Did You Know These 10 Famous People Were Also Lawyers?

By; Joe Patrice

Okay, you probably know about a couple of these. But some are genuine surprises. Howard Cosell? He went to NYU Law? He was even — under his original name “Cohen” — on law review! How did that never come up while I was there?

This infographic comes courtesy of Online Paralegal Programs, an Internet-based repository of information to help students looking to enter the paralegal field. Fun infographic.

celebrity lawyers

See more at: http://abovethelaw.com/2015/05/did-you-know-these-10-famous-people-were-also-lawyers/

6 Warning Signs For When Not To Take On A Client

By: Gary Ross

Wrong Way Sign

Last week I talked about how in SmallLaw you are essentially betting on your clients. That the client is relatively sane, that their situation is at least somewhere in the ballpark of how they described it, that they’re not wrapped up in something that’s going to suck up all your time with no payoff. Sometimes you just know right away it’s someone to avoid. If the person is super-intense and believes he’s the subject of an assortment of conspiracies he wants you to help fight, you know that’s someone to refer to that frenemy from law school who never gave you that hard copy of your outline back.

But sometimes upon first impression the person seems normal, and you don’t find out until later they’re nuttier than a port-o-potty at a peanut festival. And everyone has different sides to them. Think about that partner that no one wants to work with, yet the guy keeps bringing in client after client. He’s probably not doing it by treating prospective clients like he treats associates.

Though often you just don’t know until you’re already knee-deep in the representation, here are some red flags signaling when it might be better to pass on a certain prospective client.

Easy Money. The prospective client who has prepared all the documentation for you, and they just need you to sign something, usually more or less immediately. This comes up a lot with legal opinions. They won’t ask a big firm to do it, but they’ll try to find a small firm or a solo who will sign a document without asking too many questions. It’ll be some kind of hard to understand business model involving overseas affiliates, and they need legal opinions, or someone to act as a nominee director, or something of that ilk. I’ll respond back with a list of questions and documents I need to see first, and then I’ll never hear from them again. Good riddance!

No Money

No Money. The ones who want free work in exchange for “invaluable” referrals. Basically, the Groupon/Living Social crowd always looking for the next deal. If a person or company had good connections/members to begin with, they could afford legal fees, and if they can’t, maybe their mailing list isn’t worth you spending the time doing legal work for them.

Changing the Money. To me, it’s a red flag if I meet with someone face-to-face or talk with at length over the phone and we come to an agreement on the fee arrangement, and then later—even after I’ve already prepared and sent out the engagement letter—I get an email from them wanting to change the terms of the engagement. If they’re doing this before we even get started, what are they going to be like on down the road when I’ve invested a lot of time and effort?

More Than One Driver. When it’s evident there is more than one person driving the train, each driver has a different destination in mind, and only one of the drivers is interested in engaging you. In every business there will be times when problems will arise, and on some occasions a business even has to make a choice between compliance and profitability. You could easily get ignored if you don’t have buy-in from all of the principals, and one of the last things you want is to be associated with a company doing something unethical. (Especially when you know it!)

The Drop Out. The clients who don’t return calls or emails. Often these are folks who have never hired an attorney before and suffer sticker shock the first bill they get. So then they start doing everything on their own and don’t return your calls or emails. But what’s going to happen when they do something wrong and they run afoul of a regulation or they’re stuck in a bad contract? It’ll be their attorney’s fault! And it’ll probably concern something you never even knew about. Admittedly, this one is talking about folks who are already clients. Still, it might be better to send an email, or least prepare a note to file, formally acknowledging your representation has been suspended pending contact with the client.

The Mystery Client. They won’t tell you how they got your name. Or they’re really vague about it or have an implausible story. Almost everyone I know who’s had a complaint filed against them, or has had negative feedback left on a public forum, had it done by a client who was not a referral or someone they had directly solicited, but rather a client who had found them out of the blue. I had a situation last year in which a client said they had found me on Avvo, which seemed odd, given that I haven’t really built up an Avvo presence. (My marketing tends to be more active.) Turned out they were trying to use me to run some kind of cross-border scam. (And when it didn’t work with me, they went on to trying it with Biglaw firms.)

I purposefully made these more than minor irritants. Any time people are involved there are going to be little pet peeves that are annoying. I’m sure my clients wouldn’t have any trouble coming up with a Top Ten list of Things That Annoy Me About Gary J. Ross (making the list: “He sends me emails at 2 a.m.”). For the most part I’ve tried to make these real issues.

One thing that’s not on the list: If they had problems with past attorneys. I used to think this too was a red flag. It stands to reason that if someone has had issues with their previous attorneys, the problem is probably them, no? (Like a person who can’t stay in a relationship, saying, “I sure know how to pick ‘em!”) But more and more I see examples of poor lawyering, whether it be shoddy work, demands for exorbitant fees, or the most common: lack of communication. Though I just made a list of potential client warning signs, people should really be given the benefit of the doubt when possible. That oddly intense computer programmer may have the government after him after all.

Read More: http://abovethelaw.com/2015/05/6-warning-signs-for-when-not-to-take-on-a-client/?utm_campaign=Above+the+Law+Small+Law&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=17849340&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_6hLz6yVD0EObQwNWuAPCuI_u8IciCf94lwDXOThXM1TQJYK5Xi6_wLsaieZ6UwhRuL8YKqJLkYlXJMVYEo_3JoZUqOg&_hsmi=17849340

5 Steps to Seriously Improve Your Networking Skills


No matter what profession you’re in, networking is the fuel that accelerates success. Not only is it useful for learning directly from individuals you meet, but the benefits of association and growing your own authority are just as powerful.

For some of us, the word networking can leave a bad taste in our mouths. Many of us aren’t sure where to start, what to say when we connect with someone or how to maintain that relationship. Although I truly believe there’s an art and science to networking and building authentic relationships, I’m going to distill what I’ve learned over the past few years. So, here is my no-BS guide to networking.

Stage 1: Mindset

Before you think about networking, remove the word “working” from your system. We hear people talking about putting on their “networking game,” and I can’t help but wonder how many showers they’ll need to take afterward to rid themselves of the inauthenticity. It’s likely that the people you’re trying to reach get approached by dozens, if not hundreds, of people just like you; and it’s not difficult for them to weed out the people who are “putting on a face.”

The best networking comes from genuine relationships, not a business card exchange. No matter whom you’re trying to build a relationship with, treating that person as a friend rather than a business contact will take you much further with the relationship. So, think about how you would approach a potential friend. Find something you have in common with, keep it light, make jokes, and above all, show that you care.

Stage 2: The destination

Doing something for the sake of doing it is rarely a good idea, nor is it a good use of your time. It’s the old analogy of having a fully gassed car without a final destination to head toward.

As many of you may already know, I’m a big believer in goal setting and focusing on pouring energy into accomplishing the stated goal. What is your dream job? How do you envision your future? What do you need to be doing to be the most fulfilled, happy and driven version of you? Write down what your goal is for five years from now. Then write down what goal you need to hit one year from now in order to get you closer to your five-year goal. Finally, write down what goal you need to hit 90 days from now in order to get you closer to your one-year goal.

For example: Let’s say your goal is to make $1 million in five years. You would need a vehicle, whether that is your own business, investments or something financially viable to get you to your destination. In this case, your goal one year from now might be to have your business launched and to hit $5,000 per month in sales.

So, what would you need to do in the next 90 days in order to hit $5,000 per month in your new business, one year from now? It might be finding the right partner with a complementary skill sets, or acquiring your first paying customer in the next 90 days.

5-year goal: Make $1 million
1-year goal: Hit $5,000/month ($60,000 per year) in sales with new business
90-day goal: Get your first paying customer

Now, it’s time to write down your goals. Yes, physically write them!

Stage 3: The map


Now that you have your final destination for five years from now, including focused, short-term goals to get you there, design your map. Keith Ferrazzi has a powerful strategy called the Networking Action Plan (NAP), which he explains in Never Eat Alone, to connect your networking strategy with your goals.

Step 1 is to write down your goals and final destination (which you completed in Stage 2). Step 2 is to look at the three goals you have written down. Then, next to each of your goals, write down three people who will either kickstart or accelerate your goal. These could be people you are already connected with, who are second-degree connections from you, or people you have no connections to.

Examples of who your top 3 could be include mentors or advisors, clients who will advocate for you, investors who believe in your vision, team members who may be co-founders or key hires, a boss or manager who could propel you to a raise or strategic position within your organization or superconnectors that will connect you with any of the above, to build your network.

If you’re looking to start a company, the three people could be a potential partner, an investor and a potential client. For a best-selling book, the three could be your agent, promotional partners or editor.

It’s important to invest some time doing thorough research to be confident that the three people are essential in helping you accomplish your goals faster.

Stage 4: Building a human connection

Hw do you foster a real connection when you speak with someone – whether it’s on Skype or on the phone or in-person? Personally, I think it boils down to these factors:

  • Ask insightful questions (to get the other person thinking). You can know a lot about a person by the quality of the questions he or she asks. Tony Robbins often shares that the quality of your questions correlates to the quality of your life.
  • Ask better questions, receive better answers. Peter Thiel challenges us to ask ourselves: “How do we accomplish our 10-year goals in six months?” By asking better questions when you’re speaking with someone, you not only put yourself in a category of someone that thinks differently, but you force the other person to think in a new way that helps him or her grow.
  • Pay attention (as if your life depended on it). This may come naturally for some people, or be extremely difficult for others. In our smartphone era, paying attention is a demanded “skill” many of us lack. How many times have you spoken with someone who is constantly fidgeting, looking around or interrupting your every sentence? By simplying maintaining eye contact, listening attentively and responding with relevant questions, you’re separating yourself from the rest of the pack and are well on your way to fostering a genuine relationship.

Listen. Ask good questions. Repeat.

Stage 5: Superconnecting

The fastest way to grow your own network is to introduce two people who can benefit from each another. As simple as this strategy sounds, it’s one you hardly see most people do. When’s the last time someone deliberately went out of his or her way to introduce you to someone after listening to your struggles? If you’re the rare breed that has experienced this, you’ve met a superconnector. 


With over three billion people online today, it’s increasingly difficult to separate the fog from the light, and the role of superconnectors will become increasingly important to make that distinction. Here are few of the most powerful ways to become a superconnector yourself.

  • Don’t keep score. This is by far the key difference between superconnectors and everyone else. Superconnectors have an abundance mentality, and they’re always willing to give, connect and share.
  • Make friends, not “contacts.” In other words, value quality over quantity. Put away your business cards, and form genuine friendships with people you meet. I force myself to never talk about business in the first encounter with someone, unless I have to. It’s 10 times more valuable to develop connections with five quality people at an event than 50 “contacts” whose names you won’t remember.
  • Connect other superconnectors. Do you know two connectors who could benefit from meeting? Have they already met? Introducing two superconnectors will be the easiest connection you make because: They are naturally friendly and most likely will have friends in common. And you’ll not only help others further their goals, but will come to mind for them, for future potential connections that will benefit you.
  • Interview people. This may be one of the fastest ways to grow your network, if done strategically. You could do this in the context of a research paper, book or, my personal favorite, a podcast. I’ve been fortunate enough to connect with the likes of Eric RiesAdam Braun, Jason Fried, Gary Vaynerchuk and others who would have been difficult to connect with had I not started #SKIM Live.
  • Follow-up. This is the missing step we all forget to do. But following up to see how the introduction went, or randomly following up a few months later with no agenda will not only help you maintain your connections, but foster the relationship to a different level. In a world of take take take, being able to show that you care about someone as a friend will put you in a whole different category with any of your connections.

Can you think of someone you need to follow up with right now?

Read More: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/245995

6 Tips on How to Find a Job in China

China Road

“How do I get started in China?” was a recurring question I recently encountered when I lectured on global entrepreneurism at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business. And the process for doing just that — finding a job in China — may understandingly seem intimidating for many aspiring young global business people.

But there are definitely resources out there for getting started. Here are six.

1. Networking events

Use your own network to build an even bigger network through Asia-specific networking events like these “meetups” in New York City. Few of us enjoy networking. It’s hard to walk up to strangers and make that awkward first introduction. However, networking can be your best friend.

Some of my most important contacts and largest corporate customers have come from networking events. The key is to know that everyone else feels as awkward as you do and that realistically you have nothing to lose except an hour or two of your life. You have a lot to gain – in this case a potential job in China.

2. LinkedIn

This is digital networking at its finest. LinkedIn Premium for job seekers is an amazing tool. We use it for sales but I know that many of our Fortune 500 customers utilize it for recruitment purposes. LinkedIn grants access to HR and recruiters that job seekers are not otherwise allowed to contact.

The website also offers short tips on how to get noticed, get an interview and ultimately get the job or internship you’re looking for. If you can’t afford premium, find and join large groups that are internationally focused or China specific. Start discussions, ask how to get started in China. You’ll be surprised by how many people are willing to help. That being said, however, you’ll need to be persistent.

3. Chinese university programs

Many Chinese universities offer one-semester business-school certificate courses. These usually focus on Chinese business and culture and cover law, finance, marketing, sales and management. We have developed a Business & Language course in conjunction with Shanghai Normal University. The course lasts one semester but includes a language component in addition to Chinese business training.

These types of programs are a great avenue to Chinese business for those who may not be able to get a job right away. Once in China, building a network there is the key to finding a long-term career.

4. AmCham China, Shanghai Expat, Asia Expat

All of these sites have job listings. The most legitimate are found on AmCham China, a one-stop shop for job-seekers, internship seekers and anyone interested in doing business in China. I have been a member of AmCham Shanghai for almost 10 years. This is where I learned to network, found my first Chinese school, got involved with charities and most importantly found some of my best employees.

Everything listed there is going to be a legitimate lead; companies that list are members of the chamber and have gone through a vetting process prior to posting these jobs. They will usually arrange your China visa and, depending on your role, will arrange housing and anything else you need.

5. Summer Internships

BRIC will be announcing an exciting new internship program in the coming weeks. There is a need for this in China, Shanghai in particular. Many of these programs exist; however, interns have said that the companies involved were “sketchy.”

The complaints vary, but two of the most common are that the programs do not disclose the company name prior to arrival in China and that the internships typically are not what the customer signed up for. A friend of mine signed up for a three-month summer internship two years ago. He was supposed to be working in finance directly for the CFO.

But when he arrived in Shanghai, his actual job was cold-calling expats. He was supposed to sell “wealth management” packages. These were at best bad products, and at worst illegal pyramid schemes. He quit very quickly, and that company no longer exists.

Sadly, this scenario is actually fairly common in China, so be careful. If you use an internship service outside of AmCham, make sure that it has a good track record and can put you in touch with students who have used the service in the past.

6. Tours

For whose who want to get their feet wet in China without actually committing to a three-to-four-month internship, there are other opportunities. My company currently offers two-week trips to Shanghai, Beijing, and Hangzhou as well as one to Shanghai and Yangshuo.

The first is business focused, the second has, first, an urban emphasis in Shanghai, and then an outdoors one in Yangshuo, the center of China’s mountain culture. We are not the only company doing trips that are both educational and fun. You can Google China tours and literally see thousands pop up. Trips like these are a great way to explore China and test the waters before making a longer commitment.

Regardless of what path you take to get to China, I suggest exploring the options. It was without a doubt the best decision I myself ever made. I would also recommend learning the language. When I left Shanghai for New York City, prior to building my own company, I knew that because of my knowledge of China and my ability to speak the language, I could get a great job anywhere.

The language has been like an insurance card in my back pocket. It is why I was successful in China, while other more talented people have failed. So, figure out how to get to China and see whether or not it’s right for you. It will change your life.

Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/246117

Get Your Ego Out of the Way and Ask for Help When You Need It

Entrepreneurs are great at starting projects alone, but sometimes when we hit a bump in the road we don’t know which way to turn. That’s when we need some help.

Unfortunately, H-E-L-P is a four-letter word, both literally and emotionally. Some of us, believing it’s a sign of failure, hesitate to ask anyone for advice or assistance. We worry that we might inconvenience a friend or overstep a professional relationship. Other times, we don’t want to appear weak or needy.


Entrepreneurship is difficult at times and most business owners choose to do it alone. However, if you don’t ask for help, you deny your friends and colleagues the opportunity to assist you, which many of them would be delighted to do. Moreover, if you try to do everything and make every decision by yourself, you’ll stress out and burn out. It’s important to use the network you’ve built when you need it.

Here are five helpful hints on how to ask for help.

1. Acknowledge your need.

The greater the need, the more hesitancy most people feel before asking for help. Eliminate any hesitations you have. Your need doesn’t make you weak. Just because you could do it alone doesn’t mean you should. It’s unhealthy (and unproductive) to tough it out.

For example, writing a book is a huge endeavor most people are afraid to tackle because they don’t know how or where to start. Every time I write a book, I seek the advice of a writing coach who holds me accountable and helps me become a better writer. This person keeps me on track and helps me to reach my goals.

2. Continually build your network.

At some point along your business journey, you’ll need the support of other professionals. You might need a recommendation for website design, or some advice on how to assemble a board of directors for your new business. Build a network that will support you before you need it. Join professional organizations, serve on boards, volunteer your time, take colleagues to lunch. The more key connections you have, the more likely they’ll take the time to help you.

3. Flatter others.

Believe it or not, even the most successful among us struggles with self-doubt. Chances are, the person you reach out to will be flattered you asked them for help. It doesn’t always have to be someone you know personally. Last week, one of my loyal newsletter subscribers emailed me for advice. Though we’ve never met, she’d read my books and trusted me to point her in the right direction. I was glad she had the courage to reach out and I was happy to help.

4. Discover new business opportunities.

The next time you ask for help, you may discover a wonderful, unintended consequence. Business needs often lead to new opportunities through collaboration.

Let’s say you’d like to host a webinar, but your audience is small and you aren’t sure if your idea is worth the cost and effort. Instead of trying to do it yourself, contact someone in your network who holds webinars frequently and who has a good reputation and a substantial following. Through collaboration, you’re more apt to build that relationship and get exposure and experience. It never hurts to reach out and see what happens. The answer is always “no” if you don’t ask.

5. Learn to take advice.

Asking for help is hard enough, but taking someone’s advice can be an even harder challenge. Some new entrepreneurs feel defensive when they receive advice from more experienced professionals, especially if it’s unsolicited. Don’t be a know-it-all. That attitude is a quick path toward failure. Listen when others give you advice, then decide later if you want to take their advice. Those who care about your success will want to save you from experiencing the (typically costly) mistakes they made early in their careers.

Read More: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/246157

Achieved Your Goal? Reach for More.


There are certain truths about successful people. The first is that they’re always learning. The second is that they’re always reaching for more. Not in a greedy way, but in a desire to reach their potential and live a fulfilled life. They understand that the attainment of a goal isn’t the end of the road. There is always more to see, do and be.

Here are a few tips to stretching yourself to go beyond what you thought was possible.

1. Identify areas that you’re in a rut or feel restless and discontent.

Reaching a goal is a great feat, but sustaining it can result in feeling settled and unchallenged.

2. Set the next goal above and beyond.

Maybe you don’t feel settled at reaching your goal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t push further. Having reached your goal, identify the next level to strive for. For example, can you move up further in your career or set higher sales goals in your business?

3. Determine the tasks required to move you beyond your rut to reach the next goal.

Do you need to continue what you did before or do something else?

4. Fit your new goal and tasks into your daily schedule.

If you’ve already achieved some goals, you know that they don’t come to fruition on their own. It takes action to make them a reality.

5. Watch yourself grow and achieve more than you initially thought.

There is a saying that success in life is a journey not a destination, and it’s true. You should feel proud at achieving your goals, but you should never stop and rest on your laurels. Always be learning and reaching to do and be more.

Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/245738



By William M. Aukamp, Of Counsel to Werb & Sullivan, a law firm in Wilmington, Delaware

In 1653, Isaac Walton wrote “The Compleat Angler” a book that is still read by avid fishermen desiring to learn all they can about the sport. One might ask today what makes a complete bank lawyer. The answer is often not fully understood by bank senior management. Among other things, they  sometimes fail to differentiate between legal and compliance. Both functions are critically important and they must work together as a team; however, while the lawyer should be a resource to compliance officers by helping them interpret complex or ambiguous regulations, it is not the lawyer’s responsibility to make sure they are followed by bank personnel. This is the role of compliance.  Why is it important for senior management to be aware of the differences between the two functions and the scope of their respective responsibilities? Because these are key functions and, as in the case of other key functions, they should know what they do, and have a sense of the knowledge and experience required of the individuals they hire to fill these key positions.

To become a complete bank lawyer, it is necessary to have both curiosity to learn new things, to be knowledgeable about the business of banking, and to have been presented, over time, with the opportunity to provide counsel to a wide variety of departments within a bank, as well as a bank’s board and senior management. Unfortunately, in this age of specialization, young lawyers are not afforded the opportunity to gain this broad based experience. This is why banking generalists are a dying breed. Large banking organizations can afford to hire specialists, who concentrate on specific areas of the bank’s operations. Small banks cannot. One solution for them may be to hire a semi- retired generalist on a part time basis. If this is not possible, outside counsel with experience in the various areas discussed herein, whether found within a single firm or in multiple firms, should be engaged.

It is important for all banks, large and small alike, to have a lawyer present at all board meetings, and not in the capacity of a director. This does not mean any lawyer, but one that has some expertise in banking law. Some lawyers claim to be bank lawyers because they represent banks in connection with loan transactions, but this, alone, is not enough to qualify one as a bank lawyer. The lawyer who is the primary “go to” lawyer for members of the board need not be knowledgeable about the full range of legal issues that may be encountered by a bank, but should be conversant with  certain laws that may command the board’s attention at some point, such as the following:  Bank Merger and Change in Control Acts; Bank Holding Company Act; laws and regulations governing financial subsidiaries, operations subsidiaries and other permissible investments; the Bank Bribery Act and US Department of Justice Prosecution Guidelines Under Act; dividends; management interlocks between banks and between banks and public utilities;  securities law restrictions regarding insider trading; and banking laws and regulations regarding restrictions on transactions with affiliates and insiders. There is also a provision in the federal Bank holding company Act that applies to all banks, not just those that are part of a holding company system, and prohibits a bank from making loans on preferential terms to directors of correspondent banks. In addition, it may not open a correspondent account if it has outstanding loans to a director of the correspondent bank, unless they are made on substantially the same terms, including interest rates and collateral as those prevailing at the time for comparable transactions with other persons and does not involve more than the normal risk of repayment or present other unfavorable features. The individual must also be knowledgeable about laws relating to corporate governance. In addition to their general oversight responsibilities, directors are required to review or approve of specified policies and procedures. The bank’s compliance officer should know what specific reviews or approvals are required and with what frequency, and   ensure that each director receives an adequate executive summary of the underlying law or regulation. He or she should also coordinate with the corporate secretary regarding calendaring the items.

Here are just some things with which a bank lawyer, or the bank’s lawyers, collectively, should be familiar:

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Quinn Emanuel’s New Marketing Initiative: An Interview With John Quinn


On Friday, we brought you news of litigation powerhouse Quinn Emanuel requiring associates and counsel to assist with at least one marketing project during the year. The requirement was tied to bonus eligibility, to which some of our sources objected.

Over the weekend, I corresponded with founding partner John B. Quinn, who explained the firm’s marketing program and defended it against criticism. Here’s the transcript of our discussion (lightly edited, mainly for capitalization).

ATL: Can you briefly describe Quinn Emanuel’s new initiative to get associates and counsel to take a more active role in marketing efforts?

JBQ: We’re asking every associate and counsel in the firm to participate in at least one marketing project during the course of the year. These projects might include contributing to a presentation to a prospective client about a potential new engagement, helping to write an article, doing some research on an industry, or a host of other things. The project must be approved by a partner.

ATL: Why did the firm decide to implement this new initiative?

john quinnJBQ: Our profession has become hyper-competitive, especially since 2008. Virtually every new case we get is the result of a beauty contest of some sort where we are up against very high-quality firms. Every week brings new claims, new theories of recovery, new developments in the law, new clients with new business models. We have to be not just on top of these things, but ahead of them.

ATL: Some might say: isn’t business development really best left to the partners?

JBQ: Associates and counsel are a huge untapped resource. They have law school classmates who, after three to four years, have moved in-house and — guess what? — are participating in decisions about whom to retain. We’d like our lawyers to be comfortable knowing how to take advantage of these opportunities — really, how to create opportunities. If we are successful, this could be transformative. From time to time we have conducted “how to” programs for associates on marketing topics. As part of this effort, we will do more of that. We also pay associates a percentage of the revenue from work they bring in, subject to certain requirements.

ATL: And some might say: shouldn’t business development and marketing be left to the people who are actually good at it, whether they’re associates or partners, instead of getting the entire firm involved?

JBQ: In this effort, there is a role for everyone. The idea that some people are marketers and some are not is simply wrong. Whether they know it or not, all lawyers are marketers, making impressions for good or ill in the business and legal community. A very few are naturally good, some get good by working at it, some are oblivious, and some are just bad. We should find a way for all to be contributors. It’s important for the firm to succeed, but it’s also important for the associate to succeed. It’s very empowering to to know how new work comes in and what succeeds and what doesn’t. It’s like the saying about giving someone fish to eat versus teaching them how to fish. We’d like to demystify the process of how work comes in the door.

ATL: You’ve made a great case for why this new initiative is good for both the firm and its individual lawyers, especially given the state of legal practice today. But let me ask you this: why is the new initiative being tied to bonus eligibility, and why is time spent on these (very worthwhile) marketing efforts not includible in the 100-hour non-billable allowance towards bonuses?

JBQ: It’s important; we want to make sure people understand that we think it’s important, and we really want them to do it. If we tie it to bonus eligibility, I hope we’ll get 100% participation. And, frankly, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for people to do this without expecting to be paid more for doing it. We also conduct deposition and trial training programs; we expect people to attend those, but we don’t pay them extra for getting that kind of professional training. Marketing is important too.

Read more: http://abovethelaw.com/2015/03/quinn-emanuels-new-marketing-initiative-an-interview-with-john-quinn/

How To Conquer Your Inbox

email symbol on row of colourful envelopes

How many times do you check your email per day? If you’re like most lawyers, the number is probably in the hundreds. Even using a conservative estimate, if you check your email 100 times per day and lose two minutes each time, that’s over three hours a day you’re losing to your inbox. Of course, we all rely on our email for communication, but are we using it effectively? How often do you check your inbox, see that there are no new emails, and go back to doing “real work” for a couple of minutes before you habitually check your inbox again?

When we get an email in our inbox, our brain releases dopamine, which plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior. Our body also releases cortisol, a stress hormone. We also have a tendency to hold our breath, hence increasing stress — a phenomenon known as email apnea.

I attended a session on productivity while at the National Association of Legal Placement (NALP) conference with Paul Burton, called “Power Processing Your Email Using the QuietSpacing Method.” He shared these tips for increasing productivity and conquering your inbox.

#1: Turn Off Email Notification

Most of us receive hundreds of emails per day. We can’t engage in the type of deep thought and focus required to write memos, briefs, and conduct legal research if our computer is pinging every couple of minutes with an email alert. This is one simple way to reduce distractions.


#2: Add ‘No Email’ Time

Burton suggests adding short durations throughout the day where you have “no email” time. For example, no email while you’re in the elevator. (You can amuse yourself by looking at everyone else in the elevator that’s obsessively checking their email.) Other suggestions include setting a timer and not checking your inbox during this time.

If you find yourself checking email compulsively throughout the day, consider checking your inbox only once per hour. If you can’t do that, consider checking it once every 15 minutes.

#3: Slave or Commander of Inbox?

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When A Partner Leaves, Will Clients Follow?


Several folks have asked me, either by email or in comments, to write about this subject: When a partner moves laterally from one law firm to another, will clients stick with the old firm or follow the partner?

I’m afraid the answer is both obvious and indefinite: It depends.

As a client, suppose I have one partner and one associate at a big firm who have handled several cases for me over time. The partner and associate decide to move together to a new firm. Do I follow?

Of course.

In this situation, the identity of the firm is irrelevant. We probably started working with the partner years ago, and we were happy with her work. She works with only one associate, and we’re happy with the associate’s work. We know the two individuals well, and we know that they personally are doing the work for us.

This is thus a no-brainer: When the lawyers doing our work move on to greener pastures, we follow them. (I have actual experience with this situation. We’ve had a partner and an associate move on, and we followed them. I’m not speaking hypothetically here.)

Change the situation: A firm participates in a beauty contest. Both the lead partner and the team that participate in the beauty contest impress us. We work with the firm for a few months, and the lead partner disappears for a while: She’s in trial for another client, on an extended vacation, in rehab, whatever. But the firm continues to represent us swimmingly even in the partner’s absence.

The partner then reappears and promptly announces that she’s changing firms. Do we follow?

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