03.31 - The Top 5 Long-Term Benefits of Attorneys Remaining Employed With a Single Law Firm
[00:00:00] Okay. Today's webinar is about something that you probably don't expect a lot of recruiters to talk about, but in my opinion, this is one of the more important topics that that re that you should be aware of and in, in, in something that relatively few attorneys do and that's.
[00:00:16]Sorry about that. And that's staying employed with a single law firm for a long period of time. And, just at the outset, one thing I want to say is this is that the idea of staying with a law firm is not on the psychology of most attorneys believe, and even law students that they need to switch jobs and they need to, in order to get ahead and so forth.
[00:00:35] And I've found that in many cases, that's actually not the truth, that the people that have the best careers and stay and have the most long-term success are often the people that are able to stick with and stay with employers so longest period of time. And and in many cases they actually are happier.
[00:00:53] They they get ahead more. They and they just have overall much better careers even though people [00:01:00] don't think that way. And there's a psychology of people that do think that way. And my company, for example, and I'll talk about this in a little bit. The people that I've hired in the past that had been at the previous employers for the longest period of time typically, always do the best when they find ways to make things work.
[00:01:16] And they're more likely to take criticism and things as a chance to improve and not necessarily that'll leave. If you go into any law firm that's been around for 20 or 30 years. You're always going to find several attorneys or at least a few that have been there for, since the beginning of their careers.
[00:01:33] And and these sorts of people are often the only people that have ever left after countless attorneys coming and going. I can't even begin to think of all the people that that I worked with in the past and different positions that have been attorneys that that at our firm or recruiters that are attorneys and and then there's a handful of people that have stuck around the people that stuck around are always most of the time doing the best and, there's characteristics.
[00:01:58] I think that [00:02:00] characterize the types of attorneys that stick around and and and, and it's just, it's something that, that I really do believe in if you can make things work where you're at, it's always a smart thing to do. You're typically going to have a much better long-term career for able to stay the same place and to do much better.
[00:02:18]Obviously our people act us and our company every day looking to switch positions. So I'm not saying that it's necessarily a bad thing to look for jobs. Of course it is and there's many legal environments that are on tolerable. There's many reasons to move firms and to switch firms.
[00:02:37] And but the other thing to think about is a lot of times when people are looking at leaving different firms, they're talking about, firms that have been around for 30 years or 50 years or a hundred years. And and they act as if the there's just something so wrong with a firm that they need to leave.
[00:02:55] And obviously if something's been around a hundred plus years, there's [00:03:00] reasons that, that there's things about that organization that are actually very good. And and that if people are able to make things work, that is probably going to be around long after you are. So that's there's something to think about.
[00:03:12] And when you are leaving a firm, you have to ask yourself if you're going to be able to fix, if you're going to run into the same problems and the same reasons for leaving at your next firm, as you do at the firm you're leaving I know someone. That's probably been at, 20 firms and his reasons for leaving are because he's got substance abuse problems.
[00:03:31]It might make sense to, think about why you're leaving your firms. Other people leave when they feel criticized or other people leave when they feel like they can't be in control or they're not going to be the number one to attorney or or when. They realize that they're th that people think poorly of a certain type of work, or if they're challenged too much, so many times, you have to ask yourself why you're leaving and and the things that are really driving you to leave.
[00:03:58] So what I'm going to talk [00:04:00] about today are the characteristics of people that stick with the same firm. And I actually believe that if you can make things work at your existing firm, then you really should stay there. And I never try to talk people into leaving a firm. I try to talk people if it's in their best interest to.
[00:04:18]Tell them the reasons that a certain job might be for them, but I certainly never try to talk people until leaving the firm. I'm not the kind of person that's calling people and giving them reasons and so forth. It's just not the way I think if you think something doesn't work for you and you're a hundred percent positive and those are good reasons, then it's good to look, but otherwise it is also good to stay put.
[00:04:37] So these are the characteristics of people that stay at the same firm. So people that remain in the same firm typically are the sorts of people that are very committed to their jobs. And and and they're the res many times with the idea that, that you just have to be loyal to your employer and and and they they fix things.
[00:04:58] And so the people that [00:05:00] I've had that, that have worked the longest for me, and that I've seen work the longest in all sorts of different firms are they tend to really when they're criticized turn, when they and there's problems with their performance they fix them.
[00:05:12] And which is really cool instead of like just saying, I'm going to find some place that appreciates me or that sort of thing. They actually they fix them and and they're very committed to their jobs and and they just want to they believe that. Staying put with with a single employer is just the right thing to do and it's something that's expected.
[00:05:31] Yeah. It's actually sad, but I see sometimes, and quite often actually I see people that have been at the same employer for, 20 plus years and and and maybe forced to look for other opportunities. And and I see that quite often and when I say quite often, once every, three, four weeks, maybe these days, but when these sorts of attorneys are looking for jobs, the ones that have been at their firms for a long time, they usually there's something profound has happened.
[00:05:58]It's something, [00:06:00] major the firm may be going out of business or some something just, huge has happened that's really beyond the current troll. And and and they almost act like they're going through a divorce and there's like a, or someone close to them that they rely on his diet and, for these types of attorneys it's it's it's almost unthinkable.
[00:06:19]It's to leave and. And it it's very interesting when, not when I meet attorneys like this, because they have so many good things to say, and they go through problems and things with their firms, but overall they have fidelity to their employer and they're loyal.
[00:06:31] And and as a consequence, most of them have had very good careers and they, they don't get pushed out when other people are getting pushed out and they they're doing things right. And they and it's just a, it's a very positive thing. This when I see this kind of fidelity it reminds me of the sorts of people that have been married for decades.
[00:06:48] And and there, there tends to be a a mutual respect, I think that comes out of this way of thinking the employer needs the person needs the employer. And and they're not [00:07:00] necessarily looking for other opportunities also all the time one thing that's interesting.
[00:07:05] To me is, the job market has changed a lot. Now you, any time, you need a, you want a new job, you can pretty much go online. You can go on to, a law time website, or you can go on to, LA cross scene or indeed or different sites. And you can look for new jobs.
[00:07:22] It's not very hard to look for new jobs. And and it's the same thing with people on dating sites. If someone's unhappy, they can, get out of a relationship and suddenly start finding all sorts of people on dating sites. And so they're never, ever going to be, they're never really it's very easy to separate from people and they don't, and it's very easy not to commit and used to be in a law firm that it wasn't like that.
[00:07:44]You had, it was very hard to find a new position and very few people left and it's the same thing with marriages. Marriage, divorce rates keep going up and that sort of thing. I saw something once in a social science class that showed that, as rates of divorce go [00:08:00] up in society and I don't know which causes, which, but as those go up, the rates of drug abuse, suicide, and other problems also increase and and so that, that's just something to think about.
[00:08:10]There's. You know that those two things are connected and and the bond between an employer and employee can be very powerful. It's much like a bond between a husband and wife with a very committed relationship, both sides, accept one another for the most part and conditionally.
[00:08:25] And, they realize that there's problems with each other from time to time, but they get through them and, attorney who is committed to their job is very similar to anybody who's committed to anything. They may, there may be something else out there. There may be a better job that pays more.
[00:08:39] There may be something that's more fun but they're gonna, they're loyal to that employer. And this is a healthy attitude. And and I believe this can make the attorneys do well. I knew an attorney wants and I couldn't go. But he was No, I didn't know he was making, he was a partner in a law firm and making maybe, doing very well, maybe making half a million dollars.
[00:08:58] It was a year. And he was [00:09:00] offered a million dollars a year by a rival firm was making half of that. And he wasn't interested in the money. He was more concerned with, staying where he was at and the bond he had with his current firm. And that's great. This is how it works when two sides are committed to one another, when they're, when there's that commitment people will people stay together and that's a good thing.
[00:09:21]It's a very positive thing. And you don't see a lot of that anymore. And then he actually ended up saying that from, for a lot, for longer and ended up making a much more than that eventually. The other thing, cause it turns, it remain the same from typically are the type of people that aren't looking for awesome often, looking they're interested in us, sorry, office gossip or finding reasons not to succeed in the firm.
[00:09:46]And there's always people in every firm that aren't doing well in their jobs and. In most cases, people that aren't doing well maybe looking to cut corners and or they may just not be applying themselves. They may [00:10:00] have other issues. But when that happens, these types of organizations will typically speak with the employee.
[00:10:06] And some people will correct the behavior and actually become much better. And others will get mad at the organization. And it's very common for people to go one way or another when they realize they're not doing good work and they've done something wrong. Very few people are able to overcome that.
[00:10:23]Some people do, but there are very few people do the, what you would expect, which is step up, fix the problems and actually get much better and make those things make their weaknesses a strength. And so when that happens, a lot of attorneys may get mad at their organization.
[00:10:39]Some people just will not like their organization. They won't like they don't want to be part of a S a group. They don't feel the firm's good enough for them. They may be angry with the previous organization and and trans transferring their anger at the previous organization to the new employer.
[00:10:55]And and there's all sorts of, issues there. I remember once A [00:11:00] recruiter telling me, and I also read it somewhere else that idea to hire someone who's been fired from the previous job, even if it wasn't, that person's fault and they didn't do anything wrong because a lot of times, if someone's been fired from their previous job, they're going to be angry and they're going to take out their anger on the next organization.
[00:11:16]So if you have been fired from a job, you want to basically not be angry and take it as a learning opportunity and everything is based on, how you interpret things. You're much better off instead of getting angry, realizing, the mistake you may have made and fixing it and not letting that happen again.
[00:11:34] And then realizing, that it's a chance to step up. And and every organization that you probably ever worked in there's always going to be people that are angry at their employers. Even if the employer hasn't done anything wrong and they'll start rumors they'll share their anger with others.
[00:11:50]And the forecast they'll forecast, that tack that negative things are gonna happen in the employer. And they'll just, and th this is happens in every employer and and and [00:12:00] there's people that will buy into that psychology and be part of those negative rumors and there's ones that won't, and and so it's just, you have to decide whether or not.
[00:12:08]You want to be part of that. And I've noticed for the most part, that attorneys who are able to remain in marriages, but also in with their employers generally aren't interested in just participating in ongoing negativity and rumors. Sometimes they don't even pay attention to them.
[00:12:28]That they they all times in an employer's history, every employer goes through problems and crisises and different things. Even the best law firms have problems. And and and then when that happens, a lot of times people will just flood to the door at other times there's going to be other issues.
[00:12:44] And if an attorney remains at a law firm for a long period of time, they're generally the type of people that, they may listen to the rumors and they may hear the, but they're not going to let them detract them from caring about their jobs or doing a good job. And where, other people [00:13:00] will suddenly, okay, leave a relationship when they hear some bad news or when something bad happens to their partner.
[00:13:06] And so these are just things to be concerned about and to pay attention to the, every firm you go to is gonna have negative gossip. Every firm you go to is going to have a way of looking at it. That's negative. There's any firm you work at is going to have ways to look at it that are negative, and you need to decide whether or not you want to play that game.
[00:13:24] And if you're playing that game with a firm that's been around for 200 years or a hundred years or 50 years, you should realize that it's bigger than you. There's always been people like you, that found fault with it. And and really that shouldn't be, motivating and things. You should be worried about yourself and get doing a good job and staying focused on that.
[00:13:42] I can tell you that I personally get sucked into law firm drama still. I record I'll represent a law firm and be told all this drama about them, and then think I need to fix it and, give them advice and stuff. And it's just, it's always. But every law firms the same, they [00:14:00] just they're they're dealing with this drama and these issues all the time, and they need to decide whether or not they're going to be mature and not deal with it and the people there, or whether they're gonna, they're gonna fall into it.
[00:14:10] And and it's a big challenge. And and I think that the, honestly the biggest characteristic of the people that are able to stay put in places just don't play those games. There's no reason to you don't want to allow anything to color your outlook. I was talking to someone the other day and it was interesting and they were just someone that I knew socially and the person said to me, something about don't read this article about me because they're saying something about something negative about my husband and I are something, and I don't know it was something to do with with a house that I don't know that they were losing or they had been in financial trouble on or something.
[00:14:50] I don't even remember what it was, but and I didn't actually read the article. And I only learned about that later, but when the person told me about that I said, I [00:15:00] won't read it. I don't need to read whatever this is about. And the reason was is why would I want to learn. Negative information about someone and color my view of them and their husband or whatever.
[00:15:11] If I didn't have to, why would I want to participate in that? There's just no reason to, and so I didn't read the article later, the person explained to me what had happened and stuff, but I didn't read it. They just came out and volunteered this information, but I didn't read the article and some people are doing whatever they can to look for negative news.
[00:15:29] And and that's just not a psychology that I think is very is is a good psychology to be part of. Cause you're going to always have the opportunity to learn about negative news. You're from, you're gonna learn about attorneys doing things wrong. You're gonna learn about attorneys having problems.
[00:15:42] You're going to learn and not participate in him. And. One of the happiest people. I know one of the most successful people I know is also in my opinion not very smart. He I went to high school with him and and and he was probably the, [00:16:00] and I went to a good school, but he was definitely one of the slower people in my class with, just, not, yeah.
[00:16:08]Not a quick study by any stretch of the imagination, but he had this habit every time someone would walk up to him and start sharing negative news, that he would just find a reason to excuse himself and walk away. He didn't want any part in it. And he would relate to everyone almost equally, even if there were people saying bad things about them and he just wanted no part in it.
[00:16:26] And he's still like that to this day. And he's actually become a very, successful person in his industry, which is, until it's with entertainment and that sort of thing. We're we're being good socially, like that can benefit you. But at the same time I always found that very interesting because sometimes you look at people and you find out, what is the reason for their happiness and success.
[00:16:46] And And he's had the same business partner for 20 plus years he's. And then before that he, he only had one or two jobs and and he just was the kind of person that never wanted to participate in negative news. And I always found that interesting. [00:17:00] And I always remembered that cause he's one of the only people I've ever met like that.
[00:17:03] And and I think it helped him. And I think it's the same kind of characteristic that the most successful attorneys and the most successful people. And and a lot of firms have I've known people that, that don't participate in gossip and other issues very well.
[00:17:17]And they, and by doing that it actually keeps them sane and happy. And then I've known people that then they go over to the other side and start doing that and they end up becoming unhappy. And and so I think there's something to this. And I think that for stability, happiness, and success, not participating in all this gossip and stuff can really help you.
[00:17:39]And then the other thing about attorneys that remained at the same firm for long periods of time is these, they're generally the sorts of people that aren't interested in being. Grand standards there, they're there to do their jobs and do the well, and that's important to them. And and I once heard, someone saying it and I've actually observed it myself in a lot of people, but a lot of times the most [00:18:00] successful people are the most screwed up.
[00:18:02] And and they're just, they're playing games, they're undermining, they're not, they're weird with information there, and, it's there's maybe some truth to that. To some extent, I don't know, but it's completely true, but I think there's some truth to it.
[00:18:15] And And, the attorneys sustain the same firms. Aren't generally as concerned with getting ahead or getting ahead quickly as a lot of other attorneys are. They they will they're just not like that. And a lot of times attorneys that are very concerned with getting ahead are going to, leave because they want better opportunities.
[00:18:31] So they want someone that's going to immediately advance them, which is insane. I see attorneys, I've seen attorneys leave at year two or three of a law firm because they were worried they weren't going to make partner immediately. And then they start their own law firms and, get in over their head.
[00:18:45]And then other attorneys have seen the grand stand will, try to, we'll act like they're smarter than partners even. And they are sometimes, it's, there's nothing to stop an associate for being much smarter than a partner. Of course they can be smarter than people are gifted with different [00:19:00] levels of intelligence, but they may see things and stuff that other partners don't and their firms, if they're an associate, even a young associate, I've seen young associates fired for being.
[00:19:09]Much smarter than partners and and grand stand and stuff. So if you're really good at your job, you don't need to show other people that you're better than them. And the best attorneys in the ones that stay in their jobs, the longest period are generally most interested in just doing their jobs.
[00:19:24]They have faith in their organizations. They believe that things are gonna work out for them. They're not trying to attract attention and get a lot of that. They definitely don't try to get rewards and stuff for everything. Their biggest concern is doing the best possible job that they can.
[00:19:39]And the thing that happens fender attorney remains focused on their work and not grandstanding as they typically end up getting ahead. And and then other attorneys around them end up putting their foot in their feet in their mouth. I when I remember when I first started practicing, I met an attorney that had been first in his class from not top 10 law school or 15 law [00:20:00] school.
[00:20:00] He was editor in chief of the school's law review. He was good-looking multi motivated guy like six feet, two, just a, someone that you really thought. W was going places and and and yeah, even on his spare time, he wrote articles about different practice areas and stuff, and then he yeah.
[00:20:17] And he would argue with the partners about different points in law. And the thing was when he did do these art, when he did argue with people, he was, he would actually beat these partners and these arguments and the firm I was at the time was Quinn Emanuel. And so these are pretty smart guys.
[00:20:30]Had gone to Harvard and practice a crevasse. And yeah, I can remember. And so they were, guys and, but the thing is he was so smart that he and thought he knew things so well that handed up sabotage in his career and he called the newspaper to discuss a case he was working on.
[00:20:46]And and then he ended up being quoted. On the front page of the Los Angeles daily journal, which is the legal newspaper for his opinions, with a picture of him, like whether these pictures like leaning back in a conference room desk, [00:21:00] making, and this is a first year associate mind.
[00:21:02] You there's been a law school for six months. But it's very funny when you think about it. And the problem was, it was a large client. The client was very upset and and he ended up leaving the firm and actually never worked for a large law firm. Again, I think he worked for his uncle or something for a few years before getting a job in the government, which is just, he sabotaged his career and this was a very smart guy that by all stretching the imagination could have been very successful.
[00:21:29]I'll never forget that picture of them on the front page of the paper, because it was just, it was like one of these, I don't even know how to explain it. And it's important. That you do keep a low profile and and you never want to, be in the limelight if you can avoid it.
[00:21:42] And because if anybody that's in the limelight will be pushed down. I have competitors that are, very eager to take things that are right out of context and give them to, people that they advertise with and stuff to try to have articles, people, anytime you're in the limelight, you [00:22:00] become a target.
[00:22:00] And and you're better off really being at least in a law firm to the extent you can to be to keep a low profile because you're definitely gonna lose. And and when you lose people will crush you, especially if you're a threat to them. None of, that's not to say you won't, some people don't win a lot, but when you're young and then when you're in a law firm with a group of people you're gonna often get crushed and you just need to be very careful like the attorney I'm telling you about.
[00:22:27] And then the other thing It's the attorneys that are able to remain in law firms for a long period of time. Typically do very good, but not sincerely brilliant work, meaning you know, their work. They're not the smartest people. They've typically they're very good at pacing themselves.
[00:22:40]And they manage work managed to do work. That is good, but not necessarily extraordinary. I no, have a few, partners are very good at their jobs and became partners and very big firms. And and they were able to become very successful by but really patient themselves.
[00:22:55] So they, they were still working lots of hours, but, they would take off work, [00:23:00] early, like on a four o'clock on a Friday afternoon to go spend two or three hours at the gym. And then they would they would work on the weekends, but they would, they would, they would definitely take Friday night and Saturday night off.
[00:23:11] And and then they would, leave at normal hours and and just not allow the stress to get to them too much. And and then while other people were blowing themselves up they managed to not go crazy with the hours and stuff. So I think in that, and then not be like the most and attorney.
[00:23:27] So I, I think a lot of being very good at what you do. It's just about showing up. And and I there's a lot of very smart attorneys inside of law firms. No doubt about it, but many times the most extraordinary people in terms of the smartest, aren't the ones that get ahead, the ones who get ahead of the ones that are able to consistently show up and and they don't have to be the brightest flame.
[00:23:48] They need to get the work done. But they need to show up and do great, good work but not necessarily the best work. Now, I'm not saying that by any stretch of imagination that you should not try to do good work. But what I [00:24:00] am saying is that, that this idea that you need to work super hard and just put a new superhuman hours.
[00:24:06]And then later on look like you're not the best person is not the smartest thing to do it many times. Okay, so I'm going to go on here. And then the next thing is that oftentimes the smartest attorneys out there are often the ones that, in my opinion, that have the most problems.
[00:24:22] And if you can consider, we show up for work and do an excellent job and and, clients, colleagues, and other people understand that then you're going to be much better off and in the end it's really. About your ability to get the work done and that's the most important thing not necessarily to do the absolute best or look like you're the absolute best out there.
[00:24:45]It's just not necessary. Okay. And then one of the things that's very interesting, that I've noticed also is that if an attorney's been at the same firm for a long period of time there's an understanding that develops between attorneys that [00:25:00] are insiders and outsiders.
[00:25:01] And and what happens is that there's an institutional understanding and there's people there that are there for a long period of time that people know will never leave. And and and there's an institutional understanding, is what I'd like to call it. And what that means is there's this idea that, people are going to come and go, but we're the ones that are committed to the organization.
[00:25:22] We're the kind of heart and soul of this firm and so forth. And and then and then the people that are there are much more committed to each other because they know they've seen, oodles of people coming and going through the firms over the years. And and then they know that. No, they're the ones that are likely to stick around and they're the ones that have the commitment and so forth.
[00:25:45] And I feel they protect one another and make sure that they're, they get work. They make sure that they're not part of negative things happening at the firm. And and they do their absolute best to protect each other. And that's very helpful. Another thing [00:26:00] that happens that, there's just bonds, and the bonds are often invisible, but they're very real bonds and they're powerful. I know. I was a lateral then to affirm where all the other people in my class and for the next two or three years up and down where had all been summer associates in that office. And I always felt like an outsider, they didn't want to integrate people from the outside because they had all these shared experiences and stuff, and it was very interesting and and those people would protect each other and they believe that people that were coming and going through, or, where not likely to stick around and they made it difficult for them to stick around.
[00:26:36]If you're a part of that group, that's a good thing. And so if you're, if you've been with the same firm for, decades you're going to be part of the fabric of the firm. And and really for the most part on question. And so that's actually a major benefit too, is that the longer you are with the place, the less likely you often are to be let go.
[00:26:56]The more likely they are to look overlook problems the more [00:27:00] access to information about how to get work, you'll have the more and the more things there'll be positive. And if you keep your head down and you don't get involved in drama and and you're not turning the brand stand and things, then you're likely to stick around and be there for a long period of time.
[00:27:16] I'm a recruiter and and I certainly probably a little odd that I'm committed to defense attorney, remaining and the same firms for a long period of time. But it's a very important thing I think. And I think that if you're able to do that you're going to be much better off many times than not.
[00:27:32] Now there, again, there's very good reasons to move. If you're capable of working at a better firm, getting more access to more work and taking your career much farther than that's a good reason to move. And there's all sorts of reasons that I would recommend an attorney move firms. I'm not saying not to move, but I am saying that if you're at a decent place and you can make it work he may often be a champion in the long run.
[00:27:56] I almost every week I tell someone the story that [00:28:00] that I would when I was in my when I graduated Moscow, I clerked for a judge and and it was in Michigan, but it wasn't Detroit. It was a city outside Detroit, and all of these attorneys would come into the, to the argue motions from, all of these kind of small smaller markets around the area that I was in, so they will come from like Flint and they would come from Bay city and Midland and all these small firms.
[00:28:25] And and a lot of those people were I met people that were, young associates at a lot of those firms that had gone to. I don't know, local law schools, whether it was Michigan or, other schools in Detroit and stuff. And and and then I looked them up, like 20 years later.
[00:28:42]And, several people that I met were also at the same firms. They, none of them had left. They were all, working at these same firms in these and these cities. And and these are not big cities. And so to me that really said something, it said that that, in certain markets we go to there's not a lot of opportunities if you're working in [00:29:00] Midland, Michigan to go to work at other firms.
[00:29:02] So you make it work. And but they were all practicing law and they were all still employed and they all, now they're of course, heads of the law firms and all that sort of things, and probably have had very good careers. But if those attorneys had gone to work in larger cities and in larger markets where they had all these other opportunities and reasons to find fault with their firms and so forth, none of them would be at those firms.
[00:29:25] They would have been at several firms. They would have gone in house. They would have dropped out of the practice, a law. They would have, maybe they would have done things to sabotage themselves. But but they had to make it work. And so that psychology of making things work, I think has made them probably and I'm sure they all, haven't had the happiest lives and careers.
[00:29:43]I'm not by any stretch of imagination saying that, but what I am saying is that. When you make things work with an employer you're typically much better off in the long run and you're going to have a much better career than people they do the opposite, which is [00:30:00] not make things work.
[00:30:01] And and and I've seen that just time and time again. And and and the attorneys that do that, and people that do that in every profession tend to do much better. And I think that in, in my opinion that the people that are able to remain longer periods of best firms, longer periods of times are just less tormented they're.
[00:30:20]They're socially and psychologically happier than people that are leaving all the time. They just, they're just, I don't know. There's just something about them, the better people in many respects,
[00:30:30]they have a home and they have people that protect them and they have a group and and it used to be two and a lot of one of the, one of the worst things for people, when humans were smaller groups was she was shunning. So shunning means when someone is not respected in a group and and they're kicked out of the group and then they don't have the group to be with.
[00:30:51] And, and so when people ignore us that Shenae, when people don't, talk to us, that's shiny. And when groups get rid of us and we don't have a group that's shining and people [00:31:00] that are unemployed it's a horrible feeling. You is a better, and when you don't have tight connections with the group, it's a horrible feeling.
[00:31:06] And for some people, being single or not desirable to, to, to there, are not liked by their mate is a form of shiny and unhappy. So if you can make things work many times, you're going to be much happier in your life and your career. And and and organizations that have been around for a long period of time are typically very strong organizations and there's something about them.
[00:31:30]That's very good and you should try to make things work if you can. And if you're not, then you should look at, what you can do differently to make things work. No one people respect it when people come back from mistakes and errors and things, and are able to do much better in an organization.
[00:31:45] And they liked that. Okay. I'm going to take a quick break for one or two minutes and just to grab some more coffee and then and then I'll take as many questions as people have. We're, I typically on these calls, we people have a lot of questions and we'll just answer [00:32:00] questions about most of the questions tend to be about things not having to do with a webinar, but if you'd like to ask questions about the webinar I'd love to answer them as well.
[00:32:09] Okay, so let's get started. And let me just before I take questions, I'm going to do one thing here and just open up a screen, a word screen so I can show the questions on the screens.
[00:32:20]Okay. So let's go to the first question here. Yes.
[00:32:25]Okay. The first question is , I joined joined the big law firm as an attorney in January after spending months watching your presentations. Good. I have been experiencing many of the negative aspects you're talking about to just other staff and attorneys talking shit about me and my work product.
[00:32:40] My attorney has been told me that I needed to keep my head down and shut up and do the work. And once I do good work, people start liking me. I didn't realize how low, how law firms operate. Planning and staying at the firm and fixed them and work product and making trends of the firm. I just wanted to get your let me see your input on this as well.
[00:32:58] Okay. That's a good [00:33:00] question. Staff attorneys and others we'll talk shit about you and your work product if they don't like it or if you're making mistakes. And so one of the problems is with new attorneys, especially is that you don't know, new attorney knows what they're doing.
[00:33:12]So you shouldn't take any of this stuff personally, and it's not something to worry about that much at this point other than making sure you fix it. So what I recommend attorneys do when they're new is you try to be as careful as you possibly can with the work that you're doing, you try to re research things and make sure coming up with the right answers.
[00:33:36] You make sure you turn in work product with as few errors as possible. So you proofread everything very closely and just be very thorough. This is what attorneys are paid to do. I think that the problem with a lot of new attorneys is that they rush through things and they're in the habit of rushing and rushing is what gets you into trouble.
[00:33:58] Can you believe that. You're [00:34:00] excited to show an answer to the T to the to the client or to the person you're doing the work for. And and then you rush through the work and you make mistakes. You're excited to to do something correctly. And and because of that you make mistakes.
[00:34:15] And so that's one of the big issues I think that people have is the rushing. So you need to slow down, you need to double-check your work, and you need to look at it from a very critical eye. And and if you don't do that, then other people that are experienced doing the work are going to find fault with you.
[00:34:30]There's nothing wrong with making friends in the firm. If you make friends of the firm and don't share with them too much personal information about yourself, then those friends can actually help you. If you tell them negative information about yourself or they see a bad side of you, and that can be things like, things personal in your life and so forth, then it could turn out very poorly.
[00:34:50] So I, I would recommend just, keeping your, too many details of your personal life to yourself. And and by that, if you're doing things in your personal life that people [00:35:00] in the firm would not approve of, if you seem if you're just having issues then in your personal life, it could be a problem.
[00:35:05] So I, I knew of an associate once that and this is a funny story, but it's actually it's a true story. So there was a woman that I knew that had made friends with a partner in her firm that she was doing all her work for. And that partner would talk to her about her personal life all the time, meaning, helping her with dating profiles and and all sorts of things.
[00:35:28] And then one, one, one, one that woman that was working for this partner went and had met some, somebody briefly at I dunno, some club med or something. It was just, they had met someone and talked to them and then that person came out and visited her. And and they had a, Rawkus a fair one weekend.
[00:35:45] And and so she told the partner about this and the partner for whatever reason. Didn't like hearing about her personal life. And when she told her about it suddenly didn't approve of this woman anymore and stopped giving her work. And because she was in a very small department [00:36:00] that meant she no longer was able to get work.
[00:36:03] And so that's a that's a real problem. When when you share your personal life, sometimes that can really get in your way, if you have you getting work. You do have to fix your work product. You should be, especially as a young attorney, you need to be all over it and your work product needs to be tight.
[00:36:19] And and by tight, union, you need to eliminate errors and you need to turn in good stuff, and then you need to see everything going on around you, because if you're not, you're going to get pushed out. And and it happens to a ton of time. Okay, let me see here. This next question is says, I am a first year who started in shit you put first
[00:36:40]or in the fall and big law. I recently I've been working so much. I barely sleep if at all. And sometimes I don't even have time to get a proper meal since I want to have time to prep food, et cetera. Wonder if I completely toned down work. I've tried to, I can't get this now, but that I can get to in six hours or so, but then seniors will call other seniors and say that I have to [00:37:00] do their work.
[00:37:00] Okay. So yeah, so you need to you, you can't as a first year, you're expected to work very hard in, in, in the medical profession those residents and the residents will work for eight hours straight and so forth. So it's really, you're in a, the law is a similar type of profession and th the hazing and the need to make money from from people that are very junior and hungry, is there you also, if you work very long hours, you will certainly improve and learn in a lot of this stuff will become instinctual to you and you'll become a better attorney.
[00:37:38]But I agree that sleeping is important and I agree that eating is important. And and and if you need to be if turning down work is going to make you more effective then I would recommend doing it. So a senior associate. It is typically not reviewing how many hours you work.
[00:37:55]Now I'm not saying you to quote me on that and take my advice, but [00:38:00] they'll just, you can tell them whether or not you have time to do the work and, if you don't and you need to take care of yourself, then I really would recommend trying to turn down the work.
[00:38:09]And I don't even know about saying in six hours or so I, I just, you need to have time to do the work. The biggest problem with this is if you do their work and you don't do a good job, then you'll get a bad review. So that's that. And then people, th this first attorney up here was doing too much work or was doing work and not doing good work.
[00:38:30] And then this next attorney is doing too much work. So if you turn, if you don't turn down work and you're, aren't able to do a good job with your work, then then you're going to get in trouble. And so I, if it was me, I would recommend doing what you can to moderate your work.
[00:38:45] So you can do as good of a job with a work you have because you returned to work with problems. That's probably more of a problem than turning down work. I knew why, and I understand what you're saying. When I was in a law firm, Actually the first firm I was at I [00:39:00] couldn't believe it.
[00:39:00]I was doing a filing almost every day I had something due, whether it was like a summary judgment motion, or, just all sorts of things. And so I called up a senior partner. That was the guy that hinted at work. And I was like, I don't, I'm just doing all this work.
[00:39:14] I don't, this is insane. I have a filings every day. And he said if you have more than one summary judgment motion doing day, we'll get you some help. And it was at that point where, a summary judgment motion. It was like a big deal. It's a lot of work. So it was at that point that I realized that, okay, I definitely had too much work and it was too much, but leave him because there's too much work, you need to learn how to moderate it.
[00:39:35] And the best way to do that is to turn down work if you possibly can't. So you can concentrate on the stuff that's in front of you. And the same thing I w one final point I do want to add though, is that if you, sometimes you turn down work can get you in trouble. And it depends on the firm.
[00:39:52]I've seen people turned down work and have problems because of that. And I'm not gonna tell you it's a, there's a solution [00:40:00] to it, but at the same time be okay. I hope that answer helps. I know it's a lot of information. I would say that. Your best option though really is to be able to to do the best quality work and bill as many hours as you possibly can to make that and to, and then get a reputation for doing good work and getting work done.
[00:40:20]Okay. My goal is to work in a vault 10 from in New York, I might also want to transfer to California upon, I've been offered a chance to attend Duke for half price and Columbia full-price, which law school is a better choice considering my goals. Those are both great law schools.
[00:40:36]I don't know if your goal is to work at about 10 from in New York, then there's a couple of different things for each firm. So the problem with Columbia is the firms in New York get a lot of Columbia applicants. And so it's sometimes, and they know what the grading system is at Columbia, and they're very familiar with it and they in Columbia is a bigger law school than Duke.
[00:40:57]But I don't know. I think both law firm in [00:41:00] both law schools could potentially be good for you and to, in order to get the best position in New York. Columbia does have a lot more firms from New York interviewing at Duke, but Duke has a exotic school.
[00:41:13] For New York. One thing I noticed about Duke is that sometimes people come out of there and there's just something a little strange socially going on there. I don't know what it is, but many times and not many times, but, they're there every year.
[00:41:28] There's kind of people that, that really have a lot of issues going to different law schools and and drop out of big law firms very quickly. And Duke seems to have a very high proportion of that. I don't know why. And Columbia is also a good law school. Columbia is a little bit it's I think it's a little bit more about working in law firms and especially in New York and but the people tend to be more, it's a little bit more brain ear academic and and that sort of thing.
[00:41:55]Then Duke the Duke, I don't know, Duke might even be harder to get into in Columbia. I have no idea what it is [00:42:00] these days. So both of them offer you something in terms of going getting into the best from typically most people that attend law school. It's the smartest thing you can do is to go to the best law school you get into and not think about it, regardless of price.
[00:42:16] I don't know what Duke is ranked these days, and I don't know what. Columbia as I, they're all in the same league. I think Columbia is probably ranked a little bit higher, but I could be wrong. I think Columbia if you want to work in New York both of those are great schools.
[00:42:29]The only thing I like about Duke is that it's it's, there's a little bit of scarcity there, so there's not as many people coming out of Duke. And so in some expensive respects, it's better. But there is something a little off about the social or something. There's some re I don't know what it is, but there's just a lot of weird people that have problems that come out of Duke.
[00:42:48]You may have read the book, I hope they serve beer in hell or whatever. Which is a book by, I think his name's max, something that that where he talks about, drugs and sex and, [00:43:00] all this stuff and he, and while he was at Duke, I think so. It's just there's just a lot of weird things that can come out of that school for some reason.
[00:43:06] I don't know why it is. And and but I've seen it for decades now. And and I think it looks like a beautiful campus and it's a very nice school and I've never been there, but I think there's a lot of good things of that stuff. But typically you want to go to the best law school you can possibly get into.
[00:43:23]Okay. So I would recommend even if Columbia is more expensive, but the money that the school costs in the long run is not going to really be that big of a deal and and the Y over time. Okay. I'm I'm sorry. Okay. A former judicial clerk who originally started at a big law firm and the litigation group, I really enjoy clerking.
[00:43:45]I really enjoyed clerk and I honestly never should have left there. I fucked up so bad. I don't know if this place is actually that dysfunctional or I just hate it, but it's only been a few months and I'm on two separate psych medications and crying [00:44:00] daily and dry heaving all the time because of some miserable.
[00:44:02] It's been weeks since I've had a day where I didn't work, I'm drawing assignments and I can't sleep because I'm so anxious about getting that next email. I can't eat because I constantly feel sick every time I put out one fire, another pops up within minutes, I don't care in the money. Gladly take a huge pickup, a reasonable hours and lower expectations.
[00:44:20] But I signed a lease in an apartment. I, and I really can't afford on much less this. So I'm stuck until my license in November. How do I make it for the next eight months and get out of life? Okay. So the worst thing that, so let's talk about a couple of different things. If you really liked clerking, then that is just a better place for you.
[00:44:41] I don't know where you are, if you're in New York or what area of the country you're in. But I think that it sounds like you're just in a in a bad place. So there's and that's perfectly understandable based on what is going on with you. So let's just talk about a couple of different things in terms of what's going [00:45:00] on.
[00:45:00]So let's, so if you enjoy clerking that means you liked to write you, you like you like a small environment you like and these are great questions. It's just going to help everyone on this call. And other people too, that come later you'd like a small environment you enjoy wow.
[00:45:17]Okay. And you were at a BA and a, and then, and then you enjoy research. The thing about working inside of the law, and then you were able to understand that
[00:45:25]any judge turn clerk.
[00:45:28] And the hour for okay.
[00:45:30]And the pay was fine because you're not complaining about the pay. So let's just get a couple things. So this is what you like, and it sounds like he liked it a lot. So there's nothing wrong with being actually you can be a career at, so you have a lot of options by the way, your options right now for your feature after November.
[00:45:48]We don't have to talk about November, but your options are the fall clerk, you can work in a smaller firm, but not too many demands. You might like doing the, how at work [00:46:00] you could work in a smaller market.
[00:46:01] What else here? We're going to smaller market. You can work in work in what else can you do work in the name now
[00:46:09]you can he's more for the government.
[00:46:12] So one of the things that I like to do is and then this is what you like. These are some options. Let's talk about a couple of things. First. Let's talk about your lease. So your lease you can look this up, but if you just leave, if you leave the only thing that can happen is they can Sue you for your lease and get a default judgment.
[00:46:32] If you don't fight it or get a judgment. I'm sorry. Again, you get a judgment. And then and then when they get a judgment they can try to collect on it or say, I probably won't. I don't think judgments go on your credit report anymore. They used to, but they don't go on your credit report.
[00:46:51]So if you're completely losing your mind then the maybe I don't know, but you would have to research this, but but you, if [00:47:00] you are just completely losing your mind, then. Then you might be a much better off just, potentially leaving and not paying your apartment because you need to save yourself.
[00:47:11]That's the first thing so you need to save yourself the the problem with the drugs and stuff, the prescription drugs. I'm just trying to cover all these things for you real briefly but you can definitely leave your lease. I talk to people all the time that are having issues with paying their I'm paying different expenses.
[00:47:30] I was talking to an attorney yesterday. It was a solo practitioner that has a lease that she's, that are not at least, but alone that she's thinking about not paying, cause she doesn't have the money. And, I told her basically not to pay it cause why would you pay it if you can't afford to pay other things, including your mortgage, but that's up to you the prescription drugs.
[00:47:49] So lots of people are on prescription drugs. And and so let's talk about that real briefly. So the problem with prescription drugs is that you'll become dependent on them [00:48:00] and at some point you might get off of them and prescription drugs, So you're going to become dependent. And at some point you're probably wanting to get off to them.
[00:48:07]We can get off at some know. And so when you try to get off them then you have to deal with that. And that's the other part. And then the other thing is they're going to doll you and make you not as effective, it'd be. And you're taking them because you're covering up some other issue and you're because, covering up another issue and that's fine. If they're helping you, that's great. But but the real issue is something else that if you fix them, because it sounds to me like when you were clerking when you were clerking you were not on drugs.
[00:48:41] Everything was good. So the it's the firm that's not interruption. So it's the firm that's causing the issues. So that's that's what to remember. So the firm is causing issues. So the thing about when you're a new attorney, is it sounds to me like, I don't think it's just [00:49:00] Y people experience our experience Missy sick and heaving miserable.
[00:49:05]Okay. So everything that you're experienced in terms of not liking your job is something that everybody goes through in a different depending on the person. So when new attorneys one of the things that happens with new attorneys is you're completely, you don't know what you are doing, do not know what you're doing or we're doing because you're learning for the first time.
[00:49:27] You also feel powerless because you can't control hours.
[00:49:33] The feedback you're getting is probably not positive, all positive. And then they, hours are difficult. And the thing I meet all the time I meet the partners that are coming out of different. Law firms and so forth that are unhappy.
[00:49:50] And a lot of times partners leave their firms because they feel like they're under attack from attorneys in their own firms all the time under attack from [00:50:00] attorneys from and that's part of practicing law. When an example is a litigator and this is what you are a litigator plus litigators boss is senior associates it's partners
[00:50:13]work. It's there are peers looking for them to do stuff.
[00:50:17]And then, you have a significant other or someone dependent on you
[00:50:22] And so far, so you have all these people that are creating pressure and it's very difficult to manage at all. So then you get people, in your situation trying to take pills and so forth and that's fine. So part of what you're dealing with is a challenge and I've been there cause I clerked and then went into extremely demanding firms.
[00:50:42] So I understand exactly what you're dealing with. My, my breaking point personally was I went into work one day on a Wednesday and didn't get home until a Sunday. And and then when I got home just a complete mess. It took me hours to fall asleep. And by the time I finally fell asleep I got a call from a partner that I had to come back [00:51:00] into work because they hadn't gotten the research that I had sent because the firm had rebooted their I guess their servers overnight.
[00:51:07] So all these emails were stopped. While anyway, it's just horrible. So these are your options and your other options to stay where you are. Your other option is to take time off medical leave or something. And a nice, these are all the options. Now, if you're going to leave anyway you could also take a vacation, and just say, or, or, need to visit for some yeah, but your options would be self preservation.
[00:51:33] Your other option is to turn downwards work and go part time. And all these other things. Yeah. These are all work or to stay where you are. So those are one of the things, but it sounds like that you're not after money. You're not after prestige you like clerking, you liked what you were doing there.
[00:51:53]And this is just for whatever reason, you've hit your boiling point and and a point where you can't necessarily cope [00:52:00] anymore. And that's perfectly fine. I everybody hits their boiling point at different points in time. And I even, have hit my boiling point.
[00:52:08] I even hit my burning point until this day and time this day. If I have, if I have, so many things that are pressuring me in one way or another and directions, then then it becomes, then sometimes I just I just, I can't deal. I don't want to talk to people. I don't want to, I need a time out.
[00:52:24]And then the other thing that I would recommend is this is actually for every attorney out there. And I think we've covered this several times, but it's just self-care. So one of the things that a partner told me when I was very young and he was he S he became a friend of mine.
[00:52:42] He told me that, no one is ever going to tell you I could slow down.
[00:52:46]Oh, you to slow down. And the reason no one's ever going to tell you to slow down is because they they don't they feel that if they tell you to slow down, then they're going to lose money. So lean a law firm loses money if you [00:53:00] don't work as hard
[00:53:01]senior associates, but it's money
[00:53:03]or don't get work, done, work on it, so most, very successful partners. The name of the game is keeping your head together.
[00:53:13]So keeping your head on straight. And and so that's just something that very few people are able to do. And and, something that you need to really think about. I took a class once at the Disney leadership or Denver Disney Institute class. And and it was an expensive class.
[00:53:31] It was like maybe, I don't know, $5,000 for three days or five after four days. And the only thing I got out of it. Is an only thing I remember I remembered one thing and it was just, leadership it's about keeping costs. So that means you need to keep calm. So I took that to heart and and what I do for self care is just, and this is something that everyone I think should bake into their to, to [00:54:00] their
[00:54:00] bacon is exercise meditation and those sorts of things. So I blocked out time for both each day. No, and then I also block out time for journaling and my journaling is just, it's pretty simple, I have questions I ask myself that are pretty straightforward or what are you what are you unhappy? What are you angry about? I think where do you work?
[00:54:26] You write down what you're angry about, and then you write down, what you're grateful for. What are you excited about?
[00:54:32] I th you know, you just, and I don't have the questions in front of me. There's several of them, but, just writing these out each day and exercise and meditation. So building those things into your to your self each day we'll, I'll take you out of your mind. The exercise takes you out of your mind.
[00:54:46] The meditation takes you out of your mind and the medic, the journaling will give you some missing perspective, definitely. What your ANC, what, what, the things that are bothering you. So all of that is very helpful from a self care standpoint.
[00:54:59] And I think [00:55:00] that very few people do that and because they don't do that and ends up hurting them, even the most successful attorneys I know of are out there exercise and they're running every day. They're building that time to do other stuff. And what many people do is they take the easy way out and I'm bad self care.
[00:55:17] So bad self care is is what most people do and what most people do, what attorneys do. Did that hit the easy way out. And and what they do is they a they use like taut or they use alcohol or sometimes prescription drugs. And this is just, I'm bringing all this up because, and prescription drugs.
[00:55:37] And I would say, you're talking about probably 75% of all attorneys are doing something along these lines. So these are really high things, but this is, almost the majority of people that I know that I'll be. So let me tell you the problems with these just quickly because I'm probably talking to several people here that are doing these things.
[00:55:57]Other self-care is also religion which can be [00:56:00] very good. I knew very, I knew, I know very few people that are active in religion that just, it does help with stress whatever your religion is. It gives you an outlet. There's something outside of yourself with others, plus something outside of well,
[00:56:17]awesome. By the way, it's helping a lot of people. That's why I'm spending so much time on it. So the problem with pot is it makes you dumb or makes you slow, you're slow and it stays in your system. Makes you slow for awhile. Different people are affected by drugs, different ways, but a lot of times, you'll hear people saying dude, or like a lot of, or that sort of thing because their mind is just taking them on to process stuff. And the other big problem is it, when you're not using it you can experience a lot of anxiety anxiety.
[00:56:46] So that's one issue. The other issue with drinking is it will slow you down the next day. Hey physically and mentally as well also causing anxiety
[00:56:58]and eventually [00:57:00] almost everyone
[00:57:01]which has alcohol. And then, every, all these things people are using to cover up issues. You're generally better off I don't drink or smoke pot or anything. Because but I certainly have in the past, I'm not you, ain't going to lie about any of this, your issues that here are that I just, you're doing everything that you know, that you, that everybody else has come before you has done.
[00:57:24] And I think that you need to understand like how you're processing everything. And what you're doing. My first option there's a saying in business which is pay yourself first. Meaning a lot of times attorneys are, in a business like, like businesses will go bankrupt or people will have all sorts of problems because they're not paying themselves or paying all their employees, but they never pay themselves first.
[00:57:49] And so self care means taking care of yourself first, meaning, whatever the stuff is that keeps you saying you need to do, and this will give you something to look forward to. And then [00:58:00] all this other stuff you can do later on, it sounds yo