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Counsel to Counsel - Career Advice for Lawyers
55 minutes | 11 days ago
Episode 50-A Late Career Shift to Public Service
Many lawyers choose public service early in their careers. In a public agency, attorneys may find that they are getting more responsibility than they might get at the same stage in private practice. Assistant district attorneys, for example, find themselves trying cases almost from day one. Lawyers working for agencies that regulate industry may be given a lot more responsibility for crafting policy than they might otherwise be exposed to as an associate at a law firm. But salaries in the public sector generally lag far behind salaries in private practice and for many lawyers, the career path often runs from government into the private sector. In truth, there are many opportunities for lawyers who are further along in their careers to move in the other direction. At the highest levels of government, politicians often turn to the most successful attorneys in private practice to head agencies or craft policy later in their career. For these senior lawyers, it is a win-win. It is a chance to give back and find another burst of career satisfaction at a time in life when the economics are less important. My guest in this episode, Rich Johnston, did just that in 2015. After a long and successful career as a litigator at Wilmer Hale (a firm that was Hale and Dorr for most of his professional life), Rich was brought on by Maura Healey, the Attorney General of Massachusetts, to be her Chief Legal Counsel. In this episode, I speak with Rich about his path to the Attorney General’s Office, what he loves about public service, and advice he has for lawyers thinking about making a move like this after a lengthy law firm career. Related Episodes Episode 22-From Litigation to Public Service to Government Affairs with Former U.S. Senator Mo Cowan Episode 35-A Career in Electoral Politics-A Conversation with Senator Becca Rausch Episode 14-From Biglaw to Government to In-house
43 minutes | 21 days ago
Episode 49-Adapting to Change, Pivoting to In-house and DEI in the Legal Profession
Many lawyers who start out in private practice don’t expect to stay in a law firm setting. Sometimes the move in-house is planned. At other times, moving in-house becomes a more realistic option when partnership doesn’t seem likely. And after moving in-house, things can also change quickly. My guest in this episode, Bill Gabovitch, has a lot to say on the subject of adapting to change. Bill began his career in private practice, experienced a layoff, ended up in-house and found his role in-house changing rapidly one day. Today he is General Counsel of Primark US but he previously worked in-house at Staples and for three major firms in Boston. Bill is someone I always run into at non-profit events. He is one of the most civically engaged lawyers I know and someone who has a deep commitment to diversity and inclusion. Bill and I discuss his career path, how he has pivoted several times in his career and the role that his non-profit work has played in helping him to find more career satisfaction.
37 minutes | a month ago
Episode 48-Successes and Failures in Lateral Partner Movement
Lateral partner movement is alive and well in the practice of law. While partners and practice groups were changing firms with increasing frequency in the past decade, the pandemic has not really slowed down the process. There are many reasons why law firm partners seek out greener pastures. In this episode, my guest Susan Mendelsohn, talks about some of those reasons. But what makes a lateral move a success? Why do some partners make a lateral move and stay for years while others quickly discover that another lateral move may be in the offing. Susan Mendelsohn has a lot to say on the subject. Susan Mendelsohn has been recruiting in the legal space for over 20 years. While she is based in Chicago, she serves clients throughout the United States and not only does recruiting, but like me, Susan also spends a portion of her time on coaching. Other Resources Episode 12-The Lateral Partner 20 Questions For Law Firm Partners
29 minutes | a month ago
Episode 47-Crisis Management and a Legal Career in Education
Many attorneys I speak with think about transitioning to an in-house role at some point in their career. For some lawyers, the path to in-house is planned and deliberate. But for many lawyers, in-house opportunities arise through serendipity. That is what happened to my guest in this episode. Jonathan Moll, had a long and successful career in private practice. But by developing an expertise in education, a great in-house opportunity arose with one of his clients and he seized the moment. Jonathan and I talk about what drew him to education and how early on, he developed an early niche in crisis management. He also talks about taking advantage of the opportunities that come your way and what he is doing now in the latest stage in his career. Jonathan is someone who has always been very generous to me with his time. He has always been willing to be a sounding board and I’ve benefited a lot from his career wisdom. He currently serves a General Counsel to Arx Urban, a real estate development company run by his two sons.
53 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 46-Improving Our Communication with Zoom and Other Virtual Platforms
In this episode of the Counsel to Counsel podcast, I am joined by a talented communications expert, Charlotte Dietz, Founder of Speak Well Partners. Charlotte is a communications and public speaking coach and business story strategist. She shares some great insights into how we can all do a better job communicating in a virtual environment. Since March, most of us have been getting a crash course in how to use Zoom (or other virtual platforms). In some ways, Zoom is really just another phone call and most lawyers are very accustomed to speaking on conference calls. But Zoom has its own nuances and as many of us are learning, there are pluses and minuses of being able to connect visually from a distance. In the early days (we back at the start of the pandemic), many people were experimenting with virtual backgrounds, learning to unmute themselves (and at appropriate times, shutting off the video camera.) Some of us have tried to improve the optics through better lighting and even through better equipment. But the main issue that many of us are grappling with his is how to make a real connection with other professionals when we are not in the room with them. This is true when we are one-on-one, and it is even more true when we are in a group or even delivering a presentation. These issues are challenging when we are in person. But in a virtual world, it is that much harder to be “heard”! Charlotte has some great tips to help us communicate more effectively on Zoom or other virtual platforms. Additional Resources If You Don’t Like Sports, Try Becoming a Sports Fan Fan Be Interested; Be Interesting Getting the Most from Networking Meetings and Troikas [podcast] Zoom is a Great Tool for Relationship Building—But Use it “Right”
42 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 45-Building a Life Sciences Practice From the Ground Up
In this episode I speak with Dave Dykeman, a Co-Managing Partner of the Boston office of Greenberg Traurig. Dave and I met almost 20 years ago, not long after he moved to Boston and since that time I’ve watched his career take off as he has successfully built an IP practice in the life sciences. Whenever I coach lawyers on marketing and business development, my starting point is getting my clients to define their ideal client. While this doesn’t always include what industries they serve, having an industry focus is a good way to differentiate yourself. In a crowded marketplace for legal services, it is critical to define your niche and find ways to make yourself memorable. While work ultimately comes from the relationships you build with clients, potential clients and referral sources, “choosing your lane” is the best starting point. My guest, Dave Dykeman, is someone who has not only clearly defined himself as a lawyer, but over the last two decades, he has done an outstanding job of building relationships that have been critical to his success. In this episode, we’ll be discussing how Dave built that reputation, grew his practice, and what it has been like to move into a management role at an AmLaw100 firm. He talks about coming to Boston, a city where he didn't know anyone. David Dykeman, serves as Co-Managing Shareholder of Greenberg Traurig's Boston office and co-chairs the firm's global Life Sciences & Medical Technology Group. He is a registered patent attorney with more than 23 years of experience in patent and intellectual property law. David's practice focuses on securing worldwide intellectual property protection and related business strategy for high tech clients, with particular experience in life sciences, medical devices, robotics, materials, and information technology. David provides strategic patent portfolio development and intellectual property advice for clients including major research institutions, multinational corporations, and start-up companies. He also performs patent due diligence to assess patent portfolios for venture capital investment, mergers and acquisitions, and licensing opportunities. He is a prolific writer and speaker on intellectual property law. He is also someone who has held numerous leadership roles in bar associations, industry groups, and philanthropic organizations. David is the founding co-chair of the ABA’s Medical Devices Committee. He was honored as one of Boston's "40 Under 40" innovative business leaders by the Boston Business Journal and was named to the "40 Medtech Innovators Under 40" list by Medical Device & Diagnostic Industry (MD+DI) Magazine. David has also been named one of the top 250 Patent and Technology Licensing Practitioners in the world by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) Magazine, an "IP Star" by Managing IP magazine, a "Life Science Star" by LMG Life Sciences, one of the World's Leading IP Strategists in the IAM 300, and listed in Chambers as an IP practitioner. Additional Resources Episode 39-An In-house Career in the Life Sciences 47 Inexpensive ways to Build Business Relationships Episode 18-Starting Business Conversations at Networking Functions and Beyond Defining Your Target is the First Step in Effective Marketing
55 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 44-Getting the Most from Networking Meetings and Troikas
In this episode, I speak with Steve Fretzin, a premier business coach, trainer, and speaker on business development. Steve focuses on the legal industry but comes with experience in other industries as well. Steve and I discuss the importance of networking in building a professional services practice, how you can get more out of your networking meetings, and how to do this in a time of social distancing. The ability to generate work has never been more important for lawyers and other professionals. We are in a recession right now and adapting to the demands of the marketplace is critical. But knowing what services your clients want is only a starting point. A good business plan requires a healthy mix of marketing (or reputation building activities) and business development (or relationship building activities). For lawyers and other professionals, it is the second leg, the relationship building, that is more challenging to master. Attorneys come out of law school knowing something about a broad cross section of legal subjects. Law school graduates enter the workforce knowing how and do legal research and write briefs. While clinics and internships help aspiring lawyers to start learning how to do deals, litigate cases, or counsel clients, most lawyers enter practice with limited knowledge of how to build and manage a law practice. In particular, as lawyers begin their careers, they often know little about building business relationships. On this podcast, we’ve talked many times about the tremendous importance of relationship building whether to set the stage for a future job move or whether it is to generate clients and cultivate referral sources. In this episode, we focus on the networking meeting and its close cousin, the troika which is a networking format that Steve and I participate in through our business networking group ProVisors. Steve Fretzin has been coaching and training professionals on business growth for over 20 years. His focus for the past 13 has been working with lawyers to dramatically grow their law practices. In addition to being a regular contributor for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Steve has written three books on legal growth. His most recent endeavor is his podcast show BE THAT LAWYER, where he interviews rainmakers, marketing gurus and legal industry insiders to provide tips and insights for his attorney audience. He lives in Chicago. Other Networking Resources Is Your Networking Working Ways to Leverage Your Network 8 Do’s and Don’ts of Dating—and Networking Etiquette 11 Ways to Reciprocate in Networking Starting Business Conversations at Networking Functions and Beyond Be Interested; Be Interesting Overcoming Fear of Networking Using Affinity to Build Business Relationships-a Podcast w/Stephen Seckler Documenting Your Networking 47 Inexpensive ways to Build Business Relationships Building Business Relationships 101-Where to Begin Generating Leads Making Selling Easier for Lawyers-Transcript from Legal Toolkit Podcast
55 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 43-Building a Concierge Law Practice to Address Family Conflict and Mental Health Issues
In this episode, I speak with Lisa Cukier, a partner at the law firm Burns and Levinson in Boston. Lisa practices in a number of related areas. We talk about how she has built what she calls a concierge practice. We also discuss what it has been like to serve on the executive committee of her firm, and how she has modified her own marketing and business development in a time of social distancing. Whenever I am thinking about guests to invite on this podcast, I look for lawyers and other professionals who are good role models. Law is a competitive and stressful business. If you want to maintain and build your career satisfaction in a law firm, it is important to keep evolving your practice and get involved in non-practice activities that give you fulfillment. Lisa Cukier, is someone who has done that on many levels. She has developed an aggressively creative and emotionally intelligent approach to managing family conflict and mental health law issues. She has also increased her own enjoyment in the practice of law by getting involved in law firm management. And she is someone who gets energized from building relationships with her referral sources. Lisa Cukier is a Partner and Executive Committee member at Burns and Levinson, a firm of about 125 lawyers. She concentrates her practice on all aspects of estate and trust litigation, fiduciary litigation, probate law, child custody, parentage issues and divorce. She also works on guardianship and conservatorship matters, elder financial exploitation, matters and serves as concierge trustee for many clients who feel protected by her approach to problem resolution. Her work includes representation of blended families. Lisa is a frequent speaker and author on the topics of trust and estate litigation, estate planning, and family law, including undue influence and financial exploitation of elders. She was named to the 2019 "Top Women of Law" list by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and named a National Law Journal - Divorce, Trusts & Estates Trailblazer in 2017. Lisa is considered one of the most tactical, passionate and aggressively creative attorneys in her field. She is the attorney that other attorneys refer their complicated and multi-issue laden or "unresolvable" cases. Cukier serves as trustee and fiduciary for her clients upon request, orchestrating high-touch concierge level service to her clients who wish to have her personal oversight of their multiple life affairs. Attorneys refer their clients to her to serve as a private adjudicator for creative resolution of challenging custody and guardianship disputes.
48 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 42-How the Rise of Digital Media, Innovation, and Data Privacy Regulation Have Shifted the Legal Job Market
Law is a conservative profession. In law school we read the great appellate decisions and learned about the tremendous importance of precedent in our legal system. In truth, the law is always evolving and adapting to changing societal attitudes and new developments in business, the sciences and technology. New statutes and regulations are always being adopted to address new legal concerns and even case law evolves. If you want to remain relevant in the profession, it is important to keep reinventing yourself. The current pandemic and accompanying financial upheaval underscores this. In the past two months, for example, every business and employment lawyer has needed to become an expert on the CARES act. In the past 2 years, every corporation that collects any personal data has had to learn how to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act, GDPR in Europe and similar state privacy statutes. The digitization of our economy has had a particularly strong impact on our legal system. It has never been easier to create, store and copy massive amounts of data. This has had great implications for privacy, the protection of intellectual property rights and the tension between IP protection and creating strong incentives for innovation. Lawyers will continue to play a key role in shaping and interpreting the competing legal interests of law enforcement, private citizens, businesses and artists. So where are the career opportunities in the midst of all of this disruption? In this episode, my guest, Professor Jessica Silbey, answers that question. Professor Silbey is Director of the Center for Law, Innovation and Creativity at Northeastern University School of Law (also known as CLIC). She is a leading scholar and nationally recognized expert on intellectual property and the use of film to communicate about law. Professor Silbey is the author of several books on intellectual property, creativity and invention. She studies the role that intellectual property plays to sustain and frustrate creative and innovative communities. She is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences, and a Guggenheim fellow. CLIC combines the study of innovation and creativity with Northeastern University School of Law's social justice mission. The faculty teach courses on information security, privacy regulation, entertainment and media law, intellectual property, Internet and e-commerce, lawyering and entrepreneurship, and creative communities.
38 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 41-Using Pro Bono to Build Your Skills and Enhance Your Career Satisfaction in a Time of Crisis
The need for pro bono legal services for the poor has never been greater. Prior to the pandemic, legal services agencies were only able to meet a portion of the need. For example, due to lack of funding, legal aid programs in Massachusetts were forced to turn away 57 percent of residents who sought help last year. With the coming recession and millions of families in this country facing food and housing insecurity, this gap will surely widen. Pro bono lawyering will be needed to meet the great demand and fill the gap. In this episode, I am very pleased to welcome Sue Finegan who is a nationally recognized leader in pro bono representation. When I first spoke to Sue a year ago about being on the show, I thought it would be a good opportunity to talk about how pro bono can help build your legal skills and increase your career satisfaction. Today I feel it is a moral imperative to encourage practicing lawyers to do their part in proving pro bono legal services. I invited Sue to talk about the benefits of doing pro bono work and where she thinks the needs will be in the coming year. We also discuss how she has carved out her own unique career path and found great satisfaction in doing well by doing good. I’m thrilled to talk to someone who has dedicated her career to the cause. Sue is a Member of the law firm Mintz Levin, an AmLaw 100 firm based in Boston. She is a nationally recognized pro bono pioneer with exceptional advocacy skills and a passion for helping underserved populations. As chair of Mintz’s Pro Bono Committee, she leads groundbreaking cases and manages pro bono matters for the firm. She helped to defeat President Trump’s first immigration travel ban in early 2017, engineer the passage of a Massachusetts restraining order law for sexual assault survivors, and create several innovative statewide model pro bono programs in Massachusetts. Sue was appointed the firm’s first Pro Bono Partner in 2007and manages the firm’s pro bono efforts, consisting of over 300 varied cases annually. She also advises firm clients on developing and sustaining pro bono programs within their in-house legal departments. As member and current co-chair of the Massachusetts Access to Justice Commission for several years, Sue has been a tireless and innovative advocate for low income people in Massachusetts and beyond. Additional Resources MassProBono is a good starting place in Massachusetts The ABA is compiling a list of students interested in providing pro bono assistance. The registration form can be found here. This directory of non-profits seeking pro bono assistance PSJD, https://www.psjd.org (designed for students seeking public interest career opportunities, but is a great way to learn about different legal services agencies and can be searched by city, state) Pro Bono Net, https://www.probono.net/network/volunteer (offers easy ways to search by region and issue area to allow students to hone in on organizations they want to pursue, and may have specific opportunities for law students posted as well).
35 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 40-Succession Planning for Law Firms Meets Chapter 3 for Lawyers
All professional athletes eventually face the same challenge: when to retire and what to do after retirement. For the most part, an athlete’s career is limited in time because of the physical demands of job. Lawyers on the other hand do not face these constraints. There are many lawyers who practice well into their 70’s or 80’s and some who never choose to retire. But for many law firms and for many law firm partners, this is not an optimal strategy. Healthy businesses need a healthy succession plan and after 40 years in practice, many lawyers are ready for some sort of change. As the pandemic has caused many law firms and partners to rethink their priorities, the issue of what to do with senior partners has become more timely. Firms are already under a lot of under a lot of financial stress. A lack of succession planning only adds to this. In this episode, I am pleased to welcome back Larry Stybel of Stybel Peabody. At the beginning of the year, before the pandemic became a reality for most of us, Larry and I spoke about finding happiness in the practice of law. This time, Larry and I discuss the challenges that seniority presents to both law firms and to aging partners. For over 40 years, Larry has been providing outplacement, executive search and leadership coaching to law firms and corporations. He co-authors a regular column on leadership and career management for PSYCHOLOGY TODAY. He also co-authored the book Navigating the Waterfall: Your Guide to Job Search and Career Management. Stybel Peabody received the "Best in Class" Award in Outplacement four times from the Massachusetts Lawyers’ Weekly Reader Preference Survey. I met Larry and his wife and business partner, Maryanne Peabody, 20 years ago when I was starting my own recruiting and coaching business. I was very pleased to reconnect with him last year through my business networking group ProVisors. I have really appreciated the insights Larry has been able to share with me about my own career. Larry brings years of experience in talent management and career success.
35 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 39-An In-house Career in the Life Sciences
For some associates, partnership is the ultimate career goal. But for many lawyers, a plum in-house job is the real brass ring. In this episode, I welcome Mark Levine who has won the brass ring several times in his career. Mark is General Counsel and Secretary at Flexion Therapeutics, a commercial stage biotech company. Mark and I speak about his path in-house, how his role has changed as he has moved into a GC position and how in-house practice differs from private practice. We also talk about the challenges he faces in running a law department during the pandemic and what advice he has for lawyers seeking similar roles. Mark has expertise in corporate, commercial, and securities law and transactions. He has experience in corporate governance and public disclosure, mergers and acquisitions and operating in highly regulated environments. He has built several law departments and worked in a number of industries. Related Episodes Episode 19-Canoeing vs. Whitewater Rafting-A Career Conversation with Jose Sierra Episode 16-Changing Industries Episode 14-From Biglaw to Government to In-house Episode 2-In-House with Walt Pollard
65 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 38-Breaking the Glass Ceiling on a Part-time Schedule
In this episode, I continue my Glass Ceiling Series with my guest Lauren Resnick, who is the Chief Practice Partner for the national law firm BakerHostetler. Lauren is someone who not only broke through the glass ceiling at an AmLaw 100 firm, but she did it as a part-time attorney. I speak with Lauren about her path from the public sector back into private practice, and what it has been like being part-time. We also discuss some of the challenges of being in a management role at a major law firm and how she has continually reinvented herself throughout her career. This interview was conducted in early March before the reality of COVID had really sunk in for many of us. At the time, Lauren and her firm had already developed a practice group to address the legal issues that are raised by the pandemic, a testament to her ability to think in a highly strategic manner. As Chief Practice Partner, Lauren Resnick is responsible for the firm’s delivery of legal services and management of the firm’s legal talent. She is a partner in the White Collar and Corporate Investigations team of BakerHostetler. She focuses her practice on internal investigations, white collar criminal defense and regulatory compliance matters. Previously, she served as an Assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, where she was chief of the Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section. She was a two-time recipient of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Director's Award for Superior Performance, she is regularly retained by executive management and audit committees of Fortune 500 corporations to conduct internal investigations on Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), anti-money laundering (AML), fraud, antitrust, international trade and sanctions compliance, and other regulatory compliance issues. As a member of the BakerHostetler team serving as counsel to the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA), Lauren supervised the extensive financial reconstruction of the decades-long operations of Bernie Madoff for the ongoing liquidation and litigation proceedings. In addition to her practice, Lauren serves as the firmwide client relationship partner and a member of the firm’s policy committee. She is also the firm's compliance practice team lead and the administrative partner for the New York office.
32 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 37-Managing Anxiety in a Time of Crisis
In this episode, I return to a conversation I started with Dr. Inna Khazan, a clinical psychologist on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. I spoke to Dr. Khazan back in February about the ways she uses mindfulness-based biofeedback to help lawyers and other professionals to achieve optimal performance in stressful situations. In our latest interview, Dr. Khazan discusses how to use these techniques to manage the stress brought on by the global Coronavirus pandemic. She offers practical suggestions for managing the heightened anxiety most of us are experiencing. Included in this podcast is a short guided meditation to help demonstrate the power of mindfulness. Dr. Inna Khazan is a nationally recognized expert in mindfulness-based biofeedback. She is the founder of ARETE Institute for Performance Excellence. As a licensed clinical psychologist, she specializes. in biofeedback and mindfulness-based approaches to optimizing health and performance. At Harvard Medical School, Dr. Khazan teaches and supervises trainees. She is considered to be a pioneer in the area of mindfulness-based biofeedback. She has conducted biofeedback and mindfulness trainings for notable institutions in the US and abroad, including the US Navy Special Warfare, US Army Special Forces, and the Stuttgart Opera and Ballet Company and author of numerous publications and a frequent speaker all over the country.
6 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 36-7 Career Management Tips for COVID-19
In this special episode, I provide you with 7 Career Management Tips for dealing with the current COVID crisis. I’d also like to make you the following offer: If you are feeling isolated or just want someone to help you reflect on your career or on your efforts to build a practice, I would like to offer you the chance to connect with me by Zoom. I’m happy to be a sounding board and help you think about how to be more productive over the next few weeks or months. We are now living through the snow day of all snow days! Even if you or your family’s health has not been affected by the coronavirus (and I hope it hasn’t), surely every other aspect of your life has been turned upside down. For most of us, there have been great disruptions at work (at a minimum, projects put on hold, meetings and court appearances postponed, employees working remotely). These disruptions can impact our productivity in many ways. For me personally, I’ve been moving meetings on-line, stocking up at BJs, dealing with elderly parents, helping my daughter who is studying abroad to navigate her early return, etc. But with every crisis, there are also opportunities. So here are a few things to consider as we get used to the new normal: In ordinary times, self-care is important. In times like these, it is critical. Make time for exercise. If going to the gym isn’t possible, there are lots of workout regimens you can follow on YouTube from the comfort of your own living room. If that is not your thing, try jogging, power walking or bike riding. Personally, I like power walking because it allows lots of time to listen to podcasts. While it isn’t quite the same as going to the gym for many of us, it’s still an important part of self-care. If you haven’t already taken up meditation, now may be a good time. Aside from the health benefits of meditation, mindfulness can improve your ability to focus in stressful situations. There are lots of apps on the web. Some are subscription based and some are free. I like 10 Percent Happier. I’ve heard good things about Headspace. If you find yourself with more time on your hands, this is a great opportunity to beef up your on-line presence. Does your LinkedIn profile need work? Have you been putting off updating the bio on your firm’s website? Do you project a clear message about what differentiates you from other attorneys? Do you have representative examples of matters you have worked on and industries or types of individuals who you have served? Does someone visiting your website get to know anything about what it is like to work with you? Are there testimonials to support this? If you check out the blog or resources tabs on my website, you will find a lot more on both of these topics. How About Adding a Podcast to Your Legal Marketing Toolkit or starting a blog (or contributing to your firm’s blog)? For information on starting a podcast, check out the interview I did with Jared Correia or feel free to set up a time for an informal consult with me. Pull together a workshop or presentation you can deliver when things get back to “normal” (or put together a webinar which you can deliver now). Think about common questions that your clients ask and use that as the subject matter. Find alternative ways to connect. I’ve long been a proponent of getting out of the office. Building your own practice requires you to build your relationships with clients, potential clients and referral sources. While going virtual makes this harder, it doesn’t make it impossible. With tools like Zoom, FaceTime and Skype, connecting virtually has never been easier and now is a great time to learn how to use them. Many of your clients may be feeling isolated. Rather than checking up on them by phone or email, try setting up a session on Zoom. ProVisors , a great business networking group, is doing that very successfully. I’ve already been to two virtual meetings that worked well. One had 30 attendees. Take a step back to reflect on whether you are leading the professional life you want to lead. Talk to me or another career coach. Take stock in whether your firm is the right platform to grow your practice or whether you want to be in a law firm at all. Try one of my self-assessment tools (A Career Audit for Associates or 20 Questions For Law Firm Partners). A crisis like COVID-19 can be a major distraction from achieving our personal and professional goals. The best way to survive the crisis is to look for the opportunities and to keep moving forward. Personally, I’m looking forward to growing my familiarity with Zoom. I’m hoping to use the tool to reach out to people in my network who I have not had time to meet in person. I also hope to queue up some more marketing collateral which I’ll be ready to deploy as the world comes back to life. If you want help thinking through any of this, I’m always happy to hear from you. I always enjoy speaking to lawyers about their marketing or their careers. Most importantly, if you are feeling isolated, find ways to connect with friends, family and colleagues. When this is all over, you will be better positioned to build your practice and progress in your career. Be safe!
34 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 35-A Career in Electoral Politics-A Conversation with Senator Becca Rausch
Electoral politics has always been a career option for attorneys. The halls of Congress and state houses across the country are filled with elected officials who have earned their law degrees. Legal training helps legislators understand how the bills they want to pass fit into a broader legal context. Having a JD gives you credibility to run for office. But what are the options for attorneys who are considering a run for public office. How does being in public office differ from the practice of law? How does law school prepare you for being a legislator? In this episode, I speak with State Senator Becca Rausch of Massachusetts. Senator Rausch and I discuss careers in public office and what it has been like for her to leave the practice of law to become a legislator in the higher chamber of the Massachusetts State Legislature. We talk about her decision to seek public office, what was the path for winning the election, what was it like to come to the State House and what have been her legislative priorities since joining the Senate. I ask her what advice she has for attorneys who are aspiring for public office. Becca Rausch represents the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District of the Massachusetts State Senate which covers cities and towns from Wayland in the north to Attleboro in the South. Prior to joining the Senate, Becca was an associate attorney at two mid-sized firms in Boston, taught civil procedure and health law as a visiting faculty member at Seattle University School of Law, and served as the first ever Secretariat e-discovery attorney in the history of the Massachusetts executive branch.
47 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 34-Podcasting as a Legal Marketing Tool
In this episode, I speak with Jared Correia, one of the pioneers in legal podcasting. Jared was a huge mentor to me when I was launching the Counsel to Counsel podcast back in 2018 and I’m very pleased to welcome such a seasoned veteran. As of 2019, over half the US population had listened to at least one podcast. In 2019 over 100 million people listened to at least one podcast every week. There are over 700,000 active podcasts and 29 million podcast episodes available. Clearly, the age of podcasting has arrived. But what is podcasting and how can you use it to market your legal services? What are the mechanics of producing a podcast and how does podcasting interrelate with other legal marketing tools? Jared Correia, a national expert on the subject, sat down with me to answer some of these questions. I met Jared over a decade ago when Jared was working for the Massachusetts Law Office Assistance Program and I was co-chair of the Massachusetts Bar Association’s Law Practice Management Section. Jared Correia is the Founder and CEO of Red Cave Law Firm Consulting, which offers subscription-based law firm business management consulting and technology services for solo and small law firms. Red Cave also works with legal institutions and legal-facing corporations to develop programming and content. A former practicing attorney, Jared has been advising lawyers and law firms for over a decade. He is a regular presenter at local, regional and national events, including ABA TECHSHOW. He regularly contributes to legal publications, including his column, ‘Managing,’ for Attorney at Work, and his ‘Law Practice Confidential’ advice column for Lawyerist. Jared is the author of the American Bar Association publication ‘Twitter in One Hour for Lawyers’. He is the host of the Legal Toolkit podcast on Legal Talk Network. Jared also teaches for Concord Law School, Suffolk University Law School and Solo Practice University. More recently, he co-founded Gideon, a company that offers chatbot software for law firms to help attorneys automatically qualify leads, book consults, route leads to the right lawyer or staff person, and create new client matters, 24/7/365.
54 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 33-Mindfulness, Biofeedback and the Practice of Law
In this episode, I welcome Dr. Inna Khazan, a clinical psychologist who is a nationally recognized expert in mindfulness and biofeedback. Dr. Khazan talks about how she helps lawyers and other professionals in stressful jobs to achieve higher levels of performance through biofeedback and mindfulness meditation. Episode 33-Intro Law is a stressful business and there are a lot of efforts underway all over the country to help lawyers address the challenges in the profession. In Massachusetts, for example, we have an organization called Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers which helps attorneys deal with substance abuse and some of the underlying causes of attorney stress. In the last episode of Counsel to Counsel, I interviewed Heidi Alexander the Deputy Director of the organization about the work they do. Recently, the SJC of Massachusetts created a new Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being. The Standing Committee is charged with planning and overseeing efforts to enhance the well-being of lawyers, judges and law students in the Commonwealth. And the recent Report of the Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, issued by the American Bar Association, Conference of Chief Judges, and other legal organizations, calls well-being an essential element of a lawyer’s duty of competence and recommends mindfulness training as “mindfulness can enhance a host of competencies related to lawyer effectiveness, including increased focus and concentration, working memory, critical cognitive skills, reduced burnout, and ethical and rational decision-making.” While there are many approaches to dealing with stress in the practice of law, mindfulness is one technique that is getting a lot of attention lately. For today’s show, I invited an expert on mindfulness to talk about how she works with attorneys and other professionals to achieve high levels of performance in high stress jobs. Inna Khazan, is the founder of ARETE Institute for Performance Excellence. She is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in biofeedback and mindfulness-based approaches to optimizing health and performance. Dr. Khazan is a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, where she teaches and supervises trainees. She is considered to be a pioneer in the area of mindfulness-based biofeedback. Dr. Khazan is a popular speaker at national and international conferences and prestigious institutions on the topics of biofeedback and mindfulness. She has conducted biofeedback and mindfulness trainings for notable institutions in the US and abroad, including the US Navy Special Warfare, US Army Special Forces, and the Stuttgart Opera and Ballet Company. She is the author of numerous publications including her most recent book Biofeedback and Mindfulness in Everyday Life: Practical Solutions for Improving Your Health and Performance, and the highly-regarded Clinical Handbook of Biofeedback: A Step-by-Step Guide to Training and Practice with Mindfulness, published by Wiley Blackwell. Other Mindfulness Resources Ten Percent Happier (Dan Harris, an ABC News personality, brings mindfulness to skeptics with his book, app and podcast; tons of content and a great place to start for a modest annual fee--look for discounts)
57 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode 32-A Career in Law Practice Management
In this episode, I speak with Heidi Alexander, Deputy Director of the non-profit organization Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers. Heidi helps manage LCLs operations and leads the organization’s law practice management program known as Mass LOMAP (the Law Office Management Assistance Program). Episode 32 Introduction In 2020, it has never been easier to run your own law practice. On-line tools for marketing, accounting, document assembly and contact management have never been more affordable or easier to use. But launching a law practice is not for the faint of heart. My guest Heidi Alexander talks about some of the challenges in launching and managing a small law firm and how Mass LOMAP is a great resource to help lawyers get started. We also discuss how Heidi decided to pursue an alternative legal career and the challenges she had in making her own transition. Not long after Heidi graduated from law school, she became very interested in law firm management. She completed a judicial clerkship, practiced for a year and then joined Mass LOMAP in 2012. Since joining LOMAP, she has worked with solo practitioners and small firm attorneys to develop healthy, sustainable, and productive law practices. Heidi is an avid speaker on topics ranging from time management and productivity to legal technology, and an author of numerous articles and a book published by the American Bar Association's Law Practice Management Division, "Evernote as a Law Practice Tool". This year she is a chair of the American Bar Association‘s TECHSHOW Conference. Additional Resources ABA Legal Technology Resource Center Law Technology Today Law Sites Blog Mass LOMAP Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers SJC Lawyer Well-Being Report Leveraging Your Blog Posts and Saving Time with TextExpander
26 minutes | 10 months ago
Episode 31-Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling
In this episode, I speak with Hether Cahill. Hether is a partner at the Boston law firm Burns & Levinson where she handles probate litigation. Hether and I discuss the path to partnership for women and why she likes family conflict. Introduction The majority of law school graduates are now women. Despite this demographic change, the growth of women in partnership ranks in major law firms continues to stagnate. While there are many explanations for this (women still bear a greater burden for child rearing than men and are penalized for that; men have some advantages in cultivating business relationships), there are women who manage to buck the trend and break through the glass ceiling. Over the next few months I will be interviewing women who have achieved this and made it past the barriers. They will be telling their stories, what it was like then and offer tips for younger women are hoping to elevate their legal careers. Hether Cahill is one of those women. I met Hether through my ProVisors networking group and I was impressed with her enthusiasm for handling family conflict, something that many of us would much rather avoid. But Hether’s obvious enjoyment of this work is infectious so I invited her to be on the show. Hether grew up as the daughter of a single mother who was practicing law in Berkshire County. Her mother was a great role model for her and today Hether enjoys being a part of the partnership ranks at one of Boston's prominent midsize law firms. Hether talks about what it is like to be a female partner at a major firm and offers some advice for younger lawyers who share her ambition.
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