Articles Posted in Success

AdobeStock_111289628Dear Readers,

As the year comes to an end, you know I like to give advice about how to handle the new year.  Well, this year is no different.Both you and your clients have had some real difficult times and some very unique challenges this past year.  Between the stock market behavior , job problems and the election debacle, doom and gloom has run rampant.  Many lawyers have suffered significant disruption of their businesses as clients and employers try to keep their heads above water.

Now, some of the experts tell us that the recession has turned around.  Other experts tell us that there is more disruption to come as the government goes crazy.Whatever happens, guess what?  WE STILL ALL HAVE THAT PIECE OF PAPER THAT SAYS WE ARE LAWYERS! Most people in the world don’t have that piece of paper. We have infinite possibilities to use that piece of paper to not only provide us with a living but to give us job satisfaction as well.

  I came across an interesting topic about the question of “Should I do stuff as a lawyer for free?”.  This is a little beyond  basic pro bono work which is almost a requirement for most attorneys.  This explores more the areas of doing volunteer work as well as free seminars, etc.

Let’s step back from this seemingly innocuous question and ask ourselves what is the motive behind doing  free work?  Is it to obtain more clients?  Is it to make ourselves feel better? Is it because of guilt? Are we looking to impress someone?  Or do we just  want to do something with our friends that isn’t straight legal work?

The reasons behind what we do each day is very important and will guide us into success or failure.  If we coldheartedly go out to try and persuade colleagues and clients that we are doing works because we are true caring individuals, this doesn’t work.  Somewhere along the line, if not done for the right reasons,  the truth will emerge, especially when the going gets tough.

Young man sitting at desk with hands on keyboard and looking closely at the camera

You can look up ways to market your business, you can look up ways to be happier and you can look up information about just any problem you are having. But what is the “clincher”?  You are getting an opinion designed for everyone, not just you!

I give a lot of value by publishing a book about being a better lawyer.  It is extremely helpful and is really a self help book for lawyers.  But, believe me, it’s nothing like working with me in a one on one coaching arrangement.  This is also true of the talks that I give.  You get value but then you may not be able to actually use it.

Sorry, I couldn’t get to my blog last week.  Next week I’m going to be on vacation but THIS WEEK I want to share something I think is exciting.  I have developed a new coaching program for people in law school and recent graduates.  Here it is:

Very smart dog thinks in the library
   Since the downturn in the economy in 2008, Law School Students are finding it harder to get legal jobs right after law school.  A much more aggressive and pre planned approach is necessary these days to insure success.

Additionally, the larger debt owed by students has created even more stress in obtaining work as soon as possible.  Consequently new tactics in job preparation as well as job searches and decisions needs to be made by Law Students starting in their first year of law school.

Find ajob made by many post it
You must “work” every day, except Sunday, between 7-8 hours on finding a job. (If you have been unemployed for a year, you should have worked over 2,240 hours so far.) And if you are on unemployment insurance, that’s what the government is paying you to do.

  1. Plan every day what you will do with your time.
  2. Figure out the hard stuff that almost no one else is doing to find work. This is things like listing every adult friend or acquaintance that you or your family have ever known and informing them you need a job. Ask them for referrals to their lawyers where your “target market” exists.(that’s a breathing attorney).


Well, let me show you how to do that and not only be sincere, but be seen as sincere.

  • Be certain to pinpoint what it is that you are perfect at…..and that’s not everything.

One of the most frequent questions client ask is : ” Can I save money by having my office in my home?”

The answer is WELL, MAYBE.

Laptop and coffee in outdoor office
Best to give this one a lot of thought before you go forward with hanging your shingle on your front porch.  First of all, it is more than likely that clients will know your home address at some time, even if you meet them at a coffee shop.  Certainly most of the time this is OK until you get that client from (you know where).  Then you are not protected from all kinds of tactics including stalking and harassing you.  Remember this is why attorneys rip off the address labels on magazines that they bring from home for their offices.

I was sick last week, so no blog but I did muse. Then I took a friend and  went to the beach and  this is the result of that musing…..                                                             

easter funny eggs sitting on a chair under umbrella on a sand and bottle of champain in a  bucket with watermelon. selective soft focus
                                                “DON’T PLAY LEAPFROG WITH A UNICORN”

                I came across this saying and thought that the suggestion might be helpful to attorneys.  My interpretation, which is always right, is that you shouldn’t engage with someone or thing that might really do you great harm.  This brings to mind the defense attorney who just won’t turn away any client even those that are obviously dangerous.  Or the family law case in which the client has had 4 prior attorneys and has sued them all.

Last blog we asked if you were afraid to negotiate. Hopefully we convinced you that life would be easier as an attorney if you added negotiation to your skills.

Spiral StaircaseSo this week, let me give you a few ways of looking at negotiation that might be helpful.

  • Always negotiate from strength. That means you have to do your homework so you have identified what benefit the other party has for negotiating with you.  This doesn’t mean that you walk in and lay all your cards on the table.