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THE INTERNATIONAL ISSUE

 

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July/August 2008 Issue | Volume 34 Number 5| Page 6

PERSPECTIVES

Insights from LPM Chair Vedia Jones-Richardson

On the Horizon for Law Practice Management.

In the competitive world of law practice, career and personal satisfaction are often sacrificed in the short term in the hope that, somehow, the rewards will be greater over the long term. But this kind of thinking takes its toll on our health, relationships and life in general. Those who achieve lasting success in any endeavor know that, over the long term, you produce best when you are living your best life. A rewarding career is, after all, an endurance race and we must manage our pace if we want to progress in good shape—or in this case, have a successful life in the law.

However, in achieving balance, it is important to look not only at how much you work but also at how you work. We all communicate, learn, produce and retain information in different ways. Some people are more visual or more verbal, some work better alone than in groups, and some work best at different times of the day. Such realizations represent a certain intuitive awareness of what works for us as individuals. Respecting the nuances of who you are and adapting your circumstances to meet your needs goes a long way in increasing productivity, achieving a sense of well-being and improving how you function. Whether it is the right area of practice, the right work environment, the right schedule, the right team members, or even the right chair, mouse and monitor, it all counts. It also is worth taking the time to find the joy in your practice, so you can build the energy you need, drawing on the juice that motivates a fulfilling career.

During the LPM Section Spring Meeting, we explored this topic with special programming on the theme of Living a Life in the Law. The panel discussion was packed, discussion groups on the following days were buzzing, and professional coaches generously volunteered their time in individual coaching sessions. I was truly impressed at how this topic struck a chord with attendees at every phase—and equally impressed at the incredible insights that all participants had to contribute in this area. It should come as no surprise that our LPM membership, comprised of people who recognize the importance of good law practice management, should realize the value of managing life-balance issues. The Section has always been fertile ground for sharing ideas and information and giving to the profession and fellow members.

I can hardly believe that my year as Section Chair is drawing to a close and this is my last column for Law Practice. It has been a great year, and I have truly enjoyed it. It has increased my understanding of how important it is to find room to take on work that you can believe in—which, in fact, is the essence of life balance. What I have also learned during this year is how much the Section clearly owes its greatness to those who come together in their common interest in improving the practice of law—and how their talents multiply through their willingness to share them by participating in the Section’s activities. It has been my pleasure to work with the active members and staff who support LPM’s invaluable work.

About the Author

Vedia Jones-Richardson , Chair of the ABA Law Practice Management Section, is a principal with Olive & Olive, PA, an intellectual property law firm in Durham, NC.

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