THE

Managing
Partners
podcast

Episode # 166
Interview on 02.17.2022

Hosted By
Erik J. Olson

Featuring Attorney

Chris Trolinger



Managing Partner of
Trolinger Law Offices, LLC

About Chris Trolinger

Chris Trolinger is the Managing Partner at Trolinger Law Offices, LLC in Ohio.

Chris practiced in the areas of family law, criminal defense, employment law, real estate, and general civil litigation for eight years. He has successfully represented clients in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Ohio Court of Claims, several state appellate courts, and numerous county courts across the State of Ohio. He is no stranger to a courtroom or to doggedly pursue the right results for his clients.

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

Watch the Episode

Episode Transcript

Erik J. Olson:

Hey there everybody. I am Erik J. Olson, your host of The Managing Partners Podcast, where we interview America’s top managing partners to find out how they’re running their firms, how they’re growing their firms, and how they’re keeping their case pipeline full. Today from Ohio, I have with me Chris Trolinger. Hey, Chris.

Chris Trolinger:

Hi. How are you, Erik?

Erik J. Olson:

Doing fantastic. Thanks for making the time to join us. I appreciate it.

Chris Trolinger:

Yeah. Great. Thanks for having me.

Erik J. Olson:

Well, let me tell the audience a little bit about you. A first generation college graduate with a goal of becoming an attorney since he was in the third grade. Chris understands firsthand the value of passion and perseverance. Being a divorced father and now remarried with a blended family. Chris understands the stresses and intricacies of the legal and real-world issues that his clients face on a daily basis. After having that personal experience, Chris has dedicated his career to assisting clients with their family law issues and protecting his client’s family assets and interests. Chris, welcome to the podcast.

Chris Trolinger:

Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Erik J. Olson:

You know, I got that text off of your website. So if you go to trolingerlaw.com and then the, about us, or about him page, it’s on there. And I commented before we started recording. I really like that. That’s very authentic, and it’s not something that I would, well, I guess, kind of expect to see on a law firm website. But it’s very pertinent. Is that something that’s been there for a while? Did you kind of think about putting that up there, and you just weren’t really sure? Or has it always been up there?

Chris Trolinger:

It’s always been up there since we started the firm; it was; one of the things that we wanted to start the firm based on is a kind of genuineness and compassion for the clients. And knowing that you go through what doing what we do with divorce law in particular, I think it’s important for clients to know that not only are you in the courtroom for them, but you actually experience that.

Erik J. Olson:

No, I think it’s great. And then you’ve wanted to be a lawyer since the third grade, huh?

Chris Trolinger:

Absolutely. Yep. No, I was driving my parents crazy all along. So third grade, I knew I was going to do it, and everything I did since then kind of led me straight down the path. So I didn’t stray.

Erik J. Olson:

All right. Well, when you set yourself up with a plan, you follow through, that’s for sure. Well, Hey Chris, tell us a little bit more about yourself and the firm, please.

Chris Trolinger:

Sure, I’ve been a practicing attorney here in the state of Ohio since 2008. So a little over 13 years. I’ve experienced the law firm itself is relatively new. One of those things that I’ve kind of kicked around for years and decided that it was either now or never needing to open my own firm, because if I was going to wait too much longer, by the time, it would get up and going, I would be time to retire.

Chris Trolinger:

So ultimately, we practice in the areas of family law and appeals. That kind of the unique part of my practice is I do a significant amount of appellate work. Usually related to family law, but also outside of family law at times as well, based on my history of civil litigator prior to dedicating my practice solely or pretty much solely to family law. Our main office is located here in Columbus, Ohio, even though we’ve only been our law firm proper since March of this year in 2021. We’ve also got a satellite office down in Cincinnati. And so we’re growing and kind of exponentially; we’ve got three attorneys now working for us, and we expect that to continue to grow.

Erik J. Olson:

That’s incredible. So it’s been, what about seven months or so.

Chris Trolinger:

That’s correct.

Erik J. Olson:

Three attorneys, two offices. That’s very impressive.

Chris Trolinger:

Yeah, it’s been a pleasant surprise; at least that’s how I live my life. I usually plan for the worst-case scenario hope for the best-case scenario. And luckily with this is kind of turning out to be the latter.

Erik J. Olson:

That’s awesome. Well, good for you. So you can’t have that kind of growth unless you have clients. So that leads me to my next question. A lot of times, guests will say referrals. That’s how they grow their business. And that’s incredible, but besides referrals, what are some different ways you go about getting new clients?

Chris Trolinger:

For better or for worse? I mean, we do obviously get referrals, and we appreciate all of those. And we like the fact that we get them, but we have turned on several different faucets. We’ve partnered with various legal insurance companies to work with both referrals as well as being a provider for them allows for getting your foot in the door. We have found. Obviously, we use Google ads through paid and then organic placement with the website working with our marketing gurus and figuring out what’s working, what’s not working. And it seems that Google ad seems to be being able to have a return on investment, but we have certainly partnered with a lot of different agencies areas and that sort of thing.

Erik J. Olson:

Oh, nice. Well, what is your general approach to advertising? Is it heavy in advertising, or is it kind of a mix?

Chris Trolinger:

It’s a mix. It definitely is a mix. We don’t go too heavy in the Google ads. We do some, and they certainly have an ROI, but for the most part, it is a mix of having our name out there. We’ve obviously utilized the bar associations as well as the various legal entities that have their own website. So it helps with the kind of natural progression of your site and your placement.

Erik J. Olson:

That’s great. So it sounds like Google ads are doing well for you. Are you using other kinds of marketing tactics that you’re aware of? Maybe like search engine optimization?

Chris Trolinger:

Yeah. We’re using search engine optimization; excuse me. We’re on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn.

Erik J. Olson:

Oh wow.

Chris Trolinger:

All the social media platforms as well. So we’re; certainly, we’ve kind of did a broad approach with where you can find us and how.

Erik J. Olson:

That’s fantastic.

Chris Trolinger:

And with ads in Facebook as well.

Erik J. Olson:

Okay. Oh, that’s great. Good for you. So of the things that you’ve tried so far in the last seven months or so, is there something that you tried that you thought was going to work great but ended up not being all that great then you stopped doing?

Chris Trolinger:

Yeah, I think that would be probably the legal directories were great for working with the organic placemen and the SEO and that sort of thing as far as making sure the backlinking and different things that are going on. But I think that’s probably been as far as the quality leads, probably not as much as what we thought perhaps at the beginning was going on. But the Google ads have been probably the highest return on investment based on which message you’re sending out with your ad, what message you’re sending, and what the audience is receiving from that message within the ad itself.

Erik J. Olson:

No, that’s great. So let’s say that someone comes to you and they raise their hand that they would like some assistance from you. What is your general process for intake in the new client and maybe even nurturing them along the way?

Chris Trolinger:

Sure. Yeah, we do that in a few different ways. We have both a live chat on our website where it is manned by someone in our office. So there is ways to have live interaction from the website as well as; obviously, you can use the contact form on the website. Likewise calling. A lot of times, it starts out with a contact from the website, ends up with a phone call from somebody in our office, reaching out and seeing what is going on with the client and what situation they’re experiencing. And from there, we usually end up scheduling a consultation to be able to further facilitate that conversation between an attorney and the client.

Chris Trolinger:

Our office, we pride ourselves, and I think we do a pretty good job of being able to relate to the client from the first interaction through the consultation process and beyond because we all kind of know exactly the type of work that we do. It’s family law. You’re dealing with people with high-stress situations that impact everything they do in their life and in their family—having that kind of compassion and sense of understanding from the very beginning.

Chris Trolinger:

And it’s not simply trying to sell somebody a product. You’re actually dealing with humans on a human level, trying to get through a crisis, and figuring out whether this is an emergent situation we need to get on the calendar right away. Whether it’s by Zoom or by phone, or whether it’s something that we could get more information and have a thorough conversation based on more information that we can get from the client from a prospective client.

Erik J. Olson:

Excellent. And how long is that process typically between when you find out about a prospective client and then they actually become a client?

Chris Trolinger:

Usually, that’s the process of getting on the schedule. The intake process takes 10 to 15 minutes usually and then get on the schedule within the next, between that day and the following day, most of the time. And then, as far as becoming a client, it’s about the same turnaround.

Chris Trolinger:

We try to use… We are a paperless firm, as far as how we manage our information and our data. Obviously, you work with the courthouses, which not always are as paperless as we would like them to be. But we use Adobe for electronic signatures and fee agreements and be able to push out links for payments so that the clients experience a paperless onboarding. Which also works seamless with our system as well. So there’s not as much of a paper and headache on the front end getting them in. So hopefully, it’s an easy transition for them. They’re making a big decision and to trust an attorney and to make a big financial commitment. So the last thing that I want from them is to have a headache with a paper trail and a lot of red tape.

Erik J. Olson:

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So it’s certainly from your side there; it sounds like there’s very little that would be a roadblock in the process. You said basically 15 minutes for the intake, and then they get on the calendar with that day or the next day, which is really impressive. And then once they decide, another 15 minutes.

Chris Trolinger:

Exactly.

Erik J. Olson:

Good for you. It sounds you’ve got a lot going on. A lot of good things going on in such a short amount of time. What are your plans for the next couple of years, as far as growth goes?

Chris Trolinger:

All signs are pointing upward on growth. I would expect the Columbus office, which is our main office, to continue to grow. There’s a hub of talent here in Columbus and a lot of good attorneys, but a lot of legal work to be done. As well as the fact that a lot of outlying counties kind of come to the Columbus market for legal work. So I would expect that to continue to grow. We’re going to build out our Cincinnati location a little bit more, and then hopefully, we’ll continue on with another office location, more in the Cleveland area.

Erik J. Olson:

Good for you. That’s awesome. Well, if someone would like to reach out to you, if they have a question, maybe they have a case for you. What is a good way to get in touch with you?

Chris Trolinger:

Obviously, you can visit our website at www.trolingerlaw.com. That’s Trolinger with one L, or you can email info@trolingerlaw.com. That’s a general inbox. It’ll get directly to me or any of the other employees here. We all have access to it. It goes straight to our inbox. So it’ll be answered right away.

Erik J. Olson:

All right, Chris, thanks so much. All right, everybody, if you would like to check out other episodes with America’s top managing partners, you can find them at arraylaw.com/podcast. They are organized by practice area and by state. So you can find exactly what you’re looking for. And if you are looking for digital marketing for your law firm, my firm array digital focuses exclusively on digital marketing for law firms. You can find out more information at arraylaw.com. All right, Chris, appreciate it.

Chris Trolinger:

All right. Thank you. Have a good day.

 

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