Professionalism vs Competence

In a survey reported in the February 6th edition of USA Today, Money Section B, the question was asked: "As long as they are good at their jobs, should rude and unprofessional co-workers be tolerated?"

Respondents said "yes" (15%), "no" (84%) and "don’t know" (1%).  It is clear that people are tired of bombastic behavior, at least in the workplace. Can this be translated into a more collegial, and team-oriented work environment?

Patrick Lamb, a leading proponent of "value billing" has certainly committed himself to the concept of team effort. He opened a new practice with two other partners in January 2008. Collegiality, outstanding client service and billing for value delivered (not time spent) gets promoted one step at a time. Patrick has taken that first step in his new firm. Congratulations and best wishes for his continued success. 

As more lawyers succeed in this business model, perhaps others will follow. Then, perhaps, will civility in the profession be achieved.

As a side note, I’m currently reading (actually, listening) the recently published book about Lincoln and his leadership skills. I’m struck by the number of lawyers who were the leaders of our country and the large percentage of our representatives in government (House of Representatives, Senate, and State legislatures) who were lawyers. At one time, the balance substantially exceeded 50%.  Contrast that to today when only around 25%, if that, of these bodies are lawyers. Perhaps the lack of civility in our society in general and the legal profession in particular, is the reason for the lack of faith in lawyers. I don’t know the reason or the answer to this dilemma. But, I do know that many lawyers are stressed, are "burned out" and are unhappy with their chosen profession.

Given this history, I am quite surprised and pleased that 3 of the viable, now 2, Democratic candidates for President are lawyers.

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