So I’m just back from a fabulous ABA TECHSHOW. A lot of tasks have accumulated in my absence. Emergencies were handled remotely with today’s technology. But, ABA TECHSHOW, at least the way many of us do it, is a dawn to late night experience, so things that can wait do wait. Long ago when I was a much younger lawyer, I learned something from a stellar legal assistant that I still observe today. She called it “First Day Back.” She said a lawyer should never voluntarily schedule anything for the first day back after an extended absence. There may be something really urgent that happens and must be dealt with ASAP. But mainly it is because the First Day Back is a good time to clear out all of the accumulated pending tasks, catch up on the mail and handle other things to prepare for a productive week.
The surprising thing today involved going through the mail. (How retro, right?) I received two new books from the ABA Law Practice Division. One was The Lean Law Firm: Run Your Firm Like The World’s Most Efficient and Profitable Businesses by Larry Port and Dave Maxfield. Larry Port is the CEO and Founding Partner of Rocket Matter and Dave Maxfield is lawyer from South Carolina who notes in the forward of the book that every minute of his 24 years of law practice has been in a two-lawyer firm or as a solo practitioner. This should be noteworthy to all of the small firm lawyers who have mentally filed away Lean, Six Sigma and other management practices as for the big law firms and not for them.
The words on back of the book caught my attention by stating it was the first book published by the ABA “to employ the graphic novel to teach business lessons.” For those who don’t know, the term graphic novel often refers to what some of us of a certain age used to call comic books. So I opened the book to read a few pages and, no, it is not a comic book. But it captivated me for 24 pages with its opening story before I was forced to put it down. So this isn’t a book review. I’ve only read 24 pages. But the book is going to stay on my desk instead of immediately going into our OBA MAP Lending Library and I’ll order another copy for the Lending Library this week. That should tell you something.
First Day Back is perhaps not a Lean process, but it kept something important from slipping past me in a rush of office appointments today.