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The Values in Practicing Law

Posted by Jimmy Fein | Apr 20, 2020 | 0 Comments

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A COACH AND STUDENT

  Tom Brady, one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history  made these comments after leaving New England for Tampa Bay discussing his relationship with his former coach Bill Belichick:

'I can't do his job, and he(Bellichik) can't do mine. So the fact that you could say: 'Would I be successful without his coaching,    Brady said. 'To have him allowed me to be the best I could be. So I'm grateful for that. And I very much believe that he feels the same about me.'

 Bill Bradley was a small-town guy from Crystal City, Missouri. As an all-American basketball player at Princeton, he could write his own ticket to success.  In basketball, he was coached by some of the best: Avel Popp, Butch Van Brena Kolff, Hank Iba, Red Auerbach and others.  He attributed his success in basketball to his outstanding coaching.  

Then Bradley decided to run for New Jersey state senator.  To accomplish this goal, Bradley engaged the services of the best political coaches he could find. He won three terms as Senator before deciding to run for President of the United States.  Again, he sought coaching from some of the best political minds. 

 Unfortunately for Bradley, he came up short to now former President Bill Clinton.  Clinton also used political coaches to secure his nomination and eventual election to the country's highest office.  

Senator Bradley wrote a book in 1998 entitled “Values of the Game”.   I feel that some of  values he describes for basketball are equally applicable for a successful law practice.  As an executive law coach for lawyers,  I will guide you with values in mind.

UNDERSTANDING VALUES THAT DRIVE A LAW PRACTICE

There are many values that a lawyer brings to his/her practice.  My goal as your law coach is to find out which values are important to you and your law  practice so your practice will thrive.  Over time, I will be discussing some of those values in this blog page.  This will give a good idea of who I am as a coach.

One value is Passion.  

The dictionary defines passion as “strong and barely controllable emotion” Passion comes from how you approach your law practice with the passion you display to your clients about their case from the start until the end.  There is  passion shown by the trial lawyer preparing his/her client's case for a difficult motion or trial.  The same value for the transactional attorney is getting prepared for legal business negotiation or a family lawyer fighting for the parental rights of their client. There is Passion from the criminal lawyer defending the constitutional rights of his client, regardless how he feels about his guilt or innocence. Passion is a one value need in all aspects of law. Passion displays a devotion to your client's interests. 

Without passion, you do not properly represent your client.  To your client, this is not just another case, this is their case and many times,  their one and only chance to experience the justice system.  Your client wants to sense passion from their attorney and their staff. 

When a receptionist greets a client by name when they walk into your office, this immediately gives an impression to the client that they are not just another number and they are important in the law firm's overall success.  Big case or small, you client wants to experience passion from you.   

In my executive career law coaching, I will work with you to bring this passion to your practice and to coach you to success. Coaching will provide you with a  lawyer training program that will exceed your expectation. And this is not just any law program, but an elite law coaching program developed just for lawyers using my 45 years as a lawyer and my training as a certified life coach. Anything else will not do.

My goals and my passion are to improve your law practice through my law career coaching.  This is personalized professional coaching for all lawyers.  My coaching is one on one coaching in a practical lawyer/coaching training setting.  It doesn't matter what area of law you want to practice.  My techniques of law coaching will enhance your practice regardless of your area of practice. The coaching will include business development ideas and improving office efficiency.  The ideas will come from you, not me. I will be your sounding board.  As an executive law coach, I bring to you both   44 years of being an “in the trench” lawyer and training as a coach.  Let me put this to work for you at USLAWCOACH.COM 

The Value of DISCIPLINE

       One of my early mentors told me that there were three important requirements or traits you needed to be a good lawyer.  Those traits are prepare, prepare and prepare.  In other words you can never prepare too much for a trial or preparation for a business matter.

One of the great trial lawyers of yesteryears was Louis Nizer.  In his book, “My life in Court” Nizer talked about how lucky he would get when he was doing research and at 2:00 a.m. find the right case.  In other words, he worked all hours of the night and because of that, he did all he could to prepare and was successful. He was disciplined to succeed. 

       The rule of discipline is not limited to just preparation.   I know of many transactional lawyers who will study a particular contract for many hours to find the small points that will separate that lawyer from the mediocre lawyers  doing the same work.  The studious  lawyer always will put their clients in a much more favorable position.  That lawyer will gain respect from his colleagues for the meticulous work he/she has done.

       So how does a law coach encourage you in  this scenario.  Very simply, an attorney coach can provide you guidelines to motivate you to be disciplined to study your craft well and complete.  The last thing you want is to get a reputation among other lawyers or clients that you are lazy and do not do all you can to be successful for your clients.  My training as a lawyer coach will push you to bounds needed to be successful.  When you retain me as your executive law coach, it won't be an easy ride but a productive one.  USLAWCOACH.COM is a client's training program that coaches lawyers for success.  

ANOTHER CORE VALUE IN THE PRACTICE OF LAW IS RESPECT.

It would be difficult to hear the word “respect,” and not think of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. The most familiar phrase of the song is: R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.  

 In the practice of law, the three primary ways to show respect are: 1) respect to your clients; 2)respect for your opponents; and 3) respect for the system.

We show respect for others by listening to what they have to say.   Listening to what another person has to say is a basic way to respect them. Everyone wants to have their say. Everyone wants to feel that they're being listened to. Lawyers tend to want to talk, instruct and educate more than listen.  As a law coach, I encourage you to listen  particularly in learning what your client, the court or your opponent has to say.  This makes a client, judge or opponent counsel feel heard. 

Politeness is another way to show respect.  It's appalling to witness the decline of politeness in the modern world. Whether it's to your client, the courts or your opponent counsel. Kindness is a tangible way of showing respect.  For example, lawyers sometimes refuse to give an extension of time when the opposing counsel has an emergency.  The expression “what comes around, goes around” applies. The time may come where you need the same favor. 

Showing respect to the justice system is the right response in a civil society. It teaches your client how important the system can be to them. Wearing the proper clothing when you meet a client for the first time or in court is an example. Being respectful to a difficult Judge is another example.  Being considerate to your opposition attorney also shows respect.  These examples of respect will help make your practice thrive.  My method of coaching is one on one coaching.  This gives you the opportunity expand your horizon as a lawyer  Law firm coaching within your entire law firm affirms their right to respect and the worthiness of respect.

Respect provides a solid foundation for relationships.   People don't like to be treated badly. People don't like to be demeaned, devalued, dishonored, and disrespected. Believe me, a Judge will treat you and your client differently if you do not show respect.  The same is true with your opponent counsel.  An experienced law coach will encourage all aspects of respect.  

Everyone wants respect. If you have a criminal client that is looking at a long prison term, you can still respect that client.   Everyone should show respect.    Your client, the courts and your opponent will believe that you are working within the system on your client's behalf if you show respect.  My one on one coaching questions if respect to all is being achieved.

It is important to let a client know your respect for them and your respect for the legal system.  Sometimes that is difficult because the system may not be fair to you and your client.  A well-trained executive law coach will help you develop your own prospective of this value and how to combat disappointments.

Once we show great respect for your position, others will respect our work.  Clients will look at you differently.  Judges will see that you respect and care about the system.   

As an executive law coach, I will undertake a lawyer coaching  program that shows respect for the system you work within.  An executive law coach will work with you to promote respect within your practice.  Respect is also a  form of marketing.  If you show respect, you are well regarded and more referrals will come your way.

 

 

 

“Respect yourself and others will respect you.”

— Confucius, The Sayings of Confucius

 

 

About the Author

Jimmy Fein

Why You Want A EXPERIENCED Lawyer to be your Law Coach? Are you currently working for a firm and want to transition into opening your own private practice?   Are you a solo practitioner struggling to get your firm off the ground?  Are you a new lawyer embarking on your  legal career?  I am provi...

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