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Law People

Better Law Practice Through Better People Management

Category Archives: Decision-Making

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Outsmarting Artificial Intelligence Part 3

Posted in Assessments, Books, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized
So we realize the depth and breadth of the competition that artificially intelligent technology can pose to our traditional legal practices. We are, after all, not able to access as many sources and certainly not as fast and perhaps not as sophisticated in our analysis logarithms as some machines are. Then again, we have our… Continue Reading

Outsmarting Artificial Intelligence Part 2

Posted in Books, Client Service, Communication, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Risk Management, Uncategorized
Sure, as we were saying, we lawyers could use some extra computing capacity, but isn’t there something unique about dispensing legal services that makes our positions secure from the onslaught of robots with artificial intelligence? For example, some aspects of providing legal advice involves less data crunching and more soft skills. Doesn’t that protect us… Continue Reading

Outsmarting Artificial Intelligence Part 1

Posted in Books, Business Development, Client Service, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Innovation, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized
If you’ve been watching Mostly Human, the new CNN series on some of the extreme applications of technology, you may be smugly thinking that at least law is immune to such bizarre technological intrusions. But the surge of technological advances in artificial intelligence and the rising incidence of its applications in business is destined to… Continue Reading

Whistleblowers United

Posted in Client Service, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Risk Management, Uncategorized
Speaking of ethical decisions, those who would be whistleblowers are usually caught by emotional crosswinds, often mentioning the difficulty they have in dealing with their own mixed emotions. As researchers concluded in “The Role of Emotional Intelligence in Ethical Decision Making at Work,” “Whistleblowing involves an intrapersonal conflict—an internal struggle of conflicting emotions that need… Continue Reading

Reducing the Liability Coming to Low EI Law Firms and Law Departments

Posted in Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Uncategorized, Work Satisfaction
An amendment to Rule 8.4(g) to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, first circulated in December 2015 and then adopted on August 3, 2016, prohibits lawyers while practicing law from engaging in conduct they “know or reasonably should know” constitutes harassment or discrimination based on “race, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender… Continue Reading

Happiest of Holidays!

Posted in Announcements, Books, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Innovation, Law Departments, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Pro Bono and Community Service, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Succession, Teamwork, Wellness, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
From Law People Management to you and yours, we wish you peace, prosperity and good health during the holidays and throughout the New Year. To that end, we are pleased to announce the publication by the American Bar Association of our book The Emotional Intelligence Edge for 21st Century Lawyers currently scheduled for summer of… Continue Reading

Lawyers in Conflict

Posted in Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Work Satisfaction
Having just finished an interesting assignment helping a firm resolve conflict among its ranks, I am freshly reminded of what it is that puts lawyers into conflict and then keeps them there.  So please indulge me in this seat-of-the-pants riff (for the record, none of which, of course, applies to any of my clients). Lawyers are on… Continue Reading

Building Your Emotional Vocabulary

Posted in Assessments, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Retention, Wellness
One of the ways to improve our emotional intelligence, and therefore improve our decision-making, our productivity. our personal interactions and our well-being, is to expand our vocabulary with respect to emotions. We experience hundreds of shades of emotion every day. While five to seven emotions are considered basic, combinations of those emotions blend together to… Continue Reading

Moral Disengagement and the Law

Posted in Client Service, Conflict, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Risk Management
Commentators have remarked for years on the decline in ethical standards among lawyers, leading to increasing charges of fraud, theft, breach of fiduciary duties, among other crimes, and also pure incivility. Even lawyers have long thought that lawyers are behaving inappropriately and should be more closely monitored: in one survey, 62% of the lawyers surveyed believed… Continue Reading

More on Love and the Law

Posted in Client Service, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Wellness, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
In our 2013 entry “The Law: What’s Love Got To Do With It?“, we noted the movement toward integrative law, which  “Pauline Tesler, director of the Integrative Law Institute, believes… is the next ‘huge wave coming to the legal profession.’ As she explains, this type of practice is aimed at ‘out-of-court solutions and the well-being of… Continue Reading

Leadership: What Really Matters

Posted in Conflict, Decision-Making, Leadership, Management, Profitability, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Work Satisfaction
According to an article in the January 2015 McKinsey and Company Quarterly Newsletter, Decoding leadership: What Really Matters,”[o]ver 90 percent of CEOs are already planning to increase investment in leadership development because they see it as the single most important human-capital issue their organizations face. And they’re right to do so: earlier McKinsey research has consistently… Continue Reading

Muir to Speak at ABA Webinar on Emotional Intelligence

Posted in Announcements, Books, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
On Friday, February 13th, at 1 to 2 ET, Muir and psychologist Rob Durr will be presenting a program on EQ: What it is and Why it Matters in an American Bar Association Career Advice webinar.  They will be discussing how high emotional intelligence can transform a good lawyer into a great one. Learn: What emotional intelligence is… Continue Reading

Making Teams Smarter

Posted in Assessments, Client Service, Decision-Making, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Teamwork, Uncategorized
On January 18th, The New York Times  published  an article entitled “Why Some Teams are Smarter than Others” that has some lessons for all of us who have the occasion to work in groups.  That means, essentially, all of us. These days almost every decision of consequence is made by a group. And what we’ve all… Continue Reading

The Intersection of Law and Psychology

Posted in Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Wellness, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
On February 21-22 of this year, the Boyd School of Law and Saltman Center for Conflict Resolution at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas held a very interesting conference on Psychology and Lawyering.  Attendance and enthusiasm were high and organizers anticipate future conferences well-fueled with the expanding research on these related areas. Here are some… Continue Reading

Paying Attention to What Matters

Posted in Books, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Profitability, Wellness
The cover title of the Time Magazine issue coming out Monday, February 3 is  “Mindful Nation.” The ultimate benefit of mindfulness is that it improves our ability to focus our attention, which is sorely needed in our 21st century lives.  Improvements in focusing attention in turn increase our ability to both perceive and regulate our emotions, as… Continue Reading

The Thing About Blind Spots

Posted in Assessments, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork
Discrimination comes in all forms. In our 2011 entry on the dismissal of an EEOC suit against Bloomberg, we noted that Karen Lockwood, a senior female partner in Howrey, a Washington D.C. firm and then president of the D.C. Women’s Bar Association, made a distinction between discrimination and unconscious bias: “Law firms are way beyond discrimination…… Continue Reading

Sharpening Our Prediction Skills

Posted in Assessments, Client Service, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Management, Profitability, Risk Management, Uncategorized
The Lawyer’s Global Litigation Top 50 2013 annual survey of senior in-house UK lawyers has found that projected litigation costs provided by counsel to their corporate clients were off by as much as 100%, with the average being 40%. “[E]ven experienced law firms are often woefully inept at accurately forecasting litigation costs,” the report concluded. That mis-forecasting… Continue Reading

Addendum to Lust

Posted in Client Service, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Management, Risk Management, Uncategorized
While our last posts have discussed the law and warmth, love, compassion, niceness and caring, there remains the unspoken kind of ardor.  No, not that one.  The one between lawyers and their clients. One of the most all-time popular posts on this blog continues to be “Practical Practice Tips: Lawyers Lusting After Clients and Their Spouses.” … Continue Reading

The Dilemma of Managing Partners of Mid-Size Law Firms

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Conflict, Decision-Making, Innovation, Leadership, Management, Risk Management
A recent survey of 75 managing partners of mid-size firms, i.e. mostly 20-75 lawyers, gave an interesting picture of the challenges those leaders are facing. For starters, these MPs have no job description, no identified successor and no exit strategy.  They are provided with no leadership training, and do not have a finalized firm strategic… Continue Reading

Those Gorilla Signatures–Size Does Matter

Posted in Assessments, Decision-Making, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Risk Management, Uncategorized
In the May 2013 Harvard Business Review, researchers reported on companies led by CEOs who have large signatures–an indicator, the authors of the study contend, of narcissism, usually characterized as being dominating, vain and self-centered.  The trait is named after the Greek myth of Narcissus, who fell in love with his own image. According to Wikipedia, “persons… Continue Reading

Only Slightly Higher Hopes

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Decision-Making, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Risk Management, Uncategorized
Our last post reported on  Citibank’s first quarter financial analysis and noted that in spite of “alarmingly low” growth in demand currently, managing partners of mostly AmLaw 100 firms were exhibiting an unusual display of optimism:   they expect overall demand for legal services to increase this year.  A more nuanced snapshot of managing partner… Continue Reading

Muir to Present at Yale Law School

Posted in Announcements, Assessments, Client Service, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Retention, Work Satisfaction
Ronda Muir, Esq., will present a seminar at Yale Law School on March 13, 2013 on "The Unique Psychological World of Lawyers–Strategies for a Successful and Satisfying Career."  She will review data from research with respect to personality assessments, positive psychology, conflict management, the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator and emotional intelligence showing the particular characteristics of lawyers that… Continue Reading

What the White Coats May Be Missing

Posted in Books, Business Development, Client Service, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Teamwork
Speaking of doctors in white coats, one has identified an attribute that may not rub off onto you when you don your own white coat.  According to Peter Ubel, a physician and behavioral scientist at Duke University, Starbucks employees have better training and are more effective in acting emotionally intelligent than doctors are. In his book Critical… Continue Reading