February 16, 2005

A small, if not confined, world

The world of law is a small, if not confined world. You practice, especially in big cities, among an ever changing cast of characters but often in front of the same judges. It feels closed and sometimes insular. The same names pop up, again and again. If you meet someone new, you can usually find a common point of reference, a school, a case, another lawyer, pretty quickly. In this regard, I doubt that the practice of law is really very different from, say, the world of high yield bonds. Especially at the higher end of things. But back to law.

In my world, reputation is everything. Again, I doubt that is a unique situation. For instance, diamond traders live by their reputation. And so do I. So, when I get a compliment from another attorney, a sincere compliment not a I'm blowing smoke up your ass so you'll drop your guard a bit and I can either slip one in or manipulate you, I'm pretty darn pleased.

I found one today in my email box as a lawyer I know from previous litigation sent me a referral. In this email, he described me as "wickedly smart" and possessed of a "mildly professorial demeanor", which he assures me and the potential new client he means as a compliment.

It is so nice to shine, just a little bit, even if no one outside of my insular little world really knows about it. Or cares. But I know and I can enjoy his little description. It is awful nice to be appreciated. Even nicer if the potential new client signs up, of course!

Posted by Random Penseur at February 16, 2005 09:00 AM

Wow. That IS nice. I didn't think you New Yawk lawyers did that sort of thing.

Be nice, that is.


Posted by: Margi at February 16, 2005 03:54 PM

I've got a folder in my desk drawer that I've had since my law firm/litigation days. It's entitled "Postive Reinforcement," and in it I put emails like the one you just received. The earliest printouts were usually simple "attaboys" from partners; later ones came from happy clients.

I guess that's my way of saying I understand how those personal gestures of building up can mean a lot to a lawyer. And I can only second the notion that reputation is extremely important, especially for litigators.

Good job!

Posted by: JohnL at February 16, 2005 10:39 PM

Sincere compliments are so hard to come by now-a-days. I'm glad your peers appreciate what you do.

Posted by: Jester at February 16, 2005 11:57 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?