When we start the practice of law it is often at full throttle. As our personal lives change, with spouses, children and aging parents, sometimes we are forced to slow down and pull back from full speed as we chip off pieces of our careers to keep the family unit intact. How do you gear up, again?
A number of years ago, I took a call from a solo attorney who was nearing retirement. The retirement years were to have been his best years yet because his plaintiff practice had been quite successful. He was an esteemed member of the bar and had become something of a pillar in the community. His reputation of helping others and being of service to the community at large was above reproach, that is, until it all went horribly wrong.
Are you sufficiently scared? Are you worried that machines may take your job? Do you have visions of that cyborg who looks suspiciously like Arnold Schwarzenegger will be sitting at your desk speaking to clients? A cyborg who says to the client “I’ll be back.”? Read why lawyers will not disappear.
By a show of hands, how many of you look forward to opening your email inbox every morning when you arrive at the office? I see. You sadistic types who raised your hand may put it down now while the other 99% of us discuss the topic at hand – your email inbox. So, should you kill your email inbox? Read this article and its tips and tell me what you think.
Do you ever feel like an imposter? As successful as you are do you believe you are just fooling people because deep down you are incompetent, taking money for work you are ill-prepared to do? Do you think one day you will be found out for the fraud that you are? Well, so do most lawyers. Suzanne Meehle shares her story.
Texting is ubiquitous in our culture, which makes it too easy to embrace that reality by texting day and night regardless of the setting just like everyone else does. The question I’d like to ask is this. Is doing so a good thing, particularly for a lawyer? Remember recent rule changes. Comment 8 to ABA Model Rule 1.1 Competency reminds lawyers that they are to “keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice to include the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.” If you are communicating with clients via text messaging, have you thought about the ramifications of doing so?
Neva Strom was 33 when she was admitted to practice law and did so with all the commitment needed as a solo. She did it all in her solo Trust and Estates/Elder practice, which she opened in 1992. She had her first child in 1993 and her second in 1997. It was after the birth of her second child, and the inclusion of elder care to her childcare demands that Neva decided she needed to stop practicing law for a while, maybe until her youngest went to school. Twenty years later she picked up her litigation pumps and rezoomed her solo practice in Trust and Estates/Elder law. Be inspired.
Okay, so you have your sheepskin, are sworn in, set up an office, and ready to roll. Other than congratulatory cards and best wishes from family and friends, months go by and the phone’s not ringin’ much. Welcome to the real world!
To be sure, there is help along the way. State and local bar associations, for example, have programs for tyro lawyers. Indeed, you may have gone one step further in garnering an LL.M in tax, IP, whatever. Good job! After all, in medicine, dentistry, law among many other disciplines, specialization is a key factor in making a go of it. But even though you have laminated evidence of your qualifications lining the wall, nothing much is happening. What to do?
Networking is the art and skill of creating relationships and then being able to leverage those relationships into business opportunities. And let me just say that Rainmaking = Relationships. Let’s talk about how to do this effectively.