Lindsey Egan Of Egan Law Center: “The ability to provide a unique client experience”

The ability to provide a unique client experience. There are a ton of options out there for clients. What is going to separate you from the competition? Why should a potential client choose you? I work hard to differentiate myself from other attorneys or the stereotypical law firms, and that doesn’t work for some people, […]

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The ability to provide a unique client experience. There are a ton of options out there for clients. What is going to separate you from the competition? Why should a potential client choose you? I work hard to differentiate myself from other attorneys or the stereotypical law firms, and that doesn’t work for some people, which is also okay. I am the best fit for my clients. My practice is client-centered, and the client experience is paramount to my success.

The legal field is known to be extremely competitive. Lawyers are often smart, ambitious, and highly educated. That being said, what does it take to stand out and become a “Top Lawyer” in your specific field of law? In this interview series called “5 Things You Need To Become A Top Lawyer In Your Specific Field of Law”, we are talking to top lawyers who share what it takes to excel and stand out in your industry.

As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lindsey Egan.

Attorney Lindsey Egan is the founder of Egan Law Center, a boutique law firm located in the North Shore of Massachusetts ( Lindsey specializes in family law and estate planning with a unique focus on client education and empowerment. Egan Law Center is a woman-founded, women-staffed, client-centered practice.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dig in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit more. What is the “backstory” that brought you to this particular career path in Law? Did you want to be an attorney “when you grew up”?

I always thought it would be very rewarding to be an attorney but it wasn’t until I was already working and out of college that I realized a career in law would be something I wanted to pursue formally. I graduated college and began working at a bank, where I quickly rose through the ranks and was very passionate to see how far I could go in this job. I went from a bank teller to a commercial and residential loan officer, which is when I started working with attorneys daily who specialized in real estate and other areas. I discovered my aptitude for legal work and left my job to attend law school shortly after. After law school, I worked in corporate law for a few years before deciding to strike out on my own as a family law attorney.

Can you tell us a bit about the nature of your practice and what you focus on?

As a family law attorney, I deal with a lot of complex and sensitive issues that involve a plethora of family dynamics. I focus mainly on divorces, but also handle custody issues, modifications, child support, and even have many discussions with potential clients that are really in the pre-divorce phase.

You are a successful attorney. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? What unique qualities do you have that others may not? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Empathy. There’s a myth about lawyers being cold and “sharks.” I’m a step-parent, a parent, a daughter of divorced parents, and so I truly relate to my clients on a personal and professional level which is very apparent in the way that I treat my clients.

Flexibility. Family emergencies don’t always happen Monday through Friday, 9 to 5, and family law judges have wide discretion so you need to be able to pivot when something doesn’t go as expected and be creative in your problem-solving.

Empowerment. I was a cheerleader in high school for a very small football team that was never very good so I had a lot of experience at a young age cheering on people that felt like the odds were against them. I’m meeting with my clients during one of the worst times of their life and they need to know that I’m invested in them and their outcome. I want them to feel in control and that they play an active role in our relationship.

Do you think you have had luck in your success? Can you explain what you mean?

No, I don’t think I’ve had luck. I’ve had sheer determination and passion which I think becomes apparent early on when I meet with potential clients. When I decided to start my law firm in December of 2018, I was pregnant with a baby daughter due in July who threw a huge wrench in the plan when she came 13 weeks early in April. I had to completely pause building my practice so I could go to the NICU every day for several months and also personally recover from a traumatic birth. Throughout 2019, I was working part-time, if at all. When I was finally ready to get back on my feet and be able to commit to working as an attorney on a full-time basis, the pandemic struck. I’ve had to fight against the odds to keep my practice running, and I’m happy to say, now over a year later, that my law firm is thriving even in these challenging times.

Do you think where you went to school has any bearing on your success? How important is it for a lawyer to go to a top-tier school?

At the end of the day, we all take the same bar exam. That said, I think you need to pick a law school that makes the most sense to you as far as offerings and flexibility, but basically no.

Based on the lessons you have learned from your experience, if you could go back in time and speak to your twenty-year-old self, what would you say? Would you do anything differently?

I would never go back and do it all over because I would never have what I have today. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by a beautiful family, a huge network of friends, and a bubble of amazing colleagues. However, I probably would have told myself to save more money, give myself more grace, and give a warning that the path you start on at 20 years old may not be the one you end up on down the road.

This is not easy work. What is your primary motivation and drive behind the work that you do?

I need my professional life to support my personal life. To have the flexibility and be a dedicated caregiver to my daughter, this kind of business affords me the ability to do something that I’m passionate about while also being active in my child’s life. As the one creating the work environment, I have all the risks but also all the rewards.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Right now, I am working on a presentation to give to the Massachusetts legal community about referral marketing. I’m also looking forward to being an adjunct professor next semester at a local college. I’ve also been working with a great legal consultant who is helping me optimize my technology which is something I’m passionate about.

Where do you go from here? Where do you aim to be in the next chapter of your career?

What I don’t ever want to be is stagnant. I’m always moving forward and having goals in mind for both the short term and long term. Incorporating the word center into my business name was a very deliberate choice and I’m building a practice that will continue to scale, grow, and evolve into something that I’m always proud of. I look forward to bringing on more staff and associates when the timing is right and continuing to educate the community about topics that are worthy of their time.

Without sharing anything confidential, can you please share your most successful “war story”? Can you share the funniest?

I once represented an elderly client pro bono whose decades-long marriage unraveled, resulting in their husband liquidating all joint assets and moving to a new state. He provided the sole source of income, leaving my client penniless, afraid, traumatized, and hopeless. She was in danger of losing her home and needed help immediately. I was able to get her access to her husband’s pension and other assets, finally providing some financial security and closure to this horrible chapter in her life. As for the funniest story, I once had to send a constable to my client’s ex’s mother’s house. He thought he could avoid the entire court process and evade every attempt at complying with child support orders. He thought he was untouchable. I managed to get an order to bring him into court which was almost unheard of during the covid time, so obviously, this guy was completely shocked when the constable showed up at his mother’s apartment to haul him into court.

Ok, fantastic. Let’s now shift to discussing some advice for aspiring lawyers. Do you work remotely? Onsite? Or Hybrid? What do you think will be the future of how law offices operate? What do you prefer? Can you please explain what you mean?

I find that I’m most productive outside of my home office. I do work from home and at my office, but I go into my office most days. I enjoy the flexibility of being able to work remotely and have set up a practice so that I’m truly able to work from anywhere. However, I don’t like to compete with the needs of a toddler as well as trying to muffle the sounds of two dogs barking while doing a court appearance over Zoom. I think the future of law offices will be hybrid. As much as it intrigues me to have a completely virtual firm, I don’t think it’s appropriate for what I or my clients need. At the end of the day, I still have clients who prefer an in-person meeting and not just over Zoom. It’s important that I can create a safe space for them. That said, I think the pandemic has fast-tracked mainstream views about what a workday can look like. In Massachusetts and especially in the family court arena, judges are telling us that virtual court hearings are here to stay. What remains to be seen is how they will funnel down the types of court appearances that can be conducted virtually.

How has the legal world changed since COVID? How do you think it might change in the near future? Can you explain what you mean?

I think covid has promoted accessibility and reduced geographic limitations. I am now able to accommodate clients in different counties due to the ability to conduct virtual appointments, coupled with the fact that in-person court appearances are still limited. I also think that there has been a significant financial impact as well. Some former costs pre-covid are no longer necessary, while the cost of technology and being able to operate securely and protect your client’s information from malware and viruses has increased. But now we’re given a 15-minute window to give a hearing on a motion that can be conducted virtually, whereas in the past a client would be paying for my travel time as well as my time sitting in court waiting to be called. Now, I can work in my office on all my clients until right up before a meeting.

We often hear about the importance of networking and getting referrals. Is this still true today? Has the nature of networking changed or has its importance changed? Can you explain what you mean?

It’s always going to be important. I think it’s easier to network now in many ways. Some people are very introverted and don’t love the idea of in-person networking. They may feel much more comfortable in their own environment meeting virtually over Zoom. Many of my clients were referred to me either from former clients, friends and family, word of mouth, or other colleagues. I think it’s really important to create reciprocal networking relationships. It’s always important to me to know that the person I hand someone over to is going to treat them just as well as they would at my practice.

Based on your experience, how can attorneys effectively leverage social media to build their practice?

Social media is a gold mine. For the most part, you don’t have to pay to play. There is such a wide reach with social media. There are communities within social media platforms that are genuinely seeking knowledge and education on legal processes. I take pride in sharing what I know via social media to educate my followers. It’s very important to provide service before sales and to give back to your community before you ask anything from them.

Excellent. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things You Need To Become A Top Lawyer In Your Specific Field of Law?” Please share a story or an example for each.

1. The ability to provide a unique client experience. There are a ton of options out there for clients. What is going to separate you from the competition? Why should a potential client choose you? I work hard to differentiate myself from other attorneys or the stereotypical law firms, and that doesn’t work for some people, which is also okay. I am the best fit for my clients. My practice is client-centered, and the client experience is paramount to my success.

2. A genuine interest in the type of work you are performing because, otherwise, why would you want to go to work every day? I love the law, and the family law field is super gratifying.

3. A compelling reason for why you do what you do. For me, the compelling reason is my daughter. I want her to be proud of her mama and see that women can be multi-faceted and succeed in various, simultaneous roles. Being a mom is important to me, but so is being an attorney.

4. A roadmap that is malleable. This couldn’t ring more true during a pandemic, right? Life throws curveballs all the time. If I packed up my bags and closed my practice every time that I was hit with something unexpected, I would’ve already done so by now. It’s important to be able to have some flexibility and know that as the field adapts and changes, you’ll need to do the same if you still want to be a part of it.

5. Always being able to answer the question, “what’s next?” I’m not great at being sedentary in general. There’s always something that needs to be done. I have a laundry list of projects and goals, both personally and professionally, and that keeps the needle moving. I’m always thinking about how to optimize and grow, and predict future needs. I think there’s danger in being stagnant.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

I would have lunch with Andy Cohen! He is the mastermind behind the Real Housewives franchise on Bravo, so I could get all the behind-the-scenes scoop and also pitch myself for a Real Housewives of the North Shore spinoff!

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success and good health!

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