The Brief No. 21: What’s your negotiation superpower?

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January 9, 2019

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What’s your negotiation superpower? Negotiating is a necessity in life and law. Whether you’re convincing a three-year-old to stop screaming or a full-grown adult to sign an agreement, you need a winning strategy. Hire an Esquire’s Director of People Analytics and I/O psychology expert writes more about how you can use your inherent personality strengths to be a great negotiator. Take the quiz he put together and find out… What’s your negotiation superpower?

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Predicting Unpredictability:  As we head into 2019, market uncertainty continues to dominate, largely due to Brexit and the ongoing trade wars between the U.S. and China. And while 2018 was the year of law firm mergers, 2019 foresees even greater activity as law firms struggle to compete for market share and to provide more holistic services to their clients. Add in a rapidly changing business and political climate, with technology accelerating faster than laws, government, and society can adapt, and it’s no surprise the word of the moment is “uncertainty”.

From Blue Sky to Brass Tacks: After investors discovered Legal Tech in 2018— investing over $1 billion in a range of aspirational technologies and concepts—the space is quickly maturing in 2019. Law firms and legal departments are finally adopting technology with a focus on the basic efficiencies demanded by a price-conscious market and to deal with the most pressing emerging legal risks ... caused by technology. Law firms like Dentons are using legal technology to assess possible data breach liability and to offer clients advice on data compliance. Marriott is the latest cautionary tale in the saga of data protection.

The Price is Right: Top legal talent, come on down! Big Law continued to pay top dollar to retain and attract the best legal talent—or the top billers. Quinn Emanuel recently paid out associate bonuses in excess of the current market rate to associates billing more than 2,400 hours. Other firms have invested in short-term travel programs between offices or software apps that allow associates to request feedback from senior lawyers as a means to keep lawyers happy. On the flip side, paying too little for legal talent may just cost more in the end. For smaller law firms that can’t break the bank like Big Law, maybe the solution is hiring top talent when and as needed.

2019: Year of Mind over Matters? The recent death of an Eversheds Sutherland partner following complaints by two female colleagues of inappropriate behavior was yet another reminder of the need to address mental health issues in the practice of law (and yet again, another reminder of #MeToo issues). ABA president Bob Carlson thinks 2019 will be the year to address the elephant in the room. Patrick Krill, an advocate for lawyer mental health, concurs, believing law firms will have no choice—if for no other reason than to stay competitive in the market.

The Shutdown Smackdown: As the fight over border wall funding continues in Washington, D.C., “essential” employees of the federal government who have been required to work with no pay filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, alleging violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The lawsuit follows a similar suit filed after a shutdown in 2013, where workers were awarded more than twice their back pay. And while the Department of Justice hit the pause button on litigation during the shutdown, several federal judges proceeded full-steam ahead. Chaos and confusion are expected to continue to ripple well above the border in 2019, with no end to the wall stand-off in site.

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In this episode of LegalTalk Network’s New Solo, Adriana Linares talks with a panel of solo practitioners about the challenges and benefits of their practice. The best advice? The practice of law is tough, but the business end of running your own practice is even harder. Educate yourself on how to run a business and get your ducks in a row, so to speak, before hanging your shingle.

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Staffing up for a project or growing your legal team? Learn more about how Hire An Esquire can help.