Sunday, January 13, 2013

Standing Empty Handed or Stooping Muddy Handed

You get an email from a client that has been the bane of your law practice.  Not only has the client been hard to work with and hasn't paid their bills, they haven't even followed your legal advice!  And now they are telling you that they could have gotten the settlement themselves! The gall of some people.  So you're gonna set them straight once for all! You're gonna let them have it! You're gonna use your full education in law school and practice to unleash a precise, eloquent, harshly worded email that will give them "what fo'."  WAIT! DON'T DO IT! inner peace . . . inner peace . . . in- in- in- in- inner peace . . .


A few weeks ago I wrote about being a friendly opposing counsel and being easy to work with.  I believe that will make you a more effective attorney.  This time around we're gonna talk about dealing with ANYBODY.

Let's talk about sending that email to a client.  What is the REAL reason you want to do that?  For me, the brass tacks of it is that I'm upset and what to prove the client wrong.  I want to show them the error of their ways.  Realistically, I won't even accomplish that! The person, whether it be client, mother, sister, friend, enemy, cashier, or person driving next to you, will not LEARN what lesson you're trying to teach them!  You know what will happen? I'll guarantee you they will still think they're right, you're wrong, and then they'll tell someone about it!

DON'T TAKE THAT RISK!  Attorneys, like other professions, succeed largely on their reputations! That means we can't afford to act like idiots and still expect the legal community and social community to think we're worth paying.  Even if you're nothing close to an attorney, I don't think you can afford to risk people thinking bad of you.  Like Ravi Zacharias says, "When you sling mud, not only do you get your hands dirty, you lose a lot of ground."  So don't stoop that low . . . to pick up mud. 

Don't get dirty or lose ground. Chances are, there are much nicer ways to say what needs to be said.

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