In my previous column, I discussed how cyber liability is a serious risk management issue for lawyers, given our Rule 1.6 duty to maintain the confidentiality of client information. Given the high profile cyber attacks against Target, Sony Pictures Entertainment, the United States Government, and the Ashley Madison website; many law firms may believe they are not big enough to be a target, or they don’t have data that cyber criminals would find attractive. These law firms would be wrong on both counts.
In the big scheme of things, I confess my rezooming office is a mess. I know where everything is. Yet my family walks by and scratches their collective head. This past January, I addressed the piles of paper in need of filing. I emptied out my office completely, putting everything in like/kind piles on my dining room table. I knew the organizational process would take time but clearly I would be done before I needed to use the table again. But is a messy office the sign of a brilliantly creative mind?
From time to time I get involved in conversations with lawyers who have called in with a question or concern and as we talk through the situation it becomes clear that part of the problem is the lawyer doesn’t know who his client is. These are the times I find myself asking “How in the world does this happen?” It happens more often than you think!
A few years back when Hurricane Irene hit we had two 80 foot trees uproot and come crashing down completely destroying our deck. While our home had just superficial damage the loss of the deck remained a very significant financial repair. We immediately called our neighbor because the previous year we had watched their builder construct a beautiful deck. He had a great reputation. But what happens when a great reputation isn’t followed up with great customer service?
In a perfect world having your paralegal live inside your computer would be ideal. You wouldn’t worry whether you were doing your work at your office desktop, laptop in the courthouse, or smartphone connected to wifi while jetting around the globe because you’d have access to these very important skills needed to run your office at your fingertips. You wouldn’t have to worry about the time of day, whether or not your paralegal is on vacation, out to lunch or home sick. He’d be right with you living in your computer.
Well, the world just got a little more perfect
Before purchasing any policy, make certain you understand what you will be getting for the money you’re about to spend. Sometimes significant price differences between two seemingly similar policies are due to policy differences that are not always readily apparent. Here are the key items you need to understand.
Imagine having a rockstar trial lawyer available on call just before that big mediation or trial to ensure you get the best economic result for your client and priceless peace of mind for yourself as the originating attorney? Or imagine being that rockstar lawyer on call?
Many lawyers don’t understand why they are perceived as better (or worse) than the next lawyer, what their true value is to the client and why they are (or are not) worth their fee. And if they don’t know, how are potential clients to know? And when clients don’t know why a lawyer is worth their fee, they will shop on price. Period.
There was a recent posting on Above The Law discussing Benjamin Barton’s new book, Glass Half Full: The Decline And Rebirth of The American Legal Profession . The highlight and discussion catalyst was the chart that compares what a solo earns to what a Big Partner earns. It’s pretty dramatic. Let’s find out the truth.
For the most part, lawyers, especially the more seasoned lawyers, are always pleasant and professional outside the courthouse. Do lawyers battle inside? Of course, but it is usually nothing other than showmanship in front of the judge and as soon as they leave they are cordial and pleasant and professional. Sometimes the clients didn’t understand lawyers can still be advocating for them but they don’t have to ‘hate’ the other side in order to make their case.