The Personal
Injury Mastermind

The Podcast

219. Daniel Morgan, Morgan and Morgan — Explosive Growth: Inside the Nation’s Leading Personal Injury Firm

With over 700 attorneys across the country, Morgan & Morgan  (@danmorganesq) has recovered over $15 billion for clients. So how did they go from a single state practice to a nationwide powerhouse? Today, Daniel Morgan, partner at Morgan & Morgan, pulls back the curtain on the strategic decisions, marketing tactics, and intake processes that fueled their expansion. He provides invaluable insights on how to transform a firm, no matter the size. This is an exclusive masterclass in accelerating growth from a firm that has perfected it. Daniel shares the secrets to their dominance in the P.I. space. Learn from a leader of one of the most successful personal injury firms in America.


Want to hear more from elite personal injury lawyers and industry-leading marketers?

Follow us on social media for more.

What’s in This Episode:

  • Who is Daniel Morgan?
  • How Morgan and Morgan maintain a 30-second answer time.
  • What pod structures are best for scale? 
  • How to make sure that the legal team is rowing in the same direction. 

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


Daniel Morgan:

If we put this logo up next to our logo, these diehard fans are going to be all in with us.

Chris Dreyer:

But the thing that I think isn’t talked about enough is the earned media, the viral conversations.

Daniel Morgan:

I knew the NIL train was coming. I think our first deal was for $5,000 and we got about $800,000 worth of free media.

Chris Dreyer:

Welcome to Personal Injury Mastermind. I’m your host, Chris Dreyer, founder and CEO of Rankings.io, the no excuses, no BS legal marketing agency that works harder than the competition. 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.

Today, we take an inside look at one of the nation’s leading personal injury law firms. I’m thrilled to welcome Dan Morgan, partner at Morgan & Morgan, to share their story behind their explosive growth.

With over 700 attorneys across the country, Morgan & Morgan has recovered over $15 billion for their clients. How did they go from a single state practice to a nationwide powerhouse? Daniel pulls back the curtain on their strategic decisions, marketing tactics and intake processes that fueled their growth. He provides valuable insights on how to transform a firm no matter the size. This is an exclusive masterclass in accelerating growth from a firm that has perfected it.

Dan shares the secrets to their dominance in the PI space. Learn from a leader of one of the most successful personal injury law firms in America. Here’s Dan Morgan, partner at Morgan & Morgan.

Daniel Morgan:

Yeah, my first legal job was at a call center later on in high school, but I always tell people, I feel like I’ve learned more in those summers and weekends and afternoons in that call center than I probably did, especially in my third year of law school when a lot of the course materials were deviated away to the basic stuff.

Especially for Morgan & Morgan, you’re fielding so many different types of cases that you’re really learning that case criteria. You’re figuring out, this med mal case might be a case in Florida, it’s not one in California. Or, this case has exponentially more value because of the states that had happened in, or if this would’ve happened in, say, Philadelphia, we would be taking it. Since it happened, the same exact fact patterns happened in Orlando, we’re not taking it, or vice versa. And obviously, stuff’s always flying around too. Laws are changing and statutes are happening where, all of a sudden, cases that we were taking on Friday, we’re now back on Monday, and now, we’re either not taking those cases or referring those cases out. So definitely a lot of that, the legal stuff as far as the facts of a case, yes or no, and then, really just talking to people.

A lot of times you got, depending on the clients that are calling in, you got all sorts of people that are calling in, and some want to talk for hours and you to be their therapist. A lot of that, just those people skills and being able to talk to everybody definitely was improved from my time in the call center.

Chris Dreyer:

You had another unique experience in law school. You worked with Mark Cuban.

Daniel Morgan:

I did, yeah.

Chris Dreyer:

Tell me about that experience. What was that?

Daniel Morgan:

Yeah. One early year of law school, there was a fundraiser, it was for Barack Obama during the All-Star weekend in Orlando. I was at Vince Carter’s house, who lives in Orlando. My dad knows Vince for a while. Vince went to Daytona Beach High School and he’s been around the community forever.

Chris Dreyer:

North Carolina, yeah.

Daniel Morgan:

Exactly, yeah. He invited me and my brothers over to the event, and there was a bunch of different stars there like Magic Johnson and David Stern and Chris Paul. And Mark Cuban, at the time, Vince was playing for the Mavs, so Mark was there. He was actually guest bartending for an hour or something as part of the promotion. Mark Cuban, he loves to bartend, so he was bartending. And he asked me, “What are you doing here? You’re the youngest kid in here by far. What’s the deal?” “Oh, I’m a local kid. My dad’s an attorney in town. We kind of bundled some money fundraising wise.”

And he asked me, he’s like, “Well, all these guys said they’re going home after this. Do you have any plans tonight?” I was like, “Yeah, I’m going … ” Marcus Jordan, Michael Jordan’s son played at UCF basketball at the time. It was his, I think, 21st birthday. I said, “My buddy’s opening a club tonight, and Marcus Jordan’s turning 21. I’m going to go over there.” And Mark’s like, “I hate to be that old guy, but can I roll with you?” And I was like, “Yeah, absolutely. Say less.”

So we hung out that night, and then, I just started pestering him, and then, I wanted to intern for him and work for him. He finally did hire me. A lot of my time was spent, once a Shark Tank deal goes through, they didn’t have a time of due diligence to poke holes, see if the guys in the show were telling the truth about certain things or if the patents were legitimate or were they still in process. That was my job to begin with, was vetting these companies and it was fun dealing with the owners and seeing if it was approved or not.

And then, towards the end of it, I had a buddy that was a free agent with the Houston Rockets, Chandler Parsons. Slowly, my internship started turning into, “Well, how do we get Chandler to the Mavs?” Actually, he ended up signing with the Mavs that off season. Then, the following year, I got a job with Chandler’s agent, so it was definitely a fun time. Ended up, end of the summer and we ended up taking Mark’s G5 to Vegas with Dirk Nowitzki and Chandler and Michael Finley and a few other guys. It was a great time.

Chris Dreyer:

Those are just all heavy hitters. That’s such an awesome experience. You probably were thinking, “Well, hell, I had this plan of this trajectory,” and you’re getting pulled over to this other one.

Daniel Morgan:

Oh, no. Yeah, for sure. Coming up, my dad always says that I went to law school under duress. It wasn’t my first choice when I was coming out of college. I had, like I said, buddies that were playing basketball in Florida, I had another buddy, Verne, who got drafted to the Pistons, chandler got drafted to the Rockets, other guys in the pipeline and I was trying to go be a sports manager agent. I got into law school, actually, in Houston where he was, and my dad’s like, “Absolutely not. You’ll fail out. You’re coming back.”

And then, I got into Stetson. That’s where I ended up going. And then, when I also got into Stetson, I also got into Miami. I was like, “I think I’m going to go to Miami.” He’s like, “No, you’re not. You’re going to fail out of there. You’ll be in South Beach half the time.” I ended up doing my law school over in St. Pete, and then, having awesome internships during the summer to fill that void.

Chris Dreyer:

Morgan & Morgan has grown into one of the biggest personal injury law firms in the country. Dan’s uncle Tim ran the call center and made it into what it is today. Tim had a simple motto for success, “Hook it and book it.” He wanted to sign up on that first call. Though it could come off as aggressive, it’s hard to argue with the results. Dan takes us behind the scenes of one of the most successful call centers in the nation.

Daniel Morgan:

Our call center, now, as far as total employees, is definitely North of 500, probably scaling towards 1,000 somewhat quickly. Yeah, last year, I think we did over two and a half million phone calls, we fielded. A lot of it’s here. When I started in the call center back when I was 17 years ago or so now, it was about half a floor of our Downtown office building with probably 45 to 50 agents, my uncle Tim, the Cobra leader was behind the desk and running it. And we had our floor supervisor saying, “There’s a close call. Hey, what’s the state? What’s the facts? I think it could be a sign up. I don’t think it could.” You’d go to the end and make a quick decision, and then, it keeps elevating and up.

Now, there’s so much layered management. We have different teams and different focus areas and practice types where, if it’s a social security case, you’re getting piped right to the social security intake department. We do take advantage of some offshore services, especially with Spanish speaking clients where, if it’s a Spanish speaker or call wait time that’s longer than 30 seconds, we can get them over to an outsource that speaks the language and we’re not waiting for that. Hooking and booking, we have a firm policy that, if you’re missing that, if there’s more than a 30 seconds to a minute queue and that person hangs up, most likely, they’re not hanging up and calling back in 30 minutes when the queue times are bad. Most likely, they’re hanging up and going to the next line on Google or the next recommendation they got from their Facebook friends.

The whole hook it and book it philosophy is really, one, if you’re hanging up on the client or if you’re saying, “Hey, I think this might be a case. We’ll call you back in 30 minutes and let you know,” most likely, that client’s gone forever. He would say, it’d be like you’re deep sea fishing and you pull in a marlin, and right before it gets to the bow, you say, “You know what? I’m going to unhook that. I’ll catch that same fish in about 30 minutes from now,” and go from there. Now, once you get that fish off the hook, it’s gone forever. It’s the same in catching cases.

It is all 24/7. Even now, we have call agents that are able to work at home, so they can plug in right there at their laptop and start fielding calls, and they might be part-time, “Hey, I got two hours to kill right now.” They can log onto our systems and plug and play and they have their scripts there constantly just trying to improve it, from whether it be our referral flow or our non-practice areas, just improving that experience. Angie Flury, she’s the boss over there, and she does an incredible, incredible job of keeping that thing so efficient and running.

There’s definitely a culture down there of, “Hey, we strive to be the best. We want to give the best service.” They are the front lines, they’re the first people that when you call Morgan & Morgan, they’re dealing with. The agents themselves are also … They definitely have pride in it, which goes a long way. And finding rogue operators. We find people all the time. It could just be someone that’s angry that day and they’re just pressing call disconnect halfway through a call because they’re done doing a signup and it’s a qualified case. Having layered management to check, why does Agent A have an average call time of two minutes and everyone else is at five and a half minutes? Let’s go pull her calls. Oh, something’s going on. Her phone’s not … There’s a manual disconnect going on. Just stuff like that. Always having systems in place to be able to canvas and make sure it’s being run efficiently.

Chris Dreyer:

There’s so many intricacies to it because of the different practice areas, because of the different geography, and then, data, and I believe you guys are using Litify for the CRM stuff, and that’s having, I guess, a huge impact on the just overall breaking down those communication silos when it comes into the delivery side. Would that be fair?

Daniel Morgan:

Oh, absolutely, yeah. And just being Cloud-based now. When I was back in the call center we were on, I think it was called Captora, which some of your listeners might be on. It’s a pre-inventory, an intake software type of deal, but then you have to take the information in Captora and hard transfer over to your other software, so you’re inputting and exporting. Well, now, the Cloud-based, you can do an intake and just send that intake right over to our attorneys, and now, we have it set up where, say, it’s a Montana case and we’re not boots on the ground in Montana, we can take that sim intake, ship it out to a qualified partner in their Montana offices for a referral type situation, and then being able to monitor that case. “All right, they have it. Here’s what’s going on with it. There’s a policy, it’s been demanded. Client’s treating. All right, there’s a mediation set.” So really giving you that oversight into seeing it all.

But I’d definitely say the technology’s come so far … Back in the day, it would be like, “Oh, wait, Captora has a hardwired malfunction. We’re off Captora for the day. Now, we have 40 agents in the call center with notepads and papers taking down phone numbers and calling back descriptions and this, that and other thing,” where they would definitely be some nightmares sometimes. “Oh, the guy’s flying in to fix the software. He’ll be here on Tuesday, so we’re going old school until then.” You’re like, “What?” Now, you got some brainiac in Brooklyn that can type code, and then, you’re back up and running in three minutes.

Chris Dreyer:

Some larger firms, I talked to Mike Morse where he operates in a pod, right? You got an attorney, you got a paralegal, you got a staff person. Are you guys more top down where you got your attorneys in one silo, then paralegals? What do you feel is most conducive for scale? What would you say there in terms of operations and delivery?

Daniel Morgan:

Yeah, we were definitely pod driven for a while. It’d be a lawyer, three case managers and a paralegal with an attorney on average handling anywhere from 200 to 400 cases depending on caseloads and severity. Obviously, if they have super complex commercial litigation trucks, semi-truck accidents, they’re going to have a smaller inventory. And if they have a bunch of low impact, no property damage type cases, they might have a higher bandwidth. But you’d have your case managers around 75 cases each, and then, about somewhere around the same in a litigation inventory with the paralegal.

That was Morgan & Morgan from 1988 through, probably, 2021, 2022. During the processes, there’s been some segmentation of it as well where before, a virtual injury attorney would handle everything from auto accidents to dog bites to slip and falls to product liability cases, et cetera, where those have all been segmented out now.

If you’re an auto attorney, you’re only handling auto accident cases. If you’re a premise attorney, you’re only handling premise cases. If a major truck crash happens, that insurance company has their safety expert at that crash that night to get all the documentation, get all the evidence. Sometimes, you have lawyers that are getting into that truck two weeks, a month later or they’re doing reenactments or reconstructions, and now, you’re a step behind.

So just specializing in segmenting out those different branches, we’ve seen a lot of just higher fees in those, especially for premises because before, you’d have an attorney … A lot of work goes into premise cases, and especially the initial three days, and not as much goes into the auto accidents. Attorneys would be lazy with these premise cases because they were being lazy with the auto cases, and now, they’ve realized, well, now, a month’s gone by. I don’t have what I needed and now the case is kaput.

Now that we have these SEAL Team 6 lawyers, that they get these cases, they’re getting a spoilation out, they know what they’re doing, there’s investigators, they’re taking pictures, they’re proving it was there for this long, they’re putting people on notice, and now, our highest average fees in our firm now are premise liability fees, where before, that was the bottom rung. And now, after three, four years of this program, people are fighting to get into our premise department, because normally, there’s no policy issues.

In an auto accident in Florida, there’s a good chance it’s a 10K policy or no policy, or there’s some type of limitations there. A lot of these premise cases or negligent security cases, you’re going against corporations that have millions and tens of millions of umbrella coverages and things of that nature where there’s never that problem of, “Sorry, there’s no coverage for treatment. There’s no one to go after.” There’s always someone that you can hold accountable for those cases.

And then, going on to where we are going to now, we still have kind of a mix. We still obviously have pods that are running. We have different high value pods that those guys might have 50 cases, but they still have the same support staff. But now, we’re also trying to segment out pre-suit versus litigation and kind of making sure that pre-suit is just streamlined, where you might be one of our junior attorneys and you’re only doing pre-suit litigation for your first two, three years, and then, you would get promoted to a litigation role. And then, in that regards too, you still have maybe five attorneys in litigation, and then, a managing attorney over those five attorneys. So it’s a pod of attorneys now, and those are the same attorneys have their own mini pods underneath them,

Chris Dreyer:

So it helps with career pathing, right? You got your 500 intake, you got different levels for the intake, you’ve got career pathing not only from an attorney perspective where you’re litigating, maybe it’s the actual practice area. You start out, and maybe it is auto and you want to go to premises.

Daniel Morgan:

That happens a lot. That always calls you, being able to know coaching and positions where, “Hey, you might think you’re a great pitcher and you’ve always been a pitcher your whole life, but I hate to tell you you’re a third baseman and we’re going to move you over to the hot corner and that’s where you’re going to be.” And they moan at first, and all of a sudden, they go over there and they’re doubling their fees after a year and they’re loving life a lot more. They’re not miserable, but they had that in their head that, “No, I am the trial guy. I’m the guy that does the closing statements.” But it’s like, “No, you’ve lost your last five trials. You’re going to be the guy that’s doing all the workup. You know how to think of depo better than anyone else. You’re going to go do all the expert depos.” And the next thing you know, they’re off and running.

With the internship program, that’s really what it came out of is, we had such a great need to hire just in case were coming in and we didn’t have the attorneys to fill it. And you go to try to hire an insurance defense attorney. That’s where we would always … My dad’s old motto was, “Don’t hire someone out of law school. Let them go do defense work or be a prosecutor or a state defender for three, four years, learn how to try a case, learn how to be a professional, and then, we can move them in. They then apply to us after three years, four years experience.”

Where now, what we’ve seen is just, one, the amount that we have to hire makes it very tough because you don’t have those … Maybe you could snag one great insurance attorney every year or so, as some firms do, but when you’re trying to hire five, six attorneys in one city at the same time, it gets a lot harder. And now, a lot of these insurance defense firms too, they’re just like, “Oh, it’s Morgan & Morgan. We have cases against them, conflicts waived. We’re not waiving conflicts. You’re no longer allowed to go there.”

So we have all these attorneys that want to come work for us but are stuck at some of these other defense firms that I won’t name. And also, the insurance defense lawyers that do come have all these preconceived notions of case values or these clients, “Oh, these clients are all frauds. They don’t know what … You guys are just drumming up cases.” And they come in, we call them Kool-Aid drinkers around Morgan & Morgan, but they come in drinking that Kool-Aid for three, four years where they see a herniation with injection case and they’re like, it’s a 100K policy and they’re like, “Well, that case is worth $60,000.” And we’re like, “What are you talking about? That person needs to get injections. They’re getting needles stuck in their back because this car ran into them. We want the full policy.” And you’re having these internal struggles with lawyers, that they think they know what values are worth, and we’re showing them, on this same exact fact pattern, we went and got a verdict of $1.2 million and you’re trying to settle this case for $60,000.

There’s a lot of that, making them become believers in their cases. My dad says, “If you don’t believe in the case, your clients are at the ultimate disadvantage, but the firm’s obviously at a disadvantage too, because you’ve got people that are rowing in the different direction.” So when you are able to go and get these kids in college to come and work and teach them our way from the beginning and our values and our processes, that yeah, they might not be litigating cases their first three years, but we have this career path now where they can be an intern for two years, then come in, be a junior attorney, paralegal role, research writing, doing memos for a year, then learn the pre-suit of it, and then, after two, three years, they’re starting to get some litigation cases.

And in the process too, they’re going to trial. We have third chairs and all that type of stuff. They’re at least getting in there and seeing it. Same like we were saying about the coaching. You might think you want to be a trial attorney and you do your first direct examination and your knees are shaking and your suit coat’s sweaty, which happens. Mine was sweaty after my first direct, but I knew after I did it that I loved it and I wanted to keep doing it. Where others were like, “I never want to do that again. I want to go do appellate law and write briefs on it.”

Chris Dreyer:

I imagine, too, by doing structuring it the way you do by your practice area especially, it also lends itself to marketing too, because speaking on stage and being known as a thought leader in that specific area as opposed to just being a great litigator, it’s like these experts start to develop based upon their specialization.

Daniel Morgan:

Oh, exactly, yeah. Then, if you’re a mass torts or a products liability, then, you’re getting invited to speak on panels. We have a guy, John Yanchunis, who I think has won every award possible with class action and multi-district litigation. You ask, top lawyer, let me guess, it’s John Yanchunis, yeah, 10 years in a row. So you got these guys that become, yeah, they’re experts in their field, and then, when the big cases come in, they’re the ones that really are the leaders of it. Obviously, partners and things like that. But if it’s a class action decision, John Yanchunis, we defer to him on those decisions., Unless it’s overwhelmingly group think, “No, don’t do it.” But yeah, we have a lot of empowering our employees. If this is what you think is the best way to go, as far as resources with cases, even if you think this expert’s what we need and they’re expensive, we’re not going to stop you and say, “No, you can’t spend it.”

Now, if it’s a low property damage auto case with a 10K policy, no, we’re probably not going to let you go hire a $20,000 life care planner just because it won’t get approved, and you’re really doing the client a disservice because when you do get the $10,000, they get nothing. There are checks and balances we have along those lines, but if it’s the right case, it’s prequalified, we let the lawyers really be entrepreneurial and be their own bosses and call their own shots and run their own staff. And then, it’s still part of a bigger culture that they know and that they embrace and the firm embraces. It’s been good as we grow.

Especially, in some of these newer markets too, we’ll take some of our proven leaders, our established markets like Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa, Atlanta, and then, we’ll send them out to our newer markets like Los Angeles and Philly and Boston and St. Louis so they get that culture and infusion.

Chris Dreyer:

Seeing the billboards, seeing TV and radio, and I’ve heard your dad talk on different podcasts, and when we break this down into marketing, you’ve got paid, owned and earned. You got your paid media. That could be TV, it could be radio, it could be ads, it could be whatever. You got your owned, which could be your website and your content. And I’ve heard the Google firm, I’ve heard these references, and your reviews and your owned.

But the thing that I think isn’t talked about enough is the earned media, the viral conversations, the humor, the entertainment. I saw a bus wrap today, Viva Las Vegas. Then, I see the shirt off on the beach, or the Benjamin. I know, a lot of attorneys, they’ll poke fun, but guess what they’re doing? They’re talking about it. The media’s talking about it. What is the approach when it comes to the viral, the earned media to get people talking? How do those conversations go, from the marketing perspective?

Daniel Morgan:

Yeah, there’s two different types of earned media too. There’s that type of earned media where you get people to talk, and there’s the other type that we do a great job of too, which is just PR around big cases and getting that … We have a whole PR team that that’s one aspect of it, but the more stuff you’re talking about, my dad calls it being sticky, getting in people’s brains and just sticking there.

We have these sessions every week. It’s four of us. Or five of us, actually. Me, my dad, Reuven Moscowitz, who’s our COO, Yehuda Apfelbaum, who’s our chief marketing officer, and then Carlos Wigle, who is our creative director. It’s us five, every Tuesday, from 5:00 to 6:00, but it’s really just throwing out these different ideas. People pitch different things and we round table it and we kick it around, and then, it’s called the Purple Cow meeting, that marketing term when people see something and it sticks with them.

Yeah, we do them every week. We have these ones going on now where you might’ve seen them, but we have these billboards with graffiti on them. It says, “ambulance chaser” and “for the money” and everything that people say to us. My dad’s like, “Let’s just put it on the boards. People are saying it anyway. We’ll call ourselves out and people will talk about it.” And we had a Twitter post that had 3.5 million people talking about it, and then, we were the number one page on Reddit for two days. So yeah, there’s definitely things like that. And now, with the heavy involvement with the UFC and with NASCAR and really going to these places where we know the eyeballs are, but no one’s really been there before, and there’s different reasons for that.

We’re obviously a national law firm, so it makes more sense for us to be on the UFC, that’s broadcast nationally, instead of, say, your number one attorney in Detroit. You’re making a killing. You still might not want to make that type of investment because you’re only going to want to handle the cases that are in Detroit. You might be able to refer some diamonds out as well. Well, we’re able to take all those cases in no matter what’s common and find the homes for them. And if we’re not handling them, we’re boots on the ground in 20 of 50 states now, so there’s a good chance we can handle it, and if not, we have good referral partners that can. So really taking those chances and doing deals like Barstool Sports and some of these others like Theo Von, we’ve been on him a bunch and these more comedians and podcast styles, and it’s mainly the people that’d be like, “Wait, they’re here now too. You can’t really turn on TV, you go on a drive, you turn your radio on, now you’re turning podcasts on or UFC or NASCAR or baseball games or hockey games, and these bastards are here too?” That’s the thought, be everywhere for everyone.

Here in Orlando. The common theme around here is just put a guy on a billboard with a big check in our name, and there’s five firms that do that same type of advertising down here, and it’s press and repeat. So yeah, it’s really just, one, how do we stand away from that? Do a whole campaign about, yeah, they got that, but that was just a settlement. We go to get verdicts and that. But that’s just getting too far in the weeds with people where they don’t really understand the difference between a settlement or a verdict. A million bucks is a million bucks to them, however they get it. They don’t care.

And we don’t want to be another, “Hey, here’s the check.” Obviously, we have our $15 billion recovered because you lead with a big number and it’s impressive, but we’re not pushing that out like other firms push out the individual ones. It’s more just brand awareness plays, staying above that. Then, at the same time, knowing that we have those numbers to back it up. And we’ll push out verdicts on Instagram and Twitter and social media channels and stuff like that to get it out there so people at least know we’re trying cases, but it’s not what we lead with. We lead board what you’re talking about, hey, get people talking, be memorable. Get them as a client and then just wow them with service and experience, and there’ll be customers for life.

Chris Dreyer:

Advertising with local sports teams is a great way to connect to your community, but college athletes were off limits until recently. Name, image and likeness, or NIL, offers fair compensation, financial stability and educational opportunities for college athletes, and it is changing the game for local legal advertising. The Morgan & Morgan firm saw an opportunity and did not hesitate.

Daniel Morgan:

We were actually the first law firm in America that did an NIL deal. I’m a licensed basketball agent. All that time when I was, as my dad says, fucking around in law school pretending to be a sports agent, I actually got licensed and I have some overseas clients and stuff like that. It’s more of a hobby than a career, but it’s fun to be around. In doing so, I knew the path that was coming because you go to these agents, you have to do these seminars with the NBPA every year. I knew the NIL train was coming and I knew, hey, if we’re a first mover, back to that earned media thing, even if we just do a deal … I think our first deal was for $5,000, but we got about $800,000 worth of free media from different newspapers writing about, “Hey, this player just signed with Morgan & Morgan, NIL deal happened,” ESPN and podcasts we’re all picking it up.

It was actually a Purple Cow, one of those creative meetings. I pitched it, the Purple Cow. We’re big in Lexington, Kentucky. That’s where my dad’s from. He’s a Kentucky fan, he knows John Calipari well, so it was the layup, let’s go to Kentucky, do a whole team deal. That was the next evolution of, we’ll do the team with the whole entire team. Now, you have these people in Lexington, they eat, sleep, drink Kentucky basketball. Now, you have the Kentucky people on commercials and billboards with us saying, “Call Morgan & Morgan. They’re the best, yada yada.” Obviously, there’s certain things you have to get approved by the bar. You can’t guarantee wins and say they’re the best firm and stuff like that. I’m paraphrasing, but just aligning yourself with that brand side by side. And they’re like, “Well, if they’re with them, then, I’m with them too because I love all things Kentucky basketball, and if they’re supporting my team, then I’m going to support that law firm because ipso facto, more dollars will then flow to my team and my players.”

Now, what’s happened though is, I’m not going to say people are copycatting because it was going to be the natural flow, but other people started getting in that same space, obviously. And these people are spending … They’re treating him like they’re pro players. We were able to go in and do deals for four figures, maybe $3,000, $5,000. I think our highest deal we’ve ever done was for $15,000. That was for a top three pick in the draft when he was at Alabama. We were able to pretty much say, “Hey, take our money or don’t take our money. We’re paying you for an hour of your time to take pictures with us, a few social media posts, and then, they’re going to take you and market you all over Tuscaloosa. You’re going to be a college athlete with billboards and on buses.” What college athlete doesn’t want that?

A lot of times, the agents would get involved and try to play hardball, “No, he wants seven figures,” and you laughed at them and said, “See you later.” And then, the client will call you back, “Hey, can I still get that deal done for the number that you promised? And am I really going to get billboards?” A lot of that, but now, what does happen is, some firms will come in and will pay a guy 100 grand, and then, it just kind of muddies what the value is.

Because a lot of times too, it could be, “Hey, this lawyer is a mega booster of Georgia football. I want to make sure I get a recruit there, so I’ll pay this guy $50,000 to be a spokesman for Georgia.” Meanwhile, he goes to Georgia, I have him as spokesperson, two birds, one stone, where my dad doesn’t care about any of that stuff. He cares about, how much does this cost and what are our eyeballs, what’s the ROI on this?

Big money for some of these players, especially if you average out what they’re doing and at scale. But no, definitely, I think the way that it’s helped us is, one, it shows the people in the community that we’re invested with them and with their team. It’s aligning us with their team. And then, the content we can get around it is just hyper-local content. We did one with Grace McCall at Coastal Carolina that’s just super hyper-local. Who watching that? But all of a sudden, case spikes go up in that county 25%. There’s nothing else to really point to except that one campaign. We definitely have proof of concept that it works. And then, we’ve replicated it out now where we’re official law firm of the Yankees and of the Phillies and of the Red Sox because we’re like, “Hey, if we put this logo up next to our logo, these diehard fans are going to be all in with us.”

Chris Dreyer:

Yeah, I wonder if, does it give you the enemy too?

Daniel Morgan:

It does. We’ve been very cognizant about that, though. In Lexington, with UK, we have deals with Louisville now too. So yeah, there’s definitely some of that as well of, “Hey,” because you’ll go to a different city or something, you’re on an away game and you just saw Morgan & Morgan with Brock Bowers at Georgia, but now, you’re driving to Arkansas … And this was a layup, though. The Arkansas has a football player named John Morgan, so we obviously had to do a deal with him. We have a deal with him this year. But all of a sudden, you’re driving over to Georgia and you see John Morgan the football player on a Morgan & Morgan billboard, like, “Wait a minute. I thought they were with me. Now, they’re with them. Now, they’re with everybody.”

But we’ve looked at it, and really, how we came with the leaning more into the sports marketing is, I don’t look at the enemy as other law firms. When it comes to marketing, I still look at it as the guy I’m going against in the courtroom, and that’s Allstate and State Farm and USAA and these firms. And where are they spending the money? They’re spending it at these ballparks and on these players and on these deals. Patrick Mahomes is, I think, representing three insurance companies. That guy’s always on TV. But it didn’t … The main thing I took from that was, just because Allstate was marketing at Raymond James Stadium, USAA was still marketing there too, Progressive was still marketing there too. So even if another law firm or another team sees it, I think they now know this is just marketing, this is what big companies do and Morgan & Morgan is a national big company.

Chris Dreyer:

How can the personal injury attorneys listening get in touch with you? And what’s next for Morgan & Morgan?

Daniel Morgan:

Absolutely, yeah. My role now is, actually, I’m the head of our referrals inbound outbound, and I do all of our out of market marketing as well. Definitely reach out to me. My email is easy, dmorgan@forthepeople.com. Again, dmorgan@forthepeople.com. Pretty easy. And then, also, I’m on Instagram, @danmorganesq. You can DM me on there as well.

But really, what’s next is, we really want to keep growing this referral network. We’re marketing nationally now, there’s tons of cases that are coming in outside of our markets that we’re in, so we’re trying to grow those networks, be able to refer those cases in, or out. And then, we have eyes on another markets to launch too. We actually launched Vegas this month, so you’ll see us a lot more in Vegas, boots on the ground attorneys. The goal is to keep slowly taking over the world.

Chris Dreyer:

Thanks so much to Dan Morgan for sharing his wisdom today. Let’s hit the takeaways. It’s time for the pinpoints.

Specialize for success. Morgan & Morgan lawyers focus on specific legal niches, becoming true subject matter experts. The firm also evaluates each attorney’s abilities, playing to their strengths.

Don’t be afraid to shuffle talent to match skillsets. Properly aligning talent allows everyone to excel.

Daniel Morgan:

You might think you’re a great pitcher, but I hate to tell you you’re a third baseman and we’re going to move you over to the hot corner, and that’s where you’re going to be. And they moan at first, and all of a sudden, they go over there and they’re doubling their fees after a year, and they’re loving life a lot more. And then, the next thing you know, they’re off and running.

Chris Dreyer:

Stand out. Remember Seth Godin’s Purple Cow idea? By breaking with the pack, you stand out and stick in people’s minds.

Morgan & Morgan embraces buzzworthy marketing like viral graffiti billboards to captivate audiences. The goal is to be memorable, not fade into the background. To scale up, your marketing must break through the noise.

Daniel Morgan:

Every Tuesday, from 5:00 to 6:00, sometimes it goes longer, it’s really just throwing out these different ideas, and we round table it and we kick it around, and then, it’s called the Purple Cow meeting when people see something and it sticks with them.

Chris Dreyer:

Streamlined intake. With over 500 call center staff tackling 2.5 million calls yearly, Morgan & Morgan has streamlined intake for success. Their efficient process lets them smoothly handle high call volumes. If you want to grow, streamline your systems.

Daniel Morgan:

We find people all the time, it could just be someone that’s angry that day and they’re just pressing call disconnect halfway through a call because they’re done doing a signup and it’s a qualified case. So having layered management to check, why does Agent A have an average call time of two minutes and everyone else is at five and a half minutes? Let’s go pull her calls. Oh, something’s going on. Her phone’s not … There’s a manual disconnect going on. Just stuff like that, so always having systems in place to be able to canvas and make sure it’s being run efficiently.

Chris Dreyer:

For more information about Dan Morgan and Morgan & Morgan, check out the show notes. While you’re there, please hit that follow button so you never miss an episode of Personal Injury Mastermind with me, Chris Dreyer, founder and CEO of Rankings.io.

All right, everybody. Thanks for hanging out. See you next time. I’m out.