I had just been asked to take charge of attorney development in my old law firm. The leader who asked me thought I would be a figurehead and that the administrative staff and outside consultants would do all the work. After meeting with our associates’ committee and learning our associates did not have development plans for their career, I decided to go to each of our nine offices and teach associates how to prepare a plan.

Law firm leaders told me I could not make the program mandatory. I planned the first program for our Los Angeles office. A week before the program I discovered only six associates had signed up. That was hardly worth the cost of the trip. I asked the office administrator why so few had signed up. She replied:

They have to get their hours and your program will take them away from their billable work.

The program was scheduled over lunch. The firm was providing the lunch.  I wondered if the associates all ate lunch at their desk while “getting their hours.”

What is the point? Getting your hours is like focusing on the scoreboard. Planning and using your non-billable time to become a better lawyer and more valuable to clients is like focusing on the basket. Which are you focusing on? Which are associates in your firm focusing on?

I want to show you how to prepare a plan for 2012. There are many ways you can let me help you. One way is to subscribe to my Video Coaching Program. Using the detailed workbook you will create a plan. I plan to have a live program here in Dallas and some other cities before the end of the year. If you are not in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, I also plan to do a webinar. Let me know if you want to create an effective plan to advance your career in 2012.