Wealthy Woman Lawyer Podcast, Helping you create a profitable, sustainable law firm you love

In this episode of the Wealthy Woman Lawyer® podcast, I’m excited to welcome Holly Draper, Founder, CEO, and Managing Partner of The Draper Law Firm, a 7-figure wealth-generating law firm business in McKinney, Texas.

Show Notes

After being laid off amidst the Great Recession of 2008, Holly, a new mom at the time, was thrust into entrepreneurship.  Although it seemed scary in the moment, looking back, she says, it was the best thing that’s ever happened to her. Today, she owns and operates a 5-attorney law firm that’s not only a moneymaker, but also allows her more time to travel, spend quality time with her husband and their growing children, and explore other income streams, like real estate investment.

Listen in as Holly and I discuss…

• Why she chose to keep her firm virtual only
• Why hiring attorneys before staff turned out to be a winning business model for her
• The secret to hiring good attorneys
• How to overcome fears around making payroll and trusting your team
• Tips for leveraging Facebook groups to attract your ideal clients with ease
• Her number one piece of advice for other women law firm owners who want to scale to and thru $1M
• And much more!

The Wealthy Woman Lawyer® Podcast is sponsored by Wealthy Woman Lawyer.®  We help women law firm owners scale their law firm businesses to and thru $1M in gross annual revenue with total ease so they can fully fund—and still have time to enjoy—the lifestyle of their dreams! If you want to know more, visit our website at www.wealthywomanlawyer.com
or follow us on Instagram @wealthywomanlawyer.  Also, you are invited to join our free Facebook group, Wealthy Woman Lawyer. See you on the inside!



Mentioned in this episode:
The Draper Law Firm’s website
Connect with them on Facebook
Connect with Holly on LinkedIn
Listen to the Texas Family Law Insiders Podcast
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

What is Wealthy Woman Lawyer Podcast, Helping you create a profitable, sustainable law firm you love?

What if you could hang out with successful women lawyers, ask them about growing their firms, managing resources like time, team and systems, mastering money issues, and more; then take an insight or two to help you build a wealth-generating law firm? That’s what we do each week on the Wealthy Woman Lawyer podcast. Hosted by Davina Frederick, founder and CEO of Wealthy Woman Lawyer –– every episode is an in-depth look at how to think like a CEO, attract clients who you love to serve (and will pay you on time), and create a profitable, sustainable firm you love. The goal is to give you the information you need to scale your law firm business from 6 to 7 figures in gross annual revenue so you can fully fund, and still have time to enjoy, the lifestyle of your dreams.

Hi and welcome. I'm Davina
Frederick, hosts of the wealthy

woman lawyer podcast, and the
founder of wealthy woman lawyer.

We help women law firm owners
scale to and through a million

dollars in gross annual revenue
in their law firm businesses.

And we are here today talking
with Holly Draper of the Draper

law firm in McKinney, Texas. I'm
so excited. You're here a lot.

Holly, how are you today? I'm
doing great. Thanks for having

me. Great. So tell me about the
Draper firm. And how you serve

your clients. What what do you
do? What is your area of

practice? So the Draper law firm
is a almost fully Virtual Family

Law Firm. We do divorce child
custody, child support

adoptions, anything under the
Family Law umbrella, and we also

do family law appeals. How long
have you been in practice? How

long have you hell have you had
the business? I started farm

2008. I've been practicing since
2004. So I had a brief stint in

a midsize civil defense firm
before getting out on my own and

starting the firm. Yeah, so what
made you decide that it was

finally time to start your own
law firm? Was it somebody you'd

always had a goal? Or was it
something that just kind of

evolved? It had? Well, it didn't
happen the way that I would have

intended it to happen. But it
worked out for the best. I

always wanted to have my own
business. My dad had his own

business, I've been very
entrepreneurial my whole life.

But I started out and other
sediments, I civil defense firm,

and I thought, Okay, I need to
be done having children, I need

to have X dollars in the bank, I
need to have Y number of plants

I'm already going to be taking
with me. So I felt like I was a

very long way away from actually
being ready to start my own

firm. And I had my daughter in
my first child, my daughter in

November of 2007, go out on
maternity leave for three months

come back. November's also in
new attorneys are licensed in

Texas. So all the new attorneys
came in, took over my turf came

back, never got another big
case. And it was 2008. At that

point, Terracon economy was
terrible lawyers were losing

their jobs all over the place.
And I ended up being a casualty

of that recession. And some, you
know, I was looking for other

jobs and panicking because I
have this little baby. And I had

none of those things on my list
that I thought I needed in order

to start my own firm. But I had
a little bit of business just so

happen to fall into my lap, it
wasn't family long something

else. And I thought you know
what, what better way to start

being pushed into it. So I
started in 2008. And took me

about five years to feel like I
was not worried constantly about

where the next client was gonna
come from. But in the end, it

was probably the best thing that
ever happened to me was losing

that job. That's so interesting
that you say that I have had

many experiences in my life
where I thought something really

bad had just happened. And it
turned out to be the best thing

because sometimes we get locked
into a comfort zone, where we

are, where we are, even if it's
not satisfactory, we get locked

into that and then work. So
we're nestled down, and we're

not going to move from it
because it's just comfortable

enough to deal with the headache
of it. So oftentimes, I really

view it as a gift, when
something doesn't turn out maybe

the way that I just paid well,
because usually it's the

universe sort of holding a
mirror to me and showing me

there's something else that I
meant to do that's better for

me. Did you have a moment like
that? Where you felt that? Or

did it take you many years to
sort of reflect on that and go,

Okay, that was a good thing.
didn't take that long to realize

it was a good thing. I ended up
having my second and last child,

you know, two years later. And
by having my own practice, it

allowed me to be there a lot
more and have full control over

what I was doing, where I was
going, how much I was working.

So it didn't take long. There
was a lot of stress early on

about how am I going to get
business? How am I going to

support my family because I was
really the primary breadwinner,

but just kept going and made a
lot of mistakes along the way,

but got there. So how, how did
you get business when you

started out?

So when I started, I thought I
have to take whatever walks

through the door and was very
general practice. I had never

done family law. I didn't take
family law in law school, no

intent of specializing in family
law at that point in time. So

one of the business that had
fallen into my lap was some

collections type work, working
with a company that did debt

stuff for consumers. So that was
not full time work, but it was

enough to pay the bills and work
on building up other businesses.

You know, I have a huge Facebook
fan. And I've long gotten a lot

of business by just talking
about what I do on Facebook and

sharing with my network about
what I'm doing. If I had known

then what I know now I would
have done different things to

get business. But one thing kind
of led to another. And as I

started having family law cases
trickle in, I realized, I

actually really liked family
law, I feel like I'm helping

people. I wanted to be a
litigator, and in family law,

was a much faster pace of
litigation than big firm

litigation. We're representing
big companies, cases that, you

know, fill up your room with
documents, like the piece of

family law a lot better. So over
time, I gradually funnel down

and specialize more and more to
get to the point where our

family law was all that I did. I
have it has always been said to

me from various mentors and
other attorney colleagues that

family law is a love it or hate
it situation that people either

really gravitate toward it, or
they're like, I never want to do

family law again, what is it
about family law that you find?

Besides the fast paced
litigation that you find

appealing, does it you know, it
doesn't stress you out? People

with their relationship problems
and things like that? How do you

deal with that, it can stress
you out, we try really hard to

catch the red flags early and
not represent the people who are

gonna cause us an undue amount
of stress. Some of them get

through, and there's not a lot
to do about that. But you know,

when I was representing major
corporations, there was just no

personal satisfaction in that I
didn't, you know, I'm

representing against the brain
injured child, I'm representing

against the person who lost
their spouse. So it was just so

much more personally rewarding
to see these people who were in

one of the, usually one of the
worst times in their life, and

to help go through it and get
them out on the other side in a

much better place. Right, right.
I had kind of a similar start in

my career where, where I started
out doing, representing lenders

in foreclosure. And it wasn't
something that I love doing. But

it was provided enough bread and
butter money for me to then

become a better family law
attorney, which is really what

the main, my main focus was that
the state planning. So I

understand, you know, I think
everybody, I think everybody has

a unique opportunity at a
certain time. And a lot of times

we don't see them as
opportunities. We, we look at

them say, Well, I really don't
want to do this thing. But it

sounds like you had a really
good approach and sort of taking

whatever came through the door
to begin with, until you sort of

figure out what it was that was
appealing to you. Now, the

question is, how did you grow
from there? Because you have a

very unique business model, I
think. And I really want to dig

into that. Because, because I
think it's unique for a number

of reasons. One is, you don't
see a lot of other attorneys

taking this approach, a law firm
saying this approach to growth,

and I want to know what your
thought process was behind it.

So you started out by hiring
attorneys instead of staff. Tell

me tell me what that what was
behind that decision.

So the very first person that I
hired was staff. She was you

know, the answer the phone
person and she wore many hats,

legal assistant calendaring,
things of that nature. But when

I really wanted to start to
grow, the next people that are

hired were attorneys. I was so
super, super scared of hiring an

attorney because I thought how
am I going to pay this person?

I'm worried about there being
enough money coming into pay

myself. And I started out having
her just do some contract work.

And over time, you know, realize
she really did a good job. And I

was getting busier and busier.
So finally pulled the trigger

and hired her. And after that,
as we got busier and grew, we

ultimately added more attorneys
until we got to a max of five so

far. And we didn't add our first
paralegal until June of 2021. So

we were operating with five
attorneys and one staff and the

attorneys were handling a lot of
the work that many firms have

paralegals doing. But we took an
approach. A couple of reasons.

We thought clients liked working
with us and don't want to get

pawned off on an attorney. And
they liked that they can call us

and this was when we weren't
quite so busy and we couldn't

have a more attorney personal
touch with them. But I

personally wanted to hire
attorneys because they're the

best at higher rates. And they
can do everything that I can do.

So they can go to court, they
can go to mediation, they can

help case and I can take a
vacation and come back and all

the work is done. And they the
firm can still be operating the

firm can still make money. And I
don't have to be there all the

time to make that happen.
Whereas if I had hired a bunch

of paralegals, and I was the
only attorney, nothing's really

going to be happening, unless
I'm there. I can't go to trial.

I can't go to mediation.
Paralegals only have so much

they can do on their own without
an attorney touching it. Yeah.

Yeah. I mean, that's, I think
that is super, super smart. And,

but it's really interesting,
because, you know, I've been

coaching for about eight years
now. And I, I, I see a lot in

conversation, not just with
clients, but just in the

community and on Facebook, and
in conversations in different

groups, about attorneys going
for years hiring paralegals, and

then they just struggled,
struggled to hire an attorney

and I, and I think there's some
fear, like he sat around, how am

I going to, you know, pay this
person, because there's this

idea that there's so much more
expensive, and most people don't

think about, this person's
making you money, right, you

should be covering their cost as
well as making you profit.

Right. But also, the I think
there's fear around pay. And

then I also think, on some
level, there's a little imposter

syndrome that goes on with
people where they think if I

bring this attorney in, what if
they're smarter than me? What if

they are going to judge me and
go? Well, she's not here, at

least given an attorney, as I
am, you know, or maybe people

haven't feared they're going to
come in, and you're going to

train them, and then they're
going to turn around and start

their own business or whatever.
How would you sort of did you

have any of those thoughts? And
if so, how did you overcome

that? Was it just the fear
around being able to pay them?

Or was there something else to
it? There was certainly a fear,

once I got past the fear of
being able to pay that as I'm

adding more people and I need
more people, because I'm busy,

was a fear of what if they don't
do it the way I would do it? And

what if they're not going to be
as good in court as I am? And is

that fair to the client, that
they're hiring our firm because

of me, and maybe they're getting
an attorney, that isn't going to

be as good as me. And
eventually, I had to get over

that and realize that if I want
to build the type of business

that I want to have, I have to
trust other people, I have to

trust that you make good hiring
decisions, I have to trust that

I'm making a good choice when
I'm assigning a particular

associate to handle a certain
case, and that I will have the

judgment to know I need to step
in and handle a particular

issue, or this hearing is going
to require me, but I don't do

that too much anymore. I really
like to let everybody else on my

team handle almost everything on
the case. So your hiring

process. I'm sure it's improved
over time, probably from when

you first started out. But what
do you think has been your kind

of secret, if you will, to
hiring good attorneys right from

the beginning.

A lot of it was luck. The person
the attorney has been with me

the longest, he's now a partner
with my firm. Another colleague

just happened to introduce us
because she was starting her own

practice. And they knew that I
maybe would have helpful

information as kind of a mentor
to this attorney. So I got to

know her that way and ultimately
decided to hire her. The first

attorneys I hired at least two
after that were people that I

already knew they had been
opposing counsel, or I knew them

from borrower organizations,
things like that. But all the

attorneys that have hired since
then were people I did not know.

And so we've learned things
along the way of oh, we better

ask this question next time or
we better, you know, make sure

we put this in the contract. So
this problem doesn't happen

again. But we've found most of
all of them. I think all of our

attorneys through Texas has a
lot of really great attorney

Facebook groups. And so we share
in the attorney, mom's group or

the Texas family members group,
and have always gotten a lot of

great candidates that way. Yeah,
let's talk about that for a

minute because I think this is
something that really sets you

apart too in that so you've
taken the Clifton Strengths

analysis and your top like five
or six characteristics were

categorized under influence her
and that's really rare and all

of the times that I felt
attorneys go through the Clifton

Strengths and evaluate. Most of
the time you see things like

strategic and maybe a little
executing, stuff like that, but

yours was heavy on the
influencing part which I which

is really a superpower for you
and I find that to be so

interesting. because you're you,
I've always used Facebook groups

for a lot of it with a lot of
good outcomes as well. But

you've really taken it to the
next level and that you sort of

go there for that's where you've
connected with a lot of people,

not only people working for you,
but also people who work for

your business. And you've had a
lot of success of that, can you

share some insight and some sort
of tips or for people who really

don't know how to do that they
don't know how to leverage

Facebook groups.

Sure. So my biggest source of
business through Facebook is

definitely my personal page, not
my business page, I do have a

business page. But that is, it's
much easier to be Facebook

friends with people than it is
to get them following your page

or interacting with your page.
So I make I'm not one of those

people who is really locked down
on Facebook. And you know, if I

don't know you personally, and
we haven't known each other

forever, you're not my friend.
You know, I'm faced I'm

basically friends with a lot of
people who, if I meet somebody,

I will go find them, find them
on Facebook and friend them. If

I go to an attorney events, and
I sit at a table with seven

other people that I didn't know
before, I will go friend them

all. But I also friend,
everybody I knew in high school,

everybody I knew in college
already from law school, have a

very, very large network on
Facebook. A lot of people who

are professionals will send me
friend requests, and I can tell

their lawyer or their they live
in the same town as me or you

can tell a lot just from what's
public on their page. And so

even though I don't know them, I
will accept their friend

request. There's a lot of people
who could walk in the door right

now. And I wouldn't, I wouldn't
know that we're Facebook

friends, I wouldn't recognize
who they were. But so I, you

also don't want to be one of
those salesy obnoxious people on

Facebook, nobody likes the
person who is constantly

advertising their multi level
marketing products. And that's

all they talk about. So you have
to be careful about what you're

posting from a business
perspective. Now, I'll share a

lot about oh, you know, I had a
great hearing today, you know,

we got everything we wanted. And
I won't give out details that

are confidential, but I'll put
enough information so that

everyone knows where I might
snap a picture of myself in

front of the courthouse, you
know, to have a temporary orders

hearing or whatever. I also I do
appellate work. And if I have a

things are happening on Zoom for
oral arguments, so I'll post

Hey, I'm having this oral
argument if anybody wants to

watch. A lot of people don't
care about watching. But that's

just a reminder to them, oh,
hey, she does, this is what she

does. I also make a ton of
connections through usually

Facebook moms groups, I have
found them to be I make hundreds

of 1000s of dollars a year from
Facebook moms groups, there is a

certain level of trust there
that maybe shouldn't be but is

for all these, you know, 10,000
Strangers in this group. But

people feel like they know each
other. They trust the

recommendations they get. And
some of the best groups I mean,

you can't advertise and you
can't, you know, if somebody

asks, Hey, I need a
recommendation for divorce

lawyer, you can't post yourself
and say I can help. So you have

to be careful on what you say
and how you say it. But people

are asked all the time for Hey,
you know, here's an example that

I just saw yesterday, somebody
posted a Facebook group that

they've been a stay at home mom,
and marriage isn't going well.

And she just got offered a job
and what should she do? And I

say, parentheses, family lawyer
here. And then I chime in with

my advice that, you know, I
would 100% recommend taking the

job. And you know, I see so many
stay at home moms get destroyed

through marriage or get stuck in
a bad marriage because of the

dynamics of that and all that.
So I will you know people ask

legal questions all the time.
Well, how do we know how child

support works? Or whatever the
question may be, and I will

chime in with generic legal
information, letting people know

that I'm an attorney, and hey,
maybe you should get your advice

from all the moms in Facebook
about this legal issue.

Especially it's complicated, but
over time, you become the expert

in the group and everybody knows
that. Either you can help or you

know somebody who can help and
so when somebody does ask for

that, where the divorce where 10
Other people are going to tag

me. So I don't have to raise my
hand and say I can help because

all these other people know that

can. Right, right, right. It I
think it's it's super smart. And

the one thing about the one
thing about social media is is

that it's a long game. It
doesn't start out immediately

like that it's the gate, it's
engaging. It's just like any

other social network. Even if
you were networking in person,

it's getting to know people over
time. And having them be

familiar with you and get to
know you, I know that some of

my, some people, I feel nope,
probably more about me than

people IRL in real life, or
people that I've been in

copywriter Facebook groups, or,
you know, attorney, Facebook

groups or whatever for a long
time. And they just over time,

you get to know a lot about
people that way, because we

share the daily life, diary sort
of thing that if you engage

regularly in that, and I see it,
now, I'm on it. I'm on

Instagram, more now, as I've
made my event last year, to

Instagram and I, I've started to
see kind of what the patterns

are emerging on Instagram, it's
a different platform doesn't

have the same level of
conversation. But it but people

notice people who show up
regularly and consistently on

it. So it's it's fascinating to
me how what an impact that is a

game changer. It's a game
changer for small firms. Just

like the internet was a game
changer for small firms, because

leveled the playing field, you
go create a website. And people,

you know, would know that the
lay person doesn't know the

difference between your website
and large firms website, because

you could get a professional
looking website back when that

was a new thing. And it's the
same thing with social media, I

think it really levels the
playing field because it

provides an opportunity for
small firms to get out there and

get known without having to
spend a lot of money. Let's talk

about where you are now. Because
you've reached a point with

your, with your team, with your
attorney team, where you started

saying, Okay, I need to I need
to prepare for the next level,

maybe build an infrastructure
under this team. And start

thinking about your marketing in
a different way. As opposed to

marketing Holly Draper. Right?
What was that transition? Like

for you? What has it been like
for you to learn how to

communicate differently about
your firm? So it's not people

coming and just want to hire
Polly? Maybe they come with that

intention? But how do you handle
that transition them to your

other attorney since I know a
lot of law firm under struggled

with that as they're growing?
Yeah, I think we've really

shifted, we've tried to shift
the focus or the style of our

firm from what we were
originally, which was more of a

value, you know, you just work
directly with the attorney, the

billable rates are lower, you
can get great service without

having to pay big, prestigious
firm prices. And now we're

trying we've kind of rebranded
ourselves to try and compete

more with the bigger names, or

So it does surprise me when I
hear some of the named partners,

even at these bigger procedures
firm saying, Well, how do you

get people to agree to work with
the associate. And I always tell

potential clients during the
console that this is the way it

works, you're going to have a
partner and an associate and a

paralegal on your case, and the
associate paralegal handle most

of the day to day of the case,
because it is a lot more cost

effective. You know, they're
half my billable rate. But I'm

always overseeing them handling
strategy, big picture, and

anything particularly
complicated or contested that

comes in. And, you know, I had
somebody who consulted recently

who he's like, he said, Are you
going to be the one that's going

to handle this, or you're going
to be the one that goes to

court. And I'm at a point now
where I say, I can't guarantee

you that the odds are that one
of my associates will be

handling it. And he said, Well,
can I ask, can I ask that you be

the one to do it? And I said,
No, that's not the way our firm

operates, I always maintain the
discretion to determine who is

doing what on any particular
case. And at first, he said he

wasn't gonna hire us. And then
he came back and changed his

mind, and he hired us anyway.
But right now, we do have a lot

more business, you know, a lot
more potential clients calling

than we could possibly handle.
So we can I make the rules. This

is the way it operates. You're
hiring me because I have a good

track record, as a firm, and you
want to hire me, this is the way

it's going to be and this is the
way my cases work. And really,

it's along those same lines. You
know, I set the rule that we're

not meeting clients in person
anymore unless we think we need

to meet clients in person.
That's another thing that a lot

of attorneys Think well. How do
you How are you virtual? Don't

clients insist upon meeting in
person as well? If they insist

upon an in person console, we
just say we're sorry, we don't

do that. You know, you can
consult with us via zoom or

There are plenty of other law
firms who will meet with you in

person. And I'm sure some of
them go to those other law

firms. And that's fine, because
we have plenty of business

coming in. But you know, we'll
push back whenever a client

says, we meet in person say,
Well, why. And I'll give the

reason we can meet by zoom,
because we're going to

accomplish that. And
occasionally, you get a little

bit of pushback. But for the
most part, we've set the tone of

this is the way our firm
operates. And you hired us for a

reason. So you're going to do
things the way that we say we're

going to do things. And let's
discuss that you have your your

firm is a, it's distributed,
it's virtual, it's distributed.

So there, there's no there's a
meeting spot if you need a

meeting spot, but you don't
really and everybody you hire

works from works remotely,
mostly from their homes. And

that's really been a feature of
the benefit of working with your

firm in when you were hiring.
And you've been doing this since

the beginning. This isn't
something that is that you just

started in the pandemic. So what
what made you decide to do it

that way, at the beginning, way
before we ever were all on

lockdown? Well, in the
beginning, it was strictly a

budget thing. And it was just
me, there was no need to be in

an office, I always had a
virtual office used to meet

people in person a lot more than
four COVID. But you know, I

could use how many conference
room hours at the executive

suites place where I had a
virtual office. And when I

started hiring people, the
reason why I hired people I knew

to begin with was because I was
afraid of hiring people I didn't

know to work remotely. But over
time, I got over that,

especially with COVID people got
used to working remotely. And I

love working from home. It is
not for everyone, you know, we

had, we've had somebody work
with us in the past, who felt it

was not good for her mental
health to be working from home

and she needed to be in office.
And so that's one of the things

we ask people now, have you ever
worked from home? Are you

concerned about working from
home and most people, we have a

lot of people that come looking
for jobs from us because they

tasted what working from home
look like during COVID. And they

didn't like having to go back to
the office. But you know, we do

everything, keep everything in
Dropbox, we have our case

management system will have zoom
meetings with each other doctor

meetings with each other, we
communicate with each other

through slack. I personally
think people are more efficient

at home than they are in an
office because you don't have

somebody walking by walking in
the door sitting down and chit

chat for 15 minutes every time
you turn around.

And I think I used to think in
order to compete with the

prestigious big name family law
firms that we had to have a

prestigious brick and mortar
office. And I don't think that's

the case anymore. Especially
with COVID. Everyone is so used

to zooming now. And there are a
lot of high income earners who

work from home. So they are not
scared away by the fact that

high income earning attorneys do
the same thing. Right, right.

How do you sort of keep this the
firm culture? I think that's one

of the challenges that people
who have distributed remote

workers is keeping is creating
those bonds between people

because the 15 Minute chats
around the water cooler and the

Oh, it's so and so's birthday.
Let's bring a cake is where it's

how a lot of people bond and get
loyalty to the firm and all this

kind of thing. So how have you
created that by doing it with

virtual workers, virtual team
even though our work our team is

all virtual, we do try and keep
it local, so that we can meet in

person for happy hour or go to
lunch or, you know, do some

things in person on a regular
basis. Last year, we took all

the attorneys, we went up to our
cabin in Oklahoma and did you

know we played that? It's a game
called I've sent you know, we

played games or we worked on our
goals for the year of for the

firm and worked on how are we
going to establish this new

program that we want to do and
things like that have really

helped with team building. I
think we right now we're super

busy and we have had some
turnover. So we have new people

and COVID is raging and it's
like we have got to get together

in person because I have got to
start building with these new

team members and get the
camaraderie going get people to

gel together. You and I was
actually going to improve Then

next time that you mentioned
that you've had some turnover,

because like many of women, law
firm owners, you've had, you've

experienced the great
resignation, or the great

reshuffle or whatever it is,
people are falling these days,

but where people are being
recruited away. I know certainly

a lot of larger law firms are
reaching in smaller law firms

and making offers to people than
poaching them. And also people

are thinking grass is greener
and moving around and wanting to

make changes. And I think COVID
is impacted a lot of people in

that the things that they may
have changed their view on life,

or they may have to take care of
a family member. So they wind up

moving away, and that changes
things. But you've experienced

some of that some coming and
going within your firm. How have

you dealt with that sort of
emotionally, because I think

that's a fear that a lot of
women law firm owners have is

that I'm going to hire these
people. And then they're going

to turn around and leave and,
and I go to train them. And

that's a loss, I want to do
that. So how have you dealt with

that? It has been a really
difficult past four months,

leading up until then we were
just chugging along, things were

so smooth, everybody got along
great. I was going on vacation

for a couple of weeks, and not
even thinking about work and

coming back and everything was
done. It was awesome. And it was

not on my radar at all, that any
of these people would ever be

thinking about leaving. And once
the first domino fell, it was

incredibly stressful for
everyone, because now we have to

pick up the pieces that are left
by somebody leaving and you

know, of course, you haven't
happy clients, because we're

tired of this a train that was
working with me leave, and

you're trying to have a smaller
number of people doing this

covering the same amount of
cases you had before trying to

quickly hire somebody else to
fill in. It was very stressful.

And there was a time where I
thought I this is Is this worth

it? You know, do I just scale
back down and just make it me

and, you know, or me and my
partner and our original

assistant and say, Screw it, I
just want to deal with this. But

then I realized now it's part of
being at the loss is turnover.

And we learned a lot from that
first person leaving and kind of

worked on. Okay, these are the
things that we need to do so

that the next time somebody
leaves, it goes more smoothly,

and coming up with a transition
plan of how do we transfer cases

of someone who's leaving to
someone who's either coming in

new or already here. And, you
know, we ultimately had a couple

more leaves. So there was, and
that was devastating to have at

you know, all three of our
associates leave within a very

short period of time. But we
brought in new people, and

they're great. And now we need
to get them gelling and, you

know, help they all say forever.
I know they won't. So hopefully,

at the same time again, but I
think between my partner and I,

we've talked about where's the
sweet spot? How big do we need

to get so that when one person
leaves, it's not a huge problem

to cover those cases and fan
them out amongst the other

associates. So think we've said
probably four to five associates

might be the sweet spot for
that. Right now we're at three,

I can see adding one or two in

The business keeps coming in. So
I got to have Yeah, that's a

good, that's a good problem to
have. Be. I think there's a

couple of things. One is that it
shows you it shows you where

your systems are weak. Like, we
have the first one leave, you're

looking at it going, oh gosh,
like we need to we need a better

system for this or that because
we didn't realize it you know,

everything sitting in her inbox
like that can't be right. Right.

So looking, having it sort of
highlight I think that often

happens when people leave it's
it highlights kind of where

we've gotten comfortable and
maybe a little lacks in our in

our systems or whatever, but are
just haven't really thought

about it hadn't really thought
about what would happen. Um, and

to be clear, have you had people
leave for reasons that have

really had nothing to do with
your firm? Just for anybody

who's listening and thinks that
oh my gosh, she only thinks

like, everything has had a
specific reason outside of the

firm that kind of happened that
way. And how do you how do you

sort of not lose the trust when
you hire what is that? What is

that like for you? You have to
turn around and hire and you're

kind of coming from this place
of honor if I trust people,

because you know, I trust these
people and then they left you

know, did you have to sort of
process or deal with that at

all? that even cross your mind?
Yeah, we would have my partners

in on hiring decisions with me.
And we would have discussions

about, what about this person
makes us think they're either

going to, they're looking for a
place to grow and stay long

term, or you can look at resumes
and seeing this person is hopped

around a lot. And they're
probably not going to be here

very long. But even when there
is longevity, I've found that

doesn't necessarily mean they're
going to stay for a long time.

So at the end of the day, we
just had to look at everything,

look at the factors, talk to the
references, and take that leap

of faith that this is going to
be a good fit. And hopefully,

this person is going to stick
around for a long time. I have

this philosophy that I share a
lot with my clients, which is

that you can't expect to have a
business that lasts for 1020 30

years, and not have people come
and go, like life just doesn't

work that way. This is not the
50s You know, where people got a

job and stayed in that job for
30 years, 40 years, and then got

a gold watch and retired. It's
not really how it works these

days. So I think we have to
shore ourselves up and know that

this is not a perfect person,
you know, go back to the Four

Agreements, you haven't read
that book, read that book, but

it's, you know, don't take
anything personally. And it's

hard. It's hard to do, because
it can feel so personal. When

it's your business. And you're a
small firm, and there aren't

that many of you and you think
everybody's getting along great.

It's all going right. And
somebody up leaves, you know,

and you're like, wait a minute,
I contributed to you and your

success, and then you're
leaving, it can feel disloyal.

But mainly it's now it's never
about, you know, it's usually

never about the law firm or the
employer, it's usually about

something going on with the
other person. So what kinds of

big shifts, because you really
scaled significantly this past

year? What kinds of shifts Do
you think you made that helped

you scale to that level? So part
of being able to scale to that

level was luck, because I had a
case in the Texas Supreme Court

that I won, that really put me
on the map for referrals from

other lawyers and all that luck,
by the way, I would call that a

lot of hard work. And it was an
intentional thing. And, you


getting the case to begin with
was kind of luck. But you know,

obviously, I feel pretty proud
of the work that we did to get

our big victory in that case.
But you know, we I got I hired a

coach to start working last the
beginning tail end of 2020.

Because I knew at that time, I
had hired a couple of associates

because of my big Supreme Court
case, I knew there was going to

be a lot of business coming in.
But I didn't feel like I had

quite enough business to keep
them all busy at that time. So I

had plenty of money to spend on
marketing, but I wanted to make

smart choices. I didn't know
where to spend it. So I started

working with a coach and I
started we I ended up starting a

podcast, which was completely
out of my comfort zone, never in

a million years would have
considered it. But it has turned

out to be an incredible
marketing venue for me. My guess

is Texas family law insiders.
And the goal was to target other

family lawyers in Texas to help
build up my appellate practice.

But it has had a lot of other
unforeseen benefits. And it has

brought in regular clients and
it has gotten me a lot of

respect. And everybody knows who
I am now in Texas family law. I

also started, you know, running
Google ads and doing other

things marketing wise and redid
my website, kind of that was

when I decided we needed to
rebrand, you know, I have this

big victory and I don't need to
be the poor man's low cost

attorney anymore. So we did a
lot of that last year. And now

we're at we have added we went
from zero paralegals to three

paralegals we have five lawyers,
three paralegals, and we are

swamped so we're having like do
we need to add another lawyer

now? We were thinking summer you
know, do we need another

paralegal who can float between
the between everybody to get

overflow? Do we need to stop
taking cases for a while because

it's just been so I lean towards
it's better to hire somebody

else and bring them in and keep
taking all the work so well and

I also think I'd love for you to
share with people, your sort of

travel schedule this last year
and everything because you love

to travel. And it's one of the
things that because you've added

so many people to your team, and
are a lot and come to trust and

rely on them to do their jobs,
it's really freed you up to

spend more time with your kids
who both have a lot of

activities that they are
involved in. And also travel

more you want to talk about some
of that.

Yeah, so a few years ago, my
husband and I made the decision

that we wanted to travel the
world with our kids, and my

business was good enough that we
could afford to do that. So we

started before COVID, we were
really taking four big

international trips a year we'd
go Thanksgiving, Christmas,

Spring Break summer, we did
Egypt, we did Australia, we did.

We've done several places in
Europe, Mediterranean cruise,

we've done a lot of traveling
COVID kind of shut us down a

little bit. But in 2021, we went
to Hawaii for I think we were

gone for 10 days. For
Thanksgiving, we went to

Iceland, and we have a lot of
travel on the books, that's

hopefully going to happen in
2022. I'm not super optimistic

right now. But it was one of my
big goals, or my vision for my

life was to have my business at
a place where I could do that.

And not have to be working when
we're traveling not have to be

constantly making sure
everything is getting done. When

I was a kid, my I mentioned my
dad was an entrepreneur, he had

his own business, he did not
believe in hiring people. So we

never traveled, we went road
trips, only pre cell phones that

he could pull over every three
hours at a gas station on the

payphone. And check in and make
sure everything was going okay

with work. And, you know, he
always used to say my mom really

wanted to travel and my dad
would say when I retire when I

retire. Well, he never made it.
So I kind of made the decision.

And then I saw my mom who was,
you know, as she was in our 60s

and 70s, wanting to travel and
not being able to do the things

that I would like to be able to
do when I travel because when

you're older, sometimes you
can't do those things. So we

decided we wanted to take
advantage of our youth middle

age, not so much anymore. But we
want to see the world where we

can we want to show up show the
world to our kids. And it's been

amazing and hopefully, hopefully
COVID gonna go away or get a lot

better soon. So we can really
get back to it. But it's been

great having the business I do
to a be able to fund really

pretty extravagant trips, and be
able to keep having it go

without me. You had any I know
that some people live in LA for

voters have expressed sort of
concern about living their best

life and having employees resent
them. Have you had any issues

like that? Or thoughts like
that? Or? Or what do you what do

you do? Kind of make that where
it's not an issue. So, I mean,

as far as our attorneys go, they
have a our policy is very

flexible with PTO, and if they
want to take vacation, just

don't take vacation when I'm
taking vacation. You know, they

can go take their vacations and
and we offer a bonus structure

where the more they work, the
more they make. And so I really

haven't found it to be a
problem. I've heard a snarky

comment, joking comment or two
about about things, but I don't

think anyone is anyone resents
me for being able to do that.

And if they do, yeah, yeah, I
mean, I think I think one of the

things that you've done, though,
is that you you offer that

opportunity, you don't limit
them in the amount of money they

can make, or in the or in the
flexibility for them to take

time off if they want to take a
trip or whatever, you actually

encourage that. So before we
wrap up, I do want to talk about

your other sort of side hustle.
And because I think it's always

it's always fun when people have
businesses that have a side

hustle, that's the entrepreneur
in me, you always have side

hustles and that is your real
estate investments, and

particularly broken bones to
tell you I had never heard a

Broken Bow, because I know
nothing about Oklahoma. So tell

me about that. And about your
you know what led you to invest

in real estate I kind of got
started in that. So I've always

known that investing in real
estate is wealthy people usually

invest in real estate, and
that's usually there's lots of

tax advantages, and there's lots
of reasons why that is a great

way to invest. So we originally
figured we'd have some long long

Long term rentals and we had a
few. And you know, you might

make $500 a month over your
expenses. So ultimately we sold

those and broken bow. It's kind
of far south eastern and

southeastern Oklahoma, right by
Arkansas. And it's very popular

in the DFW area for vacationing
about two to two hours, 45

minutes away from where we live.
And Fort Worth Dallas

Fort Worth. For those who don't
know what DFW is? Yes, yes. So

we start I started seeing in
these Facebook groups that I'm

in, there are a lot of realtors
who live in the Dallas Fort

Worth area, who sell cabins in
Broken Bow. And so I would watch

what they would say about it.
And I knew a handful of people

who started investing there. And
we went on vacation there one

spring break, and had a lot of
fun. And I thought, you know, it

was kind of expensive to stay in
this cabin. And I guarantee you

are one week of spring break
more than covered the mortgage.

So I started looking into it as
investment opportunities. And we

invested in our first cabin in
June of 2020. We found back we

found, like working with a
realtor who knows builders is a

golden is the way to make strike
gold. Because the builders have

broken bow. It's not like
builders in Dallas, it's very,

very different. They're small,
they you can't contract like him

file under dream. These are
these other big builders. And so

you find a spec where they've
just cleared the law, or they've

started building it and our
first one closed due to 2020. It

appreciated so much over the
course of a year, and we netted

80 grand in the first year with
that cabin. And when the prices

started to go up, I'm sure COVID
had a lot to do with that. But

people were just getting into
investing in short term rentals

a lot too. And we started
asking, When do you sell. And

somebody had said, Well, when
you can net on the sale, at

least four times what you can
net in a year you should sell.

So it hit that number. And so we
ended up flipping that we met I

think 300 and about $350,000 on
the sale. And then we flip that

into two other properties. So
because you don't pay taxes on

that $350,000 game. So by doing
a 1031 and two other properties,

we didn't have to pay any taxes
on that we deferred it, and then

we own two cabinets. And we
would we project that those will

net us 120 $250,000 a year. And
we are under contract to build

two more there now, Broken Bow
is growing very rapidly. It

started out as just this tiny
little town. But there's a lot a

lot to do there. The Choctaw
just announced that they're

going to build a big casino in
the area. They're working on

bringing more entertainment
venues and everything. So we

think it's even though the
prices have gone up

dramatically, we still think
it's well worth the investment

because of how much you know,
even when COVID goes away,

people from the Dallas Fort
Worth area and other places that

aren't that far away from Broken
Bow, they still want to get

away. And so we can't relate to
the numbers. Just keep, keep

going. And we have a property
manager who charges 18% And does

pretty much everything. So it's
very passive for us. And it's

been, you know, I want to get to
the point where I don't have to

have my law firm gig anymore.
And we can just travel wherever

we want. Enjoy law or you know,
I can work as little as I want

in my law firm and not have to
worry about financing my life

quite so much. Right? It is the
wealthy woman lawyer dream right

there, where you're where you're
creating so much income for

yourself, your wealth generating
law firm that functions without

you. And you are able to invest
in other things that generate

passive income for you, or semi
passive income depending on how

much you want to be involved in
something right. So that's

wonderful. It's wonderful.
Before we wrap up, why don't you

tell them tell us just one sort
of piece of advice or gold

nugget or lesson that you've
learned that you think would

benefit other women law firm
owners who may be kind of a

little bit behind you on the
journey coming out? Would you

vote you recommend to them to do
so especially if you're just

getting started in your own firm
or if you feel like you're

floundering even though you're
not flattering and you just want

to grow I think Hi either hiring
a private coach or joining a

type of mastermind group is huge
because I made everything up as

I went along and I made it A lot
of mistakes along the way. And

now, having worked with you for
over a year and having, you

know, been involved in
mastermind groups,

you just streamline the process
of learning those things so much

and you don't know what you
don't know. So I kind of worried

before I hired a coach, am I
going to have to work a lot

more? Am I going to have to do
this cookie cutter plan to build

the stereotypical law firm,
which I didn't want? But that's

not how it's been at all. It's
been how do I get to do what I

want to do? And how do I build
what I want to build. And I've

been pushed out of my comfort
zone and done things I never

thought I would do. But it has
paid off. What I mean

hundredfold of what I put in
financially. That's awesome.

That makes me so happy to hear.
Yay. And you and I met on

through Facebook, that we became
Facebook friends, just by

accepting each other's from
friend requests, when we didn't

even know each other. And just,
you know, followed each other

for a while, that kind of thing.
And, and then I think you

probably heard about podcasts.
And that sort of got you got to

know a little bit better and
stuff, which is great. So I

started working for you to have
your podcast out there and

people getting to know you. It's
not for everybody. But I do

think it's a terrific way to
expand your network and as an

influencer. You know, that's
something that you do really,

really well. And I'm excited to
see what the future holds for

you. In 2022, who's got big
plans, big plans. I'm excited.

We get some good stability
going, then we'll exactly Oh.

Well, thanks so much, Molly, for
being here. And I think you've

shared some really terrific
ideas for other women, law firm

owners. I love the uniqueness of
your approach. And you also

challenged me as well because
you have a different

perspective. And I always enjoy
hearing your perspective and

where you're coming from and and
you've certainly been very

successful as a business owner,
and so I thank you for being

here and sharing because I think
a lot of people are really going

to benefit from this podcast.
Thanks for having me.