An Experiment in Transparency: Monthly Report: April 2018

Last month I shared my first monthly report. The response really surprised me.

That post has had three times as many views as anything I’ve ever written. Some people called it brave, others called it unwise, but it definitely generated interest. I believe it’s because we lawyers are so inclined to hide or posture or self-deceive. Transparency inspires us because we are so disinclined to be transparent.

I don’t intend to shake up the industry or anything, nor do I believe this little blog has that capacity. But one day, years from now, a new attorney will land on these monthly reports. She will see that an idiot like me can stumble through and succeed, and she’ll see a path forward. That’s why I’m doing this.

Formula 168: How Lawyers Create the Life They Want

As you look to create, build, or transform your law firm, start first by identifying clearly the life you want. The key to happiness and fulfillment is to pinpoint that ideal life and then build your law firm to serve that life – not the other way around.

Too many lawyers have it backwards, selling their soul to the firm, racking up hours without the results they want because they blindly threw themselves in without thinking through what they wanted to create. You own the firm; the goal is to not let the firm own you.

Do You Recognize Professionalism or Just the Lack of Professionalism?

Professionalism is not well-defined in our profession. We all know unprofessionalism when we see it. The lawyer who seems to be more concerned about his fees than he is about the merits of the case. The lawyer who disrespects the court or other lawyers. The lawyer who bloviates and obfuscates when she doesn’t understand the law or her own argument. The lawyer who gets disciplined for trust accounting violations or failing to communicate with the client. But do we always know professionalism when we see it?

Failing Faster

I’ve mentioned that before I went to law school I had a career in information systems technology. I worked for about nine different companies – mostly because the original company that hired me merged once or twice or three times while I was there – during the Dot.com boom and bust of the late 90′s and early 2000′s.

We had a motto back then: “Fail fast, fail often.” So what does that have to do with the practice of law? Plenty.

The Problem with Redundant Calendaring Systems

As a backup, redundant calendars certainly have their place; however their real value can only be realized when they become independent from the primary calendar because mistakes happen. Calendaring errors are behind a significant percentage of malpractice claims across the country and a common calendaring misstep is simply a data entry error, be it an incorrectly entered date or a date that never made it into the calendar.

26 Actions to Take To Become Cyber Secure

One common concern I continue to hear from lawyers trying to do so is frustration over not knowing the specifics of what to do. While our Rules of Professional Conduct and various ethics opinions mandate all kinds of things to include requiring lawyers to take steps to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client [See ABA Model Rule 1.6 (c)], these rules and opinions often fail to provide any meaningful guidance.

In order to try and address this problem, I have put together the following checklist. It is intended to help those of you who have a desire to become more cyber secure know where to start.

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