On this episode of the Legal Marketing 2.0 Podcast, Guy is joined by Rosanna Berardi to discuss team loyalty and retaining talent at law firms. It probably isn’t news to you, but attracting legal talent is no easy feat. So what can firms do – both big and small – to address this issue and heighten their ability to attract and retain precious talent? Rosanna has a few uncommon methods.
Rosanna Berardi is the Managing Partner of Berardi Immigration Law and the CEO of High Wire Woman, where she helps working women create a blueprint to live their lives in a simpler way and take back their most precious commodity: their time. Starting as a one-woman operation in her apartment fifteen years ago, Berardi Immigration Law is now a multi-million dollar company that helps companies and professionals navigate the employment-based immigration system and achieve the American dream. You can connect with Rosanna on LinkedIn here.
Podcast Show Notes
How did you build Berardi Immigration Law firm into what it is today?
I began my career working for the former Immigration and Naturalization services, now known as Customs and Border Protection, through college and law school. When I graduated from law school I had five years of federal immigration experience, so I became a prosecuting lawyer in Immigration court, prosecuting illegal aliens. Then I went on to work for a large corporate immigration law firm, although I did enjoy it, I knew it was not for me. So I left and created Berardi Immigration Law out of my apartment with one client.
How did you build your practice from starting out with just one client? Furthermore, what marketing strategies have proven to be the most effective for your growth?
I knew I needed to educate myself on marketing in order to run a successful firm so one of the best things I did was attend some local business classes. What’s propelled my business over the last 15 years has truly been organic marketing with tactics such as content marketing and SEO. Content is king, as they say. Even today, we are committed to blogging two to three times a week, every week without fail. It is part of our daily drumbeat of what we do at our firm.
We also have found video marketing to be exceptionally effective and we record videos right on our smartphones. We live in a world where people don’t want to read anymore, right?
Tell us a little bit about how you created a unique law firm culture that emphasizes both loyalty and the ability to have some free time.
Our culture is very different, because we focus on the client. I got rid of the concept of a billable hour, which is unheard of at big firms. So my staff does not have to keep track of every hour they work, and their success is instead measured not by hours but by case outcomes, client satisfaction and number of referrals. This approach focuses on quality over quantity. Also, I do not micromanage my team, I expect a high level of work and they are trained to meet those expectations. I trust that they will get their work done to my standards, even if they need time off.
The non-billable hour makes for a very nice recruitment process when I’m looking to hire new lawyers.
How have you been able to find ways to reward your employees for hard work?
I’ve done a lot of creative things and I think it’s super important to reward people for what they do, especially when they’ve gone above and beyond their call of duty on a case. There are instances where I’ve picked up the tab for my employees’ vacation airfare – lawyers and paralegals. Rewarding your employees builds and nurtures loyalty at law firms.
Another thing is I like to celebrate my employees, whether it is birthdays, baby showers, engagement parties, you name it. We like to have fun and it’s part of our culture. I wanted to build a firm that people were excited to go to everyday, not dreading.
Do you have any tips and tricks about how parents that are lawyers can manage their time and juggle that busy lifestyle?
Yeah, it’s tough stuff and I recently created a second business for moms specifically, High Wire Woman. The concept is as working women, we are walking a high wire every day and almost falling off, you know. Especially during the pandemic.
Blocking off time is key, because if it’s on your calendar, you’re going to do it. Furthermore, I am all about delegating and automating. I just try to automate all the things that suck our time up. We have modern conveniences, so take advantage of them. I always tell working women, don’t go grocery shopping. There’s a thing called Instacart. You know, every grocery store has a delivery service. Don’t waste an hour or two of your time.
Before I let you go today, is there one actionable take away or one word of advice you have for our audience?
For sure. So in terms of law firm marketing, my advice for lawyers that want to increase their game and get more notoriety and clients is to just pick ONE social media channel and focus on it. Whether it’s LinkedIn or Facebook or Twitter. Just commit to posting on the channel consistently and put good content out there. They say a journey of a million miles starts with a single step.
The culture that a law firm develops and sustains has an impact on its productivity, retention rates, and morale. As a managing partner, if you want your law firm to develop an outstanding culture, it is important to incentivize and reward employees for their hard work. Displaying a genuine interest in and devotion to the overall welfare of your employees will make them feel valued. These are just some tips and tricks to nurture team loyalty at your law firm.
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