By Jerri Stroud, BBB Editor
Stephen Schultz went to law school after he was badly injured in an automobile accident. He’d had to fight insurance companies and others to get the help he needed, and he often felt like he was in the dark as he waited for answers. The experience has shaped his career and was a key motivator when he formed a new law firm five years ago with Josh Myers.
“A lot of personal injury lawyers get a bad rap,” Schultz said. “We treat clients differently because of my experience.”
The company’s mission reflects that intent: “Injury lawyers putting you first.” Schultz & Myers does workman’s compensation cases as well as accidents.
Schultz believes in hiring carefully – and slowly – to make sure a new employee is a good fit with the firm’s culture. He looks for people with great communications skills who can foster relationships with clients.
“From the start, I ingrain in them that I know what’s involved in being in wrecks,” he said. Clients often are hurting and looking for answers, and they need to be able to trust the firm. Schultz & Myers has written two books on the facts and strategies involved in cases – one each for injury cases and workman’s compensation cases – that are available to clients without charge.
Schultz & Myers has biweekly case meetings for staff to discuss what’s going on and to train employees in Schultz’s high-touch philosophy. “If you foster a business that is not constantly ratcheting out people, they’re vested in the success of the practice,” Schultz said.
The firm has processes to make sure that clients are contacted at least once a month for status updates on their cases, even when some cases can take years to settle. The partners give clients their cell phone numbers so they can be reached any time. Clients who call, text or email the firm get an answer within 24 hours, even on weekends.
Schultz impresses on paralegals and other employees that his name is on everything that goes out from the firm, and he expects it to be accurate and legally correct.
“Everything that goes out the door is my work, and my life is on the line,” he said.
Schultz said he is gratified that he gets a lot of referral business. The firm has a top peer review rating with Martindale-Hubbell, a legal industry directory and rating service.
“It’s equally important for me [to be BBB Accredited] so that potential clients can go to BBB as a source,” Schultz said. “If I work with people, I still go to BBB and see if they’re listed.”
Schultz & Myers has been involved with several charities, including collecting food for Operation Food Search, toys for Santa’s Helpers and supporting fundraisers for a number of other charities. It also supported a Little League team in 2014.
Profiles of BBB Accredited Businesses and BBB Accredited Charities are created as part of BBB’s TORCH Award process and are not intended as an endorsement. To register for this year’s TORCH Awards luncheon on Nov. 13, go to http://www.bbb.org/stlouis/events.