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
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.

Categories
Client Development

Being Brilliant is Over-Rated

Way back before the cell phone, we had a telephone in our reception area for clients to use. At the same time, my doctor had a sign in his reception area advising patients that the doctor’s phone was for his staff’s use and clients could use a payphone in the lobby. The difference? We lawyers had to market ourselves to find clients and then convince them to pay our bills. My doctor worked under a government health care system and did not have to worry about either of those things.

Categories
Law Firm Management

Aren’t Non-Equity Partners Really Just Glorified Associates?

With a nod to the danger of generalizing, I would have to say that as a group, I like non-equity partners (“NEPs”) just as much, if not better, than I like equity partners. They are often people who are primarily interested in practicing law and doing well by their clients, as opposed to promoting themselves and reaching the top of the earnings heap.

On the other hand, I don’t think much of the whole concept of non-equity partnership.

Categories
Fluff

Could Someone Please Pay Me Off Already?

I have been railing against the establishment in the legal profession for going on four years already. You would think that by now I would have annoyed at least a few well-established lawyers with deep pockets.

It seems to me that by this time someone would have offered to pay me at least six figures to abandon my principles, put down my metaphorical pen, and shut up.

Categories
The Mentality and Attitudes of Lawyers

There Is Enough Work For Everybody

Someone once told me that if your family is poor when you are twelve years old, then no matter how much financial success you have, you will always be fearful that you might lose it all. On the other hand, the theory goes that if your family was rich when you were twelve years old, then no matter how badly you are doing at any moment, you will likely believe that financial success is around the corner.