Like many professionals, lawyers take pride in their ability to perform at the highest level of their professional capabilities. But even when they’ve reached this peak, the best lawyers never stop learning. That's why they are naturally drawn to the useful nuggets of information that are strewn around the Internet in the form of “tips.”
While finding a single useful tip constitutes a good day, turning up an entire list of tips is even better. In my contribution to the literature of useful tips, I’ve narrowed my own list to just three. While a tip-list of this size is short enough for busy lawyers to skim, it’s also meaty enough that lawyers with a free weekend and an underused Internet connection can spend hours and hours really pondering how they will use each of my three tips to really super-charge their (hopefully ever more successful) daily law practices.
Without further ado, here are my three tips--
1. Tip of a Butcher’s Nose
I was a little reluctant to list this as my first tip, as it seems a tad too specific and might not aid to strengthen the law practice of every lawyer who reads this list. Although a more generalized tip, e.g., “tip of an average Caucasian nose,” might have increased the reach of my advice somewhat, it’s likewise possible that I would have veered into over-generalization, in which case my advice would have been watered down to the point that it was of little value to anyone.
This is another way of saying that the lists of tips you find on the Internet (but not this one!) often fall into one of two categories: (a) inapplicable to your own personal situation, though possibly of some general help to some other greater idiot, or (b) applicable to your own personal situation, but so obvious that, unless you are a greater idiot yourself, you’re already putting the tip to good use. (Either way, if not properly written by a true authority, only greater idiots stand to gain from lists of tips.)
(Bonus related tip: Tip of the Nose of a Parisian Whore) (not illustrated).
2. Tip of the Iceberg
My second tip might seem to fall into one of the traps I mentioned above: so obvious as to be of little merit in a list as short as this one. Should I have saved it for the list of twenty tips I plan to publish next month, or the list of fifty-seven tips I hope to publish the month after that?
The answer might surprise you: No.
The beauty of the tip of the iceberg is that it is actually much larger and more powerful that it seems at first glance. This being the case, you owe it to yourself to obtain complete mastery of this tip.
I don’t mean to scare you, but if not properly understood and applied to your own law practice, this tip—the tip of the iceberg—could end up sinking your entire enterprise. As a student of history, I can assure you with confidence that something like this has happened before. Don’t let it happen to you!
(Bonus related tip: Tip of the Tongue) (not illustrated).
3. Tip of a Chest of Gold Half-Buried Near a Shipwreck Beneath the Indian Ocean
My third tip, motivational in nature, will, if used properly, allow you to break away from your unhealthy attachments to lists like this one, written by people you don’t really know. In undermining my own authority like this, I hope you don’t think I’m merely being modest. I’m
not. When I say I probably don’t know you, I’m being serious. I probably don't.
In what sense is my third tip “motivational”? While the tip is certainly a mouthful—here I’m speaking metaphorically, of course, as I don’t really expect you to try to eat this tip—it’s a tip that represents, if considered in the proper way, a wealth of useful motivational power.
The reason is simple. The notion of a “chest of gold” makes one think of “gold” which conjures up the notion of “money," which is something which if desired with the requisite passion, will always get you away from your Internet-surfing and working a little harder.
Why not try it yourself? It's so well known that merely thinking of wealth can bring you wealth that it's even been the subject of a number of books, and so therefore must be true.
Want a personal testimonial? Here's one: I thought of wealth, and I got rich! And I'm much happier for it too!
Conclusion. Even if not ideally suited to your own law practice, this list of three useful tips will nonetheless do a world of good, if not for you then for me, by residing on and being indexed on the great Google search engine, where it will bring fresh and eager eyes to my own little corner of the Internet, with its two advertisements (both on the upper left side of the page) that I hope all lawyers will see whether or not my list of tips actually helps them.
I’m especially hopeful that these tip-reading lawyers (or lawyer wannabes), will view the ad for my book How to Feed a Lawyer (and Other Irreverent Observations from the Legal Underground). It's available for purchase on Amazon, and I hope you buy it.
More tips coming soon!
Originally published 11/30/12.