Attorneys are Human Too, a Podcast

Episode 19-The Associate's Whisperer Featuring Frank Ramos, Esq.

September 30, 2020 Frank Ramos Season 1 Episode 19
Attorneys are Human Too, a Podcast
Episode 19-The Associate's Whisperer Featuring Frank Ramos, Esq.
Chapters
Attorneys are Human Too, a Podcast
Episode 19-The Associate's Whisperer Featuring Frank Ramos, Esq.
Sep 30, 2020 Season 1 Episode 19
Frank Ramos

Come join Host Attorney Steven Wallace and Co-Host Celena Muzic as they are joined by Frank Ramos, managing partner of Clark Silvergate in Miami.

Topics Include:

Advice for Young Lawyers
Mental Health in the Legal Profession
How to Generate Business Using Social Media
How to Maximize LinkedIn
Lawyering in the Age of COVID-19
How to be a Legal Rainmaker
Use of Technology in the Legal Industry
Pop Culture Banter
Lightning Round

Show Notes Transcript

Come join Host Attorney Steven Wallace and Co-Host Celena Muzic as they are joined by Frank Ramos, managing partner of Clark Silvergate in Miami.

Topics Include:

Advice for Young Lawyers
Mental Health in the Legal Profession
How to Generate Business Using Social Media
How to Maximize LinkedIn
Lawyering in the Age of COVID-19
How to be a Legal Rainmaker
Use of Technology in the Legal Industry
Pop Culture Banter
Lightning Round

Steve Wallace:

we have a true treat today. We have Frank Ramos. Who's the managing partner of Clark silver gate in Miami. Hi Frank.

Frank Ramos:

Hi, thanks so much for having me.

Celena Muzic:

How is it about me?

Frank Ramos:

It's warm and wet.

Steve Wallace:

Yeah. we're about a, an hour North of you in Boynton beach. So we share the climate and the constant rain during our rainy season.

Frank Ramos:

That's right. That's right.

Steve Wallace:

Okay. So my first question for you, which a lot of folks know, and you're a very well regarded attorney in South Florida. what made you decide to become a lawyer?

Frank Ramos:

No, I've been practicing now for about 23 years. Growing up, I grew up in Chicago actually and watched a lot of the lawyers. So it was back then and was intrigued by it. And I grew up in a working class family, and they wanted me to be a doctor, lawyer or accountant or engineer. so those were my four options. I decided to go into law. when we moved down here, Miami in 86 college and law school here actually met my wife in college and we've been married now for about 26 years. That's X boys who are 22 and 19. Both of them are studying music actually at Florida state and U M respectable. it's something I've always wanted to do. And so I pursued it here, went to USC mammy law school and been practicing since 97.

Steve Wallace:

Okay, great. Yeah, you're a couple years ahead of me. I graduated in 1999, and I've moved to Florida in 2002 know. So I've been licensed in Florida since 2002 can you walk us through a little bit of your career? Have you always been at Clark silver gate or where did you get your start?

Frank Ramos:

I started a firm called in Sean Colbertson, it's a national defense firm based out of Chicago. And that was part of what attracted me to having him. I'm from Chicago and worked there throughout law school and work there a little under a year, big firm. I don't think I was a big firm lawyer and ended up going to the firm event now, which is a small litigation. Boutique firm had been there ever since. And we do a mix of commercial products, employment, and other techs litigation. It's all we do. We just do litigation. We don't do corporate or divorce or bankruptcy or anything else like that or real estate. And I've been here ever since. we were. A few blocks away. And we're been in our current building since 2001 near Brickell, which is like the financial district here in Miami. And I'm in my office. We've been back in our offices since June. COVID and, we've been socially distancing and we wear a mask when we're in common, we're been pretty much back to normal for a while. And so we're pretty grateful for that.

Steve Wallace:

we occasionally go in, for closings but we're social distancing and everything like that.

Celena Muzic:

has your practice changed because of COVID or the way that you're practicing LAR doing things?

Frank Ramos:

It has, I think it's changed for all of us in a sense that we all have to become very technologically savvy quickly. And I've done depositions and mediations and hearings via zoom, much like we're doing now. And I know colleagues have tried cases via zoom and at least in Dade County, I don't believe any courthouses are opening up on a civil side, at least until next year. Yeah, but things are going forward.

Steve Wallace:

That's the same Palm beach County. And as well as the bankruptcy course, we practice in bankruptcy court in Palm beach, Broward and Dade. And nothing's really opening up.

Frank Ramos:

Yeah. And I suspect a lot of the judges actually prefer zoom. I think they don't like having a full courtroom. I don't think they want to, I'm sure they want to do back to their courtrooms, but I don't think they want to have a room full of lawyers. And I've heard from several judges that even after things return to normal, at least when they can, I think zoom may become the new normal, these online hearings may become the normal, obviously trying cases really. Isn't great on zoom. I've had different people tell me and share it with. With me, their experiences and overall, I don't think they're super excited about doing zoom trials. You can interact with the jury, you can't interact with the witnesses, but in terms of these hearings, I've had some mediations that settled them, drain zoom, depositions had done through zoom and overall it's not exactly like being in person, but. It's pretty close. And I think clients who have to pay our travel and our hotel expenses or anything else are gonna probably lean on us after things return to normal, to continue doing as much of online, as we can. So I think that's part of the new reality that we're all dealing with. And also for awhile, we were remote just as you guys are still remote and you learn that you can run an office remotely. I think a lot of lawyers thought that was impossible, and I think we've all learned that it is very possible and certain, positives to that, to cut down on travel on traffic, on costs, in terms of dry cleaning and meals and office space, a lot of positives about. Remote work.

Steve Wallace:

What are your thoughts on having just motion count, like non evidentiary motions on a zoom?

Frank Ramos:

I agree. I think a lot of court houses and courtrooms had to invest on zoom and they've paid for the platform and they've trained people on how to use the platform and everybody's used to the platform now. that startup cost is behind us and it's real tempting for, Judges and their staff to say, you know what, let's just stick with this whenever we can.

Celena Muzic:

I find that it's different for your clients. are you having meetings with clients via zoom as well, or are they just still coming into the office wearing masks?

Frank Ramos:

No, we're doing a lot more calls on zoom. We're spending a lot more time. Discussing it speaking with clients because zoom and I think clients prefer that I don't think clients have any strong interest in to coming to our office and dealing with traffic and paying for parking, even if we reimburse them for it and spending half a day, getting here and leaving, they'd much rather have a set time. They call into a zoom call. We speak with them for however long when you've talked to them for, and they're done and we're done. And it takes less time for everybody involved. So I really think that this. This is the new normal that even when things return, a lot of us are going to continue doing a lot of what we've been doing.

Steve Wallace:

Selena, you're a resident millennial. What are your thoughts on it and any clients in person, since before COVID. So I personally am not the most social, like the two of you. So I enjoy interacting via zoom versus in person.

Celena Muzic:

I prefer it. I, I think zoom and FaceTime technology has made it so easy. It's people have this misconception that it's going to be so hard to get on a zoom call, or I have to know about technology. And it's very simple. I don't recommend driving. I think get on a zoom call. We can discuss everything face to face. And it's very easy. I feel like it should, this should be the norm. Always. I felt this way before Kobe, I'm always complaining in the office telling Steven, I think the whole court system needs to just.

Steve Wallace:

I agree. I think tech with technology, a lot of the antiquated processes as well as just the time. when I have to go from my house to court in Miami and make it by nine 30 in the morning. It's just so stressful. I'm in the car for two hours. I lose two hours of my day. And when I used to work at, I used to work at a large firm in Fort Lauderdale. I would commute from homage County to Fort Lauderdale. again, I'd be in the car for about an hour and a half. All of these technology may get, I get an hour and a half to two hours of my life back. What are your thoughts on that, Frank?

Frank Ramos:

No, I agree. I, it takes about a half hour, 40 minutes to drive in and another half hour, 45 minutes to drive back. It's nice for those days where we're working from home to get that hour and a half back, you don't have to dress nicely if you're working from home, unless you have some client calls, you don't have to run off to grab lunch. He just walked six feet to your refrigerator. it's a huge. Substantial saving in time. And I think for larger firms who have a large footprint in terms of real estate, it's something for them to think about when they renew their leases, do they need that much space? Can they share offices? Can they have smaller conference rooms? what are some of the things they can do to reduce that overhead? Because I think after payroll usually Lisa's is second biggest line item in your budget.

Celena Muzic:

Do you even need a lease or do you just need a conference room space you go into maybe once a month or twice a month? those are all things that I would consider. and again, I just think technology is so advanced, I wouldn't be surprised if going forward, there's going to be some type of virtual offices.

Frank Ramos:

Yeah. like we worked with, I guess they had their own issues, unrelated to what was going on, but that could be very much, a much more predominant model going future where you, especially with smaller firms who are used to now doing things remotely, like we really need to have space at all. Can we just rent space, phone? We need to have a deposition or,

Steve Wallace:

but that's something saline and I are playing around with right now, at least for the short term, we're going to retain our office, but. It's something, certainly, you are a small to midsize firm. one of the things that keeps both of us competitive against those large firms is the fact that our overhead is lower

Frank Ramos:

I think I started practicing in 97 and man things are really different than, we had fax machines, emails weren't that prominent. We had books, we had law libraries are fermented law library. If we didn't have a book in our law library, went to the local law school or gate County library. we sent letters to each other and then when we. Spend a week to respond to them. what a weird world and things have changed and the idea that we can now. And if you telling me back then, Oh yeah, we're going to just be talking to each other through our computers are or arguments virtually I'm like, what does that even mean? I don't, I have no idea. I can't even compute that. and so the change has been dramatic. And I think for whatever reason, the legal industry always seems to fall behind other industries in terms of catching up to technology. And if there's any silver lining to COVID and their few, but if there is one, it's the fact that it really be just over the head and make us made us great technologically savvy. so there's that benefit to it all.

Steve Wallace:

I definitely agree.

Celena Muzic:

I feel like all we need now is for the court system. The judicial system to catch up and even, and I say that even when it pertains to software in the legal industry, it's not very compatible to, multiple platforms it's not, or it's not compatible on the court's end and they can't, you have to send it in a certain format for me, it's just all A waste of time and working from home, at least for me, I can say it has increased productivity just because I can't, it's still, I think Steven

Frank Ramos:

knows that or

Celena Muzic:

what are we doing? And, I'm like emailing Steven in the middle of the night. I'm sure. He's what is this girl doing?

Steve Wallace:

It's breaking up my Netflix.

Frank Ramos:

Okay.

Steve Wallace:

We'll get to that later, Frank. Okay. So you're the managing partner of Clark silver gate. And can you give our list of, we have a lot of attorney listeners, both small firms, both associates, young middle, mid career. So could you take us, in behind the curtain. What exactly does a managing partner of a small to midsize firm do?

Frank Ramos:

Yeah. for a smart midsize for managing partners, dealing with HR issues, dealing with sort of administrative issues. And it's working with the team to develop a business plan, to expand the firms work and bring in new clients and, keep. Current clients happy ensure that we're product is strong and well done. and it's, managing partners is an odd title, but I think if you're a small firm you're wearing lots of hats and the smaller the firm, you're the boss and you're the managing partner, the administrative partner, everything in between. So I don't think it's all that different than, people who run their own small firms. But I think predominant issue, in this current environment, If you're leading a firm, no matter what your title you have is, where's the business, there are come from, there's, there was a disruption in the economy, a number of firms have had to let go of attorneys and staff. different clients are looking at the legal spend in different ways. And I think we're all appreciating the benefits of technology and how best to use it. And so I, I certainly recommend for any firm. To sit down and come up with a strategic plan for this new normal and, sit down and think through, what their mission, their vision, their values are, what their goals are for the next year and the year after what a plan they want to put together to achieve those goals and what specific action steps they need to do to achieve that plan and then create a timetable for themselves and assign tasks. To the various folks in the firm and then, hold each other accountable to make sure it's accomplished. Yeah. And what I'm suggesting is pretty much what every company does. but again, something that law firms aren't great at doing is planning. We know we don't see ourselves as business people. We see ourselves first as these lawyers who are professionals and we're not here to try to get clients or market or manage or any of those other things, but those are very important. Aspects of the practice. I think in the best advice I can get from mannequin partners, for sure activists had greater plan and work the plan. Okay,

Steve Wallace:

so just a follow up question with that. How much of your day or week is spent towards the business aspect of law versus the actual practice

Frank Ramos:

of law? I think every day I do something business oriented. I'm pretty active on LinkedIn. I'm active in some voluntary bar associations on any given day I'll be speaking with or exchanging emails with. Others involving my involvement of those organisms or my social media postings or something. I think it's, it, I think it makes it easier. It sounds like a bit onerous, Oh, he's doing it every day, but if you do little bits here and there every day versus doing large chunks, Over the weekend or one day of the week, it becomes much more manageable. And so again, that goes back to having a plan, deciding, how are we doing our marketer from and fell a business. Who's gonna be responsible for what, what's our, efforts and where we're going to put our time and our energy. And then coming up with a schedule for yourself separately. on Monday I'm going to email three people on Tuesday. I'm going to do a social media post damn the worker article Thursday. I'm gonna, take that a committee call for that organization Friday. I'm going to have coffee with whomever. and I just create a pattern and a schedule for yourself and stick with it and give yourself maybe a half hour to an hour, a day to really focus in on that. And overall, over a long time, that'll pay off in dividends.

Steve Wallace:

You're actively, you have an

Frank Ramos:

active files

Steve Wallace:

that you're working on. Cause I know in some firms, the managing partner all day, Focused on his business oriented tasks.

Frank Ramos:

Yeah, I think, I have a pretty active case load and I think with smaller firms, that's comes with the territory. I think larger firms can afford to have sort of a management style man Parker, where he or she is responsible for multiple offices over maybe multiple countries. And they're dealing with conflict issues and client issues. And. Marketing and associate training and everything else. And that takes that maybe 75 to 80% of their time. But at a smaller firm, you just don't have that luxury. You can't really set aside all that fun. She doesn't have one person running the show. I would say that 90% of my time is spent on actual cases and 10% is spent on managing the firm. Okay.

Steve Wallace:

So as a result of the quote, unquote, new normal, yeah. How has your firm marketing change? is there a couple techniques and obviously we don't wanna, reveal the secret sauce, but are there certain things that you can share with us marketing ideas or marketing strategies that you've employed during this timeframe?

Frank Ramos:

I think everybody has gone online now. And so LinkedIn has become sort of the choice platform for business people, particularly lawyers. So if you're not active on LinkedIn, I'd strongly recommended, made sure you have a robust profile and a good professional photograph of yourself and a strong background information or anything. there are a bunch of criteria you can complete on your profile. You try to complete as much of it as possible, and then reach out to people, make connections, try to. Contact them to the messaging on LinkedIn that it offers. And then if you can try to meet them offline, if you're not socially distancing, I just didn't always meet them for coffee. I try to meet people for coffee when I can, if not, I didn't have zoom calls like this, or you can call them over the phone, but try to go beyond just a few messages on LinkedIn. And if you're arguing to get involved in LinkedIn, my recommendation is that you. Define what your brand is both as do your firm and individually, and come up with an area that you feel comfortable posting about on a regular basis, knowing that you can be posting on that topic over the next several months or years. like you said, you mentioned, yeah, you guys do real estate and bankruptcy. you may want to take one or those two topics and then posts and those issues regularly mean it's recent. Case law or there's the order that came down by certain judge or there's new legislation, that's in our change, how we handle bankruptcy matters. And then the more you post on it, you become known as an expert in that field. And even though there may be other lawyers out there who have been practicing longer than you, and maybe considered more of an expert since you are the one that is sharing your knowledge and knowhow and communicating with them. Others regularly on platforms like LinkedIn and push, not content. You're a pioneer to be seen more of an expert than others. And you're going to get business that way is certainly going to grow buzz for yourself. You're going to solidify your brand. You're pining for people to vote for you on these various. sites where they call you the best lawyers who Lord or whatever else, because they just see your name associated with that practice area all the time, which helps with the cache of who you are, your firms. So I, I'd recommend doing that. I'd recommend, pretty non, online. seminars or webinars, you guys are doing this podcast, which is great. Yeah. And another thing is maybe creating your own sort of BNI type group, which I have once a month where I basically have opened it up to lawyers in Florida and we get together, I think the last Thursday every month. Oh yeah.

Steve Wallace:

We'd love to, we'd love to join you if we may

Frank Ramos:

send me a message after this. and then basically what we do is that we introduced ourselves. We've only done this for a few months, but we introduce herself and every month we have one, the lawyers talk about his or her practice and give like the insight about what they do, but more to have us better understand that practice area.

Steve Wallace:

Fascinating.

Frank Ramos:

Yeah. That's a great idea. Yeah. So something else that you know, and anybody can do that. If you have a social following on Facebook or LinkedIn or some other platform, you can just say not a message to folks saying, I'm okay. and so an attorney and I want to put there, create a zoom call, a monthly zoom call of other lawyers in our area. we, I do it statewide. We can do it in Miami or do it. Yeah. Boynton beach, or you can do it in Palm beach, wherever you are, wherever you're located. and then just, and I don't know if you necessarily have to cap it because what happens is that different people are available on different months. Sure. I think we have a total of 20 people and I think we've never had more than a dozen folks show up in any given call. It's never the same people. so you know, it works out that way. it's just been a zoom call. I think the people. Free a little bit more informally. And so people maybe. Yeah, no, like they don't feel like if they can't make it's not that big of a deal. So it works out pretty well. So that's another thing you can do. Try to create opportunities for yourself. Try to create ways that you're bumping and reaching out to, and talking to folks who have the potential for you matters. And. And then on a parallel track, try to promote yourself, so that people get you and come to see you as an expert in your field.

Steve Wallace:

So we've tried. And thank you, Frank. That was excellent. we, during the pandemic, obviously being locked up, we've done, we've improved a lot of things with our social media. I've taken part in a couple of LinkedIn challenges. Put on by a couple of different folks and doing, I've done some webinars and, but you've given me, given us some great ideas and we appreciate that. And certainly we don't compete with each other. We're in a totally different realm. so that my follow up question to that is I thought I was really good because I have about 6,000 LinkedIn connections. You have 51,000,

Frank Ramos:

at least. Right?

Steve Wallace:

how in the world, how many hours a day are you on LinkedIn to get that number?

Frank Ramos:

I'm not on that much. Actually, what I do is that about four years ago, and I think I want to say maybe a little bit more than four years now. I forget exactly what I started. I started, I committed to posting daily on LinkedIn and Twitter, weekends and holidays, and I committed to making at least one post a day. Usually I do maybe more than one post. And the more you post, these are just the posts, the more ideas you generate first. You're posting. You're like, Oh, what am I going to say? What am I going to share? I don't have anything to talk about. I remember that LinkedIn posts were limited at 1300 characters. Is that right? Much. And you don't have to use the phone 1300 characters. Most of my posts are only a few sentences long. I don't really share that many articles. So you can do that on LinkedIn. Yeah. Occasionally I'll show a share video, which has become much more popular. I'll share articles or certainly. I've been on a podcast or I've done a podcast myself, I'll share links to those. But typically what I'll do is that, my posting has evolved, a lot of times posts are geared toward younger lawyers. It's a lot of how to stuff's hard and soft skills. And then probably in the last year to year and a half had done a lot more inspirational motivational posts, a young lawyer, especially let a COVID. A lot of folks are struggling to land jobs and stay in jobs and Southern trying to be more. Inspirational when I can. but it doesn't once you get, so the habit it takes about maybe a month against this Abbott where you're posting every day. if you have the app on your phone, which is what I recommend, when you know, when you're in line at the supermarket, you can come up with something when. You're at a red light and you may just jot something down when you're waiting for your hearing. When you're waiting for deposition, when you're waiting for your dry cleaning yet, it's amazing how much time we waste in a given day. that if you were to just say, I'm going to use that time two dedicated to social media, LinkedIn is probably the default, but if you want to do Facebooker or other platforms, that's fine as well. you can easily. Yeah. Find the time to do it without actually restructuring your schedule at all. you can post once or twice a day and it won't be new time. It'll be time that you basically already have, but that you're using, you're basically just wasting because you're waiting on something or you're doing something and you're just basically waiting those few minutes to get to whatever you're actually trying to get to do.

Steve Wallace:

So you're the associate whisper. We're just looking at your bio. You've written about more than 15 books in a variety of different articles, motivationally, how to succeed as an associate and a young lawyer. Could you elaborate a bit, little bit on that and how did you pick that topic? I think that's an amazing job.

Frank Ramos:

I think, having not practiced I guess, 23 years or so, you realize that everybody needs a mentor and most of those need multiple mentors and a lot of firms don't do a great job mentoring, for a variety of reasons. Not I'm not trying to cast its versions, but we're all busy. We often go hours or, generate revenue and you can't bill for mentoring. And so a lot of firms aren't geared toward training young lawyers. And when you're a young lawyer, it's very overwhelming. that. Yeah, you're constantly thinking you're screwing something up. You're upsetting a client and you're worried about deadlines. You think you're upset somebody you didn't ask. The question needed to in deposition, you didn't argue whatever you want to argue in the motion. It just adds up. And it's very stressful.

Steve Wallace:

You get an older lawyer, but you have a, more of a handle of it, but you're always, there's always some concern somewhere.

Frank Ramos:

But I think as you do it more, you realize that doesn't really matter as much. I don't know what it is not to suggest that what we do doesn't matter, but you have a much better sense of self and confidence and experience. And you realize that sometimes things fall through the cracks and you'll be fine, unless you mention the statute of limitations or a deadline for some filing for an appeal, you. There are a few things we do in terms of mistakes that we can't rectify. That's

Steve Wallace:

what I just tell my staff and my, we've had associates at our firm before that, for the most part we can fix it. Don't do it, but don't make that mistake, but everything's for the most part, fixable.

Frank Ramos:

Yeah. and I think that kind of comes with age and experience. and I've talked about that. So I realized that there was a need, it's surprising, there are not that many, resources out there for yarn lawyers even now. and I started writing for young lawyers when I was very much a young lawyer myself back in 2002, I think. And I've written off and on various legal publications over the years. Not, I think I'm up to mine. 19th or 20th book or so, and most of them are young lawyers. Most of them, there are few in the pipeline. They haven't been published yet, but most of them are for young lawyers. And coincidentally, one of them actually called the associate whisper, which I thought

Steve Wallace:

I didn't even know that. that's

Frank Ramos:

why it hasn't come out yet, but that'll be coming out later this year. But, and so my advice basically is to pick an area that you enjoy and dig deep into. It really becomes a master in that area. And the more specific. And fine tune that areas. The easier it is to become an expert as there's less to learn, obviously, if you want to become a cyber security expert in Baidu, that by 18 months, as opposed to becoming an expert on product liability, which may take several years and, or just general personal injury, which may take 10 years. you try to find a niche that works for you and really dive into it and then spend time I'm working on yourself, work on your writing, work on your public speaking. So much of what we do as lawyers are soft skills in terms of clients want to know. that didn't feel comfortable with us. And we, in order for them to feel comfortable with us, we have to be comfortable with ourselves, which means we have to be confident in ourselves. We have to express ourselves well. and there's lots of things you can do and join a Toastmasters and do which I did for a, you can do an improv last, I've taken a couple of those. You can take writing classes online. You can read a lot. I think. It doesn't have to be about law stuff, but just, being an avid reader helps you think through and write better and communicate better. And if you're young lawyer, really working on yourself because it's a long career, and people aren't really retired 65 anymore, we'd like to think we are, but I think most lawyers I know, hit 65 and they're still on their way into their seventies. They're still practicing partial, but just, I think they want to impartially, unfortunately, financially some of them have to, Have you started your career 25 and you're working until 70, do the math. That's a long time. Yeah. from jump street and you start thinking about what practice area areas you want to focus on, really become a match in those areas, And speak in those areas, learn in those areas, take CLE in those areas, read blogs in those areas. And then I concurrent level really work on your soft skills, speaking, writing, communication, owning the room, all the things that. Clients look for, and that will help you in other areas, I did a couple of improv classes and I found that really helped me when I argued motions or took depositions or went to trial, but just, you really have to learn how to think on your feet. And improv and try, trying cases seem to be on two ends of the spectrum, but they actually are the opposite. It's the opposite sides of the same coin. pursue those opportunities and really take advantage of them.

Celena Muzic:

How did you, and just to ask, but why did you go into the type of law that you do? just because I've met many other attorneys who say, well, I went into this because I could make a lot of money. And then there's that the other opposite where it's we had someone on the podcast who said I do this because it's my passion. It's not about the money.

Frank Ramos:

Yeah. I think you have to find something you enjoy and then you have to find a firm that does that work and enjoys it as well. And then we'll treat you well, we'll mentor you, which is a lot to ask, a lot of things don't have that benefit. So want you to pick an area that you think you're gonna enjoy and you may ultimately find out you don't, but. Know, you take your best guess based on what you think you will enjoy. And a good way of trying to figure that out just before you joined a firm is to talk to lawyers in that practice area, invite them to coffee, invite them to breakfast and pick their brain, ask them what a normal day or week, or month or year is. And you may find out that it's what you want to do, or it may not be. so you have to do your own due diligence going beyond just reading about firms. What they do. You really want to sit down with lawyers and have sort of heart to heart with them and figure out. Why they liked what they do. And some may not, send me say, like I went into this and I know.

Celena Muzic:

I've met a lot of attorneys who have said, I dunno why I did this,

Frank Ramos:

right? Yeah. That's common. I've grown into my shoes as a lawyer, I think early on in my career. I wasn't really happy with being a lawyer. And I think the last two years, partially because I've been given the opportunity or I should say I sought it out to help others that I've enjoyed it a lot more. I think we'd go beyond ourselves. And we find ways to help our clients and help others in community. It makes it that much more, pleasurable and rewarding and. That makes every, made the drudgery part of the work a lot easier to deal with. whatever job we have, it's, it's called a job and work for a reason. obviously don't be wants to prepare discovery. Nobody wants to deal with an up steppers opposing counsel. Nobody wants to deal with deadlines. there's just, that's part of the job. So you have to try to find other things in the job that offset it. And if you can, then you really have to ask yourself, Why am I doing this? go back to why you went to law school, why you took the bar, why, why w what were you thinking of doing back then? What were you thinking your normal day would be like? and, in most times it's salvageable, most times, you're like you realize if I only had this other outlet, or if I was pursuing this type of case or handling those types of clients, all the tough stuff would be a lot of that's.

Steve Wallace:

That's very good advice.

Frank Ramos:

So

Steve Wallace:

my last question related professionally, and then we're going to shift gears a little bit and ask you a couple of pop culture questions, and then Seleno closes down with the lightening round, which is this or that without it,

Frank Ramos:

which would that's our niche. So

Steve Wallace:

just my final question, just cause this is something that's always difficult. how do you handle, in attorney on the opposing counsel on the other side, that. Really puts basically has this case. Like it's their personal money that's on the line that you know, is so offended and so personal in the matter. And oftentimes it's extremely difficult to work with. That's always my challenge.

Celena Muzic:

I only laugh because I feel like I know I talking about it.

Steve Wallace:

That's three or four different people, but

Frank Ramos:

all in one.

Celena Muzic:

yes, they take it so personal. Like it's an attack on their character.

Frank Ramos:

No generally we have a new case with the lawyer I haven't worked with before I make a point to call him or her and introduce myself and try to see if just some personal things. So we didn't have a personal conversation, early on in your case, she'll know what type of lawyer you're dealing with. I think I want to say, yeah, the idea with fewer and fewer lawyers over the last few years that are like that, there's. Point in my career where I had several lawyers are just really obnoxious and I didn't know what to do with, and then I've been pretty fortunate that hasn't been the case as often later in my career. I might just be lucky. I just, in terms of maybe

Steve Wallace:

I think you're lucky because it seems to me that we get probably out of five to 10 cases, we'll have Two of them that are like that fit that category.

Frank Ramos:

yeah, I recommend for lawyers to call opposing counsel and just have more casual conversations and they may not want to take you up on it, but you should trying, and then obviously document everything when you email back and forth and try not to get baited. because generally what I would, what I found when I looked at these email chains and I can tell you how things turns South pretty quickly. And they're just trying to lob grenades and try to pull you into the mud. And it's really hard not to go there and, if you can diffuse the situation as much as you don't want to. And after a while, you just kinda get frustrated. You want to take a shot at your own, but for your own mental health, if just you don't have to win, like I don't perceive these communications is winners and losers. I just honestly have to be. Yeah, it's a waste of time. If you're blamed by the hour, clients are wondering why you're spending a half hour an hour exchanging emails with opposing counsel for the issue of taking a 0.1 or 0.2. so I typically just don't go there. and not,

Steve Wallace:

it's always about discovery or scheduling. That seems to me the ones that are okay. just one follow up on that. And then we'll get to the fun stuff.

Celena Muzic:

I'm very good at keeping records. Yeah. So I always have a ton of documentation,

Steve Wallace:

right. We have a separate folder in Dropbox for the screening. So the last question, and I'm sorry, I want, I know the pop culture stuff is the fun stuff. So one of the things that we've seen in the last few years is that the Florida bar has a larger commitment to mental health and wellness. And I'm just curious about your

Frank Ramos:

thoughts,

Steve Wallace:

because I can tell you that, as it relates to our

Frank Ramos:

industry versus others, we have a higher,

Steve Wallace:

indices of alcohol and drug abuse. We have

Frank Ramos:

higher

Steve Wallace:

suicide rates. We have higher mental health issues, but we're still. a macho industry where we looked down upon folks that aren't seeking treatment or aren't trying to better themselves and as it relates to their wellness. So I'm just curious about your thoughts because you're responsible for a whole bunch of folks, not just yourself at your

Frank Ramos:

firm. Yeah. it's curious how the Florida bar has been much more proactive regarding mental health, but they still have certain restrictions when you apply for the Florida bar itself. And now close to the lurk, they take a bite, any mental health counseling that one's had. I find a tourist, but no, I agree. I think our profession is one that lends itself to suicide and depression and anxiety and various addictions, alcoholism, drug abuse, and everything else, because it's very confrontational, sometimes the least last person you think. They're suffering from depression is someone in very serious condition. I don't know if some guys are familiar with Irvin, Gonzalez took his life and we say about three or four years ago, he was actually a mentor of mine. And I always try to emulate him in the sense that he was one of the early believers and the internet and pushing out content and get his own website separate apart from his own firm and where he shared articles and all sorts of things. And he's written several books for Florida bar on litigation skills. He's one of the preeminent. trial lawyers out there. And I don't think he ever turned out a call, in terms of anybody's seeking his help or assistance. And probably one more cases, high end cases than anybody I know on the plaintiff side and then took his life with him and no one. Nope. And, and probably he was suffering from chronic depression for years. And Okay. There's somebody in your office and somewhere withdrawn or they change their behavior either they're adding it radically or they're solid or withdrawn, talk to them, try to find, or help them get help because one never knows what's going on somebody else's life and it doesn't have to be anything actually going on in your life. It doesn't have to be a death or a loss of a job or some health issue that could just read mental health. They just may be suffering from chronic depression or anxiety. And. From everybody else's vantage point. they, you would think, Oh, they're doing great. They have a good job. They have a happy family. They go on cool vacations. why would they be depressed? Why would they take their lives? And, depression is known this like anything else. And I think the more we discuss it and keep that open and realize that. it's not just feeling down, it can be very serious. I think each of us has responsibility to our own fit team and our teammates to keep an eye on them. And if things look like something's changing in their lives to, we know within, whatever's appropriate to intervene and talk to them and make sure they get the help they need. That's

Steve Wallace:

great. Selena, what kind of pop culture questions do we want to ask

Celena Muzic:

Frank? Okay. I have a pop culture question. So this is attorneys are humans, too. What is your favorite? If any law or criminal law television show on the air or even off? So we have law and order. We have MCIs we have. forensic files. we have a lot.

Frank Ramos:

Yeah. I used to love watching Lauren, Ellie law when it came on. I think it was a college that I forget what it was. And I loved that show. I think it was on it's actually on for 10 or 11 seasons. It was on for awhile, but as a

Celena Muzic:

kid,

Frank Ramos:

my wife loves law and order. She's not a lawyer, but she loves law and order. and it's interesting because both the police procedural and a legal thriller all in one hour or so, and then you have so many off shoots yet, all the other versions. Yeah.

Steve Wallace:

I like Lincoln lawyer, something about Matthew McConaughey in a Lincoln and that

Frank Ramos:

Southern accent.

Steve Wallace:

I love that. I read all the books. And why do I say I do this all day? And I spend my free time reading legal books. What's up with

Frank Ramos:

that, right? 2011. And it was just a fascinating movie because you had him and whether it's Rainmaker, all these other movies, you always have this dichotomy between this lawyer. Who's a great trial lawyer. Then he has or hurt, or she's having all these personal issues and personal dramas. And somehow they can keep them separate, which I don't think is very realistic, but they're fascinating stories.

Celena Muzic:

I asked, cause I had a lawyer tell me once lawyers don't watch those shows because we can decipher it to me.

Steve Wallace:

Oh, I like those shows. They come be this, like it's like a fantasy land. Okay. My question for you, Frank is when you were a teenager or a child, what was your celebrity crush and if, and what is your celebrity crush now, if you have one.

Frank Ramos:

Oh, it was my celebrity crush. I know. I don't know if I had one, to be honest. I don't try to think that would have been back in the late eighties. I

Celena Muzic:

definitely had a crush in the eighties.

Steve Wallace:

I did. I

Frank Ramos:

don't want

Steve Wallace:

Kelly Bundy. That was mine,

Frank Ramos:

Oh, that's a Applegate, right?

Steve Wallace:

yeah.

Frank Ramos:

yeah, that's a good one. I actually don't remember. I don't really, I don't know. I don't really have a good answer to that. I'm not trying to be coy. No, one's really coming to mind. no, that's fine.

Celena Muzic:

So many you can't choose one.

Steve Wallace:

That's true. Okay. That's fair.

Frank Ramos:

That's fair.

Steve Wallace:

Okay. Let's ask one more each and then we'll go to the lightning round and we appreciate you taking time out of your day.

Frank Ramos:

A lot of fun. Okay.

Celena Muzic:

Here's another question. What, and I'm all about the shows. So what, what shows have you been bingeing on if any, during COVID with or with your family show or movie with your family? What have you recently watched that? You said, Oh, wow. I can't believe I've never watched this. Cause I'm always working.

Frank Ramos:

There's a new show out. It's called away with Hillary Swank because she came out very recently and it is a very realistic portrayal of the first man mission to Mars. And it's a group of five astronauts and it's, I think I want to say 10 episodes each about an hour long, and it's not overly melodramatic. It doesn't involve aliens. It's not hyper sleeps. It's a very realistic depiction of what the first man mission to Mars would be. And that was a very good show. It's 10, 10 hours long show. And it's a commitment, I find myself watching a lot of documentaries on Netflix and Amazon prime, and I've been watching a lot of shows in politics and read a lot of books on politics have been like the new Trump book, every two or three

Celena Muzic:

days. One of those documentaries tiger King.

Steve Wallace:

I

Frank Ramos:

did watch that back. Back when it came out, I watched my wife really enjoyed it. I think now there's a new tire can document or a nanny that you're trying to find the body as ex-husband or something, but,

Steve Wallace:

and she's going to be on dancing with the stars for now.

Frank Ramos:

That's right. That's right. I'm sure I didn't used to be one of the first ones voted off. Yeah, we'll see.

Steve Wallace:

Okay.

Frank Ramos:

My last

Steve Wallace:

pop culture question. This is a common question on our show is who is the basketball goat? Michael Jordan, or LeBron James?

Frank Ramos:

I grew up in Chicago. I have to say Jordan. Okay. All right. Yeah. All right. Take it home.

Celena Muzic:

wait. I have one more. Okay. Just because everyone's doing all these zoom meetings and I always wonder are people wearing. Pajamas pants when they're on zoom,

Frank Ramos:

a lot of people are wearing shorts or leggings or jeans. I, I've noticed a few

Celena Muzic:

pajamas

Frank Ramos:

when I'm in my office, I'm wearing my, I'm wearing my slacks, but I've noticed a few times where people have had to get up to deal with children or pets. And they're like, Oh, wait a minute, professional on top and party on the bottom. So

Steve Wallace:

okay. So we need to take us home with the lightening round.

Celena Muzic:

All right. The lightning round. So I'm going to ask you, it's going to be this or that questions. It's just not even questions, just, this or that you choose what appeals to you the most. And it just helps us get to know you a little bit better. So pizza

Frank Ramos:

or burgers? Pizza. Okay.

Celena Muzic:

Winter or summer.

Frank Ramos:

Summer

Celena Muzic:

taco pizza or New York

Frank Ramos:

pizza. I Chicago pizza.

Steve Wallace:

That's the first we've heard on this show.

Frank Ramos:

Yeah, I grew up in Chicago. Yeah. Remember I said,

Celena Muzic:

I judge.

Frank Ramos:

Sure. Delos pizza dough. All great places.

Celena Muzic:

Superman.

Steve Wallace:

Or we didn't hear the last one. Saline, Batman or

Superman?

Frank Ramos:

Batman.

Celena Muzic:

All for Batman. Okay. This is

Steve Wallace:

blowing my mind. I like Batman, except when Ben Affleck played him. I didn't really like that, but

Frank Ramos:

okay.

Celena Muzic:

And my last one was that actually Christian bale or Ben Affleck as well.

Frank Ramos:

Oh, definitely. Christian bale. Alright. Excellent.

Steve Wallace:

Thank you so much. Thank you so much. You've provided our listeners so much knowledge. We've had the privilege of being with the associate whisper.

Frank Ramos:

Oh, best grabbing

Steve Wallace:

you. How do we find you online?

Frank Ramos:

the best place is LinkedIn. It's Frank Ramos talk, silver light, just type in Frank Ramos. I should have just come up. I can't accept anymore connections, but you're walking to follow me. And then all my books are under my publications. If you have a LinkedIn profile, you're probably familiar with it. It's all about at the bottom. Just keep going down LinkedIn publications and almost all the books are free. So you can just download them. They're PDFs.

Steve Wallace:

Excellent. thank you so much. Hopefully we maybe we'll have you on in the future for, just to to hear from you about what's happened post COVID post COVID, and we'd love to have you and stay safe out there and thank you so much, and we really appreciate you being on the show.

Frank Ramos:

All right. Great. Great. Seeing you.

Celena Muzic:

Thank you. Bye.