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Rees Morrison’s Morsels # 55 – additions to earlier posts

A sad statement about depression among lawyers. Bus. Law Today, Vol. 17, Nov./Dec. 2007 at 6, cites a report in the Boston Globe. In short, “lawyers are more likely to be diagnosed with depression than individuals in any other occupation – 3.6 times the norm” (See my post of Nov. 22, 2007 about sadness and legal reasoning.). The short piece focuses on lawyers in private practice, but given the small size of many law departments, adds a troubling statement: “Solo practitioners and small-firm lawyers can be particularly vulnerable to mental stress because they have fewer peer confidants (See my posts of June 28, 2005 about disengaged general counsel; and Aug. 10, 2007 on personality disorders.).

British terms. “charge-out rates” is the equivalent of “hourly billing rate.” (See my post of Feb. 9, 2006 for other British terms and references cited.)

Cost of the firm may be blamed, but more fundamental problems were at work. When law departments say in surveys that they often terminate law firms because of price, they may really be complaining about the law firms’ responsiveness, bad results, or bad predictions of outcomes. They don’t feel they are getting value for their money so they blame the price where really it’s insufficient value delivered (See my post of Nov. 11, 2007 on the value gap.). This idea that price serves as the whipping horse comes from LEXPERT, Vol. 8, July/Aug. 2007 at 63.