Friday, November 30, 2012

Don’t Treat Your Firm’s Millennial Lawyers Like Wanna-Be Boomers!

As your Boomer partners, lawyers and staff retire, you are dealing increasingly with the Millennial generation, no longer the “babies” of the group, since they are now hitting 30.

You are no doubt discovering that these young lawyers, soon to be partners, aren’t going to become Boomers. Their interests, work ethics and personal values are very different.

Don’t treat your Millennials like wanna-be Boomers! Respect what engages their hearts and talents.

Millennials are driven by meaning, by the ability to make a difference in the world, and although they certainly appreciate decent compensation, it’s not what gets them to be productive or to excel.

For example, when you assign work, make sure to point out the meaning, the value of this work, be it to the client or to the community. Especially to the community, for societal issues are pertinent to this generation, and they will gear up on its behalf.

Provide lots of ongoing positive feedback, along with whatever suggestions for improvement are required. Make sure you offer opportunities for growth and learning. Millennials are generally very accepting of a Boomer’s experience and knowledge, and can benefit greatly from a mentoring relationship.

Don’t begrudge Millennials their tenacious enthusiasm. It is what fuels their willingness to put in the hours and the brain-power you need.

The Millennials are an exciting, powerful generation. Respect them as such, and they will soar – and your firm along with them.


A Winning Case Dr. Noelle Nelson recently consulted on:

Congratulations to Leila J. Noël and A. Barry Cappello of Cappello & Noël (Santa Barbara) for their successful $4,800,000  Settlement which the Santa Barbara County and Santa Barbara County Sherriff's Department agreed to pay to the survivors (and their parents) of a wrong way driver accident, involving a Sheriff's Deputy, that took two lives and seriously injured two others.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Focus Groups Save the Day–on Broadway!

In the spring of 2012,  Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, was widely believed to be headed for total flopdom: media were comparing it to the Titanic. Yet, this fall, the show has already grossed more than $160 million, a Broadway blockbuster, largely due to co-lead producers Jere Harris and Michael Cohl’s willingness to take drastic measures to turn their incipient flop into a fabulous success.

Among those measures were—you guessed it—focus groups. The producers realized that audience members were leaving the preview performances confused, so they conducted focus groups investigating specific aspects of the show. Production was stopped—a radical move--in order to make changes based on the focus group feedback.

It worked.

Your cases deserve no less. A focus group is a relatively low-cost pre-trial strategy to give you the winning edge. There is nothing that can replace vigorous discussion of your case’s strengths and weaknesses among a group of people rigorously selected to match your jury pool.

Unlike Broadway, you can also receive (if the focus group is conducted with this purpose in mind) juror profiles as to “best” and “worst” likely jurors, assessed from the responses of the focus group members.

Yes, it takes effort and the courage to withstand open criticism from a group of strangers, yet given that these strangers are willing to give you the feedback that can put your case in an advantageous posture, it’s well worth it, even when you don’t think your case resembles the Titanic. 

A WINNING CASE Dr. Noelle Nelson recently consulted on:
*Congratulations to Dave Luce and Meghan Lamping of Carmody MacDonald P.C. (St. Louis), and Spencer M. Taylor and M. Todd Lowther of Balch & Bingham L.L.P. (Birmingham) for their $11,106,420 Jury Verdict in TAMKO v. Factory Mutual (FM), a hotly contested business interruption insurance case. FM claimed that TAMKO's damages, which TAMKO sought in the amount of $12.2 million, were less than $2.5 million. FM argued that TAMKO did not suffer a loss of production due to an absence of raw material but instead was impacted by the late 2008 economic downturn, and that TAMKO could not demonstrate that it had actually lost any sales. Clearly, the jury did not agree with FM.