Growth by Acquisition With Gideon Grunfeld

Growth by acquisition is the fastest way to grow, and it’s easier than you may think! On this episode of Lawyer Business Advantage, Alay Yajnik speaks with Gideon Grunfeld, President of Rainmaking for Lawyers. Gideon share his perspective and thoughts on strategic planning, law firm succession, and law firm acquisition.

Alay Yajnik: Welcome to Lawyer Business Advantage, your source for biz dev tips, wisdom and inspiration. I’m your host, Alay Yajnik. We’re unleashing your inner rainmaker in three…two….one….

Alay Yajnik: And it’s my pleasure to welcome to the show, Gideon Grunfeld. Gideon is the President of Rainmaking for Lawyers. Gideon, welcome to Lawyer Business Advantage.

Gideon Grunfeld: Pleasure to be here.

Alay Yajnik: Thanks so much for for joining us today. And so I guess we’re getting into what was your inspiration and your background for founding rainmaking for lawyers?

Gideon Grunfeld: RFL, as I call it, is basically an outgrowth of what I did before, so I was a law firm, large law firm, associate and litigator for almost 10 years. And before that, I was a campaign manager. I was our executive. I was a consultant for a group of people who were statistical geniuses and expert witnesses. And I translated what they try to say into English for humans because they were basically all PhDs in statistics. So after being in the litigation world in large, large scale litigation for ten years, I wanted to do something that was based on my expertise and an audience that I knew and cared about. And so that’s how we created RFL. We consult for lawyers and we also coach them on business development and other strategic planning issues. But it was a pretty direct result of what I had done before and what you done before.

Alay Yajnik: Yeah. You know, one of the nice things about having your own business, too, is that we are in positions of being able to really seize trends and opportunities that we see on the horizon and maybe move much faster to take advantage of those than if we were part of a larger organization with a very specific kind of “cog in the wheel” type of role. And one of the things that, Gideon, you and I have been talking about is this idea of a lot of the generational impacts that are going on right now with with baby boomers exiting. Millennials now comprise the majority of the workforce. There’s a lot of changes that are happening. And you throw the pandemic on top of it. I know a lot of a lot of lawyers are saying, look, I’ve been doing this for a very long time. I don’t need to adjust to a remote workforce on top of everything else. What trends are you seeing in that law firm succession space?

Gideon Grunfeld: Law firm succession is really become – and I’ve done this long enough that it went from a curiosity, which was what it was when I first started talking about it or having programs about it at bar associations and in other venues. And now it’s become in the last, I would say, three or four years, something that is much more top of mind. And as you pointed out, there’s no question that COVID-19 has absolutely been an accelerant to that process. And it’s been an accelerant both for the people who are thinking of winding down. And they kind of fall into two categories. There are people for whom COVID-19 is a signal for them that, “Look, the underlying fund or the economics or the dynamics of the practice I’m in are so unattractive or the changes that would be required are so extensive that this is a good time for me to get off of the bus,” and usually not for health issues. And so the cases and the matters where we’re consulting, it’s usually not because someone has tested positive or they’ve had a light over their head that way. It’s more like, “I’ve been doing this a long time and the underlying attractiveness of the practice is so diminished.” Then there are people who are thinking, “I want to cash out. I don’t want to commit to do what’s necessary and I want to cash out.” So, look, a trend that’s really impacting that, to give you one specific example, is the commercial real estate space. So we’re working on several projects right now where the reason for the discussion and the need for consulting about succession planning arose because the firm is looking at a lease that needs to be renewed.

Gideon Grunfeld: And the senior people say or sometimes even the junior people say, “It’s crazy for us to renew that lease! I deal most with clients in big cities and you’re dealing with leases that, depending on if they’re in Class A office space, in a top floor, you’re looking at $90-$100 per square foot. And that has absolutely been an accelerant to this process. It’s sort of I would say that it’s again, it’s an inflection point, COVID-19. It’s strengthening trends from before where people are examining beyond the “Hey, maybe we can work from home,” but they’re really examining in more strategic ways, “What should we do?” And that’s leading some firms to say, “Hey, this is the time for us to deal with this generational transition.” And sometimes it’s driven by the people who are winding down. Sometimes it’s driven by people who are younger and then stepping up and they say, “Look, I’ve been killing it around here. I have lots of authority around here. I generate a lot of business around here, but I don’t have a seat at the table.” And that conversation is probably has gone on deaf ears for many years, but now COVID-19 and the things that were happening in the market two or three years before are causing people to focus on that conversation more than ever before.

Alay Yajnik: Makes a lot of sense if you’re going to be locking the firm into a long term lease where the current managing partners may not, you know, may not be in the game for for most of the life of that lease. I can see why that would drive a lot of succession planning discussions and law firm succession like business succession.

Alay Yajnik: So Gideon, I have to say, when we were first introduced through Provisors here you are doing rainmaking for lawyers and I do a lot of business development coaching for attorneys as well. And our conversation was around law firm succession planning. And I was thinking, “How does this relate to business development and rainmaking?” But, you know, as we had a conversation, you built a pretty compelling case for that. We’d love to hear about your thoughts on how law firm succession planning relates to business development and law firm growth.

Gideon Grunfeld: I guess the easiest way for me to say that, and sometimes I advise people, if you’re looking for a catchy phrase. When you’re thinking about growing your business and thinking about new clients do it the old fashioned way: inherit them. Increasingly over the last five years, succession planning is an example of how positioning yourself in the marketplace can be a tremendous tool for growing your business beyond retail one on one, one client at a time, hand-to-hand combat, if you will. So especially if you look at the demographics of not only law firms, but all the professions, accounting, forensic accounting, business valuation, medicine: a rapidly aging population with so many people who historically have not monetized their business. And so the ability to think about, “Hey, one way I can expand geographically, one way I can expand my client base, one way I can get to an adjoining practice area is to tap into this incredibly robust generational shift and let me acquire a practice or let me bring in a managing partner or let me become their managing partner.”

Gideon Grunfeld: Most of the time for technical and tax reasons, you try to avoid making it an outright acquisition, which is why succession planning is oftentimes by far the most effective way to. In one fell swoop, you’re going to add a couple of hundred thousand dollars or more revenue. You’re going to inherit another office. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have to plan for it and there are no issues involved. But I would say especially in the last five years and COVID-19 is absolutely speeding this process up. If you don’t think about succession planning as at least an opportunity to grow your business, I think you’re totally missing the boat. It’s something that almost every practice area should consider in terms of their growth strategy.

Alay Yajnik: It’s an excellent point because, you know, organic growth is one thing, but growth by acquisition is usually by far the fastest way to grow. One of the concerns when I get in discussions with clients about this, they don’t really seriously pursue it, is they’re just intimidated by all the work that’s involved. They have to identify potential law firms, identify attorneys and have those conversations. They don’t know how to even approach that kind of a conversation. So when you work with your clients who are looking to grow and looking to acquire companies, how do they go about going through that process of identifying a target and then having those initial conversations?

Gideon Grunfeld: That’s a great question. And I say that the short answer is that this is easier than most lawyers realize. And the reason that’s the case is because there are two sources of dis-information, and I don’t mean that people are planting fake news, but just people are making assumptions that were probably once true, but specifically as lawyers are no longer likely to be true. So one is: you don’t hear a lot of conversation from the people or the generation winding down their practice because a lot of them are under their misconception that only a small sliver of practices can be transitioned to someone else. So you almost don’t see a lot of like letters or emails or notices saying, “Hey, a year from now I’m thinking of retiring. I want to talk to someone,” because they’re all under the misapprehension that that’s not doable for them. Or they think only M&A lawyers working with General Electric can do that. I’ve heard I’ve had that conversation forever. Yeah. So when I started doing seminars on this in 2005, 2006, that was one mantra you hear: “I’m not in a practice that you can do this for. And also I just want to die at my desk.” That was what people would say back then. We’ve come a long way, at least in the “Hey, there are other options other than dying at your desk.”

Gideon Grunfeld: The other kind of misconception that people have is they think that this is going to be like a brokered deal, like this is a five or 10 or 30 million dollar manufacturing company that’s looking to sell like a family-owned business. And there’s a whole infrastructure of business brokers and investment bankers and funding sources for how we’re going to finance this kind of deal. And that’s going to require formal valuation and lawyers, even transactional lawyers I’ve dealt with who really are sophisticated about negotiating deals, walk into this process somehow thinking that that’s how professional service companies go through the succession planning process. And that’s rarely true. A vast majority of the time, to answer your question directly, like, “How do you find the person?” You know them.

Gideon Grunfeld: Most of the time, unless you’re looking at a geographical expansion, like you said, if you’re in the Bay Area, I’m in the Southern California area and I don’t know anyone (as if those two markets never talk to each other). But even if that’s the case, you want to expand to an area you don’t know a vast majority of the time. This is one or two degrees of separation. A vast majority of the deals that I’ve worked on behind the scenes on either side, whether it’s a succession plan, whether it turns out to be an actual acquisition or some other manifestation, the people already knew each other or they knew someone who knew both of them. And so sometimes I’m in that role where I’m making the introduction or I’m doing a little bit of, “OK, here’s a one sheet that’s anonymous.” And so sometimes that’s our role is like if you don’t want to notify people, a common way to do this is we create a one sheet and say, “Here’s an opportunity and we’ll send it to people.” And if they’re not interested, they don’t know who you are. Only the people who sign a non-disclosure agreement, find out who you are. But it’s not this mysterious, like, I’m going to have to put in a whole advertising campaign and we’re going to have to get billboards and we’re going have to do crazy amount of social media pay per click advertising. That’s the model of the five, 10, 20, 30 million dollar nationwide manufacturing company. That’s why you have business brokers in that market. This isn’t handled that way. So most lawyers are much closer to finding a suitable partner than they might realize, which is why most of the time, if they’re looking at an external route, we can negotiate a deal or in a matter of months as opposed to a matter of years.

Alay Yajnik: That’s great. So my takeaways from from that are, number one, it’s a lot simpler than attorneys probably think because professional services law firm succession planning is significantly different from manufacturing, which is what they’re probably been exposed to. And number two, it’s going to be based upon the attorneys’ network. So if you’re looking for four people to either succeed you or if you’re looking to grow through acquisition and law firm succession, look at your network and see who you know. If you’re looking to go to a different geography, look at your network and see who you know, who knows people in that geography. And that’s usually how these things get done.

Gideon Grunfeld: Yeah. And I would say there’s one other element that people are sort of they misperceive through no fault of their own. They don’t even teach that much law in law school, let alone any of this. And this has changed dramatically since a lot of people went to law school. And so there’s no reason for lawyers to know this. But the other area that’s sort of an area of misconception is that people tend to think that the business development tool is “I have to acquire or be acquired.”

Gideon Grunfeld: And in fact, the rarest skill when I do succession planning, I say, “OK, let’s look at a year or two. What is the key element that’s really going to determine your ability to do this?” It’s not: Can we find a rainmaker? Can we find an external partner? It’s oftentimes: do we have an internal candidate to be the managing partner? Most of the time, it’s easier to go through the internal route. A couple of reasons for that. One is the rules of professional conduct in every state generally have elements in it that make the selling of a practice a little bit more complicated than keeping it internal and let’s say, bringing in a managing partner or bringing in a single partner to your existing firm. And so a lot of times people say, “I have to have a book of business.” I know situations where you don’t. There’s a firm I know where they said, “Look, we actually have a pretty good group of rainmakers, but we have no one who knows how to run the firm.” And so they’re talking to a forty two year old who doesn’t have probably a third of the book of business of the firm that he’s talking to, but he has the interest and ability and demonstrated desire to be the managing partner, and that’s what they need. And so people lack imagination about how you can structure these deals. A lot of times the missing element is when I’m doing like internal. Internal succession planning, consulting, and the first step, “I’ll say, OK, a year from now, who’s going to be the managing partner?” And if no one knows who that is or everyone points to that one person and that person says, “No, not me ever,” then I know we’re going to have a much more protracted process. On the other hand, I’ve had situations where the exact opposite happens. Everyone knew up front who’s the managing partner, who’s going to be the leadership. That person willingly wants to take on that role. And that is a key element to what makes this process work. And so and people should be aware, especially if they’re thinking about it strategically from a business development point of view, that the ability to lead and manage and motivate ends up being at least as important to the success of this process than pure money or what the amount of the buyout is. And so having that skill set and cultivating it within your firm is one of the most important things you can do that will allow you over time to merge with, acquire, absorb other practices…whatever verb you want to use to fill in that sentence.

Alay Yajnik: And I guess once you you’ve gone through that process, once you’ve gone through identifying a managing partner, going through the cultural issues associated with any kind of a merger, it gets probably easier the next time you do it and the next time you do it, the next time you do it.

Gideon Grunfeld: It becomes easier and then also taps into this concept of law firms tend to be sometimes oblivious to this like they teach in economics class, like in the first two weeks of Economics 101, which is economies of scale. One of my longest term clients, I’ve been really fortunate to work with this firm for more than 10 years, started with one full time attorney and a part time associate. And the first succession, the first kind of succession planning acquisition that we did with them, which was a pretty small scale one, was in 2008. Now, fast forward 10, 12 years later. That person, because he has the ability to be a managing partner, now has like a dozen lawyers and four offices in three different counties. And yes, the economies of scale of everything from buying equipment and supplies and staffing. Right. When you have four offices now having an office manager or CFO, you’re dividing that overhead cost by four offices as opposed to having one for each office. I mean, if you think about how restaurants or so many companies expand…Gym membership, even things which are horribly affected by COVID-19. But the ability to strategically not only be one office in one location serving one kind of client is something that lawyers tend to have drilled in their head. But it is, I think, an example of if you can get away from that thinking and think strategically, your life gets so much easier, the money becomes easier. Your life, your quality of life goes up exponentially because this particular client can take vacations, right? He’s not the only person running his firm and he has other people answering phones and emails if he’s unavailable and he plans to be unavailable. You can’t do that in a world where the only thing you ever hope to do is to be a sole practitioner for the rest of your career.

Alay Yajnik: Yes. And I suppose if you’ve done two or three of these now, you start to build a core competency. I see a lot of this in accounting firms, not so much in law firms, but where they’re one of their real core competencies and they have maybe two or three. But one of those is their ability to acquire and merge with other firms. They’ve just gotten really good at it because it’s the same playbook over and over again. And that really, I think could be a huge growth accelerant for a law firm that wanted to go that route.

Gideon Grunfeld: Yeah, and not only is it a growth accelerant because the process is often similar, and especially if your people have gone through it before, they don’t get quite to the point of like automatic pilot, but it gets really efficient. You know, look, we’re going to have to get their database. We’re going to have to go send out emails to their existing clients. You get and you can get a standard operating procedure in place. And that’s one aspect of it. But also you get the mindset, if you will, of looking for opportunities. So what happens a lot of times and you know, this is at least as well as I do, is that lawyers and other business owners get stuck in this. I’m just looking at what needs to be done to get the invoices out. Here’s what I need to get to my clients. And they never look up and see what passed. They’re on and whether the trees have moved or whether half the trees have been knocked down by a wind. They just kind of just trudge day to day. And you mentioning accounting firms is an extraordinarily great example, because a lot of lawyers, especially in the transactional space, especially people representing small and mid-sized businesses, the lawyers seem to be unaware or almost oblivious of the fact that accounting firms are encroaching on that space aggressively and have been for years and years. And so I have lots of clients in that space and we’re competing with accounting firms more and more. And accounting firms are part of our strategic planning. And that’s an example of a mindset that whether you specifically go through succession planning or not, it’s a key element of especially in the years to come. If you have that mindset of “Let me look, let me see what the factors are, let me look at opportunities.” This is not a situation where the person who spots the most things that can go wrong (which a lot of times legal training is about like the person who spots the most typos) wins. This is a lot more, let me think, entrepreneurial. Let me see opportunities. Let me evaluate them. And succession planning just happens to be one way of taking advantage of what I am convinced and what I’m seeing day to day are the increased number of opportunities. But unfortunately, and I’m genuinely distressed by this, most law firms aren’t thinking this way. So the difference between winners and losers within the legal profession is, in part for this reason, becoming greater. And I don’t think that’s good either for the legal profession and ultimately, I don’t think that’s good for society.

Alay Yajnik: And hopefully that’s something that’s going to change, I think it really is changing and that change will probably continue to accelerate. And the good news is the bar is really low when it comes to this stuff in the law firm space. So if you have an ambition, you do want to have a rapidly growing firm, doing some strategic planning with an outside person, a trained facilitator, who can come in and take you through this process and really take the blinders off and get you to consider some ideas and challenge you with some with some ideas that you’ve never even thought of. That is an exercise that pays huge dividends for the firms that are willing to go through that process. So I appreciate you bringing that up, Gideon.

Gideon Grunfeld: I absolutely agree. And I know this sounds a little self-serving for two people who work as consultants to law firms. But let me let me address this. You wouldn’t think that if you if you saw an athlete, a professional athlete, and then you saw that they had a sports psychologist and a massage therapist and a nutritionist and all sorts of other help, you wouldn’t think, “Well, they’re just they’re lousy, right?” It’s the opposite. The people who are the best, one of the things that they do is that they build a team around them for the areas that they don’t pretend to excel at. Right? And lawyers do that in narrow areas. Very few lawyers will say, “Well, let me hook up our I.T. network.” Right? They don’t or they don’t pretend to know it, but they’re still very much a residue of “I’m in the advice-giving business. I should know the answers. I had a very high GPA in college. Let me show you my diploma,” which makes people resistant and making them think it’s a sign of weakness rather than a sign of intelligence and strength and wisdom and vision to let me see in a world that’s super rapidly changing how I can take advantage of this, how I can take care of my people. People also think they’re going to have to compromise their values to go through this. And I find the opposite to be true, that the more you actually are aware of what matters to you, the more you can configure your life and your law firm and accordingly and you have more options to do that. But I think, as I said, the difference between winners and losers is now much more about positioning and strategy and mindset than it is only, “How does your website look?” And “did you go to the networking group and did you get that blog post out?” Obviously, the execution matters a lot, but in the world that’s changing this rapidly, the strategic vision part, is in my view, the positioning is as important, and for a lot of the clients we work with, more important, than just execution on marketing.

Alay Yajnik: And so we spend a lot of time talking about business development on this podcast. And you mentioned positioning, mindset as being key elements of that. Can you expand on that a little bit?

Gideon Grunfeld: Well, I think that part of it is the mindset of if you look at your business as your law firm is, “Look, I have clients and there I do divorce work. I do estate planning work, I do antitrust work.” That kind of thinking sometimes, especially if you do that for long periods of time, makes it harder to think in terms of positioning, such as “Who do I want to serve?” I OK, I like steak, I really like steak or I really like kale for the vegans in the audience. But boy, I don’t only want to have steak or kale. The fact I’ve done something for twenty years doesn’t mean I don’t have the opportunity to change. And so that mindset of looking at the business as part of your life and starting with what are the companies I want to serve, where the clients I want to serve, what are the problems I want to help solve? And looking at it, does that make sense? Does it make sense for me? My values, my life, does it make sense in the marketplace? So an example of: you might have a passion for workplace safety, but making money and having a decent life as a working worker’s comp lawyer is infinitely harder in a world where the insurance company is a thousand times bigger than you and tells you, no matter what you do, even if you’re the world’s greatest trial lawyer, even if you have two hundred jury trials under your belt, “We’re not going to pay you more than $125 an hour.” And that’s not a hypothetical example. I literally dealt with people in worker’s comp, medical malpractice defense, where the landscape has changed so much that they didn’t spend any time thinking about positioning. They only kind of looked at the day in, day out. “I have a brief to write. I have a closing to go to. I have my taxes to pay.” And so that lack of strategic vision combined with how does it fit into your life? So the focus on who do I want to serve? What problems do we want to solve. Your ability to do that today is so much greater, even if you’re young and starting out, in part because of succession planning, in part because law has become more fragmented. But that’s an example or these are examples of how I’m both incredibly optimistic about the possibilities. And that’s one of the things that’s incredible to do what I do and what you do, the ability to help people and help them kind of grow the businesses they want in the lives they want to lead is amazingly exciting. But I also am genuinely distressed that a lot of lawyers are trapped into this, “my job is to just bill hours and do what I did yesterday and they never look up.”

Alay Yajnik: And that approach might work for maybe a few years. But the sands are shifting, things are changing. And if you’re not aware of those up front, that change can happen pretty darn quick. You can snap your head around and realize that you can’t raise your rates or the rates are going down and all of a sudden your practice commoditizes, whether it’s through other lower priced attorneys or through legal alternatives, or it’s getting really disrupted by other technologies and things that are causing the value of your practice and the value of your experience to go down.

Gideon Grunfeld: That happens and again, I want to make sure that, look, I’m not like a purveyor of fear.

Alay Yajnik: Yeah, there’s a flip side to that story.

Gideon Grunfeld: The flip side is exactly right, is that if you were, there’s reason to be optimistic in the world where things are as dynamic as they are. That if you’re good at focusing on who you want to serve and you build systems and you’re not staying a solo and you think strategically and you build a team around you, you are…this has been so democratized, right? It matters less and less who your parents are and depending on the area of the country and a little bit what practice area you’re in, even what school you went to, matters less. It’s can you deliver the results and can you create systems for people and can you provide value for clients? And so you could be the first person in your family to have gone to college and today’s world – look, don’t get me wrong, there’s still advantages to certain genders and ages. And I’m not going to say that the fact that I look like a middle-aged white guy from central casting with slightly gray hair probably does helped me in the last few years, no question. But there’s also no question that this has become much more democratized in terms of lawyers’ abilities to shape and grow practices. And for me, that’s what’s so exciting about being part of the process to allow people to do that.

Alay Yajnik: Yeah, absolutely. And again, not to sound self-serving, but the influx of really strong consultants, coaches, other trusted advisers serving the law firm market, coupled with the technology that has come to the law firm space, I think have made it easier than ever before to build and scale a law firm. I mean, orders of magnitude easier. And so the opportunity there for people who are willing to put on their entrepreneurial hat, look at some of the opportunities and trends that are going on and then adjust their practice to seize those trends are staggering and they’re probably not anything like we’ve seen before. The good news is those opportunities are probably going to get bigger and easier to take advantage of over time. We just want to make sure that as many lawyers as possible are the ones taking advantage of those opportunities rather than watching them float by.

Gideon Grunfeld: Yeah, I agree with that. I mean, I guess the only – pushback is too strong a phrase – the only sort of observation I would have is – I agree with you 100% that the opportunities right now and technology has played an incredible role. Such like, for instance, I was asked in the last two weeks by someone who was thinking about leaving to start their own firm, and they said, how much is this going to cost me? I said, look, you can launch a website, business cards. If you have clients take with you, like the startup costs of this in today’s world are like twenty five hundred bucks is is so much cheaper. And we could set this up pretty much instantaneously within like a few days. That’s not the hard part. The only place I push back a little bit on what you said is I think we’re in a window of time. I think that five, 10 years from now and obviously no one has a crystal ball.

Alay Yajnik: Exactly.

Gideon Grunfeld: And it might be a lot closer to five than 10 years. The factors that we’re talking about in terms of technology, in terms of an aging workforce, the demographics, what’s happening with the accounting firms, I actually think that in part because of COVID-19 and what happened beforehand, the next few years are a great opportunity for people who think entrepreneurially to really make changes. And I think five years, eight years, ten years, I’m not saying it’s going to be impossible, but I actually think we’re in this window where it’s particularly attractive to do that, because 10 years from now, for example, on succession planning, like the median age of lawyers in California, which is the market that I know best, although I work with people all over, is fifty three, ten years from now, it’s not going to be sixty three or sixty eight at some point. These lawyers are in fact, contrary to what they believe, not immortal and that we’re going to shift back to what the average age distribution has been for generations, which was 15 years ago. The median age of a lawyer around the country was thirty nine or forty there. Certain elements of this because of technology and other factors where the next five years for me are such an exciting time to be a lawyer. If you take advantage of it. I’m a little less optimistic of what happened seven, eight, nine, ten years from now.

Alay Yajnik: Well, the one thing I’ve seen that happens is, no matter what happens in the industry, the forward thinking law firms are going to thrive and they’re going to really take advantage of those of those opportunities that are in front of them. They may be different opportunities than what’s there today. So as one window closes, maybe the demographic side, maybe another window opens on a different aspect of technology or globalization or ownership of law firms, which is something I’m particularly excited about that will enable the industry to take another step forward. The challenge, I think, is that making sure that law firms continue to look to the future and continue to anticipate what could be coming so that they are in a position to take advantage of those things again rather than watch those opportunities pass them by.

Alay Yajnik: I know that’s a big reason for why I do. What I do is because there’s such an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the attorneys that are working too hard for too little. And it’s causing them incredible stress, affecting their quality of life and their health and well-being. And a lot of those challenges can be solved just by focusing on strategy, focusing on business, best practices and then implementing those in your firm. So with that being said, get in and we’re talking about. Law firm growth in the next five years, what what excites you about the future of RFL?

Gideon Grunfeld: A lot does. I mean, that’s a great question, I would say. But look, first of all, I’m so delighted in terms of the quality of the people we have. It’s not just me. Sara Braun is an MBA and lawyer I’ve been working with for five years, and a lot of my team has been around together for a long time. So part of it is the opportunity of just continuing to grow and bring in great people. And I would say that the area that’s been the beyond the strategic planning, succession planning being a bigger and bigger part of what we do is I would say that the technology part of things we’re reaching out and whether it’s a group coaching, whether it’s helping lawyers make career transitions, which ends up being a big issue in succession planning, because a lot of times nothing happens if the head of the firm can imagine what he or she is going to be doing five years from now. If they say, look, this is the only thing I need to know how to do and this is the only thing I’ve done since I’ve been twenty five, the whole process sort of grinds to a halt. So the ability to grow online, to reach people for group coaching and to do more of the succession planning career transition part together, the life design part, as we call it, that’s an area that we’re doing more and more of and we are growing our online footprint rapidly and that I am just super excited about. And it’s an example of we were already going in that direction and covid-19 has sped it up. But that, I would say, are like two or three examples of where we are really very excited about our our ability and the opportunity to increase the number of people that we can help by leveraging technology in the online world.

Alay Yajnik: Terrific. Well, Gideon, it’s been a pleasure having you on the show. And if people want to reach out and connect with you, what’s the best way for them to do that?

Gideon Grunfeld: A couple of ways. So for many years in my life, I thought that having to spell my name so often is a is a curse. But in the Internet age, having a name like Gideon Grunfeld makes you very easy to find. So I’m pretty much the only person with that name as far as I know. So you can find me easily on LinkedIn. G d e n g. Are you and field super easy to find their super easy to find at rainmaking for lawyers. So it’s just Gideon Jide. When rainmaking for lawyers info are spelled out, it’s not the no and it’s lawyers at the end rainmaking for lawyers dot com. Shoot me an email. I’d be delighted to help in any way I can help any of your listeners. It’s been a real fun conversation. I so much appreciate the opportunity to do this with you.

Alay Yajnik: Yeah, my pleasure. Gideon, thank you so much for being on the show today.

Gideon Grunfeld: Thank you.

Alay Yajnik: And that’s a wrap. To get more episodes, webinars and free stuff, visit My name is Alay Yajnik. Thank you for listening. And remember, there’s a rainmaker inside everyone, including you.

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