April 13 was the official Be Kind to Lawyers Day. As a former practicing lawyer, this is a special day for me. Therefore, I sent out a nice shout-out to my lawyer friends on my LinkedIn Page. My post said While there are jokes a-plenty about lawyers, they are often our first call when we need help navigating a complex legal issue or get into trouble. Although sometimes it seems like people are unsympathetic to the plight of unhappy lawyers, you deserve to be happy.

This post was one of my most viewed posts, receiving many comments. The following comment resonated with me the most:

Everyone deserves to be happy at work.  Work is the single activity that we spend our waking hours on.  So, it has the potential to make us or break us.  The best part is that when you are happy at work it creates a ripple effect.  When you are happy, your team is happier.  When you are happy at work, you have the space to focus on what makes you happy at home, and what makes your loved ones happy.  I love this ripple effect so much. 

Respects Starts at Home

Far too many lawyers get a bad rap from the general public. That is unfortunate. Equally unfortunate, I get to see many successful lawyers get a bad rap in a more private setting – their own law firm.  What is even more upsetting is that I mostly work with successful partners with impressive books of business. I know that successful partners are hard to create or find. When a firm has one, that partner should be treated as an important asset. These partners should feel respected and be valued every day – not just on Be Kind to Lawyers Day.

As a law firm rainmaker, you have proven yourself time and time again. You succeeded before the pandemic. During the pandemic, you worked harder than ever covering all the needs of your clients. You will continue to crush it after the pandemic. Again, you are a proven asset that deserves respect from your current firm, its management, and your colleagues.

I have written about these things before. So as a reminder, you are not getting the respect you deserve if:

  •       You feel like no one listens to your suggestions at partner meetings.
  •       You get the eye roll or get cut off when you’re speaking.
  •       It has gotten so bad that you’ve stopped speaking up in meetings.
  •       Your opinions do not matter and your input is not welcome.

You deserve to feel the love of your current firm. Your firm should be kind to lawyers, especially its own, every day. If it is not, we can find you a place that will respect and value you and your contributions. Let’s have a conversation so I can learn about your situation and wishes.