My perspective

Legal NONsense


Lawyers need to get over the idea that they are something special

Lawyers, get over it.

One day pre COVID19 I visited a law firm. I walked through a “non lawyer” manned security check, caught a “non lawyer” made lift, and was greeted at reception by a “non lawyer”. I was offered an espresso and I am pretty sure it was made by a “non lawyer”. I was guided to a nice room by a very courteous “non lawyer”. I am reasonably certain that room was constructed and furnished by a “non lawyer”.

While I didn't see their university degrees, nor examine their current practising certificates, two people introduced themselves - one as a partner. We exchanged pleasantries about non legal stuff like the weather, traffic, an emerging pandemic affecting some places overseas, etc. They opened their non legal built laptops. They placed their non legal built iphones beside them on the desk (taking quick glances at incoming messages from time to time). We talked about my non legal commercial issues.

Lawyers get over it

You may own/belong to an organisation called a law firm.

You may have a law degree.

You may have your name on the firm's website as a lawyer or “fee earner” (yuk).

You may have an internal arbitrary dollar amount attributed to each hour you exist.

You may be paid more than other people in your organisation who do not have a law degree.

Lawyers get over it

You may say you use legal tech.

You may say you have legal project managers.

You may pride yourself on your legal management software.

You may sprout legal design thinking.

You may believe you are at the cutting edge of legal innovation.

You might be able to show me your legal awards.

Lawyers get over it

You do not and cannot operate in a vacuum.

You might think that others in your firm exist to make you look good.

You are not the only ones who exist to service your customers.

You are not the only professionals in your organisation.

The other professionals aspire to being valued, recognised and having fulfilling careers too.

Lawyers get over it

You may say you are collaborative. You are not.

Lawyers get over it

Stop prefacing everything with "legal" to pretend you are special. You are not.

Lawyers get over it

Stop using derogative terms like:

  • non lawyer
  • non fee earner
  • non professional
  • support staff

Start using terms like:

  • team member
  • fellow professional
  • customer experience professional
  • customer experience provider
  • allied professional

Lawyers get over it

Lawyers, let’s face it. You are service providers to your customers and that service and your clients experience is not just provided by you, it is provided or contributed to by all of those who help to deliver it … its not all about you!

Get over it. Get on with it.

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