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Introduction to the Livable Law Method: Using Legal Project Management to Prevent Women and BIPOC Attorneys From Walking Out the Door

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Introduction to the Livable Law Method: Using Legal Project Management to Prevent Women and BIPOC Attorneys From Walking Out the Door

The practice of law has a big problem: women and BIPOC lawyer attrition. Studies show that the mental health of women and BIPOC lawyers suffers more and they leave the profession faster than others. But late nights and unpredictable hours are symptoms of mismanagement, not inherent in legal work. In this course, Dr. Carminati will discuss the Livable Law Method she created to guide legal organizations toward implementing agile project management techniques. With this method, managers can learn to equalize workflow, improve transparency, and decrease needless stress. Most importantly, they can improve outcomes for women and BIPOC lawyers in their organizations.

Presenters

Giugi Carminati
Space lawyer, eDiscovery attorney, legal project manager, and former litigator
Livable Law

Transcript

Shaun Salmon - So hello everyone. My name is Shaun Salmon. I'm the Vice President of MCLE and Professional Development here at Quimbee. Today I have the distinct pleasure of interviewing Dr. Giugi Carminati, who I'm also lucky enough at this point to know very well at this point in our careers. Dr. Carminati has an LLM in space, cyber, and telecommunications law. She holds a JSD in space law, and in October of 2021, she published a guide book to her Agile-based project management approach, "The Livable Law Method." She has also run for a state house seat, because like she didn't have enough on her plate. And as you can see, her accomplishments and her interests really run the gamut from space law, like actual outer space to practice management and diversity and inclusion. And so today, we'll be talking about the latter. During the next hour, Giugi will be helping me break down something she calls The Livable Law Method, which is a way to utilize practice management to promote diversity and inclusion and combat attrition. So Giugi, let's get into it. First, what prompted you to start looking into the history of law firm billing and the number of hours that attorneys typically work?

Guigi Carminati - I burnt out twice. That's how it started in part, right? I'm a workaholic. I'm a really hard worker. I'm a workhorse, all those things. I know it resonates a lot with attorneys and I know it resonates a lot with women attorneys. I've heard that a lot. Like we work really, really, really hard. And I felt like I was kind of running up a dune that was breaking down under my feet because I thought for the amount that I'm working, where is my compensation? Where is the upside of this? I'm just getting burnt out and I'm just getting used up. Burnout is literally the consumption of something until it's gone. And so I started thinking maybe, you know, first I thought it was something wrong with me, which is where everybody starts, I think. And then I started thinking, well, maybe there's something wrong with litigation. And that's when I started looking into the history of why do we build the way that we do? Why do we structure the work the way that we do? Why do we manage or not manage ourselves the way that we do? And that's what started that inquiry.

Shaun Salmon - Awesome. And again, like, so I've full disclosure, I've read your book. You're just the intro alone, and your discussion of burnout like really resonated with me, although it also scared me 'cause I'm very lucky that I didn't get to that point, but I definitely understand the burnout, especially women, moms, like all of that, right? So I really appreciate what you're doing here and I think we can move on. So can you tell us a little bit about what you found out and what was normal in the past?

Giugi Carminati - Right. So I have all of this. It's really, I go into really a lot of detail over this in my book. But the hilarious part is that so attorneys fee, attorneys used to bill in very different ways, right? There was a time where we would bill flat fees, and there was a time where there were basically flat fees across the board, and then there were some rulings that came out saying you couldn't do that anymore. So the model of how we bill has shifted over time. And then we fell upon this billable hour concept, but it's actually pretty recent, right? I mean, we're talking maybe 70 years old, give or take, 60 or 70 years old. And so this concept of billable hours truly means, right, we know this. I have built in six-minute increments for 13 years when I was a litigator for 13 years of my litigation career. And the problem is that it incentivizes the wrong things and it creates and it also assumes a certain structure to our lives that is no longer realistic. Like it's just not true that our lives are that way.

And then I would add the fact that the APA had this article that came out and it was hilarious because it had these, like it said, well, we need to put a little bit of a reasonable in the standard on this billable requirement, and they came up with a number that was bananas because it really meant that people basically had to work 13 to 14 hours a day in order to build the number of hours you have to build, because look, the numbers are out there, right? I didn't come up with this. For every two hours build, a lawyer has to work three, right? So then I was thinking, I was looking at their schedule and I was like, like their reasonableness was people are supposed to work from 8:00 a.m. to like 8:00 p.m. I'm like, I'm sorry. Who's picking up the kids? Who's going home to their partner? Who's walking their dog in the afternoon? Who's hanging out with their cat? I mean, you know, whatever it is, I don't wanna make this family-centric. For me, it is a driver 'cause I have four kids, but it's not just about, hey, on for a long time. It was touted as, oh, it's because women are joining the workforce. Like somehow we were softening the profession. Like, no, man. This is bananas. Who's doing your laundry? Like who's cleaning up the dishes? Who's doing groceries, like basic things we have to engage in in order to be fully functioning adults? And so that's when I was like, oh, your model is insane. It's just not workable. You cannot expect people to live like this. And that's where the history of the billable hour, I was like, oh, you're the problem, not me.

Shaun Salmon - I love that. You're the problem, not me. So can you dig in a little bit more on what passes for normal more recently? Oh, and also, I just wanna say like, yes. You do have a family-centric approach to this, right? But I've only become a mother more recently and I don't have four, dear God, but burnout was real long before I was a parent and I did have dogs. But I think you make a good point that like that just adds to the mix, but people care about their health too, right? Like when are you going to the gym even if you're single and never want kids? It doesn't have to be about that.

Giugi Carminati - That's why I'm saying like pets or taking care of yourself as a human person, like it's not just about women and having a... They always said, oh, we have a, it was like life. They called it work-life balance. So that's one of the chapters that I know. One of the things I talk about in my book is, why are we balancing them? My job is my job. It's a job. My life is everything else. And so why am I balancing these two things as though they are separate but equal? And I use that phrase because everybody knows when you say that, you don't really mean it. And I'm like, no, when you're saying that, you don't really mean it because somehow you're elevating work to be something that it's not supposed to be, and I know employers are not fan of hearing this, right? 'Cause they're like, well, I want you to take your job seriously. I'm like, look, I can take my job seriously, but I'm also a human person. And one of the principles, so I have 10 principles to The Livable Law Method. One of the principles, the first one is people are not widgets. We are not tools. We are humans. So you're absolutely right. When do people work out? When do people take an afternoon walk to unwind? Like, just that. Like, we don't have to explain or justify that we need to be able to exist outside our jobs, right? Though we do.

 Shaun Salmon- Absolutely.

Giugi Carminati- We do, but we shouldn't. And so that's what I'm like, the way we have structured our lives, honestly, in large part, the way our life, the way this idea of the attorney has been created is that it assumes, it assumes a heteronormative household, and it assumes one spouse who stays at home, which was traditionally not forever 'cause traditionally doesn't mean forever, recently, traditionally, the woman. So then yes, he can do all the things at work because somebody else is getting the kids ready, taking the school, keeping the house clean, doing groceries, making doctor's appointments, making sure you can entertain, making sure that, you know, even taking the car to the mechanic, if you have to, making sure like all of the things that go into adult and mending clothes and cleaning, all those things that are considered household, which also that irritates me, right? Those are not just household activity. They are the stuff of life. They are what allows other people to keep functioning. And so that's kind of the structure. And I think what did happen is that when women came into the workforce and also when this traditional model of marriage has shifted because relationships are different and families look different, and well, they've always looked different, but we come to recognize that not all families look the same. Not all families operate the same. There's this idea of, oh, if everybody leaves the house during the day, you cannot expect everybody to be at the office for 14 hours a day, right? Because there's stuff that needs to get done. And so this was a concept.

When I was in a law firm, there was never any attention paid to the fact that I needed to have a life. And I truly was able to regain my sanity and I hate doing this. Like I still get in a pit of my stomach, like I wanna throw up when I do this, but I know now that it's not because I'm being difficult, is because I'm taking care of myself, and if I'm not taking care of myself, I can't take care of the people in my life, and that's how I justify it to me and I shouldn't have to, but that's how I justify. When I tell employers, oh, I pick up my children at that time, that's it. Like from this hour to this hour, I pick up my children, or from this hour to this hour, I drop them off, or after 6:30, I don't check my email. And it really throws people off, and I'm like, you pay me for my labor. You don't pay me for my life. And my life would be way more expensive and I wouldn't sell it anyway, right? So it's after 6:30, I don't check my email. Before 8:30, I don't check them. I'm not available. If they put a meeting, like in those weird hours, like off business hours, I just let them know I will not be available. And that made me reclaim my sanity when I was able to say, stop this, and then I thought, but what if managers were actually implementing these tasks, right? Which is why one of the other principles is the week is finite, the workweek is finite. So understanding that there are starts and stop times to working hours, but you got to move away from the billable hour, right? Because then it's not how many hours can you squeeze of work? Is these are my work hours, this is what you get, and you don't get more than that.

Shaun Salmon - Well, I think that that, like I think you've really given us a little bit of like how what you see has compared to like your experience as a lawyer, right, and a mom and a woman in America. Does any of it surprise you, and have what you've seen surprised you?

Giugi Carminati - No. I think what surprised me at first is that it was so common. And then once I started digging into the data, I'm like, oh, I'm not an anomaly. This is the data. Like we have the fifth highest level of suicide among professions. We have huge levels of depression, tremendous levels of anxiety. There was a study that came out of New York that said that 11% of the 3,000 or so lawyers who were interviewed had had suicidal ideations over the course of their career. 11, one in 10 people have thought of killing themselves. And I thought, oh, the job is the problem. Like there was a problem. And then there was this great study out of California that came out and it always pins this number. About a third of us have problematic substance abuse, and that's alcohol. And even when you look at the way it's defined, by the time you get to the problematic level, you've run through a lot of red flags, right? It's not just, you drink a little bit and you're qualified as problematic. Problematic is like truly problematic drinking. There's a long way to get to there and lots of laws engaged in that behavior and don't get labeled with problematic substance abuse, but we're definitely self-medicating. And so I wasn't surprised. Like, it's not that it surprised me what I found. It surprised me that everybody else was living the same thing, and that's when I thought, oh, we need, and we can talk about that later, but that's when I thought, oh, there's a solution to this problem and it's none of the solutions that are being offered. And I'm gonna add one thing that was really kind of a light-bulb moment for me. Over my career, it has been very normal for me to sometimes wish I'd get sick, not very sick, but a little sick, just so that I could take a break. And I've had that. I've had those moments where I'm like, oh God, I wish I got sick. I wish I could just got like a cold or something really bad enough that I can say I cannot work today 'cause I'm so sick. And then I read it. It was a group online that I'm a part of that are working, oh yeah, they're lawyer moms. Oh my gosh. And like, one of them posted it, like today, I wish I got into a minor fender bender so that I could like say I got hurt and not work for awhile. And then like, all these women started responding. They were thinking the same thing, and I thought, okay, first, I'm not alone, but second, this is a problem. Like, it's not quite self-harm, but it's wishing harm on ourselves so we can take a break.

Shaun Salmon - So just to like capstone that thought, I see it all the time on Fishbowl. I've seen it in other groups on Fishbowl too, but the women in law group, I've seen that a lot. Like, does anyone just wish they could get sick for a couple of days? Like, I just need to have a reason. And then sometimes the responses are, I do think this, but then I realized I'd probably have to work through it, and I dread the concept of getting sick because I don't know what I would do. And that's possibly worse. Like, I'm not even sure. But thank you for sharing that. It is like a terrible thought. I feel like at some point in my career over the last like 12 years, I think I've thought that at some point too, 11 years.

Giugi Carminati - I'll tell you I thought it a week or two before I had my pulmonary embolism that nearly killed me. And then I was like, oh, and I write that in my book. I'm like, this is what you wanted, you idiot?

Shaun Salmon - Right. Right.

Giugi Carminati - Like this is what you wanted? And I'm like, of course not. Like I don't wanna nearly die. And guess what? No days off.

Shaun Salmon - I mean, I actually, I mean, that's absolutely wild.

Giugi Carminati - I nearly died. I didn't take days off. I just kept working.

Shaun Salmon - I mean, that's actually, so I've actually seen it come up even more with like COVID, right, because people have said like, oh, if I caught COVID, could I take some time? And like other, with the like mass layoffs that were happening at the beginning like across all industries, people were like, no, you're just gonna get more work. And so yeah. I mean, I definitely understand the thought and of course, it's terrifying. And so I think like let's connect this to diversity and inclusion, right? So can you talk to us a little bit about attorney attrition, how bad is it really, and why are women and BIPOC lawyers leaving the industry at higher rates than men and people who aren't of color?

Giugi Carminati - Absolutely. So there are a couple of things I would really recommend people read. They're resources and they do a lot better justice to this topic. So first, let's put the number out there. So there's a study that came out of California saying that women leave the profession at 150% rate of men. So that's 50% more, right? That's a scary number. And then there's this great line that came out in one of the ABA reports that said law schools has been just as good at producing more women and BIPOC attorneys as law firms has been shedding them. And I thought, oh, that's great. I mean, that's a correct indictment, right? So there's no point in pumping out BIPOC attorneys and women attorneys into a profession that they're gonna eventually leave because it's unlivable. And that's actually part of why I called it The Livable Law Method, 'cause I thought that this job is unlivable, like you can't live in it. So those were kind of the numbers. Now, when I talk about BIPOC attrition, I do that very humbly because it's not my experience and it's not my experience to tell, and certainly, there are many layers to that that I will never fully understand, period, no matter how much I try to educate myself. But I do want to talk about it in the sense that I do want to use my platform to discuss it, but I would encourage everyone to read the ABA report called "Walking Out the Door" that really focuses in on these issues, and it's really, really good material to look at the data and look at voices that are sharing their own experience rather than me sharing it secondhand. Having said that, when I looked into the data and I looked at the reasons that BIPOC women and women leave the profession and they're slightly different, but in some ways, they're the same, but they are slightly different.

So we wanna talk about the differences too. There's two things, right? One is the unpredictability of the job, right? So that's one thing that drives people just out the door. And then the second one is lack of recognition and lack of rewards for the work done. And again, great study that came out of California that talked about the fact that there is in fact a big issue with effort to reward ratio when it comes to BIPOC women and women. And so for a very long time, we were told that women were leaving because we wanted to take care of our babies. And it's like, no, actually. It's because we work really hard and then we don't get the corner office and the big paycheck.

So what's the point, okay? So there's this idea that, no surprise there, right? But the idea that people would not recognize that women are ambitious, but we also wanna get paid for the work that we're doing and we wanna have the same advancements and the same recognition that we deserve. And then the other thing is the unpredictability of the hours, which I think goes back to what we explored earlier about this idea that you're expected to be always available no matter what, which is lunacy, right? But the fact is that we have other obligations. And then for a long time, there was and I did not realize it literally until I was writing this book, that what we were calling the working mothers centric approach was actually really a white-centric approach, and that really hit me, and I've really spent some time thinking about it, like, oh, that's interesting, because this idea of, oh, it's for working moms, so maybe make more childcare available or maybe create flex schedules or whatever it is, it was this idea that you're doing it for working moms who have a spouse by the way, right? Like who have a spouse. And then the numbers that came out of BIPOC women, and there, there was more of, and again, I don't wanna whitewash, and I don't wanna talk about the fact that BIPOC women have monolithic experiences because they do not. And so then the data got kind of this aggregate and it really focused in on black women in the United States who are attorneys and the fact that their experience of what they wanted, what they do out of work is not just their children. It's a more extended concept of family, and it's parents and siblings and nieces and nephews. And so there's a very different model of family that emerges when you look at different types of people in the United States, and then there's also the idea that black women have actually a very high community involvement. So school boards and volunteering and churches and like really doing community work is part of what they do. And so it really struck me 'cause I thought, oh, you know what? We've kind of co-opted this idea that we wanna be more family friendly, but you know what? Work should stay out of what it is that we do in our non-working time. And it doesn't matter if it's free time or time dedicated to other things, but it's none of work's business. We should just be respected as people and we're being paid for our labor and I always go back to this and we sell our labor. And what we do outside of that time is none of anybody else's business. And so this idea that work, then I realized it's a kind of control, and it's kind of conformity. If you fit within this model of what we think you should be doing or are doing outside your work hours, then here's how we're gonna work around you. But if you don't fit in that mold, then I guess you're still out in the cold. And so that's when it hit me that even our efforts to make ourselves more flexible were discriminatory. They're fundamentally discriminatory because they assume one structure and they assume a very white-centric model of what people think working women do. And so that's when legal project management for me was like, oh, this is where the solutions come in, and I'm happy to talk a little bit more of that, but that's when I hit on it and I was like, oh, legal project management actually answers these questions.

Shaun Salmon - That's extremely interesting, and to be honest, like I haven't. I'm a white woman. Like I haven't thought about the fact that there is a higher level of community in other cultures in America. Just, I mean, I happen to have a large family. So I happen to have some of that, but not everybody does. So that's so interesting. And I'm gonna say, there's probably another layer here. So can you talk a little bit about how COVID has exacerbated lawyer mental health problems and attrition for people of these different groups?

Giugi Carminati - So evidently, I think in that ice, I talk about this in my book that when women come into the profession, we are part of support networks. We just are. We are support networks to each other, but to our loved ones, to our families, however we define that term, right? Broadly, it's not just children, like to our families, whatever it is, to our communities, however we define them. And when COVID hit, that support structure was tested and stressed to the limits. And so if jobs kept asking of us the impossible in a situation that just became more impossible by the minute, by the day, they're gonna lose us. And so then when I see that women fled the workplace, I'm not shocked by that. We were already trying to maintain these tenuous boundaries between work and life and the people that we were assisting and helping and supporting and loving, and then we were told, we're now going to collapse your universes so that you have to do all of the things, all of the time, in one place, which is your house. Good luck. Like I can't. I'm not doing that. Like at some point, you're like, you know what? Something's got to give and I cannot return my children and I cannot return my family and I cannot return my community. So I guess, hello work. You're the only thing I'm gonna have to return, bye. And I get that. Like I was next door here in my house and I was running. Well, luckily, the daycare kept going and they were really safe and I'm very grateful to them, but certainly, I was running three grades. Like I'm not, I mean, I cannot be a full-time teacher, plus their mom trying to guide them through a pandemic, plus a full-time attorney, plus the coordinator of all the things in the house, plus doing other things that I was doing 'cause I did wanna keep being active in my community and that had to kind of go by the wayside because I couldn't do it all. So COVID exacerbated. It's not that it created the problem, is that it just underpinned how completely unrealistic we are about the expectations we put on human beings in our society.

Shaun Salmon - Absolutely. And I love that you like ended that with the expectations we put on human beings, because while we are talking specifically today about ways to use project management to combat attrition and to promote diversity and inclusion in the legal profession, we are also like very aware here, and I feel like you are very aware here that it's still all humans. Like all humans are struggling with this and everyone on the planet is struggling with the limitations that COVID put on them, right? So like we have a specific subject at hand, but that does not discount that this has been stressful for all.

Giugi Carminati - Right.

Shaun Salmon - Right?

Giugi Carminati - It has been stressful for all and it does require everybody to take on all the roles that somehow we were able to divvy up.

Shaun Salmon - Right.

Giugi Carminati - And to me, really, my foray into legal project management really happened like right before the pandemic and then got exacerbated during the pandemic, but it actually helped during the pandemic, because it was addressing both those two pain points that cause attrition among women attorneys, but also pain points that affect all attorneys.

Shaun Salmon - Right. Right. And so what are your thoughts on what we can do about the attrition problem, first and foremost?

Giugi Carminati - Okay. So the fact that legal project management addresses the two issues that I identified, right? One is the lack of reward for the efforts that are made, and second is the unpredictability of hours. And so let's talk about those two things separately. The first one is let's talk about unpredictability of hours. Legal project management forces people. You put a project manager in place, right? And you can call them a scrum master if you're using Agile terminology. If you have a more complex system, like more complex teams or whatever, it can be a legal project manager. But just having a scrum master and there's a whole technique to it, but basically checks in on a daily basis, 15 minutes, no more with everybody and to have a task management system in place that says, okay, these are the tasks that are happening, this is who is working on them, and having somebody whose job is to look at the bandwidth and not just productivity. And so I'm gonna go into the nitty-gritty of my method in two respects at this point. The first one is that it's broken up into three pillars, right? The management of tasks, the management of time, and the management of things. And those are the three pillars that you function in, and then there's three sub pillars for each of those pillars, and then there's methods on how to implement them. But understanding that, look, there's a structure to how we should be doing this is the first step. The second thing is that lawyers have compressed the roles of case management, right? They're literally managing the case, the lead, the attorney on the case, and process management. But those are actually two different things, because the case manager, the lead attorney is concerned with the what. They're concerned with what it is that we're going to achieve, what it is that we're going to deliver, and they don't care how much time it takes, how much exhaustion it takes, how much effort it's gonna take. It just needs to get done. But the person who's in charge, which doesn't exist right now, and that is the concept of the scrum master. The person who is in charge of the process is really focused on the how. How are we going to get this done, and how are we going to do it in a way that does not completely exhaust our team? So they look at bandwidth, they look at time and hours available, they look at how much each person has on their plate, and who can complete what by when. And that's why I created the principles though, right? Because if they're operating just in a vacuum, that's hard. But if they're operating with principles such as the workweek is finite or self-care without team care is futile. If you're only telling people to take bubble baths and you're not taking care of your team as a whole to make sure that they're not completely exhausted and being overworked, then it's futile. You cannot bubble back your way to sanity. So that's one thing, and the key to that is that it makes works predictable, because if the scrum master sees that, I'm sorry, you would have to work until... No, I'm sorry. There's not enough hours today. So we're gonna have to reassign and move the work around, or, and this is there's a tension and that's okay, they have to go to the lead attorney and say, hey, we are regularly clocked. We regularly have more work than we can complete with the team in the hours available. We need more personnel or we need better, we need something. We either less need less work or we need more personnel because we are running thin. So that's the first thing, 'cause legal project management forces that conversation of, we only have this many work hours a week across our team and we have too much work to complete it in those hours. So that's why I would address the first thing. And then the second thing, which I'm pretty sure listeners are like, oh, I'm starting to get it now, right? If there is a scrum master who is separate and apart from the lead attorney who is watching, who does what, when, who is completing their work on time, who is getting the juicy assignments, who is constantly getting grunt work or scutwork and doesn't get any recognition, then you have objective data to create more objective evaluations of people's contributions. And you also ensure or at least have a path to ensuring that tasks are not continuously doled out to people who are within their affinity groups, which happens within law firms. Look, we're humans. We are humans. Like this guy might like this guy and this girl might like this girl. Like whatever it is, we tend to revolve around our networks, right? It's the scrum master can be like, hey, you have assigned the same associates, 15 tasks, and you never give work to this lady. So you can't complain she doesn't have enough hours because you're not giving her the work to complete it. Or you're giving this dude all the juicy assignments where he can really showcase the skills and you're not really giving anything to showcase her skills to her. Or which was a really great example I had in real life. There was an attorney who said, "Oh, I don't like so-and-so and so-and-so's work "because like they did a terrible job, "like they turned in a bad assignment." And I was like, oh, that's interesting, 'cause then I looked at my task sheet and I'm like, I'm sorry. I don't see any tasks assigned to that person from you. So I'm not understanding what they're turning in, and it turns out they were thinking about the wrong person. But you understand how dramatic that could be if it happens, and look, it's not malice, but it's literally because there's not somebody who is objectively taking down tasks, and I was like, no, no, no. These tasks were not assigned to that person. So I don't understand what you mean. And then I found out that actually they had assigned some tasks outside my matrix and then have yanked them back. And I was like, nah, you can judge them on work that you half-heartedly assigned and then pulled back. Like they didn't have an opportunity to shine. So if we did that more consistently, then when you're looking at promotion and performance reviews and salary bumps and partnership tracks, you're actually looking at a body of data that is more objective. And task management, which is part of legal project management, is what allows people to do that.

Shaun Salmon - That's fabulous. And so I feel like the obvious next question here, because you've talked a lot about how project management can help combat attrition, and I love the concept that you would have like hard data to look at to see whether or not a more diverse community of people is actually suffering when you lack project management, right? And so I guess the next question here is like, what is the livable law method, and how does it help implement this project management in order to solve this attrition problem, right?

Giugi Carminati - Right. Absolutely. So the livable law method, I started talking a little bit about it, it's overarching, let's talk about it, just big picture. You're applying. It's taking Agile project management techniques from basically the software world, programming world, and applying them to the legal profession. So that's one way to start looking at it. Second, we implement according to these three pillars, which are management of task, management of time, management of things. Things refers to documents and the assets that lawyers work with and operate with. And then within those pillars, there are techniques and methods, and I'm gonna pull out a couple that are really like to me that were life-changing, and I think that if people watching this just start implementing those, they will see a complete change in the way they're doing work. And I'm not saying that it's not gonna be without some resistance, and that's actually a really good topic for another question, like why we get resistance in the legal profession. But first, let's talk about what it would look like in a perfect world. And then on top of that, there are 10 principles. And I really like talking about them and I don't wanna read them all out. But basically, I will introduce them and talk about them as I'm talking about techniques. So there's 10 of them. The first one is people are not widgets, and the 10th one is burnout is forever. And to me, those were the two most important ones, which is why I put them there. So I burned out twice, and I will tell you that I'm recovered totally. But there are fragilities that stay there. And so I just don't want people to think that, well, if you burn out, you just get better. I don't think you ever totally get over it. There will always be parts of you that are bruised by what happened. And so we have to prevent it as much as we can. And then the second principle is a case is not a fiefdom, which is...

Shaun Salmon - That's the thing.

Giugi Carminati - Which is why you need project managers and you need lawyers who are willing to understand like your case is not your fiefdom. You don't get to just decide what you want every two minutes in whatever direction you're feeling that day, right? It is a process and there is a procedure in place, and if you treat as a fiefdom, you're gonna exhaust people because chasing after demands is one of the keys to burnout. The third one is the workweek is finite, which I've talked about. And then I'm gonna talk about the fourth one right now and then we can talk about the ones next, but this one's pretty obvious, boundaries, not balance. And that goes back to my concept of why are we doing work-life balance? We shouldn't, there should be boundaries, and that's when I found my sanity when I created boundaries. Like there are boundaries and that's it. And if you don't like my boundaries, then you are not fit to work with a human person. So you should go find a robot. Like that's the way it is.

Shaun Salmon - I was muted so that you could talk about that. But I was like, I'm gonna unmute just to laugh because that's pretty funny, although there's a whole argument for robots. But the other thing I just wanted to say really too regarding your first one, right, or no, the last one, sorry, 10, burnout is forever. I think one of the major points, right, because you've had a health issue, like burnout is forever, especially if it leads to a health issue that you then have to do. Like health is like the one thing you can't get back fully.

Giugi Carminati - You can't get it back.

Shaun Salmon - And that is like a concrete example of a bruise, right? Like a concrete example is a health issue that now you have to monitor for the rest of your life, right? That type of thing.

Giugi Carminati - That's right. So let's talk about... So under management of tasks, my three sub-pillars are management of deadlines, people, and accountability, right? And all of those are different things. So I'm gonna start up with one thing immediately, deadlines. Lawyers operate on deadlines. We all know that. That's great. Okay. Lawyers operate on the final deadline, the deadline when things need to be done. And I talk about this scene in my book, because I think it's really funny in some ways. I came home, it was really late, like probably 11:00 p.m., like in the middle of, I don't know, but it was super, super late, right? And I come home and I was like to my husband, well, yeah, today was filing day. It's just the way it is. And he's like, "I'm sorry. "Did you not know you were gonna have to file today, "like 30 days ago? "Why is it always a last minute deadline?" I'm like, that's just the way it is. And I was like, whatever. You don't understand our profession. Fast-forward 10 years, and I'm like, why are we rushing on the last day? I mean, we've known this for 30 days, but the fact is that he's right. So one thing I do with deadlines is that I have internal deadlines, and an internal deadline is a real hard deadline. It's not just a soft deadline. I'd like to have it but no, no, no, no. The final product, like we could file it on this day is at least I make it five business days, which ends up being a week, five business days before my heart is channel deadline. And you have no idea how much that evaporated stress 'cause nobody's nope, nobody. We push and we're like hey, our hard deadline is Friday. Our hard deadline is Friday. Everything's done by Friday. I'm like, great. We're gonna throw next Thursday. Cool. Good. Well done, team. Nice job.

Shaun Salmon - Well, and I feel like you should also just mention, because I mean, I was actually cracking up at what your husband said to you. Like, it's not like your husband doesn't understand a stressful role and a stressful career. The man's a doctor.

Giugi Carminati - No, he is our physician. He works at it and reviews the rule.

Shaun Salmon - Yeah. He's not sitting there being like, why is your job so stressful? My job is not. Like, that's not, you know.

Giugi Carminati - No. No, no, no. But he's like, when someone comes in with a heart attack, nobody scheduled it like it just happened.

Shaun Salmon - Right.

Giugi Carminati - But he's like, but you guys have known you were supposed to fall 30 days ago. And I was like, don't even, whatever. And I was like, don't question me. But that was like, after, you know, 10 years later, I'm like, why are we? What is wrong with us? So that's one thing to talk about.

So the hard deadline, internal deadlines are really important. So everybody should have a task matrix, and that's something a lot of like, most firms do not operate with task matrix who sees which list am I. So you should have a task management system and I don't care what soft, it can be in a software, it can be in an Excel spreadsheet, it can be in a Word document. It doesn't matter. It needs to be a task matrix. It needs to have what matter, right? If there's more than one matter, what matter it's on, what's the task, right? Internal deadline, external deadline, and then here's an important part of that. This is legal project management. I did not come up with this. You should go. Susan Reardon of Law Vision is really, it's in her book. It's really good. It's called "The RACI LACI." She explains it. She didn't make it up either, but she explains it really well in her book.

"The RACI LACI." So RACI means that or LACI, depending which one you want to use. It's R-A-C-I or L-A-C-I. And what do you do is that you have someone who's responsible, which is that's the person who's gonna do the work. There's someone who's accountable. That's the person, the buck stops there. Like if it's not done, they're gonna be in trouble. Anybody that needs to be conferred with and anybody that needs to be informed. And that forces a conversation. For example, I know this has happened to a lot of attorneys. You can deny it, but it's true out there. You get to the last day of filing and you're like, oh, did we confer with opposing counsel? Oh crap, no. Let's send them a quick email and if they don't respond by five, then we'll file. Don't what? The reason is because everybody's just throwing tasks at each other. But if you have a conversation under C, conferral, oh, we got to confer with that strike, send that email now. It's like we are way out because we're still way before internal deadline anyway, right? So you do that.

And the other thing is you can look at your spreadsheet and I've done this before. When I look at the spreadsheet, I'm like, wait a minute. So-and-so is responsible for like six motions in the next two weeks. That's not gonna work. So then you redistribute work in a more fair way, and you'll also see it all in one spot. And so you're like, you know what? You keep getting like these really complicated motions, but this person hasn't been able to show us how her writing is. So let's get her to give it us. You know, let's throw some work that way so that everybody gets a chance to learn, train, make mistakes, and shine. Like everybody deserves an opportunity to do all those things.

So a task matrix is like, number one with an internal and external deadline, super important. And people sometimes like, oh, by well, sometime next week, and I as the scrum master would tell the lead attorney, the senior, you know, the partner, no. Not sometime next week date, because the other thing is that you don't allow people to become bottlenecks. So for example, I would push the lead attorney and be like, I'm sorry, but if she turns it in on Wednesday, when are you gonna turn it over? Well, maybe I'll look at it on the weekend, and I'm like, no. Then, why are we putting on her to have it in by Wednesday and she can have it in by Friday, and there's other work that can tape her, right? Like look at the bandwidth, look at the rhythm, like force people to be accountable, and also force partners to be accountable. Force them to be like you said that you were gonna review these three motions over the weekend. That means on Monday, they need to get to the paralegal for final read-through or whatever exhibit or whatever, however your workflow has happened. Push them to like everybody should be accountable. And so that's the third point under that first thing is accountability. Like everybody should be accountable for the work that they promised to do. So that's one technique.

The other technique falls, I think more under management of time, honestly, and it's having daily scrums. They're called scrums because you can read up on it but there was a history of it that the first idea of it was like the rugby scrum. So nobody in law firm loves it when I propose this idea, like they hate it, and I understand why they hate it, but it's okay. You still got to make them do it. It's like getting a COVID shot. It's not pleasant but you gonna go do it, okay. So the scrum is 15 minutes. And when I say 15 minutes, I mean 15 minutes. Not longer. 15. Same time, every day, Zoom is fine. If it's in person, everybody stands. It's also called a daily standup. So people stand up. So you know it's 15 minutes and that's it. It's seven to nine. Sorry, it's five to nine people. You can have more than nine people for math reasons because you can't have that many people reporting. Each person gets about 90 seconds. And each person covers in those 90 seconds what they've done since the last meeting, so what they've done since yesterday, what they're going to do before tomorrow, any asks of the team, and any stucks. So what they've done since the last 24 is critical because it gives everybody else a sense of, oh, that task is moving along, that task, wait a minute. I thought you were working on that. Why is it you're not working on that, which is fine, but I need to know. So I need to understand why that's not happening, right? You're giving your situational awareness to everybody else. What you're going to do in the next 24 hours.

Here's why that's important and people hate this because it forces you to create a reasonable to-do list. It cannot be everything on your plate 'cause you're not gonna do everything on your plate in 24 hours unless you have a very teeny-weeny plate, which never happens in a law firm. It helps you prioritize and it helps you be really efficient about, okay, I have 24 hours, this is what I'm gonna achieve. It also decreases stress because then you're like, okay. I said I was gonna do these five things and I finished these five things, and that's it, right? If you have this mountain of work that you can never get through, it's gonna completely feel overwhelming and defeating. And then you have asks, which is you ask the team. So for example, oh, hey, yesterday I finished this draft. My ask is so-and-so. Can you please proofread it? Or I turn this draft into my partner. My ask is to my partner. So asks can go up, right? It can go across, it can go down in the hierarchy. Go up and say, hey, I sent it to you. My ask is if you could please review it so I can make edits by Friday and then we can have it done by Monday, whatever it is.

And then stucks, stucks are really important, because sometimes, team members will just get stuck on a task and then not tell you they're stuck and then it just doesn't happen for two weeks. So stuck is I was asked to reach out to this person. I cannot find their number for life of me. Can someone please give me their phone number? Or this person won't return my phone call or this is a really hard legal issue and I don't know how to get around it or I'm not finding the case slot, whatever it is. If an ask or a stuck takes more than 30 seconds to work through, you push it to post-scrum, which is another 15 minutes. And that means that the whole team is there for 15 minutes, that's it. And then only the people that are concerned by these stucks or the asks are going to stay another 15. So everybody else can go back to their life or they don't have to sit there and listen to conversation that has no impact on their life or their work. The post-scrum people have their conversation. If it cannot get resolved in those 15, then it gets pushed into an ad hoc meeting for that issue and that issue only, and that way you're creating efficiencies and when you go into meetings, there are actual actionable goals for each of the meetings and only the people that need to be there are there. So if you already start implementing those things, that's huge.

And then I have one more and we can talk about it and that is calendaring and I have a whole chapter on. I mean, it's really a lot of stuff. But basically, the calendar should be updated in real time, like truly updated in real time, it should be universally accessible to the whole team, and it should not, should not be one of the lawyer's calendars. The firm calendar is a different calendar. Like in Outlook, I create an email address that's literally called from doc calendar and everybody gets it shared with them and all of the deadlines are on there. And every week on Friday, preferably before the scrum, every week on Friday, somebody takes it, takes what's on the calendar for the next two weeks and there's a lineup, where basically they pull the data out, they list, hey, these are our deadlines for the next 14 days, and then you talk about it at the meeting and you can be like, okay, next 14 days, this is what's coming down the pike. Is everything being taken care of? Is everything addressed? And that allows people to get out of that chaos and that overload of information that calendars create and really narrow in. And I'm gonna add one more meaning. That conversation about the calendar should take place at a weekly, I call it the matrix review, but once a week on Friday, you pick out two hours and that's just two hours and everybody has to show up at the same time, every week, two hours, and everybody goes through that task list and there's limitations on time there too. Like each case can't take more than you find a number, like four minutes, three minutes, however many cases you have. Each case can take more than three minutes. You go through it, okay. These are the tasks that I have for this case. Is there anything else? Is there anything we're missing? Is there anything that needs to be done differently? Everybody pitches in. The scrum master writes it up in the task list, move on to the next case. If something takes more than three minutes or like you know what? You need a whole meeting on this case because it's become kind of a mess. So that's it. So daily scrums, 15 minutes. Weekly task matrix review, about two hours with time limitations on how much, not only how much each case takes, but how much each person can talk, 'cause that's sometimes an issue, task matrix with internal and external deadlines, and you would be very much on your way to peace and to having a livable law.

Shaun Salmon - Fantastic. So I feel like, right, we're talking about like a lot of meetings, we're talking about, but not actually a lot, just full disclosure. Like I work within a RACI, so I understand a lot about yeah. So you're speaking my language. Also like just my love, my organizational structure, like I love this, and also my husband's a project manager. So like it's all, I'm all up in it, right? But I do feel like this might be scaring some people when it comes to like different types of management. And so specifically, I mean, I know that you can tell us a little bit about different types of management, but can you talk about how this actually can help combat a micromanager as opposed to like forcing micromanagement, because I think some people might be like feeling like when they hear you talk that it lends itself to micromanagement when that's actually not the case.

Giugi Carminati - Right. So the fear comes from the fact that we are usually exposed to a lot of horrible management, and that's really where the pain point, that's the trigger that's coming, right? Because we have been subjected to horrific management in part because lawyers assume that while they went to law school and now they manage matter, so I'll just say they can manage people, which is not true. It's a false statement, okay. So here's how it combats micromanagement actually.

First of all, the scrum master, the person who's in charge of the scrum is the person who's managing the scrums. The lead attorney is not running these meetings. In fact, they come in, they give their part. Usually for more senior people, I don't ask them to tell me what they've done and they're doing because their workload is a little different, but I do have them download their asks and their stucks. And their reason that it actually decreases micromanagement is because you have a gatekeeper now who's the scrum master, right? And the scrum master knows there's 15 minutes in the day where the lead attorney can come and just dump all over everybody, what they want, asks and stucks and whatever, and then go away. And then everybody does their job. And the next day, they come back and they self-report and they self-regulate. And the point is that if somebody is like following up with them all day, the scrum master can step in and say, hey, that's kind of disruptive. Please save up all of your questions because you're gonna see these people every single day for 15 minutes. So if you have a million questions, please save them up and pepper them all in these 15 minutes and then go back to do your job and they're gonna do their job, right? The idea is to basically condense all of the peppering and people are gonna come up, you're gonna come up and you're gonna self-report your job. But the scrum master is not there to micromanage. They're not being like, why did you do it this way or why did you? That's not their job. Their job is to receive the information and then maybe divvy up, like, yo, you know what? Your list is like 25 things. You're not gonna have them done by tomorrow. Let's switch it out a little bit, but they're working on the process. They're not there to like drill down on one human person who is like reporting on their work, because let's, oh, I guess this is a really key part of it. In the scrum, every person, like the team is self-organizing and it's self-motivating. So the scrum master is not there to tell people how to do their jobs. It's just there to like receive the reports, make sure that everybody has tasks and everybody's getting what they need, and then move on with their lives. And so that's why it really actually helps.

The other way it helps micromanaging is that if you have a well-intentioned micromanager, part of the time is because they're freaking out because they don't have situational awareness of what's going on. And so micromanaging is actually a form of trying to gain control over a process where they feel they have no control, but the scrum gives them that control, because once a day, they get to sit in and listen to everything that's happening, and the scrum master usually writes, or usually there's a scribe, like one of the team members writes it all down in short form and then circulates it. So every day, the micromanager will get a report from everybody, and they don't have to ask for it, it's done, and that way, I think it also calms them down because they're like, oh yeah. I understand what's happening every day at this firm.

Shaun Salmon - Fantastic. And so I mean, we're coming up on time, but I have a bunch more questions for you. So I'm just gonna go through a couple of them. So I think I was gonna ask you, like what can legal project managers do for a firm, but I actually think you covered that because the goal of that, right, is they help implement this and keep the structure. Anything else?

Giugi Carminati - That's it. We haven't talked about the management of things, which is e-discovery and document management, client file management, and the drafting process, but that's also just more techniques that the legal project manager implements. But they are truly the keeper of the process and not the strategy and not the case. They're the ones that help implement techniques and safeguard the process. One of my principles, I know all of them conceptually, but case management is not process management. That's really important to remember. The legal project manager manages the process. They're not managing the case. The attorney serves the clients. That's their job, right? The lead attorney, the partner in charge, whoever's driving this case is gonna serve the client. But that's why like the eighth principle of the livable law method is that you serve the client but you protect the team. That's what the legal project manager does. They serve the client but they protect their team.

Shaun Salmon - And I actually think that's a great kind of segue back into just the reiteration of why project management, one, is important in law firms, but two, why it can be a tool to combat attrition among women, people of color, people of, you know, like minority groups of all kinds, right? And I think that like it's because of that, that key principle of like, yes, you're serving the client, but it shouldn't come at the expense of the team. And I think that I would just love you to kind of capstone a little bit why this serves as a tool.

Giugi Carminati - Okay. The legal project management does a couple of things. One of them is that it dramatically reduces stress. The other one is that it creates a defender and protector of the team and it legitimizes certain conversations that are really hard to have, and that certain groups, women, and BIPOC women, especially, get penalized for having, for attempting to have, right? When women started saying, look, these are my requirements, the response was, well, maybe flex time or reduce billable requirements or whatever it is, right? Legal project management, what it does is that it normalizes the conversation of, she's not asking for flex time. She's asking for a normal workweek. That's all she's asking for. We don't have to like downgrade her and we don't have to consider her as opinionated or loud or not dedicated to work because then you have somebody who is there to protect the team and that is going to be their job. And so when somebody on the team says, look, I worked 50 hours this week, and next week, it looks like 60, like I can't keep doing this. The conversation is not between that lawyer and the partner in charge or the owner of the firm because women and BIPOC women get penalized when we ask those questions. And so you have a scrum master, a legal project manager who goes in and says, they're the go-between. You're like, hey, the team doesn't have enough hours available, not as a soft like ask as a issue of human performance. Like we don't have enough hours available. And so that's part of the conversation. And the other thing is that if you implemented legal project management as a philosophy, partners and firm owners would have to shift their thought process, like they would just have to shift the way they operate and shift the way they operate their businesses, because they would understand, oh, these are not exceptions. This is the norm among teams and I need to figure out how to work with these teams.

Shaun Salmon - Absolutely. And so I think like one of the questions here, how could I help get buy-in to implement something like this from colleagues or partners at a firm? I mean, obviously, I don't work at a firm anymore, but I did.

Giugi Carminati - So can we talk about the fact that it's really hard. There's actually great studies. The article is called herding cats. When it first came out, the researcher used a caliper profile to figure out what lawyers look like. And when you see like what lawyers look like and I don't mean like physically, I mean, mentally, like the way we are softer, the way we operate, we're very similar to each other and we're not similar to the general population. So first, in order to get buy-in, you'd have to understand, like truly understand the population that you're dealing with. And so that's a really good piece of research called herding cats and I talk about in my book. There's a couple of attributes. The first one is lawyers have very low resilience. Resilience in this sense means ability to withstand criticism and scrutiny. We're not. We're super sensitive. We get super hurt all the time about everything, which is really bad because we're also super arrogant about it and we don't let people in about it. So one thing is realized that when you are implementing legal project management, some people may see it as a rebuke of how they've been managing things up until now, and just be aware that that's how it might be perceived and how to go gently around that topic, like that's one source of resistance. The other thing is that we're highly independent. We don't like to be managed. We don't like to be told how to do things, right? So difficult people to implement legal project management with because we kind of don't like it. The other thing is that we're not very social, and it's funny 'cause like, our numbers were very low for sociability and then if you remove the rainmakers, it's abysmally low, 'cause they make money and they talk to people, but everybody else is like, no. So understand that legal project management to a certain extent requires team interactions and lawyers are not fans of that. We're literally like cats, and I love cats, but working like cats.

So there's a couple of things you can look at from that perspective and understand. So this is how I would tell you. Okay, first thing, send them my book. Like, just start with my book or one of my 15-second snippets on legal project management, because it really is helpful to understand it, just like 15 seconds. But more concretely, start slow, start small. For example, I have come into teams and said, hey, let's do a daily scrum. And they're like, what? I'm like, let's do daily mint. It's like 15 minutes. It's a meeting, less 15 minutes. Just 15 minutes. We can do 15 minutes. And so I started doing that. And then, yeah, there's some resistance, but immediately, the benefits become clear, because immediately, you can tell who and I will tell you this and then you will see it is true. Your chronic underperformance will do one of two things. They'll either tell you they're too busy to have a to-do list, too much on their plate job and to-do list, right, or they will rattle off their entire to-do list, because they're not prioritizing and they are living in a state of chaos. And that's how you can immediately help them. Like, nope, I really want to know what are the five things you're gonna do today? What are the five things you did yesterday? And help like push them.

Immediately, you're gonna see benefits. Immediately, you're gonna see team members start. You're gonna tell them, like, put together your asks, put together your stucks. Oh yeah, I'm stuck on this, right. So we wouldn't have known that if we hadn't had this meeting. And you start sending them the daily summary, like this is what's happening. Start doing that. Just the daily scrum. That's gonna change things. That's like dipping your toe. The other thing you can do, small little thing, the 14-day lineup, the two-week lineup of your calendar on Fridays, game-changing, 'cause who does not like receiving an email that clearly tells them what has to be done in the next 14 days and who is assigned to do them? Start slow. Just start a little bit at a time. And that's something that you can do on your own. Like you don't need anybody. You can just go to the calendar, create your two-week tally. Hey, I started doing this on Fridays. Here we go. Here's my 14-day lineup. Everybody knows what's happening. And then the third thing, harder, but once you get there, you are in the pocket, a task matrix. Like create an Excel spreadsheet. If you guys don't have a software, it's okay. It doesn't have to be fancy. Create a task matrix. Hey, this is what I think everybody's working on. Can people please update with what they're working on? There are gonna be resistance because we hate to be managed, but I guarantee you that the person in charge will all of a sudden be like, oh, this is great. I know what everybody's doing. I'm like, yeah, wouldn't that be great? That starts the conversation. Once you can show immediate benefit from those little techniques, then the conversation just becomes a little bit easier 'cause you're like, you know what? Here's all these other ideas, or here's somebody we can bring in to train us on legal project management or maybe we need a scrum master. Like you got to graduate up to it very slowly.

Shaun Salmon - Absolutely, and I do feel like you just described me also, and I'm like, oh, well it makes sense, lawyer. And basically, you also just said that like every attorney is an extroverted introvert. That's like pretty much where we are. That's where we all fall.

Giugi Carminati - Yeah.

Shaun Salmon - Okay. Fantastic. They're all like me. So...

Giugi Carminati - Like human interaction exhausts us and we go into a profession that requires it all the time.

Shaun Salmon - All the time. I was like, I did not think this through. So there's just a couple of other things here that I think like, they're just like, they kind of popped into my head. So one of the things I think that is really important is I know this is not, we're not, this is not an ethics program, but I think there's an argument here too for the lifestyle that a lot of attorneys are forced to live because of just the nature of the profession as it stands that like kind of inherently runs a foul of ethical considerations, right? And so is this something where like, or do you believe that being able to implement something like this with the benefit obviously of like combating attrition and like making the actual industry a more inclusive place and allowing women and people of color to thrive in the industry? Do you also think that it helps solve the problem of attorneys practicing when they like can't even keep their eyes open, right?

Giugi Carminati - Well, it's funny because it's not considered unethical, right, to be completely out of your mind, but then I watch CLEs and it's like, you really should be very unique, and they say like it is unethical, but then I look at the real life and I'm like, please.

Shaun Salmon - It's a competence question.

Giugi Carminati - Let me introduce you to the lawyers who are operating with like two hours of sleep, yeah.

Shaun Salmon - In four days.

Giugi Carminati - Right. So it's like, theoretically, yes, but in practice, people keep working, like they're not in non-functional states. But yes, I 100% believe that if we truly believe that competent representation is an ethical obligation, then part of competence is to have people who are not so stressed or exhausted out of their mind that they're not thinking straight.

Shaun Salmon - Right.

Giugi Carminati - Yeah.

Shaun Salmon - Or what you talked about earlier, which I think like, feel free to touch on anything else within this, but like the current state of like attorney mental health and substance abuse and attorney wellbeing and what we use to cope, right? If you wanted to end the repercussions of such, like if you wanted to speak to that effect briefly while we still have a little bit of time, like I think that connects to the competence issue and I think we can cope with all that.

Giugi Carminati - The fact that we self-medicate with alcohol should be a big issue, and then you talk about it, right? Competence, oh, well, if alcohol use is impairing your ability to function, but it's like when people drive and they're like, I'm not drunk, I'm just a little buzzed, right? So lawyers behave that way. Like, well, I don't have problematic alcohol use. I just use it to cope every day. Okay. Well, then, you have a problematic use of alcohol, right? And which makes it a competence issue. And it's really, a third of us, a third of us, this is not a small problem, like one in three of us. And so I absolutely think that if we could find ways to make this profession less stressful, which would drive fewer people to engage in behavior that affects their competence, then yes, we would be improving from an ethical standpoint, the services that we are delivering to our clients, 100%.

Shaun Salmon - And the only reason I brought one, you just said something that had triggered that thought, but also like you brought up ways to try and get buy in, and I think like zealous, ethical, competent representation is potentially an argument. So I figured I would just ask you your thoughts. So I think we do need to wrap this up a little bit. I think we should close out with this question. It does seem like a lot of industries have been using project management for decades, whether it be Agile or a different methodology. Why do you think law firms haven't caught on to it yet?

Giugi Carminati - A couple of reasons, honestly, and I've had this thought a lot. One is that we are independent cats who hate to be managed, and that's truly a part of the issue, right? That's truly part of the issue. I think also another part of it is that there's this notion that being an attorney is a service industry. And so there's this concept for a long time that project management is for industries that make things, but that's not true anymore. It hasn't been true for a long time, but we are this last bastion of, oh, like, you know, the solo attorney delivering services to their clients that walk in the door, but that's not how it is. The law is complex. It uses technology. We're using a lot of moving pieces at once. And so part of it is that there's just been this very old-fashioned notion of what it means to be an attorney, and there hasn't been a catch-up. And then I think we are megalomaniacs. Like lawyers are taught and this is the big issue, I think, that managing a case is the same as managing people and managing the process. And so lawyers think that once they know how to manage a case, that's good enough because they know how to manage a case. But it's not. It's two different types of management. And that is truly novel for attorneys. Like when I say that to people, they look at me like I'm crazy, and I'm like but that's been this last bastion of we are misusing the word management.

Shaun Salmon - I love that. I think that that is like a great place to end that portion on. I do want to thank you so much for joining me today to just reiterate that you did write a book on the subject. So if you want to just like let everyone know where they can find it, if you have like small bookstore orders you like want to rep, feel free to do that. And also like where they can follow you or any contact info you feel like sharing.

Giugi Carminati - Absolutely. So my name is Giugi Carminati. My email is [email protected], super easy to find. It's [email protected] My book is called "The Livable Law Method" and it's available on Amazon and it's those Kindle and a paper copy. So you can order it, it'll be yours, and I truly mean it. I really want it to change your life for the better. Like I really, really want it to be a tool that people are like, oh my God, this could change everything. And I'm absolutely available if you guys have questions and you wanna reach out to me and email me. I love answering questions about project management.

Shaun Salmon - Awesome. So thank you so much and have a great day.

Giugi Carminati - Thank you for having me. I love talking to you and I love sharing this information and I'm so grateful you had me on this program and have a wonderful day.

Shaun Salmon - You too. Bye.

Giugi Carminati - Bye.

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On demand
1h 12m 08s

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