LMME 030 : 6 Steps to Take in your Law Office When the Unexpected Happens

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If you are a lawyer running your own law firm, it’s bound to happen.  Your assistant up and quits without notice, a big client fires you, you find out that one of your employees dropped the ball on a case, or you get called into court unexpectedly.  Whatever the situation, something unexpected will happen to you in your law practice sooner or later.  Here are 6 steps that you can take to get through this experience.

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What prompted this podcast?

May was a crazy month for me, both personally and professionally.  Among the many events that occurred:

  • I let my previous assistant go at the beginning of the month
  • I hired a new assistant on May 12th
  • My wife and I welcomed our third child on May 13th (leaving me fairly unproductive for the better part of 2 weeks)
  • I packed up my office and moved to a new space on May 30th and 31st

So needless to say, I’ve been pretty busy.  After my legal assistant and I packed up the old space last week, and got everything into the new office this week I thought the rough part was behind me.  Nope.

Monday morning I came into the new office, not yet unpacked, to find the following email from my past assistant:

Subject: Resignation


Please allow this message to serve as my official resignation from my position as Legal Assistant with your law firm.

As stated in the Letter of Acceptance, the position is considered to be At Will Employment with no notice or cause of termination required. However, without waiving said condition, I would like to inform you that I have been offered another position which more closely matches my background and experience. I have decided to accept said position and will begin work immediately.

I have no doubt that you will be able to fill the vacancy quickly and find a candidate who is more suitable for the position and has the skills and experience you seek.

There was more, but you get the gist.  Needless to say, I was a bit frazzled, surprised, angry, upset… all of the above, when I received this message.

So what did I do?  That’s the topic for this weeks podcast – 6 things you need to do when the unexpected happens in your law firm.

Items Mentioned in the Podcast

In this particular episode, you will learn:

The 6 steps you can take when something unexpected happens in your law firm, including:

  1. Get your house in order – be prepared for the unexpected.
  2. Don’t do anything initially – take 10 minutes to clear your head and reflect on what happened.
  3. Take stock of what happened and gather information.
  4. Plan your response.
  5. Execute the plan.
  6. Evaluate what happened, and what you can learn from it.

Action Items

  1. Sign up for the Legal Marketing Made Easy Academy, advanced training for lawyers looking to grow and build a successful law practice
  2. Follow Legal Marketing Made Easy on Twitter
  3. Post a review of the Legal Marketing Made Easy Podcast on iTunes and if you like what you heard today, then share with your friends on Twitter using this link.

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