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.
Shakespeare said it best. In reference to a plot to seed anarchy, Dick the Barber says, “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.” In other words, the lawyers are what stand between the Rule of Law and utter lawlessness.
You’ve had your initial consultation. You’ve counseled your new client on the services they need, and they are ready to sign the engagement letter. But then you ask for their retainer, and they look at you like you’ve got three heads.
“You want HOW MUCH?!?!”
What do you do now?
Many, many lawyers I counsel worry about money. They worry about making enough money to keep their law practice going. They worry if they will have enough money to pay their bills. They worry if they’re saving enough money for their kid’s college education or to fund their own retirements. They worry they don’t have enough money to take that much needed vacation.
What can you do if you are one of the worried-about-money crowd? The answer depends on why you’re worried.
How do we stop worrying about money? In this guest lecture we focus on the particular emotional issues of solos and their relationship to money, those who are out on their own without a steady paycheck. There is also a psychology about money which is fascinating, how we live in judgment of others and how it impacts our actions and emotions day-to-day. Why do we worry when we are somewhat comfortable? Why will we share our most intimate feelings about various topics but feel the most vulnerable talking about money, feel the most shame if we don’t seem to measure up. It’s all in this great guest lecture with the incomparable Karen Caffrey. Join us!
It seems like a yes or no question, but there may be as many answers to that question as there are law firms. If you do charge for the consultation, you may have to deal with a client who expects the consultation for free. But if you don’t charge for a consultation, aren’t you giving away the milk and hoping they’ll buy the cow?
Life is all about perspective. Expectations, I have found, do more harm then good. If our expectations are too high we will always be disappointed because we don’t allow for unplanned opportunities. If our expectations are too low, we may never strive for greater things. What perspective do you have?