You hear a lot of whining lately from the legal profession. Law students are suing law schools because of alleged promises made. Law firms are scaling back on new hires. Attorneys who have found employment have had to accept drastic cuts in pay. And, it seems that just about every lawyer in the country is walking around with a mountain of student loan debt on his or her shoulders. Gone are the good old days of fat salaries, wood paneled offices with marble floors in high rise offices, and window views of the Golden Gate Bridge. ... Really? Was it ever that way?Read More...
It’s not just banks that have their hands out at every turn. Recently, I moved to Atlanta where heart worm seems to be a real problem for dogs. This wasn’t the case in Albuquerque where the weather was dry and not a mosquito was to be found, at least in my neck of the woods.
Anyway, being a responsible pet parent, I know that I should get my old girl tested for heart worm so that I can start administering preventative medications. The heart worm test requires that she donate three drops of blood (according to all veterinarian offices consulted). The problem is that NO veterinarian will perform the test without a complete physical, including a blood panel, x-rays and fecal matter test. The cost? Between $275 and $346. (I found that the Humane Society will perform the test for $20.)
Now, I know a thing or two about dogs and their health. I keep up on some vaccinations, run blood titers in lieu of others, and kept one dog alive for five years with thrombocytopenia when most experts said her survival rate would only be a few days. I am no novice.
So, what does this have to do with the practice of law? Plenty.
That amazing duo, Carolyn Elefant of My Shingle and Lisa Solomon of Legal Research and Writing Pro, have co-authored a lawyer self-assessment, Should You Outsource to a Contract Lawyer? Excellent!
The best part of the assessment is that there is no hard sell, forceful or overt sales message from someone like me (an outsource attorney). Rather, this is a simple questionnaire which forces a busy solo or small firm practitioner to pause for a mere moment and evaluate his or her practice needs.
Participate in the assessment! It’s anonymous. Where else can you evaluate your law practice needs in less than three minutes?
..... a Goon. It seems as if every cable news station these days is discussing the problem of the teenage bully. By conservative estimates, thirty percent of teens have either been bullied or are bullies. Tragically, some teens commit suicide as a result of the bully behavior. Most bullied teens make it to adulthood but suffer years of emotional scarring.
What has not been discussed is that the problem of bullying does not end with adulthood. A bully is a bully, and seldom does s/he change his or her stripes. They grow up to be office managers, your boss and, yes, sometimes attorneys.
In my recent newsletter I wrote an article concerning attorney etiquette, “Getting Flamed By A Few Bad Apples”. My article mentioned a law firm that I once was employed which terrorized (not too strong a word for what happened) the secretarial staff and several partners had food fights in the conference room. This was just the tip of the iceberg.
We had a senior associate attorney, a married woman with four children, who was seemingly obsessed with a senior partner’s sex life. I say she was “seemingly obsessed” with this senior partner because her rhetoric was merely a pretext to make her targets, lower level women attorneys, uncomfortable as a potential object of the senior partner’s desire.
Of course, there was no truth to what the senior associate was saying. The only thing the senior partner did was show up for work each day. And, the lower level women attorneys were in the unenviable position of trying to ignore the constant babble which gave credence to a nonexistent improper relationship, or to insult the poor man by saying “no way, no how”.
Eventually, the senior associate was rewarded for her behavior by making partner. It was a short term reward. The law firm imploded within two years.
Bullying is bad for business.