Having worked in a number of law firms, I have heard many complaints about lawyer behavior towards staff and more junior lawyers.  Believe me I have some stories.  [For example, one lawyer who couldn’t keep a secretary for longer than 3 months, or another who several times with only slight variation would bring an outline for a 50-slide presentation at 3:30 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, and require that it be ready by Monday a.m.  I wouldn’t joke about a thing like that.]

Nancy Byerly Jones over on Attorney at Work shares a post entitled “Would You Work For You?” that has a list of complaints and praises about lawyers she has picked up over the years working with various firms. Not a lot of surprises there, but worth a look.

I thought about some of the complaints in terms of how they might impact a lawyer’s marketing efforts, if the following comments were said about him or her:

  • Disorganized, always in crisis mode;
  • Unfocused;
  • Fails to prioritize his/her or staff’s projects;
  • Puts guilt trip on others for using personal time; and
  • Rude, fails to extend basic courtesies such as good morning, thank you, etc.

Well, to be successful at developing business, it sorta is important to plan, prioritize and focus your efforts on the kinds of things that will produce the results you want.  Also, many times for the lawyer to be effective he/she needs to be nice to other people before they need their assistance and/or their sacrificing their personal time to pull together a proposal, presentation, or whatever.

Being a “difficult”or disorganized boss doesn’t automatically mean that the person will be totally ineffective at developing business, BUT, think how much more effective they would be if they were  known as a “good” boss at managing and marketing their practice.