When your career starts studying classical music in Boston, and you end up running one of the nation’s most successful property damage law firms, it becomes clear that this journey had one or more Jerry Maguire moments.
Atty Galen M. Hair, from Insurance Claim HQ, joins for a conversation about empathy, following your instincts, and using that to advance your career and grow your law firm. Furthermore, we discuss how he went from being reluctant about writing a book to publish one that has become his best marketing asset.
Insurance companies have one the publicity game, but that has not stopped Galen and his team from bringing justice to their clients and exponentially grow their law firm.
Resources mentioned in our episode:
Send us your questions firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy the show? Please don’t forget to subscribe, tell your coworkers, and leave us a review!
Liel: [00:00:00] Urban Dictionary defines a Jerry Maguire moment as a person who is up late at night and he suddenly struck with an idea that will radically change the direction his company has been taking. I’m Liel Levy, co-founder of Nanato Media and this is In Camera podcast, where we listen to our conscience. Welcome to In Camera podcast, Private Legal Conversations, Grace. Welcome back. How are you today?
Grace: [00:00:54] Good. How are you, Liel?
Liel: [00:00:56] Doing great. Great, great. I must say, you look very, very sharp and fancy today.
Grace: [00:01:01] So we are sponsoring an event tonight in Fort Lauderdale at the gallery to Jamal or Jamali Gallery. I believe it’s called I think it has something to do with the March of Dimes.
Liel: [00:01:13] That’s Amazing Grace. That’s really, really cool. You’re probably going to have a lot of fun there, but. Probably not as much fun as you will have now for the next half an hour, having a conversation with me and with a very special guest that’s joining us today. So, Grace, as always, would you do the honors of introducing our next guest?
Grace: [00:01:32] Definitely. So, guys, we have a special treat for you today. Today, we are joined by attorney Galen M Hair for a conversation on how to successfully run a property damage law firm. Golin is the managing partner of Insurance Claim HQ in Louisiana. He’s also the best-selling author of Picking Up the Pieces, where he explains in simple language and through real stories how to deal with life after disaster strikes, which we can all definitely benefit from, right?
Liel: [00:02:01] That’s right.
Grace: [00:02:02] And Galen and his team have endured some of the fiercest storms and have helped thousands of people get the settlement they deserve after these tragic events. Galen. Welcome to In Camera podcast.
Liel: [00:02:13] Galen, welcome to In Camera podcast. How are you today?
Galen: [00:02:16] I’m great. Thank you so much for having me.
Liel: [00:02:18] It’s a real pleasure Galen. And tell us a little bit, where is this podcast finding you?
Galen: [00:02:23] So today I’m sitting in a very, very rainy New Orleans, Louisiana. We have actually what looks like our first tropical storm of the season that will make landfall in the Gulf Coast. I think it’s technically still an invest, but their hope, they are thinking that it’s going to turn into a tropical storm by the time it hits here.
Liel: [00:02:44] As a matter of fact, as we were preparing for this podcast, I was thinking in the back of my mind, like we went ahead and scheduled it right at the beginning of hurricane season. Right. And so let’s hope that that doesn’t create a lot of damage. But thankfully, you’re around to help those if things get bad. So, Galen, with that being said, for those who are hearing or learning about you for the first time, tell us a little bit about your trajectory in the legal space. How did you started your career and how did it led you to become property damage? Attorney?
Galen: [00:03:18] So I am thirty seven and I find that age is so funny in the way it defines terms. Right. Because I would say I came from an alternative background, but today that means something very different than it did when I was in my 20s. So I’m what you’d call it, alternative or nontraditional lawyer. I was majoring in opera and classical music in Washington, which is not the best way in the world to make it rich really quick. And Hurricane Katrina hit and I just kind of felt this calling to be down in New Orleans and really helping and being involved. So I found my way down to New Orleans and got to kind of be here for the Hurricane Katrina aftermath and every single thing that happened to me after that. Kind of in one way or another, grow grew out of that time period in my life,
Liel: [00:04:13] That’s quite remarkable, actually. One of the questions I thought about asking here is because you’re local from Louisiana, correct?
Galen: [00:04:21] Kind of. So I’m a I’m a Texas boy. I’m from Arlington, Texas, right outside of Dallas, and spent obviously a lot of time up in Boston, even a little time overseas doing music. But since Katrina, basically, I have been in Louisiana minus a very brief stint in New York. But other than that, I’ve been rooted here. Wow. Pretty much the whole time.
Liel: [00:04:42] So it was really the Katrina and everything, the aftermath that actually took you and make you find your way down to New Orleans.
Galen: [00:04:53] Yeah, 100 percent. And if you asked me now why, I couldn’t tell you. I mean, I just I thought it was kind of an opportunity to do some good, maybe have an opportunity to change things a little bit. But it wasn’t just like I want to be clear, it wasn’t this saintly, like trip to New Orleans to help people. Right. Like, I was twenty two. I wanted to get drunk at night and hang out and do you know, like people and do things. I was like Mother Teresa showing up to New Orleans, like gutting houses. Right. I just wanted to be there and but I think that’s the way things happen is we decide to do something, maybe even on a whim. And it just affects every single choice we make for the rest of our lives.
Liel: [00:05:32] So, yeah, I can even see the relation between someone who’s studying music and wanting to move to New Orleans. It’s not like there’s not a connection there. Right. I mean, New Orleans is indeed a big music city, maybe not real classical music, but it’s music. So was that part of the influence?
Galen: [00:05:49] Not really, because when I really decided to come down here, there wasn’t much. We just didn’t have things going on in the traditional sense. We had a lot of restaurants weren’t open, a lot of hotels weren’t open. A lot of music existed, certainly, but there weren’t a lot of places to do it. The city took a long time to really get back up to what I would call full speed, as well as the region overall. But I think watching that rebuilding process is very, very important for anyone that wants to be in this space.
Liel: [00:06:21] Ok, so we understand now how you ended up in New Orleans, but then when did the actual legal career started? How how did that happen?
Galen: [00:06:33] Yeah, so was around a whole bunch of, like, social justice lawyers, most of them in law school, or had gone to law school or practicing law and ended up going to law school at Tulane. Got my degree there. So there were a lot of people kind of in my sphere. And I really was convinced I wanted to do defense work up in New York. Salaries were really, really high. It was something that was attractive to me having a lot of law school and student debt, things like that. So I go to Manhattan, awesome firm, fantastic people, economy just tanks. This is in two thousand nine. Economy ξust could not have been worse at the time. And these law firms kind of rounded people up and said, hey, we need to kind of figure out what we want to do with you guys. And it’s not you being here this year. So they offered us all a chance to kind of go do volunteer work and do some really cool things and get some percentage of our salaries. So I headed right back to New Orleans and ended up doing some pretty powerful kind of volunteer work while I lived on the corporate dole, went to another defense firm because I was still convinced this was like my thing.
Galen: [00:07:44] And then I say this to people all the time, like we’re all looking for a Jerry Maguire moment, right. So I think everyone in life in some way, shape or form is looking for the Jerry Maguire moment. And I had mine at two a.m. in the office while I was working, and I kind of did the math and realized I was getting screwed. And I looked at the work I was doing and realized I was screwing other people. And I was like, no one’s happy here. Like, I’m not happy because I’m not getting paid well for what I’m doing. And I’m making other people miserable as part of my job. Like, this is not ever like I would have kicked that kid that came down in New Orleans to gut houses. But if I had the chance, you know, like seeing like or that kid would have kicked my butt, I guess, if he could see what I was doing now. So I kind of had my Jerry Maguire moment left and opened my own law firm and started representing plaintiffs.
Liel: [00:08:32] Quite remarkable. And so what year are we now around when you actually open up your law firm?
Galen: [00:08:39] Yeah, that would have been twenty eleven, I guess.
Liel: [00:08:40] And so you went on your own and you open up your own little firm and you started doing plaintiff work.
Galen: [00:08:46] Yeah. So I mean I am always a fan of like we’re stronger together. So I found two friends from law school we open together, we started doing plaintiff work and also just kind of whatever came in because we didn’t really have any work. And that has just morphed over the last ten years. If you had told us when we started that thing back in twenty eleven what it would look like today, we all would have told you that you were absolutely, patently ridiculous. And, you know, but what we were then is just so different than what we are now.
Liel: [00:09:21] When you would open up your law firm initially where you’re trying to go after, you know, more personal injury type of cases like, you know, more of the more popular and desired type of cases, or did you just hit right away and said, OK, we’re going to do property damage claims as well?
Galen: [00:09:40] Yeah. So we were interested in kind of whatever came in the door. Keep in mind, I guess you figured twenty two plus law school. So I was twenty seven right now and lots of people start law firms differently. And I think you talk to him probably a lot of people that go out and start their own personal injury firms and then there is another one. They kind of established themselves, found some referral sources, some advertising. You don’t have that at twenty seven years old. You have whatever comes in. So, I mean, like I handled crazy cases. I handled like a case where someone was like stealing money from a hospice. I handle the case where someone, like, stabbed someone at a daycare, like, how do you even stab someone at the daycare? But what happened early on is we had a couple of property damage or property-casualty cases come in. And it was just night and day I had that like moment. This is what I want to do now. I have to figure out how to perfect it and then scale it.
Liel: [00:10:35] It’s kind of interesting, right? Because most of attorneys that get offered property damage cases have turned him down. Right. We hear it all the day, particularly working here at this agency of mine with a lot of personal injury Lawyers like they hear property damage and they run away. Right. And so and so why you made it work? Why for you it actually is something that has turned into enabling you to run a very successful law firm, very profitable one and one that continues to grow exponentially.
Galen: [00:11:11] So it’s the difference in definitions of property damage that drives the entire discussion. When I hear property damage, I think of someone that has. Insurance to cover something they own that is fundamentally damaged and they’ve not been paid properly, what a personal injury lawyer hears is a hurdle to them, recovering money for that person, soft tissue or worse, injury. And that fundamental approach changes every single decision that those two respective firms are going to make, the personal injury firm needs to get the property damage to the car out of the way. OK, by the way, that same lawyer, if they’re running a smaller firm, will absolutely in a second take a house fire case, even though they have no idea what they’re doing because they see dollars, they don’t see a hurdle to dollars. We look at it very differently. We also absolutely take that house fire claim because it’s what we do. So if they’re smaller, kind of what a personal injury attorney would call less desirable or more hurdle-esque type property damage claim, we don’t see that as a problem. We see that as a smaller asset in a group of assets, meaning our cases.
Grace: [00:12:22] So, you know, but this whole Texas power outage and all that stuff that was going out fairly recently, it’s interesting that you’re either way, you’re phrasing it because you’re right. I did notice that they always look for that kind of big soft tissue damage issue rather than property damage. So in that vein, what would you say it takes to run a successful law firm that is essentially focused on property damage?
Galen: [00:12:49] So two elements, the first a little mushy, if you do not at the outset of starting a property damage law firm and then growing it and creating policies and procedures, realize that there are real people that did nothing wrong. At all behind what’s going on, then, you cannot be successful in that area because you lose the necessary empathy that your corporate entity has to have. We’re all we are in any group is a group of people. So that culture has to ring so soundly, so loudly in the focus, has to be so narrow on human empathy is part of our customer service. That we have to keep people coming back, we have to keep people referring to us, because you know what I can’t do? I can’t go take out a bunch of TV ads all day because they’re super cheesy. They don’t work outside of personal injury. I never figured out why they do work in personal injury and they’re expensive and disasters hit randomly. Right. At least I can target some city where I know there’s a lot of car accidents.
Galen: [00:13:54] I can’t target a city where they know there’s a lot of tornadoes because it doesn’t work that way. So empathy has to be your humor. It has to be your driver. It’s your advertising driver. It’s your customer service driver. It’s your case decision driver. And without that empathy, you’re not going to be successful. So that’s the first piece. The second piece is we say, I won’t spell it out for you guys because this is a nice podcast. But we always say RTFP that’s what everyone in this industry says. And you can fill in the blanks yourself. But if you do not have. A process and you have to be able to scale it, that’s built around making decisions that are specific to the policy that your customer has, you will never be successful in this area. And defense attorneys and carriers will find ways to disrupt your operations because that’s their job. Any time you start to become successful, a carrier will find a way to disrupt it. So we become disruption proof. By guiding our decisions based on the insurance policies that apply to our customers.
Grace: [00:14:55] I like that term disruption proof. You know, we talk a lot on this podcast about, you know, basically fireproofing your different processes and procedures to make sure that you are operation disruption proof. So I appreciate that that particular comment now amongst the consumers. I’m going to kind of flip it just a little bit. Do you feel there’s actually enough awareness? Because just to your point, you know, there’s all these commercials about, you know, if you’re in a car accident, if you’re in this, if you’re in that, I don’t I can’t say that I’ve seen that right. For property damage. So is there enough awareness among consumers to actually for them to even understand that they could use and or need a property damage lawyer?
Galen: [00:15:40] Oh, absolutely not. The first, that’s the first hurdle we have to converting someone from maybe to Yes. Is explaining to them what their rights are, what other professionals exist besides attorneys to help them, who those cast of characters are sometimes the person they think is their friend is not their friend. We have a chapter in our book called something like, you know, independent adjusters. Spoiler alert, they’re not independent. Right. And, you know, it’s true, but people don’t realize it. I think education is the biggest issue, but that’s a great thing for anyone that wants to go open property damage. Right. Because what that tells me is there is a massive pool of potential clients. And all I need to do is find a way to reach them. I’m not in a saturated market.
Grace: [00:16:26] The opportunity part. Right. That’s where you have a huge gap or a huge well, the gap in the consumer knowledge to get it to you so you can fill that gap with your expertise. I’m in Florida. So for us, it’s you know, I mean, the same thing that goes through what happened with Katrina. And we’ve had Hurricane Andrew before that and then all the other ones after us. So, you know, I kind of agree with you and I appreciate that particular comment about the consumers not really understanding. And so it’s more it’s an opportunity, not a problem.
Galen: [00:16:57] And Grace, I think you’re in the most educated state in property damage in the entire United States because Florida has more policyholder attorneys, more public adjusters, more contractors that help insureds. And the difference in perspective is fascinating because you hear carrier side people are politicians and they say Florida is like the wild, wild west with insurance claims. And I think, no, it’s actually probably the most civilized place with insurance claims because people know that there are a ton of different resources out there to help them.
Grace: [00:17:29] Very true.
Liel: [00:17:30] What are some of those resources? Gaylan For those of us who are in Texas lately also targeted of unexpected natural events, that leaves us knocked out on the floor?
Galen: [00:17:46] Yeah, so. So I’m Texan. And, you know, I’ll say this. There’s a lot of people out there. There’s not just policyholder attorneys, some of the best policyholder attorney firms, by the way, based in Texas, fantastic guys, hard workers know their stuff. And we can have very high-level conversations and do all day. But there’s other folks, too. There are your contractors, right? We all hear about your fly-by-night contractors. They’re your best friend. I don’t care whether you’re a homeowner or whether you’re a lawyer. They are your best friend because, A, they will go get those claims if you’re the lawyer and bring them to you if they can’t get them resolved. And if you’re the homeowner, they will go put that roof on and take all that risk, which is crazy. I mean, how many people come to you, can you think in a day-to-day business situation? If you called me and said, hey, hail damage my roof and I need a new roof, what lawyer would say, well, I’ll go ahead and pay to put that roof on and then we’ll see how your case goes. But some of these contractors will and that is wild. And then there are public adjusters who get a bad rep. And I think some of them get a bad rep for really good reason. But they’re a great service, too, which is they help advocate with the carrier to make sure you’ve paid a fair amount for the work that needs to be done. You don’t have to trust the insurance company’s own people to tell you what a fair amount to get the work done is. Because you know what? Most of those people, they don’t have any construction experience.
Liel: [00:19:11] So Galen what we’re hearing, the topic, you know, going all the way back to Katrina, which obviously at that time, you were still not practicing property damage law from when you’ve started, which has already been quite a few years. Have you seen insurance companies meaningfully change the way in which they addressed claims? Have they become more reasonable? Are they not already doing other types of strategies that make them appear more reasonable, but they’re really not or they’re just expediting and working on more claims, but they’re limiting the ones that have real severe damage. What’s this try to. Thereafter, not right, because obviously insurance companies are trying to win the PR game every day and so what’s the standing right now are either winning or not?
Galen: [00:20:01] Ok, so so a couple of things. First of all, they’re not trying to win the PR game. They want it. All right. They need to win it because they spend over a billion dollars with a B a year doing marketing, telling you that they’re taking care of you. So that’s the fundamental threshold problem we all have. But, yeah, I kind of laugh because carriers have the shortest institutional memory. They’ve got the most data, the best analysts, the brightest people at the tip-top, but they have the shortest institutional memory of any company I’ve ever seen. And what I mean by that is every carrier is cyclical. They’ll go through a period where a few years they’ll pay all the claims. I won’t have a claim against this carrier for years because they’re paying everything. And then they’ll go through a period where someone at the tip-top said, we’re paying too much in claims, are going to tighten it up, we’re going to stop paying claims. And then I’ll go through a period where for a few years, most of my cases are from that carrier. And it makes you wonder how with access to all this data, they haven’t figured out that they keep repeating these cycles over and over because now they won’t pay everything for a few years. And then in a few years, someone at the top again will say, why are we spending so much money on lawyers? We really should start paying claims faster. And not every carrier falls into the cycle at the same time, but they all repeat the cycle. So right now, really, really big carrier, massive carrier, one of the largest in the country is not paying for roofs.
Galen: [00:21:25] They’re just not paying for roofs, every roof is repairable. It doesn’t need to be replaced. We don’t need to match things. It doesn’t matter. None of this matters to us. We don’t care what our policy says. We don’t care what state law says. We’re not fixing roofs. It’s not what we’re doing. And they are starting to get hammered across the country right now. But they don’t care because someone at the top did the math and realize that this was a financially viable decision for them and would save them some money. And the other thing that’s going on, by the way, before I on to conspiracy theories, is they’re all hiring consultants. Right. And there’s a really good book for anyone that really wants to dig into this area. It’s hard to find called From Good Hands to boxing gloves. And it talks about when McKinsey and Company came in and reviewed all states claims, policies and procedures and made recommendations to them. And some of those recommendations as a consumer, you would find hanus from a business standpoint, they made sense. So the title comes from one of the slides, the PowerPoint slides, that says when your customer accepts the first offer you give them, they’re in good hands. If they don’t, then put on the boxing gloves. And that. That theory and that claims handling perspective, that was over 10 years ago, I think closer to two thousand has penetrated claims handling across the United States. But it’s not all gloom and doom because, as I said, they will repeat these cycles over and over. So you’ll have a few years where that career will start paying claims again.
Liel: [00:23:00] Now, that’s interesting. I think we’ve all experienced insurance companies, sometimes at their best behavior, but things very quickly tend to turn ugly. And so I guess none of these statements surprise anyone. What do you think Grace?
Grace: [00:23:18] Definitely not. My parents are going through it right now, actually, when it comes to the roof thing, exactly what you said, they’ve been denied, denied they had to hire their own public adjuster, bring in a lawyer, a property damage lawyer in Florida. And they’re going through the same thing right now where they’re being told that this particular company is has been denying claims for a good while now. So to your point, Galen, you’re 100 percent right that I’ve seen and obviously here and you’ve been seeing it because that’s what you do. So, yeah, it’s kind of it doesn’t surprise me, but it really is kind of past the point where you’re like this is kind of sickening up to a point. So I appreciate what you do, particularly putting out the consumer information out there, because, you know, an informed consumer is going to be a consumer that can handle what they have to handle. So I’m the one that usually takes that role with my parents. I don’t know if you know so much about necessarily the Latin community on this sense of it, but Liel’s also in Spanish legal marketing. So for us, it’s we explain to our parents what you attrite, what you explain to us, you know what I mean? So I tell them they need a lawyer, they need a property damage lawyer. They need someone that’s going to fight on their behalf. So all of the information that you’re providing us here is helpful to not just our listeners, but even to our own families going down the line.
Galen: [00:24:41] Yeah, Minobe is Guatemalteca. So my fiancee is Guatemalan and so I don’t speak Spanish, but I watch and her entire family are Guatemalan immigrants and I watch that. And I think that’s without going too far afield. That’s a whole other issue. If you want to talk about the underpayments by carriers in the Latin communities, I mean, you could write an entire book on that because Latin communities typically are less trustful of legal processes. They’re more fearful of getting involved in them and they’re more easily taken advantage of. And it is wild because you can turn on certain conservative news stations and hear about how they’re ruining American fiber. And I’m like, no, they’re paying their bills and not asking for anything in return, like they’re there if anything too good a thing for the United States. Right. Because they go get insurance because they need it, but then they don’t want to use it because they’re worried somehow they’ll get caught up in whatever.
Liel: [00:25:42] Yeah, it’s heartbreaking. Every single day there is calls coming through, people involved in car accident. They actually what you’re saying, Galen, they’re trying to follow, you know, due process or Calderon insurance claims or insurance claims denied him on the phone on the first call. Right. And it’s really crazy because we’ve heard calls of people who have full insurance, full coverage and not at fault. And they still get denied just, you know, taking advantage of the lack of communication, miscommunication, limited understanding of what the victim has in this case with regards to police reporting and that sort of thing, is just they just take them for a ride many times. And it’s yeah, it’s sad. Very, very sad. But obviously, you’re taking it upon yourself to do something about it. Right. You recently published a book, so why don’t you tell us a little bit, you know, what’s the book about and what led you to publish it?
Galen: [00:26:44] Yeah. So the book was both random and intentional. I was answering a lot of the same questions over and over. So at some point, I started writing them down and that became this little ebook that was about 15, 16 pages, I had this amazing assistant at the time. She helped me kind of make my words legible and understandable and. She designed this e-book for me. We used it briefly, it was like on our website, you could get it. I didn’t really know how to use it or what to do with it or what I wanted from it. I just didn’t want there to be so many people that had the same questions because it seemed to be a repeating thing. So one day I’m in New Orleans at a conference and there’s like some company there that’s like we’ll help you write a book. And, you know, we’ve all been to these things. And for anyone that’s listening that hasn’t been to these things, there’s typically a very, very busy exhibit hall and they are hustling. So this guy is like this guy grabs me and is like, hey, you should do a book. I’m like now, not interested. Thanks. I leave and I run into him at a bar that night and he’s like, what do you do? And we start talking for about an hour and he goes, You have a book in you. It sounds like you don’t really want to do something with it, but I’d really think you should. So we talk more and more and he ends up convincing me to hire him to help me with this book. And so it was kind of weird is like a ghostwriting, but not ghostwriting process. So someone else did the typing, but I did the talking. And I like to be transparent about that because people say, oh, you wrote a book and I did, but not in the sense like I wasn’t up all night, like typing away in the dark.
Galen: [00:28:29] Like this is my manifesto because it’s not my manifesto. What it was and what it is, is a book that is supposed to educate the average consumer with no real knowledge on insurance claims as to who everyone is, what they need to look out for and what they need to do to protect themselves. And I felt like that was more valuable than telling a bunch of cool stories about things that happen or talking about how in the best lawyer in the world or anything like all those marketing things. Now, what I didn’t plan on was this. I fully intended this would be an educational thing. It has been the single best piece of marketing we ever could have done because we give away the books for free. I mean, you can buy it on Amazon, but when I go somewhere after a disaster, like, I just bring a few hundred copies, these people aren’t going to hire me. They need to know what’s going on. So they’re protected. And that book starts getting passed around. Right. One person has that book. It sits on a shelf. You know, a couple of weeks later, they’re talking to their friend in the same community that also was having insurance problems like, oh, read this. And next thing you know, our phones are ringing and it’s people saying, oh, I saw this book or I bought this book online. So it was really just designed to educate. I didn’t honestly anticipate that we would get any cases from it, but it’s got to be easily our top one or two marketing sources.
Liel: [00:29:49] That’s really remarkable. Right. And so particularly because it’s just been out for such, you know, just a few months. Right. And so you’re already seeing this result. So that’s really fantastic.
Galen: [00:30:02] Yeah, I think I can trace it that we know of to two hundred and seventy case acquisitions in the last three months.
Liel: [00:30:08] That’s amazing. Soare these primarily from Louisiana. Are you also because it looks like on your website you take cases from all over the state, correct?
Galen: [00:30:19] Oh, yeah, we’re all over the place. We have physical offices and like seven or eight states and then we do work elsewhere. So so it’s not, there’s some Louisiana-specific stuff in there. I kind of draw attention to that in the book. I’ll say, well, in Louisiana, the rule is this, but in other states, it’s this, because every once in a while, Louisiana likes to do something strange. But overall, I tried to keep it very, very basic because what I’m really doing for everyone there is a role identifying and responsibility identifying. And what I mean by that is an insurance company has certain obligations under the policy in most cases, and you need to know what those are. But you also have obligations under the policy. And how many of you have ever gotten your insurance policy in the mail and been like, I’m going to read to find out what my obligations are under this contract? Right. Like, don’t have it at all.
Liel: [00:31:09] Happen at all. They designed the document not to, like, get people to even want to open the envelope. You know, like I think I think they think it and designed it from that standpoint, like, how can we get this document to get completely ignored and toast directly into the recycle bin?
Galen: [00:31:26] Well, and that’s why the book is important, right? Because the insurance is one of the only products I know of where you buy something and then you find out what it is later. Right. It’s like I don’t know, are you guys ever kids go to those fairs and you can buy the grab bags or whatever, and there’s like some in there. The only difference is there’s never a toy in that envelope. Like, it’s always something nasty. But insurance is the only place that happens where they mail you the policy after you buy it.
Liel: [00:31:53] Yeah, true, there is no full disclosure or sort of saying upfront there’s always like some tiny mini writing somewhere that gets yeah, it’s not mentioned. So I think we had one more question here. You’re right now, of course, you have your little firm’s insurance claim HQ in that is now a partnership also with Alexander Sounnarah brand.
Galen: [00:32:20] Yeah, kind of. So Alex is a partner. I like to say Alex is a partner at Insurance Claim HQ. So the way that happened is Alex approached me shortly before August of last year and said, hey, I like what you’re doing. And we had informed insurance claim HQ, but he knew I wanted to kind of take things to the next level. I like what you’re doing. I’d like to be part of it. What does that look like? And we kind of hammered out things. So I’m really lucky because, again, together we’re stronger, right? So I’ve got all of the force that Alexander Shannara has that he spent the last several decades building behind our brand. But I also have the fact that I can walk outside my office door right now or walk into any of our offices. And I have some of the best, most knowledgeable property-casualty people in the country sitting at my desks. So between combining those massive intellectual resources with those massive operational resources, it’s allowed us to just grow exponentially.
Liel: [00:33:22] Right, so you said that partnership really came to fruition just last year, and so it has already, you know, the results from what you’re saying here.
Galen: [00:33:31] Oh, yeah. And it was super organic. It really was Alex sitting down and listening to me and me sitting down and listening to Alex and saying, what is this firm look like? Let’s close our eyes and see if we can build the perfect property-casualty firm. What is that going to look like? And that’s what we’re building here. And it’s really neat.
Liel: [00:33:48] That’s fantastic. That’s really, really, really great. So, Grace, have we’ve come to take away moments
Grace: [00:33:55] And we have and what are three actionable takeaways that we can give our listeners that they can take today or over the next week, let’s say even the next month, and actually do something about everything?
Galen: [00:34:11] Yeah. So on the business side for law firm owners, I’d say three things. First of all, whatever you do, whether it’s property damage or anything else, sit down and take an actual inventory of how empathy works into your day-to-day operations. And if it doesn’t, you need to find ways to insert it. For instance, we start every single welcome text message, email, letter, whatever. Welcome to the family. And that is a theme throughout the entire time we deal with you. Right. That’s something you can change today. And it costs you nothing other than a little bit of time. The second thing is when you’re scaling and we didn’t get into this too much. But I would say this as you’re scaling, you need quality control is the massive issue. Right? So identify how you’re going to scale and don’t ever lose what your ultimate goal is. Your ultimate goal can be to make money, but your business has to have a different goal. Right. And if you’re helping people that are injured or helping people get Social Security payments or helping people become United States citizens, whatever that is scaling has to very narrowly and very carefully make sure that you do not lose that quality as you continue to move up. I think that’s the biggest thing. And then finally, what I’d say is I think if anything, my story shows it is when you have that opportunity to go do something crazy or do something weird, do it, because it can end up being one of the more formative moments of your life. You know, had I not decided to just come down to New Orleans, I would not be sitting here today.
Liel: [00:35:42] Great takeaways, Galen. I love them, all of them. Last one particularly. We don’t hear that one so frequently here. So it’s always great when it comes up. Galen, thank you so much for your time. Thank you for joining us for this conversation. We’ll have links to your law firm and to the book, which sounds fantastic. So, you know, the words keep on spreading. And thank you again for your time. And we hope to get you back sometime soon for another conversation.
Galen: [00:36:09] Well, thank you guys for having me. And I’ll say this to you as part of the preparation for any of these, your silly if you don’t go listen to other episodes and the content that you guys provide is just absolutely fantastic. So please keep it up for everyone else.
Liel: [00:36:22] Thank you very much.
Grace: [00:36:22] Thanks Galen.
Liel: [00:36:23] Always good to hear. Thank you.
Liel: [00:36:33] Grace, great conversation, right?
Grace: [00:36:36] That was so much fun, I didn’t it is fun, too much fun about property damage, right?
Liel: [00:36:41] Yeah, it’s it feels weird, right. Saying we had a great conversation talking about property damage. What? But it was actually very interesting. And you know what? I think it’s great to know that there are lawyers out there that are able to defend people with issues of property damage. Lately, we’ve been having quite a few guests with unusual stories on how they have actually taken very unique practice areas and in and turn them around and make them work for them while at the same time being able to really have a big, meaningful impact in their communities. And I think that’s very inspiring as a whole. And I think that’s what we’ve just heard now. And yeah, added to that, that Galen is just a very nice and engaging person. I think it was just really, really wonderful. So, Grace, we’ve got really good takeaways here, but as always, we take up the challenge of trying to make our own. So what do you think we could add up to what Galen already said?
Grace: [00:37:45] So I think I’d like to kind of bring one of the ones that we talk about quite a bit. And that’s niching out, right? Yeah. We’re going to niche your practice area and something specific like he did with property damage. You should but do it with something that is something that is important to you. Right? Because if it’s not and, you know, you choose and obviously most of the attorneys won’t do that, but it can happen, right. That you want something that’s going to make you the million dollars or something like that. But also help people obviously is always the ultimate goal. But if you’re going to niche help make it something that call to you for lack of a better term. Right?
Liel: [00:38:26] Yeah, I think yeah, there is that. But one thing I also really like and Galen said, is that he doesn’t only just take the house fires. Right. He takes all types of different types of property damage and they just make it work. And I think that is a very good approach, not just for building a reputation and building loyalty within the market, but also because it really shows commitment to helping others. And at the same time, it has enabled them to figure out a way to also make the not-so-desirable cases profitable, I guess.
Grace: [00:39:07] Right, exactly. No, no, you’re right. I mean, to me, that ties into what he said about grabbing the opportunity, you know, as well, because it’s it can be profitable if it works in the sense that it’s something that you want to do. Right. Yeah. So you can make it work if it makes sense to do so. But it’s because you’re also grabbing the opportunity to do something that you want to do to help.
Liel: [00:39:33] What do you think about operations, disruption-proof, Grace, you’ve mentioned that. What do you think about that as a second takeaway?
Grace: [00:39:42] So, you know, we have we’ve had fireproof right in a couple of other people talking about the different ways of having to make sure that we operation issue proof of your operations. And that, to me, has always been super important. Right. You know, I don’t know of too many people on here know this, but I’m iso nine thousand one risk management certified because I used to work in a steel company and risk was part of the logistics. Right. Part of the pipeline. When you’re shipping something, risk is huge and you can’t, you need to mitigate that risk. And in everything we do, we need to mitigate that risk. So I feel like you if we as long as we look at things from that perspective and we’re mitigating our potential risk to others, for others, and even ourselves as a law firm. Then we can move on to the next step of scaling and whatever else we want to do from there, but you need to make sure your processes, your operations and everything that flows from the moment something comes to the moment it comes out and goes right back again, is proofed against any potential issues. Because these are cases. These are people’s lives. These are their livelihoods. So, yeah.
Liel: [00:40:57] Yeah, I agree with you, Grace. And I think there has to be some balance also from the standpoint that, you know, there’s always going to be curveballs thrown at you. And so you need to have enough flexibility to be able to adapt, adjust. But it needs to be a balance that won’t throw you off. Right. It needs to give you that amount of flexibility to be able to overcome adversities that you may have not anticipated, but at the same time keep you balanced and on your feet. I think not trying to overcomplicate operations with processes, but at the same time, making sure that what you have your foundation is solid rock. Would you agree?
Grace: [00:41:45] One hundred percent. Yeah, it’s funny that you said it like that, because that’s true, too. You don’t need a process for everything necessarily. And what I mean by everything is, I mean, you know, oh, turn on the computer and turn on this. And no, don’t do that either. There is a balance and there’s always a balance in everything. We do work-life and that includes processes. So, yeah, there needs to be a nice balance between not too many processes and not enough. You need to do everything you do.
Liel: [00:42:15] Having the right ones, the right ones that are going to be able to from their get in and adapt to other tasks. Right. I think that’s what we’re both saying here. Grace, we have room for one more. What do you think?
Grace: [00:42:31] Yeah. So for me, it’s kind of like talking about this and Galen brought it up to that’s scalability. You know, you need to identify how you want to scale, you know, what is your ultimate goal without losing that sight of empathy for your clients, obviously, so that you don’t become like what we were talking about in terms of the insurance companies in their cycles. No, you want scalability, but you want to do it in a way that you continue to hold on to your core values, obviously, but go into something like when we’re talking about niching and everything with the idea of how can I scale, how can I help more people by making myself, whether it’s bigger in terms of a bigger firm and like Galen said, better together. Right. So whether you partner with someone else so that you can your reach can expand because you’re partnering with someone who has operational efficiencies that you couldn’t do necessarily on your own in a shorter time frame or however you want to look at it. But with whatever you have in mind, make sure you have your ultimate goal and that’s all again, back to the processes. This is what I want for my firm. This is where I want to be in at the end of the year, in a couple of months and five years, in ten years. How am I going to scale and with the ultimate goal in mind, what do you think Liel?
Liel: [00:43:54] Yeah, I agree. I also like the idea of compartmentalizing your own personal ambitions and goals and making sure that your business as an organization has its songs that are clear, well-defined and very importantly, the right as we’ve been discussing over and over and over again, understood by everyone who is part of the team. So, Grace, I think with this we put an end to another really, really good conversation. And the good news is that we’re just going to be back here next week doing it all over again.
Grace: [00:44:29] That’s right, Liel.
Liel: [00:44:30] All right. So then until then, have a great rest of your day Grace. Stay safe.
Grace: [00:44:35] You too.
Liel: [00:44:39] If you like our show, make sure you subscribe. Tell your co-workers, leave us a review, and send us your questions to email@example.com. We’ll see you next week.