Running Your Legal Business the Right Way With Angela Jones

Angela Jones Angela Jones is the Founder and Attorney at Brighter Day Law, a firm consisting of experienced divorce and family law attorneys in Colorado Springs. Angela’s years of practice at a larger corporate law firm gave her the skills necessary to service individual and small business clients. Her civil litigation experience includes family law, business, employment, real estate, and probate matters, and she is passionate about providing dynamic, dedicated, and client-focused litigation advocacy.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Angela Jones talks about why she went into law and began her own firm
  • The growth story of Brighter Day Law
  • A key lesson from Luis Scott: look at the numbers to gain confidence in your goals
  • What are the best practices for a successful firm?
  • Angela’s book recommendation for managing a law firm

In this episode…

How can you run your legal business the right way? For Angela Jones, it’s about investing in your clients, putting action behind your values, and getting the support needed to take off.

Upon working with a family law attorney who didn’t show up prepared and wasn’t respectful (yet still drove a fancy car), Angela knew that she wanted to make a change in the industry. After working in the corporate law field, she decided to start her own firm from the ground up. In 2021, Angela was the sole practitioner with two paralegals and a firm administrator for support. Now, her firm has grown to 21 members and consistently exceeds its goals. How did Angela do it?

In this episode of The Guts and Glory Show, Chad Franzen is joined by Angela Jones, the Founder and Attorney at Brighter Day Law, to talk about the best practices for starting and growing your firm. Angela discusses her journey into law, the lessons she learned about achieving goals year after year, and her strategies for running a successful firm. Plus, Angela shares the book that helped her build a profitable business!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by 8 Figure Firm.

Co-founded by Luis Scott and Seth Bader of Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, 8 Figure Firm helps transform your law firm into a 7-figure or even 8-figure firm.

After their own law firm scaled from $3.5 million in revenues to $30 million per year in revenues in just two years, Luis and Seth started the 8 Figure Firm to share their strategies and help other law firms achieve exponential growth.

Visit www.8figurefirm.com to receive a consult call and start scaling your business today.

Episode Transcript

Luis Scott  0:00  

I’m Luis Scott, Managing Partner of Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, one of the fastest growing law firms in the country. And I’m also the co founder of 8 Figure Firm Consulting. I’ve successfully built multiple companies by focusing on leadership, operations and culture. Using these principles, my companies have generated close to $100 million in revenue. But before any of this success, I started my legal career as a receptionist, and I worked my way up to becoming managing partner. And each episode of this podcast I sit down with leaders and entrepreneurs who have had the guts to step out on their own and the courage to face adversity. They share with us their tips for achievement, the challenges they have faced and the glory of success. I welcome you to The Guts and Glory Show.

Chad Franzen  0:46  

Chad Franzen here, one of the Co hosts of The Guts and Glory Show. We feature top leaders who share challenges of leadership, the guts it takes to succeed and the glory of success. This episode is brought to you by 8 Figure Firm Consulting. At 8 Figure Firm they help law firms to grow to eight figures. Luis Scott was telling me when he started his career he was working over 80 hours a week to make partner. After that he finally started his own firm and wished he had someone walking him through all the steps to growth and 8 Figure Firm they show you how to develop a business that works for you instead of you working for it. Go to 8figurefirm.com to learn more. Today we have Angela Jones, founder and Attorney at Brighter Day Law located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her civil litigation experience includes family law, business, employment, real estate and probate matters. It’s Angela’s passion to provide dynamic dedicated client focused litigation advocacy. Angela, thanks so much for joining me today. How are you? 

Angela Jones  1:40  

I’m great. It’s good to be here. Thanks for having me.

Chad Franzen  1:43  

Sure. Thank you. So tell me a little bit more about what Brighter Day Brighter Day Law does and the kinds of clients you serve.

Angela Jones  1:50  

Okay, so um, Brighter Day Law is a family focused firm. And by that we we really we do focus on creating legacy through our work Legacy for Children through our work with people who are going through matters that affect families, people in particular versus say, businesses or not that businesses don’t need help. But we’ve decided to niche down on the personal.

Chad Franzen  2:20  

How did you know at what point in your life did you know you wanted to become an attorney?

Angela Jones  2:24  

Oh, that’s an interesting story. I actually had never thought about being an attorney until I was in the last semester of my social work curriculum at Austin Peay State University. And I went in and lamenting to my advisor that I could, because I couldn’t give advice to any of my social work clients in the practicum. And he suggested to me that I might want to become a lawyer, because lawyers get paid to give advice. I never thought about that the only lawyer I’d ever interacted with was my own divorce attorney who was not to put too fine a point on it. Not an ideal specimen of what a family lawyer should be. And so, you know, I certainly hadn’t thought I wanted to be like him. But through a series of events, in about a semester, I switched my major, got a full scholarship to law school, and the rest is sort of history. 

Chad Franzen  3:18  

Wow, very nice. How did you get your start that in the legal industry?

Angela Jones  3:23  

Well, I did really well in law school, and I did some internships with the Department of Justice, I went to the scholarship I was awarded was a public interest scholarship. So I did an internship with the Department of Justice. And then I had an opportunity to work with a business, a commercial litigation firm in Nashville, Tennessee, I took a hiatus when I had a child who was diagnosed with a birth defect, to stay home with him and picked up some family law cases, just to sort of supplement that. And when I was moving with the military, that’s what I did as well. So when I settled back in Colorado Springs about nine years ago, I started working with a real estate litigation firm because that was in my wheelhouse from what we’re doing commercial business litigation, but I got family law cases and just started they just started pouring in and so rapidly developed that area of practice and moved to management of another firm and eventually ended up opening Brighter Day about two and a half years ago.

Chad Franzen  4:28  

Okay, so let me let me go back to your your decision to go to go to law school. You know, you had been studying to become a social worker, what was kind of your impression of attorneys when you when you’re at that time, when you heard the word attorney? What was kind of your impression, and how did you see yourself fitting into kind of that role at that time?

Angela Jones  4:49  

No, I didn’t. I didn’t see myself fitting into that role at all, uh, the few attorneys that I’d interacted with, were, like my own my first time turnout ended up getting a much better attorney later in the process was, you know, just not very dialed in it, didn’t know about my facts, didn’t prepare in advance, drove around in this big fancy car, but you know, was definitely not earning his money. And then I had a professor, that was like an adjunct professor who came in. And his big thing was GED to JD, he was kind of a slimeball to be honest. So and then my ex husband’s attorney, it was just a female, and she cried a lot. I was just like, it was just a mess. I just so I had, none of that resonated with me whatsoever. And it wasn’t until I started working with higher caliber attorneys. Through the Department of Justice, it was much more, you know, casual in terms of dress, but it was in DC. So these are extraordinarily smart attorneys who were doing contract work, and then had an opportunity to work with, you know, larger, big firm, you know, like law firms that I started to go, Okay, this is this is a profession that resonates,

Chad Franzen  6:08  

what did you see kind of in them that you didn’t see in the, in your prior experience with attorneys that made you think like, oh, yeah, this is something that I’d be interested in doing or I’d be good at?

Angela Jones  6:18  

Well, I think it’s a groundedness, a Polish of professionalism, balanced with actually caring about who they were serving. I mean, even at the Department of Justice I had, there was a he was brilliant. But, you know, our job was to manage contracts and work with the vendor contracts for the Bureau of Prisons. And he was very concerned about making sure that even the inmates that the Bureau of Prisons was serving had the materials that they needed, that there weren’t supply chain issues and holding vendors accountable to get them what they needed. And then at the larger firm, you know, it was much more white glove, if that makes sense. You know, everybody was very collegial. But they were extraordinarily invested in their clients, and, you know, serving serving their clients in that capacity. And that’s not something I, I really saw with with that family law attorney that I had worked with, especially initially.

Chad Franzen  7:17  

So you had worked in the legal industry for a few years, and you started Brighter Day Law. How did that kind of come about?

Angela Jones  7:24  

Well, I when I first started working with a small firm here, I was actually started as a contract worker doing contract, real estate, where construction defect litigation, breaches of contract, disclose things of that nature. And I got those family law cases. And I taught myself family law and got involved with the family law bar bar here and found a lot of professionals, great professionals and in our community, I just as I developed that it became larger, larger, and it didn’t really fit that that family law practice really didn’t fit in with the practice areas of the firm I initially joined, which was a, you know, real estate firm, if that makes sense. So I was recruited to come over and work with the firm that did primarily mass torts and personal injury work to develop an hourly side practice. And there was some criminal work that they were doing on the side as well. And so that was a little bit better fit because we were working with people advocating, you know, with people and for people to get, you know, their personal lives straightened out, you know, so I worked with them for quite a bit of time, maybe, I think it was about three years, until I got to a point where it just made sense to me to go out and peel away from that mouse torps situation and really just dial down on helping, you know, individuals walking through their own litigation.

Chad Franzen  8:59  

Sure. Great. Do you have a favorite story from your practice so far?

Angela Jones  9:03  

Oh, I’ve got you know, I’ve got a number of you know, just favorite stories, but I will say I think my one of my favorite stories is because we’ve just growing rapidly at the beginning of the year and I shared this you know, in our in our look back for 2021. At the beginning of this year, I was effectively a sole practitioner had two paralegals supporting me, and that was in 2020 21. I two paralegal supporting me, we had just hired a part time legal assistant and I had a firm administrator who was effectively reception intake No, you know, full part time legal system billing clerk everything we heard from administrator but she was pretty much everything but attorney and paralegal and now coming into our going into 2022 and doing look back, we have 21 of us total. And to include, you know, I think they’re seven attorneys besides myself, and I just, you know, it was in that first quarter where it really got to, you know, I couldn’t keep pace with the demand. And I was just like, I’m not doing this anymore. I’m going to just dive in and grow the star.

Chad Franzen  10:23  

I’d love to talk about some of the practices learned in your, some of the lessons learned in your practice journey. How did you discover 8 Figure Firm and Luis Scott,

Angela Jones  10:33  

actually, I started with a another well known group, doing, you know, like, who does fractional, you know, fractional management of law firms. And I learned a great deal there. And one of the gals that I met through that organization invited me to come and meet Luis at their first mastermind. And when I was there reading, Luis, his personal mission, it really resonated with me, as well, because it was clear to me that his personal beliefs, his, you know, convictions, especially as a Christian were informing how he did business. And so for me moving forward, I wanted to work with someone who understood that it’s not just the, you know, business, financial or intellectual, but also the spiritual that has to be taken care of, in doing a business plan or running a business.

Chad Franzen  11:33  

So what would you say are some of the lessons learned from Luis?

Angela Jones  11:37  

Oh, so I, you know, I think the big thing that I’ve learned from Luis is that you can build a very predictable growth scenario or growth plan, based upon, you know, getting into the numbers like, it really is, it’s, if you apply this formula, this will produce this predictable result. And you heard that, but there’s very specific metrics percentages that we’ve been able to look at. And he’s applied, I’d been using EOS traction, what have you, and he doesn’t use EOS and traction per se. But it just seemed very intuitively he conducts business and runs, you know, meeting cadences and things of that nature in the same way. So not only does I found that Luis has that just intuitive sense about how to implement best practices. But he dives a little bit deeper, insofar as he’s very analytical when it comes to the numbers and percentages and what works and what does not work.

Chad Franzen  12:46  

So how has your practice kind of changed after having implemented some of the things that Luis has suggested?

Angela Jones  12:53  

Well, I think the I think the main thing is my personal competence in setting the next year’s goal, because like, when I set the goal for when I set my goal for 2021, which we exceeded, it was really sort of like, well, I guess all, you know, come up with, and, and I’ll just kind of bad these people and I backwards plan as well, if this person builds up that and we do this and, you know, and that was great, it but it was really, it was really kind of a shot in the dark. And now I felt, you know, my my goal for increase for 2021 was to increase by 30%. I ended up increasing by more like, you know, 50%. But now I’ve set a goal to increase by 250%, even at the $1.5 million run rate. I mean, not run rate, but the $1.5 million, you know, top line revenue, um, that I brought in last year, because I believe it’s, you know, it, it’s not a stretch goal. It’s an absolutely attainable goal, and I know how to get there. Okay, well,

Chad Franzen  14:00  

best wishes for that. Since this is The Guts and Glory Show. Can you tell me a couple stories? One is a gut story, something that where you had to kind of overcome odds to get to what you wanted, and then maybe a glorious story. Why don’t you start out with a gut story?

Angela Jones  14:16  

Well, you know, and it really, I think that that story comes with, you know, having open my own law firm, in two and a half years ago, and it was it was the time that I spent at the last firm I was managing, I the lessons were invaluable, but wI hung on way too long to that position. And because you know, it was a I don’t know why I was afraid to kind of extend myself get out there on my own. And when it came to, you know, essentially a breaking point, I gave appropriate notice, but I set up and began running my own firm, essentially within a month to include it you know, from the ground up that we were in business and You know, we, we were at a $500,000, you know, run rate, by the end of the first five months, we were in business, but it really did take, okay, you can do this, this isn’t beyond your capacities, it’s not too much work, looking back and really assessing myself and where I’ve come, notwithstanding the whole, oh, I’ve been out of practice for all these years, I’ve been a stay at home mom, I’m a military spouse, I can’t do this, you know, challenging myself to go, sister, look at what you’ve already done. This is gonna maybe not be easy, but you’ve got it.

Chad Franzen  15:42  

Very nice. Very nice. What about a glory story kind of one, just your, that you’re particularly proud of?

Angela Jones  15:47  

Well, you know, finally, I just, we just, you know, when we did the 2020 rollout meeting, you know, I really just, I mean, went through. And I’m like, Guys, this is what we had planned to do last year, here’s the places where we succeeded, there were a couple places, we partially succeeded. So we’re going to redouble our efforts to make sure that those get taken care of in the coming year. And I also laid out the entire business plan for the firm to include numbers. And you know, exactly what we were doing and how we were going to reach those numbers. And at the feedback we had laid out in the PowerPoint, and, you know, went through everything in about 2025 minutes. And then, you know, I opened the floor for my staff to, you know, ask questions, make comments, and, you know, repeatedly, they were thanking me for being transparent for explaining what we’re doing in a clear way and inviting them in. And a lot of them, you know, sort of contrast in other places that they had been, where, you know, there are a lot of words, but no real substance or action put behind what they said or their values or said their their style attributes. And so I felt, I didn’t ask for those accolades or or affirmation from my staff, but it sure was nice to get that feedback.

Chad Franzen  17:08  

What would you say is kind of like a key to success for somebody who wants to start their own firm, maybe branch out from their job to their firm?

Angela Jones  17:16  

Well, depending on your background, I would say if you haven’t run a business, that you really have to treat it. As a business. What we have here are law businesses, and many attorneys. I mean, I worked in business and commercial litigation, so you think that I would know how to run a business, but it’s very different than, you know, to advise someone about, you know, business practices from a legal perspective, and actually become, you know, a law business owner, a service business owner, and there really are parameters, metrics, things that you know, you need to take care of, and I would say, initially, it’s really fantastic. If you can get the support that you need, you know, fractionally to ensure that you’re, you’re covering sort of the basis like you’re the chief visionary officer, you know, think as Simon Sinek. But say it versus the CEO, but you really need someone in that Chief Operations seat, you need someone in that Chief Financial Officer seat, you know, so, so that, you know, and then eventually, you know, Chief Marketing Officer, things of that nature, because there are many parts of the business and you can’t be the product and, you know, effectively run the business, you know, with, especially without support.

Chad Franzen  18:34  

Sure, sure. That’s a great perspective. Hey, it’s been great talking to you today. Angela, how can people find out more about Brighter Day Law?

Angela Jones  18:42  

Yeah, you can reach out to us in Colorado Springs through our website, which is www.brighterdaylaw.com.

Chad Franzen  18:53  

Okay, great. Final question for you. Do you have any books that you have found particularly valuable in your firm in your practice?

Angela Jones  19:00  

Absolutely. I love the Four Agreements and the Four Agreements, and I’ll just kind of make sure I’m not mistaking them anyway, it goes over, you know, four agreements that you need to make essentially with yourself. And that is to be impeccable with your word, not to take anything personally, don’t make assumptions and always do your best. So, you know, we routinely reflect back in my law firm about, you know, we’ve done that covered that in Book Club, and we routinely reflect back on that, you know, when it comes to hey, we did we deliver this on time, be impeccable with your work. Don’t take anything personally, okay, this person was having a bad day and so on.

Chad Franzen  19:41  

Okay, great. The Four Agreements. Hey, Angela, it’s been great to talk to you. Thank you so much for everything. Absolutely. So long, everybody. 

Outro  19:50  

You’ve been listening to The Guts and Glory Show with Luis Scott. If you enjoyed the show, be sure to share. For more information on this app. Listen, please see the show notes at www.GutsandGloryshow.com And join us next time as we talk to another leader in business that had the guts to overcome all odds for the glory of success.