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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of January 14, 2014

LawBiz(r) newsletter

The new year is off to a great start. My days in Death Valley are a memory now, my wife's birthday come and gone. But our memories are kept alive by a few pictures, two of which are shown here. We now turn to looking at 2014. One of my mentors has said that "real wealth is discretionary time" And, for the first time in my career, I've got the calendar marked for 7 weeks of travel during the year.

Ed Poll in Death Valley
Ed in Death Valley
Paula and Ed Poll in Death Valley
Paula and Ed Poll

I hope you are listing your priorities and marking them on your calendar... and who will keep you accountable for focusing on your priorities. That's the single most important function a coach can offer, that and substantive skills. Call me to assist you to achieve greater success in 2014.

I will be in San Francisco on January 18, 2014 and would welcome the opportunity to meet with anyone in the area. If you wish to have breakfast with me in the downtown area at 8 a.m., please contact me at

Ed signature

Concentrated Minds and Practical Skills

Samuel Johnson, who was well known for his cynical wit, observed several centuries ago that "if a man knows he is going to be hung in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully." That revelation may be happening at the nation's law schools. With enrollment plunging and students suing over their lackluster employment practices, law schools may finally be waking up and concentrating on the idea that they need to offer training on "The Business of Law."®

I've commented here many times that law schools do not give their students practical courses on practice management and client service because such training is too "trade oriented." As a result, their students have little grounding in real world legal skills. But now The National Law Journal has reported* that the ABA's Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions, just several months after it rejected the idea, has agreed to reconsider whether law schools should be required to offer 15 credits of real-world training. A group called the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) has pushed the idea, arguing that the law lags behind medicine, dentistry and other professions when it come to practical skills education - demonstrated by the fact that the existing standards mandate that students take just one credit of experiential learning.

The simple fact is that law schools' dearth of training in the practical skills that lawyers most need to keep their practices profitable and problem free - training in effective client service and law practice management techniques - leads to much of the dissatisfaction and problems found in today's law practices. The lawyer who has it understands the operation of the firm as a business, how each attorney determines firm profitability, and the importance of clients and their own businesses. I registered the phrase, "The Business of Law®," because it not only summarized the basics of my law firm consultancy, but also because so many lawyers seemed to lack an understanding of the concept.

Offering more practical skills training may not be the only way that law schools can keep from being "hung" by the growing student dissatisfaction with the training they receive. But concentrating on providing a better foundation for young lawyers to understand what makes a practice successful can only benefit lawyers, clients and the law schools themselves. To do otherwise will only worsen the prevailing dissatisfaction about having a career in the law and the prevailing negativism about the legal profession.

Practical Profitability

and Small Business Planning Package

Practice Profitability and Small Business Planning

until Feb 1
(reg. $119)

Learn how to create effective business plans to increase your productivity and profitability.

To Order:

or order online at

This package will help you to learn the process of planning effectively for your business and will ultimately help you to increase your profitability and success as a business. Learn more.

This Package Contains:

  1. The Profitable Law Office Handbook:
    Attorney's Guide to Successful Business Planning,
    16th Anniversary Edition

  2. Business Competency for Lawyers:
    A Lawbiz® Management Special Report (eBook)

  3. Small Firm Logistics: Turning Your Practice into a Business
    (a 3 CD Set)


Concentrated Minds and Practical Skills

Practice Profitability and Small Business Planning Package - $99 Special!

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Ed Poll on YouTube

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New Life After Law Coaching Program



"We started trial today... (The) short conversation we had about the case ... prompted a fabulous opening/closing statement for me... You sparked a great visual argument for me which I have confidence in... Thank you."

Los Angeles, CA

"I have been working with coaches for the past couple of years concerning my business, and the thing that I particularly like about working with Ed Poll is his 25 years of legal background. He has a keen insight into the ramifications of practicing law and he seems to be genuinely concerned about my business."

Attorney at Law
Birmingham, AL


Ed Poll, LawBiz® Management

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