Following Through on Your Goals in 2015

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who'll decide where to go." Dr. Seuss, "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" A client announced recently that "2015 is the year of health." She accomplished extraordinary things professionally this year: finishing a book, securing an agent and a publisher, and getting a contract while working a full-time job. Now, she wants to concentrate on getting healthier. This is a natural time to take stock of [...]

By | 2016-06-01T16:58:01+00:00 December 9, 2014|Categories: The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , |

How to Make the First Steps Toward a Happy Career

We live in a world where the expectation is that we'll know what we want to do at 18, select an appropriate major, graduate from college and be headed toward a career. If we go to law school or get a master's degree, we are done before we turn 30. It's no wonder that as people mature in their 30s and 40s, those early choices are not always on the money. If you are unhappy in your work, it does not have to stay that way. There are steps you can take to figure out whether a complete makeover is [...]

By | 2016-06-01T17:03:15+00:00 November 14, 2014|Categories: The Legal Intelligencer|

Giving Can Increase Your Happiness and Success

"Happiness doesn't result from what we get, but from what we give." - Ben Carson Pennsylvania Pro Bono Week is scheduled from Oct. 19-25, during which the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) will shine a spotlight on pro bono legal work to increase access to justice. As we head toward Pro Bono Week, I asked David Trevaskis, pro bono coordinator for the PBA, to put some meat on the bones of why pro bono participation is important and how lawyers can benefit from providing it. Lawyers have an important role to play in the community, he said. Poor people need representation [...]

By | 2016-06-01T17:11:46+00:00 October 13, 2014|Categories: The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , , |

Mastering the Art of Career Transitions

Brenda was 57 years old when she was suddenly laid off from a major Philadelphia law firm in 2011 after 20 years. This is the story of how she learned the new terrain of seeking employment, repackaged herself and how you can too. The first thing Brenda did was spend "a month on the couch." She was shocked, devastated and describes it as "losing a chunk of identity." She doubted her worth as a professional. This was not wasted time, but a necessary recharging period that pays off when you get ready to go for it. It may be important [...]

By | 2016-06-01T17:32:38+00:00 September 11, 2014|Categories: The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , , |

Seeing the High Holidays as an Opportunity for Change

When you look back on last year, are there things you did or did not do that you wish you could change for the new year? Rosh Hashanah marks the beginning of the Ten Days of Awe, during which we Jews reflect upon our actions over the past year, seek forgiveness for transgressions and plan a better life. The work, which really begins in this month leading up to the High Holidays, starts with introspection, examining our lives and taking responsibility for it. Although God is the final judge, we individuals consider who we were over the past year and [...]

By | 2016-06-01T17:19:00+00:00 September 10, 2014|Categories: Jewish Exponent|Tags: , , , , |

Unearthing Your Own Renewable Energy

When you make a decision to boost your career, heighten your profile, improve your life, stop putting off important goals and be your best, one of the first steps is to address energy drainers in order to free up time, space and emotional resources for the things you really want. Recently, I was on my hands and knees in the garden, tugging on stubborn weeds, being careful to pull them up by their roots, as my mother taught me, when the question occurred to me: why weed? Why must we vanquish a healthy, living plant other than our aesthetic sense [...]

By | 2016-06-01T17:40:47+00:00 August 14, 2014|Categories: The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , |

Emotional Preparation Leads to Better Results

In the daily life of a lawyer, events are scheduled that require varying degrees of preparation. Going to court, conducting a negotiation or mediation, interviewing a prospect, meeting with a boss or employee about performance and successfully marketing your services all require attention to detail. Every lawyer has an approach to the technical/action side of the task and focuses on effective, proficient preparation. Perhaps a checklist outlining areas to research, documents to review, or bullet points for discussion will be created in the process. An element that is often ignored and can greatly improve outcomes is emotional preparation. We are, [...]

By | 2016-06-01T17:51:22+00:00 July 10, 2014|Categories: The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , |

Complaining: How It’s Affecting Your Work and Life

A fortune cookie reminded me recently of a topic I have been wanting to cover in this column. It said: "You can't expect to be a lucky dog if you're always growling." Lawyers are in the business of complaining in some ways. We write, edit and file complaints in court, object during depositions, arguments and trials to questions posed, positions taken and portrayals of our clients and we file motions aimed at achieving relief by recounting the misdeeds of our opponents. These are necessary components of an adversarial system. A competent advocate must advance the client's cause and point out [...]

By | 2016-06-01T21:29:38+00:00 June 9, 2014|Categories: The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , |

Your Business May Need Spring Cleaning Too

If you want to attract new clients, start a business, or get more done, you will be well served by evaluating the extent to which physical clutter is impacting your ability to process information and focus. Consider the science mounting up that clutter has a profound effect on your productivity. According to an article in The Journal of Neuroscience, researchers at the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute found that: "Multiple stimuli present in the visual field at the same time compete for neural representation by mutually suppressing their evoked activity throughout visual cortex, providing a neural correlate for the limited processing [...]

By | 2016-06-01T21:32:06+00:00 May 14, 2014|Categories: The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , |

Effective Niche Marketing for Lawyers

Niche marketing describes a firm narrowing down its focus to stand out from a marketing perspective. There are many advantages to carving out a niche legal practice. Marketing to a specific area is more cost effective, separates you from the pack, emphasizes your uniqueness, conveys a concentration on a particular area rather than a general practice, and can foster a belief that, by limiting yourself to a chosen field, you will be up-to-date on the latest precedents and well-versed in nuances that could elude a generalist. However, marketing to a niche is vastly different from marketing against a niche, particularly [...]