The hothouse of law school

The great law professor Larry Ribstein used to say that legal education has grown within a hothouse. Flora and fauna grow in different ways in a hothouse than in a natural environment. -William D. Henderson, quoted in Katrina Lee, The Legal Career: Knowing the Business, Thriving in Practice (2017) For sixteen years I’ve been teaching … Continue reading The hothouse of law school

Review: Katrina Lee’s The Legal Career

Katrina Lee’s new book on the business of law, The Legal Career: Knowing the Business, Thriving in Practice (West 2017), starts by exploring the design of a law-firm office. Lee points out that the law office can be seen as a microcosm of the legal industry: evolution, yes, but also persistent adherence to the old ways. … Continue reading Review: Katrina Lee’s The Legal Career

Welcome, #PracticeTuesday Blog

You may know this blog is a huge fan of the #PracticeTuesday hashtag. I covered it here and follow it every Tuesday at 5 p.m. Eastern on Twitter. The conversation ranges from reminders about handling witnesses . . . Concur. Know what you need to get out of each witness and check it off as … Continue reading Welcome, #PracticeTuesday Blog

#InHouseTwitter

In-house counsel and anyone who works with them—such as, say, outside counsel—will be interested in the new hashtag, #InHouseTwitter, started this summer by @J_Dot_J. J.J.'s Twitter bio tells us she is an "employment/cyber-security lawyer, mom to a 2-boy wrecking crew, endorsed as 'not half bad.'" She has shared some pithy—sometimes salty—advice from her in-house perspective … Continue reading #InHouseTwitter

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