Categories
People I Met Practicing Law

On Being Easily Inconvenienced

I met more than a few lawyers who were ‘easily inconvenienced.’ For these individuals, any challenge, no matter how inconsequential it might have appeared to be to others, was a major problem. It was never a good time for their associates or assistants to take a vacation. Their work not being given top priority by an associate who reported to several lawyers – a catastrophe. Their shared assistant working for another lawyer at the exact moment that they wanted something done – a disaster. Staff members attending a half-day training session on new technology – a real problem. Funds for closing being delayed for an hour for whatever reason – the world was ending.

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

Existing In Our Own Psychological Prisons

I recently celebrated the 17th anniversary of one of the most significant events of my life.

Back on March 21, 2005, I came to what was, at the time, a stunning realization. I had accidentally fallen in love with a woman with whom I had been working very closely for six years.  Luckily for me and all the other potential Defendants in this situation, she came to the same troubling realization about me at the exact same time.

Categories
The Mentality and Attitudes of Lawyers

On Being Perfect(ly) Insane

When I was just a wee lad, my father instilled in me the need to be perfect. If I scored 98% on an exam, his only comment was “What happened to the other two marks?”

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
People I Met Practicing Law

People I Met Practicing Law Episode Seven: The Super Star

Let me tell you about a real person, whose real name is not Emily.

Emily is a superstar. She does it all and has been doing it all for an awfully long time.

Categories
Law Firm Management

Targets (On Our Backs)

Law firms give lawyers minimum billable hours targets to meet. There is nothing wrong with setting expectations, I guess. The theory is that you make the lawyers aware of the firm’s expectations, and they then work to achieve them. Transparency is good.

Categories
People I Met Practicing Law

People I Met Practicing Law Episode Six: Tragically, Terminally, Toxic

I met Paul at my very first job as a lawyer. Paul was a commercial real estate lawyer. He was hard-working and extremely capable.  Paul thought quite a bit of himself and other people who he considered to be intelligent and diligent. However, Paul did not suffer fools gladly.

Categories
Translations From Legal Talk

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
Work/Life Balance

Always Failing at Something

When I practiced law, I was fairly good at doing the many things that a lawyer has to do in order to deliver great client service. I always offered to meet at the client’s office. I listened carefully to the clients to ascertain their goals and concerns. I insisted that I work to a deadline and if the client did not volunteer a deadline, I prompted them to set one. I frequently made the deadline on Monday so if I got overwhelmed with work, I could finish the project up on the weekend. I almost always met my deadline, and on the rare occasion that I was having difficulty doing so, I would call and explain the situation and give the client options, such as having me work all night to meet the original deadline, extending the deadline or having an associate take over the project.