Frequently Asked Questions: Lateral Attorneys
After reviewing our website, you may be considering whether joining the firm is the next step for your practice. Hopefully our frequently asked questions will provide further perspective for prospective attorneys with experience in private practice who may want to learn more about Jimerson Birr. Below you will find general descriptive information about who we are and what we stand for in written and spoken word format. If you have any additional questions not covered below, please contact us for further discussions.
- Where is this firm at, where is it going and why should I want to be a part of it?
- What core values and guiding principles does the firm value the most?
- How would you describe the firm’s service offerings and capabilities?
- How would you describe the firm’s client base and how do you see the firm’s client base growing in the future?
- What sets this firm apart in the way that it provides legal services to its clients?
- How would you describe the firm’s culture?
- What types of people work at this firm and why would I enjoy working with them?
- How does the firm assist its attorneys in growing their book of business through marketing and business development efforts?
- How does the firm encourage and support attorneys who want to be involved in civic, philanthropic, trade or professional association activities on behalf of the firm?
- How can I leverage the firm’s support staff, systems and other lawyers to compliment my practice?
- How does this firm stay abreast of technological innovation in the industry to ensure its lawyers and staff are working with the best resources available?
- In what ways is the firm dedicated to training, mentorship and ongoing professional development of its attorneys and staff?
- How does the firm’s compensation and benefits structure work?
- Does the firm have flexibility for me to work remotely?
- How would you describe the leadership and management structure and style of the firm?
- What opportunities for growth and career advancement exist for me at the firm?
- What will it take for me to be successful at the firm?
- What does Jimerson Birr look for in a lateral attorneys interested in joining the firm?
- Will I have an opportunity to get more legal experience or client contact than I am currently getting?
- Is the firm amenable to flexibility in its fee structures with clients?
Where is this firm at, where is it going and why should I want to be a part of it?
Jimerson Birr is a full-service business law firm that provides a one-stop shop for businesses and executives. During the past decade, our award winning firm has established itself as one of the fastest growing law firms in the country. This is the product of our engaged and motivated attorneys who deliver customized, client-focused solutions. Watch this video to learn more about our firm’s trajectory:< Back To Top
What core values and guiding principles does the firm value the most?
Each member of our firm is responsive, competent, collaborative and personally accountable. Cultivating a culture of trust between the firm, it’s clients and each other is what we do best. This starts by putting our client’s big picture needs first at all times, and delivering timely, effective and “on budget” legal solutions. The quality of our legal work is reflected by the high standards we each set for ourselves, and measured by our ability to live up to those standards. Watch this video to learn more about why we are not a workplace that confuses efforts with results:< Back To Top
How would you describe the firm’s service offerings and capabilities?
At Jimerson Birr, P.A., we take a multi-disciplinary approach to handling complex business matters and in advising clients on a wide range of legal issues. With broad industry knowledge and significant experience in our areas of practice, we devise solutions that address each client’s particular needs and objectives to assure the highest levels of effective representation.
As set forth in our “What we do” section and “Who we serve” section on our website, we are a full-service business law firm, who seeks to provide provides client-focused, proactive legal and business counsel to clients of all sizes – from startups to Fortune 500 companies to closely held businesses and high net worth individuals.
At present time, we have a heavy focus on Florida-based litigation, with business litigation being our most active practice, but our firm is structured in a way that it can meet most any legal needs of any business client operating throughout North America and around the world. Our attorneys litigate disputes and negotiate deals in a way that helps clients cut through complexities, get to the heart of the problem, and win what matters most.
As our firm grows, we fully expect its service offerings to continue to expand. Our expansion is predicated on leveraging our existing and expanding relationships to their fullest potential. Not only do we have deep experience in our primary practice areas, but we also have specialized acumen in the industries in which our clients do business. That way, we always know we’re delivering the most relevant solutions and adding value through added service offerings. By knowing the intricacies of our client’s business inside and out, we’re able to provide the most effective counsel at the right price. We enjoy continually learning, growing, and adapting right along with our clients.< Back To Top
How would you describe the firm’s client base and how do you see the firm’s client base growing in the future?
Jimerson Birr is a multi-practice, global-reaching law firm that represents individuals, private enterprises and public companies in an array of industries including:
- Banking and financial services
- Community associations
- Manufacturing and distribution
- Real estate
- Professional services
- Small business
- Private equity and venture capital
- Energy and utilities
Our attorneys serve as counsel to a broad range of local, regional and national businesses. The firm values these incredible relationships, so we work hard everyday to continue to earn their business. Watch this video to learn more about how this focus on personal relationships will help the firm continue to grow:< Back To Top
What sets this firm apart in the way that it provides legal services to its clients?< Back To Top
How would you describe the firm’s culture?
This law firm is an employee-oriented and professionally fulfilling workplace made up of ambitious achievers who have respect for themselves, their clients, their colleagues, their profession, their family and their community. We work hard, have fun, and enjoy each other, so it should be no surprise that year after year we win local and statewide awards as being one of the best companies to work for. Watch this video to learn more about what it feels like to work at Jimerson Birr:< Back To Top
What types of people work at this firm and why would I enjoy working with them?
Employees of Jimerson Birr share many common threads. These include a persistent positive attitude, personal accountability, team-oriented sensibility, strong work ethic, and constant goal-setting, among others. Members of the firm are self-empowered, and we take ownership of our careers and lives. You’d like practicing law here if you are the type of lawyer who wants to be better today than you were yesterday. Watch this video to learn more about who we are:< Back To Top
How does the firm assist its attorneys in growing their book of business through marketing and business development efforts?At Jimerson Birr, we have a very ubiquitous and aggressive marketing program which has been one of the formulas to our past success. What does that mean to lateral attorneys looking to join our firm? We have a well-staffed, organized marketing department whose sole purpose is to uplift our attorneys and help them achieve their professional business development goals. Our process to marketing is tied around each attorney’s individual business planning. Each year, we commence a process to develop these plans which means you will have committed support to customize your business development plan to represent your annual goals. From this business plan, the marketing department meets with each attorney on a regular basis to review plan progress and drill down on specific levels to help you establish a road to obtain your plan’s goals. They assist in cultivating speaking opportunities and engagements and find publication opportunities. We encourage our attorneys to be in involved in professional organizations, trade associations that support the industries they serve, and in civic or philanthropic associations. Our lawyers are engaged and active within our community, and they serve on various committees and are board of directors’ members within the organizations they participate. Another prong of our marketing program is regular events we host centered around client appreciation. These events serve as an opportunity for to get to know our clients better, strengthen our relationships and introduce our clients to all of our lawyers. Our business development department also extends to our managing partner who has regular meetings with each attorney to evaluate and assist them with then efforts. The firm is interested in developing the future of all of our attorneys, and we ensure each attorney is equipped with the resources to grow. To further contribute to our attorney’s business development plans, our marketing department seek opportunities for our attorneys to contribute scholarly content to various publications, trade journals, and our firm’s blog. Our blog has become a source of industry expertise for clients, referral sources and anyone who wants to learn about area of law. It has a wide distribution and once the scholarly work is created, the marketing department knows how to get your product into the right hands. Every lawyer at our firm has developed a case because of a specific blog post they released. Monthly reporting on key metrics and performance indicators track performance and encourage development. We can empirically prove that through our systematic planning, tracking and accountability in the marketing department, every lateral attorney who has joined our firm has seen, at minimum, one-hundred percent growth in their personal book of business in their first year at our firm. For those who are interested in being self-sustaining layers, we are the type of firm that commits to developing that. Our marketing department can be boiled down to one fundamental principle: we provide the platform that enables our lawyers to tell their story to the people they want it told to. < Back To Top
How does the firm encourage and support attorneys who want to be involved in civic, philanthropic, trade or professional association activities on behalf of the firm?
Since its founding, Jimerson Birr’s commitment to the communities in which we live and the industries we serve has been as strong as its passion and desire to champion client objectives. The firm’s attorneys and staff members are active in the community with their time, expertise, financial support and most importantly, with their passionate spirit. These experiences broaden and deepen our understanding of our communities and the world around us, which in turn enables us to better serve our clients.
Every attorney at Jimerson Birr belongs to local, regional and national professional and trade associations and many participate on committees, policy-making teams and in fundraising events. Furthermore, every attorney at Jimerson Birr is a member of their state and local bar associations, and many are also members of specialty bar associations or professional organizations comprised of peers in the legal industry. Lastly, every attorney at Jimerson Birr is a member of a civic or philanthropic organization. A quick look around shows that our lawyers are leaders in their trade, the industry they support and the communities they live in, at no cost to them other than their time. All of the engagement initiatives of our attorneys are funded by the firm and supported through assistance from the firm’s Marketing Department. Our firm has a track record of giving money to fuel community and community solutions, and lending its voice to causes that matter most to our firm, its employees and its clients.
Overall, the same spirit of dedication, persistence, selflessness, preparedness and endurance that we extend to our clients, we humbly extend to our professional, civic, charitable and community activities. All attorneys are encouraged to play an active role in the community, which often involves volunteer commitments, involvement on nonprofit and trade association boards, leadership roles in civic organizations and pro bono work, all with the support of senior firm leadership and the firm’s marketing department.< Back To Top
How can I leverage the firm’s support staff, systems and other lawyers to compliment my practice?
Each lawyer at our firm has dedicated support staff assigned to perform any professional tasks needed to free our lawyers up to do what they do best—practice law. Aside from legal assistants and paralegals, our firm has front line support through a deep administrative staff (Accounting Department, Operations Department and Marketing Department) that is well-managed and highly trained. Our commitment to providing our lawyers with all support needed to effectively advocate for their clients allows our lawyers to provide more dedicated service, produce higher quality work product and work more efficiently (and in turn, reducing legal fees for our clients).
Our firm goes through a regular audit of work flow and allocation of resources assessment in order to ensure that all areas of need are being timely and economically addressed in order to further the mission of the firm. This level of oversight ensures that when a big court case or transaction comes in the door, our firm has the resources and flexibility to staff up and provide high-quality legal representation that rises to the challenge.
The firm is comprised of focused, dedicated, and high-performing individuals, due in large part to its commitment to training and systems and processes. Each non-attorney member of our firm has a very specific, regularly updated job description that is tied into the tasks they are expected to perform. In turn, each task within the job description has an associated written, or video, standard operating procedure or work instruction associated with it. These standard operating procedures are step-by-step instructions that act as guidelines for employee work processes. Whether written up in numbered steps, formatted as flow charts, or set forth as personalized and engaging video presentations, the firm’s SOPs are complete, clearly enumerated, and based on input from the workers who do the job.
When employees for the firm follow the SOP for a particular job, they produce a product that is consistent and predictable. Our lawyers and management use the SOP framework to develop workflow processes, regularly train on subject matter and efficiencies, and make assessments of individual performance. Employees who work within their job descriptions and utilize our SOPs know exactly who they support, what is expected of them, what resources are available to perform their tasks, and how the attorneys of the firm can be supported in an efficient and effective way to meet client needs. Our firm has tight job descriptions and work flow allocations at every position in each department of the firm. All of these jobs are focused on one thing and one thing only—supporting attorneys.
Beyond the job-specific SOPs in place, our firm has a centralized Learning Management System (“LMS”), which is its own proprietary system and database that serves as a 24/7 portal for firm-wide access to continuing education, training and operational processes. Though our firm does not experience much turnover, our LMS ensures that our product or service is created in the same way from start to finish, whether the employee is a first week contributor or seasoned veteran. The firm’s dedication to training and line production creates consistency and protects the integrity of our work product. It also keeps the costs down for our clients and allows our lawyers to work on the creative side of the practice without being bogged down in the minutiae of operations methods.
Our commitment to training, and systems and processes comes from our management team’s experience at other law firms. Have you ever experienced knowledge loss when a key member of the team left for another job or was otherwise unable to fill the role he/she was hired for? We have, and in starting the firm, we decided we were not going to run a business where the details of our business processes are stored in a key employee’s head and not in a procedures manual. Our steadfast dedication to documentation of job processes ensures that the firm’s operations survive employee attrition due to retirement and resignation. Because we know that it is hard to replace experienced, skilled workers, we focus on retaining through training.
Because every component of attorney support cannot be automated through the LMS, we conduct regular training at all levels of lawyers and non-lawyers. While documented procedures are a valuable component of the new-hire toolkit and can reduce training time, our firm regularly conducts monthly training sessions on key procedures, process evolution, technological advancement or specific initiatives. Our Operations Department, working in concert with our Professional Development Committee, regularly conducts initial and remedial training to ensure our team is working together and compatible on all fronts.
In addition to a well-trained front line support infrastructure, our firm has a well-trained back office support network in place. Our Accounting Department makes the billing, collecting and reporting process turnkey for the attorneys, and our marketing department has one-of-a-kind means and methods that it employs to provide customized business development support for each lawyer. Our management committee meets regularly and is principally involved with the oversight of each department and its leadership.
From an “access to talent” perspective, the firm has a Recruiting Committee which ensures that the interdisciplinary goals and focus of the firm are maintained in the law school recruitment process. The firm ensures that the quality of law student candidates remain consistently high by recruiting only the best and brightest candidates from top-tier law schools to join our ranks. The Recruiting Committee works with the Management Committee to develop a short-term and long-term hiring plan that incorporates pipeline law students with well-established attorneys hired from other law firms. This hiring philosophy ensures that we always have a complimentary talent base that: a) understands the organization’s vision; b) serves as an asset to each other to serve the full interests of our clients as its sole law firm of choice; and c) communicates well and works together efficiently to contribute to firm culture and the professional fulfillment of all employees in our firm. A quick glance down our roster will show that our lawyers have a diversified skill set, specialized industry acumen and certifiable representative matters which show experience and passion in the fields they chose to focus in. Our firm has the philosophy that when you hand great people a great platform, they will do great things. The strength of our team is each individual member. The strength of each member is our team.< Back To Top
How does this firm stay abreast of technological innovation in the industry to ensure its lawyers and staff are working with the best resources available?< Back To Top
In what ways is the firm dedicated to training, mentorship and ongoing professional development of its attorneys and staff?< Back To Top
How does the firm’s compensation and benefits structure work?< Back To Top
Does the firm have flexibility for me to work remotely?
Jimerson Birr believes in employing professionals who know how to get the job done for the firm’s clients. We don’t care how or where you get the job done, just get it done. Be a pro and the rest works itself out.< Back To Top
How would you describe the leadership and management structure and style of the firm?< Back To Top
What opportunities for growth and career advancement exist for me at the firm?
Every success story is a tale of constant revision, adaptation and change. The firm’s story is no different. We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are. As a firm that doubles its investment in its personnel, there is no way the firm can do anything but triple its present success. The firm will always continue to challenge its limits and create its own opportunities. What that means for each individual working at the firm is up to that individual.
On the surface, the firm offers three types of growth opportunities to current employees and candidates looking at continuing their careers with Jimerson Birr. First and foremost, it offers competitive financial opportunities. The firm will always remain committed to providing competitive compensation and benefits packages to personnel at all levels. Individual performers who perform at a level beyond their peers will always be rewarded with above-market wages.
Second, our firm provides plenty of growth potential for professional advancement. As a firm with a lifelong commitment to learning, we are an organization skilled at creating, acquiring, and transferring knowledge, and at modifying its behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights. Our firm’s advancement is predicated on innovation and providing value added services to our clients. This requires us to embrace a simple truth: new ideas are essential if learning is to take place. Sometimes they are created de novo, through flashes of insight or creativity; at other times they arrive from outside the organization or are communicated by knowledgeable insiders. Whatever their source, these ideas are the trigger for organizational improvement. This thirst for knowledge and improvement will ensure that every member of our firm will always have an opportunity to grow and expand- in responsibilities, authority and influence. So long as you are the type of person who is focused on uplifting others, you will always have great influence at our firm. Our firm is built to provide opportunities for those who help build it.
Lastly, our firm provides a strong platform for those motivated by personal growth opportunities. If you care about your professional success, then constant development is nothing new to you. Professional success is closely connected to personal development, even though in corporate America professional development gets less attention than the development of certain skills needed to get the job done. Through our commitment to a well-balanced corporate culture, we’ve found that when personal development at work is given the attention it deserves, it helps the firm achieve truly outstanding results for its clients and employees. The firm only finds success when the results it obtains for its clients are achieved by healthy, happy, well-compensated employees. Our collegial, yet professional, office atmosphere is comprised of people who are achievers and moving in the right direction in life. That is not by accident. We hire only that type of person, find out what motivates that particular person in business and in life, and then we fight like hell to help that person achieve all of their goals.< Back To Top
What will it take for me to be successful at the firm?< Back To Top
What does Jimerson Birr look for in a lateral attorneys interested in joining the firm?
Jimerson Birr, P.A. will only take lateral attorneys who can show demonstrable experience in a practice area the firm currently practices in or wishes to expand into. Experience is a cruel teacher in that it gives a test before it teaches the lesson. We’re hoping lateral candidates joining the firm have a few lessons under their belt before they come to us seeking additional tests. A written list of verifiable representative matters and personal work product is a required submission for any candidate the firm evaluates.
Our firm will undertake an extensive process to verify any lateral attorney’s reputation in the legal and business communities they practice in. Our firm’s reputation rests on the varied and sizeable expertise of our professionals, but it also reflects our unwavering commitment to provide our clients maximum value from the legal services we offer. Lateral candidates should be knowledgeable in their industry and committed to providing exceptional legal service. Our clients have described our lawyers and staff as being “responsive,” “experienced,” “service-oriented,” “focused on positive results,” “analytical,” “creative,” “passionate” and “forward-thinking.” Any candidate to join our firm would have to exemplify those ideals. Furthermore, lateral candidates need to have strong academic credentials and a readily apparent threshold aptitude level. Our lawyers are expected to have an analytical mind that can quickly distill complex concepts and translate them into black and white terms for our clients.
While our firm prefers a candidate with a portable book of business, it only requires demonstrable business development potential and marketing work habits in order to view the candidate as a viable lateral candidate. Jimerson Birr views a portable book of good clients or referral sources to be crucial to long-term attorney happiness. Our systems are set up to develop lawyers who generate their own work, have direct communications with clients, accept bottom line accountability and acquire broad business knowledge that translate into value added services. We’ve often found that the strength of our lawyer-client relationships give meaning to the work of our lawyers.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t point out that we put heavy emphasis on a proper culture fit. For us, cultural fit is the likelihood that a lateral candidate will be able to adapt and contribute to the core values and collective behaviors of the firm. While functional fit is about the lateral candidate’s hard skills—the candidate’s education, certifications, core competencies and experience—cultural fit is about the candidate’s soft skills and personal goals. Our firm will look for personality traits as distinguishing qualities or characteristics that propel one candidate over another. The firm has a preferred type of lawyer who is an embodiment of habitual patterns of behavior, temperament and emotion. A non-exclusive list of traits that are important to Jimerson Birr, P.A. is as follows:
- Positive Attitude – The capacity to stay optimistic and positive.
- Enthusiasm – The possession of intense and eager interest in a subject or cause.
- Ethics – The quality of having and living by a code of sound moral principles.
- Goal Orientation – The ability to have clarity on the objectives that you strive for in your personal and professional life.
- Listening skills – The capacity to suspend your own agenda and deliberately and empathically allow others (namely clients and co-workers) to be heard.
- Network – A well-developed circle of influence of interconnected positive relationships.
- Persistence – The ability to endure in the face of adversity.
- Self-Awareness – The understanding and knowledge of who you are including your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
- Self-Confidence – The firm belief in your abilities.
- Self-Discipline – The ability to be focused and channeled toward your ambitions.
Will I have an opportunity to get more legal experience or client contact than I am currently getting?
Simply put, yes. There are no weak links at our firm. If you are an attorney joining the firm, we will expect you to be front facing, whether that is in a courtroom or a boardroom. By the standards of the rest of the industry, we overtrust our personnel. We do this because we hire great people, train them well, provide them with mentorship and limited oversight, watch them flourish and celebrate their successes. So far, that model has worked out very well for us. Our culture is one that encourages our attorneys to accept as much responsibility and autonomy as they are willing or able to accept. Our trust in our lawyers and staff is our highest form of motivation. It brings out the very best in people.< Back To Top
Is the firm amenable to flexibility in its fee structures with clients?
Jimerson Birr is committed to providing creative and flexible billing alternatives to our clients. We encourage lawyers joining the firm to pursue opportunities to engage in alternative fee arrangements as a means to provide predictable costs to our clients, accommodate budgetary needs, reduce billing complexities and align the cost and value of our legal services. There are a number of ways that we can increase certainty in legal expenditures that the standard hourly-rate billing agreements may not provide. Although our experience is that some matters are more suitable for unconventional billing agreements than others, we are willing to consider alternative billing methodologies for most matters. Great flexibility is afforded to lawyers who originate their own work to set a rate that best compensates that lawyer for his or her time incurred on the matter.
We’ve found that flexibility in our fee arrangements offer the opportunity to balance the client’s and the law firm’s interests and needs. Designing a workable alternative structure typically requires consideration of services to be performed, including, for example, historical volume/billing information, personnel assignment, issue analysis and disposition details, achievement metrics, and other information needed to determine the scope, complexity and duration of the work, and to develop a fee structure that represents a strong value for the client and a reasonable return for the firm. Any such alternative fee arrangements are evaluated on a case-by-case basis and are held in strict confidence.< Back To Top