You’ve probably seen countless billboards and print ads featuring the stereotypical attorney — a stern face, wearing a custom-fitted suit with arms crossed, promising that if you pick up the phone after a car accident, DUI or legal conflict, a pot of gold surely awaits. You won’t find attorney Justin Weinstein on any of these. Instead, you’ll find him wearing a zip-up gym shirt in his modern, brightly lit Fort Lauderdale office with inspirational quotes on the walls and an inviting couch. Draped over the back of the couch is a white tee-shirt with a clementine-colored logo boasting a bold-lettered phrase: “The Law of We.”
This logo and catchphrase are the culmination of a research and rebranding effort Weinstein’s personal injury and criminal defense practice launched in Nov. 2023 that boils down to the company’s core mission to transform how attorneys are utilized and perceived by the community at large. Weinstein is passionate about changing the attorney stance from a conditional, reactive one, to a more personal, proactive approach.
“There’s plenty of different firms you’ll find out there, and a lot of what they are saying is conditional — if you need us, we’re here for you. If you’re involved in an accident, we’re here for you. If you’re arrested, if you have any sort of legal issue, we’re here for you,” says Weinstein. “We want to make it so that people feel comfortable coming to a law office for advice potentially before something happens.”
This new way of thinking earned Weinstein a spot on Lifestyle Magazine’s 2023 Rockstars list. In this interview, Justin expounds on “The Law of We,” why he’s so committed to changing the lawyer-client dynamic and shares some useful legal tips.
Tell me about launching “The Law of We” brand campaign. What was your inspiration?
The things we noticed in our rebranding research was that there was a conditional kind of marketing… If you’re in an accident, call me. Here’s all this money that we got this person. It was focused around ‘Me, me – here’s my ego. I’m the big, bad lawyer. I get you all this money when you’re injured or you have a problem.’
The issue is that it is just a transaction. You’re a number, which ultimately leads to a lot of the attorney stereotypes being strengthened. Have you heard of the term ‘ambulance chasing’?…
There is no establishing the relationship ahead of time. And relationships, as [one of my mentors] Don Miller and a bunch of other thought leaders would tell you, is based first on curiosity, then enlightenment, and then commitment. All these lawyers are going straight to commitment. They’re like, if you need us, call us. That’s their basis for the relationship. But, first, you have to be curious. We want to educate and connect before something happens.
All of the business things I’ve read — the literature, the podcasts, my mentors — talk about ‘adding value’ in order to differentiate yourselves from the competition. Now, I don’t really want to focus necessarily on the competition as much as I do want to focus on adding more value…
We are really focused on building upon this mission of being proactive, as opposed to reactive, in the legal community…We want to make it so that people feel comfortable coming to a law office for advice. How do you stay prepared and protected when life comes? These life situations, these legal circumstances, come for everybody. You will face a legal dilemma at some point in time. If you can speak to an attorney in advance and prepare yourself for these types of things, it’s way more beneficial to our community and to people as a whole…
You hear a lot of other firms say, ‘we care.’ The main word that came out of the research was ‘empathy,’ which is different [than caring]. It’s not just that we care if something happens, we care about people. That’s really what our mission is about: empathy.
What are some of the ways that you are implementing this new proactive mindset at your practice?
We offer free insurance audits, which means we’ll look at your policy, we’ll tell you everything about the coverages you have. So, God forbid, something happens, you’re covered. A lot of people have this mistaken understanding that full coverage in Florida means absolutely everything is covered. That’s not the case. Full coverage in Florida means you have the minimum requirements of Florida law on your policy, which is not much.
Have you ever heard the term 20-20 hindsight? You would hate for that to occur when you’re hit by a semi-truck on 95 and you didn’t take the three minutes to look at your insurance policy. I don’t want that to happen to anybody.
We are effectively putting out a lot more preparation-style and education-style services, guides, and videos on social media. People can join our community by going online to the LawOfWe.com. They are able to click a button and sign up via email. It’s not going to be something where they get a million emails…it will be a quick read that provides them some education… information they can actually use.
One of the other ways your company gets involved in the community is through volunteer events. The firm has supported a wide range of non-profits like the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, SOS Children’s Villages Florida and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Why has volunteering become a hallmark of your business?
Well, in my personal experience, I get a ton of fulfillment and satisfaction from actually seeing what we do come to life. For example, we just raised enough money for five wishes for Make-A-Wish, and we’re actually going to see some of those wishes come to fruition. There’s just a ton of personal satisfaction and fulfillment to see what we’re able to do for a family in need.
[Volunteering] is also the best way for us to actually, face-to-face, meet with someone and really change the way they view being prepared, educated and protected, before something legal happens. If I’m able to speak to someone like this and tell them how important it is, then they’re more likely to engage with us.
From a business standpoint, why do you think being proactive and helping people before they need legal representation is a good strategy? One could argue you’re preventing people from having the legal issues they would end up needing your help with. Why does it make sense from a business standpoint?
Well, first of all, we’re all human. I don’t want anything terrible to happen to anyone. So, when you see me out at events, or some of our staff, we’ll hand someone our business card and we’ll say, ‘I hope you don’t have to call me.’ Because, honestly, once you make that connection with someone, it hurts you more to hear that they’re calling you…
Also, why isn’t it something that we make a serious effort as the legal industry to change our stereotypes and tell people information? If no one does, we’re going to continue to see people uninsured or potentially arrested for dumb stuff. And it really does ruin lives. We’ve seen it firsthand, and not just for that person’s individual life, but for their families. We understand that there’s serious ramifications in the work that we do. So, if we can prevent those, yes!
Does it not make sense business-wise? I would say it does. Ultimately, life’s going to happen. You cannot prevent everything. And there are, unfortunately in Florida, a lot of terrible drivers. There are a lot of people who still don’t understand criminal law, which is the two areas we focus in right now.
People will appreciate it so much more to establish a relationship ahead of time. And then, ultimately, if they know someone who has had something happen to them, they’re going to remember us. They’re going to remember we took the time to establish this relationship, and we saved them time, money or headaches from a potential legal circumstance…
In our area of law, or even in the legal field in general, you see a lot of what’s called ‘scarcity mindset’ and not an ‘abundance mindset.’ There’s a lot of fighting over clients and some backhanded moves and things like that, but you have to keep your eye on what’s actually important.
Competition is not important. It’s not important to me. The only reason that we looked at it as part of the rebranding process was to make sure that we are giving more value [to our clients], and you have to look at what’s already out there in order to do that. We are not the stereotype. We are not the same way you would think of a law office. We want to be approachable…that’s part of our DNA.
You can sit here and talk about almost anything with me, and I’m not going to judge you. I’m not going to give you terrible advice. I’m going to give you objective, reasonable options to consider how to get yourself out of a potentially bad situation. I’m fine calling myself an advisor or a guide.
We just had a holiday party and part of my speech was that the equation is this: connecting with people, allows you to make an impact, which then allows you to grow.
I always thought it was the opposite — I thought I have to grow my firm, sign more clients, and then I’ll be able to make an impact and I can connect with more people. It’s really the other way around: connect, make an impact, then you’ll grow.
You seem to have a lot of empathy for people. Where do you think this comes from?
Personally, I’ve had a coach for quite a long time, and it’s not just on the business side, it’s life in general. Everybody goes through hard times and needs to be able to talk about it and work their way through things. And so throughout that relationship, I’m able to see the power that it has to connect with people and actually listen. It’s one thing to be able to have a conversation, but to actually step into their shoes and be able to feel what they’re feeling and then give solid, real-world advice – it changes someone’s life dramatically. Not just in the work sense, but in life in general…So I think that has something to do with it — my personal relationship with coaching, and also my love for providing and educating.
In the spirit of this education, what are some top things you wish people knew, legally speaking, that they don’t know?
Well, obviously the number one thing is about insurance. You have to really evaluate your insurance, whether it’s auto, property or any other kind. Property insurance is a big deal in Florida right now. Really take a look at those policies and what they say. I know that’s hard because there’s a lot of legalese, but that’s the reason you speak to an attorney ahead of time. Really educate yourselves before something happens. Twenty-twenty hindsight is hard to overcome.
People don’t want to deal with these things until they happen, but that’s the worst time to deal with these things. That’s probably the number one thing that I think people should definitely do, is reach out ahead of time. I don’t think there’s ever a time in somebody’s life that they can’t reach out to be more prepared legally by speaking to a lawyer.
Estate planning is also a huge one.
On your social media platforms, you have a lot of statistics about how much more successful individuals are when they have an attorney than when they don’t. For example, “In personal injury cases, more than 90 percent surveyed who had legal representation received a settlement or reward, compared to only about 50 percent of those that proceeded without.” Or, “those who hired a lawyer recovered an average of $77,600 compared to those handling their own injury claim who recovered an average of $17,600.” With statistics like this, why do you think many people don’t go through the hassle of hiring an attorney?
It’s exactly the way that you just asked the question – you called it a ‘hassle.’ They think that, ultimately, the process of speaking to a lawyer is a hassle when it’s not. It’s literally going to seek advice. Yes. It’s as if you were asking your parents, what should I do in this situation? Your brother, your friend, your best friend, ‘what should I do?’ So, we need to make it easier and more approachable to do that. That’s all it is. And it starts with how are we projecting ourselves to the public.
Now on to a few fun personal questions…What’s something on your life bucket list right now?
Go to a Dolphins Super Bowl.
Do you have pets?
I have a dog, a Shiba Inu. She’s five years old. Her name is Zena. She does come to the office very frequently. We celebrate her birthday here in the office, so if you see our Instagram, you’ll see pictures of her with a cake and a lot of toys. She has a Mercedes and a “Tory Bark” bag. She has a “Chewy Vuitton” purse, as well. So, she runs the doggy division here.
What’s something unique about you that most people don’t know, like a weird hobby, talent or interest?
I’m in a book club, but I don’t think that’s super weird. We read everything from autobiographies to historical fiction, personal development, and business development. There are eight of us in the club. We meet once a week. I also go to a ton of concerts. We sponsored a concert through an organization called Heart Support, which was founded by a lead singer of a band I like. We sponsored that and are continuously working with Heart Support [a nonprofit that uses music to start conversations about mental health] to provide more of awareness of mental health and mental health resources. I’m also a metalhead. I blast it in the office. It stemmed from working out to it. And, then, sometimes I’ll just listen to it in the morning to get myself kind of ramped up for the day.
The Weinstein Legal Team is “an inspired practice dedicated to community empowerment through informed advocacy, passionate representation and a client-focused culture.” If you are interested in a complimentary insurance review, case review or any other legal services, contact the Weinstein Legal Team at TheLawOfWe.com or call (888) 626-1108.