No matter how hard we try, we just can’t be in two places at the same time. When you have two client matters pending on the same date and time, can you send your paralegal to cover one of those matters? Consider the following scenario.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Everyone makes mistakes. Some are minor errors like a typo. Some are more significant and can jeopardize your client’s case. The question arises as to what duty a lawyer has to tell the client they made a mistake. Consider the following scenario.
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.
In the middle of a conversation with one of our insureds on the topic of the difficulty of learning to say no, the fine gentleman I was conversing with did a jump shift on me. For whatever reason, he felt it was important to acknowledge that he was cognizant of his age and he wanted me to know he had taken steps to make sure he continues to practice law competently. What really struck me, however, was his desire to also share he had instructed others at his firm to let him know if they were to ever see him start to mentally slip, because in his words “the day will come when…” How will you proceed when day comes when….?
Last week, we focused on building your block schedule. This week, we’re going to talk about actually implementing that schedule.
We all get the same 24 hours a day, 168 hours per week, 365 days a year. It’s how you choose to use that time that determines whether you build the life – and the law firm – of your dreams. How will you spend your 168?
We all get the same 24 hours a day, 168 hours per week, 365 days a year. It’s how you choose to use that time that determines whether or not you build the life – and the law firm – of your dreams.
How do you spend your 168 hours?