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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of April 2, 2013

LawBiz(r) newsletter

March Madness! Yes, it's over, but what a month it was!
I'm super excited. I biked up Mt. Figueroa last week...rising 4900 feet in less than 10 miles at pitches sometimes greater than 10%. This mountain is so tough that several of the European cycling teams ride it for their Spring training. Though I was the caboose in our Carmichael camp, I did reach the top! That was my primary goal.

My latest book, Life After Law, was just released! See our promotion below. This work speaks to the many calls I'm receiving from lawyers all over the country wanting me to help them position both themselves and their law practices for transition and succession.

And, my alma mater fired a good basketball coach but hired another one quickly. Thought the athletic director was crazy; perhaps he knows what he's doing. Go Bruins!
Ed signature

Is Multi-Tasking Possible?

The need for proliferating laws to try and stop (mostly unsuccessfully) texting and cell phone usage while driving is just one illustration that multi-tasking has become epidemic in our society. Yet successful multi-tasking is a contradiction. We can do one thing at a time successfully, not many different things at the same time and do them well.

This is a particularly relevant warning for lawyers. Consider the common scenario of sitting in a meeting where lawyers have smart phones in hand, checking text messages or sending new ones while they are ostensibly participating in the proceedings. Such multi-tasking often means that the lawyer is missing something important in the live dialogue as it is going on. An inattentive lawyer who misses a key point in a meeting risks arousing client ire - or making a mistake due to inattention that could have major negative ramifications for a client.

Such attempted multi-tasking can also have major negative ramifications for a practice. Technology has conspired with traditional attitudes to make many solo practitioners believe they truly can go it alone. The flexibility offered by word processing and billing software, voicemail, email and other electronic tools is real, but it can become dangerous when combined with the entrepreneur's "I can manage 100 cases by myself" mentality. Too often the result is an overwhelmed practice that is either headed into the hands of the state bar disciplinary system (where 60% of complaints involve practice management and quality issues), or into insolvency.

Lawyers have time management software, Outlook calendars, personal digital assistants and many other technological tools to help them manage multiple tasks, but many still claim to have too little time, or are overwhelmed by the need to balance client, practice and personal priorities. When this happens it makes many lawyers feel that they should do even more to multi-task. Yet trying to do too much at once defeats successful multi-tasking; it can instead create self-defeating fear and paralysis when tasks become overwhelming.

Lawyers facing such an impasse should take the time to think things through as the equivalent of a deep breath that restores perspective. Unless we're aware of what technology can consume from what we offer as lawyers - our time and advice - we cannot fully exploit what it can add. Technology facilitates multi-tasking ... but multi-tasking can jeopardize good lawyering.

Ed Poll's Life After Law
50% OFF - Special Prepublication Price!

Life After Law

until May 1
(reg. $49)

ebook, $19
(reg $25)

What Will You Do with the Next 6,000 Days?

To Order: 1-800-837-5880 or order online at

With an eye on balancing the professional and personal fronts, Ed guides readers through the steps:

  • Choosing retirement on your own terms

  • Guarding clients' welfare in the event of disability or death

  • Transferring client and rainmaking responsibilities

  • Charting an exit from a multi-partner firm

  • Strategizing the sale or closure of a practice

Plus, you'll find essential counsel on how to guard your retirement nest egg and create a fulfilling post-practice life! Learn more.

In this issue:

Is Multi-Tasking Possible?

Ed Poll's Life After Law... 50% OFF

Video: Why Clients Refer Their Law Firm

Featured Video:
Ed Poll on YouTube video

YouTube LawBiz Forum
FaceBook Twitter

What Clients Are Saying:

"Through Ed's invaluable coaching and no-nonsense approach, I was able to not only stay employed at the firm, but to make partner and have a future with the firm."

Los Angeles, CA

"Ed knew the right questions to make me answer. He has taught me virtually everything I know about formation, planning, and now management of a successful law firm."

Los Angeles, CA

"Ed is fair, kind and forthright, is very professional and was a very enjoyable person with whom to work. I would highly recommend the services of Ed Poll to anyone in need of assistance with understanding their business, improving its operations or valuing it for sale or transition to some other operational format."

DMG, R.N., J.D.
Austin, TX

Ed Poll, LawBiz® Management   |   |   |
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