What Law Firms Say and What They Actually Mean . . .

Now that classes have started and the interview season is upon us, it’s always interesting to examine what law firms will do to be attractive to law students.  As a creative method to demonstrate to law students that it truly is different, Halleland Lewis in Minneapolis developed an interactive website to demonstrate the questions and answers in a typical law firm interview.  First, this website is hilarious, and bravo to Halleland for breaking the mold.  Second, this is a great example of ostensibly understanding the difference between what people say and what they mean.  Finally, if Halleland actually has the work environment that it describes, it sounds as if problem-solving, teamwork, and collaboration are all valued.  I think I know some students who should be calling you shortly!

Cross posted at Indisputably.

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Your Reputation Bank Account

I am linking here to an interesting article from the ABA Journal last week pointing out that a lawyer’s reputation is much like your savings account-add a little to it each year and it can make you rich over time.  I like this framework of reputation for two reasons:  One, it suggests that a good reputation is worth money in the bank.  We know anecdotally and from laboratory studies that this is true.  Second, the idea of savings in a bank account is a great analogy in terms of reminding lawyers that every little thing they do can help or hurt that reputation.  It’s not just the end of year bonuses that add to your savings, it’s the monthly deposits as well.  Similarly, it’s not just the grand gestures in large negotiations that make your reputation, it’s how you act on a daily basis with your counterparts  Although the book referred to in the ABA Journal is for young lawyers, I think this provides good advice all around!

Cross posted on Indisputably.

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Persuasion Through Harley Davidson

Cross Posted: Indisputably

This summer I read the book Elements of Persuasion by Richard Maxwell and Robert Dickson.  I’ll be blogging about other fascinating parts of the book, but today, in honor of Harley Davidson’s 105th anniversary, which was celebrated last weekend (with thousands of Harley riders in town, including up and down the main street in front of the Law School), I want to highlight what the authors called “mirror neuron training.”  This means that people build empathy for each other by mirroring and matching physical actions.  For successful companies, Maxwell & Dickson argue that close physical contact is associated with successful corporate branding because of this mirror neuron training.  So, when we walk into Starbucks, we notice how the physical labor of taking orders, making coffee, and serving it appears to happen seamlessly.  This is, according to the book, because of mirror neurons, which take care of the physical movements, allowing the baristas to focus on small talk and smiling at their customers.

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