The days when a lawyer could send an unencrypted email without worry, remain blissfully ignorant about encrypting a laptop, or use the same easily remembered password for all accounts and devices are over. I believe most lawyers know this, at least at a gut level; but far too many still seem to be confused about what steps they should be taking. If you see yourself as a card carrying member of the “what the heck am I supposed to do” group, perhaps I can help.
It seems like a yes or no question, but there may be as many answers to that question as there are law firms. If you do charge for the consultation, you may have to deal with a client who expects the consultation for free. But if you don’t charge for a consultation, aren’t you giving away the milk and hoping they’ll buy the cow?
Everyone needs a password policy, formal or informal, in order to try and avoid becoming yet another victim of identity theft, and heaven help you if the identity theft turned out to be the identity of one or more of your clients because someone got into your office network. So not good.
“Networking is an ongoing dynamic process.” You need to identify your needs (purpose), integrate the information you hear from others and adapt your process of networking based on the new information you have received. And it can be a very different experience if you are heading back to the practice of law now that the nest is empty.
Are you breaching the rules by not understanding technology? You very well might be even if you think you are handling your client’s issues correctly. Find out how one recent case turned out and see if you would have made the right decision.
Due to the nature of our profession, we lawyers have plenty to stress about, and the unprecedented changes affecting the legal industry today just add to the mix. With my “fly on the wall” perspective as a lawyer-coach, however, I notice that the way lawyers talk to themselves about their situation dramatically affects their level of suffering, and can also impact their results. So I want to offer two kinds of tools that may help when you are feeling stressed, anxious or down.
Ask yourself if you think you need and can take a vacation. Then ask yourself if you think your answer might be influenced by fatigue, overwork, overwhelm, high expectations, internal or external pressure, financial concerns, stress, or fear around coverage while you are away. All of these may be symptoms of “psychological hypoxia” affecting your ability to accurately evaluate your need for a deep rest. Basically I’m suggesting you might need to question your own judgment if you don’t think you need a vacation. Do I have any takers?