Patrick: Welcome to the Business Spotlight. I’m your host, Patrick Dougher. We have a fabulous show today. I wanted to bring in a specialist in the legal field. You’re going to love Kimberly Doom. I affectionately call her the “Doom-inator” but that’s probably what her opponents end up calling her because they’re dealing with a very experienced attorney with Lloyd Ward & Associates. They serve the Texas area. I know she’s done a great deal of work in the Dallas and Fort Worth Area.
Kimberly, I just want to say thank you. Thanks for being on the show.
Kimberly: Thanks for having me.
Patrick: I’m really excited about this because you have a really unique story. You specialize in family law, but you do a lot of other business type law as well.
Patrick: Tell me your story. How did you decide to choose to be an attorney?
Kimberly: It was one of those things when I was in high school. I went to a great high school. I was lucky enough to go to Kentucky Girls State where the girls go and run for office, and my high school had a very strong program where you’re expected to run for something. So I chose to run for attorney general. I got there and I ran a campaign. I spoke to about 700 girls, I loved it, and I won. I decided that it was fate and that I should be an attorney because I was the general attorney at Girls State.
Patrick: In your practice, I know you’re doing a lot of family law. I always love to call you The Doom-inator and part of that is because I’ve been through a divorce before, I know that it can be very, very painful and you need to have somebody that’s skilled. How does the law profession and how does that story apply to you?
Kimberly: I think I do a really good job of relating to my clients because I am the child of divorce, I raised a stepchild in my marriage, and I am divorced. So I’ve been through it from almost every aspect you can go and walk the walk. It really helps me relate to my clients.
Patrick: I would imagine that’s a huge deal too, because when you get in front of somebody and you tell them “I know what it means; I’ve been there,” that gives you that authority. Doesn’t it?
Kimberly: It does. The most things that people want to know is that you hear them and that you understand what they’re trying to say.
Patrick: With your firm, you guys do a lot of different things. How would you describe Lloyd Ward & Associates?
Kimberly: I would describe it as a business law boutique. They had quite a few family law clients. That’s why they brought me on. I have the luxury of doing business law – and I love doing that – and that affords me the opportunity to really cherry-pick and work with clients who I mesh well with and who work well with me and represent them. It really gives a more unique experience because I really do get to cherry-pick and be more exclusive about the clients I take.
Patrick: I would imagine that that’s an important thing, too, because in any collaboration, when you’re hiring an attorney – I’ve hired an attorney and I said, “I need an anaconda. I want somebody that is going to be everything that we need in a courtroom. Are you the lady?” When you’re dealing with your people, you’re out to make sure they get what they want to the best of your ability.
Patrick: I know you do a lot of family.
Patrick: But I know some of your proudest adventures, just last year you won a big case. Tell me a little bit about, not the case itself, but the pieces to the case.
Kimberly: I had the opportunity to do an eight day jury trial back in the summer. I got to walk through that, present my case, and put my case together. A wrong had been done and I got to really story tell. That’s what I enjoy doing –telling the story and tell it in a way that the jury believed and rewarded my client for the damages that he had suffered. That was a very rewarding experience.
Patrick: I wouldn’t doubt. The business Spotlight is really an opportunity for a business to their story, to really show why they’re unique and special, what it is that they are bringing to the marketplace as a whole. Then even beyond that, we and great other specialists – you’ll hear from Kathy Brandon, you’ll hear from Marc Harty (Kathy is a social media specialist. Marc is a PR specialist) – and how that applies to, in this instance, the legal field.
If you’re a business owner, you’re going to get a lot out of hearing the rest of the story, not to steal from anyone else but just to acknowledge that this show is really the Business Spotlight telling your story in the marketplace and at large. We’ll be right back.
Patrick: Welcome back to the Business Spotlight. I’m your host, Patrick Dougher. My guest today is Kimberly Doom, an attorney in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area with Lloyd Ward & Associates at www.LloydWard.com. You’re going to love this interview because Kimberly has been working in the family law as well as the business law in the DFW area and she can serve all of the state of Texas. Thank you so much, Kimberly.
Kimberly: Thanks again for having me.
Patrick: I want to get into in this segment what you guys are doing to create the success you’re having. We talked a little bit about Lloyd Ward being a boutique. But what else are you guys doing that makes you guys so unique in the marketplace?
Kimberly: I think mostly what we do is give really good client service. We can relate to the clients, we listen to the clients and listen to what they’re wanting, and more importantly we help set the expectations of what they can expect, what the process is like, because the legal world is very, very scary unless people don’t understand.
What is very important is they understand what is going on and this is what you can expect and this is how what you’re asking for measures up against the expectations so that we’re not promising something we can’t deliver but that we can work really hard to achieve their objectives.
Patrick: I know that that’s a big part. Some of the areas of expertise that you guys deal with?
Kimberly: The firm as a whole deals with business law litigation, corporations, incorporations, transactional items – any of those things we can service.
Patrick: I even saw oil and gas law.
Patrick: Do you guys do anything with the real estate area and things of that nature?
Kimberly: We do transactional work. Anything that a business is going to need we can service. We can do that work for them.
Patrick: Awesome. Welcome back on the show, Marc.
Marc: Thanks, Pat.
Patrick: Marc Harty, PR specialist, MainTopic Media is your company.
Patrick: Your website again, Marc.
Patrick: That’s because you’re that guy that has the tools to help somebody really get themselves out there.
Marc: Yeah. I wanted to approach this like a potential client would. So what I did is I Googled you. I actually didn’t Google you. I Googled Lloyd Ward and one of the things that I saw was a five-star review for you personally for a particular case.
So my question is what’s happening right now, people are making decisions online – it’s not just restaurants like where to go to eat – it’s making key decisions particularly with professional services like a law firm. Is that something you envision your firm doing more of – being more proactive in terms of getting those positive client relationships or things out there into the Internet or the media?
Kimberly: Absolutely. That’s what we do. I get a lot of clients who are grateful. “What can I do?” that kind of thing. “How can I repay you?” I always ask “Just go online and give me a great review.” Because I myself am one of those people who research things that way. It really does make a difference.
Patrick: One of the other things that you’re really known for, Marc, is reputation management for any attorney. Are there keys that they should begin to implement?
Marc: Absolutely. With the risk of this sounding a little bit self-serving, recently, Google made a lot of changes and it made it very difficult. It’s the term “search engine optimization.” Just when you think you know what the game plan and the rules are, Google changes it. So now you’ve got to be reactive. One of the things that not only will work now but today, tomorrow, next year is what we’re doing right now: video. Google owns YouTube. Do you think they have a self-interest in seeing that videos are going to be ranked accordingly?
Assuming the video is entered properly and uses the right keywords without getting too technical, so somebody is doing a search, videos are going to rank higher. So that has two advantages. One is that if there’s something bad, you can push it down because videos will rank higher. Then number two, it gets positive messages out there. If it’s a video, somebody can bond with you. They can see who you are and what you sound like. You can build a little bit of rapport that you couldn’t do just with text on a webpage.
Patrick: That is really good. Now, as we’re wrapping up this segment, I hope that you guys will begin to employ some of the pieces. The idea in the Business Spotlight is really let’s shine a big light on what you’re doing and then add value always. I hope you’ve enjoyed that segment.
I know we’ve got another segment coming with Kathy Brandon. Kathy’s a social media specialist. She has figured out the key ingredient or the combination on getting an ROI on your social media. I know that you’ll want to be here for that. This is Pat Dougher and the Business Spotlight. We’ll be right back.
Patrick: Welcome back to the Business Spotlight. I’m Patrick Dougher. My guest today is Kimberly Doom of Lloyd Ward & Associates, www.LloydWard.com. They’re a boutique law firm. She’s an attorney specializing in family law and business law in the Dalas/Fort Worth Area especially.
In this segment, I think you’ll get a lot out of it. Even if you’re a business owner just trying to grow your business, you’re going to get a lot out of the fact that we’re going to talk about – who is your ideal client, Kimberly?
Kimberly: Wow. If I get to cherry-pick just my perfect client – no client is going to be perfect because we’re not perfect people – but really the clients that I love to work with are the ones who really just want to do the divorce with dignity. You walk into a marriage usually with dignity and you want to leave with dignity.
It just doesn’t really have to be as difficult as some people make it and an attorney can set the tone and make or break that. I really want to work with clients who have proper expectations and who just really want to be dignified in the way that they go about handling a divorce.
Patrick: But aren’t most adults kids in big clothing?
Kimberly: Yes. Yes, they are.
Patrick: The average American emotionally stops aging at about 14. How does that show up when you have to deal with?
Kimberly: When people come to see me, they’re usually on a broken spot and I expect that. But there’s a process that you move along, and really there are two transactions. There’s an emotional transaction to divorce and there’s a business transaction to a divorce. I’m there to help them with the business transaction.
But the way that I’d like to handle it is you get a little counseling, you get a little business stuff because they’re not completely separate. But some people really don’t want to move along the process. Some people just want to stay back here and not move forward. But if you want to handle it with dignity, especially when there are kids involved and really you owe it to the kids to just make it as good as you can make it.
Patrick: I have to admit, having been through a divorce, the theme song that’s going in my mind is that Alfred Hitchcock’s ee-ee-ee. Just ouch. What are some of the pieces in bringing people together that you really shine at?
Kimberly: I think where I really shine is because I can relate and I went through one of those divorces real early. At the beginning and at the end, it’s a process and it’s moving then through hearing them and sometimes you have to give them a little tough love and tell them things they don’t want to hear.
You can’t be a YES man because the answer is not always yes, but really setting the expectations of, this is where you are, this is where you want to be, what’s the difference, and where can we give and take. Some things you want to give on, some things you don’t and only you can decide what those are. I’m really good at helping people decide “Do I really want to fight about that?”
Patrick: That’s good. Kathy Brandon is on the show today. Again, I’m so thankful, Kathy, for you being here. I know you’re a social media specialist. Are there things that she can do and her law firm can do using social media to highlight her excellence into the marketplace and really create an ROI on her social media?
Kathy: There certainly are. As an attorney, you have a huge opportunity to really be a person out on social media. There are many attorneys that go out on social media and they feel like they just have to be a professional. There are so many requirements, so many rules around what you can share.
But one of the most important things for attorneys that a lot of people forget is an attorney is a human being. In your industry specifically and what I’m hearing and when I looked online about you is that what makes you a great attorney is the fact that you are a fabulous human being and because you care so deeply and you’ve been through the pain and heartache.
That’s the one recommendation I want to make for you is be bolder as a human being in your profession, because you have every right to be proud of being a different type of attorney out there. Attorneys have quite a bad name for not human beings. The fact that you show up so caring is huge in the social media realm.
The second thing I want to charge and inspire you and the firm to do is educate since you do work with family law (and I’m going to focus on that, not so much on the business law today but we will over the next six weeks) there are certain things that people have to be prepared for to just have a conversation – a healthy conversation about divorce. I would recommend that the firm literally champion that education for America. You can do that through social media. You can do that, like Marc said, about video. You can champion that knowledge for the world through the firm. Those are the two areas I think you can be most powerful in.
Kimberly: Great. Thank you.
Patrick: Thank you so much. I appreciate that. As we’re talking about the legal profession with Kimberly Doom, Kathy Brandon sharing the social media side of that, it really is how can they shine the best in the world? With a billion people on social media, it’s a marketplace to penetrate. This is the Business Spotlight and we’re letting them tell their story. We’ll be right back with more of the Business Spotlight.
Patrick: Welcome back to the Business Spotlight. Patrick Dougher here with Kimberly Doom of Lloyd Ward & Associates, an attorney firm in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area, essentially serving Texas.
Kimberly, I want to get into how people can connect to you. We know you as the boutique. We see that you specialize in family law and that you are really good in that area and really good for your clients because you’ve been there, you’ve done that. How does somebody connect to you and what’s the process of the engagement?
Kimberly: They can connect to me by giving us a call. The phone number is (972) 361-0036. They can also go to www.LloydWard.com and find the number there or e-mail. But generally what happens is they give us a call. They can speak to me just preliminarily on the phone, gets a feel for things, they make an appointment, and really the meat of the matter is when we’re face to face and they tell me the situation. I listen to them, we just talk, and they tell me where they are. It really helps me gauge where they are mentally, legally, that kind of thing. And then I explain the process to them because it is very scary, but once you know the process and what to expect, what the expectations are, it’s much less scary. Then we start proceeding accordingly.
Patrick: Very good. So you’re dealing with somebody that’s been offended typically. Would that be about right?
Kimberly: Well, maybe.
Patrick: Everything except maybe business law where there’s a contract involved, where you’re getting one set. But when you’re talking about a separation or divorce or something of that nature, that’s an emotionally charged event. Somebody is offended typically.
Patrick: They sit down with you, they have their consultation, you let them know what some of the steps are. How long is that process now for that to begin and maybe eventually to get a court date? Is it very long?
Kimberly: It depends on the circumstances because the minimum number of days it can take to get a divorce is 60 days from the date you filed a petition. But it really happens on the 61st day that you file and prove-up a divorce. Every case is different and your needs may be different. Are you in a situation where you need to where we help? Is someone in the home that won’t leave? Do you need support right away? Do we need to go see the judge and have the judge make a decision on what it will look like until we do make this final? We have to go to trial. There are a number of things that we have to go through that I have to hear from my clients and ask them questions so that I can ascertain where they are and how to proceed.
Patrick: How complicated is the child scenario? When children are involved, how big of a piece of the puzzle is that?
Kimberly: If there are children involved, it’s absolutely huge. There are so many different alternatives. They can pursue different avenues. Sometimes you have to have a hearing right away and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes mediation is involved where there’s a third party and you go and you just try to hammer it out. I really encourage that. I call it getting a custom home versus a truck home.
If you go to the mediation route, you can really carve it and make it say what you want. If you go the route where you have to go talk to the judge, you’re going to get the custom home where that’s what everybody gets. It’s a track home. It’s not custom to you.
So if you want some control and you want to do it so that it looks like what it’s your family, then either mediation or some kind of negotiation is the way to go.
Patrick: Lloyd Ward, it sounds like, are they pretty much a specialist at negotiation and really getting to know what their client is trying to do?
Kimberly: Absolutely. I think that’s where your money is best spent – trying to figure out what you want, what they want, what middle ground that you have that’s common, where you differ, and how you can come together on those differences before you have to go have a judge decide how you’re going to come together on the differences.
Patrick: Is it true that in divorce and other things, so much of the control really is in the hands of the main people that are in the contract or agreement? I’m thinking if it’s a divorce then you got your husband or your wife and they’re there, much of that can be settled here. It doesn’t have to have the state shackles on it, does it?
Kimberly: That’s exactly right. You can really make it look like something that’s a custom home – that’s my analogy. I love to use that because people understand that. You can make it look like what you want it to look like and come to an agreement so that works for your family. Every family is different. And even though you’re going to be a separate family, you’re still going to have kids together and you’re still going to be a family and you have to work together.
Patrick: After the divorce, how involved do you stay typically with your clients? The reason I why I ask is because I know how involved my attorney was. It took us ten years of different kinds of continually adjusting, because life changes.
Kimberly: I like to keep in touch with my clients because I’m very personally involved. I want to know the back story. I knew the front story. I want to see them succeed and do well. You can make adjustments. As long as you both agree, you can make adjustments. But when someone doesn’t agree, that’s when I may have to get involved again. It just depends on the family and how well they can adjust and cope and tweak to make things fit. Every time you tweak, you don’t have to go back to go back to court.
Patrick: If you were talking to a couple that they know they’re going down that road, what are two or three things you would tell them to really get in order before they even sat down with the attorney?
Kimberly: Wow. I would tell them to know what their expenses are, what their assets are, what direction they want to go, what they want it to look like. In their perfect world of this imperfect divorce, what’s that going to look like and how can we accomplish that? Even the most contentious divorces a lot of times have common ground. Let’s find that common ground and use that as a base to work from.
Patrick: Wow. Lloyd Ward & Associates. I’ve met the group, I’ve met the owner and I’ve known Kimberly now for a little over a year. I’ve seen her work with a number of friends of mine and her integrity is something that I’ve been really impressed with. We always call her the Doom-inator just because it makes fun of her last name, but I’m sure there are a lot of clients that she served that their opponents probably felt that way. I’m thankful for that.
Visit Lloyd Ward & Associates at www.LloydWard.com. Give Kimberly a call. If you’re in that situation and you need a good attorney. I’m really thrilled with what I see in her.
This is the Business Spotlight. You tell your story to the marketplace and abroad. Thanks so much. We’ll see you next time.