Home » Blog » Allen Talks About Community Involvement & Firm Culture on The Judd Shaw Way Podcast

Allen Talks About Community Involvement & Firm Culture on The Judd Shaw Way Podcast

Allen had the opportunity to be featured on The Judd Shaw Way Podcast in an episode where he discuses our community involvement and firm culture. We are proud to support and partner with local organizations as well as providing our own initiatives for students and the community. We also prioritize the cultivation of a positive work culture while investing significantly in the personal and professional development of our team. Tune in to the episode to hear Allen’s inside scoop on what we are currently up to. The Judd Shaw Way Podcast, hosted by Judd Shaw, focuses on exceptional client experience and quality legal representation.

Contact our team to learn more about our community involvement, our firm, and how we can help with your case.

Transcript

Judd Shaw: Hi everybody, I’m your host Judd Shaw. I’m here with Allen Tittle, the Ohio personal injury law firm of Tittle & Perlmuter. Allen, welcome to the show.

Allen: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Judd Shaw: So how are the wife and kids?

Allen: Oh, they’re great.

Judd Shaw: Yeah?

Allen: They’re great. I’m sure they miss me as I’m here at this conference. But yeah, I missed their first karate practice. They both started karate. They’re six and four, but those are the things you got to do sometimes.

Judd Shaw: So from fishing and poker to Minecraft.

Allen: Have you ever played this Minecraft?

Judd Shaw: Of course I have. Yes, I played Minecraft.

Allen: You just walk around, you chop trees down with your hands. I’m like, “This is insane.” But that’s what I have to spend my time doing now.

Judd Shaw: Yeah, I have a joke. How do Minecraft players avoid sunburn?

Allen: I have no idea.

Judd Shaw: Sunblock.

Allen: There you go. I get it. I get it. I get it. That’s good.

Judd Shaw: You are true Ohioan, right? Born and raised in Ohio, undergrad in Ohio, law school in Ohio, serving the community with your company in Ohio. What’s so amazing about Ohio?

Allen: That’s right. I mean, look, I really sort of… That’s like my spirit animal is Northeast Ohio. It’s because hardworking blue collar type people are where I came from and that’s who I sort of relate with best. So that’s who I am as a person, I couldn’t see myself ever not being in Ohio. It’s just who I am. It’s who I am.

Judd Shaw: But you have so many who go to college in a state, a law school another state, may have grown up, probably moved around a couple times. I mean, you’re not only your roots, you’ve found that everything, the entire tree is stuck in Ohio. It must give you such great honor and pleasure to serve Buckeyes and really get help for these clients who live in your community.

Allen: There’s no doubt about it. They always say you want to go to law school where you want to practice. So when I went to Cleveland-Marshall, there was only one reason why, it’s because I wanted to practice in Cleveland and throughout Northeast Ohio. So when I see that whole idea come full circle where I can then help the people that I grew up around, there’s no better feeling. I sort of had a unique upbringing in terms of how I was raised and the whole idea it takes a village, that’s true. So when I can give back to that village, it’s phenomenal.

Judd Shaw: We have attorney pods and attorney teams at my firm. We actually refer to them as villages. So we run on this medieval theme because our mascot is a knight in shining armor. We’ll have the wizards and the warriors and the dragons, but we’ll call them villages. The reason in NAF claims managers and support teams and attorneys, but it takes a village.

Allen: Yeah, that’s great.

Judd Shaw: Tell me about your unique background.

Allen: So I was basically dropped at my great great aunt and uncle’s doorstep when I was two weeks old. My biological parents, dad is an alcoholic, mom had all sorts of mental health issues. So they took me in and they didn’t have to. So they raised me as one of their own. Then sort of there was this period of time where I’m going back and forth between the two, meaning my biological parents and them. It was sort of crazy at times, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Judd Shaw: It’s amazing. It’s amazing. There it is in your DNA some stepping up, right? Your great great aunt stepping up and that’s what you’ve done for your community, right?

Allen: Yeah.

Judd Shaw: You give back. You give back. Tell me about the charities that you’re involved in.

Allen: So one thing we really believe in as a business and just personally is giving back to the community. So across the street from our office building is a facility called May Dugan. That really works with folks who have mental health problems within Cuyahoga County. So we work a lot with them. We just did a food drive with them. I closed the entire office for the morning and we all went and volunteered while they did their food bank. There’s a clubhouse called HansonHouse. It’s a traumatic brain injury clubhouse. So folks in our practice that we see, they get these brain injuries, right? They get hospitalized, they go to rehab, but at some point they get sent home and there’s a big need for that aftercare. What do you do once the acute care’s over? Well, they’re going to sit at home and they don’t know how to sort of regain their life and that’s what HansonHouse does. So those are two big charities that right now we’re involved with. We look forward to continuing our relationship with those two charities in the future.

Judd Shaw: It’s just great to pay it forward, give it back, a good feeling, but also good for our image and for our reputation. Tell me about Tittle & Perlmuter.

Allen: Yeah. So this is a law firm I started 2015. It started literally on my kitchen table. It was the worst time possible to probably start a law firm. I had six figures in student loan debt. My wife was pregnant with our first kid. We had just bought a house.

Judd Shaw: Let’s just add one more thing.

Allen: Right. Right. So I will never let my wife live this down, but when I made the decision, she just said, “Well, how are we going to pay our bills?” I said, “Well, we’ll figure it out. We’ll figure it out.” So now as each success grows, I keep jabbing her, “Molly, how am we going to pay our bills? I don’t know how we’re going to do this.” But so 2015, kitchen room table, then a sort of solo office by myself where I was sharing office space. Now our main office, we own the building. We got four offices throughout Northeast Ohio. We’re always looking to grow. We keep adding people. We could hire a bunch more people if we could find the right people right now. But as I’m sure everyone knows who’s listening to this podcast, it’s tough right now finding good people. That’s our struggle is it’s not the growth, it’s just finding the right people.

Judd Shaw: Yeah. So the podcast focuses so much on client service. I have found that that is delivered through a culture, right? If you’re not working on culture, every company will have one, it just may not be the one you want. But you’re developing both with Perlmuter your culture of success, right?

Allen: That’s something we work really hard at, our firm culture, both with our employees and sort of how they interact with our customers, our clients.

Judd Shaw: Right.

Allen: So we do things like every Friday, right now we do a book club. We read some sort of book that has to do with, right now we’re reading Critical Conversations, before that it was Cy Wakeman’s book No Ego. We talk about it and we have those critical conversations about how we can improve as a firm and how that carries out. You always got to be thinking about culture.

Judd Shaw: Right.

Allen: The other thing is, in terms of culture, you’re absolutely right, it gets created if you don’t focus on it. On top of that, if you’re not focused on it, the things that you allow, conduct repeated is conduct rewarded, that’s how culture works.

Judd Shaw: Have you heard of the Better Book Club?

Allen: I have not.

Judd Shaw: So check that out. We use that at our firm. It’s a guy, Arnie Malham, who wrote a book called Worth Doing Wrong, and it’s about building company culture. Great book, great guy. The idea, the Better Book Club was to be able to efficiently manage a book club within a company. We use that. So now what we’re able to do is everybody can read their own books and so we’ll give points. Those points can be converted to dollars or Amazon gift cards or things of that nature. But we also have culture teams. So the person who will read the most books that month, right? Reading is empowerment, knowledge, that thing. Then I can put out a book that I think would help in what we do. If you read that book, that’s extra points and there’s a little book report and it’s just a great way to have a book club within the office. Check that out.

Allen: I will. I appreciate that.

Judd Shaw: I love that, right? So you can be in California and know that the Ohioans and Buckeyes that you represent are taken care of because your team knows the Allen Tittle way, right? They know how you would talk to the client.

Allen: That’s right. I mean, look, is that perfect? No, we all have these same struggles. Sometimes you can get down on yourself because you listen to all these great podcasts and all these great law firm owners, you’re like, “Ah, they got it all figured out.”

Judd Shaw: Right. But they don’t.

Allen: No. No. The bottom line is each day you got to try to get a little better. Each day you got to try to tweak something, improve something. By doing that, you’re going to create a culture of constant improvement. When you do that, you know that the expectations that the lawyers have for the staff is you’re going to go that extra mile for the client. You’re going to make sure that if they have a question, you’re not going to get snippy with them because you’re having a bad day because you know that we will come down on you. So it’s important, and this is a little big brotherish, but it’s important to listen to phone calls.

Judd Shaw: Yeah, no, a thousand percent. A thousand percent. Because do you help your team? The babysitting part of it is I want to say that was really great how you said that, but have you thought about saying it this way?

Allen: Yeah. So what we do sometimes in our Friday meetings is we’ll break down phone calls.

Judd Shaw: Great. I love that.

Allen: We’ll be like, “All right. Yeah. Here’s the phone call, let’s break it down.” Then it’s not this suck sort of thing. It’s number one, sometimes we show really good call.

Judd Shaw: Right. Right.

Allen: But if things sort of went not perfectly, you say, “Well how could you have done that better?” and let them coach themselves. It’s just like you’re a sports coach, a football coach, you practice, you review game film. It’s the same way with what we do. We just have to take the time to do it.

Judd Shaw: I love that. My team I know learn best on looking at the calls in which we didn’t retain the lead, right? Or on the claims management side when we had a client contact call, and at the end of it, the client was very frustrated with whatever, still frustrated with how long it may be taking. Okay, we’re not getting that message across. How do we deliver that message in a different way? But I love also highlighting the great ones that we signed up, that great case and that was a tough one and we really had to work to build that lead’s trust to hire us. Or look at this client contact call where at the end of it, a client was eager to go and give us a Google review right then and there. I love that. That’s great stuff.

Allen: Yeah. I mean, look, you have to invest in your employees. So I spend a lot of money sending them out state for trainings. I spend a lot of money and time thinking about how can I really invest in them and make them the best employee possible. Now, some people say, “Well, what if they leave?” I think the better question is what if they stay?

Judd Shaw: Right, right.

Allen: You got to take care of this stuff.

Judd Shaw: I would challenge the idea that they would leave with all of this amazing knowledge that you’re giving them to go somewhere else as opposed to thinking, look at the guy who invests in my development, right? I’m constantly growing. I’m constantly being challenged. Why would I go anywhere else?

Allen: Right. I totally agree.

Judd Shaw: So what is it about med mal that really just interests you?

Allen: Yeah, so look, some people, and I’m in this camp, would say these are the most challenging cases there are.

Judd Shaw: Yeah, sure.

Allen: Why?

Judd Shaw: Scary. I know for me a lot of those cases, even the best trial lawyers are like, “Wow, this could cost a lot of money. It could be a big mistake if I’m wrong about this.” You’re going in.

Allen: Right. I think what it comes down to is, number one, I like a challenge obviously, but when the deck is stacked against you and you still succeed, that’s a little extra special. So that’s what these med mal cases are. If something goes wrong and medical malpractice occurs, a lot of these folks are catastrophically injured.

Judd Shaw: Right.

Allen: Or they’re dead.

Judd Shaw: Right.

Allen: So are we handling the stub toe malpractice cases? No way. we’re talking death, paralysis, brain injury, huge cases with life altering effects. When you’re able to recover money that helps care for them, there’s no better feeling.

Judd Shaw: That’s where the team needs to understand empathy more than ever, right? Or that emotional intelligence, as you said. You got to be aware. You’re coming in. You may have had a tough day, dropped your kid off, they’d spilled all over the car, late for… Now running into the… Then it’s like game face though. There is somebody on that other side who lost their legs at no fault of their own.

Allen: Yeah. I mean sometimes, and I’m sure you hear it, say you got a brain injured client, right? You’ll hear a staff member say, “Well, Bob keeps calling in. He’s called three times this week and he is asked the same question.” So one thing we stress is put yourself in their shoes.

Judd Shaw: Right.

Allen: They have a brain injury now. They can’t work. They can’t think. They might not remember what they did five minutes ago. So if they’re calling three times a week, that’s okay.

Judd Shaw: Right.

Allen: That’s what we’re here for.

Judd Shaw: There’s a great video that I have my team watch from Brené Brown on empathy and she talks about the difference between empathy and sympathy.

Allen: That’s such a big deal, right? That’s the distinction that I struggled with years ago and I still struggle with empathy because sometimes I’m just like a charging rhino, right?

Judd Shaw: Right, yeah.

Allen: I want to charge ahead. But you have to stop and just listen. So even with dealing with employees, right? Say they didn’t do something that’s up to par, right? You want to jump to you didn’t follow the system, you didn’t follow this, but you have to have a little empathy sometimes.

Judd Shaw: Sure.

Allen: And ask yourself, well, why. Try to figure out the root cause of really what’s going on instead of just jumping to, ah, they don’t know what they’re doing. No one comes to work thinking, “Oh, I’m going to do a really bad job today.”

Judd Shaw: Right. Right. Right.

Allen: So it’s sort of like, “All right, let’s peel the…”

Judd Shaw: Right. Something went sideways. Let’s just talk about that.

Allen: Right, exactly.

Judd Shaw: There’s another book or an idea, the fish philosophy that comes out of Seattle at the fish market. These guys are fishing all night and they’re coming in and they smell like fish and they’re a mess and yet they’re joyous and they’re happy and tossing fish. Somebody said to him, “I don’t get it. You’re in the fish market. You smell like fish. You’ve been working all night. Here you are. What am I missing?” The whole concept was it can be bad. We can make it okay. We can think we smell like fish and we can think about how tired we are and we’ve been working and this sucks. Or we could go, “Let’s make the best of it. Let’s make this fun. Let’s enjoy what we do and find passion and purpose in it.” Now, around the world, people go to Seattle, go to the marketplace there to see Pike’s fish market and watch these guys toss fish around. Attitude.

Allen: I think I follow him on TikTok. I mean, it’s great. It’s all about mindset.

Judd Shaw: Yes.

Allen: Look, we all struggle with mindset. Look, when I’m getting ready for a trial and I’m there at the office on a Sunday afternoon, I’m not spending time with my family.

Judd Shaw: Right.

Allen: It gets to you. But you got to snap out of it. You have to think about instead of, “Boy, this sucks. Aren’t I lucky?”

Judd Shaw: Right.

Allen: So that just little bit of change of mindset can be all the difference in the world.

Judd Shaw: I have the honor and the privilege of being hired by a client whose life was turned upside down and who’s come to me to work on a Sunday to get them or their family the justice that they deserve.

Allen: That’s right. That’s right.

Judd Shaw: Big responsibility, huh?

Allen: Yeah, absolutely. The biggest mean, especially if it’s a death case or a paralysis case or one of these big catastrophic injuries. You are truly fighting for them and giving them an opportunity to move on or just survive. I mean, truly there’s been cases where if I don’t win this case, this client’s going to die because he’s not going to get the right treatment. Then to get the phone call from the mother six, seven years later, Max is doing great. All the things you really need.

Judd Shaw: What’s next for you Allen and the firm?

Allen: Well, you’re either growing or your dying. So we’re going to continue to grow and we’re going to continue to get better. I think in the direct future, we really want to continue to focus on our culture. So we’re trying to build this core team and it’s a battle, right? We’re trying to— the right people to hire and it is so hard right now. So we’re going to continue to grow. We’re going to continue to improve and we’re going to take one day at a time. But in the long term, the goal is to be the go-to catastrophic injury law firm in Ohio. We’re not going to stop until we’re there.

Judd Shaw: Well, you’re getting there, man. I mean, if not already. I know that many in the community have raved about the results about your firm. So at our firm, I built out a join us page. Check it out on the website, juddshawinjurylaw.com, specifically to begin to be able to attract top talent. In there, we talk about our core values and our culture and we show pictures. I don’t know how many personal injury law firms out there that have a page, forget dedicated to about us and the cases and the case results and testimonials, join us. Because I recognize that in order to continue to serve more the great people of New Jersey, I need to have great people to deliver that.

Allen: Right. That’s a great idea. I’ll check it out. I might even just copy it.

Jud Shaw: Allen, I’m telling you, R&D, rip off and duplicate.

Allen: That’s right.

Judd Shaw: That’s what you have to do. Anytime. Listen, Allen, thank you so much for coming on the show. I really appreciate it.

Allen: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Judd Shaw: Yeah man.

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