Episode 74: The Key to Client Communication with Susan Winters and Budd Larner

Who is Susan Winters and the key takeaways in this episode?

Susan Winters is the Chairperson of the Family Law division of Budd Larner. She hails from a very entrepreneurial background and was mentored by the some of the finest attorneys in New Jersey. She built her family law practice up one client at a time, winning multiple legal and entrepreneurial awards along the way. Her number one goal is to make her clients’ needs her main priority.

Listen to this inspiring interview and learn about:

  • The tipping point that became Susan’s ‘Aha’ moment
  • How culture accelerated her business
  • How Susan views office design as a part of culture
  • And much, much more

The Questions

Was there a moment for you where the lights went on, when it all aligned for you?

Answer:I think what I realized early on is that servicing the client and communicating with them when they need you is the most important aspect of my practice. We’re all good lawyers; we all went to law school and we all study the law, but we feel that especially in my field of practice we need to be available to each other within the team and to the client. I’ve made it clear to everyone that works with me that no matter what the time of night, no matter if it’s a text or a telephone call, it’s got to be that level of communication.

Could you share with us, if you will, a story where culture helped accelerate your business?

Answer: It goes back to when I was speaking in terms of everyone feeling like they’re an integral part of the group and its growth. When I started this practice it was just me. It was just me for many years until I could build, client by client, enough business to actually bring on a second partner. […] I basically stole him from the firm he was with, and together we thought it was wonderful to just have the two of us. We wanted to build a team and have it grow. We have up to 15 lawyers in the department now, and I really do believe that it’s about having people join your business and feel like they’re part of a growing enterprise. Even to this day, I feel like I’m still growing, 33 years later.

How do you see office design as it relates to culture, and in your environment how did it help you with staff engagement and attracting new talent?

Answer:When I first started the department, the office really wasn’t big enough to accommodate more lawyers, offices and secretarial and paralegal staff. They decided to put us across the hall from the main office in our own little space, and it turned out that it couldn’t have been better. We would walk out of each of our offices and literally be walking into each other. Even if we didn’t want to have that kind of contact all day long, we did by virtue of the space, and it actually encouraged us to talk more about our cases with one another.

Culture According to Susan Winters:

It’s a group of people coming together with all different abilities and all different areas of expertise, and being able to work together. […] If you have a different person for each role, you have a good team. Everyone doing what he or she does best and, most importantly, we all feel like we’re equal contributors.

Book Recommendations:

  • Shoes of the Fisherman by Morris West

Go To Quote for Inspiration

What Susan Winters Wants Her Company to BE:

  • BE Responsive
  • BE Compassionate
  • BE Exceptional

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Interview:

Where to Find Susan Winters:

  • Email her at: swinters@buddlarner.com

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