Archive for December, 2008

How International Lawyers Can Get Happy

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Are you happy? If not, get social.

So reports National Public Radio today in Happiness: It Really Is Contagious.  Happy people tend to have bigger social networks; when one member of the network feels happy, that feeling can spread among other network members. Those at the center of the network have a better chance of catching the wave of happiness.

And happily, as the radio version of this story reports, unhappiness does not spread in the same manner; positive emotions seem to bond and integrate groups of people in a way that unhappiness doesn’t.

So, how can international lawyers get happy, despite the gloomy market conditions? Here are six ways to ramp up happiness with social interaction:

1. Interact not only with friends, but also friends of friends. If you are in the middle of a job search, career change networking gives you the opportunity to socialize with a lot of people.

2. Get involved with legal groups like the Section of International Law of the ABA , the International Bar Association or another bar association. Actively participate in their committees.

3. ‘Tis the season to have a party, and invite lots of colleagues, clients and co-workers. Also accept as many party invitations as possible, and then actually attend the events.

4. Actively market yourself through in-person encounters. Many lawyers are introverts, and gravitate towards solitary marketing practices like writing articles or book chapters. Instead, network more; as you interact with people,  look for ways to help them, rather than trying to get something (business) from them.

5. Do some volunteer work, perhaps at a pro bono clinic or through another group volunteer activity. For more on the benefits of pro bono work, see my article called the Pro Bono Plus.

6. Spend time with HAPPY people.

Happy holidays!

Foreign Law Firms Set to Practice in Singapore

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Congratulations to Magic Circle firms Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance for winning a Qualified Foreign Law Practice license from Singapore’s government. Singapore’s government hopes to boost the country’s reputation as a financial center by admitting a few law firm powerhouses like those two, along with White & Case, Latham & Watkins, Norton Rose and Herbert Smith. The firms’ practices will be limited in scope to areas like intellectual property and financial matters. We thank Bloomberg for alerting us to this development; follow the link for more details.

Transatlantic Litigation Update

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Thanks to for an interesting update on firms’ transatlantic litigation.