Communication and Connections

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I’m listening to Episode 43 of The Pipeline where Mike Monteiro of Mule Design talks about starting his web design house and what it takes to succeed.

What does this have to do with running a solo or small law practice?

Frankly, I find that web and tech startup and a lot in common with small law practices:

  • From figuring out marketing,
  • To deciding on what roles to fill,
  • To deciding whether to bring people together or work remotely,
  • To keeping clients happy and knowing when to tell a client what they need to hear (even if it may mean losing that client).
  • And last, how you cannot be a success if you can’t sell yourself to a prospect.

One thing I found particularly interesting was the notion of the morning meeting. We’ve all heard the new reasoning that an hour meeting with 7 people is 7 hours of lost productivity. However, the idea of starting each day by pulling together and outlining the goals for the day and everyone’s responsibilities in the big picture is compelling stuff.

I think it is applicable in law firms, and I wonder how much farther it can go.

This brings me to the Education for Uncertain Futures episode from the RSA. If you are in education, or educational planning (or just care about it), this is a terrific multi-speaker presentation discussing:

  • How to educational systems are backward looking (built to address the realities of the current batch of teachers at the time that they were students.
  • How different ways of framing the future can either stymie students with vision of uncontrollable and unpredictable chaos, or assure them that everything will turn out fine; and result in inaction with either vision. Also presented are different frames that can empower students to actively shape their future.

There were certainly more topics covered. One that resonated with me was the importance of connection beyond ones classroom, school, or even country. This makes me think of the two classrooms connected across continents in the Microsoft 2010 video:

So, how far are lawyers taking these concepts? Certainly, within a firm it is possible to do daily meetings (at least within groups) to keep everyone on the same page and moving forward. However, there is something beyond this that I cannot put my finger on as yet. I work in a building with many solo lawyers. What could be gained by meeting and interacting at a practical level? What could we gain by connecting with other lawyers in similar circumstances in other towns?

Honestly, I do not have the answer. I tried this on a micro level with the meetups. However, things petered out quickly. However, I cannot shake the feeling that we are missing an opportunity here.

Ideas? Comments?

Creative Commons License photo credit: Justin Marty