Practicing law in a coworking space
As many of you may know, I run my law practice out of Indy Hall, a coworking space at the epicenter of Philadelphia’s #N3RDST corridor. I’ve been there nearly six years years, and it’s been one the best things to happen to me professionally: _where_ I work has had a tremendous influence on _how_ I work.
A couple of years ago, I was asked to be a presenter at the People At Work Summit (www.peopleatworksummit.com), a first-of-its-kind, international conference about work, collaboration, and the future. As a prelude, I sat down with Indy Hall’s Sam Abrams, one of the organizers of the conference, to talk about my experiences at Indy Hall, and how it has shaped my work.
I really enjoyed talking to Sam. We focused on how I build professional relationships by investing time and attention into the people around me, both at Indy Hall and throughout the community as a whole. I’m the first to admit that it doesn't come automatically and easily: I had to learn how to do it. I’ve never been good at small-talk, I’ve never liked it. But I know that it’s essential to breaking down barriers between people because everyone has a story. Everyone brings something to the table. And I’m genuinely curious - not just what can I get from you, but what can you teach me? What can I learn? Once you invest in people, the ways to connect the dots become apparent. If you know people, and you know what motivates them, you see those connections. And you're able to solve your clients' problems, large or small.
I look at the first fifteen years in big firms as being paid to be a bully. Whether it was a deal or litigation, I was a blunt instrument, I was paid to inflict damage. I don’t do that now. I want to help you build things. That’s my job now.
You can listen to the full podcast here: http://listen.coworkingweekly.com/episodes/26048-ep18-exercising-the-community-muscle-it-starts-with-a-smile-and-an-introduction