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.
I once had a partner who I will call Marvin. Marvin was a capable lawyer who had a specialty in a particular area of litigation. Marvin was personable. He could bring in lots of work in his specialty and hold onto clients. Marvin was also smart. He could look at a complex problem, boil it down to its essentials and identify the most practical solution. Marvin was particularly good at developing litigation strategies and he was also very good at negotiating with other counsel and at persuading judges to rule in his favour on all sorts of issues.