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Leadership for Lawyers

Lawyers are service providers, most often hired to help clients achieve objectives. Pursuing those objectives with the highest degree of competence and skill, and developing the influence needed for support and cooperation are two critical skills for success.

Leadership is required any time a lawyer has a goal or objective that he or she is unable to accomplish alone. To succeed, the lawyer needs at least one other person to willingly choose to follow them. Examples include: jury or bench argument, negotiation, running an office or even client development.

Logical argument alone is not enough to win their support. Perceptions of credibility, trust, care and empathy must be successfully communicated or logical argument will fall upon deaf ears.

To discover how to greatly increase your influence and persuasiveness by managing the perceptions of those you need to succeed, register for The Likeable Lawyer upcoming webinars: The Trusted Lawyer, and The Persuasive Lawyer. Both are being offered by Webinar on September 30, 2016, and are also available On Demand, or by Video Download. These CLE programs are packed with helpful insights that will improve your ability to achieve and exceed client expectations, and will earn you CLE credit (including ethics) without you having to leave your office.

For more information, visit:

Want to Improve Life as a Lawyer?

One of the most frequent comments I have heart over the years that I have been facilitating CLE programs for lawyers is how satisfaction and fulfillment is decreasing for practicing lawyers. To help, I’ve designed a CLE program to give lawyers some leadership tools to simultaneously increase success and fulfillment as a practicing lawyer.

If you are interested in increasing your success and fulfillment  as a practicing lawyer, then join The Likeable Lawyer on August 26 for a full-day CLE Webinar called The Inspired Lawyer.

This CLE seminar is for lawyers at any career stage and will teach you a set of leadership, counseling and persuasion skills that will increase your sway with clients and colleagues, and help you create a more successful and rewarding law practice.

In this program you will learn to:

  • Use empathy and other-person consideration to command greater influence.
  • Create an achievable plan for a more successful law career.
  • Diffuse tension in negotiations and overcome challenges when working with others.

Most states have approved this program for 6-8 hours of CLE credit, including ethics/professionalism credit.

For more information about accreditation, the course, or to register, please click on this link or visit

Unreasonable Expectations

I recently read the results of two studies that I thought came together to make an important point for lawyers.

The first study concluded that 90% of clients who hire private practice lawyers are dissatisfied with their lawyer at the conclusion of the representation. The primary cause of the dissatisfaction was unmet expectations. One of the main lawyer responses to the study claims that clients often have unreasonable expectations.

The second study concluded that the Danish people are the happiest people on earth, because, according to the study, they maintain the most reasonable expectations for outcomes and are generally satisfied when things turn out reasonably well.

What these studies reveal to me is that maintaining reasonable expectations is the key to satisfaction, for both clients and attorneys.

The Likeable Lawyer has a new webinar that demonstrates how lawyers can counsel clients to define reasonable expectations for the representation – both substantive and relationship expectations. The name of the class is Unreasonable Expectations and it is offered by Webinar on July 29, 2016.

The program contains valuable information for lawyers as well, demonstrating how to employ a leadership approach to increase satisfaction as practicing lawyers. This course is approved for CLE credit in most states that require CLE, including ethics and professional credit and is also available On Demand and as a Digital Download.

For more information about any of our classes: please visit

Big Brother is in the Cloud

With a rise in security threats from both within and outside the United States, there is an increase in tension between safety and privacy rights in America. On June 10, 2016 and July 15, 2016 The Likeable Lawyer is featuring two CLE Webinars with a panel of experts who will discuss how modern technology has heightened the legal tensions between citizens’ right to privacy and the need for effective government surveillance of criminal activity.

Big Brother is in the Cloud will review the ongoing debate over bulk government surveillance of citizen mobile phones and email. Digital Eavesdropping examines how technology is changing the social norms and individual expectations that drive privacy law. The experts will discuss: (a) the ability and limitations for social media and tech companies to use customers’ personal data; (b) the rules that govern employers’ ability to monitor employees, and (c) the new rules that govern digital eavesdropping between (virtual) neighbors.

Both programs are also available for CLE credit On Demand and by Digital Download. For more information about these and all of our courses, please visit:

Client Service and Self Care

Lawyers tell me that the practice of law is more stressful than ever. Longer hours, increased acrimony and increased pressure all take a toll on a lawyer’s well-being. Not only is this stress taxing on well-being, it also harms relationships and causes a person to become increasingly self-focused and lose the natural capacity for empathy and creativity.

My message this week is simple and to the point: Take care of yourself, so that you can take care of your clients.

Many lawyers put off self-care and proper work-life balance in order to take care of their clients first. While this approach is seemingly commendable, it actually doesn’t work. If we don’t take care of ourselves, our patience, empathic connection, and creativity will diminish, which will most often compromise achieving best results for clients.

So, what can you do to better take care of yourself? Don’t overwhelm yourself; block out 15 minutes, twice a day to nourish yourself – take a walk, sit quietly and breathe, read a book – whatever best restores your sense of peace, well-being and joy. That will fuel your capacity for better client service by increasing your patience, persuasiveness, and ability to find creative solutions to achieve client objectives.

For a deeper investigation into the relationship between self-care, law practice success and client satisfaction, check out The Inspired Lawyer, a CLE Webinar offered on May 20 by The Likeable Lawyer. This program is also available On Demand. For more information, please visit:

The Satisfied Client

According to statistics published by the American Bar Association, 90% of private practice clients are dissatisfied with their lawyer at the conclusion of representation.  ”Unmet expectations” appears to be the general reason for such poor satisfaction ratings. Lawyers I have talked to about this respond by saying that many clients have unreasonable expectations. Though isn’t it part of the lawyer’s job to set and manage reasonable expectations?

There are two main categories of expectations that lawyers should consider when representing clients: substantive expectations, and transactional expectations. Both are important. Substantive expectations involve what the client hopes to achieve in the matter for which he or she seeks counsel. The lawyer should interview the client and facilitate a conversation that ensures that the client has reasonably achievable substantive expectations.

Transactional expectations involve the relationship between client and lawyer, and include communication and availability expectations, who will do the work, how often the client will be billed, and estimated cost and time-frame to complete the matter. Again, I consider it part of the lawyer’s job to negotiate and set reasonable transactional expectations which might include a range of potential time and cost.

The Likeable Lawyer offers several CLE Webinars that help lawyers develop the tools to facilitate clients to set reasonable substantive and transactional expectations. This month, we are offering three excellent webinars that not only discuss expectations, but also help lawyers develop greater persuasion skills, and negotiate better outcomes for their clients. Of course, better outcomes go a long way to meeting client expectations.

The April webinars include:

The Trusted Lawyer – by webinar on April 8
The Persuasive Lawyer – by webinar on April 8
The Satisfied Client – by webinar on April 15

These programs, and quite a few others, are also available On Demand and by Video Download.

For more information about all of our CLE programs, please visit us at

Eavesdrop on Fascinating Discussions; Earn CLE Credit

Over the next six months, The Likeable Lawyer will present some fascinating short CLE Webinars on current hot issues in the law and society. Hosted by a panel of experts, these programs will delve into contemporary issues such as the law on cloning, genetic modification, legalized marijuana, and privacy rights. Each programs is 2 hours, and approved for CLE credit in most states. Upcoming programs include:

The Designer Baby – Live Webinar on March 18

This course examines how modern reproductive technology like cloning, genetic modification and eugenics has created a host of new legal and ethical questions that are currently being debated in the courts and legislative bodies throughout the United States.

A More Perfect Person – Live Webinar on March 18

This course examines current legal and ethical debates surrounding human enhancement technologies. A panel of experts will discuss how emerging technologies such as interactive prosthetics and cyborg advances have changed the person-property continuum.

When the Smoke Clears – Live Webinar on April 1

Recreational and medical marijuana introduce a wide breadth of challenging legal questions for a variety of clientele—even in states that have not legalized. Facilitated by a panel of experts, this program will introduce lawyers to several of these legal issues and implications.

Doing Business With a Bud – Live Webinar on April 1

This program examines the myriad legal uncertainties related to the business of marijuana, including issues that arise under employment, criminal, and banking law, just to name a few.

All of these programs are also available by Video Download and On Demand. For more information about these or a variety of other great CLE programs, please visit The Likeable Lawyer website:

Win Win Mediation!

The Likeable Lawyer Resolution Center (a new branch of The Likeable Lawyer) is looking for clients who are interested in resolving conflict or putting together a deal that gets more of everyone’s objectives met. We will take you through a process that fosters and invites creative, expansive solutions. It’s real world application of our highly praised CLE material. For more information, please email Brian Hammer, or visit The Likeable Lawyer website in April -

Likeable Lawyer Mediation

The beginning of a new year; a traditional time for new ideas and new ventures. I would like to share my new idea for 2016.

Over the past 13 years, The Likeable Lawyer has designed and presented CLE programs to lawyers across the United States. Our programs teach models of persuasion and negotiation that have proven effective towards achieving better results for clients. Our unique negotiation model facilitates creative brainstorming towards expansive resolutions that increase the size of the pie and get more of everyone’s needs met. As opposed to the polarized approach suggested by zealous representation, our methodology results in more cooperation and innovative resolutions.

Beginning in 2016, The Likeable Lawyer is going to take it a step further and offer mediation services. Facilitated by Likeable Lawyers with ten or more years of teaching and employing our unique models, we will be available to facilitate negotiations, relationship issues, and help resolve conflict in a variety of areas. Think of it as Likeable Lawyer Mediation, in fact that is what we are calling it. Whether for a dispute already in litigation, or for parties who would benefit from seeking creative facilitation to put a deal together or resolve a conflict, we will help discover a creative win-win solution.

As we teach in our classes, the best solutions are achieved after the parties have undertaken a process to clarify the full range of their needs and objectives. We will take the parties through a process to do just that, and then create the conditions to find ways for everyone to achieve more of their objectives than they would have without Likeable Lawyer Mediation. Our goal is to help the sides discover ways to expand the size of the pie and walk away with a deal that everyone is happy with. The only requirement for hiring our services is that all sides to the situation must have the desire to work together to get everyone’s needs met.

We are in the process of adding pages to our website to explain more about Likeable Lawyer Mediation. In the meantime, if you would like to talk about our new service, send me an email:, or give me a call (512) 448-9528.

This new venture is in addition to the CLE programs which we will continue to deliver uninterrupted. For more information about our upcoming CLE programs, please visit:

A More Likeable Lawyer

Check this out, I was interviewed by Melissa Maleske, for Law360, and the article just came out.

Also, The Likeable Lawyer is presenting quite a few CLE programs by Webinar and On Demand this month to help you get your last minute CLE credits.

For more information, check out

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