Categories
Client Development

All Hail the Rain Makers

For today’s diatribe, we are going to need a definition of ‘success.’  Although the traditional definition which relates primarily to making a lot of money is deficient in more than a few ways, since it seems to be the standard used by so many in the legal profession, I am going to choose that one.

There are only three ways to make money in the legal profession.

Categories
Law Students and Young Lawyers

A Feminist Perspective on Carbon Taxes

With this post I venture onto dangerous ground, but what the hell.

Some years ago I came across a Canadian law school which was offering a course on “A Feminist Perspective on Corporate Tax.” More recently, I came across a law school course on “A Feminist Perspective on Carbon Taxes.” It all struck me as kind of stupid.

Categories
Firm Culture

Homegrown Ignorance

When I retired from the practice of law in 2020, I could not have told you what NCA stands for. I am willing to bet that the majority of home-grown Canadian lawyers in private law firms are just as ignorant about this as I was.

On the other hand, I have never met an internationally trained lawyer who did not know what NCA stands for.

Categories
Firm Culture

Biased Much?

I recently went for a ‘preventative health examination,’ which is code for ‘private healthcare,’ which is something that is in fact available in Canada – to those who are willing and able to pay for it.

I was given a stress test which involved having me walk on a treadmill while hooked-up to a computer. Being me, I quipped to the technician that I was counting on her to make sure that I did not have a heart attack during the test. She reassured me that if I did, I would be in good hands, because ‘back home’ she was a cardiologist.

It is not a very well-kept secret that in Canada we make it difficult for immigrants to qualify to practice their professions.

So let’s talk about lawyers.

Categories
Firm Culture

Timebombs in the Garden

By now everyone on LinkedIn has heard about Jon, a Cleveland lawyer who wrote a rather nasty email to a recently departed colleague who, having returned from her maternity leave, gave notice that she was leaving for another firm. The backlash was furious. Jon lost his job rather quickly.

From the flood of comments on social media, the idea surfaced that it is likely that Jon’s behaviour was not an aberration, which got me thinking about some of the people who I ran across while practicing law.

Categories
Law Students and Young Lawyers

Lies We Tell Our Associates

My wife says that I am pathologically honest. I even have trouble bringing myself to tell little white lies (except when writing on LinkedIn where I may fib about the identity of some of the characters, and that one time I forgot to mention to my ex-wife that I had fallen in love with my Associate.)

Being too honest can be a real problem sometimes, especially when you are running a law firm.

At my law firm, we were scrupulously honest. But my friend Martin tells me that at his firm it was sometimes necessary to lie to the Associates.

Categories
Law Students and Young Lawyers

Goldilocks and the Real Mentors of Beverly Hills

New lawyers need real mentors. Not the type of mentors who are assigned by the firm to be sure that you know what is expected of you in terms of docketed hours and evening and weekend work, but the type of mentors who care about your success and your progression in the profession.

Here are ten things that real mentors do:

Categories
The Mentality and Attitudes of Lawyers

What is the Best Use of My Time Right Now?

Some years ago my firm had a lawyer’s retreat. We invited a speaker who gave a philosophical presentation about being mindful about how you use your time. His theme was that you have to constantly ask yourself, “what is the best use of my time right now?”

Categories
Fluff

Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions

Here are some of the questions potential clients asked me back when I was practicing law and the answers that I wanted to give them, but never did:

Q. How much will it cost to draft a shareholder’s agreement?

A. If you are shopping for professional services based on price, I really do not want you for a client. I suggest that you find a lawyer who will draft the agreement for you for $750.00 and pray that you never have a dispute with your partner.

Categories
Law Students and Young Lawyers

The Tip of the Articling Iceberg

There is a fair amount of talk right now about whether law firms should be required to pay articling students a minimum wage.

But isn’t this so-called ‘debate’ about whether the Law Society should legislate a minimum wage for articling students just the tip of the iceberg? What about the institutionalized discrimination created by the Employment Standards Act (Ontario) against lawyers and articling students (together with architects, accountants, engineers, teachers, surveyors, and others)?