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LawBiz® TIPS – Week of September 13, 2011

LawBiz(r) newsletter

Home Sweet Home! It's grand to travel; it was outstanding to enable a dream with the Airstream National Road to Revenue tour. And it was a unique opportunity to talk with lawyers in their environment about the daily challenges they face in serving their clients. And a number of these challenges have given me ideas for more articles...and even a new book. But, it's great to return home, rest and then to begin work on some of the new suggestions.

One shouldn't rest too long. Our travel calendar (though not in the Airstream) is quite busy and I eagerly await both speaking and learning more from my audiences. Thanks to all who have helped me along the way during the last 6 months, in particular.

I look forward to meeting more lawyers as the year moves closer to a close.

Ed signature

To Every Lawyer There Is a Season

The Change of Seasons
The advent of autumn is the point in the year at which the change in seasons has particular impact - perhaps because, no matter where we live, we know worse winter weather is coming. But the seasons move through their progression, whether or not we prefer to speed up or slow down the calendar.

A law career is somewhat similar. When you enter practice, you can grow, learn, develop and contribute to others. You travel a path of growth that has established seasons every bit as different and as full as the weather seasons of the year. By the time you have traversed the career seasons, you have the opportunity to develop and contribute mightily in many ways. Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort in each season to become the best of which you are capable.

Setting Business and Professional Goals
You live one life and must think holistically, but in a small firm or large one, developing a career requires planning to set overall goals and specific strategies. Once you view a legal career as a series of business and professional development seasons, your perception changes. Consider this summary of how the seasons of a lawyer's career can be regarded:

  • Spring is the time when careers take root for early and mid-level associates. They must learn "The Business of Law®," find allies and mentors in the firm, and work to develop clients and roles in significant matters. A good spring means taking charge of your own career.

  • Summer is when careers grow fastest for pre-partner associates, early level partners. They are building books of business and an identity in the community to the point when hopefully they will evaluate the decision whether to become a partner. If they are not given that option, the decision they face is growing their careers at a new firm.

  • In career Autumn, mid-level partners and firm leaders see their hard work ripen as they often take roles to direct the firm's future. That takes mastering leadership skills, especially the art of delegation, while mentoring young lawyers who will shape the firm's future. The trap for these lawyers to avoid is the self-satisfaction that leads to obsolescence and de-equitization.

  • Last comes Winter, the time to assess your career and prepare to move to a new season. The career decision is whether and how long to remain in practice - which involves deciding how to transition clients, designate a successor or buyer for your practice, and find the new direction of your life.

Growing Your Career
Career growth in this perspective becomes a process of understanding what you ought to do in each season. Lawyers who understand how to grow a career through its successive seasons can better assess the value they provide, and better reflect it in their performance.

More Secrets of The Business of Law®

More Secrets of The Business of Law

In this follow-up companion volume to Ed Poll's highly praised first Secrets collection, you'll learn how to be even more efficient, more effective and more profitable in your practice.

"You don't see many stories about legal firms making change work! Help is on the way. Ed Poll's book is a must read for any leader who wants to win at the great game of business!"
- Terry Paulson, PhD,
columnist, business speaker, and
author of They Shoot Managers Don't They?
Learn more.

Now Available
Price: $49
Call or Order Online at:

In this issue:

To Every Lawyer There Is a Season

More Secrets of The Business of Law®

Video: Law Schools Fail Their Students

Featured Video:
Ed Poll on YouTube video


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What Clients Are Saying:

"I requested that (my partners) allow me to take on the management of the firm and suggested the creation of a business plan... (Our practice) is a successful practice, but in dire need of a direction - and a business plan. They agreed to give me a shot and entertain a rough outline of my ideas. I was shocked when they agreed, but then horrified at the task before me. However, sitting on my shelf is "The Business of Law®" that I purchased from you a few years ago. I began to read it and a whole new world has opened up for me. I just wanted to express my gratitude to you for writing the book... I am excited about the opportunity I have and just wanted to let you know that I appreciate all you do for the field."

Pleasanton, CA

"I was an associate at a large national law firm and I felt "stuck," but I didn't know how to market myself to clients or to other firms. Ed's focus on the business side of the law firm provided a solid grounding for me to evaluate my current situation and a platform from which I could start growing my own practice. In many ways, working with Ed is like working with a therapist. Part of my coaching process with Ed has been getting to understand more thoroughly my strengths and weaknesses as both a marketer and as a lawyer. After working with Ed for six months, I was ready to market myself to other firms: I developed a clearly articulated set of objectives and Ed has gave me the tools that I needed to increase my exposure. Today, I am working for a law firm that provides better opportunities for my professional growth."

San Francisco, CA

Ed Poll, LawBiz® Management   |   |   |
©2011 LawBiz® Management. All rights reserved.

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