The School Of Life (For Lawyers)

If you’re in need of inspiration, simply browse the courses offered by The School of Life. Exactly as it sounds, the school of life provides lessons and seminars to improve your experience as a human being in this world.

But, how about improving your experience as a law firm professional?

If you’re in search to derive meaning from your work, you need only go as far as the calendar for August 2013. It turns out, the School of Life could easily be renamed a School of Life for Lawyers.

The first class offered is How To Be Confident. As a law firm professional, there are three reasons you should be confident.

First, for the employee, you’ll earn more respect in the workplace with confidence in your work product. For associates looking for promotion, it’s far better to stand by your deliverables than to deliver blame when something goes array.

Take ownership of your work and you may one day own the workplace as law firm partner.

Second, confidence translates well into the courtroom. Being prepared is often translated into confidence. Judge and jury will be more apt to believe your story when they think you are confident in what you’re speaking about. This means no hesitation in your speech, consistency in your presentation, knowing your audience, and recovering nimbly in the event of an accidental blunder.

Third, as a law firm manager, confidence brings calm. Whether it’s the anxious client or the terrified first-year attorney, a boss with confidence is one who is heeded. When you’re in a time crunch, appearing frantic and hesitant will relay to your subordinates. If you need your subordinates at work or a client on the stand to be confident, they’ll only learn how by mimicking your own behavior.

The next class offered is How To Find A Job You Love. Ideally, you already love your job. But, if you don’t, learn to make the best of it by seeking out new responsibilities around the office or participating in pro-bono work.

Law firm managers should be especially attentive the level of morale at their firm. Studies show happiness translates into efficiency in any profession.

The third class offered is How To Be Cool.

Cool lawyers spend their lunch hour creatively. That means playing the Lunch Game. Play lunch roulette where once a week law firm professionals are randomly assigned a lunch group. That way, your firm begins to bond at all levels. You’ll be surprised how much your employees will learn about the firm by lunching with a different department.

If that’s not for you, try eating out once a month together. A change in scenery might lead to a change in thinking necessary to crack a case.

Whether it’s dining room DJ booths or levitating workstations, “cool” law firms are also more productive ones. Nothing improves innovation rates like a change of pace and tradition.

Finally, one of the last courses is How To Have Better Conversations.

Learning to talk is not just for toddlers. In fact, having productive conversations is key for law firm professionals. Great leaders are also great conversationalists.

In an interview with Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind, authors of Talk, Inc.: How Trusted Leaders Use Conversation to Power Their Organizations, the ideacast develops the view that Leadership Is a Conversation.

“If you think about what organization is all about, it’s just basically a bunch of conversations that are happening at the same time,” answers Mr. Groysberg.

“What leaders do is facilitate the conversations that actually produce value, that actually engage employees; its what distinguishes some of the best corporations.”

Think about the key elements of what makes interpersonal and productive conversation among friends. These conversations include four elements; they are interactive, intimate, inclusive, and intentional.

“When you place this conversation in an organization, many of these attributes disappear,” laments Mr. Groysberg.

By restoring these four elements of conversation into your everyday workplace dialogue, you will empower yourself as a manager or en envalue yourself as an employee.

In the end, law firm success may not depend on the courses offered at the School of Life. But, reading the titles for such courses provides enough fodder for thought for a lifetime. If your firm lacks confidence, passion, coolness, or productive conversation, it may be time for your profesionals to be re-schooled.

-WB

*Note, this website is in no way affiliated with The School of Life, nor is it promoting any of the SoL’s course offerings.

C4CM does, however, offer its own selection of valuable courses for life and lawyers, including:

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