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 Firm Management

The Evolution of a Question

When I first attended partners meetings, “what are other law firms doing?” was a question that I heard over and over. Whether the topic was a billable hour requirement, parental leave policy, marketing initiative, or just about anything else, the question of what other law firms were doing always seemed to be relevant.

Categories
Law Firm Management

Those Who Got Away

Let me tell you about a lawyer named Josh. Josh was not very good. Everybody said so, especially the partner who was his practice group leader.  Eventually the firm redirected Josh’s career path. He moved on and started his own practice. Josh did very well on his own. He developed a great reputation in the profession practicing the same type of law that he was not good enough to practice at his old firm.

Categories
Law Firm Management

Kentucky Fried Lawyers, Anyone?

The magic of a franchise system is that someone brilliant develops a business system and then documents every step that must be taken to permit someone less capable to follow the system and replicate the results. So, wherever you go in North America, someone much less accomplished than Colonel Sanders can sell you a bucket of chicken that is just as tasty and unhealthy as the original.

Categories
Law Students and Young Lawyers

Happy Law, Sad Law

I often find myself speaking to law students and young lawyers who are having difficulty deciding what area of law they should practice. I also hear from older lawyers lamenting their original choice and thinking about making a change.

For a bunch of smart people, many of us lawyers choose how to spend most of our waking hours in some pretty dumb ways.

Categories
The Mentality and Attitudes of Lawyers

Living La Vida Loca (Stressed Out in the Legal World)

I like being retired. I really do. But someone called a pandemic and everyone showed up.

My plans to travel the world have been on hold for a while. So, now and then I get bored. When that happens, I think about whether I should go back to work. Thankfully, the thought usually passes quickly.

Categories
Law Firm Management

Timeless Wisdom (Or Get Out of the Way Grandpa)

I became a partner of a law firm and attended my first partners meeting many years ago. Since my firm was a medium sized firm, partners meetings were important since the participants actually made decisions (as opposed to what happens in large firms where an executive committee makes most decisions.)  Each partner had an equal vote.

Categories
Fluff

Translations From Lawyer Talk Part Six: Associate Talk

Partners need to understand what their associates are saying to them, but Associates do not always have the gumption to express themselves clearly and partners don’t always listen so well. Here, as yet another extension of my desire to give back to the profession, are some translations from Associate Talk (“AT”) to Plain English (“PE”):

Categories
Fluff

Translations From Lawyer Talk: Part Three

Due to popular demand (I have now asked myself to do this ten times) and as a continued public service, I am providing some more translations from Legal Talk to Plain English.

Categories
Law Students and Young Lawyers

How To Raise a Baby Lawyer

Those who know me would not be surprised to learn that I think that I was a brilliant supervising lawyer and mentor. Not necessarily because I was, but because I had a fairly high opinion of my own skill set. Many of us lawyers do. Not all of us are right, although I am.