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From Big Law to Solo Trial Practice with Bethany Schneider

Are you ready for an insider’s look at the high-stakes world of trial law? In the latest episode of The Founding Partner Podcast, we sit down with Bethany Schneider, a former trial lawyer at an esteemed M Law 50 firm who took a leap of faith to start her own plaintiff’s practice. Bethany’s story is one of passion, dedication, and the pursuit of justice, and it’s sure to inspire anyone interested in the legal field or the entrepreneurial journey of starting a firm.

**From Big Law to Big Cases**

Bethany Schneider’s roots are firmly planted in Nashville, Tennessee, but her legal journey has taken her to the University of Georgia, the University of Texas for law school, and eventually to King and Spalding in Atlanta. It was there that Bethany cut her teeth on the intense world of tobacco litigation, where she found herself in the thick of 24 trials, honing her skills in the courtroom.

Despite her aversion to tobacco, the allure of real trial experience was too great to pass up. Bethany recounts the unique training she received, traveling across the country and taking on roles in the courtroom that many associates could only dream of. But after eight and a half years, the calling for something more aligned with her strengths and passions became too loud to ignore.

**The Turning Point**

Bethany’s introspection led her to a bold decision: she would switch sides and become a plaintiff’s lawyer. With her extensive trial experience and a deep-seated desire to advocate passionately for her clients, she founded her own firm. The risk paid off, and within a year, Bethany secured a $5.5 million verdict in her first lead trial, setting the stage for a successful career as a sought-after trial lawyer.

**The Road to Founding a Firm**

Listeners will get an intimate look at Bethany’s motivations for attending law school and her unwavering intent to become a trial lawyer. The podcast delves into the pivotal moments that shaped her career, from the initial push to join a big law firm to the realization that her true calling was in plaintiff’s work.

**Tune In for Trial Talk**

This episode is more than just a career chronicle; it’s a testament to the power of following one’s convictions and the courage it takes to start anew. Bethany’s story is a beacon for aspiring lawyers and entrepreneurs alike, proving that with the right training and a dash of daring, the path to success is there for the taking.

Don’t miss out on this captivating conversation with Bethany Schneider. Head over to The Founding Partner Podcast to listen to the full episode and be inspired by a trial lawyer who’s not just making a name for herself, but also making a difference for her clients. Click to listen now and join us for an episode that’s as educational as it is empowering! 

[00:00:00] Bethany Schneider: I’ve been approached a couple of times by different firms. Along the way and, you know, when you’re and we’ll talk about this, I’m sure, but when you’re having to continuously hustle for cases and there’s no end in sight for that, you know, the idea of kind of a cushy salary and getting to try good cases, you know, big cases at some points has been alluring to me, but then I just come back to the fact that. Like it’s the freedom and independence of just having your own firm is worth it to

[00:00:30] ​

[00:00:59] Jonathan Hawkins: [00:01:00] Welcome to Founding Partner Podcast. I’m Jonathan Hawkins, your host. Today, we’ve got a very special guest. We’ve got Bethany Schneider. She’s going to talk about. She’s got a pretty cool journey. She was a trial lawyer and actually tried cases at an M law 50 firm that may be higher than that. I don’t know.

[00:01:21] Jonathan Hawkins: But and then at some point decided to go out on her own and start a plaintiff’s practice. Trial firm. So Bethany, why don’t you introduce yourself? Tell us about you and your firm.

[00:01:35] Bethany Schneider: thank you for having me. It’s great to be on here to talk about the journey, I guess, of being a founding partner. But yes, I so I’m originally from Nashville, Tennessee, went to the UGA, go dogs for undergrad and then went to the University of Texas for law school. There was. Recruited by King and Spaulding here in Atlanta to come work for them.

[00:01:56] Bethany Schneider: I found myself in my second year being asked [00:02:00] to actually take the Florida bar because there was this exciting new litigation heating up there. It was actually the tobacco litigation where a class action had been decertified. So there were going to be 5, 000 pending cases that all had to be tried because RJ Reynolds tobacco company is self insured.

[00:02:20] Bethany Schneider: And so to settle those cases would have been to bankrupt the company. So they embarked on a kind of a. Strategy of attrition and you know, going and trying all the cases. So, of course, when I started on that team, I said, the 1 thing I don’t want to do is tobacco. I’m very against smoking and cigarettes and everything.

[00:02:39] Bethany Schneider: And that’s once they dangled in front of me trials, real trial experience as a young associate. I’m like, just. Put my morals aside, you know, anything for a trial. So basically as a second year got sent off to of all places, Miami. So that was pretty good on an expense account, but went to [00:03:00] 24 trials during the time that I was there.

[00:03:03] Bethany Schneider: Got to be in the courtroom for 11 of them doing different aspects of the trials openings and closings and witnesses. Really just got to get a lot of good training from excellent trial lawyers of travel all over the country, taking depositions and medical experts and really, you know, had boots on the ground kind of training that is very unique to a big law firm like that.

[00:03:27] Bethany Schneider: You know, and so, but eight and a half years in just really started doing a lot of self reflection and luckily we have something called courtroom view network. If you haven’t checked it out. It’s a streaming service. They go around and do a lot of the trials around the country kind of personal injury type trials.

[00:03:47] Bethany Schneider: And you can learn so much. I mean, it’s a great learning opportunity for other, you know, lawyers, but also then for yourself because you can go back and watch yourself. So when I was going back and watching myself, I’m like, you [00:04:00] know, I’m just much more, my, My strengths are much more aligned, I think, with the plaintiff side of just being passionate and emotional.

[00:04:09] Bethany Schneider: And, you know, I kind of, as the defense lawyer, you’re trying to be the opposite of those things. And so did a lot of soul searching and decided that the best course for me was to switch sides and become a plaintiff’s lawyer, luckily because of the training I had there. I really felt prepared to you know, try cases on my own.

[00:04:30] Bethany Schneider: So I started my own firm. I said, you know, I’ve got nothing to lose right now. And I mean, so, you know, lucky and blessed that people started sending me cases and trials and. Within a year, got a 5. 5 million verdict in my, basically my first lead trial and yeah, and a TBI trial. So, kind of since then has been, you know, trying to build my reputation as a trial lawyer, somebody that people.

[00:04:56] Bethany Schneider: You know, hire to come in and try their cases, even like [00:05:00] two weeks, six weeks before trial. Now I’ve had probably on this side, at least 15 lead trials. And so, you know, really focused my practice on that and it’s been great.

[00:05:10] Jonathan Hawkins: Okay.

[00:05:11] Bethany Schneider: first, I have had my practice for about six

[00:05:13] Jonathan Hawkins: We’re going to dig into all of that stuff. I’m very interested. So let, but let’s go back to the beginning. Why did you go to law school? Did you know you want to be attorney or was it sort of the default that you didn’t know what else to do?

[00:05:24] Bethany Schneider: Yeah. So we, I went to a private school in Nashville and we did, you know, career testing, you know, early on. And you know, it came back, I thought I wanted to be either like a doctor or veterinarian or something in the science field. And my mom, of course, you know, being so, I said, well, you’re not that good at Science or, you know, and so do you really want to do what you’re good at is arguing and reading and you enjoy that and the career testing came back, you know, lawyer.

[00:05:53] Bethany Schneider: I didn’t have any lawyers in the family or anything. You didn’t really know much about it, but pretty much. You know, starting [00:06:00] in early high school was like, I’m going to be a lawyer. And a trial lawyer. I want to try cases. Cause I had been in performance arts and I liked being the center of attention and on the stage and everything, but it was just kind of the plan that I always had and I just kind of followed that along and just always knew I wanted to go to law school and be a trial lawyer.

[00:06:19] Jonathan Hawkins: So it sounds like you were born to be a trial lawyer. So when you started law school, you knew you wanted to be a trial lawyer. You went in with that, that in mind.

[00:06:27] Bethany Schneider: Yes.

[00:06:28] Jonathan Hawkins: So that’s good. So I had that in mind too, and I ended up, I did a little, and then I don’t really do a whole lot of that anymore. But I really wanted to do plaintiff’s trial work and I’ve never done really any of it.

[00:06:39] Jonathan Hawkins: So, you know, that’s how

[00:06:40] Bethany Schneider: You’re missing out. It’s the best. I mean, I will say, I mean, I just feel so grateful to, I can’t imagine doing anything else. Like people are like, well, if you weren’t a trial lawyer, what would you do? I’m like, I literally cannot think of another thing. Like, this is just the perfect career for me.

[00:06:54] Bethany Schneider: And I feel so, I just, I get this like feeling of euphoria when I drive [00:07:00] to trial and get to do what I love to do and fight and, but then also be like helping people. Well,

[00:07:07] Jonathan Hawkins: you go to Texas for law school knowing you want to be a trial lawyer. You get recruited to come back to Atlanta. Did you know you wanted to come back to Georgia or was it just sort of, that’s how it fell into place?

[00:07:18] Bethany Schneider: I, it was kind of random that I went to the University of Texas for law school. I’d gone to UGA for undergrad. I loved Georgia. I loved Athens, you know, didn’t hadn’t spent much time in Atlanta just because I didn’t grow up here. I mean, as a college student, we didn’t spend too much time in Atlanta, but obviously most people were kind of coming back to the area.

[00:07:37] Bethany Schneider: I, when I was applying to law school, I, you know, just thought I would go to Georgia. And you know, I guess everything happens for a reason. I ended up, despite having a very high GPA and a letter of recommendation from Jerry Moorhead, it was a highest honors, got wait listed for a week at the University of Georgia for law school.

[00:07:56] Bethany Schneider: And during that time I got in the University of Texas, which I’d [00:08:00] applied to because my sister went to school there, she was a cheerleader there. During the time that Vince Young played there, but, and it was kind of, I reached school. And so I like get into this, what I think, you know, at the time was a higher ranked school.

[00:08:13] Bethany Schneider: And I’m like, okay, well, God’s, I guess, telling me something and decided, all right. I thought, I always thought I wanted to come back to Atlanta just because I just liked the Southeast. And it was like the best place to be to practice law in the Southeast. But yeah, we decided to go out there to Texas and And then, you know, come back to Atlanta.

[00:08:34] Jonathan Hawkins: is a good school, Austin’s a fun town, you know, it’s a good experience. You get back to Atlanta, so you wanted to be a trial lawyer, but then you get to a big. Big firm where you know, it’s pretty damn rare for people to get actually get trial experience so But you were able to you mentioned it a little bit about it a minute ago But I you know, you know a lot of people I know a lot of people it is very rare I mean you meet people [00:09:00] that are partners at some of these big firms who’ve Never tried a case Maybe don’t even know where the courthouse is So you were able to do that, so It sounds like, you know, just luck of the draw that those tobacco cases were gonna go.

[00:09:13] Jonathan Hawkins: Is that?

[00:09:14] Bethany Schneider: Basically, you know, I think coming out of law school, even though I knew I wanted to be a trial lawyer, I had no idea how to accomplish that or what that meant or what area you’d go in. But obviously having the opportunity to go to a big firm with a lot. I have a lot of student debt and those kinds of things.

[00:09:32] Bethany Schneider: You know, everybody said, well, you can always you can go anywhere from. From King and Spaulding of you have the opportunity to go there. And so, you know, just kind of went there because I really liked the firm culture at the time and everything. And I started on the business litigation team because I thought that was the most diverse areas of practice.

[00:09:49] Bethany Schneider: And I would have the most opportunity to kind of explore different areas. And. But then was really just doing, you know, e discovery and even paper discovery at that time and like [00:10:00] securities litigation. I mean, it wasn’t anything having to do really with trials. And so at the time the tort team leader, Andy Bayman, like would see me on the elevator with all these documents.

[00:10:09] Bethany Schneider: And he was like, Bethany, you need to come to the tort team. Like we can actually, you know, use you. We’ve got a lot of exciting trials going on. You’re not going to be doing discover, you know, e discovery or all that. And so I did, and then it just so happened, you know, that they had this tobacco.

[00:10:25] Bethany Schneider: So, you know, litigation heating up and it, you know, it obviously all worked out, but it, I wouldn’t have lasted very long there. Had I not been able to go to the trials? Cause I mean, otherwise it was,

[00:10:38] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah, I think it’s really cool that you were able to get the trial experience. So let’s talk about that a little bit. You said 20 something trials that you were involved in. Down in, were they all down in Miami?

[00:10:46] Bethany Schneider: so they were All in Florida. Now the tobacco litigation is kind of all over the place, but for us, it was all in Florida. So it was Miami, West Palm, the Tampa area, some other like smaller towns, but [00:11:00] mostly Miami is where I was, which was awesome.

[00:11:02] Jonathan Hawkins: And so, I mean, I’m just imagining, how long were these trials? Were they weekly?

[00:11:07] Bethany Schneider: would be three to four

[00:11:08] Jonathan Hawkins: Three to four weeks. So you have to go down there probably at least a week or so before, and then you’ve got three or four weeks there. And so, I mean, did you basically move to Florida?

[00:11:17] Bethany Schneider: Yes. Pretty much. People would ask me like, well, are you going to move to Florida? I’m like, well, why would I move there when I can go there? You know, like on, on the expense account and stuff, otherwise it’d be too expensive, but yeah, one year I built 3, 200 hours.

[00:11:30] Jonathan Hawkins: wow. Yeah. That was going to be my next question. How much were you billing? Holy

[00:11:34] Bethany Schneider: Yeah. Like one year, the 3, 200 hours a year, I went to four trials and for like four weeks at a time and you’re working 20 hours a day, you know, I mean, it’s crazy.

[00:11:44] Bethany Schneider: I can only do that when I was in my twenties, you know,

[00:11:47] Jonathan Hawkins: Dang, that is a lot, but those are real hours. I mean, you’re down there.

[00:11:51] Bethany Schneider: yeah, I

[00:11:53] Jonathan Hawkins: bet you were getting some really nice bonuses too, right?

[00:11:56] Bethany Schneider: bought a house with the 3, 200 hour a year, [00:12:00] paid off my student loans within four years. So, you know, it was all worked out

[00:12:04] Jonathan Hawkins: So that’s cool. So you were there how long were you at King Spalding?

[00:12:07] Bethany Schneider: eight and a half

[00:12:08] Jonathan Hawkins: Eight and a half years. So you get, you know, 11 to 20 something, whatever trials you got to do. You said you got to do actually do openings and closings and crosses and all that kind of stuff. It’s not just, you’re there carrying a briefcase or whatever.

[00:12:21] Bethany Schneider: exactly. Yeah.

[00:12:23] Jonathan Hawkins: So that’s cool. So let me ask this you don’t have to say, but did you win or lose? Oh, you know,

[00:12:28] Bethany Schneider: So I had some big losses, I think two different $35 million losses. But I would say we won about a third of ’em, which I mean, that’s surprising. You could win any, right. And then we lost the other two thirds and like a third of ’em we’d lose punitives and a third of ’em we wouldn’t. So, yeah, well we did win some, which was amazing.

[00:12:49] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah, so eventually you’re billing 3, 000 hours a year what caused you to leave to go your own practice Is it because the tobacco trials were winding down or you just were [00:13:00] ready for a

[00:13:00] Bethany Schneider: yeah, no, they were, they’re still going on now. I mean, I think I just got to that point in my career where I was like, you know, what, okay, I’ve gotten the training, you know, now what do I want to do with it? I was 33 singles and have any kids, you know, 1 of the partners had Bradley Pratt, who’s a, you know, plaintiff’s attorney had left about a year earlier to become a plaintiff’s lawyer.

[00:13:24] Bethany Schneider: And I’m like, well, if he’s leaving as a partner to go do this, it prompted me to start just doing a lot of research and talking to a lot of people. I think probably talked to. Almost 50 people by the time, you know, it was all over just about what it was like to be a plaintiff’s lawyer. And, you know, just found that it, like I said it was exhausting, obviously traveling that much you know, at the time.

[00:13:48] Bethany Schneider: And it was, it became very monotonous to me. The cases are, you know, just all started to be the same. It was, it despite the fact that it was challenging in general to defend a tobacco company, I [00:14:00] wasn’t really finding the challenge, you know, as much anymore, the intellectual challenge, and so, you know, just really found that the personal injury plaintiff’s world was just a much better fit for me and I found it to be, you know, really exciting, but also the aspect of being able to have it be fulfilling.

[00:14:20] Bethany Schneider: More from kind of a moral standpoint, you know?

[00:14:23] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah, and so you Talked to a lot of people you probably had opportunities maybe to join existing firms did you join a firm or did you just say I’m starting my own? How did you do it?

[00:14:35] Bethany Schneider: Yeah. I mean, I really didn’t, you know, I did talk to people about kind of the different options. But I didn’t really pursue Anything seriously as far as joining another firm. I think at that point I was just so like I’d spent so long kind of Behind, you know, standing behind other people and thinking, you know, I could do this.

[00:14:58] Bethany Schneider: And I just [00:15:00] decided that I was really ready to sink or swim on my own. And okay, let me just give it a shot and see how it is. I just don’t feel like I want to go work for anybody else right now. Cause I want to do everything the way I want to do it. And I think I’ve had enough training to know how to do it.

[00:15:15] Bethany Schneider: And so, like I said, I was, you know, I just was at the point where I could take, I was like, I had enough money. Saved up for at least a year of not making any. And so I’m like, all right, let me just go and try it on my own. And then I can always go anywhere, you know, and go with any kind of firm after that.

[00:15:30] Bethany Schneider: And it just so happened that it worked out and I could never go back to working for somebody else.

[00:15:35] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah, I believe it,

[00:15:37] Bethany Schneider: I know I’ve been approached a couple of times by different firms. Along the way and, you know, when you’re and we’ll talk about this, I’m sure, but when you’re having to continuously hustle for cases and there’s no end in sight for that, you know, the idea of kind of a cushy salary and getting to try good cases, you know, big cases at some points has been alluring to me, but then I just come back to the [00:16:00] fact that. Like it’s the freedom and independence of just having your own firm is worth it to

[00:16:08] Jonathan Hawkins: yeah, so let’s talk about the transition from. Big firm to your own firm. So, you know, I’m sure at the big firm, it was very structured. You’re billing your ass off. Everything’s sort of taken care of for you. You don’t have to worry about anything. You know how to try a case, but you know, running a firm’s a little different than just trying to case.

[00:16:25] Jonathan Hawkins: So then all of a sudden, boom, you’re on your own. How did you figure all that out?

[00:16:31] Bethany Schneider: No, that’s a good question. Certified mail is the hardest thing to figure out. And how do you print on those green like things? I mean, that took me forever. I still don’t know how to do it today. But The good thing is that I’ve always been very resourceful myself, you know, and so I, I feel like I’m good at figuring things out.

[00:16:50] Bethany Schneider: But what I did was I made sure to surround myself with people that. You know, could kind of give me some guidance. So, somebody from King and Spalding, Rance [00:17:00] Parton he is a, was a partner and is a partner in a PI firm. He, you know, offered me some office space so that I was kind of in their firm.

[00:17:10] Bethany Schneider: You know, to have my own firm, but like, was surrounded by paralegals and associates that I could ask questions to and kind of observe the different things. And so just that was a big part of just kind of being around, you know, other firms to kind of see what they are doing. I also you know, I had never.

[00:17:30] Bethany Schneider: worked on any kind of case in Georgia or with an insurance company, never done any P. I. So I, you know, tried to take my, for my referrals in litigation. Then I would try to like work backwards and like learn. How, what they were doing kind of up to that point. And and then GTLA is, you know, is such an awesome resource and just everybody is so sharing of, you know, templates and ideas.

[00:17:59] Bethany Schneider: [00:18:00] And I ended up six months in, when I, you know, was tired of doing all the certified mail myself and everything got to office with Jeb Butler and Darren Tobin. And we shared a paralegal. So that was, you know, that was really helpful too. And I wasn’t able to like, you know, fully support a paralegal.

[00:18:19] Bethany Schneider: I was able to get some help early on you know, with their help.

[00:18:24] Jonathan Hawkins: know, it’s interesting.

[00:18:25] Bethany Schneider: it was a lot, a big transition of like resources. And I’m like, I don’t even know what the paralegals do. Like, how am I supposed to figure this out? You know,

[00:18:33] Jonathan Hawkins: It’s the little things that you mentioned the certified male, you know, one day you reach over and you need a stapler and you’re like, damn, I don’t have a staple, I got to go get a stapler. And then you got to get staples. Yeah. So it’s the little things that you just never had to worry about. They were just

[00:18:46] Bethany Schneider: Exactly. Yeah. You had a huge supply room closet. It was like going to Staples in King and small, like that was the most fun thing. You’d go there and you’d get all your supplies. Now you have to order all that yourself. And you’re like, Oh man, these pens are really expensive. I’m going to have to opt for [00:19:00] different pens.

[00:19:00] Bethany Schneider: You know?

[00:19:01] Jonathan Hawkins: well, you get to choose the pen. That’s the good thing, right?

[00:19:03] Bethany Schneider: Yeah. True.

[00:19:04] Jonathan Hawkins: So something interesting you said that I was going to ask you about. You’re at King and Spalding, which is a big firm. And. I know some folks at King’s Balding now, I know a lot of, you know, a lot of folks you’ve already mentioned, I know that have left but you’re getting a lot of good trial work, but it’s all down in Florida.

[00:19:21] Jonathan Hawkins: So you’re really not interacting with the Georgia bar or really anybody in Atlanta, probably. So then all of a sudden you’d go out on your own. And, you know, the lifeblood of a PI firm is referrals. And so all of a sudden you’re here, you know, a few people, but you don’t have, you know, some of the people that leave from the defense side here in Atlanta to switch sides, they’ve been litigating these cases and against these defense lawyers for a good number of years and they know other plans.

[00:19:48] Jonathan Hawkins: So they’ve sort of have a built in network, referral network. Sounds like you sort of had to build that from scratch real quick. So tell us about that.

[00:19:55] Bethany Schneider: Yeah. I had zero cases and pretty much, you know, no referral [00:20:00] sources whatsoever. So I just, you know, at that time it was 2008, beginning of 2018. Okay. And I just would go to every happy hour I could and take, you know, collect business cards and then follow up and ask every single person to lunch. And, you know, and through that, I would get at least, you know, usually I’d get at least a case from the person.

[00:20:23] Bethany Schneider: Because it was very rare back then, especially for people to see that I left. a big law firm like King and Spalding, you know, to come to this side, like there were just very, it was very few and far between like a lot of insurance defense lawyers would switch sides. But, you know, I think people really respected me for doing that.

[00:20:44] Bethany Schneider: And then obviously knew the caliber of work I could provide. And I was able to sell my trial, real trial experience in order to get cases. But, you know, again, GTLA and plaintiff’s lawyers are, Good. Like that. I think a lot of people really respect when people are opening up their [00:21:00] own firms and they look, if you go to lunch or you have a talk with them, they’re like, Oh, okay, I’ve got a case I can send you, you know, I kind of laugh because one of my first cases that I got sent by my friend, Raya great house was a magistrate court trial, you know?

[00:21:15] Bethany Schneider: And so I went, it was my first trial as a plaintiff’s lawyer. I put on a three hour trial and magistrate court night

[00:21:22] Jonathan Hawkins: And for those not from Georgia, those not from Georgia, that’s small claims. And in Georgia, that’s 15, 000 or less, right?

[00:21:29] Bethany Schneider: yeah. And I put on a full opening, you know, cause I was so excited and everybody’s like, and there’s like, I think I, I’ve got my verdict was 6, 000. And then we ended up having to settle for four because they were going to appeal it to actual. Real court, you know, but yeah, it was really just a matter of pounding the pavement and you know, just trying to make connections.

[00:21:51] Bethany Schneider: And so then somebody would say, oh, I have this connection. I know this person who has a bunch of litigation cases that. They, you know, need help with or [00:22:00] what, you know, it’s just all making the connections. And I had, I did have to do that from scratch, but that’s been 1 of the most rewarding things I think, and in this is, as you pointed out, I mean, I didn’t have any connections in the Georgia legal community at all in the Atlanta legal community.

[00:22:14] Bethany Schneider: Community, the Atlanta Bar and it is such an awesome bar. You know, I’m a member of the Atlanta Lawyers Club and, you know, and even just the plaintiff’s bar and getting to meet judges and it’s a very close knit community despite it being so large. And so it’s been very rewarding to get to kind of get in you know, plugged into that community.

[00:22:35] Jonathan Hawkins: We did two things that I always recommend people do when they, if anybody asked me number one, avoid sort of. Taking on a huge office lease or anything like that. So you sort of went in somebody else’s office. So that was good. The other thing I tell everybody is just go meet with as many lawyers as you can.

[00:22:53] Jonathan Hawkins: Just every day, go meet with somebody maybe two, three times a day. And you know, it takes a little while. I mean, you were lucky [00:23:00] you got some cases out of it fairly quickly. I won’t ask if they were good cases or dogs cause you know.

[00:23:06] Bethany Schneider: Well, you heard the example of the 6, 000 one. So,

[00:23:09] Jonathan Hawkins: yeah, but you know, you do that long enough and people start sending cases and then the other piece is you gotta perform.

[00:23:16] Jonathan Hawkins: And so I know you’ve done that and I want to get to some of your verdicts and cases here in a minute, but before we do that, let’s talk about, so you started out with sort of office sharing in an established firm where are you now? You know, you had no staff or anything, then sort of what’s your setup now?

[00:23:35] Bethany Schneider: so my setup now is it’s changing next week. So, I have for the last four and a half years, since November, 2019, I’ve been in colony square sharing office space with Lloyd Bell and his law firm. Then they also rent or sublease to like a five other law firms. So it’s a kind of a big office suite with a bunch of different personal injury law firms [00:24:00] in it.

[00:24:00] Bethany Schneider: And so we’ve had that, you know, for the last four and a half years, but now we’re about to move to our own space next week. So, but yeah, I started with no, no staff now. I have right now I have 4 staff members. I’m going to have a summer associate and then we’re also hiring for another position.

[00:24:17] Bethany Schneider: So potentially up to 5 or 6 staff people. I’ve gone through having many, I’ve had, we’ll talk about it in the challenges of owning your own law firm section, but I’ve had a lot of turnover with staffing. But I did have a lawyer at one point, but have kind of figured out from, at least for me right now.

[00:24:38] Bethany Schneider: Having more higher quality non lawyer staff is a better way for me right now in my practice. So,

[00:24:47] Jonathan Hawkins: Every practice is different. And I think, you know, for everybody out there who’s started a firm, I’ve gone through it, you went through it, it’s, you realize it really is all about the people. It’s all about the people and [00:25:00] it’s easier said than done. And you sort of have to learn your lessons along the way about, you know, what’s right for you and your firm and your culture and, you know, not everybody gels.

[00:25:11] Jonathan Hawkins: So I’m sure you’ve gone through a little bit of that as well. And

[00:25:15] Bethany Schneider: I mean, I have crazy stories, crazy.

[00:25:19] Jonathan Hawkins: well, if you can share, we’ll hear it, but you probably don’t want to. So you can tell me

[00:25:23] Bethany Schneider: I mean, the last person that we like parted ways with within the first month accused another one of my employees of trying to poison her with a donut.

[00:25:32] Jonathan Hawkins: Oh gosh. Yeah. No one teaches you the HR elements of running a firm, do they?

[00:25:39] Bethany Schneider: I mean, I couldn’t, you know, you can’t make this stuff up.

[00:25:42] Jonathan Hawkins: yeah. So, so you’ve got what four, you’re about to add another, is that five or will that make it six? I can’t run,

[00:25:49] Bethany Schneider: Yeah, right, right. And then a summer associate as well and an intern, I guess, maybe in the fall. So,

[00:25:55] Jonathan Hawkins: Well, that’s cool. That means you’re growing, right?

[00:25:58] Bethany Schneider: yeah, we’re trying to[00:26:00]

[00:26:00] Jonathan Hawkins: So tell me about sort of your model so you obviously you try cases so you’re a trial lawyer do you also you know in terms of volume and your ideal sort of caseload how do you measure that

[00:26:14] Bethany Schneider: so primarily, you know, our bread and butter is our litigation referrals and trial referrals. Like I said, we are, I mean, we have a big part of our practice where we’re hired. For trial, like come in, you know, a month or two ahead of the trial, come in as lead counsel for people who just, you know, don’t feel as comfortable being in a lead role, but want to be a part of the trial.

[00:26:37] Bethany Schneider: So then they get to, you know, be a part of the trial, be second chair. And we bring in our staff. Who is experienced. And so kind of cover all the logistics and everything. So that’s one aspect, you know, we also you know, have mainly focused on litigation referrals, you know, from the outset or some point along the way in litigation.

[00:26:55] Bethany Schneider: So we’ve kept about 40 ish cases as our [00:27:00] caseload. We’ve kind of gone through waves of having prelit cases. At 1 point, we were trying to beat that up. But we really couldn’t figure out a good way of getting those in the door. I mean, it’s just it’s a huge competitive market for those pre lit cases. We so we kind of stopped doing it, especially because as me as the only lawyer, I was spending a lot of time.

[00:27:21] Bethany Schneider: Managing clients where their cases were just not, you know, worth as much as some of the other litigation, you know, bigger litigation cases. And it just didn’t make sense for me for resources now. We’ve now we’ve kind of regained focus or doing different things with marketing and and referral relationships where I actually have somebody that’s starting as the business development person to try to grow the prelit department as well as I just brought in an experienced prelit department manager.

[00:27:52] Bethany Schneider: So we are trying to grow that aspect and trying to figure out ways to try to originate more cases that way so that we don’t have [00:28:00] to rely so much in litigation on referrals from other attorneys. We can kind of build the cases from the pre lit through the litigation phase.

[00:28:08] Jonathan Hawkins: smooth out some of the revenue swings a little bit

[00:28:11] Bethany Schneider: Exactly. Yeah.

[00:28:12] Jonathan Hawkins: now You’ve mentioned a couple of the verdicts. I want to get into some of that. So I know recently, I don’t know, within the last month or two, you popped a pretty big one. Before we get to that, one other question. You do personal injury, but do you do all types?

[00:28:26] Jonathan Hawkins: Do you do like product liability, Med Mal? Do

[00:28:29] Bethany Schneider: Yeah, I really do. I really do all types. I mean, obviously, in the personal injury world. Most of it’s going to be auto wrecks. So, you know, that is a big, a majority of the PR my practices, you know, motor vehicle collisions. But I, you know, I do products the trial that I just had was products case, I do a significant amount of medical malpractice just because I think it’s really interesting, but they’re very hard cases, so I’m trying to be more selective, but then I’ve done nursing home, sexual [00:29:00] assault.

[00:29:00] Bethany Schneider: I love dog bite cases. Negligent security, you know, trucking cases, motorcycle cases. I mean, basically, if it’s an interesting case, I’ll take a look at it. And, you know, I think my specialty is litigating and trying cases and not a specific kind of case. And I like the kind of the challenge of like getting to experience all different aspects of kind of the personal injury world.

[00:29:22] Jonathan Hawkins: Well, it definitely keeps it interesting. It’s more interesting than doing the same tobacco case over and over again. Right.

[00:29:28] Bethany Schneider: Right, exactly.

[00:29:29] Jonathan Hawkins: Okay.

[00:29:30] ​

[00:29:43] Jonathan Hawkins: So let’s talk about the recent, we’ll talk about all of them, but the recent one is a seven something verdict tell us about that case and how that went.

[00:29:51] Jonathan Hawkins: I’m interested to hear about that.

[00:29:56] Bethany Schneider: County. A few weeks ago, it was a Yamaha [00:30:00] golf cart rollover case. Yamaha had never lost this kind of a case. It was a case in which we alleged that Yamaha’s main fleet of golf carts were defectively designed in the way that they designed their braking system.

[00:30:16] Bethany Schneider: They have, they design it with a two wheel. Braking system, which is the rear wheels only instead of four wheel braking systems, like every automobile in the country. And the problem with that is when the golf cart is going downhill at a certain speed, then if the brakes, if you know, have to slam on the brakes, the back wheels lock up causing the front wheels to what’s called y’all.

[00:30:43] Bethany Schneider: And kind of skid and that causes a rollover. And so in this case it was a highly modified golf cart. It had, it was aftermarket parts. Yamaha’s business model is that they lease golf carts to golf courses for a certain period of time, four years for [00:31:00] Yamaha, and then they sell them off. To their authorized dealers, which they know will then be modified and sold to families that live in places like Peachtree City or Indian Hills neighborhood like this occurred in those golf cart type communities.

[00:31:18] Bethany Schneider: And so they know that these are going to be modified with lift kids and big tires and rear facing seats. And they do not test their golf carts. Even the ones that are on golf courses. Under these specific conditions of going down a downhill slope. At a certain speed and pressing on the brakes.

[00:31:38] Bethany Schneider: And so basically we were able to show that despite the fact that this is how millions of golf carts in the country are designed, they met all the industry standards that there was highly modified with aftermarket parts. The dad had some drinks. And we were able to convince the jury that, you know, that this is such a dangerous [00:32:00] design.

[00:32:01] Bethany Schneider: When it’s so easy, just put, it’s 500 fix to put the brakes on the front wheels. And you can actually buy a kit to do that. So we’ve been actually trying to get safety messages out through this verdict for people who do own golf carts to know that, you know, that this is something that they should look into.

[00:32:17] Bethany Schneider: But we did not never, there was never a dollar offered. And we lost all three mock trials and focus groups that we had. And pretty much anybody we told about the case said that’s an awful case. Oh,

[00:32:29] Jonathan Hawkins: it sounds like a very, I’ll call it a challenging case based on what you’ve said. So that’s pretty impressive.

[00:32:35] Bethany Schneider: But I was lucky because I got brought in. About six weeks or two months before trial by Bradley Pratt, who I mentioned in Frank Bayek who was also at King and Spaulding, had been a tobacco lawyer as well. Who’s Bradley’s partner now. But they realized it was a three year old little girl that was injured by this golf cart rollover.

[00:32:54] Bethany Schneider: And so they thought it would be important to have a female presence. If the main injury was scarring, really bad [00:33:00] scarring in the back of her head where hair couldn’t grow and the neck or shoulder. And so they brought me in just also for my trial experience just in general, because they had actually both neither had really tried lead tried a case on the plaintiff side.

[00:33:14] Bethany Schneider: And so it was a very rewarding experience for me to get to be a part of the team and come in and you know, assist with that

[00:33:20] Jonathan Hawkins: So that’s cool. So that’s sort of, at least up to now, sort of your business model, you parachute in sort of right at the end, you come in and add value at the trial. And then you get to say, Hey, this is a, I’ll call it. It was a dog of a case and you turned it into a 7 million verdict. So now you get to say, yeah, call me into your case.

[00:33:38] Jonathan Hawkins: Call me in your case.

[00:33:39] Bethany Schneider: Call me right.

[00:33:40] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah, that’s awesome. So, moving on let’s talk about, you know, in the, your firm is what, how old now,

[00:33:49] Bethany Schneider: Six years.

[00:33:50] Jonathan Hawkins: years. Okay. So let’s sort of over the evolution, you’ve tried some things have worked, some things have maybe not worked or I’ll call it lessons learned.

[00:33:59] Jonathan Hawkins: You know, over the [00:34:00] years, as you look back, what were some of the bigger levers that you pulled to help you sort of get to where you are now?

[00:34:09] Bethany Schneider: I think adapting a big thing that we had to adapt to was COVID. And in a business where I was relying on my personal relationships and inviting people to lunch to get cases. We couldn’t do that during COVID and as somebody who was not social media savvy at all before this I, you know, really just put a lot of effort into kind of trying to get, you know, more into social media.

[00:34:35] Bethany Schneider: I was a broadcast news major in college, so I had a little bit, you know, of experience, but I mean, my first videos that I try to do myself, people are like, why are you reading off a teleprompter? And I’m like, I’m not, you know, it was like so forced and fake. But I really had to like, you know, force myself beyond kind of what I was normally comfortable doing.

[00:34:55] Bethany Schneider: And within a year I was getting you know, asked to [00:35:00] speak on, you know, being one of the social media marketers, you know, in the industry and everything. And so really being open to adapting I think. Was a huge thing. And I think, you know, just always being kind of willing to like give back and, you know, I would always.

[00:35:17] Bethany Schneider: If people were like asking questions on the listserv, then I would respond, Hey, here’s a template or here’s whatever. And then the people would be like, Oh, cool. Can you actually, can you help me on this case? And, you know, so that was another thing of just trying to kind of pay it forward. And then you actually.

[00:35:32] Bethany Schneider: You know, get something in return, but I think being able to adapt and also just always kind of trying to be helpful have really helped me grow my network. And and that in turn has led me to have, you know, continue to get referrals.

[00:35:46] Jonathan Hawkins: And you mentioned COVID as a trial lawyer, that probably was very scary because you, we weren’t trying many cases back then.

[00:35:55] Bethany Schneider: No, it was a very, and we’re still trying to make up for it. I mean, we’re still trying that [00:36:00] case. The Omaha case was like a two happened in 2018, you know, I mean, we’re still trying to get out of like the backlog of trials. You know, it was like over a year that the courts were shut down for trials.

[00:36:13] Bethany Schneider: So now,

[00:36:15] Jonathan Hawkins: so for people out there that want to start their firm and they have recently started their firm, were there any mistakes that looking back you made that you said, okay, I would not do that again or maybe I would have done this a little better. Anything you’re willing to share. We all make mistakes, but you know,

[00:36:33] Bethany Schneider: yeah, I mean, I think it’s, I think the biggest thing is like just figuring out staffing and managing people and, you know, finding the right fit for people, like not being so, I guess, I think ignorant of maybe how I am as a manager and what I expect and trying to, what I’ve now learned is that I have to be.

[00:36:56] Bethany Schneider: The most direct and real as possible in an interview and [00:37:00] say like, this is what, you know, I’m hard on people about and this is what you may be frustrated with me about. And I think just trying to, I think, you know, I always kind of thought in my head, okay, well, if you find a person you get along with, then it’ll work as far as people, you know, working for you.

[00:37:15] Bethany Schneider: But what I found in small firms, when you’re relying on only like one person or two people, like it’s just, you know, I mean. You just have to make sure that you’re on the same page about pretty much everything to make it a good working relationship because you know, in small firms, there’s just not any really room for people to slack off or there to be, you know, differences of opinion or anything like that.

[00:37:41] Bethany Schneider: So, the biggest mistakes I’ve made are, I think, just all have to do with kind of staffing issues.

[00:37:46] Jonathan Hawkins: You know, I think that’s very insightful. The, about telling the person in the interview, what it’s going to be like. You know, I’ve learned that I’ve talked to a lot of people, you know, when you’re interviewing somebody it’s, you want them to [00:38:00] want to be there and you’re like, this is going to be so great.

[00:38:02] Jonathan Hawkins: And this is all the good stuff. And you sort of maybe gloss over the other things, you know, I think people talk about putting it in their job postings. I think saying it in the interviews is good as well. You know, this is what we do. This is what we expect. If you don’t like this, you should not come here.

[00:38:16] Jonathan Hawkins: And then it sort of weeds out the people on the front end. So you don’t have to deal with it later.

[00:38:23] Bethany Schneider: Yeah. And then two other things I’ve learned as far as that goes. One is actually just tried out for the first time today. I came up with the idea of doing like a working interview where, you know, cause usually we’ve figured out in the first day or week that like somebody is not going to work out. Like people have made fun of me.

[00:38:38] Bethany Schneider: I’ve literally fired people within the first day or week multiple times. Where I’m like, it’s just not going to work out.

[00:38:44] Jonathan Hawkins: Well, that’s good. That’s good. I commend you for

[00:38:47] Bethany Schneider: yeah, so. Thank you. So what I’ve, what actually started today with an interview is a working interview where we brought the person in for two hours to do, you know, specific tasks that they would [00:39:00] be asked to do in their job for them to assess, you know, how we manage and for them and for us to assess kind of how they work and how they are managed.

[00:39:07] Bethany Schneider: So I’ll have to talk to my paralegals after the fact to see how it went, but that was one idea. Another idea, another thing that I’ve learned, I think, is, you know, I call them kids these days, but people are asking for a lot of money. The salary, you know, requests or expectations are, I mean, just, I can’t believe it like that these 27 year olds are asking for as much money as they are, and I would.

[00:39:36] Bethany Schneider: I would agree. I would always like, okay, well, this is how much do you say you’re worth? Okay, I will pay that and show me your what’s your work and they would never want to be held to that high of Expectations like they didn’t understand that you’d come in with really high expectations if you’re asking for a lot of money So now i’ve learned i’m not going to give them what they ask for but i’m going to give them Three months basically to prove that they’re worth that amount.[00:40:00]

[00:40:00] Bethany Schneider: So my initial offer is somewhat under they’re asking and then say, but within three months, if you’ve shown that you can exceed expectations and that you’re worth this amount that you’re asking for, then I will give you the raise at that point in time. So that’s another thing that I’ve been trying

[00:40:15] Jonathan Hawkins: that’s a great idea. I might borrow that. I like that.

[00:40:19] Bethany Schneider: I

[00:40:20] Jonathan Hawkins: Okay. So you’ve had the challenges with staff. I think everybody does. You had a high paying job at a prestigious law firm. You decided to go out and start your own. Looking back what’s the best part of owning your firm?

[00:40:40] Bethany Schneider: mean, just having the full independence to make whatever decisions you want to make. I mean, I think you have to have enough training and maturity under your belt to be confident in your decisions. But like on a day to day basis, I get to decide everything about the firm and just having [00:41:00] that ownership stake in it.

[00:41:02] Bethany Schneider: And, you know, I mean, obviously I’m accountable. Now for people, other people in their lives and everything. But I think that, you know, I’m 15 years into this career. I’m, I feel like, you know, I feel confident in my, you know, judgment. And and so just getting to kind of make all the decisions is I think the best part.

[00:41:21] Jonathan Hawkins: You know, there is a an analog, I think owning a firm and trying a case. You know, you have many decisions during a trial, you could go either way and you don’t know which way you should go and you just have to pick and, you know, you use your judgment and say, Hey, we’re going to call this witness or no, we’re not going to call that witness.

[00:41:42] Jonathan Hawkins: And then it just sort of ends up where it is. You got to have the ability to make that decision and just live with it. So I think the same thing in terms of owning a firm, running a firm, because you, sometimes you just don’t know what the right decision is. You just got to do it. Well,

[00:41:56] Bethany Schneider: Yeah. You can’t second guess yourself, you know, you just have to learn from [00:42:00] it. But I mean, I’ve been super lucky that, you know, I don’t know. Right. I feel like everything has kind of put me on the path to continued success. I mean, you mentioned kind of like leaving a high paid job to come do this.

[00:42:10] Bethany Schneider: I’ve never made, every year I’ve made more money than I’ve never made less than I did at the big firm. So I mean, you know, that’s not for everybody, but it’s not to be, it’s not to say that if people are thinking about leaving that lifestyle, that they can’t, you know, continue that lifestyle on this side or whatever.

[00:42:31] Jonathan Hawkins: it’s probably better because

[00:42:32] Bethany Schneider: just have to kind of, you have to always keep hustling,

[00:42:34] Jonathan Hawkins: you’re not billing 3, 000 hours or what the equivalent of 3, 000 hours are you now you’re doing other things I’m sure but you’re

[00:42:40] Bethany Schneider: No, gosh. Oh

[00:42:42] Jonathan Hawkins: can’t

[00:42:43] Bethany Schneider: I already put my blood, sweat and tears in as a youngster. Now I, you know, now the best part is every time I go on a vacation, I always settle a case. It’s so crazy. You know, the best part about being on this side and having your own firm is they can make money wherever you are, whether you’re [00:43:00] working or not.

[00:43:01] Bethany Schneider: You know, my mom would always be like, are you know, are you working? Are you making money? I’m like, everything I do, you know, on a daily basis is working towards that. You know, when you live in a contingency fee world.

[00:43:13] Jonathan Hawkins: Sounds like you need to go on more vacations, settle some more cases,

[00:43:16] Bethany Schneider: I know. Well, I do. I do go on long vacations.

[00:43:19] Jonathan Hawkins: So as you’re looking forward, what’s the long term vision for your firm? It sounds like you’re growing, you continue to grow. How do you see it 5, 10, 15 years from now?

[00:43:30] Bethany Schneider: Yeah. I mean, I think I still see it as a, what I call a trial boutique firm. I just, I want to keep trying cases. My goal usually is to try five to eight, you know, have five to eight trials a year. And, but then just increasing kind of the quality of those trials, right? Instead of the 60, 000 soft tissue case, now focusing more on these kind of multi million products cases or med mal cases or catastrophic injury cases, but continue to, you know, to be in the courtroom [00:44:00] and to seek opportunities to do that.

[00:44:02] Bethany Schneider: And, you know, just get a staff that we’re cohesive. We are well oiled machine. And then, you know, continue working with other attorneys from other firms. And I really enjoy that associating with other attorneys from other firms. And I think, you know, continue to grow in quality and not necessarily quantity.

[00:44:24] Jonathan Hawkins: So you’re licensed in Georgia, in Florida. You’ve tried cases in Georgia. You’ve tried a lot of cases in Florida. Are you licensed in Texas?

[00:44:33] Bethany Schneider: No.

[00:44:35] Jonathan Hawkins: Do you travel to other states? I’m sure you would if the right case came up or you’re open to that.

[00:44:42] Bethany Schneider: Yeah, I’m definitely open to that. And it hasn’t come up so far, but I mean, I’ve had a couple of Florida cases, but nothing has required me actually. Like going to a trial there. Yeah, certainly open to national cases. It just, you know, it’s a lot harder to get those type of cases than the ones [00:45:00] just in Georgia.

[00:45:01] Jonathan Hawkins: Well, if anybody’s listening from somewhere else and you want a trial lawyer, Bethany can parachute in. So,

[00:45:07] Bethany Schneider: And check out court view network and some videos of see me in

[00:45:10] Jonathan Hawkins: That’s right. They can see you before they hire you. All right. So, if you weren’t practicing law, what would you be doing?

[00:45:17] Bethany Schneider: I know. And that’s what I said. I don’t have an answer because I can’t imagine doing anything else. There’s nothing else I would want to do. I would just be rich enough to like, just travel all the time. And, you know, there’s no other job I could ever envision myself doing, which is

[00:45:30] Jonathan Hawkins: I guess the newscaster thing wouldn’t work. That’d

[00:45:36] Bethany Schneider: field, you know, correspondent for college football or something,

[00:45:40] Jonathan Hawkins: be fine. Yeah, that’d be fine. I can tell you from the Southeast.

[00:45:43] Bethany Schneider: pretty competitive field.

[00:45:44] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah, I can tell you from the Southeast. So, real quick. Yeah, we won’t talk about it too much. You know, I went to Georgia law school, but I can’t root for Georgia football. can’t do it. So that’s another conversation.

[00:45:58] Jonathan Hawkins: For those out there, do you have any [00:46:00] advice if they’re out there thinking they want to start a firm, you know, any advice you give them?

[00:46:06] Bethany Schneider: Sure. And I actually have presented on this topic. So if anybody wants to reach out, I have a whole PowerPoint on exactly how you can start your own firm. But I think, you know, do your research, talk to a lot of people, surround yourself with people who you can not only learn from through them, kind of being, you know, mentor, but also just that you can observe.

[00:46:26] Bethany Schneider: You know, to learn, you know, by observation. So, those are kind of the biggest things I would say

[00:46:33] Jonathan Hawkins: And I’d say

[00:46:34] Bethany Schneider: and take a chance.

[00:46:34] Jonathan Hawkins: take a chance. The other thing you said is go meet with as many people as you can. I tell people never stop. Even if you’re, you know, 40 years in, you should still be meeting with other lawyers and referral sources and that sort of thing.

[00:46:49] Bethany Schneider: Yeah. And some, a piece of advice that, you know, I’ve been given over the years is try to figure out what could be your kind of, not a niche because you’re not trying to [00:47:00] pigeonhole yourself, but just whatever you can tell a person to say, like, this is why I’m different, or this is why you should send me a case, or this is the kind of case I’m looking for.

[00:47:07] Bethany Schneider: Like, I’m looking for those. You know, 50 to a hundred thousand dollar cases that most other firms either want to, you know, do volume below that or, you know, higher value cases over that, or just try at least when you’re first starting out to have a very specific because I think that makes it easier for people to think, Oh, I do have a case like that.

[00:47:26] Bethany Schneider: You know, I mean, I, what I’ve gotten a lot of. Leverage on or where people have reacted is like by people not knowing that I necessarily did men now, because a lot of people don’t do men now. So they’re like, Oh, well, I might actually have a case for you. And I mean, most of those cases are hard and you don’t take them, but then that starts building that relationship.

[00:47:44] Bethany Schneider: Even if you don’t take the case from the person, you can start building a relationship with them that maybe they’ll have a different case later on that you will take

[00:47:53] Jonathan Hawkins: I think that is so key. If you just say to somebody, Hey, just send me a case. They don’t know what that [00:48:00] means and they’re not going to remember you. But if you are very specific, if, and when that comes across your desk, they will remember, or there’ll be more likely to remember,

[00:48:07] Bethany Schneider: exactly.

[00:48:09] Jonathan Hawkins: this has been fun.

[00:48:10] Jonathan Hawkins: So for anybody out there that wants to get in touch with you, what’s the best way to find you get in touch with you?

[00:48:17] Bethany Schneider: Yeah. I mean, emailing me at Bethany at Schneider injury, attorney. com. I’m an Instagram Schneider injury attorney. You know, those are probably the best ways

[00:48:28] Jonathan Hawkins: Okay. I said, we’re about to end, but I am interested in that.

[00:48:31] Bethany Schneider: or LinkedIn.

[00:48:32] Jonathan Hawkins: want to hear about, I want to hear about Instagram. I don’t know anything about it. I’m not on there. Are you on there a lot? Do you get cases out of it? Is that where you, is that your social media? Tell us about that.

[00:48:42] Bethany Schneider: So I do have a social media manager who helps manage the Instagram account. We do not really get cases from Instagram, I will say. We’ve been trying to grow like our following to try to originate some cases that way, but it’s really just more of a branding avenue. Where [00:49:00] I’ve gotten the cases off of social media is LinkedIn.

[00:49:02] Bethany Schneider: I feel like, you know, I try to post very, and I know you’re on LinkedIn a lot too. So, I try to post like things that are very helpful to other attorneys and that’s the way. That I think you know, I’ve got, I’ve gotten a number of cases through people who just have seen me on LinkedIn and are like, Hey, I know you.

[00:49:19] Bethany Schneider: I’m from LinkedIn. Here’s a case. Instagram is just more for just like, I think branding in general.

[00:49:26] Jonathan Hawkins: My experience with LinkedIn, I love LinkedIn. I talk about it all the time, but it’s interesting. There are a lot of people that I bump into here in town. At a, an event or something that have never interacted. There’s no evidence anywhere that they’re even seeing it on LinkedIn, but then they mentioned it.

[00:49:41] Jonathan Hawkins: So in my mind, I was like, that’s a win, you know, they’re seeing me. And you know, when they see me, they mentioned it. So, well, cool. This has been

[00:49:50] Bethany Schneider: Yeah. I mean, I had the funny story.

[00:49:51] Jonathan Hawkins: go ahead.

[00:49:52] Bethany Schneider: Yeah, I had the funny story of of skiing like two months ago in Beaver Creek and being in the hot tub and meeting a personal injury [00:50:00] attorney from Alabama, who’s like, I follow you on LinkedIn and you know, I mean, so yeah, I mean, just such a small world, so it definitely connects and pays off.

[00:50:09] Jonathan Hawkins: Beaver Creek. I worked there after college for a season.

[00:50:13] Bethany Schneider: Oh,

[00:50:13] Jonathan Hawkins: It was awesome. It was at Binos Cabin. Did you go there up on the mountain? I think they changed the

[00:50:18] Bethany Schneider: I’ve never been there. It’s a really fancy restaurant, right?

[00:50:21] Jonathan Hawkins: yeah, at the time it was at the time it was the nicest. I think the Ritz came and maybe it’s not the nicest anymore, but, and maybe they renamed it, but it was pretty cool.

[00:50:29] Jonathan Hawkins: You had to, they had to pull you up in a sled with a cat.

[00:50:33] Bethany Schneider: slay. Yeah.

[00:50:34] Jonathan Hawkins: Yeah. Yeah. That was cool. Well, awesome. Thank you again for joining us and sharing your knowledge and your experience. And again, if anybody wants to find you, I encourage them to reach out and I’ll look for you, I’m not going to get on Instagram, but I’ll look for you on LinkedIn.

[00:50:51] Bethany Schneider: Great. Thank you so much. It was a fun fun chat.

[00:50:56] ​[00:51:00]