Categories
Law Firm Management

Lawyers Know Everything

Since lawyers tend to think that they know a great deal more than they do about just about everything, they often choose to do things themselves rather than pay money to experts to do them.

One of the things that lawyers typically do poorly is performance reviews.

Categories
Legal Tech

Selling Out?

When I retired and the pandemic put my travel plans on hold, I started writing to amuse myself. I soon found that I enjoyed the freedom to say whatever I wanted to say without having to worry about whether it would please my partners, other lawyers, or the Law Society.

I also discovered that I enjoyed exchanging ideas with like-minded people and being part of an online community.

Categories
Law Firm Management

Is My Wife Right (Yet Again)?

In the first draft of this post, I set out as a fact that I had a question which would stump 95% of all lawyers. My wife read the draft and said that I was wrong. There is nothing unusual about that. I am wrong plenty and she is quick to notice when I am.

Categories
Law Firm Management

Tales of Fundamentally Flawed Founders

I have decided not to pick on Big Law today for a change. Let’s talk about smaller firms with entrepreneurial founders instead.

Sometimes lawyers call me and tell me about how they feel about their law firms. They don’t call me if they are happy. They call me when they want out. Out of the firm, out of their practice area, out of private practice, out of the practice of law altogether. Out of something.

I have heard a good number of tales of woe. One interesting theme is around the flaws of law firm founders. Serious flaws. The type of flaws that drive good people to head for the exits. I have termed this Founder Deficiency Syndrome. It sort of has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Categories
The Mentality and Attitudes of Lawyers

Knowing Your Audience

My father used to tell a story about when he was a young man with a young family.  Unlike many people of his age at that time, he had an automobile since his job was travelling the countryside selling stuff. One day he was pulled over for speeding. He tried to talk himself out of a ticket which he could not afford, explaining that he struggled to support his wife and children on his pitifully small salary, the amount of which he disclosed to the officer. The wise old cop let him off the hook but took the opportunity to teach him a lesson. The police officer said: “Always remember who you are speaking to. I earn less than you do.”

Categories
Legal Ethics

Truth In Advertising Part Two

I have written before about how lawyers are usually fairly good at dealing with their clients in a truthful manner in the course of providing legal services, but not quite as accomplished when it comes to their marketing. Let’s look at this in the context of the most basic element of law firm marketing – how law firms identify their lawyers to the public.

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
Law Firm Management

It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time

There was once a medium-sized law firm in Ontario which had two bright, young, industrious associates. Both of these associates were being considered for partnership, back in the day when all young lawyers wanted to become partners. One of the two associates, who I will call Richard, was a shoe-in. The other associate, who I will call Cynthia, was not.

Categories
Law Firm Management

The Best Article Ever Written (by me) About Retiring from Law Firms

Let’s say that a partner at a law firm has been there for quite a while and is getting older, a situation in which I once found myself.

And let’s say that the partner is done with working lots and lots of hours and wants out. Perhaps the partner has become tired or has had a health scare or no longer deals with stress as well as he or she or they once did or finally realizes that there is more to life, or whatever.

Categories
People I Met Practicing Law

People I Met Practicing Law Episode One: Tough Love

They say that the Americans are tougher than we are when it comes to business.  I think that it is probably true. 

I met John in the early 90’s, shortly after he had arrived in Toronto to set up a Canadian branch of his large Buffalo law firm.  John was a very senior lawyer by then and he was the managing partner of the Toronto branch office of his firm, and in charge of the firm’s cross-border practice.