Categories
The Mentality and Attitudes of Lawyers

Compelled Speech and the Last Bencher Election

I am retired. I did not have a vote in the last Law Society of Ontario (“LSO”) election, at which party politics showed up for the first time.

Although I did not have a horse in the race, I did follow the nastiness from afar. Various candidates were not satisfied with debating ideas. They found it necessary to vilify their opponents.

Categories
Mentoring

When Mentoring Disappears

Many new lawyers start their own practices soon after graduation or join firms that offer little mentoring or training.  I attribute this to a number of factors, including the law firm model falling into disfavour over issues of work/life balance and mental health, and prejudice encountered by internationally trained lawyers.

Categories
The Mentality and Attitudes of Lawyers

Desperately Seeking More (Billable Hours) – Abridged Version

One of the values that drove me for a good long time was the importance of working hard and generating many billable hours.

I have concluded that there are three reasons that many lawyers work long hours. Some do it to serve their clients well.  Others do it because they are workaholics. And finally, there are those who work all of the time because they are ambitious and they want to earn a lot of money. What all of these lawyers have in common is that they all believe that working hard will make them happy. It does not seem to work for many of them.

Categories
Law Firm Management

Is it the Lazy Junior Lawyer’s Fault?

Tali Green recently (sarcastically)asked the following question on LinkedIn: “Are lazy and sub-par juniors contributing to the mental health crisis in the legal profession?”

Categories
Legal Tech

Quirks and Quacks – The Challenges of Selling Software to Lawyers

Categories
Legal Tech

Living in an Institution

Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution? 

Groucho Marx

I am a great fan of the institution of marriage. (Second marriages actually, but that would make for a much longer post.)

Anyone who has been married understands the concept of ‘institutional memory,’ which encapsulates your spouse’s recollection of why you were wrong before, are wrong now, and will likely be wrong in the future.

Categories
Work/Life Balance

The Simple Yet Unacceptable Answer to the Mental Health Crisis in the Legal Profession

By the time that I figured out that I could no longer cope with the pressures of the legal profession and that something had to give, I had been practicing business law for thirty-three years. What can I say… I am a slow learner. It took me almost another seven years to get out. I escaped with my health intact, but just barely.

Categories
Law Students and Young Lawyers

The Business Development Question

I speak to a number of newly called lawyers looking to secure a job as an associate.

I tell these applicants that they should  be ready to answer a question about business development.  Here are my tips:

Categories
Law Students and Young Lawyers

You Need a Shrink

For years I delegated work to Mindy, who was very competent, productive, generous, and warm.

I never knew when I walked into Mindy’s office to ask her to do something whether she would be her usual lovable self or would bite my head off.

Categories
Law Students and Young Lawyers

Keep it Simple, Start With the Statute, Stupid

You may be familiar with the “KISS Principle” attributed to one Kelly Johnson,  a renowned aeronautical engineer at Lockheed Martin.

It turns out that the concept of “Keep It Simple, Stupid” applies whether you are designing aircraft or solving legal issues.