New Book for Best Friends at the Bar Project

Read excerpts from the new book, What Millennial Lawyers Want:  A Bridge from the Past to the Future of Law Practice (Wolters Kluwer/Aspen Publishers, 2018), to be released on September 1st, in the July/August 2018 Best Friends at the Bar Newsletter:

Millennial Generation lawyers are the future of the law profession, and current leadership needs to know how they think and how to develop them into effective leaders.

The emphasis is on respect, civility, honorable behavior, reaching out helping hands to communities and those less fortunate …  and more.  Those themes — very much in the national conversation today — are driven home by stories from a day when the underlying values were paramount in law practice.  The hope is that they will become part of our own experiences today.

What Millennial Lawyers Want:

  • Expands the Best Friends at the Bar audience beyond young women lawyers to ALL young lawyers and those who lead them;
  • Presents extensive research about millennial lawyers and by millennial lawyers; and
  • Regales readers with inspirational stories of lawyers from a generation past to demonstrate a healthier path forward for a profession in transition.

With a Foreword and in-book endorsements by leading lawyers at some of the world’s most prestigious law firms, this book has been recognized as a game-changer for the legal profession.  The message is that bad habits and toxic environments are not beyond repair if we listen to the voices of a new generation of lawyers and help them — and us — find a better way forward.

Available soon on Amazon.  Get it and read it NOW!


Career Counselors, Law Firm Managers, Law School Educators, Law Students, Lifestyle, Practice Advice, Pre-law, Young Lawyer | Comment

Women’s Equality Day

I know that I am coming in a little late to alert you to Women’s Equality Day.  It was celebrated YESTERDAY, August 26th, but I have a good excuse for missing it by a day.

Yesterday, August 26th, would have been my Mom’s 103rd birthday.  She died in 2017 at 101 years young, and I was absorbed yesterday with thoughts of her.  As excuses go, I think it is a good one.

My Mom would have loved Women’s Equality Day.  She graduated from college in 1937 when most women did not go to college.  She worked hard to support herself as a teacher before she married my Dad, she was devoted to improving her community through volunteer service, and, up until the last days of her life, she was asking how she could “help out” at the assisted living facility she called home.  Whether it was folding towels or showing up for Bingo just to be a good sport and raise spirits, she did it all.

Today, women have come a long way beyond the kinds of opportunities available to my Mom and her contemporaries.  We are lawyers, doctors, bankers, board members, business executives, and government and elected officials, to name just a few.  We have learned to use our voices and have our voices heard.  As someone once sang, we bring home the bacon, and we fry it up in a pan!

But we still have a long way to go for total equality.  Keep at it.  Make sure YOUR voice is heard.  Do not settle.

Happy Women’s Equality Day!

Law Students, Lifestyle, Practice Advice, Pre-law, Young Lawyer | Comment

See You in September!

Great song. Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons.  For those of you who did not — shame on you—catch Jersey Boys on stage, there is always YouTube to get the flavor of great music of bygone years.

But, I digress! 

As some of you may remember, August and December are the times when I step back from blogging to focus on family.  So, you won’t be reading my blogs again until September — when I will return to help move the needle forward for women in law.  However, when I see a tidbit that you need to focus on between now and then, I will make sure you can find it on the Best Friends at the Bar Facebook page.

But it will not be all fun and games for me this August.  I will be spending a lot of time promoting and marketing my new book for ALL young lawyers.  What Millennial Lawyers Want:  A Bridge from the Past to the Future of Law Practice (Wolters Kluwer/Aspen Publishers) goes to print next week and will be released on September 1st.  I am very excited about the possibilities of this new book, so please watch for it.  It is a quick read and one that I know will interest the young lawyers in my orbit — and hopefully the seasoned lawyers who reside where change begins.

Best wishes to all of you for end of summer bliss.  Take time off for yourself and friends and family while work is slow.  Remember the importance of balance. 

And have some fun!


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Perfect Pitch for Women Lawyers

Are you musical?  Have you had experience singing in a choir?  If so, you probably are familiar with the concept of “perfect pitch.” 

For the rest of you, perfect pitch is the ability of a person to identify or re-create a given musical note without the benefit of a reference tone.  Perfect pitch results in great vocalists, who can land a note on the musical scale exactly and in a way that is pleasing to the ear, leaving the listener with the desire to hear more.

Oddly, perfect pitch works the same in business — and especially for lawyers.  Delivering the perfect pitch for legal services to a potential client can be a great asset to a career.  In many businesses, the perfect pitch involves a physical product that speaks for itself.  The widget, for example.  But, it is different for lawyers.  The perfect pitch to your potential client will have no physical product to make the case, and you will have to depend on the power of your words and your delivery.

The pitch happens when you have the opportunity to communicate your professional worth to a would-be client, and the best pitches are in person and verbal.  Hopefully, you will have mentors who will include you on client pitches long before you are expected to pitch alone.  But, that presumes good mentoring, and we cannot assume that these days.  So, I have found you a helpful resource.

Jezra Kaye is a friend of mine.  Her website, Speak Up For Success, demonstrates how  she has made a career of helping speakers and presenters hit all the high notes.  She also is musical, a former jazz singer, so maybe that is why she considers pitch so important.  Her recent blog, “The Three Rules of Great Pitching”, is a valuable resource for you.  The analogy there is to baseball, but, knowing Jezra, I prefer the music metaphor.

Here are some highlights from the pro (as always with my interpretation):

  • The pitch is not about you.  Yes, you want to communicate credentials about yourself, briefly, but the focus should be on discovering what the potential client needs;
  • Focus on solving your prospect’s problem.  What is the goal?   What are your ideas and approaches to problem solving?  How do you get to a solution?  Let your skill, experience and creativity show.
  • Be relaxed and have fun.  Deliver your messages with confidence.  Be likeable, and use humor whenever possible.   Yes, humor.  Clients are looking for competent counsel, to be sure, but the attorney/client relationship is a whole lot more enjoyable if parties look forward to each other’s company.  So be engaging, have a chat, look for common ground, and LISTEN to what the other person has to say.  (Check out my new book, What Millennial Lawyers Want:  A Bridge from the Past to the Future of Law Practice, to be released by Wolters Kluwer/Aspen Publishers on September 1, 2018, for more on these subjects.)

Jezra’s blog also takes the pressure off by making it clear that you can’t control the outcome of some pitches.  Pitches often fail for reasons that have nothing to do with the effectiveness of the pitch.  Inside politics.  Budget considerations.  Timing.  Negative risk assessment … nothing to do with the pitcher.  

So stand tall, throw your shoulders back, smile, and have fun with the pitch.  Remember that it is just a conversation.  And practice makes perfect. 

Make sure the perfect pitch is in your future!

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Thought For The Day: Freedom lies in being bold. ROBERT FROST

Thought For The Day | Comment