f/k/a . . . the archives

January 24, 2006

speak, Barry!

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 8:51 pm

We just found them last night and can’t wait to share a stash

of never-seen-here poems by Barry George — found at Dietmar

Tauchner’s Bregengemme website (where you’ll also find Guest

pages by Peggy Lyles and Ed Markowski, among others, as

well as haiku auf Deutsch).







 



after our quarrel

mousetraps grimly loaded

for the night  

 

 

 

 

in a vacant lot

firemen practice—

shooting at the sun

 

 

 





“Mouse Lawyer horiz”

 





dining out—

the comedian faces

away from the crowd  

 

 

 

 

 

boy watching

his parents talk…

sipping both straws

 

 

 


“dining out” – Paper Wasp (Spring 2004)


“after our quarrel” – Modern Haiku 23.3 (1997)

“in a vacant lot” - Frogpond 15.1 (2002)  

“boy watching” – Cicada 30 (1999); *Psychopoetica 46 (2000)

 


potluck


tiny check  Like Matt Homann, I want to welcome the new weblog by

David Maister,   In a post dated Jan. 23, 2006, David asks:


“Why do law firms find it so hard to understand that a feudal

warlord system forcing everyone to work harder is not the

height of mankind’s achievement in civilization? I have spent

twenty years trying to say all professions look similar and can

learn from each other, but I’m finally prepared to concede that

lawyers are different – and it has nothing to do with economics.”

Go to David’s website to find out what he thinks the problem is with

lawyers and law firms (and see the proposed solution, which includes

a “mutually committed force that can throw off the oppressor and craft

a more civil and economicallyfunctioning society”).  

 

fiddle bow 

 

Of course, we believe that lawyer greed is part of the problem and

greed seems to us to be economic, despite all of its psychological roots. 

I hope David Maister would agree with our sentiments from Jan. 2005,




“When it comes to fees, our legal profession is fiddling away

its scant goodwill, while its clients — and youngest members —

scream “fie” and are treated like foes.” . . .

 

“If young lawyers want to work saner schedules but don’t

want to sacrifice income or “prestige,” they need to stop

whining and realize that they are part of the problem.”

                                                                                                                                                              diner dude gray

 

 

4 Comments

  1. First, thanks for the welcome. It’s appreciated.

    Second, let me join in the debate and share my perpective. As a card-carrying free-market capitalist and libertarian, I have no problem with people showing greed or self-interest. I taught at the Harvard Business School, after all!

    Lots of other professions and industries are denoted by the pursuit of profits, so if we are to understand what makes law firms different (and they ARE) then we need to look beyond that argument.

    I agree completely that the organizational practices and behavior have absolutely nothing to do with the way the pricing structure is set up. You’d still get the short-termism regardless of how fees are set.

    I don’t mean to sound like a cult member, but Ayn Rand’s terminology – the need for *enlightened* self-interest is a helpful perspective. It means understanding that getting what you want is about building relationships (with colleagues, clients and subordinates) so that you don’t just maximize what they give you today, but you also ensure that they will be there to give it to you again tomorrow.

    So, now, the interesting proposition is: if law firms are no more or less greedy than anyone else, are they more or less *short-term* greedy? Do they, in fact, operate with an air of “if you don’t like it, walk, who needs you?”

    I think a case can be made that yes, law firms are different on precisely this dimension. The next question is: why?

    Comment by David Maister — January 25, 2006 @ 10:41 am

  2. First, thanks for the welcome. It’s appreciated.

    Second, let me join in the debate and share my perpective. As a card-carrying free-market capitalist and libertarian, I have no problem with people showing greed or self-interest. I taught at the Harvard Business School, after all!

    Lots of other professions and industries are denoted by the pursuit of profits, so if we are to understand what makes law firms different (and they ARE) then we need to look beyond that argument.

    I agree completely that the organizational practices and behavior have absolutely nothing to do with the way the pricing structure is set up. You’d still get the short-termism regardless of how fees are set.

    I don’t mean to sound like a cult member, but Ayn Rand’s terminology – the need for *enlightened* self-interest is a helpful perspective. It means understanding that getting what you want is about building relationships (with colleagues, clients and subordinates) so that you don’t just maximize what they give you today, but you also ensure that they will be there to give it to you again tomorrow.

    So, now, the interesting proposition is: if law firms are no more or less greedy than anyone else, are they more or less *short-term* greedy? Do they, in fact, operate with an air of “if you don’t like it, walk, who needs you?”

    I think a case can be made that yes, law firms are different on precisely this dimension. The next question is: why?

    Comment by David Maister — January 25, 2006 @ 10:41 am

  3. David – we have to realize it’s not necessarily a a dichotomy between large firm practice and income. Young lawyers have to realize that if they leave a job at a large firm, they don’t necessarily sacrifice income either (at least long term). Yes, there are many solos barely scraping by but there are also those who earn incomes that exceed biglaw associate salaries. I agree with the stop whining and start exploring the great opportunities outside of biglaw.

    Comment by Carolyn Elefant — January 25, 2006 @ 11:23 am

  4. David – we have to realize it’s not necessarily a a dichotomy between large firm practice and income. Young lawyers have to realize that if they leave a job at a large firm, they don’t necessarily sacrifice income either (at least long term). Yes, there are many solos barely scraping by but there are also those who earn incomes that exceed biglaw associate salaries. I agree with the stop whining and start exploring the great opportunities outside of biglaw.

    Comment by Carolyn Elefant — January 25, 2006 @ 11:23 am

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