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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

California Takes on Attorney/Client Sexual Relationships

Posted in Client Service, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Risk Management, Uncategorized
As noted in our ever-popular posts Lawyers Lusting After Clients and Their Spouses and Addendum to Lust, forum shopping should be on your mind if you’re looking for some nookie from a client. California may soon become one of the “don’t-even-think-about-it” states. The California Bar Association has proposed that any sexual relationship arising between a lawyer and his/her client… 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

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

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

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

How Was Your Mental Health Day?

Posted in Assessments, Client Service, Coaching, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Law Departments, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Retention, Risk Management, Uncategorized, Wellness, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
World Mental Health Day was Friday, October 10th.  How did yours go? Did your firm or department remind you not to work such long hours that you lose your critical thinking edge or alienate the personal ties that keep you grounded and productive?  Did you get a refresher on how to deal with stress and its… Continue Reading

Competitors of the Future Arriving Now

Posted in Business Development, Compensation, Management, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Succession, Uncategorized
Maybe it’s just us, but the announcement of the departure from Fried Frank of a former managing partner and some of her department carries with it intimations of several current trends in the law business: the British are coming, the accounting firms are coming, and you’d better take a second look at both your profitability and your… 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

The Decline of the Seduction of Practicing Law

Posted in Compensation, Law Education, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Uncategorized
If there were any question as to whether there is an over-supply of lawyers in the US, the recent spate of reports should lay that to rest. As Steve Harper noted in a January American Lawyer article, “Eighty-five percent of today’s newest lawyers are carrying six-figure law school debt. Only about half of all those graduating… 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 Caring Angle

Posted in Assessments, Culture, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Pro Bono and Community Service, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Uncategorized, Work Satisfaction
Law firm and law department managers who are using “caring” management strategies in response to the economic downturn are examples of playing nicely in the legal sandbox.  And research demonstrates that, again, being nice pays off. According to a recent study by Grdinovac and Yancey entitled “How organizational adaptations to recession relate to organizational commitment,” published… Continue Reading

What About Just Being Nice?

Posted in Books, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Compensation, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Pro Bono and Community Service, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Uncategorized
So you’re not really feeling the love?  Or even the compassion?  How about being nice–can you at least get into being nice? Fitting nicely into our recent blog posts about the more heartful arts, the November/December 2013 issue of the ABA Law Practice Magazine is entitled “The Business of Giving,” and features a story entitled “Being Nice.”… Continue Reading

The Law: What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Posted in Books, Client Service, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Retention, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Wellness, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
Mindful of Rev. King’s exhortation to leaven power with love, remember the Doonesbury character Woodrow proclaiming “By God, I love the law!”  Well, there’s a perspective afoot in the legal industry that may take that sentiment and turn it on its head.  It sounds something like “the law is all about love!” According to an… Continue Reading