Episode Notes

Zack talks with Lab Coach and former Lab member Ryan McKeen about delegating leadership in your law firm. Specifically, Ryan explains the recent Emerging Leaders Retreat that Lawyerist CEO Stephanie Everett facilitated for his firm. 

Zack also digs into why lawyer websites matter and how attorneys should make sure their website is saying what they want to say to convert potential new clients with iLawyer Marketing. 

Check out iLawyer Marketing! 

iLawyer 30 Min Strategy Session 

iLawyer Marking First Appearance  

If today's podcast resonates with you and you haven't read The Small Firm Roadmap Revisited yet, get the first chapter right now for free! Looking for help beyond the book? Check out our coaching community to see if it's right for you.

  • 2:09. iLawyer Marketing
  • 17:53. Promoting Non-Attorneys to Leadership Roles
  • 24:31. Feedback and Cultural Buy-in



Welcome to The Lawyerist Podcast, a series of discussions with entrepreneurs and innovators about building a successful law practice in today’s challenging and constantly changing legal market. Lawyerist supports attorneys, building client-centered, and future-oriented small law firms through community, content, and coaching both online and through the Lawyerist Lab. And now from the team that brought you The Small Firm Roadmap and your podcast hosts 



Zack Glaser (00:35): 

Hey y’all, I’m Zack, and this is episode 490 of the Lawyerist Podcast, part of the Legal Talk Network. Today I talk with Labster Ryan McKeen about the Emerging Leaders Retreat that Stephanie ran for his firm. Today’s podcast is brought to you by iLawyer Marketing, so stick around and I talk with them later on. As you can probably tell right now, I am alone in podcast headquarters today. So instead of having a conversation with myself, I would really like to pose a question to our listeners, and it’s related to my conversation with Ryan McKeen. We’re talking about emerging leaders and helping facilitate the growth of leaders within your own firm, and I want to know what makes you a good leader in your firm. The listeners of this podcast are a lot of times, or I’d say most of the time, leaders in their firms, they own their firms, they’re heads of their firms, or they do a lot of work in their firms. And so I just want to know, or I want you to think about what is it that makes you a good leader? And now here’s my conversation with Mike from iLawyer Marketing. And then after that, we’ll head into our conversation with Ryan. 



Hey y’all, Zack here, and I’ve got Mike from iLawyer Marketing with me. Now, iLawyer Marketing is a full service law firm marketing agency that handles everything from content creation and web design to pay-per-click. And so-called over the top or Streaming advertising. Mike, thanks for being with me again. 


Mike Perez (02:08): 

Hey, happy to be here, Zack. 


Zack Glaser (02:09): 

So Mike, last time we talked, we were chatting about the six elements of a successful law firm marketing campaign, and if people want to listen to that, they can go back to our previous episode and we’ll put a link in the show notes. But today I’d like to dig into one of the first and more important aspects of a law firm marketing campaign. You were saying your website. Tell me a little bit more about that. 


Mike Perez (02:31): 

So website is so incredibly important to any law firm’s marketing success, and I think it’s something that a lot of times people think is a second thought, oh, I have a website. My website’s fine. I did it a couple years ago, or whatever it may be. There’s a lot more to having a website that helps you to convert than just having a nice design or something that’s been done recently. So one of the most important aspects is that website helping you to convert more of your visitors, or is it costing people to sometimes leave your site and go to a competitor’s site? And obviously you want to avoid that at all costs, so you want to try to maximize the conversion of anybody that’s covering your site. So we’ve done a lot of research studies over the years really digging into getting into the mind of the consumer, what causes them to reach out to one law firm versus another law firm. So we kind of put that thought into all the designs and the websites that we create. And so that’s what I thought we’d talk a little bit about today. 


Zack Glaser (03:29): 

Okay, so we’re talking about not just having a website that is the equivalent of your name on the door, on the square, we’re talking about having a billboard, or even more than that, a website can do way more than a billboard on the side of the road. We’re talking about saying, what do we need this to do? What’s the ultimate goal of this website as opposed to just, well, we want to make people think that we’re real, 


Mike Perez (03:55): 

Right? Yeah, absolutely. So your website has to help you stand out from your competition, number one, right? The average consumer is going online, they’re comparing it when they’re going and doing research, they’re looking at typically five different attorney websites. At a minimum, some people do even more, but they’re comparing you to other law firms out there. So the idea is what can you put on your site to help give them the idea that you are the best law firm to hire? And so I think before you understand how to make a great website, you need to understand what causes people to leave a website. So we did a lot of research into that. So the number one, we did a study, I think it was a few months ago, but there was over 1300 participants in this study. We asked them some of the reasons why they would leave a lawyer’s website. 



The number one reason that they would leave a website is not enough information, and that doesn’t mean that your website may have thousands of pages, but if it’s not easy for a consumer to find that information that they want, that may be a reason that they leave your content. It may be buried, maybe buried somewhere deep into your site. Or a lot of times we see law firms doing pay-per-click marketing. There’s having their visitors go to a landing page. That landing page doesn’t have nearly enough information about the firm. So when you’re talking about very expensive cost per click in the legal world, you want to do everything you can to make sure that people are actually staying on your site. And that is the number one thing that I see. That’s the number one problem I see is that certainly with landing pages, there’s not enough information on that site to help convert that visitor. 


Zack Glaser (05:24): 

So what can people do, and we may want to dig into this a little bit later. What can people do to think about and change that to make sure that they are putting the right amount of information on that page? 


Mike Perez (05:34): 

Well, the number one thing is realizing that a visitor is not going to be clicking and visiting a ton of pages on your site. They kind of scan a webpage. They don’t really read all the content on the webpage. Certainly that’s long. They’re scanning. So certainly on the homepage, the area near the top of the site, the hero image, the header area, we want to make sure that you have important selling points for your firm right up there above the fold, as we call it, right above the fold, meaning person doesn’t have to scroll to find this information, but having some key selling points up at the top or having case results up at the top past successful case results is very important to have, as well as potentially testimonials. It kind of depends on what is the strength of your firm. If you have these incredible results, that should be at the very top of the site where people can see that without having to scroll or even click on other pages of the site. 



If you don’t have great results, then at the very least, powerful video testimonials from the existing clients or even a written testimonials video goes a lot longer with converting prospects. So I say video testimonials and then also having a video about the firm. So we also, in that study, we also did ask the participants of having a video about the firm, if that would help convince ’em that this lawyer A, is better than lawyer B. And so having video on your site is very important because 80% of people said Yes, that would help me in my decision making process. 


Zack Glaser (07:03): 

I would not have guessed that, but it makes sense, but I wouldn’t have necessarily guessed that. 


Mike Perez (07:08): 

So it’s very important, especially to a younger audience. I think the younger the people, the more important video is. But even across the board, 80% out of 1,300 participants, that’s pretty powerful in terms of, yeah, you better have great video on your site to help you convert. 


Zack Glaser (07:26): 

Right? Absolutely. So Mike, obviously this is a lot of information to pack into just a couple of minutes and we could talk about this for a long time. So with that in mind, you guys over at iLawyer Marketing are offering a free 30 minute strategy session, which we have a link to in the show notes. What could people potentially get out of that session? 


Mike Perez (07:46): 

Yeah, they’ll get a lot out of that. You’ll come out of a 30 minute strategy session with knowing exactly what you need to do to improve your website and make it better. At the end of the day, the whole goal of this website is to help you convert more leads and help you sign up more new clients. And that 30 minute strategy session, I think you’ll come away with knowing exactly what you need to do. 


Zack Glaser (08:07): 

Well, I certainly got a lot out of just this six minutes talking about it. So multiply that times five, and you’ve got a lot of value there. And people can find that link in the show notes or they can go to i lawyery marketing.com. Mike, once again, thank you for sharing your expertise with our podcast listeners. I appreciate it. 


Mike Perez (08:26): 

You’re very welcome. 


Ryan McKeen (08:30): 

Hi, I’m Ryan McKeen and CEO at Connecticut Trial firm in Hartford, Connecticut. We are a personal injury firm. I’m also a graduate of Lawyerist Lab, and I have been coaching at Lawyerist for probably I think the past three years, which has been awesome for me. 


Zack Glaser (08:48): 

Yeah, Ryan, I think you’ve been coaching about as long as I have here in the same capacity, and we’re not day-to-Day all the time, but really more subject matter expert sort of thing. So I appreciate you being with us today, and I always enjoy talking with you. 


Ryan McKeen (09:06): 

Well, thanks for having me, Zack. And likewise. 


Zack Glaser (09:09): 

So Stephanie tells me, and I don’t hear about everything at Lawyerist, but Stephanie tells me that you guys did a retreat recently that she helped facilitate, and you called it the Emerging Leaders Retreat. Now that was within your firm, right? 


Ryan McKeen (09:23): 



Zack Glaser (09:24): 

Okay. So I guess you did an Emerging Leaders retreat within your firm. Tell me about that. I don’t know that I know exactly what that would be. 


Ryan McKeen (09:33): 

Yeah, so look, I grew my firm from a solo to a solo with some help to a small firm. Now there’s about 40 of us over the course of about a six year period, five six year period. And so that growth requires lots of change. It requires lots of structure, and one of the things that always struck me was I as a co-founder and CEO would go to something like Lab Con and I would learn so much and I would develop, it’s my belief that leadership isn’t something one is born with. It’s something that one develops over time through experience, through learning, through workshops, and it’s something that we can improve. And so as our firm grew, we not only needed to grow managers of things, we needed to grow leaders of things to get us to the levels that we wanted to do. And so I’m like, well, we can’t just expect our people to lead if we’re not giving them the tools. That’s why I invited Stephanie up because as somebody who’s been to Lab Con, I think probably four times, I saw her as an amazing facilitator at Lab Con, and I’m like, well, I can’t bring everybody to Lab Con, but what if I brought Lab Con to us? And that was the impetus for bringing Stephanie up to Hartford. 


Zack Glaser (10:55): 

Okay. I love that. I know that you’ve touched on this a little bit, but what were you trying to get out of her coming up there or somebody coming up there to create this? 


Ryan McKeen (11:05): 

So what we did is we identified probably about a dozen people on our team who were stepping into or were in who or are expected to be in leadership roles. And so we segregated those folks out from our team and we said, look, we’re going to give you some leadership training. We’re going to give you some ideas on how to deal with conflict, some ideas on how to delegate, some ideas on how to coach up, how to encourage, how to goal set, and we’re going to give you some tools around these things, be it through materials or workshops, and we’re going to try to help you become better leaders in our organization. 


Zack Glaser (11:50): 

Right. And that’s juxtapose to hiring from the outside to then top down leadership? 


Ryan McKeen (11:58): 

Correct. Look, I’m the CEO, so I sit sort of at the top of the firm and we have our leadership team, but our leadership team is like five or six, but we need a whole nother layer beyond that, beyond of people who aren’t just managing, people who aren’t just producing, but people who are leading their own departments and their own small teams within our team. And so it becomes sort of a critical transition for us to make as a firm, because we often talk in this space about well in or on the business, but at some level, I needed to grow to above the business. And in order to do that, I needed to have more people beneath me working on the business, not just managing what I’m asking them to do, but in fact hopefully coming up with better solutions than I ever could. It’s, it’s a reaction to the organization just being much more complicated with a lot more things going on. And the belief is that if we invest in people and we invest in their skills, we’re going to get better results. 


Zack Glaser (13:12): 

That would make sense. I don’t know how old the adage would necessarily be, but if you’re hiring from within, if you’re helping your people become the right butt, right seat, it’s cheaper than bringing somebody else in, frankly. So your firm has become a little bit more complex in its organizational structure. When did you start thinking, I need to put these people into there, I need to help those people in that area grow? 


Ryan McKeen (13:40): 

I would say somewhere between the size of about 20 to 25, that became a real pain point. We were both large and small at the same time, and so we didn’t have well-defined org chart. We had an org chart, but it just broke right? As you grow, things break. And what we needed to do as a firm was to operate efficiently, not all of us making every decision, but to delegate those decisions to and essentially develop teams of specialists in any sort of organization. You’ve got marketing, you’ve got your intake, you’ve got your production, you’ve got your finance, you’ve got your operations. And so we sort of needed maybe in a larger company like VPs or a smaller company, department heads, or you could even call them team leads as we sometimes do of those various firm functions. 


Zack Glaser (14:38): 

So as a weird aside, I would love for people just to roll back just a second, to listen to you rattle off all those portions of your firm as they exist right now you’ve got marketing and operations and all of those that looks significantly different, I think, than a lot of firms envision themselves as they’re going because they think, okay, attorney at the top and attorney ownership. So are you promoting and pushing attorneys into these positions? 


Ryan McKeen (15:10): 

No, not always. For example, last summer we hired a guy by the name of Kyle Bergquist to be our COO. Kyle has a master’s in business from University of Virginia, has 25 years experience with big small companies, no experience in legal, but really has a specific focus on data in tech, which is where we felt like we needed the most. We needed somebody at the helm. And so what we have done is we brought in Kyle to really run the firm and run the data day of the firm because of what was happening was I was having 12 direct reports, and that just is way too much Right now, I have two direct reports. I have my marketing director, I wear two hats. I’m the chief marketing officer, so I have my marketing director report me, I’m a CEO, and I have Kyle, my COO report to me. So there were two basic reports to me. Ultimately that will become one report, which is Kyle, because we have some amazing trial lawyers. I mean, our team’s got a hundred million dollars jury verdict, just a lot of success. I would put our trial deem up against anybody in this country in terms of the quality of work that they produce, quality, and what we want them to do is to do what it is that they love to do it well, to have the resources and to basically do only that, 


Zack Glaser (16:33): 

Yes, do the thing that they’re trained to do as opposed to taking an attorney and saying, okay, well you’re the person who has the specific skillset of doing this thing. We’re going to promote you above that. We’re going to promote you out of doing that thing. And now you’re a manager of people who are doing that, 


Ryan McKeen (16:51): 

Correct. We do have our attorneys lead pods within our team, so even our production teams are broken down because what we found, and I think the US military talks about this, when you start having more than six people reporting to you, it breaks down. And so basically our pods are about teams of five. It could be a little bit bigger, but they’re not going to go 10 people. And so having those smaller reporting structures, so we do let them lead pods, which essentially they have lots of say in the staffing of those pods and how the production flows within those pods themselves to lead and address issues. Our pod leaders as well, were at our retreat with Stephanie, our leadership 


Zack Glaser (17:35): 

Retreat. Okay. I guess that kind of gets into my next question a little bit of who are you looking for to fill those roles? What were your determination factors in saying these people will come with me and I want to push them into these roles or give them the tools to fill these roles? 


Ryan McKeen (17:53): 

I think in any organization, there are people who’ve raised their hands and those hand raisers who are people who are bought into your culture, they have some experience in your culture, be it probably more than a year. They sort of really are high on the want. It gets it and has the capacity to do it. Some of those folks, they raise their hands. Other folks like Kyle, we did bring in from the outside. Other folks, we are working to develop them to get them to higher levels of leadership. So we have a great member, we call our intake team, the client success team. We have a great member there and we’re working with her on transitioning her out of production into a director of client success role. And it’s a process for us, but it’s something that we see in her, she sees in herself, and there’s alignment there. And so we’re trying to give the tools to get her there. 


Zack Glaser (18:55): 

This is just kind of an aside. Does that honestly, does that make her happy? Do you see that type of interest in the people that work with you makes them more invested in your company? 


Ryan McKeen (19:06): 

Oh, no question. I mean, for every team member is specific, so you have to have specific one-on-one conversations. We have some leaders who are lawyers want any part to do with this strategy of running the firm, fine. But there are people out there who do want this. And so to me, I think as a firm, when we have Stephanie up and we block a day, that’s a big investment of time and money for us. And it shows those people, we care about your success, we care about your future. And so they were very happy to participate in it. They all loved it. 


Zack Glaser (19:46): 

Right. Well, good. I’m glad to hear that because yeah, like you said, it is an investment, but it’s an investment with forethought. So that’s kind of the who and the why. Let’s get into the, what was this Emerging Leaders retreat? What did it look like? 


Ryan McKeen (20:02): 

So there was Stephanie and there was, I want to say about 14 of us in the room. And there were various workshops that we did. I mean, first of all, there was a team building component. So when you get this large, you have people who work in an organization who never work with each other, but we all need alignment on it. So there was a component about trying to break down those barriers. There was a component that was incredibly well received, and a large part of it is just like I go to something like Lab Con, right? And I learned this great stuff and then I come back to my office and I try to teach it, but maybe it falls on deaf ears, so to speak, in the sense that they’ve like, Ryan, why are you talking to us about us again about something you learned at some conference? 



So it’s like, well, let’s bring the conference to them. And so when Stephanie’s talking about time blocking and planners and organization and using it, that’s very constructive when she’s talking about feedback and delegation and how to do it and where the barriers are, that’s very impressive When she’s getting our leaders to commit to taking different actions to move the team, that’s very positive. As we’re talking about our vision, our values and our alignment. Look, we didn’t produce any revenue that day, but that is the sort of secret sauce that has allowed us these kinds of things. This is not the first time we’ve had Stephanie up, but these kinds of things are the things that have allowed us to grow and will continue to allow us to grow in a way that is not overwhelming and is really kind of healthy and sustainable as much as it can be. 


Zack Glaser (21:40): 

Okay. So before we went on air, you and I were talking about some things being virtual at this point and the need sometimes for accessibility for things to be virtual. Is this something that you think you could have done virtually? 


Ryan McKeen (21:54): 

Interesting question and a very good one, because the second we brought Stephanie up for two days. Both days were supposed to be in person. We rented out a place, we had a screen, but the second day we got this snowstorm, and we also have team dispersed throughout the US and really throughout the world at this point, but we couldn’t get together. It made no sense, icy roads, all this stuff, right? And so I knew from Covid when Steph had the redo lab con on the fly, I’m like, can you do this virtually? And Stephanie’s like, absolutely. And honestly, the virtual day was so good. As much as I like to spend time with Stephanie, I don’t know if I’d fly up. The virtual was almost better in the sense that first of all, everybody’s on an equal playing field. We’re all on a screen. And the second component to it is in person, people tend to gravitate to who they know that is human nature. 



And in Zoom, Stephanie would just randomly assign rooms. So it forced some people to talk to people and know people that they otherwise didn’t know. And she also was able to do some fun exercises on the fly show off the oldest thing in your house or something, right? Oh yeah, some object. And you couldn’t do that in person. So our team got a lot of value out of that second day being virtual. I was nervous about it going in, but I walked out, I think we should just do this because it was that good. And cost aside or anything aside, I think it was a better format. 


Zack Glaser (23:33): 

But in a way, the in-person format is there’s an aspect of, Hey, everybody who’s here, we’ve invested in you. We decided to parse out this amount of money to fly somebody in to rent this area and all that. But yeah, I really like the kind of even playing field aspect of Zoom. I think that’s a great way for things to do, but you could do that. I know that Stephanie has facilitated that type of thing at Labon anyway, where it’s like, okay, table five, who’s been randomly assigned? You’re going over here. So what kind of feedback did you get or did you get feedback from the participants? Were they happy about it? Well, I guess, so there’s kind of two different types of feedback. I think there’s one, Hey, this was a great thing, or this was a bad thing. And then there’s two, here are all my ideas. There’s that water cooler effect, the creation of a group that is thinking about things bigger, which I think is probably the goal of it Anyway, so what kind of feedback did you get from your team? 


Ryan McKeen (24:31): 

Yeah, we got overwhelmingly positive feedback. A lot of our team, and we didn’t realize it struggled with time management. So I think Stephanie probably sold more planners than anybody in human history in a short period of time. There are definitely some ideas that we got, but for us, we run on EOS, we’ve got ways to escalate ideas. We’re constantly doing it. I think for us, two things. I mean, I think the goal was to create alignment. We have a lot of new team members getting them bought into the vision and values of the firm because I can say vision and values and I can talk about it easy, but when I have one of our members of our client success team who’s been with us for a year and a half talking to new employees about what the firm is and what we do, and she’s saying the words, I would say it’s more powerful coming from her. And so there’s a lot of that that was going on, and I feel like even more than any sort of one idea. And yeah, there was like, can we create a Slack channel for this? Or this is something that’s maybe slowing us down. We had sort of ideas and all that. It was the cultural buy-in and sort of excitement that came from it all that I think was very valuable. 


Zack Glaser (25:52): 

Do you think that you would do this again? 


Ryan McKeen (25:55): 

Yes. I wouldn’t not do it because anything else. Leadership is a skill. Skills take time and energy and coaching to develop, and you pay either way. You can either invest in those skills or you can pay for the consequences of not investing in those skills. I think it’s far better to take some time, take some money, identify your people, give them some tools and let them build. 


Zack Glaser (26:24): 

Well. So Ryan, I think anybody listening to this podcast would say, okay, well Ryan has some pretty good leadership skills because I think that it takes that in order to put something like this together and to invest in your team. What sort of resources or tools would you suggest somebody listening to this podcast kind of look into in order to develop their own leadership skills? 


Ryan McKeen (26:46): 

I mean, there are some books that are good places to start. Radical Candor may be a good book for people who are in leadership roles. Anything by Cy Wakeman I think is very valuable. If you can listen to her on a podcast or YouTube and also sorts of notions of time management and buying time through the elevation of others, not just the delegation to others, but it’s like, Hey, you are a good client success intakes person for us. If you can train three people under you to be as good, that’s really amazing. That’s where the real value gets added to your career, the organization and our clients frankly. And so getting some mindset work onto that. I mean, I know Lawyerist has a number of good episodes. We bought our team, what the heck is EOS books? We bought them, buy Back Your Time books. But these are sort of resources that I live in a world where I get thrown at me all the time. I see some of these people, I meet these people, I listen to these podcasts, I’m engaged with it, but it’s not good enough that just I need a dozen or so other people on my team of 40 to understand that stuff as well. 


Zack Glaser (28:06): 

So if I’m one of those dozen or I want to be one of those dozen, or I’m in a law firm and I want this type of thing to happen, but I don’t own the law firm, what approach could somebody take to try to convince their law firm owners or partners or something like that to do something like this for them? 


Ryan McKeen (28:24): 

Yeah, I think you look at it and I think, look, if you’re successful in almost any business, you have to delegate. That is sort of like a critical component to success. Because if you can delegate, you can leverage. If you can leverage, you can scale theoretically, you can help more people. And theoretically you make more if it all works out. So ideally you work in an organization that at least understands delegation. Well, guess what? There are levels of delegation. Delegating tasks is sort of one thing, right? That’s sort of the lowest return stuff. Delegating management, that’s a higher return because suddenly you’re not managing your finance team. You have a manager of your finance team really good, right? But what if you can delegate some of the leadership of those things, the people who manage the managers, the people who find the solutions and identify the problems. And I think to me, just from a business perspective, investing in those people, those things, that’s where the return is organizationally. And those things do show up because otherwise your time and your systems just get eaten up with all the consequences of not dealing with those things. 



There’s a management burden, there’s a task burden, and there’s a leadership. And you should be thinking about delegating the leadership part of it. 


Zack Glaser (29:44): 

Yes, I think that scares the shit out of lawyers and people that are used to having total control of everything though. 


Ryan McKeen (29:54): 

Good. It should. If you’re at there and you’re hearing that, look, part of the process here is you’ve got to do work on yourself. Why do you feel that way? Go back to talk to a therapist. What in your childhood makes you feel that way? Right? Look, and there’s nothing wrong. I never want anybody to think that having a three person firm is worse than having a 40% from Lord Books. It’s not. It’s just different. If that’s your bag, fine, but at some point you have to let go. If you want to grow to scale, you have to get used to letting go. I mean, there’s a line about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook where Zuckerberg originally wrote all the code for Facebook and then he realized if Facebook was going to succeed as an organization, he couldn’t write any of the code in a law firm, in a growing law firm, in a growing business, the same sorts of things apply every single day. 



And in fact, if you’re out there and you’re listening, I would say every Sunday, write down three things. One is what’s going to make you money this week? Two, what’s going to make you more money? And three, what can I stop doing? And some of it is going to be like, okay, I got to stop answering the phones. And some of it’s going to be, you know what? I’m going to stop leading our intake team. I’m going to give them the tools that they need. I’m going to put them in groups that they get. I’m going to give them some targets to shoot for. I’m going to give them some training, and I can tell you what’s a better life. For me, it is delegating that unquestionably, but that’s me. 


Zack Glaser (31:35): 

But I also think that if somebody looks at their values, their vision and their values, that that’s probably built into there. I know on a lot of podcasts we’ve said, how do you deal with some of the issues that you come up with in your firm when you look at your vision and your values? And if your vision and your values says, I am taking off Fridays, or I want to spend more time with the kids. Well, one way to do that and certainly a much more direct path than other things is to delegate the leadership. So what did you get out of this retreat? 


Ryan McKeen (32:06): 

I get a lot because one of the best things about bringing in an outside facilitator is I don’t have to facilitate. That’s a whole skillset, that’s a lot of energy and it’s a lot of effort to keep going. I can sort of sit back and listen and if I’m in a group for, I’m not the one presenting out, I’m encouraging somebody else to present out. So to me, I get a lot of observation of people, of thinking about ways we can support them in other ways. So say somebody really is struggling with giving feedback to others, and I can say, you know what? This book, radical Candor really helped me here. You may want to read it and give it to them. So it allows me to sort of observe what’s going on in the field a lot more than I could if I was having to be Stephanie essentially and facilitate. 


Zack Glaser (33:03): 

Right. Ryan, I could probably ask you questions about this all day because it’s fascinating. You obviously got a lot out of it and know a lot about it, but a lot about running a firm and you’ve taken your firm from, like you said, one person, three person shop to what it is now. And I think the results speak for what it is now. So I always appreciate talking with you, but if people want to hear more from you, more of your voice, they can always find you. I find you a lot of times on LinkedIn. I think that’s a great place to hear from Ryan McKean. And where can they find you? How can they connect with you there? 


Ryan McKeen (33:42): 

Zack, you hit the nail on the head. I’m on LinkedIn. I try to post every day. I share my thoughts on whatever and as honest and authentic of a way as I possibly can. Usually before I have coffee, coffee, and I always respond to dms. Comments usually result in phone calls on my way into work, trying to help people through stuff. But I’ve been given so much by people including lawyers, like I was just so inspired by Sam and Aaron talking and posting that I sort of see myself as a way to continue this forward. They inspired me to start my firm and it’s part of the same conversation. 


Zack Glaser (34:18): 

I love that. Well, Ryan, once again, thanks for being with me. I always appreciate talking with you. 


Ryan McKeen (34:23): 

Thanks for having me, Zack. 



The Lawyerist Podcast is edited by Britany Felix. Are you ready to implement the ideas we discuss here into your practice? Wondering what to do next? Here are your first two steps. First. If you haven’t read The Small Firm Roadmap yet, grab the first chapter for free at Lawyerist.com/book. Looking for help beyond the book? Let’s chat about whether our coaching communities, are right for you. Head to Lawyerist.com/community/lab to schedule a 10-minute call with our team to learn more. The views expressed by the participants are their own and are not endorsed by Legal Talk Network. Nothing said in this podcast is legal advice for you. 

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Zack Glaser

is the Legal Tech Advisor at Lawyerist, where he assists the Lawyerist community in understanding and selecting appropriate technologies for their practices. He also writes product reviews and develops legal technology content helpful to lawyers and law firms. Zack is focused on helping Modern Lawyers find and create solutions to help assist their clients more effectively.

Featured Guests

Ryan McKeen

Ryan McKeen is a Strategy Coach at Lawyerist. He is also the co-founder and CEO of Connecticut Trial Firm. His leadership has not only led the firm to secure a record-setting $100 million jury verdict for a workplace injury, but has also earned it a spot on the prestigious Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in the nation. Recognized for its exceptional work environment and culture, Connecticut Trial Firm has been honored as one of the Best Workplaces in CT. Ryan’s individual prowess as a lawyer is underscored by his membership in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocate Forum, an accolade reserved for attorneys who have won multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. As an author, Ryan has contributed significantly to the legal literature with books like “Tiger Tactics” and “Tiger Tactics 2: CEO Edition.”  

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Last updated February 13th, 2024