Bulldog lawyer. I hear this term all of the time. Clients say that they want a bulldog lawyer. Sometimes I even hear other lawyers request referrals to bulldog lawyers for friends or other contacts. As a mindfulness teacher, I try to remember nonjudgment and that sometimes people use a term without thinking much about all of its implications.
But I do not use the term bulldog lawyer and I would never refer a case to another lawyer that I primarily thought of as a bulldog. Why? A few reasons. One is that my experience with lawyers who try to craft an image of aggression has not been a positive one. Not only do they create needless fights, I generally haven’t found to be effective.
The best lawyers, in my experience, are the ones that fight hard when its appropriate but are otherwise focused on solving problems. This is what I talked about recently with host, Joe Bravo, on the show Candid Conversations with Get Staffed Up.
Joe had attended a recent presentation I did on confidence for the 2023 Legal Up Virtual Conference. Joe practices yoga and he was intrigued by my discussion of compassion, in particular self-compassion, in relation to confidence so he invited me on the show. Though polite, Joe was not shy about resolving the apparent cognitive dissonance between being an effective lawyer and compassion.
But I didn’t shy away from this in my response either because I know that mindfulness and compassion don’t get in the way of being an effectively aggressive lawyer at all. To the contrary, as I explain in the interview and in more detail in my book, How to Be a Badass Lawyer, compassion is foundational to this.
To break this down as simply as I can, I offer this logical syllogism.
When you see it this way, it’s clear that compassion and mindfulness don’t make lawyers that are too chill to care about their clients and act with force and power. Instead, the opposite is true. Mindfulness can help lawyers see things clearly and manage the cold hard facts as they are. Compassion is the capacity to be present with difficult problems and remain willing to help. This is what good lawyers (or as I would describe “badass lawyers”) should be able to do for their clients.
If you want to check out the full interview, you can find it shared on our YouTube channel or watch it here:
Want to learn more about mindfulness and compassion? Check out my new book, How to Be a Badass Lawyer, for a simple guide to creating a meditation practice of your own in 30 days. And to share mindfulness with your little one, check out my new children’s book, Mommy Needs a Minute.
Like this post? Subscribe to the blog here or follow us on social media: