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Goodbye Lois

I treat people the way I want to be treated and I carry a grudge against the select few who didn’t treat me that well. For 7 years now, I’ve made the Managing Attorney of my old law firm as a punching bag of sorts. Sorry, Lois.

I use Lois as a punching bag because I can’t recall anyone who clearly had a disdain for me from the first day we met. Usually, I give people a good reason not to like me but she is the only person I ever met that I got the vibe that I disgusted her from day one. I have an Al Czervik /Rodney Dangerfield costume from Caddyshack and Lois was like Elihu Smails. Lois might have thought like Judge Smails that some people like me just didn’t belong.

Lois recently stepped down, as Managing Attorney after 15 years and 15 years would have been too long if she was a competent leader. When I started at that Firm, I was in awe of her and that awe ended at the same time we had a meeting with a Firm client that had ERISA needs. We were at the office of the client and their General Counsel/Chief Operating Officer was a former co-worker at some well known law firm in Manhattan. They hadn’t seen each other for quite some time and the General Counsel was talking about the hockey exploits of his son in high school. After the meeting was over, Lois told me that she really could have cared less about hearing about her former co-worker’s son and I was just shocked that anyone would talk about a client like that especially someone she worked with. I never looked at her the same way again.

Any successful business needs a leader and Lois wasn’t much of a leader. While she spoke as a leader, she had no vision and no strategy how to further develop a leading Long island law firm that withered under her indecisiveness. She placed the day-to-day administration of the Firm to a non-lawyer who only wanted to market his role as a law firm manager.

She set up a bureaucracy that didn’t allow me to develop a national ERISA practice because it made it impossible for me to cross-sell to firm clients and market myself nationally to non-clients. So when I didn’t bring in the business I could have, I was a failure in her eyes but I failed because I wasn’t given the tools I needed to succeed and the blame lays with the captain of the ship. When I talked about using social media, she dismissed it as something her attorney husband did like it was something beneath the Firm.

I like to be right, it’s one of my personality deficiencies and I was right about how I can actually market myself and I was right that Lois has no vision and leadership especially when I’ve met partners at Long Island law firms that have eclipsed Lois’ firm who have little respect for her firm. I won’t be surprised if that Firm is absorbed into another in the next 5 years. Sorry Lois.

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