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Top Legal Innovations 2021: Mutrux Firm Injury Lawyers

Tyson Mutrux

Tyson Mutrux

Maximum Lawyer

About four years ago, Ryan McKeen, a personal injury attorney, had the feeling, which he described as common among counselors with small law firms, that “the whole world is mad at you.”

He went for a walk one evening from his home in Hartford, Conn., and listened to an episode of a relatively new podcast, Maximum Lawyer, on which the hosts and a guest happened to be discussing his situation: an attorney who is working too much and making too little.

“The guest said the only way to escape this thing that I was feeling … was to leverage the time and talent of others, and that clicked for me and made me realize that I am trying to do way too much without help,” recalled McKeen.

The podcast, which launched in 2016, has since not only developed a regular audience but also led to a professional membership group with more than 150 members; a Facebook group with more than 5,000 members; and an annual conference which took place in October in St. Charles and had more than 250 attendees despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I truly believe that we are helping the profession because we are providing them [access] to things that they didn’t have before. We didn’t learn any of this stuff in law school,” said Tyson Mutrux, a personal injury attorney who lives in Columbia and hosts the podcast with Jim Hacking, who was an adjunct professor when Mutrux attended Saint Louis University School of Law.

After Mutrux graduated in 2010, he and Hacking, an immigration attorney, continued to meet and discuss law and eventually decided to start recording their conversations. They talked about branding, recording web videos and the importance of finding a specialty.

“It’s allowing them to scale their businesses and really it’s been transformational for hundreds, if not thousands, of people at this point, so that’s pretty cool to watch,” said Mutrux, who before becoming an attorney served as a medic in the U.S. Army.

Through the Maximum Lawyer community, Mutrux often encounters attorneys practicing what he describes as “threshold law,” meaning they take whatever business comes through the door, which he sees as the wrong approach.

For example, an attorney may want to focus on criminal defense but also often agree to work on wills or divorces.

“When they don’t niche down, it actually costs them more money because no one knows how to refer a case to them because they don’t know what they do,” said Mutrux, who has offices in Columbia and St. Louis.

He also meets lawyers who haven’t hired staff because they worry they can’t afford it.

“They are viewing [employees] as a cost as opposed to an investment. Each person you hire is an investment, and you have to treat them like an investment,” said Mutrux. “It’s really to remove things from your plate because in reality, an attorney should only be doing things they are really good at.”

One of those people who was reluctant to hire someone was McKeen, the Connecticut attorney. When he first listened to the podcast, he paid one employee for nine hours each week. He now has 17 full-time employees.

He credits that growth in part to what he learned from the Maximum Lawyer community.

“Across the country, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who has given back more to the profession than Tyson,” McKeen said.

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