Daily Dispatch


One of a Kind

Substance and Form: The Elements of a Lawyer Brand

By | Aug.21.14 | 0 Comments

One of a Kind

Branding. It’s one of the most overworked and overanalyzed topics in the marketplace of ideas. Paradoxically, or perhaps consequently, it’s also one of the most misunderstood. This misunderstanding isn’t a definitional one. There’s a general consensus that a brand “is the sum of what others think of you” or something similar.

But there are two pertinent, preliminary questions beyond “what is branding?” worthy of exploration: Why is it important? And how is it done? … READ THE REST

Managing Stress

Five Ways Mindfulness Can Benefit Lawyers

By | Aug.20.14 | 2 Comments

Mindfulness

Mindfulness means to be in the present and to accept each moment without preference or judgment. It’s an ancient practice that comes from Buddhism. It’s not a religious practice. Rather, it’s a way to engage in our lives with care and awareness.

The primary way to practice mindfulness is through meditation, where you sit quietly and settle your mind and body. It’s interesting to note that in every religion, there’s a practice of sitting silently, whether that’s in meditation or in prayer.

So how can cultivating mindfulness benefit lawyers? Here are several ways. … READ THE REST


On Balance

Attorney Misconduct — Time to Tattle?

By | Aug.19.14 | 0 Comments

On Balance

Reporting another lawyer’s misconduct can bring on a mix of emotions. If the other lawyer is your adversary and you’ve been battling in the gutter, a bar complaint may be exactly what you wish on this person.

Lawyers know a lot of lawyers, though, and we get a lot of insight into each other’s lives through our professional and personal interactions. There are likely many lawyers you’d rather not report to the bar, knowing that a bar complaint is a ticket to havoc being wreaked on a lawyer’s life.

So are you obligated to report another lawyer if you know about an instance of attorney misconduct? … READ THE REST


Nothing But the Ruth

How to Suck at Networking

By | Aug.18.14 | 2 Comments

Nothing But the Ruth

If you’re a law firm owner or partner, you know the drill — when you’re not working in your business, you should be working on your business. For most of us, that includes a lot of networking — attending mixers, going to lunches, interacting with contacts on social media and the like.

Recently, I’ve noticed an increase in annoying networking behaviors that are at best ineffective, and at worst a guarantee that I will never do business with those people or send them any referrals. (I use Sage ACT! to manage my contacts and there are actually entries that have a note saying “NEVER REFER ANYONE HERE.”)

I wasn’t sure if it was just me who was getting frustrated by these behaviors, or, frankly, which ones are the most annoying, so I sent out a simple survey to get input from lawyers and other professionals. According to the 50-plus people who responded, these are the three worst networking offenses. … READ THE REST


The Friday Five

Five Lessons from Hackcess to Justice

By | Aug.15.14 | 1 Comment

Friday Five

At “Hackcess to Justice” last week in Boston, lawyers and developers spent two days hacking away at a “technological-enabled solution” to improve access to justice. Sponsored by the ABA Journal and hosted by Suffolk Law School in Boston, Hackcess to Justice is just one of several hackathons that have made their way into the legal community. Here are fivenifty things to know about the event, which abutted the 2014 ABA Annual Meeting. … READ THE FRIDAY FIVE


Power User

Stylin’ It in Microsoft Word

By | Aug.14.14 | 1 Comment

Power User Vivian Manning

Do you ever wish you could just open your closet in the morning and pull out an entire coordinated outfit? Imagine deciding to dress “business casual,” and reaching in to retrieve a hanger holding a complete outfit — from neatly creased khakis, to shirt, shoes and accessories. Off to work you’d go, looking like a million bucks!

Okay, back to reality. What really happens is that you reach into your crowded closet for your black pants, think for a bit and then reach back in for a blue shirt. Next, you scramble around on the floor for acceptable shoes, then rifle for accessories to pull it all together. Ugh. Too many decisions — too much time wasted. Too long to get to your first cup of coffee.

You waste the same kind of time making unnecessary decisions when you manually apply formatting in Word — bold, underline, italics, font size. But, unlike your uncooperative closet, Word will let you reach into the program to pull out and automatically apply formatting to your documents — that’s what Word’s Styles are all about. … … READ THE REST