No! He hasn’t been here for 111 years! But in his 29-year history with the company, Owner, Publisher and President of The National List of Attorneys Jeffrey Zuck has seen only positive changes. “Through ups and downs in the economy and changes to collections laws, the number of claims registered to our law firm members has increased exponentially. We’ve gone from millions of dollars to hundreds of billions of dollars in claims annually,” Zuck says. “We have at least one law firm in Mississippi, Dabney & Dabney, that has been a member of NL since our beginning in 1900. We have maintained a 90 percent attorney retention rate year after year.”
How is that possible?
“We have very strong convictions about how we service our customers,” Zuck says. “We look at it as a constant striving to keep an open mind about how we can offer more and better services. We don’t want to keep doing everything the same way. We want to constantly improve.”
Some of the improvements made during Zuck’s 29 years include:
- Increasing our insurance coverage from a $1 million policy to $3.5 million.
- Raising the bar for membership: today potential law firm members are more carefully screened to ensure they have financial stability, experience in contingency fee collection work and an understanding of the industry norm.
- Taking pride not in having the largest number of members, but in being the best at matching the right attorneys with the right firms, and managing and monitoring strong, ongoing relationships.
Zuck bought the company when he was just 25. The previous owner, Henry Weber, had worked here for 35 years. Randy Nicola joined Zuck in 1985, 26 years ago, and today he is the VP of the company, responsible for all operations and 10 staff in the North Dakota Office. Zuck points out, “When we hire people, we want them to feel like The National List is a close second to their friends and family, and we walk that walk. We all want our customers to feel the same way about their relationship with us.”
The National List has made history in other ways.
“We can’t prove it, but we’re pretty sure we’re the 2nd oldest attorney list in the Country. In 1900 when the company was founded, people had started doing business in faraway places. That necessitated a service like ours,” Zuck says. “We were also the first to offer our directory and other services on a floppy disc, then a CD and then online. Now collection agencies, lawyers and forwarders have access to a whole suite of compatible applications that automate the entire process. We can service files from anywhere in the world, keep the lines of communication open and offer more value to our customers than they can get from anyone else.”
Beverly Unrath, Director of Business Development, says, “Jeffrey Zuck has always embraced technology, and that is one reason for our success. In 2001, he co-founded YouveGotClaims, the most popular data transfer and data management system in the legal collections environment today.”
In the past 29 years, the NL has also expanded its industry coverage. From serving only the commercial collection industry, we expanded into retail collections (15 years ago), and then into subrogation (5 years ago). “As a result of these expansions and the information we gather on our law firm members annually, we’re able to make quality, industry-specific recommendations to our clients. A significant amount of this information is available on our website. It includes a detailed profile with firm size, area of practice, geographic coverage, standard collection procedures, technology, references and more,” Unrath says. “We also added a compliance department two years ago that conducts a much more detailed annual review of a number of our law firm members that work with our compliance partners.”
Some things at The National List haven’t changed:
- Personal customer service remains our number one priority.
- Our services are still complimentary to any company that has a need to forward collection matters to law firms. We provide complimentary referrals, insurance coverage and personal assistance.
- Membership fees remain affordable and competitive. They include a listing in the directory and on the website, unlimited referrals and insurance coverage.
Do you work for one of the over-1000 unique law firm members of The National List? You can help others with their legal collections issues by sharing an experience you’ve had through this blog, or by simply commenting on how you think we could serve you better.
Come back next week to see what’s new On the N List.
by Nancy Lender, Jeffrey Zuck and Beverly Unrath of The National List of Attorneys