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Law People

Better Law Practice Through Better People Management

Category Archives: Work Satisfaction

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Managing Stress: Rumination and You

Posted in Books, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Productivity, Uncategorized, White Papers, Work Satisfaction
According to the statistics, lawyers exhibit more signs of stress and distress–expressed in depression, suicide, substance abuse, divorce, etc.– than any other profession.  Lawyer leaders may be even more stressed. The Center for Creative Leadership’s 2013 White Paper on “The Surprising Truth about What Drives Stress and How Leaders Build Resilience” names stress and burnout as… Continue Reading

Muir Webinar on Emotions in the Office

Posted in Announcements, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Risk Management, Teamwork, Wellness, Work Satisfaction
Muir presented a Webinar September 12, 2013 to members of the Organization of Legal Professionals on “Crying Happens: Managing Emotions in the Office” tailored to recognizing and managing the emotional challenges in a legal office.  Comments included “wonderful” and “good stuff!”… Continue Reading

Collaborative Culture and Office Geography

Posted in Communication, Conflict, Culture, Law Departments, Management, Productivity, Retention, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
The Emergence of the C-Suite Today’s law firm looking to achieve a more business-like operation is often replicating many of the senior officers that businesses have, setting up or bulking up a C-Suite.  In addition to a Managing Partner or CEO, there may well be a Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer,… Continue Reading

Clueless at the Top?

Posted in Assessments, Books, Coaching, Communication, Compensation, Innovation, Law Departments, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction
While workers with high emotional intelligence are consistently the best performers on all steps of the corporate ladder, interestingly enough it is those at the top level of management who have the lowest overall average emotional intelligence (EI or EQ)  in organizations. Prompting one journalist to contend that “Your Boss Probably Wouldn’t Pass Yale’s Emotional Intelligence… Continue Reading

Shall We Raise the Profits of Partners?

Posted in Books, Business Development, Client Service, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Succession, Uncategorized, Work Satisfaction
The Altman-Weil 5th annual survey of law firm leaders has been recently published to much commentary. Some of the more striking results of the survey relate to leaders’ assessment of the market challenges (primarily reflecting the viewpoints of 250+lawyer law firms) and their firms’ ability to meet them.  Over the next 24 months, most managers cited the… Continue Reading

Communist Leadership and Pornography

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Emotional Intelligence, Innovation, Law Departments, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
Speaking of China, while touring a  job fair in Tianjin last week, China’s President Xi Jiping  answered his own question to a local official as to what the critical ingredients of  good Communist leaders are. “Intelligence quotient and emotional quotient – which is more important?” the president evidently asked.  When the official answered “both,” it was reported that… Continue Reading

Lawyer Personalities at Above the Law

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Law Departments, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, White Papers, Work Satisfaction
Above the Law columnist Susan Moon, an in-house lawyer at Wyndham Worldwide, gave our The Unique Psychological World of Lawyers a nice plug last week, just hours after much of the data in it was discussed at a presentation at Yale Law School.  An older article (since updated) and a “bit on the dry side,”… 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

Attrition is Back!

Posted in Compensation, Culture, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction
A question was posed recently in the press: – "Why are lawyers such terrible managers?"  The article appeared in CNN’s online Money/Fortune magazine.  It cites statistics from the National Association for Legal Professionals Foundation that in 2010 law firms with 100 and fewer lawyers and 251-500 attorneys lost nearly one fifth of their associates.  This is after the… Continue Reading

Law School–the Bomb

Posted in Compensation, Law Education, Management, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Succession, Work Satisfaction
There aren’t many developments in the legal industry that literally bowl you over–okay, the demise of Dewey & LeBoeuf was a fast-paced shocker. Hearing over the last few months questions about the future viability of one or another well-respected law school has been another.  Let’s review the bidding in that part of the legal field:  Unprepared to Practice.  There… Continue Reading

Nice Guys Finish Last? A Meditation on a Questionable Virtue

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Conflict, Culture, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
Most of us have very high standards for the work we deliver our clients.  We demand from ourselves and those on our team the best possible product. "Performance at whatever price" might be our mantra, even if it requires nagging and criticizing or even bullying.  Yet confrontational environments feel uncomfortable to most people and over the long run are in fact not conducive… 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

What’s Ethics Got to Do With It? Part 1

Posted in Client Service, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Leadership, Management, Professional Development, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
Recent reporting happened to recount within days of each other three instances of fraud in the legal world that bear some reflection.  In New York in late July, after a short deliberation by the jury, two attorneys were convicted of 10 felony counts of perpetuating for over almost a decade mortgage fraud, including conspiracy to commit bank fraud… Continue Reading

The Politics of Place: Where’s Your Office?

Posted in Business Development, Client Service, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Law Departments, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Profitability, Retention, Risk Management, Succession, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
While it’s unlikely that anyone would attribute all of Research in Motion’s troubles to corporate geography, it’s worth noting that RIM’s two chief executives, both now gone, were located over the last few critical years in offices about a 10-minute drive apart. And, according to former RIM executives, meetings with both of them present were rare. In the… 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

Muir to Speak on Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Ethics, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Wellness, Work Satisfaction
Ronda Muir of Law People Management LLC, Randall Kiser of DecisionSet, and Daniel S. Bowling III of Duke Law School will be co-presenting a Center for Competitive Management audio presentation on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 2pm EDT entitled "Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence." The presentation will cover the relatively new science of emotional intelligence, its relationship to… Continue Reading

Muir to Present Webinar on Emotional Intelligence and Lawyering

Posted in Announcements, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
Ronda Muir of Law People Management LLC, Randall Kiser of DecisionSet, and Daniel S. Bowling III of Duke Law School will be co-presenting a Center for Competitive Management audio presentation on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 2pm EDT entitled "Lawyering with Emotional Intelligence." The presentation will cover the relatively new science of emotional intelligence, its relationship to… Continue Reading

Embracing The Next New Thing–Or Getting Run Over By It?

Posted in Client Service, Law Education, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Work Satisfaction
Speaking of the industry being "over-lawyered," one of the reasons that that conclusion is being reached is because of the impact of incoming new technologies, which are not even yet being fully felt in the industry–technologies that both raise the hope of more targeted and cost-efficient client service while at the same time spelling the demise of many back-office, data slogging, routinized legal jobs.  The current… Continue Reading

Bringing the Hospitality Mind-Set to the Law

Posted in Client Service, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Decision-Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Productivity, Professional Development, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
Speaking of hospitality, during the 6th Annual HR in Hospitality Conference & Expo in San Francisco last month,Chip Conley, the founder of the hotel chain Joie de Vivre, said that most leaders have strong IQs, but far fewer have EQs—emotional intelligence—to match, and that can be detrimental to business. Why? 1) Emotions are more contagious than viruses, so… Continue Reading

The Challenges of Lateral Hiring

Posted in Assessments, Business Development, Client Service, Coaching, Communication, Compensation, Conflict, Culture, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, Management, Mentoring, Productivity, Professional Development, Profitability, Recruitment, Retention, Risk Management, Teamwork, Work Satisfaction
The American Lawyer has just issued its Report on Laterals 2012, in which it found that in the 12 months ending September 30, 2011, 2,454 partners left or joined Am Law 200 firms, for a 22% increase over 2010, when there was the lowest number of moves since 2000. "This year’s figure was consistent with the annual average of 2,458 partner moves… 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

Happy Holidays and A Prosperous and Peaceful New Year!

Posted in Announcements, Conflict, Profitability, Work Satisfaction
No, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus, but thankfully there is gratitude and hope, which I wish for all my subscribers during this holiday season and throughout the new year!  With these twin gifts come prosperity and peace–let us work together to make sure you are beneficiaries in the coming year of both.  The Law People Management Gang… Continue Reading