February 4, 2010

the extraordinary last hour of a life

The other day, I was on the phone listening to a caller I didn’t know talk about a banking service I didn’t need. As my mind wandered to my long todo list, I started losing patience and getting annoyed with the caller and the person who had made the introduction. I decided to cut the conversation short by thanking the caller and extending an invitation to a fundraiserI was... Read More


December 19, 2009

what a third grade holiday celebration can teach us about connecting with clients

The other day, I attended my son’s holiday celebration in his third-grade classroom. To capture the true spirit and meaning of the season, the kids took turns standing up in pairs and reading narratives about one another. These weren’t fill-in-the-blank recitations. They were insightful and moving reflections. With their teacher’s guidance, the kids had taken the time to... Read More


December 7, 2009

seeing matters through your clients’ eyes: an intervention for lawyers

My longtime client, artist Pamela Lawton, recently showed her abstract paintings of New York City’s modern architecture at an exhibit called Liquid City. Describing her work, Pamela says: “It’s almost an ‘intervention,’ that’s sort of an art term that people use to talk about taking something ordinary and conventional and altering it in some way.... Read More


November 12, 2009

continuing legal education through self-study

When it comes to continuing legal education (CLE), most of us think in the very black and white terms of meeting our state’s mandate. But, my thinking has been colorized a bit by the convergence of three forces: A Ms. JD post on extending legal education Recent coverage of the Association of Corporate Counsel’s new ACC Value Index (allowing/encouraging... Read More


October 26, 2009

lawyers are not service providers

Last week, I discussed why clients and prospective clients view lawyers as commodities. I suggested that we can avoid this type of identity crisis (yes, I think that being labeled a commodity is not a good thing) by taking some time to figure out what the people we help really want from us beyond fairly priced services. I found some good guidance and inspiration on this front in... Read More


October 2, 2009

the legal sanity mentor: kathleen brady

Due to the summer posting hiatus, it’s been a little while since the last installment in my series of posts on redesigning legal services around the client experience.   I’ve always been a proponent of the idea that it’s really hard for unhappy lawyers to provide great client service. To put it another way: The lawyer experience and client experience are two... Read More


September 21, 2009

why it’s a great time to be a village lawyer

As we were driving from one weekend activity to the next in our small New York suburb, my middle child looked up from her cell phone and, in an iPod-induced-too-loud-voice, said, “I love this town. It’s pretty, friendly and makes me feel safe.” I think she gave voice to what many of us feel and experience in our personal and professional lives. When people engage lawyers... Read More


August 17, 2009

question for lawyers: what are you selling?

Yes, I know. A lot of lawyers recoil at the thought of being salespeople. We develop business. We network. But, we don’t sell our legal services. With the economy remaining tight and consumers becoming even more discerning, maybe the time has come to reconsider this hardline stance. Or, maybe it’s time to rephrase the question to make it a bit more palatable. How about: What... Read More


July 29, 2009

the legal sanity mentor: spike jones

When it comes to the topic of (re)designing client-centric legal services, I’ve found a muse in Spike Jones. One of the visionaries at Brains on Fire, a company at the crossroads of identity development and word of mouth marketing, Spike helps organizations build movements. Having drawn from his observations a bunch of times, I was delighted to have the chance to talk to... Read More


July 23, 2009

lawyers as tribal leaders: the anatomy of a movement

At this very moment (and now …. and now), thousands of lawyers are wondering where to go and what to do next. You’ve been laid off. You just graduated law school and can’t find a job. You’re an associate in a firm where morale is at rock bottom and you never see daylight. Finances, family obligations, pride and other real and imagined forces compel you to take some sort... Read More



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