentor young trial lawyers and I won’t mentor young trial lawyers anymore until they’ve read the book Adversaries into Allies.

Mitch Jackson (32:24):

It’s written by Bob Burg and it’s a people skills book. And he shares a lot of personal stories about growing up with his dad. But in each story is an example of how my perception of what’s happening right now in the next room may be different than, and why is that? And how can I learn how to be hard on issues, but kind to people, little things like that. So if you’re a lawyer and you’ve got a witness on the stand that, you know, isn’t telling the truth, or is being paid to testify to what the other attorney and his or her client wants that witness to testify to. What I usually do is I’m, I’m, you know, I’m going to tear that witness apart on the stand on cross examination, I’ll drop gloves and go after the witness, but I’ll be kind to that witness.

Mitch Jackson (33:07):

I’m not going to beat him up or her up over how they speak, uh, how they look, uh, as a human being. But I’ll be, I’ll be tough on the issues and I’ll make the point that what he or she’s saying isn’t truthful and, uh, I’ll do it with a smile and I’ll do it with compassion. And I think the jurors really appreciate that. And I think moving forward after COVID-19, you know, uh, nobody wants to be beat up. Nobody wants to watch anybody else go through hard times. So as trial lawyers and I think lawyers in general, that’s why I mentioned we have to be more, we have to have more empathy for our surroundings. So people’s skills are what’s important. And especially in today’s world with what’s going on, understanding that if you’re late for meeting on a zoom, maybe you have a good reason.

Mitch Jackson (33:52):

Maybe you’re not having a good day. Maybe somebody in your family is having some real challenges right now with finding a job or getting over an illness, or you’re having some emotional or mental challenges, which is understandable because of all the stress, whether it’s politics, whether it’s health, whether it’s employment. Uh, and so I think, you know, those are next level awarenesses, that good lawyers, good business owners, smart entrepreneurs. I think they’re starting to embrace a little bit more. Let’s have patience, let’s have empathy, let’s have a bit more understanding. And if you do that, you’re going to connect. You’re going to build relationships and you’re going to create more personal and business opportunities.

Robert Hanna (34:34):

Love that Mitch. And it’s so telling, because even now when I speak to partners or senior people in law firms, there’s still PEP. It should be in my opinion. PBP so people are talking about, they care about profit per equity partner, because that’s what makes them tick. It should be profits before people, you know, that is the key point here. And it’s what you’re saying and what you mentioned.

Mitch Jackson (34:53):

People before profits.

Robert Hanna (34:54):

Yeah. Yeah. Sorry. People before profits, rather than I get my words confused.

Mitch Jackson (34:58):

It was on the law firm. But no, I hear ya look, but here’s the thing. I understand the importance of making a profit, right? I mean, you got to keep your eye on the ball, but, uh, you can make a profit and as you were just referencing, you can also take care of your people. And when you do that, that’s when the magic happens. The longterm magic.

Robert Hanna (35:20):

Yeah. Completely agree. Completely agree. So following on from that, then in terms of lawyers and being people, people and personal branding, what do you think are the 10 main ways lawyers can repurpose content to build their personal brands and make them go from the unkown to the unforgetable.

Mitch Jackson (35:38):

Ooh, Okay. So you’re going to have to help me keep count. But I think as I roll into this, you’ll get, you’ll get, you’ll get the idea of where we’re coming from. We like to create content. Once you guys like do a video interview like this, and maybe I’ll interview an expert witness on a product liability case or on a marketing question, we then take this video and we’ll break it up into maybe 20 short, 30 to 45 second videos. And we’ll take that content and we’ll share it. And when I say we, my team will share it across all the social media platforms. So you create the interview once, you create the blog post once, you create that image once, and then you break it up and share it across all the platforms, we use Agrapulse and Lately to do that.

Mitch Jackson (36:26):

These are platforms where you can upload into the platform and then subject to a schedule or a queue. You can have that platform, then share it out for the next week, month or year. That’s a huge time saver. You talked about time being so important. I’ll be important. I mentioned this on clubhouse the other day, opposing counsel, back when we were trying cases leans over about week one of a two week trial with his phone, Mitch, you’ve been tweeting all week. I’ve been in court with you. How are you doing this? Right. He had no idea. And I told him that I was using Agorapulse and back then and how it works. And he goes, that’s amazing. I’ve got, I’ve got to figure that out too. So you use technology to help distribute all of this content. That’s probably the easiest way to do it.

Mitch Jackson (37:09):

Uh, for those of you that don’t know what lately is, I can upload this video or podcast, audio, or a blog, post URL, click a button. And the AI automatically generates anywhere from 25 to maybe 125 potential social media posts. You then go in and you just tweak a couple of things, change a couple of links and you can cut that out. So that’s a super easy way to take one piece of content and not just, you know, share it 10 different ways, but really a hundred different ways. So for me, that’s what works best for us. And, uh, I also look at all the different social media platforms, Rob as welcome mats, not only to our law firm, but to my life. So even though I’m not that active on Tik TOK, for example, there’s an audience there and I’ve had, I’ve had some, some, some nice talks, uh, takeoff, but it’s just really not my thing.

Mitch Jackson (38:01):

But having said that, we make a point to share some content on Tik TOK every now and then, because there are people out there that are following me there, they’re watching what we’re doing. And I want to just remain top of mind to them. It’s a welcome mat. Same thing with Instagram, same thing with LinkedIn, maybe one approach on LinkedIn. This works well for us is sharing instead of everything being strictly business, okay. Maybe I’ll have a video that I’ve taken while I’m out for my run with my GoPro. And when I’m running the endorphins kick in and I’ll think of something, maybe I’m thinking about a breaking news story. Maybe somebody been indicted, right? A politician’s been indicted and they’re going to be charged with a crime. So I’ll pull out my GoPro and I’ll talk about, you know, what should you do if you’ve been indicted?

Mitch Jackson (38:45):

What’s your next step? And so for two to three minutes, I’ll share that in a video, we’ll come back. Uh, we’ll use I movie, which is a free app with max to just edit it a little bit and then we’ll put it up on LinkedIn. So now you’ve got a video of a lawyer running on LinkedIn, talking about a CEO, a businessman, or woman being indicted on a business platform. It’s going to resonate with the business owners. They’re all looking over their shoulders. I hope I’m never indicted, but if I am, this is what I need to pay attention to. They’re looking and stopping at this post because here’s this guy running while he’s doing the video, it’s unique, it’s memorable, it’s appropriately entertaining. And I think when you create content around those factors, that’s what people will stop, click and watch. And so those are just a couple of ways of how we’re repurposing content,

Robert Hanna (39:39):

Love that. And what I love about that, other thing, which is, I always say to people is always be authentic. And that sets a great example, antic content, you’re out on a run, something’s come to your mind. You’ve not rehearsed it. You’re not trying to make this the most amazing video in the world where it’s super staged. It’s just you sharing your thoughts out on the run and people buy into that human authentic side. So just love all of that. Love all of that. And you’re no stranger to the media Mitch. It has to be said. So you’re a highly recognized public speaker. You spoken at the New York, San Francisco, LA Periscope summits and the social media days. Um, tell our listeners about what sort of things you tend to get interviewed for, because I believe it’s a wide range of things.

Mitch Jackson (40:17):

Well, you know, Periscope, which I guess is closing down next month, if I’m not mistaken was one of the first live video platforms. You could go live from your phone and Twitter since purchase Periscope. And it’s now going to be Twitter live. But a friend of mine had a Periscope summit in New York and asked if I’d come out and share some of the legal aspects of going live, copyright issues, sound in the background. So I was on a panel, uh, with Ruth Carter and we talked about some of the legalities of going on live video from your phone, depending on what you’re doing, what you’re saying and where are you, where are you? And, uh, you know, we piggyback that just so you know, Rob, it was my anniversary with my wife. So we actually turned that into a weekend in, in Manhattan.

Robert Hanna (40:59):

Nice.

Mitch Jackson (40:59):

But, uh, we didn’t know what Periscope was back then, really, you know?

Mitch Jackson (41:02):

And so I just took a chance and this is cool technology. I think there’s some, I think there’s going to be some traction to it went out there once again, one of the only lawyers at this convention immediately made a lot of new contacts. We rolled that over to San Francisco and Los Angeles over the next couple of years. And it really helped me tap into this live video community, a lot of amazing, uh, creators that are doing all types of shows. So it was just the process of trying something new, not being too concerned. If it didn’t work out, if the technology didn’t take hold and looking back, you know, between Periscope, between live video, being on Spreecast, which was a platform, uh, that was started back around 2011, 2012 by Jeff Flurh, who is the co-founder of StubHub, you know, a week after I was asked to be on that platform, I found myself on shows with Katie Kirk and Anderson Cooper, Peter Diamandis, Gary Vaynerchuk, as a lawyer from Southern California, I would not have met those people so quickly and so easily had I not embraced live video.

Mitch Jackson (42:08):

And so it’s just a matter of figuring out for yourself what’s of interest. What do you enjoy doing? And then giving yourself permission to go ahead and put yourself out there, be true to who you are when I’m on stage at these events. I simply speak about what I know and when it’s all said and done, Rob, no matter how tired I am, I make a point to go out and meet as many people as I can. Uh, I think that’s one of the best parts about whether it’s a live convention or virtual event, you know, really follow up. You guys. One of the things Rob lawyers don’t do is they don’t follow up in the comments and with engagement and whether it’s in, in the real world or virtually. And so what I just like to point out is one of the reasons that, for example, I get asked to speak at these events is I’ll follow up after I’m off stage with the event founders, and really get to know them and talk to them and ask open-ended questions.

Mitch Jackson (43:00):

And I’ll listen more than I talk. Now I’m talking a lot today because that’s why I’m here. This is what I’m supposed to do. But generally speaking, I find that listening and asking open ended questions really gets me the ability to know somebody better. And that works online too. You guys, once you post this content and you repurpose it, you know, either you or a team member needs to go back in and engage in the comments and ask, answer the follow-up questions, reach out, follow people and just do the digital dance. And I think that’s the way relationships start. That’s the way they are. Uh, uh, that’s the way they improve over time. And when it’s all said and done, that’s the way you can build true friendships.

Robert Hanna (43:41):

Yeah. And I, I couldn’t agree more. And I also say with, with comments, um, particularly if people are shy, um, starting out in terms of creating their own content, the best way to get noticed on LinkedIn is to dive in on the comments and flex your expertise and drive something to the discussion, or just add something of value because you’ll get noticed. And once you build up the confidence after all those comments and positive responses back, you probably then come out of your shell and start creating your own content. So I’m a big advocate of getting into the comments and adding value to the wider community. So finally, and this leads on quite nicely, Mitch, to my last question, in terms of during these times, what do you think we can all do better to communicate better with each other? Because I think communication is so, so, so important.

Mitch Jackson (44:24):

I think at this point in time, listening, listening to what other people are saying, and maybe it’s not what’s coming across their lips. Maybe if we’re on a zoom, really pay attention to the body language, really pay attention to what they’re saying with their eyes. Um, you know, if somebody is a few minutes late, you know, uh, really paying attention to why, and maybe following up afterwards with a phone call or with a private, with a private message, Hey, Hey, Rob, listen, I, it sounds like there’s something else going on. Is there anything I can do? I mean, I really just think right now is the time for us to really just reach out and hug each other, whether it’s digitally, uh, or if you’re a family member and it’s safe, you know, physically, this is a time where we need to be there for each other, and most of the lawyers that I know are leaders in the community, people are looking up to you to be there, to help, to make things better, um, to provide solutions. And so as a lawyer, I would just challenge everybody, you know, to, to be a leader and walk your talk and do everything you can to help your community. I think if you do that, um, people will know who you are. People will respect and appreciate what you’ve done. And I think you’ll be building out your firm in the longterm for massive success.

Robert Hanna (45:42):

Yeah, I love that mentioned is what I tend to say as well, the little touches or the big touches, so that, that follow-up call that showing of empathy, that act of kindness. That’s the stuff that really matters more so than whatever else you’re doing. Um, in that particular conversation or moment. So Mitch, it’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the show. If people want to follow, get in touch about anything we’ve discussed today, what is the best way for them to do that? Feel free to shout out some web links or relevant social media. And we’ll also share them with this episode for you as well.

Mitch Jackson (46:15):

Oh, I appreciate that. So I think the easiest way to stay connected with me, uh, would be to jump over to streaming.lawyer. That’s a blog, a video blog, social media blog, where I share a lot of things that we’ve talked about, a lot of marketing and practice development and brand building ideas. Our law firm is jacksonand wilson.com, but I would go back over to streaming.lawyer. It’s a little bit more fun, a little bit more relevant to what we’re talking about. And for those of you on clubhouse, you’re a lawyer and you want to build out your brand. Join me on clubhouse. I’m Mitch Jackson on clubhouse. Uh, I do have a club on clubhouse, it’s marketing and social media for lawyers just go to the clubs, type that in, or type my name in, and you’ll find it. It’s a blue icon with the scales of justice.

Mitch Jackson (46:59):

And we also, Rob has, have a Facebook group for lawyers, it’s face it’s lawyers on clubhouse Facebook group, and we have several hundred lawyers where we’re sharing tips and approaches on how to use the platform on how to push our friends up on stage. It’s okay to raise your hand. It’s okay to jump up on stage and ask a question or just engage and get involved. And so those are some of the things that we’re encouraging in the Facebook group, Rob, and this has been a, I love the topic. I love how you’ve handled this show today. Everything that we talked about or some of my favorite things. So thanks for having me on. Thanks for listening everybody. And, uh, between now and the next time we meet either offline or online, enjoy the journey and make each day your masterpiece.

Robert Hanna (47:45):

Thank you so so much, Mitch its been an absolute pleasure having you on. We want to wish you lots of continued success with all of your legal pursuits and career, but from all of us on the Legally Speaking Podcast over and out.

 

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