Archive for the ‘Blogs I like’ category

Monday Shorts 10/22/07

October 22, 2007

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

October 20, 2007

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

Introducing BlawgWorld 2007: get your free copy today!

July 30, 2007


I am excited to join the fanfare introducing BlawgWorld 2007. (Download your free copy by clicking the image above or this link.) This nifty eBook includes posts selected from 77 of the “most influential” legal blogs, addressing practice management issues, substantive issues, technology issues, and more. I am honored that Life at the Bar is included.

If you need to know more before downloading your copy (and note, you’re not required to provide any information in exchange for downloading your copy), read the press release here. This guide will introduce some new blogs for your perusal and give you a post that will help you decide whether to explore further.

In addition to the list of blawgs, the eBook includes a list of problems that law firms often face, which is further subdivided into specific FAQ-style questions. These questions link to substantive presentations by advertisers, which give good information about their products or services without hyping them. For instance, “Where Can I Find a Certified Trainer for Web-Based “Hands On” Software Training Specifically Designed for Law Firm Personnel?” leads to a infomercial (emphasis on the info) about a training company that provides training via the web. It’s a nice way to get an introduction to solutions without having to face a sales representative until you’re ready to learn more.

BlawgWorld 2006 was downloaded over 45,000 times. The 2007 edition will surely beat that. Get yours today!

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

Wednesday Grab Bag

April 25, 2007

Another pointer to some interesting goings-on…

1. The 800-CEO-READ Blog has an interesting post about the necessity of praising twentysomething workers for absolutely everything, because parents, teachers, and so on have rewarded this generation with everything from verbal reminders to winner’s ribbons and gold stars, following on a similar (but unlinked) WSJ article published last weekend. The post (and presumably the article) even quotes Bob Nelson, a “thank you consultant.” (I’ll be filing that under jobs I never knew existed.) The post (authored by a self-identified member of the praise generation) ends by requesting more than kudos:

So yes, we were raised on praise. Most of us benefited with self-esteem. That self-esteem gave us a backbone. That backbone helps us stand up for our ethics (which after such scandals as Enron and Worldcom, can’t be bad), question company policies and processes in a productive way, and use disappointments to better ourselves rather than take it personally.

We’re not asking for kudos and presents for every small success. Challenge us and congratulate us when we go above and beyond. As a fellow member from my generation and co-worker chimed in, “Take us seriously.” If we’re not doing well, tell us. Don’t hold us to anything less.

2. Wondering how big firms retreat? I thought the retreats I’d attended and heard about were rather plush, but I am agog at the description posted by Nancy on the But Slenderly… blog. (I’ve been following her blog — she writes like a dream and has some great insights!) Anyway, the description includes not just the standard drinking stories (which vary from firm retreat to firm retreat primarily only in details) but also this:

In the past two days, I heard speeches by Lance Armstrong (inspiring and uh, kind of sexy); Bob Woodworth (fascinating, though a little smug); Cherie Booth Blair (as in Tony); Francis Fukuyama (who knew game theory was so interesting?); Terry McAuliff (Dems 2008, whoo!). Stephen Colbert (via video) and JHud performed at night – girl has some pipes, holy moses. There was one horrifying moment though when she walked out into the crowd with her mike in hand to find “back up singers” and as she stood next to my table, towering in high black stilettos and this sparkly sheen of fame, her eyes met mine and I thought I was going to have to make my way under the table to avoid the entire firm hearing my frog croak. Luckily, my frantic head-shaking and horrified expression convinced her I was not her gal and she plucked another unsuspecting victim further down the table. Bullet. Dodged.

Ok, color me impressed.

3. And finally, Bob Sutton reports that a New York lawyer has been disbarred “for being an asshole,” as detailed in the Village Voice. The official reason for the disbarment is “obstructive and offensive behavior which did not involve fraud or deception.” It’s staggering, and more than a little sad to me, that any lawyer would think the behavior that the Village Voice describes would be even colorably acceptable.

And a brief report on my Colorado adventure… Colorado had a winter storm today. I’d planned to drive from Cheyenne (where I spent a couple of days) to Keystone, where the NALP meeting is being held. But after I checked the weather and road conditions, I decided to drive to the Denver airport and take a shuttle over. Good decision on my part! The drive from the airport to Keystone should take about 90 minutes. I know this not only from the shuttle schedule but also because I drove it on Sunday. Today’s drive took 4 and a half hours. The road was slushy and icy, the snow was blowing sideways with huge flakes, and 6 tractor trailers jack-knifed just before the Eisenhower Tunnel. I met some nice people on the ride over (fortunate, since 10 of us were crammed into a van) and was enormously relieved when I arrived, safe and sound, at the resort. If my crummy little disposable camera works, I’ll post pictures next week. On the plus side, everything here looks like a winter fairyland!

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

WSJ Blog takes on work/life balance; will salary bump stem associate attrition?

February 5, 2007

In early December, the Wall Street Journal started a new blog, The Juggle, dedicated to work/life balance issues. The tag line limits the discussion to “choices and tradeoffs people make as they juggle work and family,” and I’ll be curious to see whether the posts will continue on that line or whether they’ll broaden out to entertain other reasons for a juggling act.

One of the most interesting posts so far is More Money, Fewer Problems. A first-year associate at a New York firm, who’s also the mother of a 16-month old child, apparently wrote the blog recently to share the effects of the recent bump in her salary to $160K: “That salary bump has significantly affected my thinking as to how long I will really stay at this job. It also, interestingly, for better or worse, made me feel better about getting home late last night. I felt that at least I was getting paid for it. And when I heard the news of the raise, my first thought was, OK — now preschool won’t be such a struggle to pay for.” At the time of this writing, the post had generated 82 comments, many of which (not too surprisingly) criticize the “greedy associate” mentality. Put on your seatbelt for this read.

The news about the salary escalation prompted me to wonder about its effect on associate retention. No question that salary increases are necessary to keep large firms on a level playing field, and no question that associates benefit in some ways from those increases. (I still remember my delight in making X in June 1999, X+11K in early January 2000, and X+11K+20K in mid-January!) But I question whether money alone is sufficient to keep associates.

After all, if the pay is competitive among firms, wouldn’t an economically rational lawyer jump from one firm to another to retain the same pay (or to get the bump that often comes with a new position) and to search for a good fit? (This assumes that the attrition stats, such as NALP’s report that 37% of BigLaw associates leave a firm by the end of the third year in practice, are valid and that the attrition isn’t driven solely by associates seeking more money.) That leaves the associate in the same economic position (or, depending on perspective, with a new pair of golden handcuffs) and the firms with significant attrition and the attendant costs. I’ll be curious to see how this plays out, but I don’t think increasing salaries will promote retention, particularly given the increased expectations that firms will place on associates to fund the pay bump.

On this point, visit the Up to PAR blog for commentary about a recent ABA Journal article that reported “overwhelming” associate feedback that they’d take a pay cut to work fewer hours. The post, titled Associates v. Partners v. Clients, effectively skewers those who argue that associates who bill fewer hours are less committed than those who work more. (PAR’s rebuttal: “You have to be extremely committed to the law to try to be a lawyer while also meeting obligations outside the office.”) Interesting ABA article, and PAR’s examination is even more interesting.

I have to note, though, that I don’t believe any one initiative will promote associate retention. After all, not all lawyers do want to work fewer hours — and there’s certainly a tension even among those who’d prefer fewer hours when considering how much pay is necessary to maintain the desired standard of living. So if the solution isn’t money or reduced hours, what is it? Practicing law is unlikely to be a one-size-fits-all endeavor, and law firms may be hard-pressed to find ways to focus on client service and remain profitable while retaining associate “talent.” Perhaps the future will allow firms and associates to cut individually-based deals that benefit both sides. This is a trend that seems to be bubbling up now; if it’s successful, it could change the way firms operate. More on this another day.

One final thought about The Juggle: I’m surprised that a couple of posts describing the experience of a professional caring for a parent (blog author Sara Schaefer Muñoz’s grandfather) attracted no comments. I find it hard to believe that blog readers aren’t members of the sandwich generation, and I’m curious that this post, at least, didn’t stir up some reaction.

Julie Fleming Brown coaches attorneys on professional development, career management, and client development issues. Please visit for more information, or contact Julie at 800.758.6214. Julie is offering free Success Strategy sessions during the month of February. More information is available on this blog or on the Life at the Bar website.

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

Public perception of lawyers

October 25, 2006

Someone recently found this blog with a search on “All Lawyers Are Assholes.” Yes, complete with the initial caps. After I quit laughing (and got over being briefly miffed that this search implies that I, too, am an asshole simply because I’m a lawyer), I started wondering whether the searcher was looking for confirmation of his/her assertion. I’d love to know whether s/he found that confirmation.

Years ago, after I’d been in practice for a few years, I spent a weekend with a college roommate and met a bunch of her friends. As I introduced myself and admitted that I’m a lawyer, people’s attitudes shifted subtly. Sometimes, I’d get hit with a request for free legal advice: “Y’see, I have this problem with my [employer, service provider, spouse, whatever] and I’m wondering….” Others, especially medical professionals who weren’t doctors, would almost shudder and back off. (Seriously, I’m not making this up, and I’ve never even worked on a med mal case!) And a few would ask about my practice, continue the conversation, and eventually circle back to law by saying, “You know, you just don’t seem like a lawyer.” I never knew quite what to do with that, or even whether it was intended as a compliment or an insult.

It’s always seemed to me that it’s a privilege to be a lawyer. We have the ability to effect change in society more directly than many other professionals, we have the skill and training to recognize when something just isn’t right and to work to make it right, and we have the opportunity to help people who need it. Strangely, that isn’t how the public usually perceives lawyers, and sometimes I wonder whether it’s how the profession perceives itself.

Attorneys sometimes behave as if practice is a burden, a horrible way to make a living because of the competing demands of practice and life and satisfying clients. And, no doubt, sometimes it is a burden, but it’s a voluntary burden and it’s important for us to recognize that if the burden is too heavy, if it outweighs the privilege, plenty of other jobs are available that would reap the benefits of a law degree without actually requiring practice.

Too often, we view our work as hours to be put in, a way to make more and more money. Reaping financial reward isn’t wrong. But I submit that something is off-kilter when a profession becomes all about money, and I’d argue that something has gone very wrong when the public perception is that a lawyer can be bought, that the outcome of a legal dispute depends most on which party has the higher-paid lawyer. This is a bigger problem than I’m prepared to address today, not only because of the public perception but also because so many new lawyers face the squeeze of student debt and salary lower than they’d been led to expect.

Finally, there’s a huge negativity surrounding legal practice. We lawyers both propogate and, in my view, suffer from this negativity.

What lawyers believe about practicing law has a huge impact on how we behave, and how we behave has significant influence on how we are perceived. Are you contributing to a positive or negative public perception of lawyers?


A resource to share this morning: the Stark County Law Library Blog. I no longer remember how I ran across this blog, but it’s now a must-read, simply because it collects a huge variety of law-related blog entries. I try to keep up on what’s going on in the blogosphere, but I do have actual work to do as well so I’m never fully caught up; the Stark County Law Library blog pulls really interesting posts that I’ve usually not seen before. Do check it out.

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


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