- Firm Name & Slogan: Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A. “With us, it’s personal”
- Location: 322 Route 46 West, Suite 120, Parsippany, NJ 07054
- What does your firm do? Our Firm handles all types of general litigation matters, however, the bulk of the practice is personal injury. Do to our size and expert team, we are able to take on various other types of cases like, professional malpractice, criminal law, real-estate, immigration, family law and employment/contract disputes.
- How did the firm start and how did it grow? The Firm was established in 1985, shortly after I graduated from Seton Hall Law School. I always envisioned being a lawyer that people would feel comfortable around and be able to trust the work my staff and I were doing for them. About 10 years into my practice I was handling a case where a young boy was critically injured in a car accident with a drunk driver in Washington State. I spent countless hours working on this case, traveling back and forth from Washington to New Jersey, leaving behind my family, but my motivation was to see this young boy get the help and justice he deserved. At the time, the verdict was one of the highest in the State of Washington and the nation for a dram shop case. After the case was over, I continued to assist the young boy and his family by setting them up with housing specialist and other long term care providers. To this day I am still in touch with him and his family. This is how I have run my practice. I want to create a place where my clients and their loved ones are able to feel comfortable and be treated like family. By having this mentality and taking a personal approach to my craft, my firm grew.
- What were some of the challenges after starting your firm? Starting out as a young lawyer can be challenging because potential clients are looking for attorneys with experience, not just professional experience, but also life experience. It took me a while to overcome that, but I think the challenge of having to prove myself to these potential clients is what ultimately helped my firm grow the way it has.
- What role has technology played in launching and growing your firm? I have always been open to technology being used at my firm, even if I am not the greatest with using it. Luckily for me, my staff has implemented many new features, from paperless filing systems to video conferencing. My staff is constantly working out ways to better the client’s experience with us. Social Media has really changed how we market the firm. To some degree, it is more challenging because it is a constant upkeep, however, it is cost-effective and if managed correctly, social media can provide current and prospective clients with behind the scenes information of your firm- it expands upon your website.
- What is one piece of advice you would offer other lawyers in your industry? My advice is to be open to trying new things. A lot of the marketing tools I used years back are no longer an effective way of generating business. It took me a while to feel comfortable trying new strategies, especially social media, because it was not something I was personally familiar with. Another piece of advice I have is to be patient. It is easy to fall into a trap of stopping and starting campaigns because it isn’t working this week for you, but you must give campaigns time before you evaluate whether it is beneficial or not. Once of my biggest mistakes in marketing was falling into these cycles of inconsistency. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Being a lawyer and running a firm is a tough enough job, so hiring the right people to help guide you through the process of marketing and business planning can be very beneficial. There can be so much information thrown at you at once, so it helps to have experts in the field organize and prioritize your campaigns to meet your ultimate goals.
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