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?
I have to admit it. I’m a worrier. I worry about my family, my mother, my husband and son. I worry about the economy, people and animals, the future of our politically divided country, the food supply and climate change. I worry about income and inflation and retirement and health. I worry. I worry about many things, some within my control and some not.
Ironically, worry has proven to be quite the motivator for me when combined with an insatiable curiosity about people and life. I don’t think I’m particularly unique when it comes to worrying. Most people I know say they don’t worry at all (liars) or they say they worry all the time. But at the end of the day most of us have some level of worry which keeps us up at night. (And the irony is most people over 65 say their biggest regret is spending too much of their lives worrying!)…..Read on!
Despite the COVID-19 Pandemic becoming less severe, remote work only seems to be trending upwards. The reality is that the Pandemic might simply have been a catalyst for greater interest and trend among workers. Here are some insights our research uncovered…..
It’s very exciting to embrace technology. It’s new, it’s shiny, it’s fast. Every law practice management consultant tells you you will fall behind if you don’t. Myself included. However, as I have written before, you must embrace the technology gap from the perspective of your client. Not every client wants this. Not every client is capable of embracing it. Not every client will feel comfortable. And just as some embrace the latest technology, the goal post for ‘latest’ moves. And lest we forget, every consultant tells you to build a client-centric practice in order to succeed.
So, how do we build a client-centered practice which remains technologically progressive but understands not all customers are technologically progressive? how do we stay efficient and friendly and not alienate our clients, or worse, they fail to hire to us?
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. So, what do you do instead?
I was talking to a relative not too long ago. She’s an amazing local attorney practicing more than 30 years, the last 10 years as a solo practitioner. Her 20 year old son was talking to her about career paths and he said, ‘but your just a small time local lawyer’. Rather than be offended, she invited him to spend the day with her as she did her ‘small time local law’. Read on….
In the movie Dangerous Minds, the character Callie Roberts has a gun pointed to her head and the gunman tells her she is going to die. She has no choice. She responds, ‘I do have a choice. I can scream or not.”
I haven’t written a blog post in a very long time. Probably not since before the pandemic began because, like everyone else, there were so many hard choices to make, ones we never thought we’d have to make. But they were still choices even if a choice between two seemingly less than desirable outcomes. Read on….
Lawyers and those in their employ can and will make a mistake from time to time. It happens. Should a significant misstep ever occur on one of your matters, what might the fallout be? Think about this as a member of our learned and honorable profession. Clearly the client will be harmed in some fashion. Now, put yourself in your client’s shoes and ask who should be held responsible, particularly if a financial loss is part of the equation? You know darn well what the answer is. After all, if a lawyer representing you on a personal injury matter blew a statute that resulted in a lost opportunity for any kind of recovery, you would expect to be made whole and you know it. This is why I don’t get the excuses. Purchasing malpractice insurance isn’t about protecting lawyers. It’s about protecting clients should something go wrong, which makes it, at least in my mind, the right thing to do.
As a profession we’re constantly being reminded about the importance of A2J (Access to Justice) for low income folks. We are forcing newly minted attorneys into Pro Bono work touting it as a rite of passage, an honor and a privilege to give back for earning this license. Those charged with a crime are given public defenders at no cost to protect their rights. But what about plaintiffs in difficult personal injury or medical malpractice situations where it is not about the lawyer foregoing a fee and putting in a few check marks in the pro bono column, but taking on cases that challenge an attorney to swing for the fences even if the odds are slim there will be a financial return; where the overarching goal is hopefully helping to right a significant wrong and maybe prevent future wrongs? What about that difficult personal injury case or medical malpractice case that fewer and fewer lawyers have the caring or courage or fortitude to take on because the odds are against victory, though should they be victorious, there is tremendous financial reward plus the gratification of helping someone? What about that plaintiff who needs that real cowboy?
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?