December 12, 2009

The 7 Things Lawyers are Afraid to Say

Call it cultural conditioning, call it arrogance, call it survival, but there are seven things lawyers are afraid to say. What happens if you break these taboos? We're going to find out, but first read the list:

1) I don't know.

2) I was wrong.

3) I'm terrified.

4) I've never done this before.

5) I don't have enough work.

6) Other stuff is more important to me than my legal career.

7) I'm not the smartest person in the room.

Now, go back and read the list again, only this time, say each phrase aloud, in your normal speaking voice. No "saying it in your head" or whispering under your breath. Say the words, like you mean them.

After you've done this, please comment. Not before. If you don't do this, you're not allowed to comment.

What was it like?


  1. I like this very astute. It was harder to say aloud, but 7 was easy, cos I certainly am not the smartest person in the room (and I am by myself at the moment)

  2. #6 !!

    I spent 20+ mostly fun years in a mid-sized firm that really had no 'up or out'. I was a 20 year employee as I kept my life in balance between serving clients and an ill wife.

    Then we merged with Biglaw. Nothing goes over with Biglaw like - I really don't aspire to be your partner.

  3. Anon #1, glad you played along and tried saying them aloud. It makes a difference. I said them right after I wrote it and, even then, it was surprisingly tough.

  4. Anon #2, amen to #6. And I'm pretty sure Biglaw hates this whole list.

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