Balancing the Bar

Happiness and the Practice of Law

What would happen if your firm adopted a “no jerks” policy?

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I just found a link to the following article called  No Jerks: Some Firms Argue that Collegiality Pays – Magazine – ABA Journal.  Can you imagine what would happen in most firms if you  rid them of “slackers, downers and bullies”?  According to this article you would be making a good business decision.   My thought is — what would happen to all the law firms out there?

By and far if you put a group of attorneys together and call them a firm you will get  lawyers who are slackers, negative, emotionally down  and there will always be a bully.  There is always one person who “feels” as if they are in charge.   Sometimes there is more than one and they clash.  We have all experienced this personality and unfortunately, there is no shortage of attorneys who prefer to bully their way through life.

The second type I will call the “perpetually lost”.  They aren’t sure why they show up for work.  They just don’t seem to get it.  They have never launched into adulthood.  You are constantly following behind them to make sure they a) show up for work and b) are really giving a matter the attention it deserves.

Finally, you got the negative nellies who, no matter what happens, always put a negative spin on things.  They may state that no one likes them, everyone is out to get them and they are paralyzed to help themselves.  Sadly, these are often very bright people who lack self confidence to obtain clients on their own.

You take these three attorney types away and you are left with people who want to work, enjoy their client relationships and believe firms exist for the betterment of all members not just a select few. A few people with this personality type exist, but we are always maneuvering around the other personality types in order to have a practice and enjoy our lives.

Wouldn’t it be great to be around a group of attorneys who are hard working, dedicated and positive about the prospect of building a business together.  I purposefully try to seek these people out.  I enjoy my relationships with this personality type both in my firm and elsewhere.  Sadly, however, this type doesn’t seem as prevalent as the three described above.   But, one can always hope for the future of the profession……


Author: Tabitha M. Hochscheid

Attorney since 1995, interested in Attorney Health and Well Being and related issues for lawyers and the general population. Developer and Committee Chair of the Cincinnati Bar Association Health and Well Being Committee.

One thought on “What would happen if your firm adopted a “no jerks” policy?

  1. I immediately thought of two attorneys in my office that fit the profile of bully and perpetually lost… Our office would defintely be better if the bully would be gone.

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