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Category Archives: For new lawyers

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More practical law school curricula? Finally!

Posted in For new lawyers, News

The economic crisis and the resulting fallout has brought numerous changes to law-as-profession and law-as-business, and now law schools are bringing change to the table as well.  According to an article in The National Law Journal:  Washington and Lee University School of Law has thrown out its traditional third-year curriculum and replaced it with a… Continue Reading

Financial freedom

Posted in Coaching for lawyers, For new lawyers

An anonymous email I received shortly after I began coaching haunts me.  This person (I don’t know whether male or female, but I’ll assume male here) wanted desperately to leave the practice.  He was responding to something I’d written, and he explained that he’d practiced law for nearly 20 years and hated it.  He never liked… Continue Reading

Internal client development

Posted in Client development, For new lawyers

 Generally speaking, law firms use the phrase “client development” to refer to the process of signing clients that the firm will represent in litigation, transactions, etc.  Today, I’d like to consider another type of client development associates must consider: internal client development. As an associate, particularly a junior associate who receives work from more senior… Continue Reading

Determining decision-making authority

Posted in For new lawyers, The practice

In my experience, newer associates often have challenges in determining what they do and don’t have the authority to do.  Some may take on too little authority, undermining their usefulness to more senior lawyers who need not be consulted about every decision, and others may too on too much, possibly compromising strategic decisions that should be… Continue Reading

Letter to a young lawyer

Posted in For new lawyers, Leadership, The practice

Some months ago, Stephanie West Allen requested that fellow bloggers write a “letter to a young lawyer.”  Susan Carter Liebel has recently renewed the request  and I am delighted to join in, at last. To the new attorney: Welcome to the practice!  You’ve learned much over the last three years of law school, and you… Continue Reading

Tuesday shorts 12/18/07

Posted in For new lawyers, Quick hits

What’s your “brand”?  There’s a lot of discussion about “brand” these days — not just for products, but also for companies and increasingly even for individuals.  “Brand” encompasses who you are in your career, and conscious management of “brand” can help you to craft how you come across and how others think of you.  As you… Continue Reading

Tuesday Shorts 12/11/07

Posted in For new lawyers, Quick hits, Women and the law, Work/life balance

 Survival tips for new associates:  David Dummer, an associate in the Dallas office of Weil, Gotshal &  Manges, has written an article with 10 survival tips for new associates.  Although the tips are not particularly revolutionary, they set a good framework for new associates and might serve as a reminder for more advanced lawyers.  Some… Continue Reading

“She stabbed me in the back!”

Posted in For new lawyers, The practice

I’ve sometimes talked with lawyers (especially associates at large firms) who believe that another lawyer has stabbed them in the back: withheld critical information, misrepresented some aspect of the lawyer’s work to a more senior lawyer or client, or taken credit for the lawyer’s work.  These experiences are enraging and painful, and it’s easy for… Continue Reading

Are you busy — Or productive?

Posted in Coaching for lawyers, For new lawyers, The practice, Time management/productivity

One of the most important pieces of coaching rests in illuminating distinctions.  I have several favorites that come up in the course of a great many coaching engagements: reaction vs. response, hearing vs. listening, assertion vs. assessment, interesting vs. purposeful, and so on.  One distinction is particularly relevant to effective action: busy vs. productive.  My… Continue Reading

Follow-up from the NALP conference

Posted in For new lawyers, News, The practice

Last Wednesday, I attended the NALP Annual Education Conference.  I wish I’d planned to be there for the whole conference, because I met some fantastic people (including Steve Seckler of the Counsel to Counsel blog) and read about a number of presentations that I would have loved to attend.  But, I’d budgeted only one day, and… Continue Reading

Working with legal support staff

Posted in For new lawyers, The practice

I just flew back to Atlanta from Orlando this morning and as soon as I talk with one client, I’ll be heading out to drive to Gatlinburg for a dear friend’s wedding.  So, today’s post will be very brief. I ran across a fabulous post on the PT-LawMom blog recently: The Curmudgeonly Legal Secretary.  LawMom is a… Continue Reading

Understanding your client’s business

Posted in For new lawyers, The practice

I’ve long believed that newer associates (especially, but not exclusively) don’t understand their clients’ business and how business issues effect legal services.  Without understanding what the business context is for the legal issue you’re working on, it’s going to be difficult to know how important the issue is — i.e., is this a “bet the… Continue Reading

Why Do We Work?

Posted in For new lawyers, The practice

I’ve been meaning to write about an article available on Law.com, titled Commentary: Why Do We Work?, by Gregory S. Gallopoulos (managing partner and co-chair of the Tax Controversy Practice at Jenner & Block) since it was published in September.  Monday morning may be the ideal time to pose this question, especially for those who suffer from… Continue Reading

Engagement: Another name for work/life balance?

Posted in For new lawyers, The practice, Work/life balance

Regular readers of this blog know that I’m a proponent of finding work/life balance AND a proponent of excellent client service.  Though others may disagree, I think the two can and must co-exist, and frankly I question whether a lawyer can deliver top-notch legal services without some form of balance — recognizing that “balance” means radically… Continue Reading