With a commitment to exceptional client service, John Slowiaczek created a successful divorce practice focused on mutual respect for every party involved. Based in Omaha, Nebraska, Slowiaczek Albers is the longest-standing practice in the area and it doesn’t seem like that will change anytime soon.
“When I started my career 50 years ago, I thought divorce would be the last thing I would do,” John said. He began his career working as a special prosecutor for the county. He worked on child abuse and neglect cases before going into private practice a few years later. “I gradually moved into the divorce world and never left,” he said.
For Slowiaczek, he’s focused his practice on the service that he provides and being respectful of all parties involved. “Treat everyone as a lady or a gentleman,” he said. “Be respectful to the client and your adversary and your client’s spouse.” No matter how a case ends up, John and his team shake the hands of the other party and wish them the best of luck. This small act of kindness has helped him land major clients from opposing sides. “We get clients from the other side because we do that. Because it is a sense of humanity.”
One of the ways John grew his practice early on was through referrals because there was a shortage of divorce attorneys. “Even today you find very few law firms that want a divorce practice as a conflict of interest, they don't want to deal with it,” John said. He was the first Christian lawyer doing divorce work in his community and other religions started sending divorce work his way. “I was able to perform a task that they couldn't do and that helped grow the practice to what it is today,” he said.
For John and his team, providing quality service for clients is the biggest priority. “Clients want responsiveness, a good product, and someone to pay attention to them. It really is a service industry,” he said. His advice for other lawyers includes not using vulgarity, returning phone calls, speaking in ways that the client understands, and being repetitive to make sure they understand everything. “It's what is missing today and missing in the whole marketing scheme.”
The changes to the practice of law over the last 50 years have been numerous and for John, it is important to stay informed on changes to the law and the basics of the Supreme Court. “So many changes come through case law,” John said.
Slowiaczek Albers has adapted to various trends in marketing. The group has adopted a robust content marketing strategy to help inform clients and bring in new business. “Most people get all of their information on the internet today,” John said. “We try to put something out there and we want to make sure it's correct. They want to know about money, custody, paternity, and see us and think these guys look like they know what they are talking about.” Slowiaczek Albers works with Scorpion to help develop and execute its content marketing strategy.
For most law practices, the work ebbs and flows. Throughout COVID-19, there have been a lot of changes to practicing law and lawyers have seen a change in the amount of work coming in. “Every divorce lawyer finds slow moments but within our world, we have been busy all the time. Our slow times are what other people would consider normal,” John said. “We haven't had to worry about that in the recent past. I don't worry about it, we've hired Scorpion, they are worried about it and they are keeping us abreast and they are doing everything they said they were going to do.”
Slowiaczek Albers has formed a tight-knit team, incorporating daily morning check-ins to discuss their cases and to help them cope with the stresses of divorce law. “We talk amongst each other about the problems we have,” John said.
He also talked about the difficulty of having a divorce practice and how he’s sustained one so successfully. “People who are successful in the divorce practice have a different thought process and their tolerance level is generally higher. I say it's a unique skill set and we see a large burnout in young lawyers today because they aren't ready to do the job.”
“We see so many problems that we become desensitized to what goes on in our culture, it's easy to realize that the whole world is evil and bad when in reality it's not. It changes perspective tremendously.”
For lawyers looking to build a successful practice, John said you should be polite and respectful. “I’d tell any young lawyer that,” he said. John and his team know that they provide a service to clients and they need to be aware of the concept of service. This mindset has helped bring their practice the success they have today.
“It’s been a remarkable journey and a lot of fun,” John said. “I don’t think anybody can predict how fortunate the practice of law can be for some. I think it’s unusual in a community to have the success we have and we are very lucky.”