Categories
The Mentality and Attitudes of Lawyers

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.

In deference to my highly intelligent wife who has told me that these are getting pretty cynical, even for me, I do want to acknowledge that there are some great lawyers out there to whom this does not apply. Once again, it may simply be a case of 99% of us giving the other 1% a bad name.

Legal Talk Plain English
Your billable hours target is 1600 hours.  We have put you in the budget for 1400 hours because we know that is as much as you can do, but we won’t tell you that because we want you to try to reach 1600. Every month we will tell you that you are failing.  
You have a non-billable hour target of 300 hours.  We don’t care if you reach it or not. In fact, we know that you can’t reach it if you are going to have a hope in hell of reaching your billable hours target. But from time to time we will tell you that you are failing.  
We will provide you with support to learn how to market your practice.  You are on your own.  
We will provide you with expert support to learn how to market your practice.  We will have our consultant tell you what you have to do and leave it to you to figure out how the hell you are supposed to fit that in and still meet your billable hours target.  
It is important to learn how to set boundaries and say no (first definition).Tell your family that your time is spoken for at the firm and that they have to get things done without you.  
It is important to learn how to set boundaries and say no (second definition).Now that we have gone on record as saying that boundaries are important, feel free to ignore this and continue to devote all of your time to the firm.
It is important to learn how to set boundaries and say no (third definition).You can say no to everyone else, but not to me.
You are not required to work on weekends unless there is an emergency.  We define an emergency as any time that a partner wants you to work on the weekend.  
You are really not required to work on weekends unless there is an emergency.  We consider it an emergency if you are not going to meet your billable hours target.  
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.

Categories
Legal Fees

Estimates or Guesstimates?

Every time I phone a call centre for just about any company, it turns out that they are experiencing a higher volume of calls than anticipated, and although my call is important to them, they must keep me on hold for a very long time.  It really makes you wonder why, after all of this time, they have not yet started anticipating a higher volume of calls and hiring more staff. Especially since my call is so important to them. I know that something does not quite add up, even if I have not zeroed in on the exact problem. I suspect that it has something to do with them lying to me and my call not actually being all that important to them.

Categories
The Mentality and Attitudes of Lawyers

Translations From Lawyer Talk – Part Two

As a continuation of my public service, I offer the following additional translations from Lawyer Talk to Plain English:

Categories
The Mentality and Attitudes of Lawyers

Translations From Lawyer Talk

As a public service, I offer the following translations from Lawyer Talk to Plain English:

Categories
Law Firm Management

How I Was ‘WIP’D Into a K Car

Warning:  The article below contains 30 seconds of material about accounting.  Please power through and do not tune out.

Categories
Firm Culture

Law Firms: Are You Getting What You Are Paying For?

How can you possibly explain why a lawyer at a substantial firm took on a file that was outside of his expertise and made a costly mistake, when that very same lawyer had three partners and two law clerks in his department, all of whom would have easily spotted the error if consulted?  To make matters worse, had the lawyer involved one of the law clerks on the file to keep costs down, as would normally be done, the clerk would have immediately spotted the error.  However, this lawyer chose to do all the work himself at a billing rate higher than the billing rate of the law clerks.

Categories
Client Development

Marvin’s Fish Theory of Legal Marketing

I once had a law partner named Marvin who taught me what he called the “fish theory” of marketing.  According to Marvin, marketing was simply a matter of throwing a fish back to every referral source who threw a fish to you.  If you were referred a file from someone, you owed that person a file, and so it went. 

Categories
Firm Culture

How Law Firms Drive Associates Crazy

(Part 1 of Many)

Law firms like to encourage their lawyers to produce as many billable hours as possible.  In order to keep the lawyers ‘motivated’, law firms usually set a target number of hours that they expect each lawyer to bill.  Some firms like to set the target at a number which is higher than they expect the lawyers to bill. 

Categories
The Mentality and Attitudes of Lawyers Uncategorized

Who Is The Smartest Lawyer in the Room (or on Zoom)?

I am, of course. But I don’t have to make sure that everyone else knows it. Whenever I forget this simple truth, the client ends up paying for it somehow.