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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The ABA Has Failed Law Students and the Profession

So yesterday I sort of lost my shit on Charlotte School of Law.  I may or may not have implied its administrators were vultures who had no business billing themselves as attorneys or educators.  It’s possible I implied they purposefully sought out and preyed upon those with big dreams but little academic ability and touted the fact they were doing so as being “diverse.”  I may have, possibly, criticized Infinilaw and it’s corporate for-profit law school scam as being akin to DeVry University and various other late-night TV shills.

I stand by every fucking word of that, and now I have more to say, because let’s be frank: the state of legal education in this country is a goddamn shame.  It sucks for the students, but it’s a damn good thing that this shit is coming home to roost in a way that lays low the “printing money” mindset of running a law school.

I say sincerely and with great conviction that I’m looking forward to more law schools getting shut down.  Cooley, we’re all looking at you.

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Charlotte-an School of Law III: In which I lose my shit.

Let’s talk about Charlotte School of Law. Again. This is the third time we’ve had to have this conversation now, after discussing their probation and the subsequent yanking of funding from the Federal Student Loan program.

Charlotte School of Law just won’t give up, planning now to transfer students to a “sister school” in Florida with private loans to allow them to finish their law school education and go on to fail the bar exam.

Officials sent an email Friday saying they’re working to help students transfer to Florida Coastal Law. It’s owned by Infilaw, the same company that owns Charlotte School of Law.

Well, that’s just peachy.  You know, aside from the fact that it’s a fucking 5 hour drive from Charlotte, NC to Jacksonville, FL, and the fact that the majority of Charlotte School of Law students are from Charlotte, and the fact that they are sending students to another fucking school owned by Infinilaw.  A school which, according to this article, has the second highest academic dropout rate among law schools.

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