Walking With Giants in Your Law Life

As the Carolina landscape turns red and gold and November arrives with a nip, I bring you news from the Fall Classic to brighten your Law Life:  There is greatness all around, and giants walk among us. For proof, look no further than Major League Baseball’s champion Texas Rangers, winners of the 2023 World Series.    Read More +

Law Firm Technology and the Expensive Camera Problem

I love photography. Not so much the doing of it as the admiring the finished product of beautifully composed and edited photos. Especially landscape photography.   There was a time – or if I am going to be honest, there have been several times over the past 20 years because it takes a while for a lesson to make a dent in my hard head apparently – where I’ve looked at some beautiful landscape photography and thought, “I might like doing that…” Read More +

On Referrals

Most of the successful private law practices in North Carolina and around the US – and I am speaking here about individual lawyers’ practices as opposed to law firms – have been built on the backs of referrals. Referrals from other lawyers, referrals from other professionals serving the same client base, referrals from former clients, or – the gold standard, as many lawyers like to tout – referrals from opposing parties. From whatever source a referral comes, they all share the common trait that someone, somewhere said to a friend, colleague or loved one: “you know who you should call for help with that?” A referral is an implicit endorsement and accelerates trust right at the beginning of a potential client relationship. Compared to a cold call from, say, a Google search, it’s like you start the sales process on third base. So, how does a lawyer set about to generate potential client referrals?    Read More +

Whole Lawyer Wellness

Over the past year, I have been traveling across the state talking to lawyers about well-being. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. I have been deeply moved by the flood of emails, phone calls, and letters from insureds expressing their appreciation for the content. My commitment to lawyer well-being extends beyond Lawyers Mutual presentations and articles. I am also actively involved in providing written content for the Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP), and I've had the privilege of delivering programs with the LAP on well-being and resilience. The message we have received is clear. Our insureds are hungry for tools to help them deal with the sometimes-overwhelming stress of practicing law.   Read More +

How to Start Savoring Your Law Life

 When was the last time you truly savored a win in your Law Life?  The type of win – a job promotion, a grateful client, a favorable case outcome – is irrelevant. As is the size. The printer is finally unjammed! I found my keys! It’s not Monday! Even small victories deserve to be savored. So why don’t we do it more often?   Read More +

The First Rule of Getting Out of Holes: Reducing Attorney and Staff Turnover

When you find yourself in a hole and you want to get out, as the saying goes, the first rule is to stop digging.   Nowhere is this more true than in digging out of an altogether too common hole among law firms today: reducing attorney and staff turnover. Employee turnover is expensive, disruptive to workflow, frustrating to clients and damaging to team morale. Not to mention soul-sucking when you have to sit through hour after hour of terrible interviews seeking gamely to replace the person who just left with someone – you are getting the sinking feeling – who won’t be quite as good.   Read More +

Artificial Intelligence, Real Practice

"We have only bits and pieces of information, but what we know for certain is that at some point in the early 21st Century all of mankind was united in celebration. We marveled at our own magnificence as we gave birth...to AI.”1  These lines, spoken by heroic Captain Morpheus in the 1999 movie The Matrix, tell the story of [spoiler alert, though it’s arguable that no such warning is needed when talking about a 24-year old movie because, well, if you haven’t seen it by now you probably aren’t planning on seeing it anyway] the war between humans and artificial intelligence driven machines. Read More +

Browser Basics for Busy Lawyers

The web browser is one of those things that flies under life’s radar. It is almost definitely one of the top two or three pieces of software used on your phone and computer (competing with Outlook and Word, for most lawyers), and yet it also probably gets among the least amount of brain space and attention. This is kind of a shame because browsers are kind of amazing software. Free, easy to use and almost infinitely customizable, they can be huge value adds to your workflow, as well as make the other non-work parts of your life (you do have some of those somewhere, right?) smoother and easier, too.   Read More +

A Five-Step Plan for a Miraculous Law Life

Could your Law Life use a miracle? How about 50 to 100 miracles an hour?  Well, they’re available now and absolutely free, right outside your window. The annual Perseid meteor shower – the Best Celestial Event of the Year, according to the American Meteorological Society – is playing now in a night sky near you. The show runs from July to September 1, with peak viewing in mid-August.   Read More +

Unveiling the Impact of Chat GPT on the Study of Law

ChatGPT is a state-of-the-art language model developed by OpenAI. It is specifically trained on a diverse range of internet text, making it proficient in a wide array of topics and able to respond to a variety of queries. The artificial intelligence (AI) model can be used for a variety of purposes, such as answering questions, providing explanations, generating creative text, assisting with writing tasks, and much more. It is capable of natural language understanding and generation, allowing it to engage in human-like conversations with users and provide contextually relevant responses.   Read More +

Is Your Website Working for You?

Law firm website are, for many firms, the albatross around the neck of their business development efforts. They are expensive and time consuming to create and for a lot of lawyers they are not an especially productive part of their business development systems. You have to have one, because when a potential client is referred to your firm or a potential employee is interviewing for a position with your firm, they will very likely first go to your website to see what it is your firm says to the world about itself.   Read More +

Your 2023 Plan for Recruiting Paralegals

Law firms are known for being notoriously slow in hiring. One of my favorite jobs took me five months to get after making the initial contact. I was employed at the time, but five months is a long time to wait. Job candidates tell me they can go weeks or even months without hearing a status update from a potential employer. While I was willing to wait five months, this scenario is unlikely to work in your favor in today’s employment climate.   Read More +

How to Lead an “Easy Does It” Law Life

Do you ever ask yourself, “Shouldn’t it be getting easier?”  By “it” I mean practicing law. But I also mean practicing life. If you’ve done it long enough to get the hang of it and learned a few lessons along the way, shouldn’t it be getting easier every day?  Yet it isn’t. Occasionally your JD is the opposite of Just Delightful, and you find yourself standing on the front lawn at 2 AM shaking your fist at the cosmos bellowing: “Why is everything so hard?”    Read More +

The Lawyer Who Loved Hot Pockets

Greetings, campers! Today’s tale begins with a shootout over the last Hot Pocket and ends with a pair of unethical anglers stuffing lead weights in their walleye. Along the way you will find Red Flags for Spotting Bad-News Clients, timely tips for your summer vacation – and perhaps even a helpful lesson or two for Your Law Life. All in less than 750 words, what a bargain! Let’s roll:   Read More +

Meditation: What Is It and What Are the Benefits

Let’s face it, lawyers have a lot of stress in their lives. We deal with deadlines, angry and impatient clients, malpractice exposure, difficult opposing counsel, and expectations of perfection. Now, add to that list the COVID 19 pandemic, inflation and political turmoil and you’ve got a big heaping serving of stress stew.   Read More +