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29

May

Largest Law Firm Collapse in US History

Quoted from NYTimes.com:

Several of the largest firms have adopted business strategies that Dewey embraced: unfettered growth, often through mergers; the aggressive poaching of lawyers from rivals by offering outsize pay packages; and a widening spread between the salaries of the firm’s top partners and its most junior ones.

These trends, they say, have destroyed the fabric of a law firm partnership, where a shared sense of purpose once created willingness to weather difficult times. Many large firms have discarded the traditional notions of partnership — loyalty, collegiality, a sense of equality — and instead transformed themselves into bottom-line, profit-maximizing businesses.

“Because the partnership lacks any shared cultural values or history, money becomes the core value holding the firm together,” said William Henderson, a law professor at Indiana University who studies law firms. “Money is weak glue.”


READ FULL ARTICLE HERE: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/05/28/dewey-leboeuf-files-for-bankruptcy/

20

Apr

Lawyers CLE Improv - Wednesday April 25th

27

Mar

Lawyers, Use Improv To Reach Your Goals

This is a guest post that I wrote for my good friends at Rocket Matter.  Check out their blog: Legal Productivity.

22

Feb

American Bar Association – Gifts

Everything is a gift, even if it doesn’t appear so at first.  On Saturday, I spoke for the American Bar Association – Law Student Division.  I’ve presented for this group twice, and both times to an audience of about 30-50 students.  Expecting the same, I brought my arsenal of exercises and games that are suitable for larger groups.  When I arrived, I was told that President’s Day Weekend resulted in a low turnout.

ABA Logo

Within 5 minutes I adjusted my lesson plan, and entered New York University’s Lipton Hall; capacity 140 – attendance 7.  To begin, I addressed the elephant in the room, and explained that the smaller group was actually a gift.  We started with a simple “stretch and share” exercise, which gave us all an opportunity to use the first activity of the day to loosen up our bodies and minds and to connect with each other.  In a larger group, we would need more than the allotted time for everyone to participate and that would prohibit this type of opening exercise. 

Because of the unexpected size of the class, we learned that the participants shared a love of travel.  Two of the students were avid soccer fans.  Many came to law school to pursue a second career.  We found connections and learned about each other as people instead of introducing ourselves in the typical LinkedIn Profile formality.  It clearly lead to an appreciation and openness right off the bat, and it would not have happened but for the unexpected, and the belief that everything is a gift.

~Tommy Galan, Director of Corporate Programming at The PIT

17

Feb

Improv Comedy and The Practice of Law

This blog post was written by Tommy Galan, Director of Corporate Programming at The PIT as a guest post for the Continuing Education of the Bar-California.  It first appeared on September 23, 2011.

14

Feb

What is IMPROV CLE?

The Peoples Improv Theater uses the techniques, exercises, and games of the improv performer to heighten the skills of attorneys.  The course focuses on the attorney as a performer, the power of verbal and non-verbal communication, the ability to deal with the unexpected, listen actively, communicate effectively, and speak in public under stress with extreme confidence. 

 

Is the course accredited?

Yes!  Improv(ed) Legal Skills is a 3-Credit New York State approved Continuing Legal Education course, complete with written materials that detail a brief history of improv, the parallel between improv skills and attorney skills, and take-away group and solo exercises.

 

What is it like?

Our class is a safe, team environment where participants are lead as a group through simple improv warm-ups, exercises, and games that highlight skills that are essential to performers and attorneys alike.  After each exercise, the group engages in a dialogue that helps connect the skill to the specific reality of the participating attorneys.

Improv(ed) Legal Skills breaks the mold of traditional lecture/power-point/note-taking CLE, and re-introduces attorneys to a learning style that is interactive, entertaining, and fun.  We believe that by challenging the traditional-style of learning, our participants retain more of the information and can easily access the lessons for use in practice.

 

Who is it for?

IMPROV CLE is taught in a transitional, live-classroom format, and is valuable for both newly admitted and experienced attorneys.

Newly Admitted Attorneys – IMPROV CLE offers an arena to practice trial skills, negotiation techniques, and their individualized team building efforts without the fear of a client’s life, liberty or money at risk.

Experienced Attorneys – IMPROV CLE is an opportunity for experienced lawyers to exercise and sharpen their skills to give them an edge over the competition while improving innovative leadership skills.

Areas of Law –Each skill set has its own meaning and application to different areas of law.  Non-verbal communication skills can serve both the trial attorney and the negotiator.  Persuasion techniques are fundamental in both contract drafting and client interactions. The unique value found in our CLE is the interactivity and group dialogue dynamic.  This allows for a platform of self-directed learning where we explore and strengthen the specific skill, and then discuss how we can and will implement the skill into our specific area of law. 

While this course is open and available to all areas of law, some of the areas of advancement for former students are litigation, negotiation, deposition, persuasive writing, contract, and client management.  Some of the highlights of our course focus on presentation, public speaking, verbal and non-verbal communication, listening, trust, and frustration management.

Where is it taught?

We can teach the CLE in Manhattan either at our theater located at 123 E. 24th Street, or at our training facility Simple Studios at 134 West 29th Street. If you book us to teach your firm, we can accommodate for on site training. 

Improv(ed) Legal Skills accommodates any group over 6 people, however we also conduct individual registration ongoing group classes at our learning facilities year round.

 

Who teaches Improv(ed) Legal Skills?

Improv(ed) Legal Skills is taught by Tommy Galan, Director of Corporate Programming at The Peoples Improv Theater.  Tommy is a performer with over 20 years of experience, as well as an attorney in good standing with the New York State Bar Association.  After a decade of practicing law, Tommy returned full-time to his passion for performance and sharing the benefits of improvisation.  Tommy has successfully handled over 3000 legal cases and maintains an undefeated appellate record.  He is also an award-winning performer whose work has been featured at the New York Comedy Festival sponsored by Comedy Central, The Chicago SketchFest, The Toronto Sketch Festival, Los Angeles Comedy Festival, and Montreal Sketch Comedy Festival.   He performs regularly in New York City.

 

How much does it cost?

For information regarding individual cost, group rates, and a copy of our financial aid policy, please send an e-mail to tommy@ThePIT-NYC.com.

 

How can I schedule a CLE for my firm?

If you are interested in scheduling a CLE workshop for your firm, feel free to contact Tommy Galan, Director of Corporate Programming at Tommy@ThePIT-NYC.com