Archive for June, 2010

Please join me at the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Solocon 2010 on June 18 at the Pasadena Convention Center.  I am honored to be the luncheon keynote speaker, presenting “Adaptive Negotiation for Lawyers,” strategies to became a more effective negotiator.

Most lawyers negotiate very successfully, but generally have one style that you use in all circumstances—with opposing counsel, with clients, with partners, etc.  We find that a more refined approach can benefit lawyers most by understanding the different schools of negotiation that lead to different styles and methods.  Adaptive Negotiation for Lawyers is a program that illustrates these different approaches.  In 45 short minutes you can enhance your negotiation style from one that has always worked for you before and been most comfortable—because it is most consistent with your personality and your tolerance for risk and conflict.  It calibrates your negotiation style instead to be more strategic, reacting to what the situation before you requires, and making you an immediately more effective negotiator.

LACBA Solo LogoSolocon, co-sponsored by the Bar Associations of Pasadena, Santa Clarita Valley, Century City and Glendale, focuses on how to run a small or solo practice like a business and make it thrive.  Panels include:

  • Technology for Law Firms
  • Tips for Opening & Running a Law Firm
  • Rainmaking for Smalls & Solos
  • Building Your Social Media Strategy
  • Implementing a Solo Business Plan
  • Attracting the Clients You Want
  • When Solo Practice is NOT Solo
  • Credit Cards & Compliance Issues
  • Negotiation Tips

In today’s legal environment, when lawyers are being displaced, firms are merging, imploding and evaporating, new lawyers are having trouble finding employment, and lawyers are seeking a greater quality of life, practicing solo or forming new, vibrant, lean and efficient small firms is an important option.  For these reasons, Small and Solo Bar Sections are thriving.  I can say that this conference impressed me last year, in how it was run, how cutting edge it was, and with the quality of speakers.  I can hardly wait for this year’s conference next Friday!

For more information, visit http://aiminst.com/solocon.

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Saying Goodbye to The Great Teachers

Author: Lee Jay Berman

John R. WoodenJust one week ago, members of the mediation community gathered in Los Angeles to celebrate the life of our dear friend and mentor Richard Millen (see Mediation World Loses a Patriarch).  My friend Phyllis Pollack wrote a wonderful summary of that night in her blog.

Today, we lost the great teacher and coach John R. Wooden, long time and legendary UCLA basketball coach.

I’m wondering with these teachers now gone, will we continue to follow their lessons?  I’m wondering with them now gone, the Dalai Lama turning 75 and Nelson Mandella turning 92 next month, I’m wondering who will be our next great teachers?  Who will walk the talk and live a life that embodies both greatness and goodness?

Wondering this makes me proud to have been in the company of Ken Cloke last week.  Ken was a co-founder of Mediators Beyond Borders and has published prolifically.  Ken is a great teacher who lives a life of compassion and grace.  Erica Ariel Fox is another.  She founded the Global Negotiation Insight Institute and is working on her first book.  I see many other great mediator friends doing incredible work – teaching conflict resolution skills in prisons, or to children.  Most of them are growing and preparing into our next great generation of teachers.

Sports might offer us Coach K at Duke basketball or Phil Jackson and his blend of Native American,  Zen and Christian learnings, known for giving his multi-millionaire players books on philosophy, spirituality and balance.

I don’t think we’re going to see teachers of the caliber of Richard Millen and John Wooden any time soon.  They had so much in common, not the least of which was, to quote Kareen Abdul Jabbar on Coach Wooden, “he sent a lot of good people into this world.”

Coach Wooden had said that his proudest accomplishment as a player was being named Scholar Athlete of the Year at Purdue.  Richard Millen, a humble young man from Tennessee  became a Harvard Law graduate.  The national college basketball players of the year (man and woman) receives the John R. Wooden Award; the Southern California Mediation Association’s peacemaker of the year receives the Cloke-Millen Award.  Both men were selfless – Coach Wooden was paid $32,500 in his final year at UCLA in 1975; Richard Millen also made a small fraction of those mediators who he mentored.  Coach lived by, “Success is the peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of being.”  While Richard Millen would agree, perhaps his favorite was, “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say:  ‘we did it ourselves’.”

Who will lead us next?  Who will be our next great teacher?  Who will be worthy of us learning from?  Will it be you?

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