In this episode of The AdCast, personal injury attorney Belashia Wallace of The Wallace Law Firm in Texas sits down with Eric Elliott to talk about family, friendship, leadership, what it means for her to get up every day and do what she does.
I know this is really where my heart belongs, and I really love advocating for my clients. That’s where I am today.
Living Out Your Purpose
Belashia feels as though if she is not getting up every morning taking the action to help her clients, better someone’s life, that she is not living out her purpose.
“Someone could be in pain, hurting, dealing with a horrible situation. That’s contingent upon my movement. That’s contingent about my action. That’s contingent upon my advocacy for them.”
She says she has always had this drive, even in law school, applying the mentality to daily actions, such as feeding a homeless person on the street on her way to class, and then to her practice.
“I knew, but if I slept a little later, that person just might not eat. Both the same context, but, more so in a professional field where I know that if I’m not getting up every day, somebody else could be hurting. And that could be based upon me moving, based upon me being obedient and living out my purpose.”
Rare in the Field
As a Black woman practicing law, she is a rarity in her field.
Owning her own practice? Even rarer.
She did not get to where she is by being ordinary, that’s just not how rarities happen.
“In my field, I feel as though I have to almost set the bar, work harder than the next person, do things a little differently,” she says.
She takes a different approach to her field, a hands-on approach in all of her cases. It is important to Belashia to have relationships with her clients. She wants the people she is fighting for to know her, feel comfortable and confident with her. If they need her 24/7, Belashia is just a phone call away.
This approach is more empathetic than a normal approach, but Belashia wouldn’t have it any other way.
Another “rare” approach? Belashia does not settle.
She swears she loves going to trial. In fact, that’s one of her thrills of being an attorney.
“I put on a show for all of my cases. It’s not theatrical or fake in any way, but it really is something that I know people are surprised to see. So I actually love it. I’m used to it, but it’s this part of the whole concept of being a young, Black female in the field of personal injury.”
Advice for Young Women Aspiring to Be Lawyers
“I think that it’s a lack of opportunity versus a lack of will or desire,” she says.
But that should not discourage young women from accomplishing the “impossible.”
“I would tell them to go after everything that they have a vision for,” Belashia says. “Whatever it is that God has placed as a vision for you, that you see, don’t feel as though it’s too far fetched because you’ve never seen anyone else do it.”
Belashia says that was the case for her, not seeing anyone else do what she does now. Instead of letting that fact intimidate her, she used it to fuel her.
If you have an idea, it’s possible. Just because it hasn’t happened, does not mean it won’t, it means you will be the first, like Belashia may just have been.
Advice for a Young, Black Female Attorney
“I would say to any young, Black females, too, that’s a path. If you don’t already see a path and just lead the way for others to follow behind you. Teaching others so that you’re not, my goal was never to be the only one ever in the world. What I’ve passed and my time has gone, I don’t want to be the last young Black female personal injury trial attorney.”
Getting all the ‘real-life’ knowledge and experience you can in a male-driven industry is important as your education. Belashia recalls times she would go and sit in on cases led by a Black female attorney, being asked why she was there.
“And I remember a time being in the back of the courtroom where you deal with again, older white male attorneys, and here comes a black female who walks into the courtroom. And I see them next to each other, snickering like, look at her. She doesn’t know what she’s doing and they’re laughing,” she says.
Belashia encourages young women to reach out and ask for advice and wisdom. She believes it is important to do so, especially in the competitive field of personal injury law.
Taking On The World Amid Racial Injustice
“I feel as though not necessarily that I may have more to prove, but that I’m also going to have more to learn,” says Belashia.
With everything happening in the world right now, bridging the cultural gap is always on top of Belashia’s mind.
“I feel like [it] is a part of us not having a sit down relationship to understand one another,” she says.
The comments that have been directed at her and her past experiences fuel her rather than weigh her down.
Having the open conversation on race is important and letting people know about the “lifetime of dealing with trauma, racism” and people automatically categorizing based on skin color is a motivating factor when it comes to showing the world what she is made of.
“We’ve been dealing with this as childhood through adulthood. So when we see things like this happen, whether there is someone getting murdered or someone getting beaten, unjustifiably it serves up those same emotions that we’ve always had, but then also creates a feeling that almost, like, indescribable. But if we get to a point where we can have an understanding of one another more so for them to see the things that we go through on a day to day basis, I think it’ll help bring clarity to some of the things that have been shown in the media.”
Finding Her Center
“First, I have to pray. With me, I think as being a mother now with a son, a black son, it’s different than it would have been five years ago when I was just a Black female,” Belashia says.
She says that now that she is a mother, she looks at the world with a different light. The importance of educating her son about the world even at a young age is important to her.
So, when faced with anxiety or uncertainty, she finds her peace through prayer reflection, sitting back, and finding a solution through her faith.
Belashia categorizes herself as someone who does not sit back and wait for a solution. She dives in and thinks about what steps she can take, whether that be from her title, background, experiences, to help out, especially in her community.
“I feel like that’s the approach that we all kind of need to take in the midst of all of the hurt and the pain. There has to be a solution somewhere in there for each one of us,” she tells Eric.
What Makes The Wallace Law Firm Stand Out?
Being in Houst0n, Texas, or any market, it is very important to have your law firm stand out.
The market is saturated with law firms. Belashia says it is important to make sure your firm is standing out as your own.
“…it’s not about being competitive or anything like that. It’s really about being yourself. I feel like every attorney should have something that they do. And especially in a way I’m not perfect. No attorney is perfect, but every attorney should be able to say that there’s a quality about them that should draw others to them.”
For Belashia and The Wallace Law Firm, she says her clients have one-on-one attention and access to her, 24/7. Again, sticking to the firm belief that she wants to have relationships with her clients, she wants the clients to feel as though they can reach out to her beyond the typical works out of 9 to 5.
Belashia says her accessibility is important to her and “…a challenge when it comes to being an entrepreneur, but it’s one that I would gladly accept because I want to always be there for my clients whenever they’re in need.”
Marketing a Law Firm
For Belashia and her clients, she says her website and social media have helped market her law firm the best.
She says it is easy to access and easy to share. Having your firm’s information at the fingertips of someone who is looking for your services is a game-changer, especially when it comes to potential clients wanting to contact you.
“…having that option for them to reach you multiple ways or send messages to you multiple ways has been beneficial, specifically with my firm in regards to marketing.
While marketing is great, who your firm is and their success rate and approach to cases is just as important.
People will leave reviews or tell their friends about their experience with the firm.
Setting a Marketing Budget for Your Law Firm
Belashia stresses the importance of having a marketing budget because, while word of mouth is fantastic, it won’t boost your goals above and beyond.
Anyone can get cases, and an attorney should be in the position to accept or deny that case.
“Doing marketing gives you options versus feeling like you have to take the case because you need the money versus you just really wanting to work on the case because you like what you see,” she says.
Additionally, your strategy is just as important. Where you are advertising, making sure that money is being properly spent, and getting valuable cases, is just as important.
Social Media and Law
“I think it’s a great source for connections and relationships to be built,” Belashia says. “It’s excellent for marketing, free marketing for any business.”
While Belashia boasts about the perks of social media, she also warns that you must be careful with what you are posting to social media.
“I always feel as though once something is out it’s out. And even though you may think you deleted it it’s a little trail somewhere roaming around on the internet of what you did. So it’s something to be very careful about, but it’s something that could be very rewarding if it’s utilized properly.”
Television and Law Firm Marketing
When it comes to advertising on television, Belashia says it is a wonderful tool, but to choose wisely.
Again, strategy is important with all forms of advertising, including television. Making sure your ad is showing at times that people are watching is key, but also expensive. Niche marketing is key with television advertising.
Billboard Advertising for Law Firms
“I love the billboards!” Belashia exclaims.
She even has one herself.
While it works for her, it works for those markets, but that it would not work for everyone, their business, and their end goal.
Radio Advertising food Law Firms
Content is key with radio advertising and law firms, according to Belashia.
A catchy slogan or jingle is good, as “cheesy it is, [ it is ] memorable to be honest.”
“As long as your approach on cases and the way that you have on your case is not cheesy. I can appreciate it. I can respect it. So I think it can be effective if it’s done on a regular and consistent basis.”
Google Ads for a Practice
Belashia likes Google Ads but does admit they can be pricey.
Like all forms, making sure you have the right strategy and knowledge behind Google Ads is key.
Finding the niche audience and who you want to target is going to help you see results from Google Ads.