Listening to punctuation

Thanks to Julie Schrager, counsel and legal writing coach at Schiff Hardin, for this guest post.  I have been desperately trying to find a way to write about exclamation points. I grew up in a time when they were reserved for exclamations: “Congratulations on winning that game!” or “That’s the reason he got that promotion!” Lynne … Continue reading Listening to punctuation

Categories of listening

Katrina Lee from Ohio State tweeted earlier this week: Focus on doing more empathetic #listening, < self-focused listening. Quick read fr #biglaw talent developmnt director. cc @ListenLikeaLwyr https://t.co/uwjkwIbScj — Katrina Lee (@katrinajunelee) September 20, 2016 The article referred to in her tweet is by  Jim Lovelace, Director of Talent Development at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, and … Continue reading Categories of listening

Listening and legal tech

I have followed Mike Whelan, Jr., on Twitter for a while now but only recently discovered his blog, Lawyer Forward. Mike is a Texas family lawyer and law-practice coach for lawyers who founded a CLE conference, also called Lawyer Forward. Whelan says his "ninja thing" is "teaching and cultivating relationships." It's therefore not surprising his … Continue reading Listening and legal tech

Anticipation = preparation

This week Attorney at Work re-published a "classic" (i.e. 2012) post by Gerry Riskin on "Five Things Lawyers Hate to Hear Clients Say."  This post lays out some predictable, potentially recurring situations where communication is sensitive and can easily go awry. These situations certainly deal with classic challenges to lawyer-client relationships such as setting retainers, … Continue reading Anticipation = preparation

Is teamwork the same as collaboration?

  Earlier this week Listen Like a Lawyer discussed Google’s teamwork study investigating the qualities of effective teams. In the post I mentioned that teamwork is so important in part because many cases are too complex for one person to manage. One bit of feedback on the post agreed that teamwork is “vital now for … Continue reading Is teamwork the same as collaboration?

Teamwork for lawyers

The thing I’ve most wanted to share here in recent months has been “What Google Learned from Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team,” published in the New York Times Magazine’s recent Work Issue. Building perfect teams—or at least more effective ones—is pretty important for the legal profession. For law firms, the complexity of many … Continue reading Teamwork for lawyers

Mindful interactions with colleagues

Mindfulness and listening go together in a lot of ways, some obvious and some subtle. A recent HBR Blog post, "See Colleagues as They Are, Not as They Were," challenged readers to be more mindful in working with colleagues, especially longtime colleagues. The post defines mindfulness as "noticing what is happening in the present moment, without judgment." And thus … Continue reading Mindful interactions with colleagues

Listening and metrics of quality

If a client feels listened to, is that client likely to use the lawyer or law firm again? Maybe, but not if the lawyer listened deeply and sincerely while charging three times what the client expected for the work. Metrics for lawyers and firms get complicated very fast. Kenneth Grady’s latest Seylines post points toward the lack of … Continue reading Listening and metrics of quality

Two hemispheres of law practice

 Securities law and divorce law. Lawyers in these practice areas may not be from different planets, but they live in different “hemispheres,” according to sociological work being explored by Deborah Merritt at the Law School Café. Her first post is here and second post here. Merritt is revisiting the study Chicago Lawyers by sociologists John … Continue reading Two hemispheres of law practice