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

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

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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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]

Lessons From a Divisive Campaign-Politics Can be a Relationship Building Tool

On this day after Joe Biden was named President-Elect, I was thinking what I could post on LinkedIn. Facebook is where I go to voice strong political opinions. My comments on LinkedIn are more measured. So I looked back into the archives of my blog and found a post which feels more relevant than ever (Talking Politics and Religion at Your Job Interviews). I posted it while Barack Obama was still president (during the 2016 election). My big message was “be cautious when talking politics and religion with people you don’t know” however don’t be afraid to authentic in job interviews or in business networking settings if you see an opening. You’ll attract the people you want to work with or work for.

Common political and religious beliefs are the basis of very strong bonds (maybe the strongest). Of course be careful. You may lose some opportunities. But you’ll strengthen the relationships you want to strengthen and IMHO, you’ll end up ahead.

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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.

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How to Build a Life Sciences Practice in a New City [on the C2C podcast]

How do you move to a new city and build a law practice?  Do what Dave Dykeman has done over the last 20 years.  Dave is Co-Managing Partner of the Boston Office of Greenberg Traurig where he also Co-Chairs the firm’s Global Life Sciences & Medical Technology Group.  In the latest episode of the Counsel to Counsel Podcast, Dave and I talk about building a niche IP practice in medical devices and other technologies.  He describes how his  early marketing efforts yielded great results over time.

Read moreHow to Build a Life Sciences Practice in a New City [on the C2C podcast]

What Comes Next?-A Program for Senior Lawyers (Starting in January)

Where is your career going in 2021? Join a coaching group to explore the answer!

Eventually, every professional athlete faces the same challenges: when to retire and what to do next.  For the most part, an athlete’s career is limited.  Few players will be able to compete into their 40’s. Lawyers, on the other hand, do not face these constraints. They can practice full-time well into their 70’s or 80’s and even continue to actively participate in firm management.

As the pandemic has caused law firms and partners to rethink their priorities, the issue of what to do with senior partners has never been timelier.  For lawyers who are thinking about the next 10 to 15 years of their lives, they may be asking themselves the same question that King George poses in the musical Hamilton—What Comes Next?

Read moreWhat Comes Next?-A Program for Senior Lawyers (Starting in January)