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Law People

Better Law Practice Through Better People Management

Category Archives: Work/Life Balance

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

Testing for Better Hiring

Posted in Diversity, Management, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
A series of articles in the Wall Street Journal last week discussed the trend in corporate America toward using analysis of data obtained through personality and other questionnaires from employees to guide better long-term hiring. The information obtained from employees coupled with their work histories gives employers, particularly of large workforces with potentially large turnover rates, a better predictive… Continue Reading

The Diversity Myth Revisited

Posted in Announcements, Diversity, Productivity, Recruitment, Retention, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
Muir’s entry "What Do Women Want? Challenging the Diversity Myth" was republished in June’s Law Practice Today, the monthly webzine of the ABA Law Practice Management Section. The article will also be used in the workshop at the ABA meeting this July, entitled "LPM Diversity and Inclusion Workshop: The New Look of Law Practice Management."… Continue Reading

International Women’s Day: Women and the Paris Bar

Posted in Compensation, Diversity, Recruitment, Retention, Work/Life Balance
At first glance, you as a woman lawyer might be tempted to pull up stakes and take yourself to Paris: according to a report by the Paris Bar, after rapid increases in the number of female law graduates there over the last few years, the number of registered women lawyers now outstrips the men, the women start practicing… Continue Reading

The “Blame It On Law School” Controversy, or Unrequited Law Students

Posted in Compensation, Culture, Ethics, Law Education, Management, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
Perhaps the only players in the legal world getting a harsher strafing these days than law firms are law schools.  The biggest complaints are 1) financial: that they unfairly entice students into their folds on promises of big payday legal jobs that most will never have a shot at and that the law schools do so at tuition rates that impose mortgage-sized… Continue Reading

Practical Practice Tips: Taking Control of Your Schedule

Posted in Conflict, Management, Productivity, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
So here is the typical routine:  clients that demand not overnight but one-hour turnaround, associates that don’t hand in assignments on time, working into the night to deliver a reasonable product (see the first two), phone conferences scheduled for 6 am, which turn out to be at 3 am in California, where you are that… Continue Reading

Freud and Emotions

Posted in Books, Communication, Conflict, Emotional Intelligence, Professional Development, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
In honor of the endings and beginnings at this time of the year and the personal and professional resolutions that each of us aspire to for the future, it is fascinating to look to the life of the founder of modern psychology, Sigmund Freud. A recent entry in "The People’s Therapist," a blog by a… Continue Reading

Invalidating Work/Life Balance?

Posted in Culture, Diversity, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Recruitment, Retention, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
This past August a court dismissed an EEOC discrimination suit against Bloomberg contending that the company had systematically discriminated against pregnant women or those who recently returned to work from maternity leave. The judge, New York district court judge Loretta Preska, saw the EEOC’s essential charge to be that  Bloomberg, as a company policy, did not provide work/life balance for its employees, which… Continue Reading

The Unhappy Lawyer

Posted in Compensation, Retention, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
According to the recently released 2011 Associates Survey, third- through fifth-year associates billed the highest number of billable hours in 2010 since 2007, working more than two extra weeks (80 billable hours, or a total average of 2,037 hours) compared to the 1,975 average  hours billed for 2009.  Which may account for the fact that the average firm composite score in terms of associate… Continue Reading

The Gay Man’s Perspective on Women’s Work/Life Balance Issues

Posted in Culture, Diversity, Management, Mentoring, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Work/Life Balance
Will Meyerhofer is a lawyer who worked at Sullivan & Cromwell before chucking it and getting his MSW to become a therapist. He is also gay. He writes the blog The People’s Therapist and occasionally ties in issues relating to the legal community. His latest entry is about a recent podcast he did with the… Continue Reading

What MidLaw Associates Are Saying About Our Future

Posted in Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
The results of the AmLaw 200 Midlevel Associate Survey make for some interesting prognostications about our future. The average composite score from 5,092 associates fell to 3.728, the lowest overall score since 2004, which includes one of the lowest scores–3.96–for the associate’s own firm in recent years.  While worries about being laid off declined significantly and 72%… Continue Reading

Does Compensation Motivate?: The World According to Dan Pink

Posted in Client Service, Compensation, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
The most interesting question, in my opinion, that was asked of me and Peter Zeugheuser at last Thursday’s CCM audio conference on Origination Credit and Partner Compensation for the New Legal Landscape was not really within the purview of the topic.  It was "does compensation really work as an incentive?"   The topic–for a broadly diverse audience–was an overview of law… Continue Reading

Will Law Schools Help Build a Healthier Profession?

Posted in Culture, Law Education, Mentoring, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
According to a recent article in the ABA Journal, "Law schools need to do more than teach the legal basics–they also have a moral obligation to produce healthy and satisfied lawyers."  Specifically, Michael Serota, a recent law grad, suggests in his opinion column in the New York Law Journal that law schools "help students identify their… Continue Reading

Muir Discusses Leadership at WLA Conference

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Leadership, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Work/Life Balance
Muir participated in a panel discussion last week at the Women Lawyers Alliance first Annual Conference, held in Chicago.  Muir and fellow panelists author Shaunti Feldhahn, eminent psychologist Dr. Florence Denmark and psychologist/coach Karen Kahn identified some of the challenges and facilities women have in making their mark as leaders in law firms, and also addressed specific questions on… Continue Reading

Muir’s “The Diversity Myth” Published

Posted in Announcements, Diversity, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
An article based on Muir’s blog entry "What do Women Want? Challenging the Diversity Myth" has been published in the ABA’s April 2010 webzine Law Practice Today. The issue focuses on effective diversity strategies in law practice management.  … Continue Reading

Georgetown Law School Center for the Study of the Legal Profession’s Conference — “Law Firm Evolution: Brave New World or Business as Usual?”

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Compensation, Culture, Decision-Making, Diversity, Law Departments, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Succession, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
It was my great pleasure–something I don’t often say about a conference– to attend this invitation-only gathering last week, March 21-23, of both august and up-and-coming law industry professionals as they prognosticated the future of our practice and what that might in fact look like up close for a broad array of providers and clients.  While I will digest and relay over the… Continue Reading

What Do Women Want? Challenging The Diversity Myth

Posted in Books, Client Service, Leadership, Management, Pro Bono and Community Service, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction, Work/Life Balance
  Monday, March 8, is International Women’s Day. So how are we doing? Bain and Company recently released results of a survey, reported in the Harvard Business Review, of 1,800 business people worldwide. Eighty percent believed that companies benefit from a gender diverse workforce; 75% reported having initiatives in their workplace to improve gender parity; but less than… Continue Reading