What are You Giving Away?

It is a simple fact of life that humans like to reciprocate.  When someone gives you something for free, the natural instinct is to return the favor.  This morning, I went to my local tailor/dry cleaner to get a pair of shorts repaired.  The hem needed to be resewn and it wasn’t a big job (in fact in only took 2 minutes).  When I first walked into the shop, the owner must have been downstairs because no one was behind the counter.  I waited a minute or two and then walked out to do a few more chores.  I briefly considered going into another shop around the corner, but I have always liked this dry cleaner and I prefer to do business with them.

When I returned, the shopkeeper took the shorts, fixed the hem, and quickly announced “no charge”.  I asked 3 times “are you sure?”  But the shopkeeper insisted that it was okay.  While I am not a big user of dry cleaners or tailoring services (like most of us, I haven’t worn business attire in a very long time), I will surely be returning to this shop the next time I have sewing or dry cleaning.  Through a small, simple act of generosity, the shopkeeper

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What is Coaching? Listen to Two Mock Sessions with a Master!

Wondering what coaching really is?  In two recent episodes of the Counsel to Counsel Podcast, Beth Masterman (who’s name is very fitting), coaches Steve, a 9th year associate at an AmLaw100 firm. Steve (who is played by Steve Seckler), has been passed over for partnership and is is trying to assess his career options.

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Episode 58-Managing Your Exit (Career Succession Planning– with Bill Lahey, Esq.)

With aging baby boomer in their senior ranks, 100s of law firms  throughout the country are facing succession planning issues.  How can the firm make a successful transition and ensure the long-term viability of their practice?  How will the younger partners step into the role of managing client relationships so the clients are well served in the future?

Underpinning all of this is a reality for many firms. Lawyers are living longer, practicing longer, and have very strong professional identities as lawyers.  What will these attorneys do when they are no longer chairing a department?  What are some of the creative strategies that lawyers have used to figure out What Comes Next.

Bill Lahey, has thought a lot about that subject.  Bill began his career in the public sector, worked for one large firm, one small firm and over 4 years, cut his hours by 20% per year and is not entirely out of the practice of law.  Along the way, Bill has experimented

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Billable Work vs. Investment Hours

Paul Morton has a lot to say about the term “non-billable hours”.  Paul is the COO of the law firm Burns and Levinson in Boston.  He has been a figure in law firm administration for well over 30 years and he has seen a lot of changes during that time including increased billing pressure on lawyers.  But according to Paul, billable hours should not take priority over all non-billable work.  In fact according to Paul, the phrase “non-billable hours” should be replaced with “investment hours”.

Simply put, attorneys need to generate income for their firms in the short run.  But they also need to invest time in marketing, law firm management, professional development, and self-care.  In the long run,

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Recycling Can Increase Your Marketing Efficiency

For many lawyers, carving out time for marketing activities is challenging. When there is billable work to do, spending time on things that don’t immediately generate revenue is hard to prioritize. Of course as I’ve written many times, making marketing a habit will ensure more marketing success in the long run (see Mindlessness is the Key to Marketing Success).

One hack that can help you generate more marketing activity without adding a lot of time to your day is to recycle. If you have some content that you can use in a variety of ways, that enables you to better leverage your time.

For example, if many clients are asking questions about a particular subject, you can turn that into a blog post. That blog post can become a LinkedIn post. Similarly you can then turn that into a presentation and maybe include links in a newsletter to a workshop you are planning.

Another marketing hack is to take evergreen marketing content and promote it more than once. If you post on LinkedIn, different people in your network will see it and are online at different times. Posting the same contact more than once is a

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Episode 55-Professionalism in the Practice of Law with Don Frederico [on the C2C podcast]

If you are an attorney, what does it mean to be a professional?  What is the borderline between zealous advocacy and uncivil and obstructionist behavior?  My guest in this episode, Don Frederico, has a lot to say about that subject.

Don is a lawyer I met over 30 years ago when I began my own legal career at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education.  At that time, Don was a litigation partner at the law firm McDermott Will and Emery. Today, Don leads the Class Action Defense Practice at Pierce Atwood.

I met hundreds of lawyers during my days at MCLE.  While many of our volunteers were true experts in their fields and generous with their time in helping to educate the bar, there were some standouts.  Don was not only someone who was willing to step up when asked, but he was an enthusiastic participant and someone who I thought really modeled true professionalism in the way he treated

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Acing the Virtual Interview [on the C2C Podcast]

For the last 10 months, most interviewing has gone on-line.  Zoom interviews are the norm right now and new hires are even being on-boarded virtually.  While the world will eventually shift back to in-person interviews, Zoom, WebEx and other virtual platforms are likely to continue to play a significant role in the hiring process.  The convenience of bringing together parties who are in different locations and have different schedules, it high.  As we enter 2021, I decided that updating my interviewing tips was long overdue.  You can listen to my tips for virtual interviews on the Counsel to Counsel Podcast or wherever you get your podcasts. For more comprehensive interviewing tips read my latest interviewing guide to help you

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Finding Your Niche-My Interview on the Lawyer Business Advantage Podcast

I was recently a guest on Alay Yanjnik’s Lawyer Business Advantage Podcast.  Like me, Alay is an experienced attorney coach and an active member of the ProVisors business network.  We spoke about business development for lawyers, the importance of developing a niche, some of the career related coaching that I do and a number of other related

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A Late Career Shift to Public Service [on the Counsel to Counsel Podcast]

What makes a legal career satisfying? Representing the most sophisticated clients?  Making a great living? Getting the brass ring at a large law firm? Or is it giving back?  If you ask Rich Johnston, Chief Legal Counsel for Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, it’s the latter.  Rich spent almost four decades as a partner at WilmerHale (originally Hale and Dorr).  While he did get to work on great cases as a commercial litigator, it was his public service and pro bono work that brought him the highest levels of satisfaction.

Read moreA Late Career Shift to Public Service [on the Counsel to Counsel Podcast]