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Lessons from 50 years of Practicing Law: Empathetic Listening, Limited Scope, and the Disrupted Legal Market

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Episode 20: Lessons from 50 years of Practicing Law: Empathetic Listening, Limited Scope, and the Disrupted Legal Market

Richard A. Shannon is an exceptional attorney with over 50 years of experience. After studying liberal arts and graduating from UT School of Law, he served as an Assistant Attorney General of Texas and Special Counsel to the Commissioner of Insurance, before starting his private practice in family law over 20 years ago. Today Richard joins us on the show to share his broad perspective on the changes that have occurred in the legal marketplace during the past 10-20 years. He explains ways that attorneys may need to adapt in order to continue to succeed. He also discusses practical strategies to improve how you serve your clients, including empathetic listening, limited scope representation, and the true meaning behind being a “counselor” at law.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The difference between empathy and sympathy, and how expressing empathy and compassion can alleviate suffering
  • Richard’s interpretation of the meaning of Warren Burger’s quote, “Our profession is about healing human conflict”
  • Why good lawyering not only involves knowing the law, but also understanding how human relationships work and how to stay in touch with your own motivational drivers
  • Why Richard typically spends 20-30 minutes on each phone consultation, and how he uses this process to “qualify” each client before he meets with them
  • How the shrinking middle class has become a major disruptor in the legal industry, and why Richard feels offering limited scope options plays a critical role in adapting to these changes
  • The costs of the adversarial court system, and how the non-profit that Richard has founded is beginning to explore some fundamental changes that could mitigate some of these costs.
  • The cost and return on investment from internet leads and how this compares to traditional forms of advertising
  • The different types of limited scope options he offers his clients, and how he evaluates his clients’ competency and determines what they can afford
  • And much more...

Resources Mentioned:

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