Categories
Legal Fees

Paperwork, Practitioners and Panties

Some years ago I went off on a cruise and took the opportunity to have some renovations done at my house while I was away. George did a great job on the drywall, but when he sent me the invoice, he made one tiny little mistake. Instead of giving me the invoice for the construction work, he sent me an invoice for his “other business” which, unbeknownst  to me, was producing racy videos. He was quite embarrassed when I asked him what a “panty teaser” was and what it had to do with my ceiling. I never did find out whether my house was the setting for his cinematographic masterpiece.

Categories
Work/Life Balance

You Can’t Fix Crazy

“Lawyers make wonderful (psychiatric) patients: they have excellent health insurance and they never get better.” Niles Crane on Frasier

As a completely unqualified, amateur mental health consultant, I have diagnosed myself with post-professional stress syndrome which I believe results from my forty-year legal career. My symptoms are not sleeping well and worrying too much, even in retirement when on any rational basis I have very little to worry about.

Categories
Legal Tech

My Summer With the Great White Sharks

In 2014, I was pretty fed up with life and I decided to do something different. Since my years practicing law had not prepared me to take any really big risks, I decided to take a small one. I rented a cottage on Cape Cod for the summer and set out to prove that I could work from anywhere.

Categories
Client Development

If You’re So Smart, Why Ain’t You Rich?

My father used to ask, “If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” 

There are probably a million things that are wrong with that question, but his basic point is worth considering. He was asking why it is that some people believe that they know better concerning just about everything, but they do not generate any results from their supposed brilliance.

Categories
The Mentality and Attitudes of Lawyers

Things I Used to Think Were True

I said and thought a lot of stuff while I was practicing law. I believed every single bit of it. Over time I figured out that some of it was kind of dumb. Here are some of those gems:

Categories
Legal Fees

Let’s play Jeopardy: I’ll take ‘Expert in Ottawa’ for $300

When I practised law in Mississauga, Ont., our fees were cheap compared to the Toronto firms, and kind of expensive compared to firms in places like Guelph, Belleville and Kingston. I occasionally wondered whether my clients might prefer to deal with firms in smaller cities at lower rates. Then I would reassure myself that doing so would be terribly inconvenient for them and that they would rather pay more to deal with me.

Now I am not so sure.

Categories
Legal Tech

Rearranging The Deck Chairs on the Titanic, LLP

In the old days, lawyers joined firms and stayed there, progressing from Associate to Partner. Nowadays there is a great deal of lateral movement among firms. Law firms do not seem to have figured out that they have to do something to manage their business in the face of this constant change of personnel. Appara asked me to think about how legal tech fits in. You can read my thoughts on their site by clicking the link below.

Categories
Legal Fees

Evolution of the Billing Committee (Sounds Dull, But it Isn’t)

Categories
The Practice of Law

Who You Gonna Call?

My father told me about a dad who told his son to jump from a roof top, and that he would catch him. The son jumped. The dad stepped aside and let him fall. When the injured boy demanded an explanation, the dad replied, “I have just taught you a valuable lesson. Never trust anyone, not even your own father.”

As you may imagine, I had trust issues growing up, which is a bad thing. As it turns out, having a few trust issues may be helpful in the business world.

Categories
Legal Tech

Searching for the Off-Ramp from the Expressway to Crazy Town 

My legal career drove me crazy. Granted, it was not a very long drive, but I suspect that with a bit of knowledge and a great deal of counselling, perhaps I could have taken an off-ramp before I got there.

In a better world, people contemplating a career in law would be told that: (i) it is stressful; and (ii) they should take steps to become their best psychological self before they start down that road.