Daily Dispatch

The New Lawyer

You Will Be Bullied — Be Prepared!

By | Dec.10.14 | 0 Comments


It’s probably a good thing that it happened to me right away. About two weeks into my legal career, I had my first encounter with a bully lawyer.

I was working at the Chicago office of a large New York firm. My first day was Monday, September 17, 2001. After the attacks on 9/11, most new associates — myself included — were placed in the corporate bankruptcy department due to the spike in work, regardless of our prior plans or preferences.

Things were crazy. Not only was I crushed with work, I was still trying to find my way around the office, let alone the Bankruptcy Code. My head was spinning. Nonetheless, I started to get into the swing of things after a couple of weeks. Or so I thought. … READ THE REST

Changing Careers

Time to Leave Law Behind? Then What?

By | Dec.09.14 | 0 Comments


There are generally two questions that worry dissatisfied attorneys as they consider leaving the law. First, “How do I know I’m ready (really, really ready) to leave the law?” And, “Once I decide I’m ready, what do I do about it?”

How Do You Know You’re Ready to Leave the Law? Many of us feel dissatisfied or unhappy in our jobs, or curious about what else is out there. Generally, though, these three indicators signal when you should seriously consider leaving the law. … READ THE REST

Support Staff

Support Staff Makes Your Bacon

By | Dec.08.14 | 2 Comments


My wife is about a million times smarter than I am. (No … 100 billion.) For my money, that’s the recipe for a successful marriage. I’m a lawyer; she’s a legal assistant. We don’t work together, though — because that would be the recipe for a failing marriage. Not only do I have a deep personal respect for my wife, but I also have a similar professional respect for what she does at the office. She knows more than I ever did about substantive law, even if you count the corpus of what I did know when I was still an active practitioner, many moons past.

Certainly, I’m biased, but I don’t believe this level of professional respect is of the same sort regularly accorded to support staff in law firms. In fact, I know it’s not. In too many cases lawyers view their support staff as expendable commodities, replaceable and performing functions on a lower level than they do. (For the record, my wife’s firm treats her with a tremendous amount of professional and personal respect.) … READ THE REST

The Friday Five

Five Ways to Sink Your Law Blog

By | Dec.05.14 | 1 Comment

Friday Five

Some lawyers spend hours upon hours each month working on their blogs, and yet they have no traffic to show for it. One reason is poor content. There are some common mistakes lawyers make when creating blog posts that do little to help their search engine visibility, much less improve their connection with clients. Here are five sure ways to sink your law blog. … READ THE REST

The New LexisNexis Firm Manager Emerges 

By | Dec.04.14 | 2 Comments

Legal Technology Product Beat

In February 2014, LexisNexis relaunched the original 2011 Firm Manager, its online law practice management program for solo and small firm lawyers. Why the original product didn’t gain much traction isn’t relevant, because the new Firm Manager shines. Still, its development history provides some insight into the product.

LexisNexis’ early intention was to produce a speedy and easy-to-use practice management product that complemented the demands of daily law practice. The company used agile methodology and lean startup principles to build a basic software package with strong core practice management functionality and a simple interface. Then it set out to solicit feedback from hundreds of lawyer-users to improve the product.

The result: February’s drastically redesigned Firm Manager and the continued rollout of new features … READ THE REST


Lawyers Suck at Listening

By | Dec.03.14 | 5 Comments


Oh, don’t act so shocked. You know it’s true. Even if you’re an exceptionally sensitive lawyer, you’re still stuck dealing with other lawyers. And you’re not exactly a fan of being cut off, condescended to and treated as though your time isn’t as important as theirs. How would you feel about paying someone hundreds of dollars an hour to treat you the same way? All while trusting that person to solve one of the biggest problems you’ve ever had.

No wonder attorneys are among the least trusted professionals.

Want clients to view you as an exception to this stereotype? Then it’s time to put on your listening hat. … READ THE REST