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Beward of Casual Use of IM

Date November 30, 2005 Comment Comments Off on Beward of Casual Use of IM

Instant messaging is a very convenient way to quickly exchange information in real time without having to dial a telephone. But like e-mail, employees use this medium at their own risk. And employers who don’t pay attention to IM usage or set up clear policies about usage may find themselves in the same hot water that e-mail has brought.

Warning Signs of a Bad Boss

Date November 30, 2005 Comment Comments Off on Warning Signs of a Bad Boss

Here is the link on

Attention Deficit at Work

Date November 30, 2005 Comment Comments Off on Attention Deficit at Work

By some estimates, 8 million adults have Attention Deficit Disorder. These individuals tend to be very good at creative tasks and tend to have difficulty staying focused on more mundane tasks (think document review!) But there are many strategies that can help you cope with ADD and a lot of information now available on the subject. I would imagine that ADD could be a particularly difficult affliction in the practice of law where attention to detail can be critical.

Warning Signs of a Bad Boss

Date November 29, 2005 Comment Comments Off on Warning Signs of a Bad Boss

Joann Lublin of the WSJ talks about some of the warning signs of a bad boss. (In today’s WSJ–subscription required–but will be in CareerJournal.Com shortly.)

If you are an associate looking to make a lateral move to another law firm, you really owe it to yourself to speak with some of the associates at the firm before accepting an offer. Also, trust your gut. If partners are rude to you and acting stressed out during an interview, imagine what they might be like once your start working there.

Beyond the Billable Hour?

Date November 28, 2005 Comment Comments Off on Beyond the Billable Hour?

More than 10 years ago, I organized a seminar for MCLE on alternatives to hourly billing. The panelists pognositcated that value billing would slowly begin to replace hourly billing. But as In-House Counsel notes, the shift has been glacial and hourly billing still rules.

Click here for a quick history of hourly billing and some predictions about the future.

Excelling at the Mundane

Date November 28, 2005 Comment Comments Off on Excelling at the Mundane

An article in CareerJournal.Com is a reminder that it is important to do a good job on your assignments–even if they are mundane. Junior associates can be tasked with some pretty uninspiring work. Most of us did not go to law school in hopes that someday we would be placed on a large due dilligence project. There is nothing glamerous about spending two weeks reviewing documents for a large anti-trust litigation. But it is still important to do your best on these assignments because senior associates and partners will be judging you and forming lasting first impressions. Do a good job and you will be rewarded with more interesting and challenging work; show a lot of attitude and you may soon be shown the door!

Unsustainable Growth in the U.K.?

Date November 26, 2005 Comment Comments Off on Unsustainable Growth in the U.K.?

A law firm consultant argues that fast law firm growth in the U.K. is unsustainable. He predicts that U.S. firms will continue to outcompete U.K. firms for a variety of reasons including: a preference by multinational corporations for using American legal structures, cherry picking of lucrative M&A deals in Europe by U.S. law firms, a lack of growth of U.S. style litigation in Europe, etc.

Handwritten Notes?

Date November 22, 2005 Comment Comments Off on Handwritten Notes?

A marketing consultant suggests that handwritten notes remain an excellent way to stay connected with clients and professional contacts. I think she overstates the case (e.g. I think certain clients appreciate getting articles by e-mail so they can quickly forward them to others.) Also, some people’s handwriting is so poor that there is little likelihood that a handwritten note will be appreciated (I speak with authority on this subject.) But there is no question that handwritten notes will stand out in our increasingly impersonal world.

One way to achieve the same result is to write a brief handwritten note on an otherwise printed letter. Using this technique, you can customize your direct mail marketing with less effort and still achieve the “personal” touch.

Developing a Backbone

Date November 22, 2005 Comment Comments Off on Developing a Backbone

Ellen Ostrow talks about why it is difficult for women to advocate for themselves in the workplace (and why it is critical to do so.) She offers some good tips for being assertive without becoming hostile.

Supervising Former Peers

Date November 22, 2005 Comment Comments Off on Supervising Former Peers

Here is the link from my earlier post on how to supervise former peers. You don’t need a WSJ subscription to read this version.