The Wisdom of Judge Smith

Try to listen twice as much as you speak, because when you are new you don’t have a clue. Listen to what people say and notice what they don’t say. Often their body language will verify or betray their words. Ask questions to clarify, distinguish, expose and summarize. Judge J. Layne Smith of Leon County, … Continue reading The Wisdom of Judge Smith

Unicorn lawyers

What is a “unicorn skill”? It’s a skill that reasonably performing professionals in the field do not have, which is why they are just…reasonable. They can still do their job but are not “A” players. A unicorn skill is thus rarely found, and those who have it stand out as…unicorns. I learned about the term … Continue reading Unicorn lawyers

A digression: re-learning to swim

While attempting—as an adult—to learn how to swim properly, the experience gave me a whole new appreciation for what 1L legal writing students go through. The idea of adults trying new things in middle age is a whole genre, found in a variety of essays and books, e.g. What I learned as the worst student … Continue reading A digression: re-learning to swim

Executive Coaching for Lawyers as Leaders

Listen Like a Lawyer is pleased to share this Q&A with executive coach Greg Riggs. Greg is the former general counsel of a Fortune 100 company and he has also serve as Associate Dean at Emory Law School. Greg has devoted his career to professional development and now has a national practice as an executive … Continue reading Executive Coaching for Lawyers as Leaders

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

Summer-associate advice

When I speak to summer associates, I always tell them they have two jobs: do great work and gain as many opportunities as possible within the employer’s organization, should they end up working there; and study the employer, lawyers and staff, and the overall culture to discern if it’s a good fit for them. Listening … Continue reading Summer-associate advice

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

New favorite hashtag: #PracticeTuesday

Sean Marotta, an appellate-practice specialist at Hogan Lovells, and Rachel Gurvich, a legal writing professor at the University of North Carolina, have started a new tradition on Twitter: #PracticeTuesday. Each Tuesday night, they launch a discussion on good habits, best practices, and useful tips for law practice. The hashtag for tweets on this topic is #PracticeTuesday. Today (Tuesday, … Continue reading New favorite hashtag: #PracticeTuesday

Loving your lawyer (part 1)

Last week once again America—or at least American lawyers—celebrated “Love Your Lawyer Day.” See also #loveyourlawyerday on Twitter. Beyond the marketing hype, there’s a good question: What makes people love their lawyers? The first answer is competence. A 2002 study of how the public perceives lawyers found the majority of consumer clients to be satisfied with their … Continue reading Loving your lawyer (part 1)

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