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

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

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]

Creating Board Options for Lawyers (Webinar)

Thinking about new ways to leverage your legal expertise in 2021?  Join us for a webinar on December 16th,  Creating Board Options for Lawyers.

If you are a senior lawyer, you might be intrigued by the idea of serving on a non-profit or for-profit board of directors. Board membership offers a high-impact way to leverage your expertise and skills. In the case of a non-profit board, it is a way to give back and find more career satisfaction later in your career. For-profit boards offer a way to grow your income and reward you for the years of knowledge you have developed about an industry.

At this webinar, 2 seasoned consultants offer their expert views on joining a boards, how to decide what boards to join, and what to expect if you do join a board.  Larry Stybel and Gary Morelli have

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Coaching to the Next Level-My Guest Appearance on the “Be That Lawyer” Podcast

While I usually sit in the interviewer seat during podcasts, I was very pleased to be a guest on Steve Fretzin’s podcast, Be That Lawyer.  Steve and I discus:

*The importance of relationship building in selling professional services
*The challenges and issues that lawyers face in making career transitions or in growing a law practice, and,
*The Next Stage, my new coaching program for senior lawyers who are thinking about What Comes Next.

Read moreCoaching to the Next Level-My Guest Appearance on the “Be That Lawyer” Podcast

Career Planning for Junior Associates–BBA Webinar: Should I Stay or Should I Go?–And How to Get There

The legal job market was strong until the start of 2020.  And then came COVID.  If you are currently a junior associate at a law firm, chances are that your first job search was more reactive than proactive.  There were lots of options.  Law firms came on campus for OCI and you ended up working as a summer associate (and eventually received an offer of permanent employment).  Or maybe you responded to a posting from your career services office or even saw an ad on Indeed or LinkedIn for an entry level job.

The market has shifted and now that you’ve been on the job for a couple of years, what is the next step in your career?  Partnership?  Perhaps.  But the reality for most associates is that they will make at least one move in the first few years of practice.  Some associates will make a lateral move to another firm, while others may opt for in-house corporate roles, government agencies or even launching their own firms.

If you are a junior associate in your first job out of law school and you are looking for more career insights about these issues, join Stephen Seckler and Linda Kline for a live webinar at the Boston Bar Association on October 15th.

Read moreCareer Planning for Junior Associates–BBA Webinar: Should I Stay or Should I Go?–And How to Get There