Almost every lawyer has a “big fish” they’d like to land. Whether that fish is an individual client, a corporation, an insurance company or even a great referral source, your big fish isn’t going to catch itself.
And what better place to find advice on catching “big fish” than on a website called TakeMeFishing? Some fishing wisdom to keep in mind when you’re Resolving to Land a Big Fish:
The cool thing about fishing is that there are hundreds of species of fish to catch. What’s even cooler is that there are multiple ways to catch a particular kind of fish.
You’ll soon learn that when it’s a bad day for fishing in one location, it could be a good day in another, and the locations may not be far apart.
You don’t have to travel far or spend a lot of money to find a body of water with fish you can catch.
Don’t be anxious. Even if you get the fish close to the boat, that doesn’t mean it’s done fighting.
It takes a lot of experience to know when to set the hook. It also takes a lot of patience.
Some fish will nibble on your bait or lure, causing your line to tick or wiggle. And some fish will try to swallow the entire bait, hook and rig all at once with one big hit.
Different fish strike differently. And the same fish will go after your bait differently depending on the time of day or time of year.
Fish spoil quickly if you don’t handle them properly from the moment you land them.
So as you plan on landing one big fish in 2010, make certain you’re prepared: know who they are, where they hang out, what you’ll use to attract them and what you’ll do with them once they’re caught.
Know the answers to each of these questions before you “go fishing” for big fish, or all you will end up catching are small ones you’d rather throw back.
Over a year ago, I wrote 15 Thoughts for Law Students. It was one of my first “Rules” posts, though I wasn’t calling them that at the time. Since then, it has been one of the more popular items on this blog, and was even republished in the Canadian Bar Association magazine.
I’ve revised it just a bit, and shortened it to 10 “rules” for the law students out there. Enjoy.
1. Law school is a trade school. The only people who don’t believe this to be true are the professors and deans.
2. Being good at writing makes you a good law student. Being good at understanding makes you a good lawyer. Being good at arguing makes you an ass.
3. You can learn more about client service by working at Starbucks for three weeks than you can by going to law school for three years.
4. Law school doesn’t teach you to think like a lawyer. Law school teaches you to think like a law professor. There’s a huge difference.
5. The people who will help you the most in your legal career are sitting next to you in class. Get to know them outside of law school. They are pretty cool people. They are even cooler when you stop talking about the Rule Against Perpetuities.
6. Law is a precedent-based profession. It doesn’t have to be a precedent-based business. Challenge the status quo. Somebody has to.
7. When you bill by the hour, getting your work done in half the time as your peers doesn’t get you rewarded. It gets you more work.
8. Your reputation as a lawyer begins now. People won’t remember your class rank as much as they’ll remember how decent and honest you were. They’ll really remember if you were a jerk.
9. There are plenty of things you don’t know. There are even more things you’ll never know. Get used to it. Use your ignorance to your benefit. The most significant advantage you possess over those who’ve come before you is that you don’t believe what they do.
10. People don’t tell lawyer jokes just because they think they are funny. They tell lawyer jokes because they think they are true. Spend your career proving them wrong.
If you enjoyed these, check out my other posts in the series: Ten Rules for the New Economy, Ten Rules for New Solos, Ten Rules of Legal Innovation, Ten Rules of Legal Technology, Ten Rules of Hourly Billing and Ten New Rules of Legal Marketing.
Also, if you’d like to get more ideas like these in real time, follow me on Twitter.
Lately, I’ve been giving lots of presentations, and have six more coming up before the Summer ends. I work pretty hard on my speeches (here are a few examples of my slides) and thought I’d share some of the tips I’ve learned the hard way in this Ten Rules post. Enjoy!
1. The greatest gift you can give your audience is a passion for your material. If you don’t care for it, they won’t care for you.
2. Your audience’s attention is a lot like your virginity. You only get to lose it once.
3. PowerPoint is always optional. A great speech doesn’t improve when accompanied by slides in a dark room.
4. If PowerPoint makes it easy to do, you probably shouldn’t do it. Avoid bullet points, clip art and cheesy animated transitions at all cost.
5. The number of words on a slide is inversely proportional to the attention your audience will give it.
6. Your slides are not your script. The purpose of PowerPoint is to help others understand your material, not to help you remember it.
7. Never read your slides. When you do, it suggests to your audience you think they’re incapable of doing so themselves.
8. The average person remembers just three things from your presentation. Great speakers make certain everyone remembers the same three things.
9. Unless your presentation tells a story, the audience won’t care about the ending — they’ll just pray for it.
10. Never underestimate the impact a great presentation can have on your audience or your career. Being prepared serves both of them well.
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