Rebecca Kitson worked in restaurants while working her way through law school. Little did she realize a conversation with one of her co-workers would change the course of her life forever, setting her on the path to her life’s work as an immigration attorney and founder of one of the largest law firms in New Mexico.

During our conversation, she shares how she got started, how she survived the lean start-up years, the philosophy she believes to be the key to the firm’s success, and the work she had to do on herself to move her firm to the next level.

Tune in to find out…

●      The biggest hiring mistakes she made – and what she does to avoid them today

●      The number one challenge she faces in growing her firm, and how she’s dealt with it

●      How she avoided getting overwhelmed with work, even at the beginning

●      A strategy she used to establish goodwill with her target market early on

●      And more

Listen now…

Mentioned in this episode:

  • www.rkitsonlaw.com
  • https://www.facebook.com/rkitsonlaw 
  • https://www.linkedin.com/company/rebecca-kitson-law

Transcript

Davina Frederick: Hello and welcome to the Wealthy Woman Lawyer Podcast, formerly known as the Solo to CEO Podcast. It’s a new year and we have a new name, but our mission in 2020 is still very much the same. To provide thought-provoking, powerful and practical information to help you in creating your own wealth-generating law firm without overwork or overwhelm. I’m your host, Davina Frederick and I’m here today with Rebecca Kitson, founder and CEO of Rebecca Kitson Law. Rebecca Kitson Law focuses exclusively on serving immigration clients in Albuquerque, and soon, Santa Fe, New Mexico. Welcome, Rebecca. I’m delighted you’re here today on the Wealthy Woman Lawyer Podcast. 

Rebecca Kitson: It’s great to be here. Thanks.

Davina: So it’s been, Oh gosh, probably at least a year or so. Maybe, I know at least a year since you and I have spoken and so much has been happening in your firm since we talked last. I am so excited to hear all the changes that you’ve gone through In the last year or so. And but first, before we get into all of that, let’s tell everybody about your firm and what you guys do, or about who the clients you serve and how you serve them.

What Rebecca Kitson Law Brings to the Table

Rebecca: Okay, great. Well, we practice exclusively immigration law. We currently have four attorneys that work here. We’re all women. And then we have support staff. So we have a total staff right now of 16. And we serve the immigrant community as well as the business community, people who are hiring immigrants. So we practice really the spectrum of immigration law. So we do family-based immigration. You know, fiance visas or people who get married and those types of immigration situations. 

And then we also do employment-based immigration. So temporary and permanent visas in the employment context. We also do some work with the institutions in New Mexico such as the University of New Mexico. And then we also do non-detained removal defense. Our immigration court sits in El Paso, which is about four hours away. So we do do some work with the immigration court there. And then we also do appellate work throughout the administrative agencies as well as in the fifth and 10th circuit.

Davina: Oh, wow. So very comprehensive in the immigration field. So tell me, what was it that got, you know, what would, it sounds like you have a real calling to do immigration work. So what got you into that field of law? 

Rebecca: Interestingly enough, it was from working in the restaurant business for about 15 years. I worked with people from all over the world. And, you know, restaurants, a lot of times do employ immigrants, especially in the back of the house, in the kitchen and that sort of thing, and I really learned a lot of stories of people from a lot of different countries. Latin America in particular. When I was going through undergrad, the fact that I was studying Spanish allowed me to really work with my Spanish at work. 

It was really the only class that was directly applicable to anything I was doing at that time. And it was a dishwasher at a steak house that I worked at. They told me I should be an immigration lawyer and really planted that seed. And I remember joking with him and being like, Oh, my God law school, I don’t know how I could manage that. And he said, Well, you know, you have all the resources to be able to do so. And somebody needs to advocate for the immigrant community. And he’s like, I don’t have the capacity to do so, so somebody needs to. And so it was, you know, it was a really strong push.

Davina: Yeah, what a story. Wow. And so tell us, how long did you, so when you went to law school then, when you graduate from law school, did you immediately start your own practice than as an immigration lawyer or did you work someplace else?

Rebecca: I started right before I started law school, I started volunteering at Catholic charities and working with women, victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. And in the immigrant community with their temporary and permanent applications in a volunteer basis. And then I was clerking there and then I knew that I wanted to do immigration law. Like that was my solid reason for going to law school. So I really started even before and then continued to work at nonprofits throughout law school. 

And by the time I was about midway through law school, I started working at a private firm. And by the time I was in my last year, they had already offered me an associates position. So I moved into working in more of a traditional law firm setting. I had a boss who’s a man and the, you know, only shareholder in the firm. And then I worked there for actually six years before I made the leap to going solo. So it was a bit of a transition. And I definitely had a taste of working for somebody else for a significant period of time before I made the choice to go out on my own.

Davina: And what made you decide to go out on your own?

Rebecca: A number of different factors. Part of it was that the law firm was up for sale, and I didn’t want to get sold along with the computers. And the scenario of what was going on, I didn’t consider myself to be chattel, even if I was considered to be such by my previous employer. And so that was part of it. Part of it was that I was pregnant. I found out I was pregnant. And actually, when I quit, I was about four months pregnant. 

And I didn’t want to have to go through, you know, dealing with that complexity working for a firm that wasn’t respectful of that. And part of it was just a matter of desperation too, that I couldn’t stay where I was at, because I was losing the passion and the love for the work itself. Just given the, you know, the kind of the oppressive nature of where I was working. It was difficult, it was profit-driven and it was really disorganized. 

And so for all those reasons, you know, I think that there’s a lot of times we say I could do things better. And a lot of times you can. I think that the process of actually making that leap just makes you painfully aware of all the ways that you’re challenged to do things better. It’s a lot easier to say that you can versus actually do them better. But, you know, it’s just a whole convergence of factors that really told me it was time to make that leap.

Davina: Right. And so you did, and what was that like when you first started out?

The Leap of Faith

Rebecca: It, you know, it’s really scary. And then I’m the main breadwinner in my house. And like I said, I didn’t know, I knew that, you know, there was an impending event that was going to happen. I was going to have a child at some point and I was going to have to deal with that. No plan for really how I was going to manage. I did start my firm with another attorney. Sometimes when you jump off a cliff, it’s nice to hold someone else’s hand. 

That relationship ultimately didn’t work out. We went our separate ways. But it was enough to at least get started. It was just the two of us and a, you know, small office space. Really started off very lean. And, to my surprise, you know, and gratitude, we had a number of clients that followed us over as well. In immigration law, a lot of times we work with flat fees, which can be challenging. And of course, the bar rules and ethics in regards to flat fees vary from state to state. But my prior employer would tend to deplete the flat fees upon receipt. And so a lot of the clients that came over with me had very little left. 

We made the choice, we called them karmic cases, we made the choice to take whatever they had. Whatever they are given and to just open those cases and move forward regardless of how much funding they had. So it was a bit of a lean time, but it also established us within the immigrant community as holding the importance of their cases above anything else. And so it was a really good foundation to start on, even though it was a very lean first year.

Davina: Right, right. Yeah, that was a brave choice to do, especially knowing that you were, you know, starting a family and so much was, you know, weighing on you, but it gave you a good foundation It sounds like,  of clients.

Rebecca: Yeah and I think that, you know, if you really develop that relationship with whatever community that’s built on trust, you know,  it’s a better inspiration for future referrals, I think, than almost anything else. So we did start getting paid work pretty quickly throughout that first year too. It just takes time.

Davina: Right, right. And so what was growth like for you? How long, you said you have for attorneys. How long did it take you before you started hiring other attorneys to work for you?

Rebecca: Well, the attorney growth has been somewhat, been somewhat slow. We’re a little bit more of a paralegal-heavy firm. And I’ve also really strongly believed in having a good administrative staff. I know that my superpower is not necessarily accounting for the behind the scenes type of work. I was lucky enough to have a couple of people eventually follow me from the previous firm. People I’ve worked with before. So my first couple of hires were a receptionist and a part-time office manager. 

And he had been a previous office manager at my other firm, and he had left there as well. But he, you know, he started working with us pretty quickly. I knew that in order to be able to do the legal work that I needed to pass on some of that administrative stuff right away. It’s really easy to get overwhelmed with all of it. And all of a sudden it’s all in your, you know, in your wheelhouse. It’s pretty intense. Especially when it’s not things that we’ve necessarily been trained for, or we’re not, you know, it’s not, it doesn’t spark joy for us either. 

Davina: Yeah. Yeah. It’s interesting to me. Yeah. It’s interesting to me that you fairly immediately brought on staff, especially given, you know, you’re talking about being a lean operation at the beginning. So give me, kind of give me an idea of timeline, like how soon were you able to hire your first staff? 

Because I think you’re going to have a lot of people who are going to listen to this and go, Okay, well, let me do the math here. Because I think it’s one of the things that a lot of people struggle with when they’re first, a lot of solo attorney struggle with when they’re starting out is Oh, gosh, even just hiring staff is scary if they’re bootstrapping, right, if they don’t have capital.

Rebecca: Right, and I think, you know, it always takes, you always have to have a little bit of an optimistic view of growth. And for myself, I knew that I wanted to, I didn’t want to be a true solo practitioner. I knew that I wanted to have a firm and that I wanted to have people supporting me. That’s what I had been used to in my previous firm. And as long as I knew that the new cases were coming in and that we could see a growth clip that we would be able to do that. That’s part of the reason they took on my office manager first on a part-time basis. 

I was lucky that I was able to do that. In general, I prefer to hire people full-time because I think there’s a greater level of commitment when people work for you full-time versus part-time positions. But they can be really helpful. Or even, I mean, now looking back, you know, hiring a virtual assistant or something might have been the edge that we needed. I brought on the part-time office manager. I think was my first hire and one paralegal right away. And we brought on a receptionist more or less at the same time. So within that first year, we brought on three people, one part-time to full-time. 

And I, you know, again with immigration law and the way that it’s practiced, there really is a lot of clerical work and supportive work that needs to be done. From the beginning, I’ve always thought that if you want to grow, you really have to be able to hire staff to take away some of the other things that you do. There’s a limited amount of time in every single day. And you impede your own growth if you get in your own way. If, you know, if you’re having to respond to every single email, if you’re having to answer your own phones, and if you don’t answer your phone consistently, you know, then you’re going to lose business. 

And so it’s kind of, it’s a bit of a struggle, and especially at that first growth point, it can be really frightening because you’re like, I’m gonna have to pay this person. And so you have to look at your numbers, I think and really see whether or not the growth is there. You saw that our trust account was already starting to build up. And it was a matter of being able to complete the work to access those funds in an ethical way. And so you need, like I needed help to be able to grow, basically.

Davina: Right, right. It’s a leap of faith, really, you know?

Rebecca: It is. It’s part of being an entrepreneur. There is, there are some white-knuckled moments for sure. And, you know, again, it’s terrifying to think that you would have to let somebody go, or that maybe it wasn’t the right choice. But in the end, you know, I mean, even if you walk it through the worst-case scenario, you won’t know whether or not somebody will be able to help you grow until you actually go there. And so, you know, it again, if you can use all different formation, but there is a certain element of leap of faith for sure.

Davina: Right, right. Yeah. And I love that attitude. That’s why I really wanted to discuss that because I think that is one of the biggest challenges for so many people is sort of letting that fear overwhelm them. And, you know, everybody has those fears. Everybody has those fears and those thoughts, but the difference is saying, okay, yes, I have that fear but then I also have, you know, the confidence or the faith or, you know, that I can do this work and I can make this money and I’ll be able to afford these people. And worst-case scenario, if I can’t then, you know, hey, you know, then this doesn’t work, you know, as a business.

Rebecca: Yeah and there’s always mistakes that are going to be made. I’ve made a long list that I’m extremely aware of. All of the mistakes that I’ve made along the way, and a lot of them, you know, still have to do with staff. But in the end, it’s, I think that, you know, really starting off by making sure that you know how you want things to be done. 

And writing them down from the very beginning, and having written processes for things because they’re, every piece of what you do, you know, it needs to be analyzed at some point in the future as whether or not that’s a task that you need to be doing or whether or not there’s somebody else that can do that for you. Because that’s how you, you know, you make more income, you’re able to be more effective, and you can release and delegate in a way that’s effective to other people. It’s a challenge, and not everybody is going to be a perfect fit either. But if you know exactly what you want them to do that helps.

Davina: Right, right. So let’s talk about some of your mistakes. You knew I was gonna ask, so

Educative Mistakes Rebecca Made In Her Career

Rebecca: My laundry list. Absolutely.

Davina: So what do you think are some of the biggest mistakes? Or the ones that you look back and go dang it. Or if I had a chance to do over I would, you know, I would have maybe done this, whatever.

Rebecca: I think some of my biggest challenges have been with hiring, like I said. In particular with attorneys, you know, that for, you have to have a good fit for people on multiple different levels. And I think that I probably have a track record of, prior to me getting married, of all the people in my life that I brought into my life for their potential versus the reality of who they are. And you know, a lot of times if you see something in somebody, the person that they could become, it’s probably not the best idea to hire somebody for something that is not there yet. 

I think it’s good to know that people can grow into things, but you have to look at what your needs are right now. And so, I have struggled with finding the right fit with attorneys working with me, because I also make assumptions that other people are like me. And that’s not necessarily the case. We’re all really different. And, you know, the expectations for any person on your staff need to be very clear from the beginning. And so I think that, you know, I would hire people that would have the resume or have the paper version of what you need, you know, they spoke Spanish, you know, they have a license to practice law, a law school, you know. 

The, you know, overall things are like they seem like a nice person but there’s a book called Who, the efficacy methods for hiring and they talk about the fact that, you know, it’s like we’re the change professionals but as soon as you go in to higher, all of a sudden it becomes Voodoo hiring. And it’s like tea leaves. You know, you go from being this person that’s like carefully analyzing statute and going through these things and writing appeals and then you go to hire somebody, you’re like, I don’t know. They seem cool. 

And then you hire somebody based on that, which is obviously not factually based, or, you know, really going to lead you down, you might be lucky, but it doesn’t give you enough information to effectively see whether or not somebody is a good fit for you. And then, you know, with attorneys, it’s a huge thing for their career. I’m in a very small legal community. You know, somebody comes and works with me and then doesn’t work with me, you know, either based on them or myself. 

It’s going to be we’re all in the same, swimming in the same pool. So, you know, there’s huge impacts to people’s lives based on right and wrong decisions. That’s something I really struggled with. I’m really glad to say I finally have, you know, I think the team of the four of us that are really great and really strong and my most senior associate and I are actually in partnership negotiations. So I finally got to the point where I’m considering going to the altar again.

Davina: Congratulations.

Rebecca: It’s scary. But again, it’s another leap of faith and it’s the development of an ongoing relationship. And, you know, I guess hope springs eternal with everything. So, but yeah, I mean, just really defining what I want out of people and then being very, very clear about expectations from the get-go. You know, I’m not when you work professionally with somebody, it’s not necessarily about friendship. 

Friendship is part of it, but it’s also you just need to be really clear about the hours that you expect out of somebody, the level of work that you expect out of them, you know, all of that kind of thing. Have everything really on the table so that everybody knows what you’re talking about.

Davina: Have you used any, do you use any personality assessment tools like Kolbe or Disc or anything like that when you’re hiring? Have you done that?

Rebecca: I have not. Although it’s something that I have considered and I’ve recently done a little bit of research on it to consider some of that additional information because more information when you’re hiring somebody is always a good thing. I

Davina; Yeah. I really liked the Kolby analysis with a K. KOLBE KOLBE.com. Might want to check them out. Just put them in, your you know, make a note of that next time around and check that out. It’s, and you might even have your current team do it. It’s really fascinating because they give you a little graph and they tell, and you can tell from the graph what you are, what you’re strong in and what you’re weak in and what they’re strong and what they’re weak in. And it’s just a really, you know, gives you a really simple little sort of number graph and it will be fascinating because everybody, you know, you’re always going to go What? I wouldn’t think that.

Rebecca: Right, and they can be really accurate from what I’ve heard. So

Davina: Yeah, and then you can see where if you have hired for your strengths and if you’ve hired people who match you, or if you’ve hired for your weaknesses, you know, and if you’ve hired to match what position requires, right? So if the position requires somebody who is really an implementer, somebody who really follows through on those details and you, have you hired that? 

Or if you hired somebody maybe who’s a big idea person because you like their personality? And then maybe they’re not such a good fit for that position that really needs somebody who’s a detail person, right? So it’s, it’s really an interesting personality test. It’s fun. And it’s fun to do, you know? You’re like that. You’re a geek like me and you love those kinds of things.

Know Who You Hire

Rebecca: Yes. Absolutely. And I think you really need to know yourself too. And you have to take a really hard look at yourself and be like, what am I good at? What am I not good at? What I want to do and what I do not want to do. You know, it’s like, increasingly within my firm, I’ve moved away from doing, you know,  straightforward legal work. I don’t have a case list anymore. I just do consultations and I run the firm. 

And that’s really where I wanted to take my career. At one point I decided that that’s what I wanted to do. You know, and I do some work as well when needed in different aspects, but it’s like if you, you have to know where you want to go before you even start, you know, the process. And that can change, but we always have to be moving towards something You know, and that I think also really helps. And if you know all of that information, it should help inform your hires in that way as well. 

And you know, it’s more information that was a good thing. And even something as simple as calling references, which I’m fascinated that, like I didn’t call references all the time before, or I would assume because it was written down that it was going to be positive. And I’ve kind of been blown away by calling references and some of the things you hear. If it’s anything short of glowing, you know, just don’t go there. 

Davina: Wow, that’s interesting. Because you think that people give you, would only give you glowing references for you to call.

Rebecca: True. And I’ve been put down as a reference before when I was like really? You know. You should have asked me first.

Davina: You’re like shocked. Wow, that’s kind of amazing. That’s interesting. And good little tip there for people listening. You know, make sure that if you’re going to put down a reference but down the glowing ones.

Rebecca: Exactly. And you can even call the person and say, you know, what would you say about me if somebody were to call for the reference? I think it’s important to know that, you know, before you do because it’s, obviously, it’s a huge part of the, you know, the hiring process.

Davina: Right. Right. Interesting. Interesting. And you have a particular challenge in your neck of the woods with hiring. You and I’ve talked about this before. It was one of the challenges. One of the big challenges you have with expanding your firm in hiring attorneys is because the town you’re in and everything is kind of a small pool for such a specialized, for your specialized needs in hiring attorneys, right?

Rebecca: Yeah, it’s a particular taste to live in New Mexico. We have one law school in the whole state. And there’s only 2 million people here in the whole large geographic region. And so there’s a really, you know, limited number of people. We require Spanish language fluency to be able to work at our firm because we have such a large Spanish speaking client base. And so you know, it really narrows, you’re ready to get it narrowed down to a very small percentage of people.

Davina: And you think that would pass for immigration work. Yeah. You can’t come in going. Well, you know, I really love family law, and, you know, immigration’s okay.

Rebecca: Not for the faint of heart. That is for sure.

Davina: Yeah. Yeah. And especially in the current climate, when it’s such a challenge, you know?

Rebecca: I had one of my friends described it as it’s practicing immigration law in the current climate is sort of like being in a small room and having somebody throw ninja stars. It really feels like there’s stuff coming out of left field. And, you know, that, of course, plays into everything that you do too. Those outer environmental factors of whatever’s going on with the law can really affect, you know, your business plans as well.

Davina: Yeah. Oh, yeah, for sure. For sure. I mean, I imagined that it, you know, and dealing with what your clients are going through, maybe going through and a lot of cases, right? Not all cases, because, you know, obviously, there’s a variety of immigration type cases, right? But in some of the cases, you may be dealing with some clients with some really emotional and difficult issues. And I’m sure that presents its own challenge in the nature of your practice as well.

Rebecca: Yeah, it’s something that we actually do when we do our reviews and development meetings with our, with the staff, which I do every six months. And It’s, you know whether or not you’re able to handle difficult subject matter and manage it emotionally. Obviously, they’re, you know, we try to provide as much support as an employer and really like, watch out for people for secondary trauma and for, you know, what type of support that people need in doing this type of work. And I imagine it is the same way for folks who work in other emotionally difficult areas of the law. 

But it’s part of the work. And so that’s also one of those competencies that we need to look out for. I think that even if you’re dealing with, like, you know, we represent people who are highly-skilled workers, physicians, architects, you know, what have you. But if they’re from, particular countries are arguably from anywhere in the current environment, they say, I think they all share the same trepidation with the process, fear of outcomes that are, you know, that would force them to go home in different layers. 

So it’s, no matter whether or not we’re dealing with, you know, asylum seeker from a third world country, or somebody who’s highly-skilled, there’s a lot of commonality across those client bases just with the fear that they carry and the distress that they bring to the process.

Davina: Right. Right. Which, yeah, which affects, you know, obviously, the whole firm, the worker, you know, the people working in the firm, the lawyers, the staff, you know? Yeah. Which figures into your hiring process. You know, so your analysis when you’re hiring people, you have to take that into account as well. Yeah. 

So let’s talk about some of the, kind of some of the business changes beyond the hiring that you’ve done as well. I know that you’ve been doing more sort of working on systems and really working on the growth of your firm and going through that process as well, and looking at, you know, looking at it more strategically over the last year or so. Year and a half, two years. And tell me about that.

Rebecca: Well, I think that, you know, when things, when you grow, dealing with the complexity and trying to keep the center is something that is a real challenge. And I’ve seen it in other firms as well, where, if you, you know, you have to have growth at a pace that you can keep up with. I had opportunities to grow more quickly than I was ready to. 

And so there’s times where it’s a good thing not to grow. I think, you know, you have to make the choice and be conscious about it. I always wanted to have another branch office and so that’s something that we’re currently in the process of establishing in Santa Fe. Right now we’re hoping to have a full opening, grand opening of the branch office right about the first of the year.

Davina: Oh, wow, that’s exciting.

Rebecca: It’s really exciting. And it’s, you know, it’s another leap of faith. But especially given how widely spread out people are and clients are across the state of New Mexico providing a branch office that’s an hour north. Really, it will be supportive of that northern part of New Mexico, which is really underserved for legal support in so many different ways, probably for most professional services, but in immigration law in particular. So that’s the market that we’re looking to reach. That northern section of the state in particular. 

Also, of course, with the, you know, increased number of people and the hires to be able to move forward with that, you know, it’s strange the processes that you have in place. Like, I feel like every time I have, you know, procedures and protocols for stuff and then, you have to go back and revisit it again. And that’s always a challenge and a strain on time because it never feels like you have the amount of time that you need to work on the business instead of in the business. 

And, you know, it seems like, in some ways, it’s hard not to feel like well, I could be doing a consultation and bringing in new funds for the firm. Or I could be writing a protocol on, you know, on Freedom of Information Act, or how to use our FedEx or whatever. And. Some of those things I can delegate but some of them, they come back to me because I know I need to write them. I want things to be done my way. And, you know, and have something to refer back to because also expecting people to know the way that you want something to be done. But can you just read my brain?

Davina: If only. If only. The technology is coming. As soon as we get 5g, the technologie’s coming.

Rebecca: And it’s kind of scary, actually. And you’re like, Oh, just as long as I can filter.

Davina: We can connect our tinfoil hats to protect ourselves from 5g.

Rebecca: But otherwise the manual, you know, going back to that and really having procedures for everything, because to recreate things, to recreate the same client experience no matter who they’re dealing within the firm, and for me to be able to tell a client that I’m opening up a case where, you know, this is what’s going to happen. 

And this is the way you’re going to be treated. And, you know, and all of that. Like I want that to be fulfilled. It’s not just bringing the person in the door and being able to give them a good experience throughout the process. So that is every, I think every bit of growth strains those and you have to go back and do the work to really make sure that the procedures are in place. Things can get out of control rather fast.

Davina: So tell us what you, for those who are on the solo to CEO journey behind you, coming up behind you, what kind of advice would you have for them?

Always Remember Why You’re Doing What You’re Doing

Rebecca: Well, I think that, you know, one of the most important things to start with, even when you’re doing it is really, I know that when I made the leap and opened up my own firm, you know, the reason I was doing it was because I was reaching for the reason that I had already gone on the journey. I was losing my passion. I, you know, I had a night, right before I quit, where I was like, driving home and I picked up some to-go food at a restaurant and I was gazing at the bartender and wishing to God that I could be him. 

Again, like back where I was. And I was like, wait a minute, like, what am I doing here? That’s crazy. Not that bartending is bad, but it’s like I’ve gone on this journey for what I feel like it’s a very strong purpose. And if that’s slipping, then why am I doing this at all? So I think that, you know, wrapping your head around your why, and really being able to know, you know what, why you’re doing this. 

It should be, if you’re doing it for the what, for the, you know, for the money or, you know, for whatever other reason that’s not based in the inspiration and the reason why you’re doing it, you can lose your way rather quickly. If you want to be able to have a place that’s wonderful to work and it’s different and all the reasons that you walked away from, you know, the security of working for somebody else, that steady paycheck, whatever, and you’re really going to make that leap of faith, then remember why. 

And being able to recreate that culture and come back to that will inspire the people around you to pull with you. So that it’s, because you can always, you know, tell people that they need to get there on time or, you know, not spend the day on Facebook or whatever. But in the end, I think that everyone around you, as well as yourself, will feel compelled to build, you know, move forward with the mission of the firm. If you know what that is, and remind yourself of that from the very beginning,

Davina: Right, right. And even, and hiring based on that. You know, hiring people who are committed to the why. You know, and that’s really the key. If you know what your mission is, and your core values are, and then you’re hiring people who share those core values.

Rebecca: That’s how you build it. I mean, one of my things was, is I’m like, I don’t do drama. I like, I dealt with a firm where there was a lot of, you know, back and forth, people were concerned about looking out for number one or whatever. And I was just like, I’m not going to do that. And normally when we hire people, I’m like, Look, if you want this to be a good environment, you want this to be the job that you’re glad to go to that you’re excited on Sunday night to show up on Monday morning, then we all create that environment together. 

And it’s not something that is given to you or whatever. But if, you know, if I feel like there’s dissension or weirdness being sewed, that’s something that I’ll confront right away. Because it’s really, it’s all of us together that make it a good place to work.

Davina: Yeah. You mentioned the book Who. There’s another theme, when you were talking about drama, there’s another book, client of another client of mine and I were discussing, we’re talking about Stop Workplace Drama is the name of it. Stop Workplace Drama. So you might want to check that out.

Rebecca: Absolutely. Because I do. I stomp it out. I’m like no drama. I can’t handle it.

Davina: I thought that was a great title. I was like, Man, I wish I’d written that book. Stop Workplace Drama. What a great title.

Rebecca: Very clear. Very straightforward. Yeah, I mean, I always joke that we’ve got enough to battle in the government without, you know, without us cannibalizing ourselves. So it has to be a united front. 

Davina: Exactly, exactly. So, well that is all just really exciting and I’m so glad that you shared today and lots of great advice and insight into firm growth. And I can’t wait to just see, you know, how this goes for you and exciting news about the Santa Fe office and all of your growth. 16 employees now. Tell us how we can find out more about you on the internet.

Rebecca: Well, we have, we do have a Facebook page that we update with information from time to time. And we have a website that is www.rkitsonlaw.com. That’s RKITS as in Sam ONLAW dot com.

Davina; Great. Terrific. Well I really, Rebecca I really appreciate you being here today. I’ve enjoyed it so much. And, as always, it’s terrific to talk with you and hear all about what’s happening in the world of immigration out in New Mexico. So thanks for being here.

Rebecca: Absolutely. It’s my pleasure. And I hope that everybody is inspired to make that leap of faith.