Friday Music: Denim is not Office Attire

My father’s law office had one rule when I worked for him as a legal assistant, and that was “No Jeans.  No polo shirts.  Slacks and button-ups at the minimum.  We’re a law office, not a gas station.”  But times have, sadly, changed.

I understand some offices have “dress down days.”  I also understand some in-house counsel read this blog.  For both of you unprofessional slackers, this one’s for you.

New post later this evening, and I’ll be posting tomorrow to make up for missing yesterday, as if any of you slackers will read it on a weekend!

A Call for Papers

Remember yesterday when I said that from time to time you’d see posts on here talking about how I sometimes would be too busy to do a substantive post, because I’m a one-man shop when it comes to this blog, I’m a practicing litigator, and I’m a dad?  Well, today is one of those days.  I’m ass deep in discovery hell this morning, and won’t get a substantive post out this morning.  However, tomorrow there will be a substantive post in addition to the normal Friday music.

Which brings me to another topic:  Over the past couple months I’ve gotten a few offers for folks to write something for this blog as guest posts whenever they feel like it.  As of right now, my personal posting schedule is Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and on Fridays I post a song.  However, I’m eventually going to try to get up to five days a week of content.

That said, I have one contributor who has been furiously working on an article for a month now (I don’t blame him, he’s a busy criminal defense guy who’s trying to get a practice off the ground).  However, I always welcome guest posts or, if you’re a foul-mouthed sonuvabitch with shit to say, regular contributors.

So, if you have something you want to stick up here, which would really help me out as I descend into litigation this year, feel free to shoot me an email at lawyersandliquor@outlook.com, contact me through the form on the side of the site, or send me a direct message on Twitter (that little bird on the side of the screen).  Much like your law school internship, I pay nothing and I expect quality.  Unlike your law school internship, I’ll actually give you credit for your work.

I may have something up later.  Depends on when I get this done.

-BB

Captain Eyebrows Needs A Life: Creating a Work Life Balance

Let’s talk about creating a work-life balance.

Look, being a lawyer is an exhausting job, unless you’re one of those namby-pamby “in-house” guys who spends his days sipping lattes placed on the backs of interns that are brought in by the company for course credit.  By and large, lawyers are responsible for their own practice and case file management, and are responsible for their own time management, and everything about firm life, be it small, mid, or big, is geared to encourage that.  Take me for instance.  I spend about thirty-forty minutes a day working on this type of shit, a blog post.  However, if you’re a frequent reader you’ll have noticed there are days where my post consists of “Too damn busy, will have something up tomorrow.”  Part of this is because posting substantive content three times a week as a practicing lawyer is incredibly ambitious for me, but another part of it is the fact that, when weighing shit against my case load, the blog comes in second every time.

That’s something every lawyer is familiar with:  “The X comes in second place to my cases.”  X could be video game time, it could be going out to dinner with friends, it could be that vacation you’ve been planning, it could be the birth of a child.  “X” is the real world that exists beyond the confines of our law offices, where people rarely use Latin and never use it correctly and where time isn’t measured in six-minute increments.  You know, the world that exists outside your office window.

The problem comes because some lawyers, myself included, don’t know when to hit the off-switch on lawyer mode.  That’s fucking sad, because the end result is many attorneys  burn the fuck out way too soon to reach their full potential.

Alright, story time.

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Getting Asses in the Door: Originating Clients with No Budget

So in about four hours I’m likely going into a meeting where I’ll lose one of the firm’s oldest clients.

The client is a corporation, and we do most of their litigation work.  The firm has been their civil litigation pit bull for the past 15 years, but like every corporation it goes through changes.  The old President and CEO of this family-owned business is on his way out the door, and the new generation is shifting the style in which they do business.  For the first time, they’re bringing in younger blood with fresher ideas, and the problem is the incoming class is less friendly towards lawyers in general.  As such, despite collecting over $2,000,000 for this client in the last couple years, we’re on the chopping block and the writing is on the wall.

It isn’t anything we did, and it isn’t anything they did, it’s just the sentiment of the client that many of the old relationships should be severed to “shake things up.”  You know what, it is something they did, because they hired an executive who uses words like “incentivize” and “reassessing the creditor-debtor paradigm.”  Fuck that.  I’m much more straight forward:  “Pay my client or I’ll sue you into the next century.  Your children will speak in hushed tones of how you lost the family fortune.”  But que sera sera, eh?

However, that leaves me with a $4,000 per month hole in my billables that needs to be filled, and that means it’s time to start originating new clients to make up the gap.  However, the firm advertising budget is “what fucking advertising budget?”  This does not bode well for bringing in future originations.

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