Podcast 5: An American lawyer in London…

Today I met Dan Hull, a practising US lawyer, partner at Hull McGuire PC, Attorneys and author of the What About Clients? blog. I interviewed him for Podcast No 5.

Dan’s blog is a mine of information about legal practice in the States, service issues and an eclectic mix of thoughts and ideas. I asked him about why he blogs, the difference between the approach taken by US and UK law blogs, and what makes a good lawyer. Inevitably, I also had to ask about his interest in ‘hats’ as raised, late at night, on Geeklawyer’s blog.

It was an enjoyable trip for me out of West London and, as I left, Dan presented me with a bottle of Rioja!

Podcast Number 5: Dan Hull, US Lawyer and author of the What about Clients? blog

POSTSCRIPT:  Justin Patten, Human Law,  was kind enough to do a quick review of the podcasts.

9 thoughts on “Podcast 5: An American lawyer in London…

  1. Very enjoyable, and thanks for the mention of http://www.conflictoflaws.net, Charon.

    A rejoinder to Dan’s comments about the work/life balance: I would disagree. If law firms don’t make the effort to ensure their employees are not substantially over-working, then there are not only long-term health risks (as was tragically highlighted a few weeks ago), but also long-term productivity issues. It’s the same argument with junior NHS doctors. By all means a local trust could demand that junior doctors work 100-hour weeks, and not give a damn about their work/life balance. In the end, however, that imbalance will be costly. The pressure of working too hard may induce mistakes (potentially fatal ones in the case of doctors), and it’s no wonder that professions such as medicine and law have the highest suicide rates. Companies are just as responsible for making sure the balance is part of their ethos as the individual is.

  2. I enjoyed that greatly. I’m with Martin on the work/life balance thing. But I don’t just think that its a competency issue, though that’s important, I really do think it unreasonable to expect huge hours out of young lawyers. Sure they know the score sure they want the career but it’s possible to pick up the necessary experience Dan speaks of without being chained to a desk from dawn to dusk.

  3. “If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.”

    Azimov had many good ideas. This aphorism is one which is most useful.

    Work life balance? I have not been able, yet, to get this one figured out – pleasingly.

  4. A highly enjoyable podcast. Informative for all would-be lawyers particularly the worklife balance aspect. I agree with the comments by MArtin and Geeklawyer. The insane long hours culture of law firms spilled over into legal departments of public sector organisations where one was expected to work 50/60 hours per week even though this meant some people would artificially inflate their “work load” which was actually quite light while others would be struggling to keep up with a really heavy workload. Working long hours for no good reason other than to prove you did was insane.

    In education the insanity is much the same.

  5. Thank you, Charon, for the interview and the pleasure of spending some time with you and yours. And thanks for the comments, everyone. Even for the most brilliant and most diligent people in the world, practicing law is hard, and it ought to be hard, especially for the first 8 to 10 years. That’s what makes it great. So get back to work, y’all.

  6. Drank the Rioja, Dan – it was delicious. Much obliged…as we say over here… yes, much obliged!

    Good to meet… I have a feeling that we’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when…. etc, etc…

    Enjoy Paris!

  7. Now that the US Att-Gen is under fire for sacking his own govt attornies

    which he says for not meeting their “competency targets”, i.e for acting and performing with incompetency and unprofessional behaviour;

    Isnt it time for the American Bar Associations to charge Mr Gonzales for acting Unethically, Contrary to his Professional Calling ?

    that is; for bring his office into disrepute as the AG;

    After all, his job discription states: that he is the legal advisor TO the govt;
    and not the legal advisor OF
    G W Bush’s administration !

    Isnt he still a member of the American Bar and obliged to follow the Rules of Professional Conduct and Ethics of the Bar ?

  8. Pingback: The boys from the Bar stuff… « Charon QC…the blawg

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