Daily Dispatch


Practice Management

New Balance: Finding the Dividing Line Between Life and Work

By | Jul.24.14 | 0 Comments

Managing

Sometime before the Great Recession (Depression?), there existed a quaint notion that people could stop working — at least some of the time. Over the course of recent years, however, the line of argumentation has advanced, with advocates of a new wave going about convincing everyone that there is really no such thing as what had been termed work-life balance. There is only your life, intrinsically and hopelessly wrapped around both personal and professional entanglements, at any and all times. … READ THE REST

While the essence of that argument is true, the practical results of such a work-life philosophy give rise to stilted experiences, of dads checking smartphones for potential client messages at children’s birthday parties, and moms hosting conference calls amid arrays of children, pets and television sounds.

But, if the answer to everything we have to do is that we have to do everything all of the time, what is left of pure experience? …

Productivity

Pen on Paper Works! The Bullet Journal

By | Jul.23.14 | 0 Comments

manWithChecklist

If you’ve never sat bolt upright in bed at 3:17 a.m. convinced that you’ve missed a critical deadline, congratulations. You should bottle your secret and sell it to the rest of us — along with every other productivity guru currently writing a book or developing an app. The supply of productivity systems seems to be expanding, which tells me something: A lot of us are awake at 3:17 a.m.

Over the years, I’ve tried several paper and digital systems to get a handle on the daily stuff of life. Inevitably, though, I end up with notes and reminders in multiple places — usually covered with Post-it notes. I’ve realized two things. One, it’s easy to fall down the rabbit hole of mastering a complicated system’s quirks instead of getting real work done. Two, for this area of my life, I like pen and paper more than electronics. … READ THE REST


Timekeeping & Billing

Three Ways to Better Billing

By | Jul.22.14 | 0 Comments

Money an Time

Billing. It’s not something we like to talk about, but it is something lawyers have to do regularly, so it deserves some attention. Making sure you capture all of your billable time and produce clear, coherent invoices for it helps ensure you get paid the fees you have earned. Here are three tips to help sharpen your billing pencil and even get more billable work out of your day. … READ THE REST


Play to Win

More Business Development Tips for Associates

By | Jul.21.14 | 0 Comments

Play to Win

More and more young lawyers are actively seeking ways to get involved in marketing and business development. In some cases, their firms encourage it; in others, the associates recognize the importance on their own. Either way, by starting early, they gain several advantages: getting a leg up professionally on contemporaries, creating good lifetime marketing behaviors, and learning marketing skills when the expectations and pressures are less intense.

Last month, I wrote about three things young lawyers can do to get started in marketing and business development. Here are three more things you can do, too. If you implement all six activities, your future marketing efforts will be much more productive. … READ THE REST


The Friday Five

Rainmaking Steps: Skirting the Social Dilemma

By | Jul.18.14 | 2 Comments

FridayFiveGarden

As we enter the heart of summer, pleasant weather ramps up the frequency of cookouts and other casual events. We find ourselves spending less time with business contacts and more with family, neighbors and friends. Often that includes people with whom we also wish to do business. This can raise the “social dilemma.”

How do you pursue the opportunities that relaxed conversations reveal without seeming to unfairly exploit the friendship or occasion?

Five steps to remember … READ THE REST


Writing Tips from Gary Kinder

Words Matter: Ways to Unmuddle Your Prose

By | Jul.17.14 | 2 Comments

Editing with three easy steps

In their written communications, lawyers need to use the right words and the right number of words in the right way. If you circumvent your content, malign your meaning, dangle your modifiers or otherwise mangle your sentences, you might very well alienate your partners, anger your clients or annoy the judge and jury.

But let’s put this in positive terms.

If you can write clearly, concisely and correctly, you can impress your partners, engage your clients and win over the judge and jury.

Lawyer, writer and writing instructor Gary Kinder has taught more than 1,000 writing programs at law firms nationwide — to rave reviews. He knows the difference between clean, clear and crisp writing and muddled muck. Unfortunately, too often he sees the latter coming from lawyers, especially young attorneys. “Often first- and second-year associates try too hard to write like, well, lawyers,” Kinder says. … READ THE REST