Dan Gerl is the CEO and Managing Partner of Puget Law Group in Tacoma, Washington. For years, his team has successfully defended thousands of people charged with Criminal and DUI offenses throughout Washington State.
Over the past few years, Dan has put a heavy emphasis on the firm’s hiring process and marketing in order to better serve his clients, as well as tap into new growth opportunities.
In this latest installment of Playing a Bigger Game, I sat down with Dan to get a better understanding of the choices he’s made for the firm that have allowed it to reach new heights at such an incredible rate.
It seems like most in the legal community are very apprehensive, not only of hiring anyone, to begin with, but also paying a premium for great talent.
Q: What was that deciding factor where you just said, “We’re going to only bring in the best,” knowing that you’d have to pay a premium for it, even at the time when you may not have had a ton of business coming in?
When Nick came on board, I remember the first couple of months, it was unbelievable — the cases that were coming to us through referrals because of the name that he had created for himself.
Even though he had been at the public defender’s office, as soon as he was out into the private sector, he had a ton of referrals coming in that really moved our monthly revenue up. I remember the commission check that I wrote him the first time — that’s when I really freaked out.
I realized, “Well, yeah,” but because of that, this is what happened for us: It wasn’t really until he came on board that I started realizing that this is not about me marketing myself. This is about a team thing.
I continued going in a direction away from the focus being on me and instead put the focus on our team and on my people. I just think the personnel moves that we’ve made have allowed us to really achieve a point of sustainability.
Now, the next challenge is just keeping that going, never getting complacent, never resting on that, and thinking “Well, this is just set it and forget it.”
We’re very grateful for what we’ve been able to accomplish so far — but we’re never going to rest on that. It’s always a matter of continuing to explore, learning new things, and just picking up wisdom and employing that.