I’ve been meeting with and helping family law practices for more than a year now. I’m doing all sorts of interesting work and collaborating with some practices experiencing strong growth in a challenging environment. It’s the most stimulating experience I’ve ever had, and I’m loving every second of it.
I’ve worked with lawyers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. As I started working with practices in other countries, I expected that I would face issues I didn’t and couldn’t anticipate because I assumed family law practice would be very different in these other nations.
I’ve been surprised to find how much we are alike. I’ve been surprised at how few differences there are between us. We may work in different countries, but we mostly face the same issues:
We all worry about maintaining a continuous flow of clients who can pay us a fair fee. We all worry about working a reasonable number of hours and still having time with our families. We all worry about managing our team and keeping them on track with minimal turnover and maximum performance. We all worry about being left behind on technology. We all worry about making mistakes that will jeopardize our client’s position, our reputations, and our finances. We all worry about the stress we experience and the impact it has on our health. We all worry about saving enough so that we can take care of our families and ourselves when and if we decide to retire.
Of course, some of us worry more about one aspect or another of our practices, but we all have very similar concerns. The economy in each country affects us a bit differently. Americans are especially worried about the issues surrounding the oversupply of lawyers. In other countries, it’s difficult to hire lawyers at a wage that allows us to profitably run our businesses. Each country is slightly different, but the commonalities are overwhelming. It’s hard to distinguish between the lawyers in each country except by their accents.
The things we have in common create an amazing bond. We share a range of experiences from our work that connect us in a powerful way. We all understand one another and what we face each day in our offices. We all understand the amazing sense of satisfaction we get from certain aspects of our work. We all understand the incredible distress we experience from other aspects of what we do each day. We can look into other family lawyers’ eyes and understand them like no one else can. We may live and work 10,000 miles away from each other, but we been through the exact same things. We’re shockingly alike.