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Law People

Better Law Practice Through Better People Management

Category Archives: Leadership

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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

Studies on the Currency of Influence: Trump vs. Clinton?

Posted in Client Service, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Teamwork
Here’s a thought that will hopefully make us all more likable around the Thanksgiving turkey: “A growing body of research suggests that the way to influence—and to lead—is to begin with expressing emotional warmth.”  That is the conclusion–probably surprising to the legal crowd–of an interesting research study looking at what gives leaders the power of… Continue Reading

Dumbing Down the Law?

Posted in Innovation, Law Departments, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Uncategorized
Here we are into another application-to-law-school season and there are hopes that the numbers are starting to look up. After all, the news over the last few years–the lower number of applicants to law school (declining over 40% to the lowest level in 15 years), the low enrollment rate (2014’s was the lowest since 1987), the… 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

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Daughters Grow Up to be Lawyers: A Preview

Posted in Client Service, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Innovation, Law Departments, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Uncategorized, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
In anticipation of a white paper on the persistent question of why there isn’t greater gender diversity in the practice of law, here’s a look at a few of the salient points: Women have comprised roughly half of law graduates for a number of decades, and have been consistently over-represented at the top of their… Continue Reading

The Psychology of Malpractice

Posted in Assessments, Client Service, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Profitability, Risk Management, Uncategorized
Does low emotional intelligence (EI) put lawyers at higher risk for malpractice liability? Lawyers test at low emotional intelligence compared to the general population and other professions. They are particularly low in a critical component of emotional intelligence: emotional perception, or awareness of their own and others’ emotions. Being out of touch with one’s emotions has been… 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

Stress for Better and Worse

Posted in Books, Client Service, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
The Center for Creative Leadership’s 2013 White Paper on “The Surprising Truth about What Drives Stress and How Leaders Build Resilience” lists stress and burnout as the top two issues leaders worldwide wrestle with. “Burnout” is a syndrome caused by excessive stress which can produce physical, emotional and mental exhaustion.  Burnout is the end game… 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

Tips for Starting Off the New Year Right

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Law Departments, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Teamwork
Shake off that New Year’s hangover–a whole new year lies ahead for making progress in your career! To help you start out right, former President of the College of Law Practice Management Merrilyn Astin Tarlton has put together 49-Tips-for-the-New-Lawyer, which are good advice for the not-so-new lawyer, as well.  Print them out, hang them on your… Continue Reading

Fixing the Leaky Pipeline and Other Gender Developments

Posted in Books, Diversity, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Uncategorized, Work/Life Balance
There’s been some good news in the women-in-law category over the last few years. For years, women hovered in the range of 15%-18% of partners in most law firms. Both Debevoise and Cravath have been leaders in changing that–with women comprising a solid 50% average of both firms’ new partners over a five-year period.  The 2011 NAFE/Flex-Time Lawyers… Continue Reading

Something for Nothing

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Communication, Emotional Intelligence, Law Departments, Leadership, Management, Uncategorized
It’s that time of year.  One of the more interesting phenomena is that Americans give an astounding amount of money to charity every year–apparently primarily because they get that warm glow inside from doing so.  Sure, there may be some social advantages, like supporting friends, or reputation bennies, like seeing your name in print, but… Continue Reading

Challenged by Ethics

Posted in Client Service, Coaching, Culture, Ethics, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized
Stephen Glass, the infamous journalist whose writing career collapsed under an avalanche of lies, is not being allowed to practice law in California. The California Supreme Court concluded early this year that Glass, then a law clerk for a Beverly Hills plaintiffs firm, had failed to meet “his heavy burden of demonstrating rehabilitation.” Glass admitted to fabricating parts of… 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

Telling it Straight

Posted in Culture, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Wellness, Work Satisfaction
Jennifer Alvey “is a recovering lawyer who was once one of the 20% of Feelers in law firms.”  Now she coaches other lawyers in the Nashville area, many of whom are miserable practicing law. In her post “Why Are There So Many Asshole Lawyers?”, she tells it straight about her and her clients’ experiences in “dysfunctional”… Continue Reading

Diversity in Personal Style

Posted in Announcements, Conflict, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
Muir spoke at the Center for Legal Inclusiveness Summit  in Denver, Colorado on Monday, May 12, a well-run event drawing people from all directions, despite a spring snowstorm.  Muir’s topic was “Achieving the Advantages of Diversity in Personal Style,” a review of the narrow personal style profile that prevails in many legal organizations, the hazards… Continue Reading

The State of the Marketplace

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Leadership, Management, Profitability, Recruitment
Ladies and Gentlemen, looks like we have consensus about our situation.  Or almost. The Report on the State of the Legal Market (Peer Monitor/Georgetown) came out in early January followed by the Citi Private Bank 2014 Client Advisory (Hildebrandt) a week later. The Report on the State of the Legal Market noted an overall drop in demand for 2013… 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