Moving day!

Posted October 31, 2007 by Julie Fleming
Categories: News

Moving boxes

It’s moving day for the Life at the Bar blog! 

It’s been a busy couple of weeks behind the scenes getting the new space ready to go.  Almost everything has been moved over (except for a few recent comments, and I’ll be working on that) and the new space is open for visitors.

Please come on over to the NEW home of the Life at the Bar Blog:

See you there!

NOTE:  The Life at the Bar blog has MOVED!  To find the latest posts about time management and productivity, business development, communications skills, leadership development, and much more relevant to lawyers and the practice of law, please visit

Working breakfasts, lunches, and dinners

Posted October 29, 2007 by Julie Fleming
Categories: Client development, Work/life balance

Tags: , ,

When I sat down to write today’s post, I intended to write about how excellent client service blends into client development. I’d planned to suggest some tactics for extending the relationship so you become a “trusted advisor” (to borrow David Maister‘s phrase). One of the tactics I’d planned to suggest was, not surprisingly, taking clients to a meal.

And then I read an article that my coach sent me from last week’s New York Times: Oh Joy! Breakfast With the Boss. To give you the flavor of the article, here’s a snippet:

PLEASE do not invite me to breakfast.

It’s not that I don’t like breakfast. To the contrary, I could happily eat eggs or cereal at every meal. But I write about life-work balance, and it feels a little contradictory to conduct an interview, or attend a conference, or give a speech, when everyone involved had to sacrifice sleep to attend.

I have similar qualms about working dinners. After a long day of work, why follow it up with more work?

. . .

There has been a shift in the role of these meetings-with-food over the years. In the 80’s, a 7 a.m. appointment was a sign that you were so important you had to start before dawn. We called them power breakfasts back then, and Masters of the Universe wanted to be seen at their regular table at dawn.

More recently, however, they’ve come to feel like yet another symptom of an overstuffed day.

But because working meals are important for many lawyers, it seems to me that the question become how to incorporate those meals into a schedule that fits the way you want to live. Whether you’d rather cram as many work functions as possible into your day or whether you’ve dceided to make dinner with your family a priority, is there a way to incorporate working meals and personal plans? Absolutely. Here’s how.

1. Plan intentionally. If you “go with the flow,” someone else will be determining the balance of your life. Instead, spend a few minutes every month deciding what commitments (business and personal commitments) are non-negotiable for you. Don’t forget to include time you spend on true recreation. Mark those on your calendars, and then consider what else you’d like to add in.

2. Exercise your discretion. When you have an opportunity to attend a work gathering, whether it’s a working meeting or business socializing, at times outside the ordinary work day, consider carefully before accepting. What will you be saying “no” to if you say “yes” to this event? Is the event important? Is it urgent? Do you want to do it? There’s no single “right” answer here that means you should or shouldn’t attend. The questions will lead you to your decision without dictating it.

3. Limit yourself. You either have learned or will learn soon that energy is not infinite. Adding morning and evening business commitments to a packed schedule can constitute self-sabotage if done without attention to the effects on your energy level. One client I worked with decided to limit herself to 2 evening commitments each week and never to schedule a morning meeting before 9 AM on the day following an evening commitment. Although she reduced the number of hours she devoted to work in this way, she increased her productivity during working hours as a result.

Are you happy with the amount of time you spend on working meals? If not, what changes will you make?

NOTE: The Life at the Bar blog has MOVED! To find the latest posts about time management and productivity, business development, communications skills, leadership development, and much more relevant to lawyers and the practice of law, please visit

Make it memorable.

Posted October 23, 2007 by Julie Fleming
Categories: Book reviews

Tags: , ,

One of the best books that I’ve started reading¹ this year is Made to Stick, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath. The thrust of the book is that ideas that are memorable share certain common features. By learning those features, you can make your own ideas more “sticky.” The six principles that the Heath brothers identified are:

1. Simplicity
2. Unexpectedness
3. Concreteness
4. Credibility
5. Emotions
6. Stories

Read more about these principles and see illustrations (ranging from urban legends to important consumer health warnings) in an excerpt from the book here.

Made to Stick should certainly be required reading for litigators, but all of us need to make ideas memorable. And what’s delightful about the concept of stickiness is that it’s an easy and enjoyable read that will pay quick dividends largely because the concepts (once identified) are rather intuitive.

Footnote 1: You might wonder why I’m recommending a book that I’ve started to read but haven’t yet finished. That’s because I was reading it while on a business trip. When I was packing for my flight home, I knew I needed to review some papers and so I packed Made to Stick in my checked luggage. Big mistake. My luggage was somehow mistagged when I left Richmond (even though I watched the Delta agent tag the bag) and I got the runaround when I tried to track it down in Atlanta. Very long story short, it’s now been 15 days and there’s no sign of my luggage. I’d be delighted to bellyache about this further (there’s plenty of grist for that particular mill!) but suffice it to say that I’ll have to pick up another copy before I can finish reading the book.

NOTE:  The Life at the Bar blog has MOVED!  To find the latest posts about time management and productivity, business development, communications skills, leadership development, and much more relevant to lawyers and the practice of law, please visit

Monday Shorts 10/22/07

Posted October 22, 2007 by Julie Fleming
Categories: Blogs I like, Quick hits

This week’s shorts are posted on Monday instead of Tuesday for two reasons: first, because some very skilled people have been making (as-yet not visible, but substantial) changes to my blog and I don’t want to upset that applecart, and second, because I’ve been in San Diego for the past week for a conference and I’m flying home today.

As an aside, I haven’t been in California before during a wildfire. It seems that areas all around San Diego are burning, and it’s really rather frightening even though there is, as far as I can tell, no danger to the city itself. But yesterday’s sky was brilliant blue day when I went into my conference around 8:30 AM, and it was a sick orangeish-brown color (actually overcast) when I left it around 3 PM. And my hotel is on the coast, so I can only imagine what it must be like inland. My heart goes out to those whose homes and lives are in danger.

Blawg Review #131 David Maister is the host of this week’s Blawg Review #131, which focuses on the business of law. He highlights a number of interesting posts, including discussions of change management by Bruce MacEwen and Tom Collins.

Exclamation Points for Women? According to a recent WSJ article, Deloitte is training its consultants to approach women differently than men. A short excerpt:

Nancy Camarota, a customer-relations executive at Allied Waste Industries Inc., said she thought it was odd when a Deloitte & Touche USA LLP consultant used an exclamation point in an email. “Guys do not use exclamation points,” she thought. “Is he making fun of me?”

She later learned the email reflected a new Deloitte strategy to approach women clients differently than men. Among other things, Deloitte is training consultants to sit across from women at a table, rather than next to them, and to bring subordinates to meetings because women value knowing the people who do the work. In the case of the exclamation point, Ms. Camarota had used one in an earlier email; the Deloitte consultant says he was responding to her enthusiasm as part of the new program.

I find this fascinating. As the article notes, “What some clients might see as sensitivity, others could find patronizing.” (Thanks to the 800-CEO-READ blog for pointing out the article.)

What do your kids (or spouse or friends or clients) think? Stephanie West Allen asks what lawyers’ children (or other close associates) observe about how lawyers spend their days. Coach Carol Ross made a post kicking off the conversation by reporting her son’s perceptions. I hope many of you will ask the question and share the answers you receive.

NOTE:  The Life at the Bar blog has MOVED!  To find the latest posts about time management and productivity, business development, communications skills, leadership development, and much more relevant to lawyers and the practice of law, please visit

Wonderful women bloggers

Posted October 20, 2007 by Julie Fleming
Categories: Blogs I like

I am very late in joining in on a project making its way around the blogosphere: the W Magical List of Women Bloggers. The list now includes more than 125 blogs, some of which are among my favorites, and introducing to me others that I’m excited to be discovering for the first time. Without further ado, here are my additions to the list:

PT LawMom by an anonymous (but very real) law student and legal secretary
Lawsagna by Anastasia Pryanikova
The Savvy Entrepreneur by Cristina Favreau
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

and the rest of the list as it exists at the moment:

2020 Hindsight by Susan Kitchens
21st Century Collaborative by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach
45 Things by Anita Bruzzese
A Girl Must Shop by Megan Garnhum
A Little Pregnant by Julie
A Look at Art & Design: Lisa Mikulski
Aerophant by Tai Moses
Affirmagy Blog by Kristen Schuerlein
All for Women by Leigh, Naom, Patricia, and Barbara
Alkamae by Susan Reid
by Jeneane Sessum
Artlook by Lisa Mikulski
andHow To Reach Women by Tami Anderson still a great pair of legs by Angie McKaig
Ask Dr. Kirk by Dr. Delaney Kirk
Average Jane by Average Jane
Babylune by Kate Baggott
Back in Skinny Jeans by Stephanie Quilao
Bag and Baggage by Denise Howell
Balanced Life Center-Spirituality applied to Life by Nneka
be Conscious now by Kara-Leah Masina
Be Relevant! by Tamara Gielen
Becoming a Woman of Purpose by Carolyn Townes
Becoming your StellarSelf by Mary Kearns
Biz Growth News by Krishna De
Blog Fabulous by Tracee Sioux
BlogWrite for CEOs by Debbie Weil
Blogaholics by Arienna Foley
Blog Til You Drop by Laurence-Hélène Borel
Brain Based Biz by Dr. Robyn McMaster
Brain Based Business by Dr. Ellen Weber
Brains On Purpose by Stephanie West Allen
Brand Sizzle by Anne Simons
Branding & Marketing by Chris Brown
Brazen Careerist by Penelope Trunk
Bread Coffee Chocolate Yoga by Fortune Elkins
Breastfeeding 1-2-3 by Angela
Build A Better Blog by Denise Wakeman and Patsi Krakoff
Build a Solo Practice, LLC by Susan Cartier Liebel
Burningbird by Shelley Powers
Career Goddess by Susan Guarnieri
Change Therapy by Isabella Mori
Chatting to my Generation
by Anja Merret
Cheap Thrills by Ryan Barrett
CherylMillerVille by Cheryl Miller
Christine Kane by Christine Kane
Church of the Customer by Jackie Huba
CK’s Blog by CK (Christina Kerley)
Colloquium by JHSEsq
Communication Overtones by Kami Huyse
Conflict coaching and resolution for the workplace by Dr Tammy Lenski
Confession of a Marketing Addict by Sunny Cervantes
Confessions of a Pioneer Woman by Ree
Confident Writing by Joanna Young
Conscious Business by Anne Libby
Contentious by Amy Gahran
Conversation Agent by Valeria Maltoni
Conversations With Dina by Dina Mehta
Corporate PR by Elizabeth Albrycht
Cottontimer by Hsien-Hsien Lei
Creating Passionate Users by Kathy Sierra
Creative Curio by Lauren Marie
Crossroads by Evelyn Rodriguez
Cruel To Be Kind by Nicole Simon
Customer Experience Crossroads by Susan Abbott
Customers Are Always Customers Rock! by Becky Carroll
CustServ by Meikah David
DailyAffirm by Jeanie Marshall
Debbie Millman by Debbie Millman
Deborah Schultz by Deborah Schultz
Decent Marketing by Katherine Stone
Defining Spiritual Presence by Greenwoman
Designers Who Blog by Cat Morley
Design Your Life by Ellen and Julia Lupton
Design Your Writing Life
by Lisa Gates
Diary of Claudine Hellmuth
by Claudine Hellmuth
Diva Marketing Blog
by Toby Bloomberg
Do It Myself Blog
by Glenda Watson Hyatt
by Heather B. Armstrong
– by Anne Howe
Driving Traffic
– Carol Krishner
by Edith Yeung
Eie Flud
by Heather
by Elise Bauer
Email Marketing Best Practices
by Tamara Gielen
Emerging Customer
by Michelle Lamar
Emily Chang – Strategic Designer
by Emily Chang
Emily in France
eMoms at Home
by Wendy Piersall
by Ponn Sabra
Enter the Laughter
by Marti Lawrence
Equip and Empower!
by Carolyn Townes
Escape Blog
by Melissa Petri
Escape From Corporate America
by Laurel Delaney
Escape from Cubicle Nation
by Pamela Slim
by Sharon Sarmiento
Essential Keystrokes
by Char
Every Dot Connects
by Connie Reece
by Evil HR Lady
Expansion Plus
by Sally Falkow
by Stephanie Weaver
Fetch Me My Axe
First Light by Julie Keyser-Squires
Flash and Accessibility
by Niqui Merret
Flooring The Consumer
by CB Whittemore
Forrester’s Marketing Blog
by Shar, Charlene, Chloe, Christine Elana, Laura and Lisa
Forward Steps
by Thea Westra
Franke James
by Franke James
Full Circle
– Nancy White
Funny Business
by Elena Centor
Fusion View
by Yang-Amy Ooi
Garden Variety Family
by Karin Marlett-Choi
by Elysa
Get Fresh Minds
by Katie Konrath
Get Shouty
by Katie Chatfield
Getting Granular
by Aimee Kessler Evans
GGs Swedish WOTD
by GG
Giant Jeans Parlour
by Anjali
Golden Practices
by Michelle Golden
Goodness Gracious
by Jennifer
GourmetStation Delicious Destinations
Great Presentations Mean Business by Laura Athavale Fitton HartsockCommunications Health Observances by JC Jones and Ijeoma Eleazu
Healthline Connects
by JC Jones and Ijeoma Eleazu
Hey Marci
by Marci Alboher
Hiring Technical People
by Johanna Rothman
¡Hola! Oi! Hi!
by katia adams
Holly’s Corner Blog
by Holly Schwendiman
Horse Pig Cow
by Tara Hunt
by Stephanie West Allen
by Phu Ly
Illustration Friday
by Penelope Dullaghan
In Women We Trust
by Mary Clare Hunt
by Liz Donovan
by Vivien
Inspired Business Growth
by Wendy Piersall
Internet Geek Girl
by Stephanie Agesta
Jane Geneva
by Jane Geneva
J.T. O’Donnell Career Insights
by J.T. O’Donnell
Jemima Kiss
by Jemima Kiss
Joyful, Jubilant Learning
by Rosa Say
Katya’s Non-Profit Marketing Blog
by Katya Andresen
KDPaine’s PR Measurement Blog
by Katie Delahaye Paine
Kinetic Ideas
by Wendy Maynard
Kristy T’s Home Business Blog
by Kristy T
Kung Foodie
by Kat
by Denise Howell
Learned on Women
by Andrea Learned
Life at the Bar
by Julie Fleming-Brown
by anina
Lifehacker by Gina Trapani
Lindsey Pollak
by Lindsey Pollak
Little Red Suit
by Tiffany Monhollon
Live The Power
by Karen Lynch
Making Life Work for You by April Groves
Marketer Blog
by Leslie Jump
Marketing To Women
by Holly Buchanan
Management Craft
by Lisa Haneberg
Managing Product Development
by Johanna Rothman
Managing With Aloha Coaching
by Rosa Say
Mandarin Design Daily:The MEG Blog
by Michelle Goodrich
Marketing Roadmaps
by Susan Getgood
Mary’s Blog
by Mary Schmidt
by Daria Rasmussen
Media Influencer
by Adriana Lukas
Mediation Marketing Tips
by Kristina Haymes
Mediation Mensch
by Dina Beach Lynch
by Dana Boyd, Hilde Corneliussen, Caterina Fake, Meg Hourihan, Liz Lawley, Fiona Romeo, Dorothea Salo, Halley Suitt, Gina Trapani, Jill Walker
Mkgmd – le mag du marketing multidimentionnel
Moda di Magno by Lori Magno
by Rebecca Thorman
Mogulettes in the Making by Molly E. Holzschlag
More Than WE Know
by Liz Fuller
Muddy Boots
My Beautiful Chaos by April Groves
My Shingle
by Carolyn Elefant
Narrative Assets
by Karen Hegman
Newbie NYC
by Mary Hilton
by Carole Guevin
On My Desk
by Linzie Hunter
Online Guide to Mediation
by Diane Levin
Orlando Avenue
by Colleen Kulikowski
Passion Meets Purpose
by Kammie Kobyleski
Peggy Payne’s Boldness
Blog by Peggy Payne
Poultry Discussion
by Louise Manning
Power Energy Leadership
by Michelle Kunz
Presto Vivace Blog
by Alice Marshall
Productivity Goal
by Carolyn Manning
Purple Wren
by Sandy Renshaw
Purse Lip Square Jaw
by Anne Galloway
Quality Service Marketing
by Sybil Stershic
by Kristen Osolind
Rebecca’s Pocket
by Rebecca Blood
Resonance Partnership
by Marianne Richmond
Sacred Ingredients
by Nicole Hanley
Sanctuary for Change
by Susan Hanshaw
Sent From My Dell Desktop
by Alejandra Ramos
Settle It Now Negotiation Blog
by Victoria Pynchon
Shiva’s Arms
by Cheryl Snell
Small Biz Survival
by Becky McCray
Small Business Trends
by Anita Campbell
Small Failures: Sustainability for the Rest of Us
by Jess Sand
So Close
by Tertia
by Christina Zola
Spare Change
Spirit in Gear by Debbie Call
Spirit Women
by Carolyn Townes
Subterranean Homepage News
by Sheila Lennon
by Linda Merrill
Susan Mernit’s Blog
by Susan Mernit
Sweet|Salty by Kate Inglis
by Tina Roth Eisenberg
Talk It Up
by Heidi Miller
by Lena West
Tech Kitten
by Trisha Miller
Teen Health 411
by Dr. Nancy Brown
That’s What She Said
by Julie Elgar
The Artsy Asylum
by Susan Reynolds
The Blog Angel
by Claire Raikes
The Brand Dame
by Lyn Chamberlin
The Budgeting Babe
by Nicole
the Constant Observer
by Tish Grier
The Copywriting Maven
by Roberta Rosenberg
The Curious Shopper
by Sara Cantor
The Diet Dish
by Tara Gidus
The Engaging Brand
by Anna Farmery
The Entrepreneurial MD
by Philippa Kennealy
The Family Fork
by Andrea Giancolli
The Fitness Fixer
The Floozy Blog by Kate Coote
The Global Small Business Blog
by Laurel Delaney
The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing
by Sharon Lippincott
The Kiss Business Too
by Karin H.
The Krafty Librarian The Kristasphere by Krista Summit
The Lawyer Coach Blog
by Allison Wolf
The Marketing Mix Blog
by Ilse Benun
The New Charm School
by Jennifer Warwick
The Parody
by Sasha Manuel
The Podcast Sisters
by Anna Farmery, Krishna De and Heather Gorringe
The Qualitative Research Blog
by Reshma Anand
The Shifted Librarian
by Jenny Levine
The What If…? Women
by Randee, Lori, Anne, Lynn and Norka
(Pink Collar Club) Think Positive! by Kristen Harrell
this is
by Rachel Andrew
Tiny Starfish in a Great Big Sea
by Carol Toscano
Toddler Planet
by WhyMommy
unstruc chitchat about information
Veerle’s blog 2.0 by Veerle
Water Cooler Wisdom
by Alexandra Levit
Wealth Strategy Secrets
by Nicola Cairncross
What A Concept!
By Sherry Heyl
What’s Next Blog
by B L Ochman
White Trash Mom
by Michelle Lamar
Wiggly Wigglers
by Heather Gorringe
Women Presidents’ Organization Chicago
by Laurel Delaney
by Diane K. Danielson and Friends
Wonder Branding
by Michele Miller
by Elizabeth Perry
Worker Bees Blog
by Elisa Camahort
Write Ideas Marketing
by Andrea Morris
Ypulse by Anastasia Goodstein

Now if only I had a few more hours to read all of these!

NOTE:  The Life at the Bar blog has MOVED!  To find the latest posts about time management and productivity, business development, communications skills, leadership development, and much more relevant to lawyers and the practice of law, please visit

Tuesday shorts: 10/16/07

Posted October 16, 2007 by Julie Fleming
Categories: Client development, Quick hits

Tags: , ,

Today’s shorts are very, very short.

Email interpretation: We’ve come to rely on email as a quick and easy way to get a message across. Quicker than voicemail and an easy way to create a record, we use email for everything from assignments to news to forwarding jokes. David Giacalone of f/k/a offers commentary on a recent New York Time op-ed piece by emotional and social intelligence author Daniel Goleman titled E-Mail is Easy to Write (and to Misread). Goleman describes neuroscience-based evidence that email lacks the emotional cues that keep us on track in face-to-face or telephone conversation. As a result, Goleman writes, “we tend to misinterpret positive e-mail messages as more neutral, and neutral ones as more negative, than the sender intended. Even jokes are rated as less funny by recipients than by senders.” The discussion is an interesting one, especially because, as Giacalone points out, written materials have always lacked emotional cues, and the primary difference may be the speed and limited attention we pay to writing emails. Bottom line: be aware of missing context when you write emails and when you read them.

And Matt Homann of the [non]billable hour offers 9 success tips that underlie 25 Ways to Find a Client, based on a post by Dumb Little Man on 25 ways to get a date offline. The tips are easy, simple, and just plain good ideas for living, such as, “Have a simple goal of making new friends. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Seek to find a great friend and see where things lead.” Dumb Little Man isn’t so dumb.

I’ve also been intending to link to a Law Practice Today article about Matt Homann, specifically his Mini-Manifestos with 15 rules for clients and 17 rules for lawyers. Practice would be much simpler and better for both lawyers and clients if everyone could apply these rules. Examples?

For clients: 5. You want to buy results, not time. Most lawyers sell time, not results. Make sure you both understand the difference before your first bill arrives. You will certainly understand the difference after.
6. If you want to find a lawyer who sells results, look hard. There are a few of them out there. They are the ones who can still smile because they get to see their children before 9:00 at night.

For lawyers: 9. Your clients will always know their business better than you do. They may even know the law better than you. Make sure to seek their advice before giving yours.
11. Your clients have wants. Your clients have needs. They often don’t know the difference.

NOTE:  The Life at the Bar blog has MOVED!  To find the latest posts about time management and productivity, business development, communications skills, leadership development, and much more relevant to lawyers and the practice of law, please visit

Women’s business development efforts

Posted October 15, 2007 by Julie Fleming
Categories: Client development, Women and the law

Steve Seckler of the Counsel to Counsel blog recently posted the Women Attorneys Business Development Study, prepared by Dr. Harry Keshet of Keshet Consulting. The report is 48 pages, and it should be required reading for women lawyers.

I found one of the most encouraging findings to be the following.

Predictors of High Originations
* Years of legal practice
* Time spent doing business development each month
* Using a targeted approach to business development
* Participation in pitch groups
* Cross-selling other firm services
* Asking clients for introductions to others who may need legal services

The report addresses a variety of women’s client development obstacles, some self-imposed and some resulting from limitations or perceived limitations imposed by the law firms in which the women practice. Nevertheless, reading the report impressed upon me the benefits of some activities that any woman can undertake or begin immediately.

The report contains a great deal of information. Any woman who’s interested in client development should read it, as should law firm leaders who’d like to support the business development opportunities their female lawyers may cultivate.

NOTE:  The Life at the Bar blog has MOVED!  To find the latest posts about time management and productivity, business development, communications skills, leadership development, and much more relevant to lawyers and the practice of law, please visit


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.