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Finding and Fulfilling Your Potential

How Many Lawyers love Their Job?

One of the best parts about our firm is that we have managed to create an environment which drives me out of bed in the morning.  I’m usually awake by about 5 a.m. and out of bed by 6.  I can’t wait to pickup my digital recorder and start dropping tasks and messages into our extranet.  Sometimes they are on client cases.  More often, they are blog posts or agenda items for our “perfect law firm” Tuesday and Thursday meetings.  I have a sense of control and opportunity which brings me into each day.  I can hardly wait to see what is going to happen each day, which new clients will find their way to our firm and what will happen on the cases we have pending.  I have never been involved in a legal situation where we have returned so many extraordinary results to our clients.  Nothing feels better than hitting a grand slam on a difficult case. 

There are so many things that make this firm different.  As a digital law firm, we have instant access to all our case information from wherever we are located.  This allows us to accomplish things faster and more intelligently than virtually any other lawyers.  Our extranet also pushes so much information to the client level, that our clients are the most informed and involved clients of any clients our there.  We do more in terms of strategy than any other firm I’ve been involved with, by a multiple of ten.  This is largely because we document the deliverables and every task along the way driving towards a defined end zone.  Is it any wonder we accomplish extraordinary results?  Our virtual workers allow us to avoid lower level functions which distract us from focusing on strategy and client relations.  These virtual workers allow us to expand and contract with case load ensuring that the train is moving forward at a steady, even pace.  Our collaborative work environment means that all of our lawyers and staff are on the same page on every case.  Each lawyer is able to contribute to any case at any moment.  These types of checks and balances are critical for a firm and client success. 

Because we are constantly revising our internal process and overall approach based on whatever makes sense, our creativity is rewarded each day.  Innovation is the foundation of our firm.  Nothing is more exciting than finding ways to do things better and technology to make it happen.

Most law firms live in a cynical environment of “why not.”  We live in an environment of “can do” where problem solving is our most rewarding activity.  There’s nothing more unrewarding than writing CYA letters to clients, always working to cover yourself in expectation that things will eventually go wrong and essentially telling the client about all the problems in their case.  We make things happen for clients every day that other lawyers would say are impossible. 

The reality is that the traditional law firm can be a brutal, boring, negative, uninspired, underperforming and static environment.  Isn’t time you changed your environment?  Isn’t time that you found out for yourself what is truly possible?

Comments

Colin Samuels

When I was a lowly law clerk in a firm, I had the good fortune to work for an attorney who loved his job -- without qualifications or caveats, he loved being a lawyer. After that summer, his enthusiasm for the profession stayed with me for a long while. In my mind, he became the norm rather than the ideal. Naively, I had somehow failed to register the discontent (or at least lack of enthusiasm) amongst the vast majority of the firm's attorneys.

It can be exceptionally difficult in our profession to find that place where -- like that one attorney with whom I worked -- you love your job. Nearly all of my classmates and the other attorneys I've met since law school have been trapped at one time or another (and some multiple times) in "brutal, boring, negative, uninspired, underperforming and static" environments.

It's not going out on a limb to suggest that such dissatisfying environments are more common than are satisfying ones like you've created at your firm. Partly it's them, partly it's us; in the end it really matters little. While I would never discourage my fellow layers from continuing to search for something better or trying to better their own places, perhaps it's time for us to accept that "brutal, boring, negative, uninspired, underperforming and static" pretty well describes the typical practitioner's existence and start discouraging prospective lawyers and law students from wishful thinking that they will inevitably find the "perfect law firm" if they just look hard enough.

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