Featured Guests
Matthew Moeller

Matthew Moeller is the owner of the Moeller Firm LLC. His experience and practice primarily includes the representation of...

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Adriana Linares

Adriana Linares is a law practice consultant and legal technology coach. After several years at two of Florida’s largest...

Law schools are gradually catching on, but not a lot of lawyers emerge from law school ready to start their own business, which is what starting a practice is. In this episode of New Solo, host Adriana Linares talks to Matthew Moeller, owner of the Moeller Firm, about how he started his practice, what technology he’s using, and how his business experience has helped him. He also talks about the upsides and downsides of a shared office space and why he ended up moving to his own suite.

Matthew Moeller is the owner of the Moeller Firm LLC where he represents shipyards, vessel owners and operators, contractors, and other maritime businesses.

Special thanks to our sponsors, Clio, Answer1, Perfectit, and Unbundled Attorney.

Transcript

New Solo

Treat Your Solo Practice as a Small Business (Because it is)

04/26/2017

[Music]

Intro: So you are an attorney and you have decided to go out on your own, now what? You need to plan and you are not alone. Join expert host Adriana Linares and her distinguished guests on ‘New Solo’. Tune into the lively conversation as they share insights and information about how to successfully run your law firm, here on Legal Talk Network.

Adriana Linares: Hello and welcome to ‘New Solo’ on Legal Talk Network. I am Adriana Linares. I am a legal technology trainer and consultant, based out of Orlando often found in New Orleans, which is where I am today. We’re going to talk to another great new solo. Actually he’s not that new, he’s been a solo for a while but he’s going to tell us about what he went through to get there and some cool things that have been happening to him over the past year or two. As he’s been a solo his name is Matthew Moeller, but before we get started I want to make sure and thank our sponsors.

Thanks to our sponsor PerfectIt. PerfectIt is a legal specific proofreading software that locates mistakes that neither spellcheck, nor the most eagle eye lawyer can find. Try PerfectIt free from HYPERLINK “http://www.intelligentediting.com/”intelligentediting.com.

Matthew, do you know about that company?

Matthew Moeller: I do not.

Adriana Linares: They’re cool. You should totally check that product that I actually use it and have it; it’s one of my favorites.

All right, I want to also make sure and thank Answer1. It’s a leading virtual receptionist and answering service provider for lawyers. You can find out more by giving them a call at 800 Answer1 or online at  HYPERLINK “mailto:answer1.com” answer1.com, that’s  HYPERLINK “www.answer1.com” www.answer1.com.

Of course, I want to thank Clio, the world’s leading cloud-based legal practice management software. Thousands of lawyers and legal professionals trust Clio to help grow and simplify their practices. Learn more at HYPERLINK “http://www.clio.com/”clio.com.

I want to make sure of course to thank another one of my favorites Unbundled Attorney. It’s a premium lead generation service that delivers exclusive leads directly into your Inbox in real-time. Looking to get more leads and grow your practice, visit  HYPERLINK “http://www.unbundledattorney.com” unbundledattorney.com today.

Hey Matthew.

Matthew Moeller: Hello.

Adriana Linares: How are you today?

Matthew Moeller: I’m great. How are you?

Adriana Linares: And, it is such a beautiful morning in New Orleans. I rode my bike here.

Matthew Moeller: It certainly is a lovely morning.

Adriana Linares: And I don’t mean like my hog. I rode like my two-wheeled bicycle and it was so beautiful out. So you’re born and raised in New Orleans, no?

Matthew Moeller: No, Jackson-Mississippi.

Adriana Linares: Oh that’s right because I was just there yesterday at the Bar, that’s how you knew so much about Jackson. You said your dad is a lawyer there?

Matthew Moeller: He is. He practices with Balch & Bingham in the Jackson office.

Adriana Linares: Did you ever practice with him?

Matthew Moeller: I did not and that was certainly by design.

Adriana Linares: All right. No accident there. Did you go to school here in New Orleans?

Matthew Moeller: I went to High School in Jackson-Mississippi and then I went to undergrad at Southern Methodist University in Dallas-Texas and then I went to law school here at Loyola.

Adriana Linares: And did you figure out if Laurence Colletti is in your class?

Matthew Moeller: I believe Laurence Colletti was in my class, class of 2005.

Adriana Linares: That is so cool. Have to confirm that. So Lawrence, for listeners who don’t realize it, Lawrence is the producer of my podcast, actually all the podcasts on Legal Talk Network, and he’s just a total and absolute sweetheart and had gone to school in New Orleans and when I walked in this morning to interview Matthew he said, you know, I think he may have been in my class. So I’ll have to find out for sure. So you graduated from law school here in New Orleans and decided to stay?

Matthew Moeller: I did, and it was right around the time of Katrina, so there was a lot of thought about leaving and what might be the job prospects for attorneys going forward in New Orleans, but I did decide to stay here with my girlfriend who is now my wife and we’re certainly glad we did because the legal market in New Orleans has flourished I think since Katrina.

Adriana Linares: I’ve always said that about so I started coming here right after Katrina and around Katrina and we did a seminar for lawyers like Renew, Revive something New Orleans and that’s when I started realizing how cool New Orleans is not just as a city but also I’ve always believed that the legal community here is so good. I mean, it’s tight, it’s local but it’s big. It’s kind of weird, so yeah, I’m glad to stay too. So you were with a larger law firm right out of law school?

Matthew Moeller: I was with a large law firm right out of law school doing some document review and helping them with a large pharmaceutical docket that they had at the time. I did that for about a year and I went to another law firm which was more of a boutique law firm focusing on insurance defense and general civil litigation. I then went to a much smaller firm to work on some vessel construction cases as well as some trucking defense cases before deciding to finally start my own firm in the summer of 2013.

(00:04:50)

Adriana Linares: Vessel construction, so one of the things that I love about New Orleans is like the weird types of law that you practice here. So there’s a lot of maritime disaster law, this tobacco, oil, gas like it’s just — it’s really an interesting market. So it sounds like you got a lot of different experiences working with those firms.

Matthew Moeller: I did and those — the range of experiences that I had in somewhat of a relatively short period of time is kind of what ultimately gave me the foundation and the confidence to start my own firm and be able to have a specialized yet diverse practice in terms of the different kind of cases that we handle.

Adriana Linares: And what are those and what is that?

Matthew Moeller: Well, I am primarily a commercial construction and maritime litigator; however, we also do contract preparation for clients, we consult with clients regarding their general strategic objectives and issues that they may have in their business and so we have the three kind of large buckets but we’re also able to handle other discrete issues that may come up that relate to those three practice areas.

Adriana Linares: That’s very cool. So you said 2013 is when you decided to go out on your own?

Matthew Moeller: It is, or it was.

Adriana Linares: And you’re a young guy — right, it was, you’re a young guy so how about how old were you?

Matthew Moeller: I was —

Adriana Linares: I think we are probably about the same age.

Matthew Moeller: — 36 at the time.

Adriana Linares: Yeah, okay, actually I’m a couple years older, but that’s cool, but no — all right. So you’re 36-years-old and you’ve probably been talking about it with your wife, like, I am thinking about going out on my own. Was she supportive and great and was that an important part of it or was she like, no, let’s keep that cushy job, we’ve got two babies now.

Matthew Moeller: I think we were both cautiously optimistic.

Adriana Linares: That’s good.

Matthew Moeller: It would be the best way to put it. She was very supportive in doing it, but certainly, there’s a little bit of trepidation and intimidation honestly when you decide to kind of take that step and go out on your own.

Adriana Linares: So you finally decided to pull the trigger.

Matthew Moeller: I did.

Adriana Linares: And did you work from your home?

Matthew Moeller: I worked out of my house for two weeks which was good and bad before settling on a shared office space downtown to really kind of help with the transition of getting the operation up and running, getting the systems in place, seeing how things were going to work out. The shared space was great because it was a month-to-month deal and I had the ability to move and go somewhere else if I needed to or I could stay as long as I wanted to. So that kind of situation was ideal for me and just seeing how things were going to shake out initially.

Adriana Linares: And I do want to go back and ask you about what your book look like? When you decided to do that and how you got clients? But I think people are always interested in learning more about a shared office space. So I’ll ask you a few more questions there.

So I’ve been to your office several times before you moved to this one, which obviously we’ll get to too, but that was cool because it was in a major building downtown in the Central Business District of New Orleans and you had a receptionist there, you had like all the creature comforts of a big firm with a good address. Tell everyone a little bit about sort of the resources that you had, what the cost may have been like, maybe any downsides that you faced in having that shared office space, were they all lawyers in there?

Matthew Moeller: Not all, but a good many number of lawyers were on that floor and in the shared space, yes.

Adriana Linares: And was there any sort of camaraderie, were you able to either refer each other business or — because a lot of people say, oh, I hate to be out on my own and in my home because I wouldn’t be near other lawyers and I want part of that community. So what was it like in there as far as?

Matthew Moeller: Just a little bit of camaraderie in terms of they understood the profession and everything, not so much a lot of referral opportunity but a lot of curiosity I think amongst the handful of us that were working out of that address, about exactly what are you doing, what’s your practice like, who are your clients, those kind of conversations.

Adriana Linares: And then, as far as the logistics of the office space itself, I think I remember that there was a receptionist and the services that you paid for were a conference room, Internet, like what was the deal as far as the shared office space?

Matthew Moeller: The actual setup I thought was quite good particularly for one person. There is a receptionist, there is someone that — that gets and sorts your mail, you have access to a kitchen, which is nice, you have access to the conference room if you need it. Everything is there to really support small businesses and trying to make growth attainable for them. The downside I think would be putting a lot of people in there in a lot of different offices is not necessarily cost-effective because you are paying by head for things like telephone, Internet and some of those services but for one person and for me when I was just starting out it couldn’t have worked out any better.

Adriana Linares: Oh that’s very good. And so when you were just starting out and those two weeks that you were at home and then transitioned to the office space, did you have clients? Where did you get clients from?

Matthew Moeller: I had a few core clients that were with me when I started my own firm and fortunately those clients were very, very busy at that time, even though I didn’t have a lot of them, they had a lot going on and so that was a really good segue from a cash flow standpoint into getting the operation up off the ground being profitable from day one –

(00:10:08)

Adriana Linares: Oh, lucky.

Matthew Moeller: Having some resources to deploy for technology and further business development and things like that, and so, we’ve just been fortunate enough since then to be able to keep it going in a very positive direction.

Adriana Linares: So did you say to all your clients or key clients, hey, by the way I’m going out on my own, do you want to come with me? Or did you tell your firm that you were working for, look, I’m going out on my own, how do we break up these clients? How did you work that out as far as going out on your own and already having clients?

Matthew Moeller: See, it was very civil when I left, I mean, there were certain clients that I think — it was understood were clients that were mine and then there were clients that certainly I worked on but were firm clients that stayed and so it was a very clean –

Adriana Linares: That’s good. I always hear that, like it seems like everyone that I interview who has to make that break, it’s always pretty natural and clean and relationships are maintained very well and I think that’s great.

Matthew Moeller: Things are usually pretty clear I think in that kind of attorney-client situation in which clients really should be able to should be — the lawyer should be able to take with them and then which clients really are better suited to stay at the previous firm that’s usually a pretty clear scenario.

Adriana Linares: Okay and then as you sort of — let’s go back like a couple years before you decided to go on your own, you had mentioned to me earlier that you didn’t necessarily love sometimes the technology or the processes that you were confined to in someone else’s law firm. So what types of things were those that you realized maybe weren’t for you, weren’t efficient, maybe you looked around and went, oh my god, I can’t believe we do things like this, is there anything like that that helped you go out on your own?

Matthew Moeller: Well, I think the big thing was just trying to move away from the bundles and bundles of paper and I’m not saying that you should be a 100% paperless, I mean, it’s still today I often print things out to look at I have smaller books that maybe do not have material that’s easy to navigate online on a bookshelf that I can just grab, but the days of the big file cabinets in the back of the office and the unlimited number of redwells falling out everywhere, that was something when I went out on my own that I certainly envisioned was not going to be a part of kind of how we do things, and I think in moving away from that you’re able to better control your operating costs, you’re able to keep overhead to a lower level, and ultimately, I think you’re able to deliver more value to the client and running a much more streamlined process.

Adriana Linares: Where did you pick up such fancy business terms like operating cost and a bottom line?

Matthew Moeller: Too much reading.

Adriana Linares: Oh, okay, no, that’s good like that’s what, many lawyers say, I don’t know anything about the business of law and especially when you’ve been stuck in another law firm and there’s office administration that runs that sort of stuff. So part of going out on your own is obviously figuring out that holy crap I’m going to run a small business, I’m going to be a business owner but I don’t have business skills because they didn’t teach me that in law school, so you did a lot of reading?

Matthew Moeller: Well, a lot of reading and also it really goes back to my high school job, I mean, I was —

Adriana Linares: That’s awesome. High school is good for something.

Matthew Moeller: Yeah, I was a stock boy at probably one of the better-known clothing stores in Jackson, Mississippi. I worked after school and in the summers and it was a small business, it was a sole proprietorship, it would run by a guy that was very much behind the scenes, an owner that did all the dirty work himself while all the other people were out selling the product on the floor. And I really gained an appreciation at a very young age about running a business and really how much hard work it is, and what you have to do to successfully run a business, and then before I went to law school I was actually a political consultant in Washington, DC and was part of a group that actually left another group, and so I learned from the President there firsthand and watched him run our operation and really learned some very, very valuable skills about running a business and ultimately achieving a profitable bottom line.

Adriana Linares: So do you think you’re a small business owner that happens to be a lawyer, or you are a lawyer that runs a small business?

Matthew Moeller: The ladder for sure.

Adriana Linares: Well, listen, before we go on and talk about your move into your own office space and the technology that you’re using and stuff, I’m going to take a quick break, so we can hear a couple words from our sponsors.

[Music]

(00:14:50)

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[Music]

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[Music]

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[Music]

Adriana Linares: All right, welcome back to New Solo. I’m Adriana Linares and with me today is attorney Matthew Moeller. He’s a solo sort of, I mean, now you’ve got some help and we’ll talk about it. Matthew Moeller in New Orleans and we’ve been talking so far about his experience as a young attorney and other law firms deciding to break out on his own. You were in a shared office space for what two years, three years.

Matthew Moeller: Two years.

Adriana Linares: Two years. And then not that long ago you called me and said, hey, I moved, I’ve got my own office space. I walked in here yesterday, I was like, wow, these are some nice digs, you’re in a great building in New Orleans.

At what point did you start to think about when you were in that shared space and you were a true solo that — hey, it’s time I can probably get out there and have my own space and how did you find the space and like tell us a little bit about making that big move.

Matthew Moeller: Well, it was just a focus on now is the time to start adding people and in more of a long-term growth plan, and like I said, it was not —

Adriana Linares: Those big fancy business words again.

Matthew Moeller: Yeah, exactly. It was not — it was not cost-effective to do that in the shared space as much as I liked the shared space. So I had a friend, a commercial real estate broker in town, I had him start looking at some different buildings, and you know, the occupancy rates downtown are pretty solid. I mean, we had some things to look at some that I thought were probably a little bit too much, too big and too soon.

We had others that weren’t quite big enough and maybe I wasn’t crazy about the location but we got here to 650 Poydras, which is a great building, on the right side of Poydras for me because I don’t like fighting traffic, and of course backs up to Lafayette Square which is kind of a great setup and we found a suite that needed some work but the landlord was nice enough to work with us on a little bit of a build-out.

And yeah, I mean, I was looking for obviously an office for myself a couple of other extra offices to grow a little reception area and at least one conference room and so the setup that we have now, I think serves all those purposes.

Adriana Linares: Was the furniture here? Did you have to buy all this furniture?

Matthew Moeller: We bought all this furniture so –

Adriana Linares: Okay, so you had to spend a little bit.

Matthew Moeller: Yeah, we had to spend a little bit, we’re adding as we go as you can see, we probably have longer to go than we’ve added.

Adriana Linares: That looks great. I mean, it’s amazing, it’s a wonderful space in a great part of town. So you added a paralegal?

Matthew Moeller: I did.

Adriana Linares: All right. So you went on your own, you had if I remember right contract paralegals that were — when you were in the shared space I think you had a contract like a part — or maybe was a law student.

Matthew Moeller: Yes, I had a law clerk.

Adriana Linares: Okay.

Matthew Moeller: I did.

Adriana Linares: All right. So over there you were like seriously a true solo.

Matthew Moeller: That’s correct.

Adriana Linares: And who does your receptionist?

Matthew Moeller: Well, we have an automated system where — and the voice is Caroline’s, it’s not going to be my voice, totally automated system where certainly she has a greeting and then someone can simply select an extension for her or an extension for me.

Adriana Linares: Okay. All right, so you said you got on your own, you get the space, you hire someone in Caroline that you just mentioned is your paralegal.

Matthew Moeller: Correct.

Adriana Linares: Okay, so you’ve got a full-time paralegal in here?

Matthew Moeller: Correct.

Adriana Linares: So that was a big move, did you go through the whole how do I hire my first employee reading?

Matthew Moeller: Not so much reading. I had toyed with the idea of hiring a paralegal before Caroline came on board and I had known some people that had some good connections into, I think it was the LSU Paralegal School as well as some other groups that are always looking to place paralegals.

(00:20:08)

And got some resumes and liked Caroline’s and I think we had one or two meetings and that was it and she’s been here right about a year probably — probably about 13 or 14 months.

Adriana Linares: Awesome. No, she is very sweet. And tell us a little bit about the technology that you and Caroline use. So I think, and remind me too, when you were picking your practice management program, didn’t you go through trials of all of them?

Matthew Moeller: I went through a lot of trials and the main thing I did was I went to the ABA TECHSHOW —

Adriana Linares: Oh yes, my baby.

Matthew Moeller: — for the purpose of really deciding, okay, what technological platforms are we going to use to run the show and so —

Adriana Linares: I think that’s really important, because most attorneys literally would not even think to take two or three days out of the office to go to a conference. That’s cool, but I bet Ernie helped you, encouraged you to do that.

Matthew Moeller: He did.

Adriana Linares: Right, so Ernie the attorney, Ernest Svenson is a friend of everyone and he’s here in New Orleans and has long been a blogger and he was with a big firm and he went out on his own and now he is a consultant sort of like I am helping lawyers with technology. So Ernie said, go to TECHSHOW, and then —

Matthew Moeller: Yeah. No, Ernie very much encouraged me to go. I went I thought it was great, it’s certainly not something we would go to every year, but I think it’s certainly something I’d be interested in going to about every five years when they’re big sea changes in technology, but I mean —

Adriana Linares: That’s going to be shorter now.

Matthew Moeller: Yeah, you think so?

Adriana Linares: I think it used to be — we used to be able to say it legal every five years they’ll do and now I really think it’s probably more like every two or three. All right, so you tried a bunch of things and you landed on CosmoLex.

Matthew Moeller: I did.

Adriana Linares: Okay, and so that’s what you use for your practice management and your accounting and you like it and it’s good and you trained Caroline on how to use it and then you also have NetDocuments.

Matthew Moeller: Huge fan of NetDocuments.

Adriana Linares: Good, me too.

Matthew Moeller: And in fact every day — I feel like every day I log on to NetDocuments, they’ve got a new ad about a top 100 law firm and the US changing to NetDocuments. So they really seem to have a lot of momentum and it’s probably only a matter of time before most firms are using NetDocuments or something very similar.

Adriana Linares: I agree. But what’s important about that is, so it’s a web-based document management system if listeners haven’t heard of it, it’s absolutely one of my favorite. I mean, Alan, my partner, I rarely work with firms who we aren’t putting that documents into because it’s a sophisticated document management solution built for law firms.

But what’s so cool about it is that it’s so scalable so you’re a solo one, now you’re two, you’re going to add a third I think later and you’re using the exact same platform as some of the largest law firms in this country and actually in the world and that’s so cool. So it’s a very scalable and affordable product and you’re a big fan of it because it makes your life so much easier.

Matthew Moeller: It does.

Adriana Linares: I know, I love it too.

Matthew Moeller: It does.

Adriana Linares: Okay any other — so you’re also, you’re both PCs what other cool — technology tools or suggestions would you have to someone going out on their own to make sure they use or think about anything else you’re big fan of, you’re an iPhone user.

Matthew Moeller: iPhone user and I just think that I mean I’ve learned it a lot of it from you because I know you’re the Outlook expert —

Adriana Linares: I love Outlook.

Matthew Moeller: I think Outlook is very, very undervalued also as almost a practice management type solution for smaller groups. I mean there’s just so much you can do with Outlook in terms of assigning tasks to people, collaborating on calendars.

Adriana Linares: All right. So you’re an Office 365 subscriber?

Matthew Moeller: That’s correct.

Adriana Linares: Which is important. It’s only what like $12 a month per user I think.

Matthew Moeller: That’s right.

Adriana Linares: And yesterday we set it up so that Caroline — well, she already had access, I mean, but we made some tweaks so that she could see your calendar, you guys had a shared contacts which is really important, and before these cloud-based subscriptions, I would have had to say to you well to make it easy 10 years ago I would have said, oh, we are going to have to put a server in here, we are going to have to put exchange on here, it’s going to cost thousands of dollars.

And now for $25 a month, again, you have the same platform that the biggest law firms that you are either competing against or working with or using at really an incredibly reasonable cost.

Matthew Moeller: Yeah, and it’s interesting that you bring up the server because going back into thinking what I didn’t want when I started my own firm was I did not want the closet with the server —

Adriana Linares: Right, on the kitchen.

Matthew Moeller: — with 2000 cords and somebody back there in the middle of night with a flashlight going through 300 different cords to figure out why our Internet didn’t work that also was something that absolutely was just not going to be part of the way we did things initially.

Now, there may come a time depending upon circumstances and different things where we may have to have a server but —

Adriana Linares: Over my dead body — over my dead consulting body —

Matthew Moeller: I don’t see it happening any time soon.

Adriana Linares: Do you think that having been around and witnessed what Katrina did to law firms was a part of that or you just — it was just a natural thing for you to realize technology is really efficient and I can do this without all that stuff?

(00:25:00)

Matthew Moeller: I think it was a little bit of both, but I think the key with technology is it’s enabled smaller firms and smaller outfits to deliver a lot of the same services in the same amount of time as bigger outfits. So it’s really been a game-changer I think from a capability standpoint, where there’s not as much natural manpower needed now to deliver the same thing.

Adriana Linares: I totally agree with you and I’m very grateful that I have been around during this weird transition time and been watching it from the beginning, because I started my career at one of Florida’s largest law firms and it’s just so funny to think back and they are probably still doing — oh actually no, there are NetDocs from now.

I was just going to say, they are probably still doing the same things, but that big firm also went NetDocs.

So anyway, well that’s cool. Any other technology you want to mention. Let’s talk about business development. What do you do as a small solo who has a kind of cool niche practice, but can kind of step outside of it for business development and what have you learned in doing that?

Matthew Moeller: Well, I mean, I think it’s kind of three-faceted. We would want to have an online presence, I mean, we would want to have a nice looking website that’s easy for people to navigate that provides just quick information, who we are, what do we do, what can we do for you, why should you consider us. We would want to have that at its essence.

But I still think that particularly from my practice I can’t overly rely on an online presence. I’m still a big believer that at the end of the day there’s no real substitute for face-to-face contact.

So we like to get out there, we like to try to raise visibility a little bit and then hopefully as we meet people — in addition to Google just maybe picking up a natural search for someone looking for a commercial —

Adriana Linares: Vessel construction.

Matthew Moeller: Yeah, commercial construction, maritime litigator. Then maybe we meet someone in the marketplace and that drives them to go to the website and check it out and read up a little more about us.

So I think it’s online presence, face-to-face contact. I have obviously been real active in the ABA. I think some kind of organizational involvement is important even if the clients don’t come tumbling in immediately, just, just to raise visibility so that people know who you are and particularly in an organization like the ABA where there is a national reach that you can be on someone’s mind, and in the event there’s a need for legal assistance in the New Orleans area.

Adriana Linares: So, when you say, “getting out there”, let’s talk about locally first. Do you go to charity events, networking events, is there any — like what kind of advice would you give to new solo and say, look, you’ve got a — do you get on Eventbrite and look for things you are — I mean you’ve been around here a long time? So basically you probably get invited to a lot of events you know, but how do you find the right type of and where do you send Caroline or like how do you say, okay, we should go to that because it’s good networking. How do you pick?

Matthew Moeller: Well, I think you’ve got to find things that you’re interested in and things that fit your practice area so that when you’re communicating with people there you —

Adriana Linares: Stick out —

Matthew Moeller: You are somewhat of a — I guess allegedly a thought leader or someone that can at least get to speak the language so to speak, but I think you got to find things you’re interested in.

I probably have been under-involved in local Bar Association and State Bar Association activities at the expense of more national things just because that’s kind of where I landed first. And it’s kind of the — if you land somewhere and you have opportunities it becomes more natural to kind of stay there and move up a little bit than to just drop that and go somewhere else.

Adriana Linares: Yeah.

Matthew Moeller: However, we are going to have another lawyer coming on in the fall.

Adriana Linares: Congratulations, that’s awesome.

Matthew Moeller: We are very excited, we think he is going to be great. And I think one of the things — he also is very interested in getting involved in some organizations. I think one of the things we’re going to do is maybe focus more through him on getting involved at a real, real local level.

Adriana Linares: Good.

Matthew Moeller: I mean it will be easier for him because he’s going to be right out of law school and it will just be I think a good fit for us so that we can kind of cover both the national and a local organizational kind of involvement strategy.

Adriana Linares: Was he your law clerk?

Matthew Moeller: He is my law clerk now.

Adriana Linares: Oh good. So that’s how you found him?

Matthew Moeller: I did. He is a third year Tulane, and will be graduating this spring and then taking the Bar.

Adriana Linares: Awesome. That’s very —

Matthew Moeller: Very excited.

Adriana Linares: I know. I am so proud like I — and I feel like maybe I had a little tiny bit part of this, I’ve been here the whole day, it’s been awesome.

Matthew Moeller: You are the big part of that.

(00:29:56)

Adriana Linares: No, I love it. It’s really exciting. So before we close off and I ask you to tell people how they can get a hold of you and keep an eye on you. If you had two or three things to say to a new solo like Matthew Moeller of 2012, who is just about thinking about going out on his own, what would those things be?

Matthew Moeller: I think you got to trust your instincts. I mean when I — when I decided to do it, it wasn’t really even a close call in my mind. Everything that I thought about told me to do it. So I think it’s important to trust your instincts. I think it’s important to know that you have to be — I think is Ann Gwen, one of the practice management consultants that — I have read I think her book — I think she says you’ve got to be the technician and you’ve got to be the businessperson. And I think a lot of people are really good at being the technician doing the legal work but have no real interest in running the business.

Adriana Linares: Yeah.

Matthew Moeller: Looking at financial statements at the end of the month.

Adriana Linares: Understanding them.

Matthew Moeller: Yeah. Where are we spending money, why? And could we spend it better here or there. So I think it’s those two things to trust your instincts and to realize that as a true solo first starting out you are wearing a lot of hats and it’s a very multifaceted job.

Adriana Linares: You really have to be an entrepreneur, I mean, you have to be a business person when you’ve got a —

Matthew Moeller: You do, and the whole — the whole reason behind being an entrepreneur is just the idea that you want to do something differently and you think you can be successful doing it differently.

Adriana Linares: And you’ve done it.

Matthew Moeller: And we’ll say if we keep it going.

Adriana Linares: Exactly. Well, tell our listeners where they can either contact you if they have any questions, if they have a legal need or your website and all that good stuff.

Matthew Moeller: Sure. So again, I’m Matthew Moeller. We are The Moeller Firm, LLC located at 650 Poydras, Suite 1207 in New Orleans.

Adriana Linares: Spell your last name because it’s good if you spell it.

Matthew Moeller: M-O-E-L-L-E-R, our website is  HYPERLINK “http://www.moellerfirm.com” www.moellerfirm.com. And anyone can reach me at (504) 702-6794.

Adriana Linares: Awesome. Well, thank you to all our listeners who have listened today, and if you’d like to learn more make sure you visit  HYPERLINK “http://www.legaltalknetwork.com” legaltalknetwork.com and Matthew’s website. Of course, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on any of your favorite podcasting apps.

So that brings us to the end of our show. I’m Adriana Linares. Thanks for listening. Make sure you join us next time for another great episode.

Matthew, thanks so much for your time. It’s been great. I appreciate it.

Matthew Moeller: Thanks for having me. It’s been fantastic.

Adriana Linares: I am happy too. And don’t forget everyone. Remember, you’re not alone, you are New Solo.

[Music]

Outro: Thanks for listening to ‘New Solo’ with host Adriana Linares. Tune in again to learn more about how to successfully run your new practice, solo, here on Legal Talk Network.

The views expressed by the participants of this program are their own and do not represent the views of, nor are they endorsed by Legal Talk Network, its officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders and subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always consult a lawyer.

[Music]

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Episode Details
Published: April 26, 2017
Podcast: New Solo
Category: Best Legal Practices , Practice Management
Podcast
New Solo
New Solo

New Solo covers a diverse range of topics including transitioning from law firm to solo practice, law practice management, and more.

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