Leading the game in a niche market, guest Brandon Leopoldus, founder of Leopoldus Law, shares his unique approach to sports and entertainment law in a recent episode on The Lawyer Millionaire Podcast. Hosted by the charismatic Darren Wurz, this episode invites listeners to delve into the dynamic, high-stakes world of sports law through the lens of a seasoned expert.
Leopoldus sheds light on his unconventional legal approach, emphasizing athletes’ wellbeing and post-career planning over short-term sports performance. This long-term perspective forms the bedrock of his work, offering athletes more than just legal services – a future beyond the sporting world.
At Leopoldus Law, Leopoldus streamlined the fee model by implementing a flat fee system, enhancing financial predictability and alleviating athlete’s worries. Leopoldus’ specialized legal solutions extend to lesser-known athletes too, supporting them in licensing deals and lease arrangements.
Unlike some law firms, Leopoldus Law prides itself on its stringent client vetting process, skipping on individuals embroiled in scandals and legal issues. Through this, they build long-lasting relationships with clients, enriching both parties in the long run.
Leopoldus entertains listeners with tales from his entrepreneurial journey, detailing the evolution and challenges of his highly specialized law firm. With intriguing insights into his personal growth, viewers learn firsthand how the Colorado Springs native, with no athletic talent but a passion for sports, found his calling in sports law.
At the heart of Leopoldus Law is a diverse team with a blend of experiences. From legal associates to researchers, this full-fledged enterprise leverages AI and automation, making Leopoldus’ unique approach to legal services more accessible and affordable.
Leopoldus’ entrepreneurial journey is far from the conventional path. He worked his way up from umpiring little league games to scouting for the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies General Manager’s invaluable advice to attend law school redirected Leopoldus’ career, ultimately landing him in the niche field of sports law.
Between exploring the business dynamics of sports law and debunking athlete bankruptcy myths, Leopoldus emphasizes financial education as key for athletes. With their careers often limited in duration, understanding financial management becomes crucial for athletes to secure their future.
Listeners eager to connect with Leopoldus can find him on LinkedIn or his firm’s website, Leopoldis.com, where further information about his services is available.
To wrap up the episode, Darren directs listeners to the podcast’s website, hosting a wealth of free resources, webinars, and Darren’s book – essential tools for aspiring lawyer millionaires.
Be sure to tune in to this insightful episode, filled with practical nuggets of wisdom that extend beyond the realm of sports law, and don’t forget to subscribe, share, and leave a review. Brandon Leopoldus’ unique story redefines what it means to be a lawyer and proves that with passion, one can craft their own path to success. Check out The Lawyer Millionaire Podcast today!
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Connect with Brandon Leopoldus:
About our guest:
Brandon Leopoldus is a California-based attorney and founder of Leopoldus Law, APC – a specialized law firm dedicated to serving clients in the sports industry. With a focus on providing tailored legal solutions and strategies, Mr. Leopoldus is committed to helping his clients navigate the complexities of their off-field and off-screen needs.
His extensive experience includes representing professional sports franchises, unions, Olympians, athletes, sports officials, musicians, and entertainers across various fields. From setting up and protecting loan-out corporations to offering complex solutions for high-profile individuals, Mr. Leopoldus ensures his clients have access to top-notch legal expertise.
Notable accomplishments in his career include developing the legal structure for a new hockey league, serving as Interim Counsel for an MLS team, advising the Association of Minor League Umpires during the pandemic, working with numerous U.S. Olympic Governing Bodies, assisting collegiate athletes as they transition to professional careers, and maximizing returns for collegiate athletes leveraging their name, image, and likeness rights.
As a recognized leader in sports law, Mr. Leopoldus frequently speaks at conferences, guest lectures at law schools, and participates in panels at the Sports Lawyers Association’s (SLA) Annual Conference. He is also known for his informative LinkedIn Video Series covering various sports law topics.
An award-winning member of the Sports Lawyers Association, Mr. Leopoldus is also a member of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association and the Sports and Entertainment Society. He shares his expertise by teaching Sports Law classes at Loyola Law School – Los Angeles.
Prior to his legal career, Mr. Leopoldus spent several years in Minor League Baseball as an umpire, with only one notable appearance on SportsCenter.
Outside of work, Leopoldus enjoys spending time with his friends and family, including his highly intelligent dog, Harvey, named after Hall of Fame umpire Doug Harvey.
Darren Wurz [00:00:01]:
Alrighty, so let me scroll up here to the beginning and let’s get started in three, two, one. Did you maybe dream of being a Hollywood star or professional athlete as a kid? Though many of us may have had such aspirations, breaking into the world of sports and entertainment is no easy task. Well, today’s guest has done just that as an attorney to the stars. So buckle in and get ready to unlock the secrets of success in the world of sports and entertainment law. Welcome to the Lawyer Millionaire podcast, your go to source for expert insights and strategies on building wealth in the legal industry. I’m your host, Darren Wurz. Today we’re joined by Brandon Leopoldis, renowned attorney and founder of Leopoldis Law. With years of experience representing athletes, sports officials and entertainment professionals at every level, our guest today is a trusted advisor when it comes to navigating the legal landscape in these dynamic fields. His work has not only protected the rights of his clients, but helped them build and safeguard their wealth. Brandon, welcome to the show.
Brandon Leopoldus [00:01:14]:
Thanks for having me, I appreciate it.
Darren Wurz [00:01:16]:
Yes, I’m so excited to be here with you. For you to be here and to hear your story. You’re just such a rock star. When I connected with you on LinkedIn, I said, oh, we’ve got to have this guy on the show. So Brandon, first of all, why don’t you just tell us a little bit about what is it like being a sports and entertainment know?
Brandon Leopoldus [00:01:39]:
It’s a lot of fun. This is an industry I grew up in and so when I went to law school, I thought about all the different stuff I could do, not even thinking about sports or entertainment. And then it became one of those things apple falls on your head and you think, why would I want to change what industry I’m in? Why go learn mass torts? Who needs that when you can deal with outfielders and small forwards?
Darren Wurz [00:02:03]:
Yeah, absolutely. That’s a good way to put it. And I bet it is a fun area of the law to be in and I’m sure there are fun aspects of all areas of the law as well. But let’s get into a little bit more about your story because as I understand it, this was not something that kind of happened on purpose. You didn’t wake up or you weren’t born thinking, I want to be a sports and entertainment lawyers. This kind of had a slow, strange progression for you and I want you to tell our audience about that.
Brandon Leopoldus [00:02:36]:
Yeah. So I grew up in Colorado, in Colorado Springs for the most part, and my sister was an Olympic level gymnast. She was the first elite level gymnast in the history of Colorado. And so she had all the athletic talent in my family. I would love to lie to you and tell you I was good at any sport, I just wasn’t I was interested I thought I was going to be the quarterback of the Denver Broncos, but so does every kid that grows up in I didn’t. My parents did a good job of making sure that we didn’t feel any would. Uh, we’d drop my sister off at her gymnastics, you know, take me to my Little League game with my foam hat and my plastic cleats, and then we’d go pick her up and go to the Olympic Training Center. And for the 2 hours she’s doing her gymnastics stuff there, I’m in the USA Boxing gym just touching stuff and punching bags or playing basketball in the USA Basketball gym with my plastic cleats. And nobody ever told me that I couldn’t do it. It was just a way to kill time until she was ready to go home. And then when she went to college, she was the number one recruit in the country at the time. And so I had to sit through all the coaches meetings in an itchy jacket and a tie and all that nonsense. But it was kind of fun to watch that, because I just thought everybody got recruited to go to college regardless of their skill set. I was unaware of the business model of college. And so she goes away to Penn State, and I had asked my mom, when do they start to recruit me? And the second I asked the question, it came out of my mouth and the look on my mom’s face, I went, oh, no, this makes more sense. I’m not going to get recruited because I have nothing to offer other than money to go to school. And so she goes to Penn State, and when we first went to go see her, we get off the little plane in State College, PA and my sister’s on this billboard right next to the airport. And that’s when I kind of noticed things were different. And starting to see what that was like really gave me a good impression as a sophomore in high school at the time where I wanted to work in sports, but I was this scrawny, little late blooming kid. I couldn’t make my high school team for anything, but I still had that driving passion to be in sports. And so that following summer, I started, umpiring, little League rather than working at Wendy’s. And I had friends that were working the drive through window, but I was making twice as much money as they were working 910 year old Little League games. And I didn’t know what I was doing, but I really enjoyed it. And I’d start to meet some other umpires, and by the end of high school, I was working high school games of various high schools across town that weren’t mine before I even graduated. And so then I met some minor league guys that were in town. They knew somebody, and somebody said, you should go to umpire school. And I said, well, that’s great. I don’t know what that is. Why would I go to umpire school? And they said that that’s how you get a job in pro baseball, is you go to umpire school, and if you’re selected, you move on, and you work your way through the minor leagues just like a player would. And so one day in my freshman year of college, I sat my parents down at Outback, probably using my allowance money, and told them, Mom, Dad, I’m dropping out of school and I’m going pro, which is a really cool sounding thing to any 18 year old. It’s not a wise decision. And they let me do it. They questioned me. They didn’t like the decision, but they let me do it, and I go to umpire school, and apparently you can yell at me and I can still get the job done. I don’t get too flustered, and I can hit the spots. And so somehow I, as a 20 year old, go into the minor leagues and travel around these small towns in America with minor league teams and bounced around the minor leagues. I thought I was going to the big leagues, and that didn’t happen. But I did understand, especially two years in, you’re hurt all the time, right? You have that pulled groin muscle. You twisted your ankle, but you don’t leave the field because somebody’s going to take your spot. And then you’d see the manager with a drinking problem, or that pitcher that’s getting divorced over the phone and he’s got to go pitch that day, or understanding that a guy’s dream is going to be snuffed out after his 13th game without a hit. And you understand that it’s a business. It’s not just fun anymore. This is how people put food on their table. And so when I got released, I started scouting. Go travel around town, given all the scouting reports on a bunch of kids that probably won’t make it. And I was sitting in front of the Rockies general manager at the time, and I’d always hound him for a job because, you know, I’d be a perfect addition. And he said, if you want to work in baseball, you should probably go to law school. It seems like everybody else that applies for a job has gone to law school. And so at this time, my sister, my older sister, the gymnast, was now my older sister, the lawyers in Pennsylvania. And I didn’t call her and ask for her help. I just went and bought a book at Barnes and Noble to learn how to take the LSAT. And a couple of weeks later, I sit for the LSAT and do terribly on it. But I did good enough that I could get into a couple of schools. And so then I went to law school my second year. I’d always hang out with the umpires. I was in San Diego. And so they’d come through town every three days, and those are the guys that I really knew. We knew each other. We understood each other more than I did with other law students. And so we had that shared connection. I’d go out with them one night. I was waiting on a crew that I really didn’t know, and a player had walked by who I had had in the minor leagues. We had always gotten along. He had signed a huge deal, but it was not performing well. And so we went down and had a Dr. Pepper in the lobby. And he’s telling me about all these problems and how the pressure and the motivations, and it reminded me of all those times I was sitting on the couch listening to my parents figure out how they were going to come up with the money to send my sister to some camp or clinic or should she go to this school or that school. And watching my sister have those conversations, and I realized that there was this gap of knowledge where I could fill that in. I don’t know what it’s like to make $60 million, but I do understand all of the stuff that goes into the emotional side of it, what it’s like to be on that side of the stands. And that’s when I realized, I’m just going to stick here because I can solve this guy’s problems. I don’t have the answers yet, but I know I can get to those answers.
Darren Wurz [00:08:58]:
Wow. That’s awesome. So when you bought that book and you decided you were going to take the LSAT, was Sports Entertainment the direction you wanted to go, or were you just kind of open to the idea of law in general?
Brandon Leopoldus [00:09:10]:
I wasn’t even open to the idea of law. I just wanted a job with the Colorado Rockies. I still haven’t worked with the Rockies. So it was one of those things for me where if that’s what it took to stay in sports, that was my motivation. I didn’t even think about sports law. I knew I didn’t want to be an agent. I thought that was not my path, but I thought, I’d just go work in a front office because that’s all I really understood about the business.
Darren Wurz [00:09:35]:
Okay, interesting. Yeah. Since that time, you’ve built a great business and reputation, and you’re all over the place on TV and radio and awesome stuff like that. What has been the secret to your success in building your name and reputation? What have been the core strategies that have helped you kind of build your business?
Brandon Leopoldus [00:09:59]:
I think the big thing, because there’s a lot of attorneys, or at least there’s some notable attorneys that work in the space, and they don’t have a different business model than they would if they’re a regular litigator or a regular corporate attorney with their sports clients. For me, I built my practice on understanding the complexities of if you’re working with athletes, there’s a certain way you should talk to them times you should reach out to them, who you talk to that’s on their behalf, how you bill them. Oftentimes we work with high school or collegiate players, collegiate players that are going into the draft. They don’t have money until they get drafted and it’s typically two or three months after the draft. So we’re doing a lot of upfront work that you may not do if you had a startup client because you might not get paid with athlete clients, you know you’re going to get paid because they’re about to make more money than their parents have ever made in their entire life all at once. And as long as you’re able to do that and you’re able to wait that 34568 months and put in a lot of free time, you end up with a client base that doesn’t leave you and they’re willing to pass your name in a locker room to know all star friend. And you get these random text messages that, you know, Carl told me to reach out to you. Can you set up an LLC like you did for him? I’m going, who is this guy? I don’t know even know who Carl is. And then you find out that know some guy in the Lakers and you go, yeah, I can do that. OK. Kind of cool that he’s on the Lakers, but also he’s typically in their early 20s, entrepreneur, kind of they have a lot of startup capital, but they don’t have that knowledge base that you would if you’re dealing with a 35 year old who’s on their third business.
Darren Wurz [00:11:46]:
Yeah, absolutely. And speaking of those financial issues and challenges, what are some of the most common legal and financial things that you’re having to help your clients?
Brandon Leopoldus [00:12:03]:
You know, one thing that people think of with athletes is that they’re always going broke. And I’ll explain to you why that looks the way it does is if I play three games in the National Football League this year, right, if I make the back end of the roster well into the season because guys get hurt, happens all the time. And I play three games, I might take home between maybe $60,000 at the high end, but I might have to pay a trainer $45,000 that year to keep me in that kind of shape. That’s just for the training cost, not to mention rent, not to mention all the other stuff, not to mention the lost opportunity because you’re not going to go get a desk job somewhere that’s not good physically for you to participate in the National Football League at some point. So guys go broke because they can’t fund that money to break even on the year. And so oftentimes players, the average career length is about three years. But if you take the Tom Brady’s out of the you take the big names out. I really think that it’s more know a year and a half or two years for a lot of guys. And so if you play in five games, you didn’t make all that money. You got a great jersey collection. I mean, you have the best sweatpants in the world, but that doesn’t go very far other than the ego. And so oftentimes players go broke because they didn’t have the money that you think they made. They’re not all millionaires, but some of those things that happen and that’s not even something that we typically have to deal with. The things we typically deal with are setting up a corporate structure for them. So that way their off field revenue, right, the licensing revenue they get from the union for those licensing rights, instead of getting taxed at a 50% rate, because they’re always going to be at that highest level, right, where give or take after agent fees and taxes, they’re paying half of their income in taxes. And you take a look at that where now all of a sudden they might get $100,000 a year in licensing money. Well, if we have that in an LLC, now instead of giving mom $50,000 a year, we can hire mom to run the kids camp through that LLC. And now I always give the example of when an athlete has to retire or it just doesn’t work out, they can terminate mom, right. Fire mom, lay her off, and now she’s going to have that unemployment because she’s been paying into that system through the LLC for so long. And these are just the little things we look at because we can promise these guys that they’re going to make millions and millions of dollars. But I’m not an agent and I don’t know the difference between the second string running back and the first string running back and what their career earnings are going to be. What I do understand is the people part of it. I understand that when you are that person, the first person in your family to make six or seven figures, people are looking to you. Every family has people that need help in it. And generally if you’re the one making life changing money, that burden oftentimes falls on you or you feel like it. So we want that structure around where we can provide what they can without hamstring them in the future. And so we do a lot of that stuff. And honestly, some of it’s just the day to day guidance of kind of growing up in pro sports, it doesn’t last very long and it’s a very weird world sometimes. So when we explain to them that I know they want to buy a Range Rover, that seems to be a car of choice. Let’s not buy it new. Let’s go through an auto broker. I know. So instead of paying $170,000 for your vehicle, it’s a car, right. Let’s go get it for $85,000. And it’s only a year or two old, right. Nobody’s going to know the difference. And you start to walk them through some of that, and now they start to understand a little bit more because at the end of the day, they’re going to be non athletes longer than they’re gonna be athletes. And so when they get out of the NFL or the NBA or Major League Soccer or something, we’re going to be working with them hopefully on whatever the next chapter of their life is. And that’s always fun.
Darren Wurz [00:15:55]:
Yeah. Wow. It sounds like a lot of your clients need a financial planner, too.
Brandon Leopoldus [00:16:00]:
Well, they do. And honestly, I hope that they sometimes get that financial planner before they even get to me. We do a lot of that education, at least for the athletes. The guys that own teams pretty much got themselves handled. Good businessmen make good business decisions, but with players, oftentimes when we do the free education about just helping them get up to speed, they’re college kids and they don’t have to have a budget like I did coming out of college because I was making a few thousand dollars a month. They’re going to make a few tens of thousands of dollars a month. And so they need to understand all of these things. They got to grow up a lot faster than the general public when it comes to finances.
Darren Wurz [00:16:39]:
Yeah. And you mentioned some misconceptions there. People think that they’re making more than maybe they are. There’s a lot of expenses that go into it. And I’m curious what’s it like having these conversations. Do you find that a lot of players understand that they might not be in the game for very long? Or is this a reality check that you have to kind of come to them with and be like, okay, we need to really be careful here and safeguard some things for you?
Brandon Leopoldus [00:17:08]:
I think nowadays everybody understands that their time is limited. They just don’t know. They always think that their time horizon is a little bit longer than it probably is. There’s not very many Peyton Mannings, tom Brady’s of the world that get to decide when they end their career. Oftentimes these guys, they’re going to get released by a team and the team will always tell them, we’re going to bring you back later in the year, so hold a that’s the old Hollywood let my people call your people and they never see each other again. And so oftentimes we always talk about, hey, look, when this is over, we always talk about when it’s over. We don’t say two or three years because again, I don’t know if you’re good or bad at your job. You might score 40 points, but that’s because everybody else on your team can’t do that and they still don’t see you as an asset.
Brandon Leopoldus [00:17:54]:
And so I don’t talk about the games with them afterwards because I can say, wow, you had twelve tackles. It might be that you were out of position on four of them. So the numbers might add up for a fantasy team. But as my clients will tell you, they don’t play fantasy football. They play real football. And so for me, I don’t talk about the game. I always ask how they’re feeling and they always tell me about how banged up they are. But when we talk to them oftentimes, they understand that it’s going to come to an end. And most of them, at least the clients that I deal with, they’re focused on having a nest egg of some sort. So when it’s over, they know that they’re not going to continue to make that kind of money. We have those discussions of what else are you interested outside of your chosen sport? And if they tell me that they’re really into animals, hey, maybe have you ever thought about looking into like a veterinary practice? They make good money and we always plant the seed just to get them thinking, especially towards the end of their career, on what the next step is.
Darren Wurz [00:18:51]:
That’s good stuff. And I’m glad you’re having those conversations with your clients. As I’m listening. I’m sensing this is great marketing because you know your target audience so well and you know exactly what their needs are. And it sounds like I asked this question earlier, the secrets to Your Success sounds like a lot of it’s referral based. It sounds like it’s a lot of having a business model that really meets the needs of your specific clients. And one of those things is what I think is fairly innovative, something you’re doing with a flat fee model instead of more of an hourly kind of structure. Can you share with us a little bit about that and how that works and what your experience has been like with that?
Brandon Leopoldus [00:19:39]:
Certainly a lot of athletes work with financial advisors or business managers that are really involved in their lives. And I think that’s a really good thing. And so oftentimes if the business manager is looking at the books, right, basically a day to day CPA, they look at the books and they see a lawyer’s bill for $5,000.01 month and then $600 the next month and then $10,000 few months. They don’t have the consistency. And that chaos really kind of makes everybody a little uneasy, especially with that earnings potential that they have for a limited period of time. So what we try and do is we understand how long it’s going to take us to set up a company, right, to draft the operating agreement, those things corporate lawyers do. And we just flat rate it. We know how long it’s going to take us, so we just name the price. If we’re more efficient, that’s great. But we’re going to make sure that we’re giving them the same deal we would for somebody that’s not an athlete because they shouldn’t pay any more. Just because they have a jersey, right? Just because they got a number on their back. And so when we deal with business managers, they love it because we can say, here’s the price. Oftentimes for an ongoing relationship we have with especially younger players. If they’re collegiate athletes and they’re going into that draft for typically that last year of college leading into the first two or three years of their career, we might just flat rate them per month. And it’s a much lower figure. It might be honestly lower than their car payment if they have financing on their car, simply because at the end of the day, we looked at it as I can get a contract review or negotiation or something like that for, say, 2000, $503,000. But if I’m charging 800, $900 a month and they’re continually talking with us, right? We set those biweekly calls, whatever schedule works for them, we make sure that we’re hitting those things well in advance so we can prep those. One, our lifetime client value has just gone through the roof rather than having a one time contract. But also they’re getting a huge benefit at a price point that they want to see. Rather than not wanting to call your lawyers, they look at it as, well, I’m paying for them anyway. Might as well give them a call. And if you vet the clients the right way and we do a long vetting process, it’s not the first phone call. It’s not that I saw you on Sports Center last night. It’s, we want to know what’s going on in your life. We have a lot of rules around some of the stuff that sounds like it’s kind of virtue signaling. We don’t like guys that cheat on their wives. That’s not because it’s a value. I recommend not cheating on your wife 100%. But it’s one of those things where when that happens, that causes other legal problems, and it provides some chaos in somebody’s life that we understand what that leads to. During our vetting process, we’ll ask some of these questions. If there’s any outside relationships I should know about, let me know, because we may not be the best fit. We have lawyers that handle those type of clients. We can get you to the right people, but we’re going to be there for those guys that honestly the 6th or 7th guy on the NBA bench. We love those guys. They don’t do anything. They’re boring. But off the field, they’re always interested in what’s next. Right? They have that drive to stay on the team, maybe get some starts, maybe become that starter. But they also know that their time might be limited. They might be out of a job next year. And so when we flat rate those things, they get released, they get bounced around the league. It makes it a lot easier for us when we understand where they’re at so we can get those licensing deals together well in advance. When they say that somebody approached them, great. Let me talk to your agent. We’ll figure this out. Or hey, I just got traded to Seattle. We need to figure out what that apartment lease is going to do. We already know where you’re probably going to live because everybody kind of lives in the same three or four buildings in each city. And we go to those buildings, and we start to talk about if he gets traded, we want out in that lease. Most places aren’t going to do that, especially at a premium rate. When a guy gets traded, he needs that lease done tomorrow. Well, we kind of saw it coming because the guy told us he doesn’t know how long the Bengals are going to keep him around. So we at least put that into our system and say, hey, we need to be aware this might happen here’s. The things we need in the lease, should that happen.
Darren Wurz [00:23:51]:
Yeah, those are a lot of really great things to think about, and it just shows how well you know your customers and who you’re dealing with. Another question I want to ask you as you’ve grown, your business, what does your business look like now in terms of structure? And I’m sure it wasn’t all just an easy walk into the park into success. What are some of the biggest challenges that you’ve faced along the way, and how have you dealt with those?
Brandon Leopoldus [00:24:19]:
Good question. Right now, it’s me. I have an associate, Lee. She’s wonderful. She comes from the Olympic movement. We have two summer well, we have two law clerks. I guess it’s not summer, so we have two law clerks now that are wonderful. I think we might add a third one. And then we have a support staff of four right now that are everything from my assistant to just some folks that do general research on if we’re looking for various sports organizations, I don’t want five of them. I want all of them in the universe. And they seemed I don’t know how they do it, but they do it. And so we have a lot of those folks where the admin support is really huge. They make our jobs a lot easier. And of course, we utilize AI programs all over the place, whether it’s for templates, just changing the tone of an email sometimes. Oftentimes we’re dealing with players and then their families. Right. If they refer me to mom because something happened to Mom, I got to handle mom a little bit different than I have to handle that starting goalie at an MLS team. Just two different ways to deal with people. So when we have that team around us, that makes things a lot easier. Because I’m just one guy. I don’t know everything about everybody. And Lee and I often bash heads. Rightly. So because she sees the world differently. She grew up in La. I grew up in Know. I’m a middle aged white dude. She is from Los Angeles. And she knows how a lot of different communities in La think. And I’ll talk to her about stuff and say, well, why is and she’ll she’s able to translate it to me. And I go, OK, so who’s better to handle this, me or her? And who’s the better public face for this type of a client? And so I think we just all have to have that, no matter what we’re doing. But especially in sports. You’re right, it wasn’t an easy road. I think the hardest part for me was understanding two different things. One, that the practice of law is a business. If your name’s on the door, right, my name’s on the door. It has to be a business. We’re selling just a different flavor sausage, right? And so you have to bring revenue in. But the second part is it doesn’t have to be hard. I used to go to bar association events and people would tell me it seemed like it was a one upsmanship on how hard they work and how many vacations they haven’t taken. And it all sounded so terrible. And so I really shifted my focus on dealing with lawyers that really enjoy their job and they don’t talk about how much they work because we’re all working hard, right. Hard is a different thing for all of us. For some people, it’s really hard to get out of bed in the morning, right, emotionally or physically. And I can’t say that I’m working harder than they are just to get out of bed. Right. It’s different. It’s all upstairs. And so for me, it was if I can choose to not like something, I can also choose to like that same exact thing. And so I wanted to get around people that said, man, can you believe this? I was up all night and I finally figured this out. Let me show you. And so if you can work with people to help that business succeed, whether they’re internal or external, makes things a lot more fun.
Darren Wurz [00:27:22]:
Yeah, that’s great stuff. It doesn’t have to be hard. I like that. Actually, the goal should be to have it be as easy as possible.
Brandon Leopoldus [00:27:32]:
Absolutely. It should be easy, right. I mean, the thing is, I’m not doing anything different than anybody else has ever done. It’s just I have a different logo on it and I want it to be mine. But sometimes you have to give up some of that ego because I just do it right for what I need, right. It makes sense to me. It doesn’t make sense to the guy next to me. But we have the same problems, right? We have the same business struggles. We may not understand a contract as well as somebody else. We may not understand a practice area of law at all. And so we need those outlets and we need that help. For me, if you can make it as easy as possible, you’re probably going to be able to do better work and you’re going to be able to do it for longer. And so that’s really my focus is let’s find the easiest way to do something without sacrificing the quality or attention that the client needs.
Darren Wurz [00:28:21]:
For sure. And I’m glad you mentioned the part about running your law firm as a business. That’s really excellent and I see you’re doing a lot of that great stuff with some of the strategies you’re using and some of the knowledge. You have a lot of great business practices there and that’s something that we all need to aspire to as professionals. We’ve got to really step into that business ownership and that allows you to build something that’s a little bit bigger than just yourself. And speaking of that, I want to ask you what does one last question here because we’re running out of time unfortunately but what does the future look like for Leopoldis Law? And one last fun question what does your dream retirement consist of?
Brandon Leopoldus [00:29:07]:
Oh man. Okay, so I would tell you the future of this firm in the next five years. I’m really big into AI and how it can benefit us. Not just making the shortcut, right? I’m not copying pasting from Chat GBT because the computer said so. What I look at is how can we help more people? Especially at that rate where most people don’t go get lawyers. That’s just the way the world is, right? Lawyers are expensive, lawyers are scary and they don’t want to spend the money to feel stupid sitting in your conference room. That’s just the reality of it. So what we want to do with people in the sports space is find some ways to lower that cost by increasing our efficiency, utilizing some AI and some automation systems that may not do the legal work, but they certainly will. When the second that we’re done with a contract and save it in a file, it automatically gets shot to a client and says, here’s your review. And we don’t have to necessarily do some of those little things. If you save yourself, say ten minutes a week on something like that now all of a sudden at the end of the year you have a whole lot more time. If we can do that with five or six different automations now we’re talking right now we can handle some more people. So that’s really what I think we’re looking at is how can we help more people and expand that client base and help those people that need help, right? Not selling them into it, but having them understand that there’s a way that they can get service that’s going to be just like everybody else gets at a lower price point that’s tailored exclusively for them. That would be kind of what the future holds. Dream retirement. I am not even thinking about retirement because if I go sit on a beach it’s great for about 25 minutes, and then my mind starts racing and I can’t stop thinking. Oftentimes it’s about the business side, but other times I’m just curious about things. So if I hit the lotto today, the firm wouldn’t shut down, but I certainly could see where I would be involved in sports at some level. Probably volunteering for some organizations. I’m big with the Sports Lawyers Association. I’m involved with them every day, so I’d want to remain involved there. But honestly, I find that that work life balance, it’s just balanced. It’s not a teeter totter for me. It’s a board on the ground because I hang out with those same people that I work with. I watched the football game last night with a guy who runs a big sports organization in Los Angeles, somebody from NBC Sports, somebody from another network. I mean, we’re dealing with a lot of these people where if I see somebody at the movie theater on a Saturday afternoon, I don’t want to be shying away from them thinking, oh, my gosh, it’s not a work day. I have fun talking about work. I enjoy that no matter who I’m with or where I am. So I don’t think retirement would be all that different outside of not sending out some invoices. I think that would be the big yeah.
Darren Wurz [00:31:56]:
Yeah. Well, it sounds like you absolutely love what you do, and that is fantastic. Finally, Brandon, would you please share with our audience how they can learn more about you or get in touch with you if they would like to?
Brandon Leopoldus [00:32:09]:
Certainly. LinkedIn is always a great place to connect with me. I really enjoy that platform. If you look up my name, I’m the only one in the world, so you’ll find me. Also, you can check out my website, has some more information about our firm and kind of what we do that’s Leopoldis.com. You can get close to spelling it and Google will eventually find it, send you my way. Otherwise, you know, reach out can I’m happy to answer questions for the lawyers that are listening. I do a lot of recorded CLE presentations on sports law, so you may find me at any number of platforms and see some sports law presentations there as well.
Darren Wurz [00:32:47]:
Good stuff. Well, thanks so much for joining us, Brandon. And I want to thank you, the listener, for joining us today on The Lawyer Millionaire. If you want to learn more, check out our website, thelawyermillionaire.com. There you can find free resources and webinars, grab a copy of my book, or even schedule a time to chat with me about your own financial goals and creating a plan to make them happen. If you enjoyed today’s episode, be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode packed with useful financial advice and expertise for law firm owners just like you. We also invite you to leave a review and share The Lawyer Millionaire with your friends and colleagues who might benefit from our discussions together, let’s empower more law firm owners to achieve even greater levels of success and freedom. Now take what you learned today and go make your dreams a reality. I’m your host, Darren Wurz, and I’ll see you next time.