Filling in the Blanks: Practical Skills for the Working Lawyer

Filling in the Blanks is a chapter-by-chapter roadmap prepared by those who have succeeded in private practice to take young and working lawyers through the complexities of “how to practice law”. 

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Details

  • Publication date: August, 2016
  • Pages: 112
  • ISBN: 9781783582563

Description

You learn a lot in law school, but…

The increasing calls for reformation of legal training with more attention to skills training, experiential learning and the development of practice-related competencies, missing from most law schools’ curricula have been heard for several years. 

Filling in the Blanks is a chapter-by-chapter roadmap prepared by those who have succeeded in private practice to take young and working lawyers through the complexities of “how to practice law”. 

This book is packed with in-depth lessons learned derived from decades of on-the-job training, from the likes of:

  • Robert U. Sattin, president emeritus of TAGLaw® The Appleton Group Inc.
  • Frank M. Young, III, Young Law LLC
  • Robert E. Shapiro, commercial trial lawyer and senior litigator at Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg
  • Ian H. Turvill, chief marketing officer at Freeborn & Peters LLP
  • Robert A. Reitman, partner at Cornick, Garber & Sandler LLP

who highlight the critically important skills needed to be successful as a lawyer, as a partner, and as a business developer, including:

  • Becoming a partner – Tips on climbing the partnership mountain
  • Effective communication outside the courtroom
  • Learning and developing good judgment.
  • Building a practice through disciplined business development
  • Key considerations for initial client interviews
  • The many stages to becoming a skilled negotiator
  • Understanding the mechanics of financial statements

Key Skills also features exclusive insight from Patricia K. Gillette, keynote speaker and former law firm partner on Women in law, the hurdles to career progression and how to overcome them.

Whether you are a new law student, a first year associate, a seasoned trial lawyer, a practice group leader or a managing partner, Filling in the Blanks provides the practical skills needed to understand and effectively manage the business of law.

Contents

Introduction

By Robert U Sattin, president emeritus of TAGLaw® The Appleton Group Inc

  • The need for practical skills
  • What this book is about

Becoming a partner – Tips on climbing the partnership mountain 

By Frank M  Young, III, Young Law LLC

  • Do you really want to be a partner?
  • What partnership means 
  • How a law firm partnership works 
  • To prepare 
  • Your professional assets 
  • Diversity 
  • Firm culture 
  • Firm politics 
  • The business side 
  • Find a mentor 
  • Financials 
  • Business plan 
  • Firm leadership 
  • The computer system 
  • The personal side of life 
  • Marketing and business development 
  • Conclusion 

Women in law – Overcoming hurdles to career progression

By Patricia K Gillette, keynote speaker and former law firm partner

Four thoughts on effective communication outside the courtroom 

By Robert E Shapiro, commercial trial lawyer and senior litigator at Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg

  • Eyes on the prize 
  • What’s my line? 
  • Support structures 
  • Neither tone deaf nor grammar free 

Learning good judgment 

By Robert E Shapiro, commercial trial lawyer and senior litigator at Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg

  • The “vision thing” 
  • Name that tune 
  • Manage the future by looking backwards 
  • Patience isn’t a virtue; it’s a necessity 
  • Work hard; persevere 
  • Don’t panic; don’t gloat 
  • There’s more than one way to skin a cat 
  • Pay attention 
  • That’s your idiot 
  • Don’t spit it out; ruminate 
  • It’s not a blunder; it’s a trick 
  • If you are fighting monsters, you risk becoming one 
  • Think
  • “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts” 

Business development – Part 1 

By Ian H Turvill, chief marketing officer at Freeborn & Peters LLP

  • The GROW Method, Part 1 – GOALS 
  • The GROW Method, Part 2 – RELATIONSHIPS

Business Development – Part 2 

By Ian H Turvill, chief marketing officer at Freeborn & Peters LLP

  • The GROW Method Part 3 – ORIGINATIONS 
  • The GROW Method Part 4 – WORK 

The initial client interview 

By Robert U  Sattin, president emeritus of TAGLaw® The Appleton Group Inc.

  • The first question 
  • The goal of the initial meeting 
  • Taking a census 
  • Starting and controlling the meeting 
  • Ethical considerations 
  • Professional issues 
  • Business issues 
  • In summary 

Becoming a skilled negotiator 

By Robert U  Sattin, president emeritus of TAGLaw® The Appleton Group Inc.  and Frank M  Young III, Young Law LLC

  • An overview of negotiation 
  • The haggle 
  • Do not be afraid of hurdles 
  • The negotiation process – Have a goal 
  • The actual negotiation – Establish control 
  • The actual negotiation – Tools for success 
  • The actual negotiation – Getting to yes 
  • Summary and conclusion 

Understanding financial statements 

By Robert A. Reitman, partner at Cornick, Garber & Sandler LLP

  • Accountant’s/auditor’s report 
  • Statement of cash flows 
  • Notes to the financial statements 
  • Balance sheet 
  • Statement of operations 
  • Statement of changes in owners’ equity (retained earnings/deficit) 
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Authors

Robert U. Sattin
Robert U. Sattin was in private legal practice for 34 years, the last 22 of which was with Reid and Riege, PC in Hartford, Connecticut, where he founded and chaired the insolvency practice group. In 1999, he joined The Appleton Group Inc as its president, a position he held until 1 January 2016. Prior to this, he was on the TAGLaw advisory board and was co-chair of the TAGLaw Insolvency and Secured Transactions Specialty Group.
Robert E. Shapiro
Robert E. Shapiro is a commercial trial lawyer and senior litigator at Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg in Chicago, Illinois, practicing law for more than 35 years and handling cases in a wide-range of practice areas. He was formerly a Special Assistant Attorney General and principal outside counsel for the Illinois Gaming Board. Rob [Mr. Shapiro] writes frequently on the law, with a regular column called “Advance Sheet” in Litigation, the journal of the Section of Litigation of the American Bar Association, and appearing as an op-ed commentator in The Southtown News, a local newspaper. He frequently appears as a commentator on legal issues on local television.
Ian Turvill
Chief Marketing Officer, Freeborn & Peters LLP
Frank M. Young III
Frank M. Young III, an attorney practicing with Young Law LLC, an affiliate of Red Mountain Law Group, has over 40 years of legal and business experience. His practice encompasses representation of plaintiffs and defendants in all types of civil litigation. Frank was an adjunct professor at the University of Alabama Law School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for five years where he taught International Commercial Arbitration and International Business Transactions. He was the first president of the International Law Section of the Alabama State Bar, and a former president and chairman of the American Committees on Foreign Relations in Washington, DC.  
Patricia K. Gillette
Patricia K. Gillette is one of the country’s leading experts and most sought-after speakers on gender diversity and equality. She was a top-rated employment lawyer and litigator for 40 years as well as a major rainmaker in her firms. In 2015 she resigned as a law firm partner to pursue her passion for changing the legal profession as an author and keynote speaker. Patricia was also invited to join JAMS and now spends some of her time mediating employment-related cases. In her writings and presentations, Patricia focuses on how to succeed in the high-powered, fast-paced business environment of today. Relying on research studies she commissioned, as well as her own experiences and charismatic style, Patricia is able to inspire audiences to think positively and practically about how they can realize their personal and business goals. She also brings thought-provoking ideas on how to bring meaningful change to law firm and corporate structures to increase diversity and inclusion. In recognition of her work to advance women in the profession, she has received several awards, including the ABA Golden Hammer Award, the California Women Lawyers Association’s Fay Stender Award, the Transformational Leadership Award as one of the Top Women Rainmakers, and the Barristers Association of San Francisco Award of Merit. Patricia is the co-founder of the 2006 Opt-In Project, the first nationwide initiative to refocus the discussion from work-life balance to the structural issues that impact the retention and advancement of women in the workplace. She has been a commissioner on the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, the ABA’s Gender Equity Task Force, co-chair of the BASF No Glass Ceiling Initiative, and she serves on non-profit boards, including Direct Women, which is dedicated to placing women attorneys on boards of public companies. Patricia is the proud mother of two successful and enlightened sons and lives in Kensington, California with her husband of 42 years. She is an elected official of her town and active in community organizations and activities. For more information visit Patricia’s website at www.patriciagillette.com. 
Robert Reitman
Robert Reitman has been with Cornick Garber Sandler since 1980. He works with closely held companies, business start-ups and foreign enterprises looking to do business in the United States, to assist them in the establishment and growth of their business. He advises clients in many industries, including real estate, construction, manufacturing, and distribution, broker/ dealers, and professional services. Robert works closely with high net worth individuals, foreign persons entering the US, as well as expatriates living and working abroad. He also advises not for profit organizations on complying with their accounting and tax reporting requirements.