Drive: Tapping Into Lawyers’ Intrinsic Motivation

Daniel H. Pink’s 2009 book entitled “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” (“Drive”) is filled with information that is highly relevant to the legal profession today.

The central thrust of Drive is that motivating professionals like lawyers requires law firms to go beyond the traditional use of sticks and carrots, punishments and rewards. Pink argues that instead of focusing on these external motivators, what law firms need to do is tap into the intrinsic motivational drive of their lawyers. This will result in more engaging and ultimately more satisfying work. Pink argues that this will not only reduce lawyer turnover and burnout, but that it is in fact the secret to high performance.

Pink highlights three key aspects of work that make it more inherently satisfying: (i) autonomy; (ii) mastery; and (iii) purpose. He argues that these components of intrinsic motivation are interdependent and mutually reinforcing – that, like the legs of a tripod, the apparatus of excellence cannot stand without each component in place.

If there is any merit to Pink’s argument, then law firms would be well advised to pay careful attention to each of the three components of intrinsic motivation in their human resource strategies. Here are some ideas on how to do so:

(i) Autonomy: There are five main ways firms can increase their lawyers’ overall sense of autonomy. These include giving lawyers greater leeway over: (i) what to work on (subject autonomy); (ii) when to do their work (time autonomy); (iii) where to do their work (place autonomy); (iv) who to do their work with (team autonomy); and (v) how to do their work (technique autonomy). The idea here is not that firms have to grant their lawyers full autonomy over all aspects of their work. It is simply that law firms have at their disposal five separate channels along which to promote greater lawyer autonomy, and that an increase in autonomy along any one of these five channels will result in a higher level of work satisfaction.

(ii) Mastery: Law firms can promote lawyer mastery by aligning the difficulty of certain tasks with their lawyers’ overall level of skill or development. Pink calls these “Goldilocks tasks” – tasks that are neither too hard nor too difficult. The idea is that in order to develop mastery it is important for lawyers to be engaged; and in order to be engaged they must be presented with challenges that are well suited to their skill level. Tasks that are too challenging result in a sense of being overwhelmed; tasks that are too easy result in boredom; tasks that are neither too hard nor too easy, but “just right” result in engagement. Engagement, in turn, leads to mastery. Law firms that care about developing masterful lawyers should ensure that they are neither overwhelmed nor bored – that overall they are engaged by their work. If firms are able to strike this balance, their lawyers’ work becomes its own reward.

(iii) Purpose: To make their lawyers’ work more satisfying, law firms would also do well to consider increasing the emphasis they place on meaningful, not just profitable, work – that is, work that gives their lawyers a sense that they are making a positive contribution to something greater than themselves. This does not mean rejecting profit as a motive; it simply means making greater room for non-profit driven contributions. This might mean crafting a mission or vision statement that espouses genuine non-profit related values, and ensuring that incoming lawyers share those values. It might also mean placing greater emphasis on pro bono work, and perhaps including it as part of performance reviews. It might even mean hiring professional coaches to work with their lawyers. Whatever the approach, taking steps to instill a greater sense of purpose into the work life of many lawyers will ultimately make them more committed, creative, resourceful, and yes: satisfied.

It is no secret that lawyers are, in general, a notoriously unhappy lot. It is also clear that lawyers are the most important resource of any law firm. Firms that value this resource would be well advised to take seriously the ideas put forth in Drive. In the end, when lawyers are satisfied with their work, everyone stands to win – not just the lawyers themselves, but their colleagues, their firms, and most importantly their clients.

Help For Your Personal Injury

Everyday people get into bad car accidents, injuries at work, and other injuries that may require a personal injury attorney. Personal injury lawyer services, like many others, can help you out of a bad situation where someone has hurt you and it was an accident. In many of these situations, compensation is warranted as many of these accidents can be costly later on at the hospital. Many times, these occurrences are not so complicated to the point where a professional lawyer is needed and settling differences is not as simple.

For example, if you happen to become injured in a car accident that was caused by someone else, you would hope that the other person who caused the accident would be willing to support you with the medical expenses you would need as well as the insurance needed to repair your car. Unfortunately, this is the ideal situation and frankly, does not happen very often. This is why basic insurance was created so that the person who caused an accident has the responsibility of taking care of it. In some cases, a lawyer is needed because said person does not fulfill their end of the agreement.

If you need a lawyer because of an accident that was either caused against you or simply happened to you, it would only have been because agreements were not easy to figure out. Usually when two people get into an accident, and it is really an accident, there is an automatic courteous agreement between the two where one realizes the right thing to do and the proper gestures that need to be taken to settle the event. It is when this does not happen that a person is forced to call a lawyer to settle an argument and receive the compensation that they need.

To force someone to give you the compensation that you need, it is technically called suing them. By suing someone you are forced to file the case with the court and actually having a trial in which a judge will decide what the outcome will be. In these cases it is usually months and months of back and forth arguments between the two parties before anyone decides to go to court. Once you are in court you are going to need a good lawyer who will be able to represent you well and get you the compensation you deserve.

Getting into an accident whether it is at home, in your car, or on the job is never any fun, but it is easy to take care of if you are willing to work for the compensation and fulfillment that you are looking for. If you are a victim in a nasty accident in need of proper care, you should not be forced to take care of it all by yourself and whoever caused it is responsible as well. To take care of this completely, it is smart to hire a professional lawyer who can represent you and take care of the problem all together before complications become too difficult to deal with.

Tips on Selecting Attorneys – Personal Injury

Personal injuries are often caused by negligent actions caused by another person. Cases include defects in products, character defamation, car accidents and even medical malpractice. If you are certain that your case falls in the category of personal injury, then it is best to find and contact your attorney. They can very well defend you and answer your questions regarding the case. With a good lawyer, you can get the compensation that is right for you. Victims seek the help of this kind of lawyer to help them regain themselves from financial damages and compensate from the suffering and pain. If by any chance you are in the center of an accident and suffer from damage or mental anguish because of carelessness, then he or she is responsible and obliged to pay you a certain amount.

Personal injury cases may also include carelessness when driving cars or truck. When you are a victim of such then you have a good case of winning. Carelessness and negligence is characterized by failure to act in a sensible manner given under the circumstance and condition. If you are planning to select an attorney for personal injury, there are certain things to remember. Be sure that you gather enough information about the person. Research about them and this would definitely reveal expertise and capabilities. This can also provide data about the cases that they win. Check to see if the lawyer is a member of an organization. This could tell a lot about the lawyer. Moreover, also call the bar association to verify if the person is reliable and has a good standing.

Word of mouth is effective in order to find a good personal injury attorney. You can ask family and friends for a reference. Ask people to give a testimonial about the person’s trustworthiness and skills. It is best to set an initial consultation with the lawyer because this can help gauge if you can work together. Remember not to lose trust for an attorney that cannot make time for you. This means that they are busy which can indicate that they might be good and reliable. They cannot allocate time with short notice. Be patient and ask for an appointment. You will discover in the end that it is worth the wait. Just like shopping for an item, it is best to look around first. Never go with the first person that you meet. Remember that hiring the best attorneys – personal injury can make a difference in your case.