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.
I started to call this post “Software for Conquering Email Overload.” Then I decided that was a unicorn. There is no such thing as “conquering” our email. Perhaps all we can do is attack it and hope to live to fight another day. To that end, I’ll describe what I do to tame my inbox. I’m providing some links for your convenience, but they are not affiliate links and I do not receive any compensation or benefits for mentioning the products I use.
Every year around this time, graduating law students are preparing to take the bar exam; and completing the Character & Fitness questionnaires with the hope that the Committee will find they are fit to practice law. Perhaps you know a law student; or you have one working in your office; or you know someone who dreams of attending law school. If so, please share this month’s ethics question with him or her. Consider the following scenario.
No one enjoys hearing feedback about themselves that is critical in nature; but don’t get me wrong. Sometimes we need to hear that we’re not meeting the expectations of others because critical feedback shared respectfully can be a wonderful opportunity for personal and professional growth. That said, when a former client posts a review on something like an attorney rating site that is full of vitriol and outright lies, well that’s something else entirely. Now, the temptation to fight back and defend one’s self from the defamation is in play. The interesting question, however, is can you?