What I’ve Read, Heard, And Am Pondering This Week: June 1

What I've Read June 1

This blog has been around for a while. It was a popular law blog when everybody had a law blog.

And it’s still excellent. Dan Hull’s What About Paris / aka What about Clients is still a great blog.

Here’s a great recent post, Nice, Smart, American Kids Make Lousy Lawyers.

Hull writes, “Smart” is a prerequisite. “Nice” is okay, “happy” is more important – but you meet few sane clients who insist on “nice. To be an effective lawyer, you need a lot more going on, whether you are doing litigation, transactional work, regulatory matters, and even legislative/lobbying kinds of projects.”

I’m not an expert on personality types.

But in my view, you probably ought to have all of the following: (1) more energy than most people have, (2) stamina (good physical health, perhaps better than average health), (3) persistence, (4) ambition, (5) resilience, (6) competitiveness, and (7) a mean streak a mile wide you can turn off and on.

And that’s for starters.

Here are two more: (8) a natural tendency to thrive on and even relish conflict (no, not “embrace,” I said relish) and (9) a natural tendency to regard “stress as a kind of fuel.”

Lawyers and Stress

Jones, the author of the above article, is 100% right. And yet my Twitter feed is filled with up-and-coming or newly minted lawyers of the millennial / Gen Z variety who are all about (1) abolishing the bar exam; (2) abolishing the LSAT; (3) complaining about not getting some sort of accommodation to make the Bar easier to take.

From my years of reading trial transcripts and observing some of my colleagues in court, I don’t think we should be lowering the barriers to entry into the profession.

Also, when these new lawyers find themselves in a South Georgia courtroom in front of an old-school judge who’s been on the bench for several decades, they won’t be getting many accommodations.

What I've Heard

What I’ve heard and seen is the new season of The Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix.

Yes, the plot is Hollywood, with unrealistic twists and turns. But I’ve always loved the books, the movie, and now this series.

The sets, the cars, and the gritty L.A. setting are fun to watch. And The Lincoln Lawyer franchise has always managed to realistically capture the day-to-day grind that is being a trial lawyer. Highly recommend.

What I'm Pondering

Mickey Haller, in the Lincoln Lawyer, was the original remote worker. He was working from the back of a Lincoln before there was a pandemic.

And I’ve been working from practically everywhere since before the pandemic and certainly after. It’s been nice to return to court for some things, even if that has meant re-discovering that suits have top and bottom halves.

But I am pondering what role the office will have in the future of the practice of law. When I’m in my office, I kind of like it and miss it. But I am not sure what.

There’s an article in Fast Company that ponders this question generally. The writer says that employees should have a say in what role the office plays in the future. And if we return to the office, it should become a more comfortable place – sort of like home.

Not sure what my future office will look like – maybe a nice conference room and offices all of my staff can use as they come and go.

What will your future office look like?

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