Tomorrow’s lawyers

What do lawyers need to be good lawyers? A project in Denver is investing a lot of time, energy, and resources into answering that question. It’s the Foundations for Practice study, generated by Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, an initiative of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System. The background on Foundations for Practice … Continue reading Tomorrow’s lawyers

It’s interview season

For law students working on fall campus-interviewing opportunities, here is a roundup of posts on listening during interviews: Using social media to "listen" (i.e. monitor) the legal job market and prepare for interviews Listening during interviews: advice for law students Effective listening during callback interviews And a few additional posts of interest to candidates facing … Continue reading It’s interview season

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

Resolution: Delight them

Delight your clients. That’s a good New Year’s Resolution for lawyers, right? It’s an entrenched, almost clichéd piece of general business advice. But should lawyers try to delight their clients? It seems like the answer should be “of course!!” But what does that even mean? A recent reference to delighting the client prompted this post, … Continue reading Resolution: Delight them

New proof about “sounding smart”

Every time a lawyer communications, that lawyer must choose not only what to say but how to say it—in person, phone, e-mail, or something else. Speaking and listening obviously take longer and may seem inefficient. Writing (such as e-mail) can reach a group of people instantly and allow them to access the information at a … Continue reading New proof about “sounding smart”

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

Defining success for new lawyers

The state bar where I am licensed just blast e-mailed a survey for the Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers project of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System. According to the survey e-mail, this project has three goals: finding out “what law graduates need to launch successful careers in the legal profession” creating “models of legal education to … Continue reading Defining success for new lawyers

Second-chair listening

The role of a good second-chair lawyer at trial is strategically crucial. Yet the second chair's contribution can be difficult to see, compared with that of the lead lawyer starring in the show. Two major components of the second chair's contribution are preparation (before trial) and listening (at trial). The preparation gives the second chair … Continue reading Second-chair listening