THE

Managing
Partners
podcast

Episode # 160
Interview on 01.26.2022

Hosted By
Kevin Daisey

Featuring Attorney

Carrie Slinkard



Managing Partner of
Frontline Law

About Carrie Slinkard

Carrie Slinkard is the Managing Partner at Frontline Law.

Carrie has spent more than a decade working closely with law enforcement officials, peace officers, and first responders throughout the State of Colorado. She was named Prosecutor of the Year in 2012, and has taken more than 75 cases to trial before a jury.

Learn from her expertise and what trends are helping grow her firm on this episode of The Managing Partners Podcast!

Watch the Episode

Episode Transcript

Kevin Daisey:
All right. We are live. Welcome everyone, as you’re tuning in. This is another live recording of the Managing Partners Podcast. My name is Kevin Daisey and I’m your host. I’m also the founder of Array Digital, where we help law firms grow through digital marketing. Today I have a special guest out of Denver, Colorado, Carrie Slinkard, welcome to the show.

Carrie Slinkard:
Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Kevin Daisey:
Yeah. So thanks for coming on. Excited to hear more about your story. We got to chat a little bit backstage, working out some technical issues. Which seems to be just a trend and all this technology, we’re remote, we’re going Zoom. People are trying cases off Zoom and everything. So always something to deal with, but I appreciate you being resilient and we got that figured out.

Carrie Slinkard:
Of course.

Kevin Daisey:
So, welcome to the show. So let’s just jump right in. Really just excited to learn more about you and your story, and we’ll find out more about your firm, as well. But what made you become an attorney? What was your inspiration? And tell us your story.

Carrie Slinkard:
Not the most interesting of stories. So I was a history major in college, and I got to my senior year and realized there’s not much you can do with the history degree other than maybe become a teacher or something. And that was not-

Kevin Daisey:
Jeopardy. You could do Jeopardy.

Carrie Slinkard:
Oh, that is true. Yeah. I didn’t want to go into teaching. And so I took the LSAT and when I was little, I always had envisions of me walking into a big building with a briefcase, wearing a suit. And so my parents suggested I go to law school. I took the LSAT, I went to law school. Graduated from law school and really had no idea what I wanted to do. My cousin ironically had a neighbor, his neighbor was an assistant district attorney out here in Colorado. And so he suggested that I just sit down and meet with his neighbor for coffee, and I did that. That led to an internship at one of our prosecutors’ offices out here. And I sort of fell in love with criminal work and started my passion for law. Which I didn’t have prior to that and so I’m glad I found it

Kevin Daisey:
Awesome. And everyone’s got a different story.

Carrie Slinkard:
That’s true.

Kevin Daisey:
And honestly, I like that because I have a lot of attorneys on here that say, “I didn’t want to be a lawyer.” And I have some that are like, “My grandma told me I was going to be a lawyer or a doctor and that’s it, done.” I like that, you changed and went a different route, but-

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:
You found a place that you’re passionate about and that you can do good work. So, give us a little bit more information. What’s the name of your firm and really what’s that specialty that you focus on?

Carrie Slinkard:
So the name of my firm is called Front Line Law. We opened about two and a half years ago now. As I mentioned before, I started out at the prosecutor’s office, I was there for many years. I left there and I went into private practice and I did that specifically to help law enforcement officers. I got to be pretty good friends with a bunch of them during my time at the prosecutor’s office. And I could see the way their departments were treating them and how people on the road treated them while they were on duty. And so I left the prosecutor’s office to specifically represent and defend law enforcement officers in a variety of different types of cases.

Carrie Slinkard:
I worked in private practice for a few years, I was a manager at another law firm prior to opening the doors here at Front Line. And then, like I said, about two and a half years ago, we opened Front Line Law, it was me and two other attorneys. I’m the sole partner, sole owner.

Kevin Daisey:
Okay.

Carrie Slinkard:
But now we’ve grown, there’s four lawyers we have here. We’re based in Denver, but we take cases for cops all across the state.

Kevin Daisey:
Oh, excellent. Okay, awesome. So below on your screen, if you’re watching this live or on video, on YouTube, on our website. Website address is just below, it’s the frontlinelawyers.com. If you’re listening, it’s the frontlinelawyers.com. Go check that out. Well, sometimes I’m like, “I got to spell it because it’s weird last names.” But in your case-

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah, I know.

Kevin Daisey:
Nice and easy. So yeah, go check that out, check out her sites. It’s an interesting site, it’s a really cool site. And-

Carrie Slinkard:
Thank you.

Kevin Daisey:
You can learn more about her firm and connect with anyone there at her firm. Please reach out, especially if you’re in the Denver area, if you’re an attorney, young attorney, law student. I’m sure she’ll be growing, which we’ll hear more about in a second.

Kevin Daisey:
So, actually, my brother is a police officer in SWAT up in the DC area, Washington DC area.

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:
I got two cousins that were police. My grandfather was a police commissioner of my town, actually. So I come from a-

Carrie Slinkard:
You’re cool.

Kevin Daisey:
I’m not, I got a lot of family that are.

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:
I’m usually running from the cops.

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:
Somehow or other, just speeding though. So that’s awesome. I love what your focus is and that niche and that you saw a need for it. And that came out of working in the position you had before. And then now that I mention, you started what most people would think were the worst time to start a business, right before COVID hit. So basically about six months into your new firm, bam, COVID. So what was that effect on you at all, if there was any? Positive or negative from a business standpoint, not necessarily from friends or family being sick. But-

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:
Is there any [crosstalk 00:05:57]-

Carrie Slinkard:
It was interesting, actually. And hate to say this and of course I don’t mean it in a bad way, but I do think the timing of COVID was actually beneficial for us. And I say that because there are a lot of growing pains that come with starting a law firm. You have to get your software up and running, figure out how you’re going to have your cases set up, your pipeline set up. You got to make sure you have the right staff, good staff. You got to make sure your staff are well trained.

Carrie Slinkard:
And so when I came and started Front Line Law from my prior private practice firm, I knew how they did it, but they did it in a very old school way. Where like time keeping and time entries, we just did it in email. That was the main way that we were communicating. And so when COVID hit, it gave me an opportunity to sit down with my staff and actually spend a lot more time on the front end, figuring out how we wanted the firm to run and what we wanted to look like once we were up and running. And so, having the time to do that was really good for us.

Carrie Slinkard:
With law enforcement defense and representing police officers, it’s not like cases just stop and don’t come back. It’s not really typical the way other law firms are run. So to a certain extent, a lot of cases were just put on hold. And then when COVID started being a little more under control, although cases that had been put on hold previously started coming back and started being active again. And so we were able to jump in with both feet and we had that really solid base. And when the client started rolling in, cases started coming in, at pretty high pace, we had the good foundation set up already and we were good to go.

Kevin Daisey:
That’s awesome. That’s a good point there because when you start a business, you don’t have time just go, “All right, let’s just hang out for a year or so and figure all this out.” Like it’s go, even if you get one or two things or a couple clients. You’re now focused on the business and so some of those things go to the side-

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:
That you can’t focus on. I would think too, I’ve had a lot of firms that have come on here that started within a year or two ago. They started virtual and all the capabilities right at day one where older firms, even a couple years, five years old or more are trying to like-
Carrie Slinkard:
Catch up.

Kevin Daisey:
Change to this new way of doing business. And so I think that’s an advantage of the COVID startups, I would say. That said, “Hey man, we got to have Zoom. We got to have all the case software, we got to be able to work from anywhere.” So I think … puts you in a good spot versus having like tons of commercial space and all these other things that were there to … say, if you had like a hundred employees, it’s a lot of things to carry around.

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah. And we had picked out a commercial space and it was in dire need of updating. And so we were going through the contract with the commercial real estate people. And so during this COVID process, a lot of us were working remotely, working from home. But that gave us a chance to build out the actual commercial space that we wanted. And so, yeah, the timing really couldn’t have been better for us. And again, I don’t mean that in a bad way.

Kevin Daisey:
Yeah. Well, the reality is, we run businesses.

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:
And we have employees to take care of, we have families to take care of. So yes, COVID not good for many reasons. But we had growth, as well.

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:
We’ve hired a ton of people during COVID, so we were able to not only employ everyone, but hire more and they have families.

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:
So it is a positive thing and a lot of firms that I talked to all did very well.

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:
I haven’t really talked to many firms that were like, “We’re out of business.” Or, “Business is down now.” Some are like personal injury or auto accidents, if that’s at all they did, they saw a decrease. But most of them do other practice areas that had an increase-

Carrie Slinkard:
Oh, yeah.

Kevin Daisey:
While they’re waiting to try some of the cases that were on hold.

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah, yeah.

Kevin Daisey:
Yeah. So yeah, there are some positives. And I always say be positive, no matter what. There’s no need to be negative about everything.

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:
You just got to do what you can. When we first got on this call I said, “How you doing?” You’re like, “Oh, still alive.”

Carrie Slinkard:
Another day above ground is always a good day.

Kevin Daisey:
A good day. So, with your practice being a little bit different than others, what do you do to get clients? What works for you and how’s that been? I know you got relationships, I’m sure that’s a huge part of it.

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah. It’s been interesting. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned through starting a business, it’s you never know who’s going to remember you and you never know what good you’ve done for someone in the past that’s going to come back and find you again in the future. When we opened our doors, there were a lot of phone calls and referrals that came to me, ironically, from people I hadn’t talked to in years and years and years. And people I never would’ve imagined would’ve remembered me either as a prosecutor or … while I worked at the other firm. I guess lesson number one is always be nice to people.

Carrie Slinkard:
And I guess lesson number two is, the better work you do for people, obviously referrals come from that. And I would say probably 80% of our client base has come from referrals here in Colorado and nationwide, really. There’s something called the fraternal order of police and the FOP actually has a large membership base. And those cops pay into what’s called the legal defense fund. And that legal defense fund has a list of approved attorneys who are familiar with law enforcement defense and the types of law that we practice when we’re working with police officers and sheriff deputies on a regular basis. And so getting added to that list of qualified and approved attorneys has also generated a lot of leads for us over the long term. And our relationship with FOP is strong and yeah, they’ve been great to us.

Kevin Daisey:
Awesome. Excellent. So getting in with these organizations, associations-

Carrie Slinkard:
Yep.

Kevin Daisey:
Is great. And it’s same for my kind of business. It’s great to align with groups and be recommended by them-

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:
Which means you got to do good work.

Carrie Slinkard:
That’s true. Yeah. You wouldn’t last long as an improved attorney if you didn’t do good work for the cops. That’s true.

Kevin Daisey:
Yeah. Excellent. Okay, great. And so for … I guess, really what I’m kind of thinking is like, what’s your plans over the next … I guess for like next year? And then what do you see for the next five years? Like, what is your real vision, I guess, for growth? Do you have a clear, defined vision? Are you playing it-

Carrie Slinkard:
[inaudible 00:13:23].

Kevin Daisey:
Month by month? Or are you like, “I want to do this, this, this, and that.” So again, no wrong answer, just interested to see-

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:
Like where you’re going. You’re only two years into it. It’s a lot to think about, I guess. But what’s on the plans?

Carrie Slinkard:
I don’t know that we have a specific business plan on the horizon. We are at a point where we have four lawyers here total. I, of course, have the most experience with law enforcement defense out of the four of us. But two of us are former … I guess, three of us, if you include me, are all former prosecutors. And then we have a fourth attorney who was a former police officer out on the east coast for many, many years before he went to law school. And we’ve hired them at a staggered pace over the course of the last year, but we’re finally at a point where they’re trained pretty well, they’ve seen a bunch of different types of cases.

Kevin Daisey:
Excellent.

Carrie Slinkard:
They’re able to handle their own caseload without too much attention from me, which is good. And so we have the client base to support for attorney caseloads. I anticipate referrals and leads coming from them also as they create their little niches within the law enforcement community. And we’ll just see where it takes us. Every office in our little space here is full. So I don’t know that I plan on hiring anyone anytime soon. But if it gets to that point, we’ll do that.

Kevin Daisey:
So I mean, four attorneys in two years is pretty impressive.

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah. Well, there’s a lot going in law enforcement [crosstalk 00:15:01]-

Kevin Daisey:
Yeah, plus supporting staff. So, based on that, you might be surprised. You’ll probably be like-

Carrie Slinkard:
That’s true.

Kevin Daisey:
Hey, you always get more space.

Carrie Slinkard:
That’s true.

Kevin Daisey:
So you got to do what you got to do. But that’s excellent. So yeah, I mean a lot of success I think, and growth in a short amount of time.

Carrie Slinkard:
That’s true.

Kevin Daisey:
So-

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:
So yeah, let’s see where it goes.

Carrie Slinkard:

As long as you can keep an eye on the type of service that you’re providing and make sure no one’s slipping through the cracks, I agree with that. Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:
Yeah. Yeah. Well with COVID, probably have a little more time to train and have some hands on experience. If you just building processes and systems and-

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:
I had an attorney out of Colorado, actually, they don’t do what you do, of course. But they had a really cool like mentorship program built within their firm. They’re like a hundred people or something like that. But they said their culture was terrible, like toxic. They were a revolving door for many years and-

Carrie Slinkard:
Wow.

Kevin Daisey:
They finally got a system that works, but they got to a point where they have like a … attorneys are there, every attorney mentors, other attorneys, younger attorneys, associates, and they have it built in now, which I thought was pretty cool.

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah, that’s a great idea.

Kevin Daisey:
Yeah. So it’s like, everyone’s there to help each other and someone’s below you, you have almost like a … not obligation, but-

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:
If you’re part of the team and the culture, then you’re naturally going to help those others and that just helps the whole team grow and get better.

Carrie Slinkard:
Totally agree with that.

Kevin Daisey:
Yeah. Cool. Well, I really appreciate you sharing. Other than the website … so again, if you’re listening, tuning in, thefrontlinelawyers.com. Go check it out so you can learn more about Carrie. If someone want to reach out to you, an attorney or someone in the area, what’s the best way for them to connect with you directly?

Carrie Slinkard:
Oh, I would say probably calling our main number, (720) 282 1266. We also have a Facebook page, just Front Line Law. And then our website too, I think, has all our contact info and a direct email access to our office management staff who will direct callers or email writers as needed.

Kevin Daisey:
Awesome. Okay. Well, I don’t want to take up too much of your time.

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah.

Kevin Daisey:
Well, you’re in Colorado. So at the recording time, it’s almost the end of my day, it’s almost five. And for her, it’s what? You two hours behind?

Carrie Slinkard:
Yeah, it’s about 2:45 right now.

Kevin Daisey:
Yeah, she’s got plenty of day left, she will probably work-

Carrie Slinkard:
[inaudible 00:17:44]-

Kevin Daisey:
Late day, she started her own business.

Carrie Slinkard:
Yes.

Kevin Daisey:
Congratulations.

Carrie Slinkard:
Thanks so much.

Kevin Daisey:
Well, Carrie, stay on with me, we’ll stop the recording so we can chat just a little bit backstage.

Carrie Slinkard:

Okay.

Kevin Daisey:
Everyone else, thank you so much for tuning in. We’ll have Carrie’s episode up on our website soon. It’ll also be up on our YouTube channel. She’ll be up on our social media. So just look for more from Carrie soon as we get some of this out. It’ll also be up on the podcast in the audio version on Apple, Google, Spotify, and every other platform you can think of. So just look for her content coming out soon.

Kevin Daisey:
And if you need help with your law firm, website, SEO, any kind of marketing, that’s what we do. Reach out to me or my team, you can go to our website too, arraylaw.com. And even if you’ve got questions, we’re happy to answer those for you. Carrie, thanks so much for coming on.

Carrie Slinkard:
Thank you for having me, I appreciate it.

Kevin Daisey:
Yeah, everyone else, we will see you soon. Thank you.

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