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The Criminal Defense Show

Episode 12: Know Which Skills to Leverage in Your Practice

Merging For Success

Deandra is an expert at going the extra mile. Since starting her own firm shortly after graduating from law school, Deandra has become one of Texas’ top DWI attorneys.

Deandra recalls that both she and a friend who owned his own firm wanted to take their practices to the next level. So, they figured they’d get there faster if they merged and joined forces.

Today, Deandra manages five of Hamilton Grant PC’s nine Texas offices. She offers three pieces of advice for merging firms successfully:

  • Managers must delegate responsibilities to increase efficiency
  • Create and implement processes and procedures for every position to ensure that the gears of the firm turn smoothly even when you’re out of the office
  • Work to create a unified company culture

Deandra says that while it’s hard to create a unified culture from two different businesses, it is possible. Take time to get to know your employees and listen to them. Define and stick to your company values.

She also stresses the importance of knowing what kinds of skills you want from your lawyers when you hire them. For example, Deandra’s firm is heavily litigation-focused, so she knew when she was hiring that she needed lawyers who were comfortable jumping from case to case and standing up in court.

Gain an Advantage through Ongoing Education

Deandra is one of a handful of attorneys in the U.S. with a Forensic Lawyer-Scientist Designation. Over the course of her career, she has received multiple degrees, certifications, and scientific training in order to give her clients the best defense possible.

She recommends that DWI attorneys who are looking to further their knowledge should start with a standardized field sobriety testing course. This is an accessible way to learn information relative to your practice without requiring a hefty time commitment.

Divide Your Time Well

Deandra advises attorneys who own their own practice to be wise about how they spend their time.

“If you are in private practice . . . you have to watch the business at the same time you are watching your criminal cases. Because if you spend all your time chasing money . . . then you’re not really practicing law.” (16:53)

Deandra says it took her a few years to figure out that she needed to dedicate the bulk of her focus either to management or practicing law. She recommends connecting with other attorneys who are running their own firms and asking them about their best practices. Reach out on Facebook groups, join bar associations and—above all—find a mentor.

Learn More:
Hamilton Grant PC

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