Things to Try

     OK, I’ll admit I don’t know what to make of what I’m about to tell you. But somehow it feels wrong.
     Or really amazingly devious and admirable.
     See what you think.
     Last week, a major law firm (which I’m not going to name so it doesn’t get mad at me) issued a press release. (Yeah, I know that the firm’s name is on the press release so it’s not exactly a secret, but let me be paranoid. These guys must be powerful.)
     The press release announced the hiring of two lawyers for the firm’s Government Affairs Group. One of the guys was described as a former counsel to Charles Schumer (D-NY). The other guy was the former finance director for Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
     What?
     Isn’t that, at the very least, a philosophical conflict of interest?
     Or, perhaps, has the government been infiltrated by a cabal of lawyers manipulating legislators so that they never get anything done?
     That would explain a lot.
     Or maybe, just maybe, this coming together of advocates from both sides of the political spectrum to work under one roof and influence the government to get things done marks the beginning of a new can-do era in American legislation.
     Naah, probably not.
     
     Trial trials? An article posted last week on the Lawyerist.com website proclaimed: “If You Want To Improve Your Law Practice, Start Experimenting.”
     This was accompanied by a photo of a couple of fake scientists (you can tell they’re fake because they look too good) with test tubes and a microscope.
     I was excited. This was going to be interesting!
     It wasn’t.
     The suggested experiments included charging a flat fee for cases and doing a fire drill (perhaps in the hope of finding clients while standing outside on the sidewalk).
     This didn’t seem very experimental or innovative to me.
     Even the one suggestion that I thought held promise turned out to be a disappointment. The article said try using a “virtual receptionist.”
     I was thinking robot or sex doll. But, no, if you click on the link to their example, it turns out to be a plain vanilla call service with a real person pretending to be your secretary.
     Sigh.
     Then there was this confounding suggestion: “Try charging for initial consultations (or offering free consultations if you currently charge).”
     In other words, just do the opposite of whatever you’re doing now. Maybe you could call it Backwards Day.
     Fortunately, I’m here to offer some better ideas for experiments.
     A robot or sex doll receptionist. This would be attractive to both tech geek clients and sex offense defendants. The geeks would be able to talk to the sex dolls and the sex offenders would remain calm and, preferably, intimidated by a stern, antiseptic robot.
     Naked Thursday. One day a week, have everyone in your office work naked. This will either be a great bonding experience or the lead item on the local news (and free publicity).
     Nail furniture to the ceiling upside down. I can’t imagine how this would help your firm in any way, but this is what experiments are for.
     Switch cases. Make a surprise announcement that everyone at your firm must stop working on their cases and pass them on to the person in the next office for continuation.
     This will give each matter a fresh perspective, relieve boredom, and confuse your clients.
     Be sure that your malpractice premiums have been paid before trying this.
     Switch jobs. Discover hidden staff talents by letting the janitors interview clients and prepare briefs while the partners pick up trash. Have the secretaries become associates and the associates wear sexy outfits.
     If this experiment works – and I’m betting it will – prepare for psychological counseling, existential angst, and discussions of the meaning of life.

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