There are a million reasons not to rebrand a firm. It is time-consuming, expensive, and has the potential to lose hard-earned goodwill. It could be a complete disaster. So why did an established firm undergo a rebrand right after securing its largest client? Sahm Manouchehri explains repositioning a brand to grow with the firm, the story of Lyfe Law, and how to transition successfully in this rebranding masterclass.
- Choose wisely. Rebranding a firm is expensive and time-consuming. Pick a name that will grow with your firm. Consider selecting one that is both easy to remember and spell.
- Automate. Thanks to Filevine, Sahm could easily alert stakeholders about the transition from one name to another – A nearly impossible process without an automated system.
- Create a safe space. Clients come to personal injury attorneys during some of the worst moments of their lives. Win their trust by creating a brick-and-mortar location where they feel cared for.
Sahm Manouchehri (00:02):
I realized that I’m a wolf in sheep’s clothing and I want to help sheep against these wolves.
Maria Monroy (00:12):
I would have cried. Did you cry?
Sahm Manouchehri (00:12):
It was a surreal moment. I think back now. It was completely surreal.
You want me to try? In law school, attorneys are taught to challenge everything, tear things apart, break them down. Just put the energy into it.
Maria Monroy (00:26):
I thought you were just going to keep going. I was like, “This is amazing.”
Sahm Manouchehri (00:28):
I’ll keep going.
Maria Monroy (00:40):
In law school, attorneys are taught to challenge everything, tear things apart, break them down, but the qualities that make lawyers great can be some of the worst for running a business. At every stage of growth, running a business and practicing law can feel overwhelming. And what happens when you try to add life and family to the mix? It can feel nearly impossible.
You don’t have to do it alone. I’m Maria Monroy, president and co-founder of LawRank, a leading SEO agency for ambitious law firms. Each week we hear from industry leaders on what it really takes to run a law firm from marketing to manifestation. Because success lies in the balance of life and law, we’re here to help you Tip the Scales.
Today I’m live with Sahm Manouchehri. I wanted to talk to him because I’ve always almost like fangirled the brand. They have such a cool brand, lyfe.com, LyfeLaw. It’s interesting because every law firm is basically like Smith law firm. You’re doing the complete opposite, which is really a brand in and of itself. What drove you to change it to Lyfe?
Sahm Manouchehri (02:00):
I’ve been a injury lawyer for a little more than 21 years, half my life.
Maria Monroy (02:03):
You look young.
Sahm Manouchehri (02:04):
Yeah. I’m 44. I’ve been a lawyer since I was 23. I did defense work for three very long years representing GEICO, a lot of big box stores like Ikea, Lowe’s, Albertsons, a lot of big trucking companies like J.B. Hunt trucking. I did that to learn how these insurance companies worked because I knew one day I was going to switch sides.
Originally, I had a medical background. I was pre-med at UCLA. I was planning on becoming a doctor. And then I had a epiphany my junior year of college that medicine is being destroyed by health insurance. The reason why doctors work with injury lawyers is we pay them better than health insurance does. Fortunately, California law allows injured victims to treat outside of health insurance because a lot of times they either don’t have health insurance or doesn’t give proper treatment.
So in 2013, we started Century Park Law Group, my partner Sam Tabibian and I, out of an office in Century City on Century Park East.
Maria Monroy (03:05):
So wait, you never had a last name in the-
Sahm Manouchehri (03:07):
No. Having a last name like Manouchehri or a last name like Tabibian, we knew that it was not something you can market even back then. And my name is Sahm Manouchehri. I have unnecessary Hs in both my names.
Maria Monroy (03:19):
Yes, you do.
Sahm Manouchehri (03:20):
So every single time I say my name, I got to spell my name more than once. And I knew that is not a good way to market yourself. We founded Century Park Law Group in 2013 with a single emphasis, quality, quality, quality. I never wanted to be the biggest. I wanted to be the best.
By 2017, we bought our own building and we moved from Century City to Beverly Hills. At that time in ’17, my partner and I were debating whether or not to change our names at that point because Century Park Law Group, we’re no longer in Century City and we’re no longer boutique. We had a lot of goodwill. We were a business to business law firm, meaning referral based. We don’t have billboards, buses, other types of outdoor advertising. It was strictly referrals from other law firms, medical providers, clients. Our quality was what brought us clients.
Fast-forward to March 2020, COVID hit, and we went remote in 24 hours.
Maria Monroy (04:19):
Sahm Manouchehri (04:19):
I’m talking about 40 people. We got everybody laptops. Fortunately our case manager software program we use, Filevine, allowed us to have 40 people all working from home and didn’t miss a beat.
Maria Monroy (04:32):
Are you still remote?
Sahm Manouchehri (04:34):
No. That is for team building reasons. I’m a big believer in teams, and our entire infrastructure is teams. August 2020 out of the blue, I get an email from USC Trojans Athletics wanting to meet with us to discuss becoming official partners of USC. I went to USC for law school. My partner Sam Tabibian went there for undergrad. So we had an affiliation there.
I met with USC in August. And within two days we signed a partnership agreement with them to become the exclusive attorneys of USC. Part of that partnership was we get signage, signage at the Coliseum during football games, signage at the Galen Center during basketball games. And then imagine the first game, we’re at the Coliseum, part of our package is also a box, and I look at our name and I’m like, “It’s too long.”
Maria Monroy (05:23):
Yes it is. Or it was, yeah.
Sahm Manouchehri (05:25):
Century Park Law Group. It looked small because it had so many letters. So I look at my partner, I remember it perfectly, I’m like, “Sam, we got to change our name now.” He’s like, “I know.” I’m like, “Shoot.” We tried to market CPLG for a minute, very short amount of time, but immediately realized you cannot market an acronym.
We hired a marketing company in April of 2021 to find us a name. And that was the key, was we wanted to find the word. We spent six very long months, focus group this, focus group that, and finally in October of 2021, we had a Zoom meeting. I remember it perfectly. I was in my kitchen table, and they presented us with 10 names. Maria, they all sucked.
Maria Monroy (06:09):
Do you remember them?
Sahm Manouchehri (06:10):
I remember two of them. I’ll say it in case anybody wants to use it. Modelo Law, like the beer, and Jupiter Law, like the planet. The way I’ve been raised is anytime you make a major decision, sleep on it. So I tell the guy, and there’s like five of them, I tell the main one, I’m like, “Listen, assuming I like one of these 10 names, have you verified that there’s no other law firm with the name, that there’s a domain name that’s viable that I’m not infringing on any IP?” And the guy’s like, “No, if you like it, then we’ll do that.”
So I sit back and I’m like, “So you’re telling me you’re offering me names that might be unavailable?” And he himself, he’s like, “Yeah.” So I think to myself, all right, this is not going to work. And I tell them right then and there, I’m like, “Listen, thanks so much. We’re going to go on our own.”
The one thing that the six months of asking me a million questions was they made me realize what I wanted my name to be. Number one, I wanted to signify what we do. We help our clients get their life back, their quality of life. Number two, I want it to be uniquely spelled so that if you Google it, you won’t find the world. You Google Century Park Law Group, you’re going to find Century Law, Century this, Century that. Number three, I want it to be a short word so I can make a big on the buildings. And four, I want an incredible website.
When we had become partners with USC, a friend of mine who does outdoor advertising immediately approached me. He’s like, “Let’s do billboards for Century Park Law Group now that you’re affiliated with USC.” And I said, “Yeah, I definitely want to start doing out of home. But Century Park Law Group on a billboard doesn’t say anything. I don’t see it. I see it being a waste of money. But we’re going to do a name change. And when that happens, hopefully it’s something that applies to at home. I’ll get back to you.” He’s a friend of mine and he’s a marketing guy, so I threw names at him all the time.
Fast-forward to December 30th, COVID surge, where we’re working from home again. All right. December 30th, 2021. I had a one-year-old son, Charlie, and he was sleeping in the bed with my wife and I. We were invited to a wedding the next night on New Year’s Eve in Newport Beach, Orange County that I knew was going to be a super-spreader. And I’m debating in my head whether or not to go to the wedding and I know how wrong it is the night before to flick on a wedding. I’m like, “All right, I’ll think about it in the morning.”
And then I go on my phone and I start scrolling through CNN, my CNN app, everything COVID, COVID, COVID. So I’m like, “What kind of life is this?” I’m Persian. There’s a saying in Farsi, [Farsi 00:08:50]. That literally translate to what kind of life is this? I’m like, what kind of life is my son Charlie going to live? They were still wearing masks in schools. But I’m like life, life law, life with a Y. I email my partner and I go to bed.
Next morning, I wake up and I think to myself, did I find it? I end up going to the wedding and I’m in the hotel room. Charlie had a babysitter. My wife and I go to the wedding and I’m talking to my partner and I call him up and he says what I wanted to hear. He’s like, “I think you found it.” I’m like, “I think I found it.”
So we’re like, “All right.” I’m like, “Sam, go check that website to see if you could find if the website lyfelaw.com is available. F it. Look and see if lyfe.com is available.” He’s like, “Holy shit, it’s available to buy.” I’m like, “What?”
Maria Monroy (09:43):
How much was it?
Sahm Manouchehri (09:44):
Maria Monroy (09:45):
Oh, come on.
Sahm Manouchehri (09:47):
That is not something I’ll ever tell.
Maria Monroy (09:48):
Oh my goodness.
Sahm Manouchehri (09:49):
But Maria, the fact that we were able to not only find a four letter website, you won’t find CDMX, let alone one that says something. We’re like, “Oh wow.”
Maria Monroy (10:00):
CDMX stands for Mexico City in case anybody is wondering. I know you know.
Sahm Manouchehri (10:05):
I call up the outdoor advertising guy that I was throwing names off of. He had been involved a lot with it, and I’m very appreciative of that. I call him up right then and there after I got off the phone with Sam. Dial tone is international, like the dial tone meaning he’s out of country. It’s New Year’s Eve. But he picks up.
I’m like, “Yo, bro, where are you?” He goes, “I’m in Costa Rica.” That’s cool. He’s like, “What’s up?” I’m like, “I think we found the name.” He’s like, “What?” I’m like, “LyfeLaw, life with a Y.” And I swear to God, he says, “Shut the F up.” I go, “Shut the F up?” I’m like, “Why shut the F up? What does that mean?”
He goes, “I’m going to text you a picture right now.” Maria, he texts me a picture of a guy’s arm with a tattoo L-Y-F-E. I go, “What the fuck?” I’m like, “Why do you have this picture?” He goes, “He’s sitting next to me right now.”
Maria Monroy (11:01):
Sahm Manouchehri (11:02):
Swear to God.
Maria Monroy (11:02):
No. You’re kidding.
Sahm Manouchehri (11:03):
I get goosebumps.
Maria Monroy (11:04):
Sahm Manouchehri (11:05):
I’m like, “Why does he have a tattoo of L-Y-F-E on his arm?” The guy gets into the phone himself, he goes, “It means live your full experience.” I go, “That’s exactly what it means. We’re going to help our clients live their full experience.” And the guy, the marketer, is like, “I like it. I like it a lot.”
Maria Monroy (11:23):
This is crazy, dude.
Sahm Manouchehri (11:24):
I’m like, “Bro, I got one more thing to add.” He goes, “What?” I go, “Lyfe.com is available to buy.” He goes, “Oh my God, you won’t find a four letter website. Buy it. You found it.” I’m like, “All right. Yeah, you’re on it.”
It’s December 31st. We decide we’re going to go gung-ho, buy the website for a lot of money, do all the other stuff, contact USC, make sure USC is okay with it. They love it. They loved our brand before. That’s why they had approached us, because Century Park Law Group had a fabulous brand. But now we went from business to business to direct to consumer. We got billboards, buses, and I don’t mean just like the back of a bus, I mean the whole bus is wrapped with LyfeLaw, lyfe.com.
At this point, the goal of LyfeLaw is not to simply be the best injury law firm. Our goal is pretty simple. It’s not only to do every type of consumer law, not just injury law. We already started a work comp practice. We’re opening up a labor, we’re opening up lemon law. That’s the story of Lyfe. And the meaning of Lyfe is we are helping the average person who all of us are against these huge corporations that are trying to take away our rights and devalue our rights. That’s what Lyfe means to me.
Maria Monroy (12:43):
I love it. That’s beautiful. Congrats.
Sahm Manouchehri (12:46):
And then, yeah, our branding is very simple. When you have a name like that, a lot of the stuff just has Lyfe on it, because again, we own lyfe.com.
Maria Monroy (12:54):
No, I know. I know you do.
Sahm Manouchehri (12:55):
I own the word Lyfe now.
Maria Monroy (12:57):
I remember when I saw it and I saw it on social, I was like, “I love this.” We were at a conference. What was it? CAOC.
Sahm Manouchehri (13:06):
Maria Monroy (13:07):
And we’re walking out and somebody says to me, “Those two people sitting there, they’re from LyfeLaw.” And I’m like, “What?” I’m like, “I’ll be right back.” I literally just turned around and I was like, “I love your brand. I have to go by.”
Sahm Manouchehri (13:17):
That was very sweet of you. When people come up because of our social media and I get that 10 seconds of fame, it feels good because now we’re not just a referral based law firm. We do have direct to consumer. We always make sure to explain to the client that our two goals are to help you get your life back by getting you back to health and ultimately fully compensated because there’s nothing else I can get you other than money. I’m not God. I can’t just make everything all right.
That’s how we explain it to our clients. That’s how we explain it to an insurance company. And ultimately how we explain it to a jury should it go to trial. I knew from day one that I was going to be an injury lawyer. That’s why I did defense for those three long years, because what I learned is that we’re not people. You’re not Maria. I’m not Sahm Manouchehri. We are a number to these corporations, to these insurance companies.
Initially before an accident, you’re a policy number. Accident happens, you get converted to a claim number. And ultimately you are a dollar amount. The goal of the insurance company is to devalue your dollar amount for any reason they can, arguing it’s not their fault, arguing preexisting conditions. My job is not to maximize your value, it’s to get the full value of whatever the case is worth. That’s dependent on your injuries.
I feel that our name properly now allows me to explain to my clients what we do. Our branding and our billboards are all on a play on the word life. It’s as simple as one life is great. I put a Y on the word life, and then life is great. All right. You’ll be seeing the new billboards because right now our billboards are meant to be kind of a guerrilla marketing. It just says LifeLaw and lyfe.com.
Maria Monroy (14:56):
And just getting the brand out there. I want to talk about that, because I think a lot of law firms want to change their name and people are really scared to do that and have to change URLs. Of course that impacts SEO, so clients of ours that I’ve told you, “You can’t do that,” I stand by that. But what was that process like? Can you kind of walk us through the trajectory?
Sahm Manouchehri (15:19):
Maria Monroy (15:20):
Sahm Manouchehri (15:21):
Exhausting, scary, all that goodwill, all that hard work and time and money ultimately. We got lucky. I’ll be straightforward. The fact that we found this word was pure luck, and then it made us an easy decision.
Maria Monroy (15:41):
You manifested it. I think you manifested it.
Sahm Manouchehri (15:41):
I agree. I agree.
Maria Monroy (15:41):
Did you do a DBA? Did you actually go and change?
Sahm Manouchehri (15:43):
No, we changed it from one LLP to another LLP. We still own Century Park.
Maria Monroy (15:47):
Okay. And did you send out an email blast?
Sahm Manouchehri (15:51):
Maria Monroy (15:51):
What were some of the steps you took in trying-
Sahm Manouchehri (15:54):
Fortunately, thank God for my partner and our operations, since we’re completely paperless, it was a click of a button. Not only do you have to tell all your clients, you have to tell the courts, you got to tell opposing counsels, you got to tell providers. You got to tell everybody that a name change.
Our systems, we use Filevine, and my partner and our operations director spoke at Filevine a couple weeks ago about this. The fact that we’re totally automated and paperless was the only way we can do it, because having, I don’t know, 2,000 cases with God knows how many providers on every case. You got to do it on every single case. So if you have 10 providers and opposing counsel and the courts, that’s a lot.
So it’s not a joke. If you’re going to do something like this, you have to be prepared to do it, unless you’re some small mom and pop that’s just starting out. But if you’re already established, it’s not worthwhile unless you find that golden nugget of a name like we did, because it is a ton of work, and I don’t recommend it to anybody.
In 2017 when we thought about changing our name because we relocated our offices, the reason we didn’t do it was we understood even then how much work was involved. And we didn’t have that push with the partnership with USC to make me realize that we have to do this because we’re wasting our money partnering with USC with the name Century Park Law Group.
Maria Monroy (17:20):
What has the response been like?
Sahm Manouchehri (17:22):
Fabulous. Look, the way I was raised is the only thing you die with is your name, your reputation. So I always carry myself. You saw me talking to Yosi. I’ve known Yosi since high school. We went to [inaudible 00:17:34] together.
Maria Monroy (17:34):
Yeah, he told me.
Sahm Manouchehri (17:35):
Because we’ve known each other a long, long time. I’m 44. I’ve known some of these people since I was 10.
Maria Monroy (17:40):
Sahm Manouchehri (17:42):
Yeah, especially in the Persian Jewish bubble of PI, which runs PI at this point. Persian Jews run personal injury.
Maria Monroy (17:50):
Sahm Manouchehri (17:51):
In LA, yeah. I only know Southern California. No, California, sorry. It’s California at this point. We have Oakland offices, San Francisco offices, Orange County offices.
Maria Monroy (18:00):
Are they legitimate offices, like four walls or-
Sahm Manouchehri (18:03):
Maria Monroy (18:04):
… like a virtual office?
Sahm Manouchehri (18:07):
No, they’re actual offices. We have a office in Canoga Park that’s actual offices. We’ve downsized our NorCal offices to virtual actually at this point because COVID changed everything.
Maria Monroy (18:16):
How many employees do you have?
Sahm Manouchehri (18:19):
I think the last count, 47. The way we structure it is two partners, three junior partners, three junior associates, and then a couple of us associates in pre-litigation. I think it’s a total of maybe 11 attorneys and about 35 staff.
Maria Monroy (18:36):
I’m curious, what’s your culture like?
Sahm Manouchehri (18:38):
It’s a very important part of it. Coming from a former defense background where the partner above me when I did defense was a complete asshole, some days walk past me, not say hello, and then other days pretend to be my best friend, I’m like, “You’re not fooling anybody.” So I make sure to try to have the best work culture because again, quality of life is very important to me.
Maria Monroy (18:59):
Sahm Manouchehri (18:59):
There’s our word. The way we do it is we have a Cinco de Mayo party. You could definitely come. I’ve tried to get you into our office numerous times. Our office is very different, all right? If you look at our Instagram, it’s got a spa-like feel to it. And that’s by design. I’ll be quite blunt. I designed the office along with a designer friend of mine and our contractor, a friend of mine, to feel like a home.
This is all before Lyfe. This was at Century Park. We created it to look like and feel like a home. Our lobby does not look like a lobby. It looks like your living room. My office, we demoed the whole floor, the third floor and the second floor and built it to our own specifications.
Maria Monroy (19:41):
Do you think that when a client comes in, makes them feel safer?
Sahm Manouchehri (19:47):
Let’s put it to another way if you want to monetize it. Normally when a client walks into your office, they ask you, “Why should I sign with you?” They walk in. And I dress like this, guys, I don’t dress in a suit no more. They walk into our office and say, “Where do I sign?”
It’s meant to psychologically make you feel safe, make you feel comfortable, make you feel at home so that when you come to us in this scary time in your life, and it is scary for these people, and I’m not trying to use the word on purpose, guys.
Maria Monroy (20:18):
No, I know.
Sahm Manouchehri (20:18):
Maria Monroy (20:18):
I’m just nodding because it’s literally everywhere.
Sahm Manouchehri (20:18):
You’re going to think of me every time you say the word life now. That’s my goal in life is to make every time somebody says the word life, oh yeah, LyfeLaw. When they come to us, they’re scared and they’re hurt and they’re generally disenfranchised people where they’ve been beaten down by the system.
Our intake department is very well-trained by myself and my partner to understand the empathy that you need to exude to these people, that it’s not all about money. And that way, the building, the office, the name, the work environment all creates this beautiful cycle where these clients will never go away and they will be my client for life, and I will be your lawyer for life.
Maria Monroy (20:58):
There’s just way too many plays on the word. It’s kind of funny.
Sahm Manouchehri (21:02):
You should see the billboard ideas that we have. They’re so numerous that we don’t know where to start.
Personal injury in Southern California is the most competitive market of any type of industry, period.
Maria Monroy (21:17):
You think it’s more competitive than Florida?
Sahm Manouchehri (21:19):
It is more competitive anywhere because the price per click for Google is more expensive here than anywhere else. So that tells you that it is the most competitive market. It’s like $900 a click.
Maria Monroy (21:32):
Sahm Manouchehri (21:33):
Yeah. The marketing campaigns of most firms is millions of dollars not only a year, but a month.
Maria Monroy (21:38):
Yeah. What’s next for you guys?
Sahm Manouchehri (21:40):
Expanding into different states and expanding into all areas of consumer law.
Maria Monroy (21:44):
Sahm Manouchehri (21:46):
Of consumer law.
Maria Monroy (21:46):
So wait, let’s talk about lemon law for a second. I really think that lemon law is going to be the next PI in California.
Sahm Manouchehri (21:54):
I hope not.
Maria Monroy (21:55):
We have been getting so many inquiries about SEO for lemon law in the past two and a half, maybe three years.
Sahm Manouchehri (22:05):
It’s definitely a much less saturated market. It’s cornered by a couple law firms that I’m actually friends with that I used to refer to. I told them, “I know I refer to you, but moving forward, we’re going in-house with it.”
Maria Monroy (22:15):
Were they mad?
Sahm Manouchehri (22:16):
No, they understood. Again, this is where I try to not be shady and stuff and tell them, “Look, I used to refer to you. I’m not going to be referring to you anymore.” It’s America. It’s competition, it’s capitalism.
Maria Monroy (22:27):
Why do you think lemon law is becoming such a thing here?
Sahm Manouchehri (22:30):
Because just like any type of big corp, big car companies are… Do you remember the movie Fight Club?
Maria Monroy (22:38):
I’m really bad at this stuff.
Sahm Manouchehri (22:40):
Fight Club is a great movie.
Maria Monroy (22:41):
I mean, I’m aware of the movie. Do I like-
Sahm Manouchehri (22:43):
All right. Ed Norton’s job in Fight Club was to go out to the scene of catastrophic injury car accidents where there was a recall issue as to why the accident happened. Let’s say Ford, Ford realizes that their engines blow up. They’re like, “Okay, our engines blow up. It’s going to cost $2 billion to replace all the engines.” And then they factor, okay, it’ll cost us about a billion dollars in lawsuits. It’s business. We’re not going to do a recall. They would do a determination whether or not it would be more cost-effective to fix the recall issue or to pay out lawsuits.
Maria Monroy (23:14):
Sounds like the health insurance.
Sahm Manouchehri (23:15):
All right. The way the car companies work, like any big corporation, is that it’s all about dollars and cents. So if it costs $2 billion to fix a recall issue on a vehicle, like a Ford Bronco has engine issues, I know that because I wanted to buy one, I learned that they’re having recall issues with the engine.
So if it costs $2 billion to fix the car, they’ll do a calculation and analysis to determine, all right, how much will we have to pay out in injury claims as a result of this issue? And if it’s less than 2 billion, even if it’s a dollar less than 2 billion, they will rather not fix it and pay out the injury lawsuits because it costs them less. It’s pure dollars and cents.
As a result of that analysis, they’re allowing more and more issues with their vehicles and they’re allowing more lemons to be manufactured because it’s cheaper. We had a personal experience where we lemoned my partner’s car because it had electrical issues. It was a Porsche Taycon that has a lot of electrical issues. We lemoned it because it was a lemon, and we realized that with our name, when life gives you lemons.
Maria Monroy (24:22):
I was thinking that when I laughed, but I was like, I’m not even going to go there.
Sahm Manouchehri (24:23):
All life. Simple as that. That was one of the first things I thought of on a billboard. I’m like, “We should become lemon lawyers because of that simple when life gives you lemons saying.”
Again, COVID changed my life a lot. My wife was pregnant during COVID with Charlie, our son, and I looked inward during those nine months that we worked from home while Charlie was in my wife’s belly. I realized that I’m a wolf in sheep’s clothing and I want to help sheep against these wolves. I’ve seen a lot of things. You’ll never bully me. You’ll never push me over. I’ll fight harder for you than I would for myself to be quite honest. I’ll negotiate harder for you than I would myself.
And when I have clients that $1,000 difference will be a huge thing in their life, their monthly rent, I will fight for every single penny, if it’s an injury case, lemon case, labor case. So with COVID changing the way I looked at everything, I truly feel it’s David versus Goliath and I am representing David.
Maria Monroy (25:36):
Do you think PI is going to change a lot in the next few years? Are you worried about it?
Sahm Manouchehri (25:41):
I’m extremely worried about it. I’m on the board of directors of CAOC, and that’s why I was there when I met you in San Francisco. Insurance companies do a fabulous job in marketing. All right, the gecko, you got Flo, you got the guy from State Farm, Nationwide is not on your side, you’re not in good hands with the Allstate. It’s one thing I tell my clients all the time.
They have done a fabulous job in making it seem like they’re the good guy and that the lawyers are the bad guy, and they are spearheading a campaign to try to cap attorney’s fees like they did in work comp. Presently work comp has a cap of 15% in attorney’s fees. That’s the max an attorney can get. They’re trying to do a 20% cap on personal injury, which sounds great to the client, you think at first.
Maria Monroy (26:28):
It’s awful. Somebody needs to educate the average person.
Sahm Manouchehri (26:33):
That is exactly what I’ve been doing. When I was at CAOC, that weekend I was hosting the Advocates Club where I spoke to Chris Dolan, Boris Treyzon from ACTS Law in LA and a couple other attorneys that are very high in the trial field to talk about the 20% cap. The simplest way to explain it to a person is the chances of me taking your case are going to be far less if you cap my fees, and the chances of you getting full value for your case is going to be far less. Look, if you run a business with 20% cap, you’re going to go bankrupt.
Maria Monroy (27:04):
Now you run the marketing department. What departments? How do you and your partner split up the duties?
Sahm Manouchehri (27:11):
My partner is a JD/MBA, so he one, manages it. There’s a lot of admin, HR, operations.
Maria Monroy (27:19):
Dude, that’s so cool.
Sahm Manouchehri (27:20):
Yeah. He runs that exclusively. Our operations, again, is the key to our success is that we are able to automate so many things that streamline the process that ensures that we don’t devalue our client’s case.
What I run is I run the marketing department, but I have a marketing director. He’s here with me. I have a intake department that I run. I have an intake manager that oversees that. Then we have a pre-litigation department whose job is to ensure liabilities established and to get the client back to health by monitoring their care. I have a pre-litigation department manager. I oversee that. And then we have a demands department that has an associate overseeing that and I oversee the demands department.
Then you have the litigation department that has junior partners that oversee their own cases with junior associates and paralegals below them, and they’re in teams of four with an assistant. Technically I oversee the litigation department also, but all my departments, to be quite blunt, run themselves.
Maria Monroy (28:18):
Cool. All right. Well, thank you so much for taking the time.
Sahm Manouchehri (28:22):
It was a pleasure. Care about your clients, not just about money. Money will come when you care, and you can have both. You can have that quality of life that you want by doing what’s right to your clients. Everything in my life has come to me by simply being good and being positive when something goes wrong.
Maria Monroy (28:46):
Catch us next week on Tip the Scales with me, Maria Monroy, hear how the best in the business broke out of limiting beliefs, overcame adversity, and built a thriving, purpose-driven business in the process.