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.
Working from home can be an amazing experience if it is planned correctly; an unmitigated disaster if it’s not. More importantly, if handled incorrectly there can be a lot of friction in your home. Why? Because, while your spouse and kids go off to work and school to then come home to their ‘sanctuary’, you are carefully and thoughtfully converting your sanctuary into a work space for a finite number of hours each day. This is a major psychological challenge. How do you do it successfully?
I had lunch recently with a young lawyer who has been out of work for a while. She had worked for a BigLaw firm for a couple of years before getting caught up in a layoff. Several months later, she was still searching for a law firm that wanted to hire her. She was, quite […]
I’m just going to vent a little. Why oh why is it so damned hard to find an assistant for a small firm?
I have hired eleven assistants in the past seven years. Yes. Eleven. Here’s my story.
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.
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.
When people think of high-profile hacks, their minds don’t usually drift to the legal world. However, recent security breaches at several large firms, including Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, have highlighted the vulnerabilities law firms face. In fact, after one such event, Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara said the incident “should serve as a wake-up call for law firms around the world: you are and will be targets of cyber hacking, because you have information valuable to would-be criminals.”
The truth is lawyers tend to be rather impressed with how much they know because non-lawyers are generally impressed with what they believe attorneys know. And this can really box lawyers in when they don’t have answers. One of the most profound ways to transform yourself and transform your relationship with clients and others in your life is to share that you don’t have all the answers.