|Illustration: Marco Cibola|
There is so much that is annoying, and simply not enough time to complain about it all. That does not mean I don’t make a good faith effort to complain about as many of those annoyances as time, and the patience of others, permit. I think of it as a service, where the complaints become “insights.” E-mail etiquette is a metaphorical gold mine for annoyances. For example, it is difficult to understand why a group of 40-odd recipients on an e-mail trail needs to know one individual “will respond soon.” Context also affects annoyances. For example, words mispronounced once are bothersome, but repetition of the mispronunciation ranges from annoying to hilarious.
These are not the best of times. These are not the worst of times. But the times, they are a changing. Not to mix poets, or metaphors, or anything but the truth’s the truth. It’s a time of upheaval — disruption as some call it — in the legal profession. What has gone before and worked before can no longer be relied on to work in the future. That’s a tough pill to swallow for a profession built on tradition and precedent.
This month’s Money Issue features Canadian Lawyer’s annual Legal Fees Survey, in which the majority of respondents said they weren’t going to raise the fees charged to clients this year. While the survey focuses on the most common consumer-focused legal services, generally provided by smaller firms and sole practitioners, their response to clients mirrors what’s happening across the board.
At last month’s Canadian Corporate Counsel Association spring meeting, I sat in on a few sessions and panels that focused on various aspects of one’s legal career. One was a lunch panel with a group of high-powered women general counsel discussing their careers and how they broke through into the upper echelons in their companies. While they were all women (who will be featured in a book coming out in the fall called Breaking Through), their tips for success are universal.