Ready to say f#*k you to the same old, same old?

Lisa CulhaneBlog

Family jumping into swimming pool

As a legal secretary I was told: It’s how we’ve always done it. It’s not your job to find a new solution. 

As a law student, I heard: Join a big firm. You need the guidance of experienced attorneys.

As a freshly minted lawyer, I heard: You need to pay your dues. The hours never let up. Get used to it or get out.

As inhouse counsel, I heard: Stop making waves. Check your ideas and moral bulls*it at the door. This is how it’s done. 

When I went out on my own, I heard: Solo practice is the least desirable firm structure.  It only has a utilization rate of 22 percent. You’ll never make it. The marketing alone will kill you. 

When I took a year-long sabbatical to travel with my family, I heard: You’re crazy. You’ll never be able to start your practice up again. 

When I founded a legal tech start-up (Discovery Genie) I heard: 70% of upstart tech companies fail. Besides, lawyers are one of the hardest sectors to get to adopt something new. Save yourself the headache and heartache. 

At different times, I’ve gone along with the tried and true. But mostly, I’ve done what I wanted, despite the naysayers.

Yes, I struggled with the same doubts and worries we all have when making a change or taking a chance —but was also baffled by the “tried and true” mantra. As Seth Godin recently put it, “There’s huge pressure to fit in, and plenty of benefits if you invest the time and stand out instead.”

I often ask myself, “Am I doing this because it’s the best way?” or “Am I doing this because it’s just the way it’s always been done?” 

I encourage you to do the same. The transforming effect of this simple question might surprise you. 

Yours in walking your own path,


PS: Whenever you’re ready to say f#@k you to the “we’ve always done it this way” expense, tedium and frustration of document production, we’re ready to help.