Brad Feld

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Stupid Lawyer Tricks

May 11, 2009

My partner Jason Mendelson (an ex-lawyer) has a dynamite post up titled Quick Ways To Get Fired as a LawyerWhile some of my best friends are lawyers (or ex-lawyers), I’ve encountered most of the stupid lawyer tricks that Jason enumerates in his post. 

The big ones (immediate termination) are:

  1. Screw around with redlines.
  2. Endorse the chief competitor.
  3. You provide little leadership and wait for someone else to come up with the answer.
  4. You provide advice to the CEO adverse to the company’s interest. 

The medium ones (you’ll lose us over time) are:

  1. Be lax in your advice and get it wrong. 
  2. Being inefficient, getting lost in the woods, billing for small stuff that doesn’t matter.
  3. Bait and switch.  You bring in the client, but you never show for board meetings, phone calls, etc. and send junior folks in your stead.
  4. Not knowing who your client is.
  5. Letting summer associates run wild on the account. 

But my favorite is “Being annoying.”  Jason enumerates these in more detail – if you are an entrepreneur or a lawyer the post is worth a close read.  If you are a comedian, it’s probably worth it also as you’ll get more ammunition for your standup routine.