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I read a scary American Lawyer article the other day. The Next Recession Could Cost 10,000 Lawyers Their Jobs.  You need to read the entire article, but here is a quote I found interesting: Over the past five years the average Second 50 firm increased its equity partner leverage from 2.6 to 3.0. It’s noteworthy that the increase came primarily through increasing the number of nonequity partners and “other lawyers,” which captures both staff attorneys…
Who was the first to say: All other things being equal people want to do business with people (lawyers) they know, like and trust. In his book “The Likeability Factor,” Tim Sanders includes a chapter on “The Four Elements of Likeability.” Those elements are: • Friendliness • Relevance • Empathy • Realness (authenticity) They say our country wants to elect a President the majority knows, likes and trusts. The 2016 election may have changed that.…
When you are asked to speak to an industry group you have one of the greatest opportunities to market yourself and also one of the greatest challenges. You have the opportunity to show your knowledge and to build rapport. You have the challenge of speaking to a skeptical audience. No matter what the industry, your audience did not likely wake up and say: “Oh boy, I get to listen to a lawyer this morning.” How…
When I coached lawyers, I concentrated on both a coaching component and a teaching component. The coaching component involves asking the right questions. The teaching component involves giving the right answers As a coach, use questions to help your lawyers: Figure out what they want to accomplish their definition of success Understand their values Plan and goal setting Figure out their major strengths and offering ideas and best practices on how to use those strengths.…
A lawyer recently complained about young lawyers who were working on projects for her. She said: They grew up getting trophies for participation and now they think they deserve praise for mediocre work. They just touch the surface and I have to spoon feed them to go deeper. I don’t know whether that is a fair criticism of lawyers in their 20s. During my 37 years practicing law, senior lawyers always criticized the next generation.…
Have I ever told you I hated going to events and conferences? I only went if I was speaking, and I always tried to arrange my presentation so it was before the cocktail party. Sometimes that worked, sometimes it didn’t. I remember when I was asked to speak at a Maryland Bar Association Annual Meeting held during the summer on the Eastern Shore. I arrived on Friday night, just in time for the cocktail party.…
Practicing law has changed dramatically since I started now long ago. We made far less money, ($12,000 when I started), but we never worried about making partner and the law firms demanded less of us. If we worked hard, it was more a choice we made not a demand from our law firm. Years ago I read an Am Law Daily article: To Dream the Impossible Dream: Making Partner Increasingly Out of Reach. More…
When was the last time you ate lunch with a client or referral source? I am posting this blog to urge you to not eat lunch at your desk, not eat every lunch with your colleagues. Eat lunch with clients and referral sources. Years ago a former New York City Police Detective named Bo Dietl wrote a book with a lengthy title: Business Lunchatations: How an Everyday Guy Became One of America’s Most Powerful CEOs…and
You likely know I loved coaching lawyers, and when they tell me what they have achieved, it is even more fulfilling. Several lawyers I coached years ago are now top rainmakers or firm leaders in their law firms. Several groups of lawyers I coached still get together at their firm retreats. Your law firm should consider client development coaching in 2019 for a variety of reasons. Business Clients have changed.  Business clients are no longer local…
Many, maybe most of you either weren’t born or were too young to remember the 1984 Olympics held in Los Angeles.  There were many great American athlete performances, but the one that captured our nation was Mary Lou Retton, the young 16-year-old from Fairmont, West Virginia who became the first American woman to win the gold medal in Gymnastics All-Around competition. Retton was locked in a close battle with Romanian Ecaterina Szabo. With two events to…