Ross Albers of Albers & Associates: “Always be recruiting and hiring”

Always be recruiting and hiring. You need people to grow your business. You want hungry, humble and smart people. When I first started I was so hesitant to hire my first legal assistant because I didn’t think I could afford her. Now, I understand I can’t afford not to be recruiting and hiring the best people. […]

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Always be recruiting and hiring. You need people to grow your business. You want hungry, humble and smart people. When I first started I was so hesitant to hire my first legal assistant because I didn’t think I could afford her. Now, I understand I can’t afford not to be recruiting and hiring the best people.

As part of my series about the leadership lessons of accomplished business leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ross Albers.

Ross earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Bucknell University. While attending Bucknell, he was a member of Bucknell’s nationally-ranked Division I lacrosse team.

Upon graduating from Bucknell University, he worked as an Insurance Adjuster for Travelers.

While working full-time at Travelers, he attended the University of Baltimore School of Law. In law school, Ross was a member and production editor of the school’s Law Review. He concentrated his studies on criminal practice.

After graduating from law school, Ross worked at the State’s Attorney’s Office for Baltimore City as a law clerk in the misdemeanor division. Upon passing the Maryland bar, he was hired as an Assistant State’s Attorney where he tried cases in the District, Juvenile and Circuit courts of Baltimore City.

After a few years of public service, Ross entered private practice and joined a small law firm to focus on representing the injured in personal injury matters. Ross tried cases in the District and Circuit courts throughout Maryland.

He left that firm to form the Law Offices of Ross W. Albers which became Albers & Associates.

Ross lives in Westminster, Maryland with his wife Emily and their three daughters Tilly, Charlie, and Gracie.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

About two weeks before I got married, I was fired from my job at a small law firm. I came home and told my wife that I was going to start my own law firm. My wife, Emily, was not thrilled because she grew up in a household where her father was a small-town attorney in Vermont. Sometimes legal bills were “paid” in exchange for snowmobile repairs. Despite her uneasiness, we were married two weeks later and I started my firm from the dining room table of my home.

Today, Albers & Associates is a personal and professional development company that supports its employees to improve their lives, provide them happiness and love them like family. Our attorneys, paralegals and staff provide legal services for criminal defense, estate planning, family law, and personal injury.

Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?

When I started my firm I was working from my dining room table. I had no clients. I remember doing what every criminal defense attorney does when they hang a shingle, I went to the public defender’s office and begged for conflict work. I was criss-crossing Maryland handling cases in the morning and afternoon for 50 dollars/hour. It was a grind.

Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

I got my drive from the desire to prove to myself that I could start my own business and be successful. I figured this was my chance to do it. When I first started working with my business coach he told me, “Ross, you’re just an employee of a law firm that happens to be named after you.” That resonated with me. I think back to that statement often and use it to motivate myself when times are hard. I’m not doing this to create a job for myself, I’m doing it to create a business that provides opportunities for others.

So, how are things going today? How did grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?

Grit, resilience, and changing my mindset led me to my success today. Believing in myself by surrounding myself with like minded people, reading books and learning about leadership. Today, I don’t consider us a law firm, but more of a personal and professional development company that happens to practice law.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I had a billboard in town for about a year. A big picture of my face and my office’s number. My wife would find herself stuck in traffic underneath the billboard all the time and send me pictures. It was a mistake because I didn’t track the results or lack of results I was getting from the billboard. I had no process. I learned that in order to expand or fix things you need to track them.

As my college lacrosse coach used to say, “The film doesn’t lie.” Well, neither do the numbers. You’ll know if you’re being successful or not by tracking things.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I think we stand out because we identify ourselves as a personal and professional development company and not a law firm. When you ask most firms what they do they list off all the practice areas they handle. We tell people we’re a personal and professional development company because we want to create leaders here that happen to practice law. That’s what’s important to me and our firm.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Read and learn about personal and professional development. I read a book called, “The 5AM Miracle,” which explained that the most successful people in the world are early risers. They workout, read, journal and meditate every morning. So, I decided if that’s what the most successful people in the world are doing, I’m going to do that. Getting up and working out at 5am helps me clear my head. It centers my day. I journal to get thoughts out of my head and reassure myself that I’m doing things right. I have quiet time before the chaos of three children under the age of three wake up and demand to watch “Blippi” on the television.

Getting your body and mind right in the morning is the key to not “burning out.”

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

My business coach, David Kelly of The Grow Solutions Team, is a person I attribute a lot of success to. He challenged me to work “on” my business and not “in” it. He holds me accountable. He calls out my self-limiting beliefs.

He encourages me to take risks. To think “why not me” instead of “I can’t do that.” Without him, I would still be grinding 50 dollars/hour panel cases for the public defender’s office. Instead, I’m growing a business that will hopefully help others achieve their dreams and goals.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I’ve been involved with the Boys & Club of Westminster, Maryland. After WWII, my grandfather started youth clubs around Germany for children to learn about American values. At one point, he was serving over a thousand youths Christmas dinner around Germany. I see my work with the Boys & Girls Club as a way to continue my grandfather’s legacy of giving back to young people.

When I was a prosecutor in the juvenile justice system, I learned that it really takes just two things to be successful: education, and family. I see the Boys & Girls Club as a tool to help young people stay on track and be successful.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my company” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

As a business owner you have three core responsibilities: hire, acquire and inspire. You also need to dream big, take action and be relentless.

Always be recruiting and hiring. You need people to grow your business. You want hungry, humble and smart people. When I first started I was so hesitant to hire my first legal assistant because I didn’t think I could afford her. Now, I understand I can’t afford not to be recruiting and hiring the best people.

You must also be focused on acquiring new business. This can be new clients or other businesses that you can acquire and merge into yours. When I first started working with my business coach he told me to go around town and meet all the chiropractors because they probably would refer me to their personal injury patients. So, one weekend, I reached out to all the chiros in town and set meetings with them to introduce myself. Sure enough, within a week they were referring me cases. Mostly because no other attorney in town had taken the time to go out of their way to meet them.

Ultimately, your job as a leader is to inspire your team. Create a vision and get your people behind it. Tie their personal success and dreams into the business’ vision. Catch people doing something good everyday and praise them. Reward them for creating value, not just doing their job. Get them to think like entrepreneurs and act like business owners.

Dream big means don’t have self-limiting beliefs. I can remember first setting goals with my business coach. They were small. Like, I want to generate 1M dollars in revenue. I’ve learned that’s too small, why not 150M dollars!

Take action means GOYA: Get off your ass!. Dreams put into action get accomplished. Thinking about dreams does not make them happen. GOYA!

Be relentless means don’t give up. When you dream big, take action and give up when things get hard you won’t accomplish much. Being relentless means you learn from mistakes and failures, but you keep moving forward and try again.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I’d start a leadership academy where people could learn the qualities of great leadership. I think the more leaders we can create in this world the better off we will be. Leadership is a learned quality that takes time and practice. It requires failure, too. But, that’s how you learn to be a better leader, you fail at it along the way.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

You can find us at You can follow me on LinkedIn.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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