The Personal
Injury Mastermind

The Podcast

223. Alreen Haeggquist, Haeggquist and Eck — Fired Up and Ready to Grow: Marketing Your Way

Scaling a successful firm requires marketing savvy – even when self-promotion makes you cringe. Alreen Haeggquist (@haellp), owner of Haeggquist & Eck, shares hard-won lessons from 15 years of strategic growth. She transformed $5,000 and a room in the back of her house into a thriving 7-attorney firm. This trailblazer shares her insights on bootstrapping and hustling for early revenue when launching on your own, retaining talent by finding employees who share your values, and embracing marketing like SEO, branding, and storytelling through books.


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What’s in This Episode:

  • Who is Alreen Haeggquist?
  • The pros and cons of adding employment law to your practice.
  • Why HR is a positive role for every organization. 
  • How to overcome the fear of failure and create a thriving marketing plan. 

Past Guests

Past guests on Personal Injury Mastermind: Brent Sibley, Sam Glover, Larry Nussbaum, Michael Mogill, Brian Chase, Jay Kelley, Alvaro Arauz, Eric Chaffin, Brian Panish, John Gomez, Sol Weiss, Matthew Dolman, Gabriel Levin, Seth Godin, David Craig, Pete Strom, John Ruhlin, Andrew Finkelstein, Harry Morton, Shay Rowbottom, Maria Monroy, Dave Thomas, Marc Anidjar, Bob Simon, Seth Price, John Gomez, Megan Hargroder, Brandon Yosha, Mike Mandell, Brett Sachs, Paul Faust, Jennifer Gore-Cuthbert


Alreen Haeggquist:

You can do a lot for with very little, but you just got to be smart about it, and you kind of need to have the determination or the grit to do it.

Chris Dreyer:

I don’t need to advertise. I get all my business through referrals. I’m like, “Well, you pay a third or 50%, so you’re not paying for your marketing. You’re paying for their marketing.”

Alreen Haeggquist:

By not marketing, not only are people not knowing who I am, but I was doing a disservice to people to let them know that they have a choice. You can go to a woman for these issues, and you can have a lawyer that, in my opinion, sometimes was better for certain types of cases. People have to know you exist in order to get cases and so that they hire you.

Chris Dreyer:

Welcome to Personal Injury Mastermind. I’m your host, Chris Dreyer, founder and CEO of Rankings.io, the legal marketing company the best firms hire when they want their rankings, traffic, and cases other law firm marketing agencies can’t deliver. Each week you get insights and wisdom from some of the best in the industry. Hit that follow button so that you never miss an episode. All right, let’s dive in.

Starting your own firm comes with a list of challenges, and those challenges evolve at every stage of growth. Alreen Haeggquist has stepped up and met each challenge, never once backing down for over 15 years. A true trailblazer, the owner of Haeggquist & Eck started her practice out of her home. Over the years, she has grown to a practice of seven attorneys while staying true to her values, transparency, accountability, and grit, and has secured major wins and millions of dollars for her clients along the way. She shares what she has learned about scaling a firm and hiring the right team and why embracing marketing was the only way to grow. Here’s Alreen Haeggquist, partner at Haeggquist & Eck.

Alreen Haeggquist:

When I was young, I wasn’t able to stand up for myself against my father, who was very abusive. Now, with the law, I’m able to stand up for myself and for others using the law as power.

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah, that’s amazing, and your guys’ firm is growing like crazy, and you’re doing such an incredible job. I want to throw it back a little bit. You went out on your own 15 years ago, so what was it like to start your own firm? What were some of those early thoughts of going out on your own?

Alreen Haeggquist:

Yeah, so, that’s right. I went out on my own 15 years ago. I’m actually celebrating our 15-year anniversary tomorrow with a party. Back then it was not a hard decision. It was an easy decision, but hard because I was giving up a paycheck. I worked at a large class action firm, gave up a paycheck, didn’t have any clients. I didn’t have an office, didn’t have a lot in savings, but I knew I didn’t want to continue that. I didn’t want to continue working in a very male-dominated structure, where there was limits set for me and limits set for what I was able to do and limit set to what culture I could establish and the clients I could see.

Going out on my own allowed me to pave my own path, make my own decisions. Since then, where it was just me in the back room of my house, now we’re a group of 16. There’s seven lawyers, and we do great work, and we represent amazing clients. We have a stellar reputation in San Diego. But going out 15 years ago, yeah, it’s not easy in the sense that you got to build it from the ground up, literally.

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah, so let’s talk about this. Your firm specializes in employment law, and so what made you choose employment law? Most of our listeners are personal injury, so maybe you can just briefly touch on employment law maybe versus the pros and cons versus say PI.

Alreen Haeggquist:

Sure. Employment law to me is social justice for profit. We’re doing civil rights work every day, but we actually make money off of it. The laws that are there to protect people also have a provision for attorneys to get paid for their work. You’re doing really important work on behalf of people, so just like PI attorneys who don’t represent businesses, don’t represent insurance companies, don’t represent large corporations, the employment lawyers in the plaintiff’s area are the same. We only represent the people who have been harmed by these large corporations to go get relief, and, at the end of the day, we also get compensated for our time for doing the work that we’re doing. That was the reason behind it. I’m very passionate about social justice and always standing up for the people and not corporations, and so that was just a perfect fit for me, especially on behalf of those who have been discriminated against and victimized at the hands of big, powerful people.

Chris Dreyer:

Do you find that a lot of your prospects are just unaware that they even have a claim because I think most people, they see the billboards, they watch TV, and it’s constantly in their face that, oh, if I’m in an auto wreck to go get an attorney. Is it a different… Maybe you have to educate the public a little bit more for employment?

Alreen Haeggquist:

I do. I think, one, people keep hearing we’re an at-will state. I can get terminated for any reason. My employer can fire me at any time, and so how is that if they fired me, what can I do about it? Yeah, we’re here to educate them that, no, the laws are there to protect you. Society has said you can’t get fired for an illegal reason, so your employer can’t fire you because you speak out against sexual harassment. Your employer can’t fire you because you speak out about illegal conduct. Your employer can’t fire you because you get sick and need to go to the hospital. Your employer can’t fire you because you need to take care of your family who is sick.