The oldest law journal in the United States

How to Handle Professional Setbacks and Move Forward

How to Handle Professional Setbacks and Move Forward It feels like 1994 all over again as the world revisits the O.J. Simpson criminal trial in the television series "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story." The often poignant series chronicles the case focusing primarily on the lawyers who tried it. I was a litigation attorney during this period and vividly remember flash points from the news of the murders on June 12, 1994, to the Ford Bronco low-speed car chase, to the verdict on Oct. 3, 1995, when all of the employees at my firm gathered in [...]

When It Comes to Your Career, Avoid Fallacy of ‘Sunk Costs’

In a recent episode of the television show "Better Call Saul," the titular lawyer who has scrambled and struggled to earn a living decides to call it quits with the law right after being offered the best opportunity of his life with a prestigious firm. He thought that was his dream, until it came true. His friend reminded him of how hard he worked to pass the bar exam and then asked a pivotal question: Why abandon practicing law after working so hard to get established? He responds by explaining the fallacy of the sunk cost. "It's what gamblers do," [...]

By | 2016-06-03T16:26:57+00:00 March 24, 2016|Categories: Career Coaching, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , , |

Transform Your Leadership Skills Through ‘Crucial Conversations’

Do you dread and procrastinate initiating discussions when you think others will respond negatively to what you have to say? Are you hesitant to voice an opinion because you presume negative consequences? Practicing law, by its very nature, requires a facility for difficult conversations with clients, witnesses, supervisors, direct-reports and judges where outcomes can be greatly influenced by developing skills in handling conflict. This is at the heart of "Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High," by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler. The methods described in this book are invaluable in any profession [...]

By | 2016-06-03T16:27:22+00:00 February 18, 2016|Categories: Career Coaching, Executive Coaching, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , |

Strategies for Making Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

When I think of a brand new year, I envision a beautiful, tranquil lake, so still that it mirrors everything surrounding it. Nothing has happened yet to disturb or disrupt that peaceful surface. Our actions are like pebbles thrown into the lake that ripple out, changing the reflection in the mirror and rearranging the landscape in expected and surprising ways. The new year is a natural time to reflect. And many people make resolutions. Each January, membership at my gym swells beyond normal limits as new members seek to shrink and tone. The influx of new members, however, is generally [...]

By | 2016-06-03T16:35:36+00:00 January 28, 2016|Categories: Coaching, Life Coaching, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , |

Young Lawyers Can Benefit From a Good Mentor Relationship

During this country's infancy, lawyers were educated and trained for the profession not by attending law school, but through an apprenticeship with a practicing attorney. At the start of the 19th century, a college degree was not required for bar admission and 68 percent of Philadelphia lawyers were college graduates at that time, according to A. Christopher Bryant in an article for the Nevada Law Journal titled, "Reading the Law in the Office of Calvin Fletcher: The Apprenticeship System and the Practice of Law in Frontier Indiana," which explores the apprenticeship system. By the end of that century, university law [...]

By | 2016-05-28T18:11:05+00:00 December 2, 2015|Categories: Executive Coaching, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , |

Identifying Core Values Aids in Making Career Decisions

"It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are," Roy Disney said. Identifying core values helps individuals and companies make decisions that chart the course for the future. Conversely, lack of attention to values can completely derail your life or your firm because there is no over-arching global positioning system to create a route or destination you can live with. Values were at the core of a controversial New York Times article titled "Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace." The piece described a revolving-door management style where employees are winnowed down by an [...]

By | 2016-05-28T18:20:42+00:00 October 29, 2015|Categories: Life Coaching, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , |

Finding Ways to Maintain Civility With Your Competitors

On Sept. 8, sisters Serena and Venus Williams squared off during the U.S. Open in a match that could have had historical significance for Serena Williams, who was closing in on a Grand Slam, a feat not achieved since 1988. In an article aptly titled "Love Game," Steve Tignor, for, described the charged atmosphere as a sold-out, celebrity-riddled crowd filled Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. "It was more unique, definitely," Venus Williams said of the vibe. "Serena is going for the Grand Slam, and I think everybody is interested because she has to play her sister to get [...]

By | 2016-05-28T18:32:25+00:00 September 17, 2015|Categories: Career Coaching, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , , , |

Tips for Developing Self-Confidence So You Can Flourish

Last month, I wrote about the rising recognition of emotional intelligence as a key factor in successful leadership using the new movie "Inside Out" to illustrate points about anger and self-management. Now, I turn to "The Sound of Music" for an assist in addressing another competency of emotional intelligence: self-confidence. In the movie, young novice Maria tentatively begins her journey to be governess to seven children. She has no experience and is forced to leave everything she knows. In the song "I Have Confidence," Maria sets her intention for how to handle the new situation, telling herself that she will [...]

By | 2016-05-28T22:44:01+00:00 August 27, 2015|Categories: The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , , , , |

How to Harness Emotional Intelligence to Ensure Success

The new animated movie "Inside Out" takes the audience inside the brain of an 11-year-old girl named Riley, where her responses to situations are governed by five emotions personified. They are Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust, and they vie for command of the internal control center to influence Riley's behavior. When her family moves to San Francisco from Minnesota, where she was a happy part of a community, hockey team and circle of friends, Joy and Sadness get lost. Difficulties with the move ensue and all of the developments are seen through the lens of Fear, Anger and Disgust. [...]

By | 2016-05-28T22:54:40+00:00 July 30, 2015|Categories: The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , , |

Cultivate Optimism to Grow Your Practice and Your Life

Are you a natural optimist? When adversity strikes, do you tell yourself it's temporary and not your fault and consider all of the things in your life that are going well despite the one setback? Or do you chalk it up to inherent personal failings and give up? Evidence shows that if you tend to the former, you have a greater chance at being happier and more successful in business. If you tend toward the latter, it's not too late to change that habit. For me, optimism is not a default setting. Raised in a deeply cynical home by a [...]