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Episode 11: How to Grow Your Firm by Saying “No” with Katelynn Mitchell

Getting High-Quality Referrals

Katelynn Mitchell never intended on becoming a lawyer. Coming from a family of educators, she had her sights set on studying education. As she pursued this career path, she found herself working towards her special education hours in a juvenile detention facility. She quickly found herself being drawn to the courtroom, acknowledging the impact she could be making on these young lives if she were to switch to studying law.

She spent time nurturing her reputation and put in the hard work to get noticed. Katelynn says that although her client books were not always so full, through taking on cases others did not want and being willing to talk to anyone who walked through her door, she has grown her business substantially.

“I was told early on that most of my cases would come through referrals and that’s something I have really stood by. Being involved in so many organizations helped me get referral sources.”

Finding a Balance Between Lawyer and Listener

At the beginning of her career, Katelynn explains that she was handed aggressive or hard-to-work-with clients and in doing so, learned how to be patient as well as how to handle unkind people.

“A lot of people appreciate that I will just listen to them. They may have had experiences with attorneys that just shut them down pretty quickly, didn’t want to hear what they have to say. I take the time to listen and I do think that sets me apart.”

You need to find a balance between making your clients feel heard while also ensuring they are not relying on you for life advice or counseling. When they become too reliant on you for an ear to talk to, it may be time to refer them to a professional counselor.

Stop Saying Yes

Learn when to say “No”. When you are first starting out in the law, it can become easy to take on every case, regardless of whether you feel that you have the time or not. However, eventually, the inflow will become so great, you can’t possibly agree to everything. So, it’s crucial to learn how to say both yes and no.

“You never regret the case you didn’t take.”

Ask the important questions and figure out if the client is right for you. Through one conversation, you should be able to determine the prospective client’s needs. Become skilled at saying “no” at the right times and you will not only increase your authority but enhance your reputation as well.

Learn more about Katelynn Mitchell: