If superheroes did exist, they would probably look a lot like Bob Simon. A champion for the people he Co-Founded Justice Team (AKA The Simon Law Group). The California-based firm, led by twin brothers Bob and Brad, wields the power of nearly thirty attorneys for restorative justice in personal injury. Bob transformed his love of community into Justice HQ. The four locations serve as a hub for a new generation of attorneys who believe in the power of camaraderie and collaboration. But Bob is not all work, he also knows how to have a good time. Enter Law-Di-Gras: An educational conference for lawyers and doctors that feels more like a golf tournament by day and a music festival by night.

For the first ever episode of Tip the Scales, Maria Monroy sat with the founder of Law-Di-Gras to get personal about why it always pays to help others succeed and why ego will cut success off at the knees. Using the values of family and community as a north star, we discuss building a practice with nearly every member of his family and the importance of picking a partner who makes you better.

Key takeaways:

  • Dream BIG. Most of what we think we can do comes from what we can imagine. If you can’t imagine it, it can not happen.
  • Do the Right thing. When the focus is on helping people, the inevitable outcome is a higher quality of life and success in the legal field.
  • Put the ego aside. When building your firm don’t put yourself at the top of the pyramid. Build a team with similar values that you can trust. Delegate everything you don’t like or are not good at. Businesses are not built on the weaknesses of leaders.

Links and Resources:

Speakers

Maria Monroy, LawRank, and Robert Simon

Transcript

Robert Simon:

They are all just very hungry people that want to succeed at all costs. And I think that’s a difference between us and a corporate firm is we’re working 24/7. This is when I feel like I made it. Because these people that I had trained, I’m getting emotional, this is so stupid.

Maria Monroy:

You’re going to make me cry.

Robert Simon:

Don’t look at me because then you won’t cry.

Maria Monroy:

Okay.

Robert Simon:

I’ve never been afraid of failure or intimidated by it. And as a trial lawyer if you lose, the best thing to do is get right back up there and try a case.

Maria Monroy:

Because success lies in the balance of life and law, we’re here to help you tip the scales. We get personal about what it really takes to run a law firm from marketing to manifestation. I’m Maria Monroy, President and Co-founder of LawRank, a leading SEO agency for ambitious law firms. For our first episode ever, I sat with Bob Simon, live at his conference, Law-Di-Gras. And my voice was practically gone.We were running a mile a minute trying to launch this podcast. Bob shares how his personal experiences led him to be the lawyer and leader he is today. We discuss what it takes to actually fund your firm, keeping your ego in check, Justice HQ and work life balance.

Robert Simon:

My name is Robert Simon. You can call me Bob, but if you call me Bob at the office you’re going to get an angry truck driver because that’s my dad’s name too. I’m a trial lawyer out of California. My office is California, Texas and founded a company called justice HQ on top of The Justice Team which is my law firm. I like to speak very quickly.

Maria Monroy:

Clearly. So much of what we think we can do comes from what we can imagine. And I want to dig into the inspiration behind your firm. You’re pretty open about the reason you and your brother wanted to open a firm. Can you share that story with us?

Robert Simon:

I mean, I came from like I said, my dad was a truck driver. Family of five kids, my brother and I tied for the oldest were twins.

Maria Monroy:

Wait. No, who was born first?

Robert Simon:

I am, six minutes. Been telling him what to do ever since. No, but really we grew up in Pittsburgh and we always had aspirations of helping a lot of folks. My uncle, he was paralyzed due to a drunk driver. We always were passionate about helping people. Because seeing his attorney fight for him and he was what’s called a press man. So he worked at literally taking the press and pressing the newspaper. So very physical job. And you see what happens if you hurt of labor or what it could do to the family. But after seeing what this lawyer was able to help my family with.

Specifically, he can give him a quality of life, be able to have medical care he got for life. They were able to redo their home branch down so that he was in a wheelchair able to have these things. My cousins were able to have scholarships funds put together for them, trust put together for them. I always wanted to try cases and do these things and then never really was taught the business side of stuff and kind of fell into it when started our own firm and just said, fuck it, we’re going to do it.

Maria Monroy:

Did you and Brad decide to become lawyers at the same time?

Robert Simon:

No, actually. So I made the decision first to be a lawyer. He was going to be a capital policeman. Nobody knows that, but he stayed in DC, was going to do that and then saw the passion. I mean the first year law school was the coolest thing ever. People think it’s the scariest thing. I loved it. I came out here to Pepperdine in Malibu, in California and never left. The first time I got on an airplane I came to look at Pepperdine, came out first time, came across. And I got here and I was like, holy shit. Now I get, now this is where I want to go. So I applied to three schools, got into this one and I was like, I’m going to go ahead and go here.

And then a year later, Brad, my twin brother came. He went to another law school in Los Angeles Southwestern. And we just started hustling our asses off while in law school with the vision of working together and doing this. So that’s how I went. But we worked at a small boutique firm where I did right out my first year law school and was clerking for them and got Brad a job there after his first year of law school.

And I was doing the personal injury stuff, he was doing some more transactional behind the scenes but things. And then three years after we build up enough stack, we decided to start our own thing, get it done.

Maria Monroy:

That’s awesome. Were you afraid?

Robert Simon:

I think everybody is a little afraid of every big step in opportunity, but I think I was more excited about it. I mean, what’s the worst thing that can fucking happen if you fail, you go back to being associate for somebody, right? I mean, that’s literally the worst thing that could happen to you if you fail at starting your own firm as a lawyer. I didn’t take out any loans, I didn’t take any out of line of credits. I just saved up some money from other cases that I had settled that I brought in and working. I think my brother and I shared, I think we lived together until we got married.

Maria Monroy:

Really?

Robert Simon:

Yeah. So we were splitting this. It was actually a three bedroom place with another one of our buddies who is now the other third guy is a partner at our firm. He does all the product liability stuff, Tom Conroy. So we all went to college together too. But we were splitting this Podunk little place and saving as much as we could. That’s how we kind of started with bare bones and saving money. And then it just worked.

Maria Monroy:

I think a lot of lawyers are afraid to start a law firm. What would you say to them?

Robert Simon:

I would say first of all, get a mentor now it’s a lot easier. I started my firm in 2010, this was way before there was a lot of people using social media for good to be able to help folks to reach out to them and literally slide into their DMS for help. You had to stock people to go to conferences, find them and ask them to help you. How did you start your firm? How did you do it? Now, you could just find 50 million different people telling you how to do it. Find somebody that actually does it well. I always say don’t take advice from people unless they’re successful at the things that they’re giving you advice on.

Maria Monroy:

Oh, absolutely.

Robert Simon:

Oh, there’s so many fake people though.

Maria Monroy:

So many. It’s crazy.

Robert Simon:

I’m a life coach, what the fuck does that mean? What are you coaching me in? But you can find your law coach, I guess, figure out how they did it to start their own firm and just follow the pattern. People have done it, the blueprints out there, you just have to follow lead with the right people to make sure that you do the correct blueprint and then believe in yourself and realize it’s like, you’re not going to flip a switch and automatically be super profitable, right? It’s going to take you if you are a PI lawyer is going to take you 18 months to two years to start turning in the black.

I mean, just because that’s a life cycle of a personal entry case, unless you have other cases you brought with you. I know lawyers that they’ll get a referral of a family friend that has a huge case and they quit the next day. It’s smart.

Maria Monroy:

Oh, absolutely.

Robert Simon:

Yeah. And they start their own firm. And I’ve had people partner with my firm and I’ll split the fee with them and they start their own firm or they become off council with us. And that one case projects their career to do whatever they want.

Maria Monroy:

And you mentor a ton of people.

Robert Simon:

Ton of people.

Maria Monroy:

Do they just DM you?

Robert Simon:

All the time. My Instagram DMs were down for half a day last week and I almost had a fucking meltdown.

Maria Monroy:

Are you serious?

Robert Simon:

That’s mostly where people reach out to me. Texts, WhatsApp, I do a lot of that when international and then DM.

Maria Monroy:

Yeah. When you were like, do you have WhatsApp? I was like, wait, I thought only Mexicans knew about WhatsApp.

Robert Simon:

Well, I’ve been using WhatsApp for long, long time.

Maria Monroy:

It’s amazing. The voice notes.

Robert Simon:

Yeah. I mean it saves everything. So I use WhatsApp when we started traveling internationally because it was free on Wi-Fi. So when we would travel it was easier to communicate with folks. And I must have 5,000 WhatsApp groups in my phone.

Maria Monroy:

That’s crazy.

Robert Simon:

Family groups, fun groups, like different groups of friends, different groups of lawyers that we started. That’s how the ideas for Justice HQ happened. As we were on different chat rooms with different sets of lawyers that we were mentoring or helping with cases, like whole other firms.

Maria Monroy:

Wait, tell us about justice HQ.

Robert Simon:

Okay. So Justice HQ is a membership based company where lawyers pay membership in exchange they get the office based solution if they so choose, 24/7 access to all the workspace solutions. You have to be approved to get in so members have to vote you in unanimously.

Maria Monroy:

I’ve heard there’s some people you have not let in.

Robert Simon:

There are some people we have not let in. And look, if the member’s dictate it, if somebody is a crook or a creep or a bad lawyer or a jerk, they’re just not getting in. Because if you’re going to eventually maybe share office space with somebody or be on the same virtual platforms or chat rooms with people, you have to generally like everybody you’re around. It’s a quality of life thing too. So they get 24/7 access to the workspaces to everybody digitally, there’s support in person, mentorship groups. We have people with their media. There’s a social media team. We have a case exchange people, access cases.

People can create their own webinars, anything they want, there’s podcast rooms. They can do their own trial technique stuff, whatever it may be. But within Justice HQ, there’s different pockets of lawyers that do different things. Everybody is consumer based in some form or fashion. But some people specialize in motion writing. That’s there for contract or percentage of the fee. Some people just like to litigate, some people just like to try cases. Some people just like to bring in a shit ton of business and then partner with lawyers that do the best in what they do.

Some people are specialists in sexual abuse cases, some people in brain injuries, some people like me in spine cases. So it’s about the over specialization of law and minimizing people’s overhead greatly. So if you have this great what I predict consolidation of law firms with what’s I think happening in other states and will come to California is it allows them-

Maria Monroy:

Two firms in California just acquired two other big firms.

Robert Simon:

So these big advertising firms are acquiring one another because I think they see the writing on the wall too, where they’re going to have Amazon law come in and they’re going to want the people in the best place to succeed. For them it’s who has the best contracts with all of the media contracts, with television, ad space that have already been bought in the predetermined contracts. They have to acquire these companies and brands to get those cases. And then what I’ve developed is I believe for Justice HQ, the specialists of litigators and trial lawyers that can easily plug into that system.

So it’s part of the case exchange that we have at Justice HQ is we’re going to turn on the ability for select non-members to put cases into the specialist group, to see who wants to partner with them on those cases. Because as you’ve seen it before, a lot of people have a flood problem where they have a lot of cases and they don’t know where to put them.

Maria Monroy:

That’s a great problem.

Robert Simon:

That’s a great problem to have. You know how people are intimidated by that, Maria? I get too many cases, what do I do? It’s like you fucking idiot, this is the best problem you could have.

Maria Monroy:

Wow. Every lawyer’s dream you would think, right? That sounds like an amazing problem.

Robert Simon:

It is, but they pull their hair out and it’s like, we’ll just start collaborating with other folks and then let them start to give up a percentage of the case to then outsource a little bit more and then you can grow more. It took me a little while to learn that 100% of a million dollars is less than 50% of 50 million. You end up doing less work too and having more fun.

Maria Monroy:

How many cases do you get referred?

Robert Simon:

I probably get shopped 50 cases a week.

Maria Monroy:

That’s ridiculous.

Robert Simon:

Yes. These are all from other lawyers across the nation, mostly California and Texas. Mostly California, probably 80%. But we say yes to maybe four, five.

Maria Monroy:

Yeah. I mean when you’re getting that many you got to.

Robert Simon:

And then it’s the same thing, so that’s the same flood problem I just discussed. What happens in those other cases because those lawyers are still looking for quality lawyers to litigate or try them. So that’s what Justice HQ is there for in my opinion is you still have these quality lawyers that have this while they have their own separate firms within Justice HQ, they’re all solos. Justice HQ is just a membership based place, it’s not a law firm. But if I can’t take this maybe Joe solo can, that’s an excellent at that type of premises case, for instance.

Maybe they just do premises cases. Well, I don’t want to take it. It doesn’t meet my injury threshold. But look at this person with low overhead, they’ll do it on a fee split with you and crush it for you.

Maria Monroy:

You’ve got quite a community. Where are you guys at right now? I know you have in LA. I’ve been to your LA Justice HQ. It’s beautiful, and there’s alcohol.

Robert Simon:

And there’s alcohol, of course, we’re lawyers, it’s a bar, so many snacks, good snacks.

Maria Monroy:

Yes.

Robert Simon:

And some good ones that are good for you and some that are bad for you. Well, I’m a big beef jerky guy. Well, anyway, I digress. LA, downtown LA, we got a big space by the courthouses and then we have Orange County, Santa Ana, San Diego by the time the pod airs we’ll be open.

Maria Monroy:

Amazing.

Robert Simon:

And then we will have Torrance, assume we’ll give about a four week lag in between the two, that’s a big one in South Bay will be open. And they’re working around a few other ones. So the eyes next will be San Francisco and then the valley in California. People want these up tomorrow. But in order for us to have these spaces up, everything has to be in place for the quality control. You have to have the big mentorship firms like mine, The Simon Law Group. And in San Diego it’s going to be Schreiber Singleton.

Maria Monroy:

I saw that.

Robert Simon:

They’re awesome. Great lawyers, great people. They’re going to be in the spaces with the members in San Diego to help mentor them, get them cases to work on, these types of things. Because they again, get a lot of cases. They do a lot of fire litigation, mass towards and government liability trials. Chris Dolan is a big member of ours. He’s in San Francisco.

Maria Monroy:

I love him.

Robert Simon:

He’s the best. The most interesting man ever.

Maria Monroy:

So open and honest and authentic. Oh, my goodness.

Robert Simon:

I could tell you some stories about Chris. It’s just he’s a great human being. Saved my ass many times. But that’s a caliber of what it takes I think to get in people that are very selfless. I don’t know, it’s just a new way to practice law and have fun.

Maria Monroy:

I love it. You’ve got quite a community. But going back to when you started your law firm, how have your goals and vision of what is possible shifted over the years?

Robert Simon:

It has shifted greatly where in the beginning I was getting a lot of off the street cases, just from hustling, going to chiropractor events or going to swap meets and shit like this.

Maria Monroy:

And you’re amazing on networking.

Robert Simon:

Yeah. I mean, I was just master networker in getting cases. And these are law firm people and then I was like, you know what? I want to learn how to try cases the right way. And I’d done a few by myself and done very well and starting to get a name for myself. I was like, but I want to see how the big dogs do it. So I partnered with and give up 50% of the fee on cases to do cases with Brian Panish, Gary Dorick, Asha Mannpour, and had the honor of trying cases with them. And it was like, holy shit, this is next level. So I just learned how they do it and paid that 50% attorney’s fees and ended up making more than I would have had I done a case by myself at 100% of the fee.

Very good learning lesson. And then from there I started trying my own cases and getting very, very big verdicts. And all of a sudden I was flooded with other lawyers. Hey, can you try these cases for me? Okay, I’ll do that. And then it’s like, well now we need to hire more people. And it just happened organically where we just hired very talented folks and then found the right position for them. People make the mistake of hiring for a specific need of their firm rather than hiring a person and seeing what they can do well.

Maria Monroy:

You have some amazing lawyers that work for you.

Robert Simon:

And it’s now these people are Harvard trained. We have one guy from Georgetown actually, but no one’s really an Ivy League person. They’re all just very hungry people that want to succeed at all costs. And I think that’s a difference between us and a corporate firm is we’re working 24/7. I mean, not working all the time, which you’re always on, you got to be on. If you’re in a trial you’re working all the time, and everybody is working on an eat what you kill method, everybody.

So bonuses are structured that way. So it gives everybody the incentive to as a firm and individually push further, do better for the client and maximize everything.

Maria Monroy:

So you’re hiring lawyers with the right mindset.

Robert Simon:

Correct.

Maria Monroy:

And I mean, we could talk about mindset for hours and hours and hours. But if you could just point to a few experiences that are milestones in your career, what are your top three?

Robert Simon:

I’ll tell you, I know what number one is professionally. So this was probably 2015, 2016, maybe. So five or six years into our firm and had some good success, getting some big cases, big results. And there’s a time where I had a few cases on appeal. And when you’re on appeal and there’s a lot of cost sitting up there and potential fees, it could really with your firm, your profitability, because you have money sitting stale there.

And my brother and I were worried, there was a couple years where we didn’t make shit. It was just put it back into the firm, not making anything, but you have to trust in yourself.

Maria Monroy:

How did you push through that?

Robert Simon:

We made a decision that we’re going to hire the right people and take out, at that point we had to line of credit with advocate capital where we had to take money out to be able to hire people to weather the storm until we get paid on these ones we know will get paid on, and we’re getting interest on these verdicts. Or are we going to downsize these other decisions we can make? We’re like, no fuck it, we’re going to do this. So the first one I think was 2014 or 2015, I tried a case and got a very big verdict on, they had appealed, but we weather the storm.

I remember the day that it happened when the penal cord struck down, they’re like, no, this verdict is good, you owe it. And then insurance company still tracking a discount, but they had to pay us a lot of money.

Maria Monroy:

How much money?

Robert Simon:

They probably paid 6 million. For that back that was a lot, right?

Maria Monroy:

I mean that’s a lot now.

Robert Simon:

But it was to feed our firm for a few years. And when that had happened, then the next one right after that had happened, that was around the four and a half mark. And then within a few months a few other big ones fell. So there’s a huge domino effect. But I was still in this problem. And this is what I coach a lot of lawyers on this now. When you are building your firm, don’t put yourself at the top of the pyramid, put your ego at the side. Because if you build a firm based off you, your name, you’re the person you have to try every case, you have to talk to every client, you’re going to be stressed fucking all of it.

So I made a very conscious decision to try to find other lawyers that had the same personality that I do to train them, to try cases like me, train a system so that I didn’t have to be the top of that pyramid that all these other lawyers bring me cases that wanted me to try the case.

Maria Monroy:

That’s like some serious delegation.

Robert Simon:

Serious delegation, delegate and trust. You have to, if you want to scale your law firm, if you want to have quality life, you have to delegate trust and hire well, you have to. You have some learning curves, but if you hire the right people and you have the right culture, it will work.

Maria Monroy:

But aren’t you worried, I do this and then they’re just going to leave and start their own firm?

Robert Simon:

Would you rather invest in an employee and they leave or you don’t and they stay? I live on that mantra. And I’ve had a few great lawyers leave. Sometimes they start up as council, they start their own thing and I want them to be successful. We work on cases later. And I encourage them, if you reach a point where you can do this yourself and you can run the business and bring in cases, do it, there’s nothing stopping you from doing it. But the number two was, there was a case where I was in another trial and this firm brought us a case and it was a good case. It was difficult, but it was a good case.

And I had two young lawyers that had both co-tried a case with me, one case. They were like, fucking Padawans that weren’t ready for the wild. But I was like, you know what? This lawyer don’t care if the two of you try this case, go do it. And they’re like first year lawyers, second year lawyers. And they went up into Ventura. And I remember when they got the verdict and it was like a 4 million verdict, and this was like $100,000 offer, the odds were all against them and they won it. I remember crying. I’m getting emotional because it was like, this is when I feel like I made it because these people that I had trained, I’m getting emotional this is so stupid.

Maria Monroy:

You’re going to make me cry.

Robert Simon:

Don’t look at me because then you won’t cry.

Maria Monroy:

Okay.

Robert Simon:

But I remember that feeling finally, it’s reached the point where these people that I’ve trained to do so well have replicated the system and now I don’t have that pressure of having to try every single case.

Maria Monroy:

I mean, you were just in Europe for six weeks.

Robert Simon:

Was in Europe for six weeks and we still had two trials go out. And I was still managing, helping the trial teams do their thing. I had finished my trial right before I left and had one scheduled that just settled when I came back. But that was the luxury that I wanted to build to be able to spend time with my family. So by having that moment, and then after that success, that these two first year lawyers, and now they appeal, they lost the appeal, we gained a lot more than that, I think they paid a lot more. I mean a lot of money because of the interest and the prejudgment cost, but they made a name for themselves.

And now they started getting referred cases in. And then people wanted them to try the cases and were comfortable of having them try the cases. So that’s how it was able to scale the law firm and more importantly, give me a quality of life without being stressed all the fucking time. I don’t know what a number three is with the law firm.

Maria Monroy:

It could be personal.

Robert Simon:

You didn’t ask personal, I have so many personal stuff.

Maria Monroy:

I know you do. You have a third baby girl on the way.

Robert Simon:

Third baby any day. We adopted our first and I mean, it was the best thing ever. And then out of nowhere got pregnant with the next and the next. My wife is a fucking rockstar, she runs her own companies.

Maria Monroy:

And she’s beautiful.

Robert Simon:

And she’s beautiful. People looked at me like how the fuck did you pull that up?

Maria Monroy:

I agree.

Robert Simon:

Yeah. I agree, everybody does. But I can talk. I mean, I can bullshit. I think that’s how I got her. No, but she inspires the crap out of me. She wakes up morning, she’s got to deal with shit with her companies and deal with things. And I think you have to have as a law firm owner, you have to have a good partner. I don’t mean a partner at your firm, I mean, somebody at home that understands some days you’re going to suck, some days you’re going to be in a trial or be somewhere where you have a blank stare on your face and you’re not going to be there. And they got to know that.

And we’re doing these conferences. We have to do these things, we do it for business and you’re not going to be home all the time. You don’t have a predictable schedule and you just have to have somebody that you are yin to your yang.

Maria Monroy:

It’s so important. People ask me all the time and right now we haven’t said it, but we are here live at Law-Di-Gras. Which is amazing by the way. I’m not just saying that, it really is such a cool conference.

Robert Simon:

Yeah. It’s cool, it’s fun.

Maria Monroy:

It’s so much fun. But people ask me, one person wanted to ask, well, of course, a guy is like, how does your husband let you come to these things?

Robert Simon:

I get that question all the time but it’s like you have to.

Maria Monroy:

Oh, absolutely. My husband is the best.

Robert Simon:

And in my firm, my twin brother does most of the behind the scenes stuff. And he outside of work got a lot of stuff going on. I mean, the stuff he has to do is just monumental what he has to do. And so he spends a lot of time at home and doesn’t go at all these conference and do these things. And he trusts me and some of these other lawyers that we trained to go out here and do what we do best, talking to juries, talking to people, networking.

Maria Monroy:

Are you guys super different?

Robert Simon:

We are.

Maria Monroy:

You’re way more outgoing, right?

Robert Simon:

Way more outgoing. But he could be I think if he wanted to, but he loves just sitting at home in his underwear just pulling pieces.

Maria Monroy:

I should have brought him on.

Robert Simon:

You would love Brad. Brad is just different, the way he thinks is just very… He’s the guy at the firm where because we started the firm, we run it together, we have other partners. But he kind of just what he says goes, Brad’s like the guy that you have to fact check everything. And there’d be times where he’s like, “Why the fuck are you spending money on that, Bob? We’re not taking this case.” I fall in love with every client that walks through the door. So he don’t let me do it anymore or else I take every single case which whatever, it is what it is.

Maria Monroy:

So he’s the boss.

Robert Simon:

He’s the boss.

Maria Monroy:

Was the level of success you now have always part of the blueprint?

Robert Simon:

I never started the firm thinking that I needed a certain level of success. Mine was always can I achieve financial freedom at home, spending time with my family, not worrying about shit. That’s always my A one. So it does, it’s never a dollar figure for me. In fact, I don’t even look at the bank accounts. My brother, we just talked about, well, tell me when I need to take money. It’s those type of things. I’ve never been in it just for a dollar number, if that makes sense.

Maria Monroy:

So it was about helping people.

Robert Simon:

It was helping people, yes. I mean, that’s where I think if you believe that’s your mantra, you’re going to do well in this industry. If you just want to help people, if you always do the right thing. Spike Lee always do the right thing, you’re going to do well. I always had the vision in mind though I’m going to help myself not with a monetary thing but with a quality of life thing.

Maria Monroy:

From the very beginning you knew this.

Robert Simon:

The very beginning, I started my firm when I was 29 years old and I didn’t have kids yet. I was dating my wife at the time. I knew we were going to get married and it was just, I want to spend time with my family when we have one. And so I have to build the firm to make sure that happens. Like my dad truck driver and working his ass off all the time, but he would get home and his UPS outfit and coach our sports. And the best time of the year is two weeks we would drive from Pittsburgh to Myrtle Beach, 12 hours in a fucking converter band that he’d put beds in the back and there’s little kids.

One of five jumping on each other and doing shit. It’s the best time of our life. Though we got to spend time with our family and our dad and I was like, I want to give that to my family most of the time. So my highlight of my day is dropping off my daughter at preschool, picking her up from preschool. These are things that I always wanted to be part of and then still being able to work in between and do stuff. So that’s it.

Maria Monroy:

Did you ever think it couldn’t be done?

Robert Simon:

I never thought that way. I always thought I’m going to wheel this in this existence no matter what.

Maria Monroy:

And do you believe your statement is true of anything?

Robert Simon:

I do. I think if you put it out there and you actually work hard to get it will happen. People always tell me I’m the luckiest person on the planet, which I think there’s certain truths to that. But I think luck is certainly calculated. And if you keep putting yourself in a position to succeed, that’s not called luck it’s called something else.

Maria Monroy:

I agree. I totally think I’m big on manifestation, but not like the secret type of manifestation. It’s manifestation with intent, meaning you’re actually trying to achieve what you believe you can achieve.

Robert Simon:

Correct.

Maria Monroy:

And continuing, no matter what. I think a lot of people either have a fear of failure and that stops them or they fail and they don’t get back up.

Robert Simon:

I played baseball my whole life, it’s a game of failure. Baseball is if you’re hitting 300, if you are failing 70% of the time, you’re an all star, you’re one of the best in the game, failure. So I’ve never been afraid of failure or intimidated by it. And as a trial lawyer, if you lose, the best thing to do is get right back up there and try a case. The case I talked about where it was on appeal and it came down. We finally had hit that crest after we were starving for a few years. When I tried that case I had lost the one right before.

Six week product liability case, a lot of money into it and lost. And I always remember walking on the beach, this is bad, my wife was with me. I’m like, what should I do? She’s like, “Go try the next case.” And I wasn’t ready for, and I was like fuck I’m doing it. So the next one I was like, should we get a continuance? It was the case that hit big. In that case I ended up losing, we got granted a new trial because I did get screwed over. So still kind of in undefeated, I think I’ve lost one case out of 50 or 60 trials. Yeah, I’ve got a good record.

Maria Monroy:

That’s amazing.

Robert Simon:

And I used to try hard fucking cases. Now, I’ll be honest with you, I try some of the easier ones. But now I’m going to start doing more passion projects that maybe have a civil justice swing to it that I know I’ll probably lose, but I don’t give a shit. So we’ll see what happens. But as long as I still have that one thing that is important to me, which is quality of life and being around the family, then I’m good.

Maria Monroy:

Do you think that people think you have a bigger ego than you do?

Robert Simon:

I think people absolutely think I have a bigger ego than I do, because I have a big social media presence and I do a lot of stuff. I have a very low ego if people ever been around me, I don’t give a shit. I actually make a point not to be highlighted. If you ask about my firm, I try to promote them more than me. I like to put other people in the limelight more than myself, but sometimes if I have to be in the front of something, it’s because I have to be.

It’s because I need you to go do this or I need you to speak on this it’s because I have to be. All lawyers have some sort of ego, but I think the least amount that you have makes you more successful. People do too much shit based off of fucking ego.

Maria Monroy:

Interesting. Because I mean lawyers, they have big egos or at least there’s that perception. People always tell me like, oh my God, it must suck to work with lawyers. And I’m like, I love it.

Robert Simon:

It depends on who you work with.

Maria Monroy:

Exactly. Our clients are the best. My community is the best. I met you last year and I feel like I’ve known you forever.

Robert Simon:

I feel the same, it’s only been last year. Wow.

Maria Monroy:

Isn’t that crazy?

Robert Simon:

That is fucking insane. No, but I judge a lot of people of how humble that they are, how willing they would be to do stupid, funny shit. If you’re around me most of the day, I’m just in gym shorts and a t-shirt and a ball cap. That’s like standard operating procedure. I hate wearing suit, I’ll do it if I have to.

Maria Monroy:

I’m in a suit and you are not.

Robert Simon:

I know. Well, you’ve just presented, but I didn’t present one either. But I judge people a lot like how flashy they need to be about stuff. I’m almost humiliated by my wealth sometimes. I try to if I’m doing something that I think is, oh God, this is just too much, I just don’t want people to see that. That’s all the way I’ve always felt. It’s kind of embarrassed by it.

Maria Monroy:

Interesting. Is that maybe something that comes from childhood because you didn’t grow up with money, right?

Robert Simon:

Yeah. I didn’t grow up with money. I think maybe it does come from childhood and I just don’t want animosity with people or thinking like, oh, he feels that way because look how much money he has. It’s like, I just don’t want people to feel that way. I still squeeze the last bit of toothpaste out of every little thing. I don’t know, that’s just a way that I was wired. But then I really asked my wife this story and she’d be like, “Bob doesn’t even change his own light bulbs in the house.”

And I was like, I had to hire a guy one time. You know why? I’m not going to have time to finally change this fucking light bulbs, I got to go work and do other things.

Maria Monroy:

Well, time is money.

Robert Simon:

That’s what I say, time is money.

Maria Monroy:

Your most valuable asset, because you can be spending it with your family or you could be trying a case exact, or mentoring or whatever.

Robert Simon:

Exactly. It’s funny people think that I’m competing with them in things. It’s really funny. I see these things and I’m just like, come on, I’m not in competition with anybody.

Maria Monroy:

I think people are definitely very jealous. And what’s funny. is is that jealously can be used in a positive way to see what can be done. Especially with your situation because it’s not like you came from money.

Robert Simon:

I’ve never been a really jealous person, I think it’s stupid. And it’s an insecurity and I’m not really a very insecure person. I could give a shit. My wife is like she’s very attractive. And people are like, aren’t you worried that people are going to be hitting on her or doing things? Like, no, dude, she loves me, we’ll be fine. People get so insecure about stupid shit. And it’s how marriages fail, partnerships break up, because of insecurities and stupid jealousy. So whatever, that’s why I work with all family.

Maria Monroy:

That’s something that I think is so neat. You literally brought your whole family into the business.

Robert Simon:

Yeah. My mom, my dad, my dad’s new wife, all my brothers and sisters, my sisters both run Justice HQ with my brother-in-law. My brothers are all lawyers at our firm. Yeah, it’s fucking fun.

Maria Monroy:

You see my family doesn’t get along.

Robert Simon:

I think as we shared one bathroom growing up that we decided to get real close.

Maria Monroy:

I think adversity is actually so good for kids. And I worry that I’m raising kids that don’t have that much adversity. I grew up poor.

Robert Simon:

I talk my wife all the time. That’s why we travel and do stuff with our kids to have them be in these weird adventurous things where we’re like have to band together. We went to Europe for six weeks. My wife was eight months pregnant, we had a five and two year old, but our kids are so close. The vacation was the best because of them growing so close to each other. Because they had, to were together, had to play together and then just through adversity and having to travel and be in these weird situations, it just made them thicker.

Maria Monroy:

We’re going to Europe next month and I’m a little scared.

Robert Simon:

You’re going to love it.

Maria Monroy:

Anything that you think helped you become who you are now from childhood, anything your parents did? Because I think everything comes from childhood.

Robert Simon:

My dad and mom would say all the time, what’s the worst that could happen? Who cares if you failed, is go out and do it. They’d support every single thing that you ever done. I remember first time I had my first verdict and I tried to dog my case, wasn’t supposed to win. My old firm sent me out there, went to Compton, my little briefcase and got like 250,000. That’s crazy. It doesn’t happen, people think it just happens. But I did it. And I remember calling my mom and dad when it happened because they were still in Pittsburgh at the time.

And my dad was like, “Remember this feeling Bobby, because you’re going to feel this feeling every month for the rest of your life, because it’s going to keep happening.” I was like, wow, let’s do it. I always like to do things that are new and fun now that this is why one of the reasons we started to grow trees, I a couple other people. I wanted to do something that was fun and do stuff that we wanted to see be done. Like have headliners and artists that we wanted to hear and be around the lawyers and doctors and folks law, Jason that we want to be around.

And to make it fun rather than stale and sleazy. And then doing bourbon and proof this other thing I do, I love whiskey. So let’s just fucking have a talk show about it and just travel around drink whiskey. Fine. My brother and I are doing a video game company around a Dungeons and Dragon type thing. Why not? It’s fun. We love doing it as kids.

Maria Monroy:

It sounds like you’re creating your own reality.

Robert Simon:

I like that. I think we either create our own or get sucked into other people’s.

Maria Monroy:

That’s true.

Robert Simon:

Yeah. So it’s everybody you live or choose your own adventure book and you get to pick how it goes.

Maria Monroy:

What do you wish you had learned in law school?

Robert Simon:

Oh, actually I speak at Pepperdine all the time on this and I wish that they told us how to run a business. I wish that they went into law school and that they had challenged students to create business plans, lawyers. You go to the joint MBA program, you’re in law school and you have to take a how you manage your law practice, have real people that are out in the real world come and teach it, not philosophy Professors. I think that they should have you are required to do like a one year apprenticeship at a firm of what you want to do to learn how to actually run a firm and practice as you get out.

I run several businesses now, I’ve never taken a business class in my life ever. I wish that I had had an entrepreneur class or how to raise money or do things. It was just finding a mentor and winging it.

Maria Monroy:

Bob has created a life that he truly wants to live. By creating a thriving firm, he is able to hold space for what he sees as most important, family. Bob learned nearly everything he knows after he left law school. Catch us next week with me Maria Monroy, President and Co-founder of LawRank. Because success lies in the balance of life and law, we’re here to help you tip the scales.

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