Drive: Tapping Into Lawyers’ Intrinsic Motivation

Daniel H. Pink’s 2009 book entitled “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” (“Drive”) is filled with information that is highly relevant to the legal profession today.

The central thrust of Drive is that motivating professionals like lawyers requires law firms to go beyond the traditional use of sticks and carrots, punishments and rewards. Pink argues that instead of focusing on these external motivators, what law firms need to do is tap into the intrinsic motivational drive of their lawyers. This will result in more engaging and ultimately more satisfying work. Pink argues that this will not only reduce lawyer turnover and burnout, but that it is in fact the secret to high performance.

Pink highlights three key aspects of work that make it more inherently satisfying: (i) autonomy; (ii) mastery; and (iii) purpose. He argues that these components of intrinsic motivation are interdependent and mutually reinforcing – that, like the legs of a tripod, the apparatus of excellence cannot stand without each component in place.

If there is any merit to Pink’s argument, then law firms would be well advised to pay careful attention to each of the three components of intrinsic motivation in their human resource strategies. Here are some ideas on how to do so:

(i) Autonomy: There are five main ways firms can increase their lawyers’ overall sense of autonomy. These include giving lawyers greater leeway over: (i) what to work on (subject autonomy); (ii) when to do their work (time autonomy); (iii) where to do their work (place autonomy); (iv) who to do their work with (team autonomy); and (v) how to do their work (technique autonomy). The idea here is not that firms have to grant their lawyers full autonomy over all aspects of their work. It is simply that law firms have at their disposal five separate channels along which to promote greater lawyer autonomy, and that an increase in autonomy along any one of these five channels will result in a higher level of work satisfaction.

(ii) Mastery: Law firms can promote lawyer mastery by aligning the difficulty of certain tasks with their lawyers’ overall level of skill or development. Pink calls these “Goldilocks tasks” – tasks that are neither too hard nor too difficult. The idea is that in order to develop mastery it is important for lawyers to be engaged; and in order to be engaged they must be presented with challenges that are well suited to their skill level. Tasks that are too challenging result in a sense of being overwhelmed; tasks that are too easy result in boredom; tasks that are neither too hard nor too easy, but “just right” result in engagement. Engagement, in turn, leads to mastery. Law firms that care about developing masterful lawyers should ensure that they are neither overwhelmed nor bored – that overall they are engaged by their work. If firms are able to strike this balance, their lawyers’ work becomes its own reward.

(iii) Purpose: To make their lawyers’ work more satisfying, law firms would also do well to consider increasing the emphasis they place on meaningful, not just profitable, work – that is, work that gives their lawyers a sense that they are making a positive contribution to something greater than themselves. This does not mean rejecting profit as a motive; it simply means making greater room for non-profit driven contributions. This might mean crafting a mission or vision statement that espouses genuine non-profit related values, and ensuring that incoming lawyers share those values. It might also mean placing greater emphasis on pro bono work, and perhaps including it as part of performance reviews. It might even mean hiring professional coaches to work with their lawyers. Whatever the approach, taking steps to instill a greater sense of purpose into the work life of many lawyers will ultimately make them more committed, creative, resourceful, and yes: satisfied.

It is no secret that lawyers are, in general, a notoriously unhappy lot. It is also clear that lawyers are the most important resource of any law firm. Firms that value this resource would be well advised to take seriously the ideas put forth in Drive. In the end, when lawyers are satisfied with their work, everyone stands to win – not just the lawyers themselves, but their colleagues, their firms, and most importantly their clients.

When Looking For a Divorce Lawyer You Need the Right Steps to Help You Choose

When looking for a divorce lawyer you need to way your options very carefully. This is an important decision. The choice you will have to make can make all the difference in the outcome of your divorce.

Everyone looking for a divorce lawyer wants an attorney that is easy to communicate with and one that makes you feel comfortable. The situation is tense enough without adding the stress of choosing a lawyer who you don’t feel is open to your discussions.

When you’re looking for a divorce lawyer make sure you feel you can discuss every portion of your situation openly and honestly with the lawyer before you commit to hiring. You also want an attorney that handles your personal or family matters appropriately and without stress.

Divorces without children and/or several assets can be a little easier when looking for a divorce lawyer. If you are a couple who has a lot at stake such as child custody and expensive assets, you will want to make sure your lawyer has experience or specializes in divorce and family situations.

You can always go by word of mouth from friends or loved ones. While this type of referral is good when you’re looking for a divorce lawyer, you still need to meet for an initial consultation to make sure you feel you’re making the best choice for your situation. To make sure your attorney will meet all your expectations, there are some other ways to check them out.

While this suggestion may seem a little outside the norm, it can give you a first-hand evaluation of more than one divorce lawyer at once. When looking for a divorce lawyer, you can call the local courthouse in your town and you may even want to visit during some of the divorce hearings.

Pay close attention to the lawyers. If you see one that you like, simply get their information and call them up. Seeing them in action can tell you a lot about their character and expertise.

Another way you can go about looking for a divorce lawyer is by contacting the local and state bar association. Depending on your needs, ask for a list of the divorce attorney specialists that they recommend or are members of their association.

You need to know which type you are looking for whether your divorce needs a lawyer in the business of Family Law, Domestic Law, Matrimonial Law, or Divorce Law. Knowing the category will give you a more accurate list of lawyers to go by.

When looking for any kind of lawyer , make sure you have a contract with all the specifications listed. You need to know if your lawyer requires a deposit, whether it is refundable, how they charge their clients and everything that you want done needs to be clearly stated on the contract agreement.

Most people want their divorce settled as quickly and quietly as possible. Don’t let the desire to have it all done quickly, hamper your search to make sure you find the best lawyer for you situation. Take the time up front, before you make your selection, and you’ll be rewarded once the case is closed.

The Different Profiles of a Business Litigation Lawyer and a Contingency Lawyer

All types of businesses have dangers and laws governing them, whether or not the business is newly established or has been current for a long time. A business litigation lawyer helps businessmen to solve legal issues associated to their public, civil, and personal dispute. The term litigation is used to explain authorized proceedings concerned in fixing controversy of regarding two parties or more. There are situations whereby your authorized rights as a businessman aren’t protected and you would have to use authorized action to sue that other social gathering concerned. In instances like this, having a superb business litigation lawyer is necessary.

When choosing the proper business litigation lawyer for your business transactions, it’s critical that you simply verify his or her agency’s background and the business litigation lawyer’s previous record. The complication in business transactions nowadays makes it crucial that you hire an knowledgeable business litigation lawyer. A majority of these lawyers are efficient in analyzing your business field and its functions. These professionals have the capability of handling contracts, negotiations, and preparations. A business litigation lawyer knows and understands the regulation, the rules, and the regulation of the federal authorities and state securities.

They are additionally geared up with ability in understanding buy and sell agreement between business parties; they will deal with business disputes, each civil and criminal. A business litigation lawyer may have expertise in trademarks of various business organizations which will always work to your advantage.

Hiring a business litigation lawyer requires trust since issues about your business transactions will be revealed with great indiscretion. It is best that you just look for many who have previous expertise with someone you already know so that you know the lawyer can be trusted.

Then again, a contingency lawyer is one who does not charge per hour fee. The contingency lawyer only asks for a proportion of money concerned in the case provided that the case is won. In case you don’t have sufficient funds, or are suing however do not have enough means to assist courtroom trial price and lawyer’s fee, you can search for a contingency lawyer. The benefit of this is which you could proceed with your case with no need to make loans to help monetary expenses.

The quantity or the share taken by the contingency lawyer would rely upon the complexity of the case, the risk involved in the matter, and naturally the cost spent in pursuing the case similar to courtroom submitting charges, witness fees, physician’s record, etc. Generally, about 20 to forty five % of the shopper’s restoration sum is taken by the contingency lawyer, though it varies from states to states. It’s only a matter of realizing the place to go and who to talk to.

The one disadvantage of hiring a contingency lawyer is that the amount charged or taken in the long run of the case is manner higher than their per hour fee, nonetheless if the judgment of the courtroom is against your aspect you then wouldn’t have to pay for a single cent to your contingency lawyer. If you consider it, in this state of affairs a contingency lawyer will have to do his finest to win the case or else he won’t receives a commission in any respect, so the probabilities of successful your court case can be larger!