The legal profession is no stranger to adversity, but the tale of a lawyer’s fall from grace and subsequent rise is a narrative that resonates deeply within our community. This episode of The Lawyer Millionaire Podcast explores Jeff Grant’s profound journey from facing the ramifications of his actions to establishing an ethically driven law firm. His raw and earnest account provides a cautionary yet hopeful blueprint for law firm owners and attorneys alike.
In Episode 37, your host Darren Wurz sits down with Jeff Grant to navigate the turbulent waters of his past—a past riddled with opioid addiction, financial turmoil, and professional misconduct that led to Jeff’s disbarment. Beyond his personal struggles, the episode chronicles Jeff’s remarkable resurgence. Listeners are transported through his path to sobriety, ordination as a minister, and unwavering dedication to serving those embattled by white-collar legal challenges. Jeff’s shift to a remote and technologically savvy business model is particularly instructive, spotlighting how legal practices can adapt and thrive even amidst crises like the COVID-19 pandemic.
5 Things Listeners Will Learn:
1. The Reality of Confronting Personal Demons: Jeff delves into how his battle with addiction and its impact on his life and legal practice led to a profound personal reckoning.
2. Strategic Business Reformation: Gain insights on restructuring and relaunching a law firm with a focus on value alignment, ethical decision-making, and controlled overhead.
3. Tech-Driven Client Advocacy: Discover the innovative approaches Jeff’s firm adopts in leveraging technology to enhance legal services and client communication.
4. Ethics and Reinstatement: The episode sheds light on the nuanced process of law license reinstatement and the importance of maintaining financial and ethical integrity.
5. The Role of Support Systems: Understand the critical function of community and peer support in surmounting professional hurdles and in Jeff’s mission to offer guidance and resources to others in need.
The tale of transformation, resilience, and redemption is often one that captivates and inspires. Jeff Grant’s journey from a disbarred attorney to relaunching his law firm with a renewed focus on ethics, purpose, and community support embodies such a story. In the latest episode of The Lawyer Millionaire Podcast, host Darren Wurz sits down with Jeff Grant to delve into the pivotal moments that reshaped his career and life.
Hitting Rock Bottom and Rising Again
Darren Wurz opens the conversation with an exploration of Jeff’s tumultuous past, discussing the events leading up to his disbarment. Jeff candidly shares his struggles with opioid addiction, his financial challenges within his previous law firm, and his descent into unethical behavior, which ultimately resulted in his arrest for fraud. His vulnerability on this podcast serves as a powerful beacon for lawyers facing personal crises, illustrating that rock bottom can be a foundation for rebuilding.
The Power of Support Systems
A key takeaway from Jeff’s narrative is the undeniable power of support systems. After attempting suicide, Jeff sought help through detox, rehab, and became an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous. It was in these communities of support where Jeff found the strength to stay sober and embark on a path toward healing and renewal. His commitment to supporting others is a testament to his transformation, making this episode a compelling resource for anyone seeking camaraderie during difficult times.
Converting Trials to Triumphs
Jeff’s arresting story of moving forward after being disbarred, becoming an ordained minister, and engaging in prison and white-collar support ministries captivates the listener, showing that it’s possible to convert trials into triumphs. His meticulous approach to maintaining financial integrity and ethical conduct demonstrates his dedication to operating a law firm that clients can trust.
Embracing Technology and the Future
With a careful pivot towards embracing technology, Jeff’s reestablished law practice and ministry support group have seen impressive growth, largely attributed to search engine visibility. His plans to integrate AI and launch live chat features forecast an innovative approach to legal counsel and assistance. Listeners are encouraged to visit grantlaw.com and prisonist.org to connect with Jeff’s platforms directly.
A Purpose-Driven Law Practice
The episode shines a spotlight on the thriving law firm Jeff has built, which focuses on serving those facing white-collar prosecutions. Through his own experiences, Jeff understands the value of not just high-quality legal services but also the importance of emotional and community support for his clients. His business model pivots on these premises, differentiating his firm in a profoundly personal way.
Jeff Grant’s journey is a powerful reminder that purpose and profit can coexist in the legal profession. His story underscores the resilient spirit necessary for personal and professional growth — a theme that Darren Wurz keenly emphasizes throughout this gripping episode of The Lawyer Millionaire Podcast. For those eager to hear more stories of resilience and success, or for law firm owners looking to gain control over their personal finances and achieve wealth, tuning in to subsequent episodes and subscribing is highly recommended.
Connect with Darren Wurz:
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- The Lawyer Millionaire: The Complete Guide for Attorneys on Maximizing Wealth, Minimizing Taxes, and Retiring with Confidence by Darren Wurz
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Connect with Jeff Grant:
About our guest:
Jeff Grant is on a mission. After a hiatus from practicing law, Jeff has founded the law firm of GrantLaw, PLLC, is once again in private practice in New York City and is committed to using his legal expertise and life experience to benefit others.
GrantLaw, PLLC, is a new type of law firm providing private general counsel services to clients facing, who have previously faced, or who could possibly be facing white collar prosecutions and/or regulatory proceedings, and their companies and families. In this role, Jeff and his team assist clients in making critical and timely business and family decisions, and in executing on them, so that they have the best chance to come out the other side with lives of purpose, meaning and success.
He also provides a broad range of legal services, all in a highly attentive, personalized manner. These include private general counsel, white collar crisis management, strategy and team building, services to family-owned and closely-held businesses, and support to special situation and pro bono clients. He practices in New York and on authorized Federal matters, and works with local co-counsel and criminal defense counsel to represent clients throughout country.
For more than 20 years, Jeff served as managing attorney of a 20+ employee law firm headquartered in New York City and then Westchester County, New York. The firm’s practice areas included representing family-owned and closely-held businesses and their owners, business and real estate transactions, trusts and estates, and litigation. Jeff also served as outside general counsel to large family-owned real estate equities and management and brokerage organizations.
Jeff is admitted to practice law in the State of New York, and in the Federal District Courts for the Southern District of New York and the Eastern District of New York. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the New York City Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Guiding people forward in their lives
After an addiction to prescription opioids and serving almost 14 months in Federal prison (2006 – 07) for a white collar crime he committed in 2001, Jeff started his own reentry. He earned a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, majoring in Social Ethics. After graduating, Jeff was called to serve at an inner city church in Bridgeport, CT as Associate Minister and Director of Prison Ministries. He then co-founded Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc. (Greenwich, CT), the world’s first ministry devoted to serving the white collar justice community. On August 10, 2023, Jeff celebrated 21 years of sobriety.
An ordained minister, Jeff has more than three decades of experience in crisis management, business, law, reentry, recovery (clean & sober 20+ years), plus executive and religious leadership. He works frequently with people prosecuted for white collar crimes (and their families) who want to emerge from isolation and join a supportive community. In this role he helps them navigate their journey through the criminal justice system to new, ethical, productive, joyful lives on the other side of their issues.
Sometimes referred to in the press as “The Minister to Hedge Funders,” Jeff regularly uses his experience and background to guide people forward in their lives, relationships, careers, and business opportunities – and help them avoid making the kinds of decisions that resulted in loss, suffering, and shame.
Service and more service
A verified Psychology Today professional, he also serves on the ministry team at St. Joseph Mission Church (Cliffside Park, NJ) and as Chaplain to the Woodbury Fire Department (Woodbury, CT).
From 2016 – 2019, Jeff served as Executive Director of Family ReEntry, Inc. (Bridgeport, CT), a 100+ person criminal justice organization with offices and programs in eight Connecticut cities. Jeff is the first person in the United States formerly incarcerated for a white collar crime to be appointed Executive Director of a major criminal justice nonprofit.
Jeff has served on numerous criminal justice-related Boards. They include the Legal Action Center (New York, NY), Co-Chair, American Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Reentry & Collateral Consequences Committee, (Washington, DC), American Bar Association Lawyers Assistance Programs Advisory Commission (Chicago, IL) , Co-Chair, Mayor’s Advisory Council on Reentry Affairs (Bridgeport, CT), Family ReEntry (Bridgeport, CT), Community Partners in Action (formerly the Connecticut Prison Association, Hartford, CT), and Healing Communities Network (New York, NY). He has also served on the Advisory Boards of Creative Projects Group (Los Angeles, CA) and Reentry Survivors (Bridgeport, CT).
Recognition and more recognition
Jeff was twice selected a Nantucket Project Scholar (2012, 2014) and was recognized by JustLeadershipUSA as one of 15 Inaugural National Leaders in Criminal Justice (2015). He was selected a Keepers of the Commons Fellow (2017) and a Keepers of the Commons Senior Fellow (2018). Jeff has been the recipient of the Elizabeth Bush Award for Volunteerism (2011), received the Bridgeport Reentry Collaborative Advocate of the Year Award (2013, 2014, 2015), and was selected the Bridgeport Reentry Collaborative Professional of the Year (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). He has also been recognized by the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (2017) and by the Connecticut NAACP (2017), and was selected a 2019 Collegeville Institute Writing Fellow.
A Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, Jeff is an in-demand keynote speaker, panelist, moderator, and guest preacher. Speaking venues include Main Stage Presenter at The Nantucket Project (Nantucket, MA), American Bar Association Criminal Justice Conference (Washington, DC), Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Webinar (December 2022), the Greenwich Leadership Forum (Greenwich, CT), the Corrections Ministries and Chaplains Association (CMCA) Correctional Ministry Summit (Wheaton College, IL and Philadelphia, PA), Delaware Trust Conference (Wilmington, DE), Salons at Stowe – Harriet Beecher Stowe Center (Hartford, CT), Community Health Network of Connecticut Social Determinants of Health Summit (Wallingford, CT), The Neighborhood Project (Greenwich, CT), U.S. Small Business Administration Conference (Fairfield, CT), Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York (NY, NY), Yale Divinity School (New Haven, CT).
Jeff has also spoken at many universities, colleges, and religious institutions across the country. For information or to book Jeff to speak, guest preach, or for a panel or other presentation, please see his e-speakers profile here.
Magazines, radio, television, podcasts, books
Jeff has authored, been the subject of, or been prominently mentioned in many national and regional publications. They include The New Yorker (Aug. 2021), Entrepreneur (Sept. 2021 & Apr. 2020), Bloomberg Law (Oct. 2021), Wells Street with CNBC’s Jane Wells (Oct. 2021), Reuters (May 2021), American Bar Association Criminal Justice Magazine (Spring 2021), Business Insider (July 2021), Forbes (July 2020), Philadelphia Inquirer (Oct. 2020), Vanity Fair (Aug. 2019), Greenwich Magazine (Mar. 2018), Law360, Inc., Medium, The Huffington Post, Absolute Return/HedgeFund Intelligence, Institutional Investor, CFO Dive, New York Magazine, Real Men Real Faith Magazine (cover story), Fairfield County Business Journal, Nonprofit Quarterly, Reentry Central, The Vision (the newspaper of the United Methodist Church NY Conference), Weston Magazine Group, Weston Forum, Hartford Courant, New Haven Register, New Haven Independent, Inner City News, Connecticut Post, Greenwich Sentinel, Greenwich Time, Greenwich Free Press, The Hour and others. Jeff authored a chapter in the book, Suicide and Its Impact on the Criminal Justice System (2021), served on the Editorial Board of the book The Justice Imperative: How Hyper-Incarceration has Hijacked the American Dream (2014), and was prominently mentioned/quoted in the books Wildland: The Making of America’s Fury (2021), Trusted White Collar Offenders: Global Case Studies of Crime Convenience (2021) and the Teal Book of Wisdom (2022).
He has been featured or interviewed on many radio shows, televisions segments and podcasts. They include the Rich Roll Podcast (# 644 November 2021, #440 May 2019), The Confessional with Nadia Bolz-Weber (May 2021), The Sydcast (October 2021), Newsy (October 2021), Business Talk with Jim Campbell (June 2021), Tha Yard Hangout (June 2021), the Colin McEnroe Show on WNPR (October 2019), The Same 24 Hours podcast with Meredith Atwood (March 2020), the Fraud Stories podcast (September 2020), the Taxgirl Podcast (July 2020), Landmark Recovery Radio (November 2020), Clara CFO podcast with Hanna Smolinski (January 2021), and Founders Focus podcast with Scott Case (April 2021), among others.
Jeff is also editor of the important, widely-read website and blog prisonist.org, for which he authors, edits, and curates content around national and international criminal justice advocacy/ministry issues. He also co-hosts the Criminal Justice Insider podcast, hosts the White Collar Week podcast, and leads a weekly online confidential White Collar Support Group (the first in the country). The group, which has had more than 650 participants, held its 350th weekly online meeting in March 2023.
Darren Wurz [00:00:00]:
Personal setbacks can either keep you down or turn into the fuel that drives professional triumphs. Challenges can actually forge opportunities. Today, we’ll unpack a journey of resilience, transformation, and innovative leadership in the world of law firm ownership.Welcome to the Lawyer Millionaire podcast. I’m your host, Darren Wurz, financial planner for law firm owners. Today we’re fortunate to have an extraordinary guest, someone who embodies resilience, innovation, and leadership. Jeff Grant, the founder and owner of Grant law. Jeff’s journey is a testament to the power of transformation and grit. In our conversation today, we’ll explore not just Jeff’s career, but also dive into the theme of coming back from a crisis, because, let’s face it, life doesn’t always go as planned. Jeff, it’s a pleasure to have you with us today.
Jeff Grant [00:01:09]:
Thanks, Darren. So good to be here.
Darren Wurz [00:01:11]:
Absolutely. Let’s start by just giving our audience a little bit of background or current information about who you are and what you’re doing these days.
Jeff Grant [00:01:23]:
Well, I am a lawyer, and I say that proudly because I’m a lawyer again, after being disbarred for 16 or 17 years, relaunched a law firm in New York City. And I provide private general counsel and white collar services, basically to an audience of people who are going through white collar prosecution issues and other personal crises and who want to hire someone who’s not only been through it, but has the kind of skill sets that I have, both in law, having been a former general counsel of some major companies, and reentry and recovery. I’m 21 years sober. And ministry because I am an ordained minister, having graduated from Union theological Seminary in New York City. And this whole kind of mishmash of stuff that comes together in a way where I can help people through their issues and then hopefully out the other side to lives of success and meaning, and at a time when they probably have little hope for that. So it’s a blessing to be able to do that and also to provide legal acumen. And, of course, for your podcast, a story of how you restart a law firm after kind of being in the woods for so long.
Darren Wurz [00:02:59]:
Yeah, absolutely. On this show, we’re always talking about goals and dreams in the future, and the journey to where we want to get to is not always a straight line. There are bumps and curves along that pathway, and things don’t always go the way we kind of anticipate them to. And I’m excited to unpack our topic today. Coming back from a crisis, and you mentioned, gave us some teasers in that intro, so thank you for that. Everyone experiences crisis in one form or another. It’s universal to the human experience, I think. And law firm owners, I think, are highly prone to stress and issues just because of the nature of being a business owner and being a lawyers. I mean, throw two of the most high stress things in life together right there. So let’s dive in. Tell us a little bit about your background and your journey and the crisis that you went through.
Jeff Grant [00:03:58]:
Well, I was the owner of a law firm, first in New York City and then in Westchester County, New York, which is just north of New York, and I was the owner. I had about 20 lawyers and other staff working for me, successful, probably by any standard. And then once I moved up to Westchester County, I became the general counsel to a couple of major real estate organizations in equities in brokerage and management. And things just started to take off. And of course, I was working 16 hours days. Heavy stress. In 1992, I had a sports injury, and as a result of that, became addicted to prescription opioids. And that was kind of a ten year run down the rabbit hole of addiction.There was really no way to know at that point. I was kind of an early adopter or an early victim of the opioid crisis. Just letting you know, I would never consider myself a victim. I was a willing participant. But maybe many other people were, as they were, suffering through this kind of mass communication of what was good for us, even though it probably wasn’t. That wound up leading to all kinds of financial issues in the law firm as well as in my life. And at the end of the 1990s, the firm was running out of cash, although I was barely coherent and barely knew that. And my office manager came to me and told me that we were going to run out of cash and that we wouldn’t be able to make payroll. And then I made the unfortunate decision to invade the escrow account, the attorney trust funds.
Jeff Grant [00:06:03]:
At that point, I believe there were probably millions of dollars in it because we had a real estate closing department as well. And once I did that, there was really no coming back from it. It took two or three more years of winding through an ethics complaint and then all kinds of issues surrounding that. In the midst of that, 911 occurred. And I took that very hard, probably because I was already teetering both from the opioids and from a lot of stress. And a couple of months later, there were advertisements back then on tv and radio advertising for businesses that were adversely affected by the 911 tragedy to apply for SBA Eidl loans. I called them up. I told them my circumstances. They told me I would qualify. I got the application. And in the application, despite the fact that I most certainly would have received the funds I was looking for. And at that point, it was $247,000. I couldn’t help myself. I was desperate. And I lied on the application and said that I had an office about a block from ground zero, probably as a sidebar, it was in Donald Trump’s building at 40 Wall street. So I don’t know how that relates to everything that’s going on in the world right now, but it did not help save the law firm. And then a few months later, was given the news that I would not be able to save my law license. And on that day, I resigned my law license and got my last prescription for opioids. And after the family went to sleep that night, I took the entire vial and tried to kill myself. And that was the end of chapter one.
Darren Wurz [00:08:12]:
Wow, you really were at rock bottom at that point. What was it that turned you around, that gave you the strength to kind of pull through that moment and make a change in direction?
Jeff Grant [00:08:30]:
I’ve tried to unpack that now for 20 years, and I am confident that I was engaged in self sabotage. I didn’t like the life I was leading. I thought it was inauthentic, certainly not where I wanted to be in the world, based upon where I was as a child and making a lot of bad decisions. And I didn’t have an elegant way out. I didn’t have the tools just to unwind things. And so I threw a hand grenade and jumped on it. I do think that subconsciously, it was intentional. When I woke up from that stupor through detox, and then I went into rehab for seven weeks, I just kind of knew that I needed to escape the life I had been living, and this was the life I had been given. And I’m not sure how quickly I kind of got on board with that, because the acceptance process takes a while. But certainly I knew I had been transformed on some level. And I became a card carrying member of Alcoholics Anonymous and went to three meetings a day and got sober. And all the good stuff that came with that and some of the bad stuff was, of course, that I got arrested about 20 months later for fraud. That concerned the statements I had made on that SBA loan application, and I was already disbarred. And so I was just kind of moving forward now in an unchartered way. Uncharted way. Excuse me, but I was sober, and so I was able to handle it.
Darren Wurz [00:10:42]:
Yeah. I’m curious. Did people around you, did they know what you were dealing with, what you were struggling with, or was this a surprise to them?
Jeff Grant [00:10:53]:
Well, they said it was a surprise to them, but if you look objectively at how I was behaving, I had ballooned up to 285 pounds. I looked like a drug addict. There was sweat just kind of, like, oozing out of my pores because of the stress. I was vomiting up blood. When you say I would hit bottom, I was there. So do I think that other people saw that? They would have had to been blind not to see it, but I didn’t see it. I was in denial. So I certainly don’t blame anybody for that. But to answer your question, in the narrow, yeah, they probably knew something was going. You know, interestingly, on my fifth or 6th day in rehab, our best friends came from New Jersey to see me, and I asked them. We were sitting in my room at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, Connecticut, and we were sitting in my room, and it was one of those rooms that was suicide proof with breakaway hangers, and there were no sharp objects in the room. And they had taken my shoelaces, and they had taken my belt and all of that. And I said to them, how could you have not said anything? You must have noticed that these things were going on in my life. And they looked at me and they said to me, jeffrey, we must have told you a hundred times. And I didn’t remember once. So that’s how much denial I was.
Darren Wurz [00:12:42]:
Yeah, absolutely. So that was then. Now you’re in such a different place. And I just love this because so many people may think this would be like their nightmare, nightmare scenario, but it wasn’t the end. And you turned everything around in a completely different direction. Tell us about the journey back. How did you regain then your law license and then set about to start a law firm all over again? At what point did you kind of say, okay, I want to get back into this? Was that the idea? Had you just kind of given up on the law, or tell us what happened in your brain there?
Jeff Grant [00:13:30]:
Well, I never gave up on it, but it wasn’t my plan. Every decision I made, every move along the way, I always had in the back of my mind, how will this affect me? Should I decide to apply for readmission or reinstatement of my law license? And so there were micro decisions along the way, and some of them were actually large decisions. Like, for example, I never went bankrupt, and I could have. I had a lot of debt, but I worked things out one creditor at a time, with the intentionality of doing it in such a way that if I ever want to reapply for my law license, at least I’m someone who’s honored all of my obligations to the best of my ability. And what I didn’t do is just bail on them through a bankruptcy. So there was that kind of a decision making along the way. But I was doing things in the world that were meaningful. I had applied to and got into seminary, and I became an ordained minister, and I was doing prison ministry. And I think I would have been happy doing that forever. And still. I still do that, actually, I still spend half my time doing that and running a white collar support group that meets on Zoom every Monday night and a bunch of other things related to that. But it became clear a few years ago that as much good as I was doing to the world and I was helping people, and they were helping me spiritually, what they really needed was a lawyer to trust and help shepherd them through a very serpentine process and a process that is not very welcoming to people who have been accused or prosecuted for white collar crimes. So I did put my application in for reinstatement, and that took three years of running that gauntlet. I think it would have taken a little bit less if it wasn’t during the pandemic. The craziest part of it for me was that I didn’t really know what was good for me or what was bad for me. I didn’t know what was helpful or not helpful.
Jeff Grant [00:16:00]:
And so for the ten years or so that I was just doing things for good, and I was helping people and doing things for the public good because I was also involved in other nonprofits and things like that. That probably became one of the largest deciding factors to the character committee when they decided to support my reinstatement to the bar. And I have to tell your listeners out there, it’s generally not a good business plan to work for ten years without getting a salary in the hopes that maybe down the line you’ll be able to get reinstated to the bar. But I was fortunate enough that at that time, the government did not take away all of my assets, and I was able to support myself and my family, although probably on one 20th the amount of income. And it became, I think, a compelling story that I was involved in prison ministry. And then when I did get my law license back. I had already started kind of a plan because I knew that there was a hole in the market for people who were going to rep, for lawyers who were going to represent people with prosecution and regulatory issues, white collar prosecutions and regulatory issues, but who weren’t strictly criminal lawyers. There was all these things that were surrounding someone who’s being prosecuted. Bankruptcies, family law issues, real estate issues, partnership issues, dissolution, succession issues, on and on and on. All kinds of things that I had been dealing with when I was general counsel to wealthy family owned businesses. And now I could bring it to bear for people with a specific life issue that I related to so well and hopefully that they would relate to me. So I hung my shingle out in New York City, and I had no idea if it was going to work. I had no idea if I could even communicate it effectively. But there had been so much publicity around the ministry and around the white collar support group, and specifically just after I got my law license back, there was an article that ran in the New Yorker magazine about our support group and about the work I was doing. And so I can pretty much divide my professional life into two categories, right before the New Yorker and after the New Yorker, because once the New Yorker hit, it was just like a tsunami of opportunities and of people who were reaching out for all kinds of help. And, Darren, even today, I don’t really care if someone is calling me for support or they’re calling me as a lawyer. I don’t care if they can pay or they can’t pay. My calling is to help, and we’re going to find them a resource no matter what.
Darren Wurz [00:19:27]:
Yeah, that’s incredible. I feel like just listening to you, you seem like you have this sense of mission and purpose. Do you feel like you have more purpose today than you did 20 years ago?
Jeff Grant [00:19:45]:
I think I have purpose today, and I don’t know if I had any purpose 20 years ago. That’s the thing. I only do now what I believe in. My goal is to help people. But back then, I don’t think when I started to be a lawyer, I thought I was still idealistic, and I had pretty lofty goals. But ultimately, I was a mouthpiece for hire. I didn’t have to believe in anything other than what I was getting paid for. And with that, it was only about winning. And even the definition of winning wasn’t necessarily my definition. It was the client’s definition. And the people who I’m helping now, mostly, I have much better information, and certainly a larger and longer pedigree than they do of what’s in the art of the possible. I mean, can I really have a comeback? Can I really have a life that’s meaningful and worth living again? And so it’s not just me as a poster boy. It’s me as having resources, including literally thousands of people who’ve been similarly situated, who we can call upon to help. So if you’re someone who’s suffering and you have a specific area of business or law that you’re being prosecuted for, or you live in a certain geographic area, or any which way you want to cut it up, we probably know people who you can relate to and who would be willing to share themselves and their experience freely. And so what a gift. What a gift to not have to go through it alone. I mean, as we say, it’s the isolation that destroys us, and the solution is in community, and that’s turned out to be true.
Darren Wurz [00:22:01]:
Yeah, I love that. It’s the isolation that destroys us. I’m curious how your experiences have shaped your business model and how you deal with your clients and how you work with your clients. Are there different things that you do that are informed by your insights and experience? Now, if this is kind of getting.
Jeff Grant [00:22:24]:
Down to more of a technical conversation about how I restarted my law firm and what my goals are, I’m older now, and I’m no longer aspiring. I’ve arrived, and whatever that means, I’m not in competition with anybody. Well, first of all, one of the reasons I’m not in competition with anybody is that there’s nobody else who does what I do. You have to have that unique combination of credentials, and no one would really want to do what I do, or maybe I will be able to be a trailblazer somewhat, for people who see this as a worthy undertaking. But what happened was that, of course, as soon as I got my law license reinstated, I automatically retreated into some of my old behavior, grandiosity, and the things that I swore I would never get involved with again in terms of building a firm and having high overhead and everything else. And when I started to really parse it out, I realized that all of those were trappings, mostly because I had a successful firm, but mostly all of the rest of the firm was just kind of paying for itself and my billables. What I was doing was paying me. But somebody had to oversee this entire machine under the mistaken belief. Or maybe at that time it wasn’t mistaken, but it would be a mistake for me now that I had to have all the bells and whistles. I had to show everybody the signs of my success in order to attract the kind of clients that I wanted. But now my success is I’m carrying it on my back. The fact that I’m alive, the fact that I’ve gotten through the other side with some grace and dignity and success is my calling card. So I didn’t really need that. And frankly, it took my dear wife Lynn, who’s not only my partner in life, but my partner in all things, and she kind of hit me in the side of the head and she said, what are you doing? You’re not going to go back to the things that almost killed you the first time. So are you secure enough just to put yourself out there? And ultimately, I was. So my business plan became very simple.
Jeff Grant [00:25:18]:
It was pretty much 90% of my time was going to be spent on Zoom, or its equivalent, on video with clients, or maybe on the phone, and the other 10% would be traveling or seeing clients if I had to, or going to have meetings with other lawyers, or meetings with us attorneys offices, or attending conferences, but primarily whatever was going to work from my home office, because New York was still kind of in lockdown when I got my law license back. And I found out that the adoption rate of lawyers and other services that people would tolerate being online with, I didn’t have to solve that problem. The problem had been solved for me. So whatever it meant, I mean, if it meant that I was going to be successful or not so successful, I was going to build a business that was going to work for me instead of me working for the business.
Darren Wurz [00:26:30]:
I like that.
Jeff Grant [00:26:32]:
And it took off. The ministry and the support group took off, and my law firm took off. And they were linked together mostly because of search engines. And my name was kind of synonymous with white collar support group. But I’ve always been very careful. I’m not cherry picking from the support group clients because mostly those people who are joining the support group, and now we’ve had 750 people who have joined the support group. Most of them can’t afford lawyers, so it’s not really the right place to be trying to harvest law clients. The law clients are really coming much more from the outreach and the magazine articles and from people who’ve become aware of the fact that we have a lot of resources that we can provide them with, and law is just one of them.
Darren Wurz [00:27:50]:
Yeah, that’s incredible. You kind of built your whole, I love what you said there. Building the business around what works for you, having the big overhead, the big operation isn’t always what it’s all about. And when you really clarify your purpose and your goals in life, that becomes obvious to you. We’ve talked on this show before about goals and purpose, and you have helped us take that to a whole new level, I think. But it’s so critical. A lot of times we’re just trying to earn as much money as we can or build as much money as we can. We forget to step back and think, what is all of this really for? And the truth is, if you’re just trying to accumulate wealth, you’ll never have enough. It will never be enough. You’re trying to make more money, you’ll never have enough money. But if you really have your sense of purpose in mind, you can reach a place where it’s like, okay, this is what I want. I’m happy I’ve reached a place of peace and fulfillment. And it sounds like you’ve achieved some of that for yourself. So I’m really just amazed to hear your story and your journey. And as we come to the end of our time here, unfortunately, I’d love to keep going. But let’s talk a little bit about your future plans.
Darren Wurz [00:29:12]:
And do you have anything in the works? What does the future look like for you and your business?
Jeff Grant [00:29:21]:
Interestingly, much of what I have planned, I’m kind of in a quiet period in terms of being able to disclose. That’s the good news that opportunities have just come in, mostly because of the positive message. There’s like the news, like getting my law license back was news. And having a white collar support group that’s had almost 400 meetings on Monday nights is kind of news. But then there’s the human interest story, much of what we’ve talked about today. And so between those things, it draws a lot of interest in a lot of different areas. So there will be news about some of that very soon.
Darren Wurz [00:30:13]:
Jeff Grant [00:30:14]:
But also using technology in order to reach people and to be able to help them, whether it be through AI or whatever, we’re just kind of scratching the surface of that. An example is just this week we launched a live chat on the ministry website. On the white collar support group website. That’s prisonist.org, by the way, is the ministry website. And so if someone wants to contact us, so often they’re doing it in the midst of desperation or great suffering. And often it’s in the middle of the night when they can’t sleep and they’re scrolling, looking for the needle in the haystack, doing, searching, and they find us. Yet the only way they could get in touch with us before this week was they would fill out a form and we would get back to them. And that could be a bottleneck. It depends how many people reached out to us. But now, through the magic of AI and of what technology has brought us, we have a portal that runs through slack and then sends the message out in this secure group to people, to volunteers who have been trained. And if you choose, you can be on a phone call with someone who’s a live voice, who’s been through these issues. You can be on that phone call with them within minutes.
Darren Wurz [00:32:06]:
Jeff Grant [00:32:06]:
And so that is like a crazy thing, given the fact that when all this happened to me 20 years ago, there was barely even an Internet. I mean, I had no information. And now, if you need to be comforted and you need some answers in the middle of the night, maybe even seconds, somebody, you’ll be in touch with someone. So that’s powerful tool.
Darren Wurz [00:32:34]:
Yeah. Good stuff. We look forward to hearing more about you and your journey and the things that you’re doing quickly. As we wrap up here, Jeff, would you please share with our audience how they can find more about you or get in touch with you if they want to?
Jeff Grant [00:32:50]:
Yep, that’s Jeff Grant or Jeffrey D. Grant. It’s at grantlaw.com. That’s the law firm website and has all the information that you’d need. Grantlaw.com. And if it’s on the ministry side and you’re suffering or you have a friend or a family member or a colleague or a client who’s in need, that’s prisonist.org. Prisonistlikefeminist.org. And we’re here for you. And almost any issue that anyone going through a white collar problem has had, we’ve been through it before you, and we have a lot of information that can be very helpful to you and your family for free, by the way, on the ministry side. And if you become a law client, I’m not a rapacious person. My job is to help people through, not to overcharge them or create larger problems than actually know.
Darren Wurz [00:33:56]:
Absolutely. Well, thanks again, Jeff, and thank you, the listener, for joining us today. And be sure to tune into our next episode as we bring you more stories of resilience and success. To make sure you never miss an episode, hit the subscribe button. And if you like what you hear, don’t forget to leave us a review. At the lawyer millionaire, we partner with law firm owners, enabling you to find clarity and gain control over your personal finances so you can create wealth and achieve your lifelong dreams. Learn more and schedule a time to chat with firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m Darren Wurz, and I’ll see you next time.