July 2013

Michael Rynowecer writes as “The Mad Clientist” and his latest post, Outtakes for the Client Service Laboratory makes you wonder just what kind of drug-induced haze so many seem to live in.  Take these two examples:

  1. A partner in an AmLaw 50 law firm conducted a client feedback interview with a large client. This same partner sent a single, separate invoice for the time for the interview—$1,042—clearly labeled as such.
  2. “I received a call from someone (one of my attorneys) who asked me if I wanted them to do something for me. I said, ‘No’ and they billed me $400 for the phone call.”
    –General Counsel, Fortune 1000 Retailer

Is it possible for  lawyer to be so desperate for billable hours that he or she would do something quite as stupid as done either of these examples? Or is it just good old-fashioned dumber-than-a-box-of-rocks stuff?

The latest insight from my partner, Nicole Auerbach, in her monthly feature, Insights From The Corner Office (even though she voluntarily gave up her corner office for more windows and a better view):

It is commonly held that people with mentors progress faster and are more satisfied with their careers than those without mentors.  It will probably come as no surprise to learn that women are less likely to be mentored in the work place than men. Perhaps this is because people are inherently drawn to those who remind them of themselves, and men still hold the majority of positions that would lend themselves to being a “mentor.” Couple that with the often-unspoken issues that can arise when a more-senior man spends one-on-one time with a younger woman, and we can see why many women may never have what they would call a “true” mentor. Does that mean upward mobility is impossible? Not at all.

There is no reason why there can’t be a conglomeration of people who end up serving as mentors. In fact, if we acknowledge that one person rarely exhibits all of the traits that we most want to emulate, the idea of a patchwork mentor becomes that much more appealing. Looking back, that’s exactly what I had.

Read the rest of Nicole’s post at The Legal Balance.  You can also catch her wit and wisdom in her periodic tweets, @ValoremNic.


PS–She’s right!