Where did July go?
The summer is moving right along and my to-do list is getting longer. How does that happen? The more I work, the more there seems to be to do.
The core of my summer work is preparation for my next stage, starting in January, 2016, the big transition when I will cut my travel to half of what I've been doing. I will establish a home base and I will be able to finally do some of the projects that have been on a back burner because they're hard to do from the road. I often get suggestions from you, my dear friends, who think I ought to be doing particular activities. Yes, it would have been nice to accept that invitation from Huffington Post from several years ago. Yes, focusing on more cross-pollinating of the community would be nice. Yes, classes on how to be an integrative lawyer would be nice. Planning a dozen conferences a year from the road is already an impossible task. I have dozens of projects on my to-do list. Though worthy, many projects are more time-consuming than they look and require a level of focus that is beyond me when I am moving from one country to another every week or two. That is about to change.
We're at a new stage in the movement. Not surprisingly, you are all ahead of the curve and you've been needing to go to the next level. Thank you for waiting patiently while we've been creating a critical mass of enough lawyers to make that feasible. Stay tuned for what is next, but here are my interim steps.
I've been working on creating my personal site as a sort of on-line CV. I discovered that a lot of people have met me in the last few years and they don't know that I used to have a life in the law or what qualified me to talk about this movement. Some don't even realize what I do now, much less in the past. Several people have even mentioned that I ought to check out a website called CuttingEdgeLaw.com or they've found the Youtube Cutting Edge Law channel [with over 350 videos of leaders in the movement] and they wonder if I'm aware of it. Clearly, my personal "brand" needs some work. The "new" jkimwright.com website is still under construction and is growing every day as I remember chapters of my life that ought to be included. Here are some answers to some of the questions that keep getting asked:
- For many previous years, I had my own law practices, used the ideas I talk about, and made a much better living than I have recently. I now make my living by coaching, training, and consulting with lawyers. Coaching and training subsidize my non-paid and low-paid activities. My Lawyers as Peacemakers book income for last year was just a few hundred dollars. Website income covers the expenses of the site, mostly. I keep expenses very low and often they are reimbursed by sponsors of events. I give away a lot of my time because I am truly committed to helping to transform the legal profession. And, no I am not independently wealthy, as some have asked, just unreasonably passionate and not very materialistic.
- I didn't just jump on the coach bandwagon - I had my first paid coaching client in the mid-1990s. I co-wrote a Legal Toolkit for other coaches in 2001 and spoke at the first Coachville conference as an expert.
- My work may look haphazard from the outside, but I am well-schooled in organizational development, systems change, and community development theories and I apply them. My strategy has been deliberate and considered.
- A lot of trainers have a few tried-and-true presentations they give everywhere. I custom-design every one to fit the audience, including using images that will resonate with that culture when possible. There are some topics which tend to be in high demand. I created an emailable Catalog which is still in the design process, but for now the information is on my website.
- My travels have not been about tourism. For example, in my several trips to South Africa, I've yet to go up Table Mountain or visit Robben Island. I am there to work and recreation comes after the work is done...which it rarely is. Of course, I do enjoy meeting people and I get to see a lot of each country and learn about the cultures in my travels. It isn't at all dreary. I do have fun, but I have designed my work to be fun.
- My clients don't have to make the drastic changes in their lives that I have in mine. You can still live in one place and you don't need to change the parts of your life you love, just those that aren't working.
I'm working on my social media presence. I still have to update and craft my bios, but that is on the August to-do list. For now, I am connecting with people, posting, actively participating in some of the 50 groups I belong to on LinkedIn, and learning how to use Twitter. I have a few thousand connections on the various social media platforms and I focus on quality, not quantity. I keep in much better touch there than I do here and I try to make different posts on each platform, reaching different audiences, and not repeating myself. Come and connect with me for more regular posts!
· Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cuttingedgelaw
· Twitter: @cuttingedgelaw
[For those who found this post on Social Media, please go to http://cuttingedgelaw.com/newsletter/subscriptions and sign up for this mailing list. You'll hear from me far less often, but the messages will exceed 143 characters.)
I've been doing some writing. In August, I will be back to making the final touches on Lawyers as Changemakers. I sent the book off for peer reviews then to someone else for formatting and, while it was gone, I got excited about some other projects. Most of this stage is about rearranging and clarifying what is already there. I did slip in some stories from a couple of people who would be considered celebrities among us: Raymond Allen, counsel for Burning Man, and the leader of Nuns on the Bus, Sister Simone Campbell.
I'm just about finished with a chapter for Marjorie Silver's, Transforming Justice. By the time Marjorie reads this, I hope it will be in her Inbox. I'm working on a piece for a magazine of a group of integral philanthropists. I wrote a piece for Legal Nomad's Thrillable Hours page as well - it will be out later.
I've been answering some of the most common questions and topics by writing shorter pieces which are being posted in various places:
- What is Integrative Law?
- Conscious Contracts
- Legal Systems Change 101
- Kim's Vision for the Law, 2050
Folks are always asking me about recommendations for reading. I set up a website to answer that question. I have a few books that I recommend as starting points, for those who are just learning about the movement, some books that were milestones, and many, many other books that will keep you busy for a long, long time. I don't pretend to have read them all, but many of them are in the stack next to me. Yes, this website is an Amazon affiliate. My expectation is not to earn income but to have an easy way to display a lot of books, and I hope it will be a valued resource. Link
Speaking of reading, stories are the containers we human beings create to make sense of the world. Some of our stories are rigid, culturally based, and steeped in tradition which makes them harder to change. They can be changed, with the right strategy. In this time of societal change, a lot of our stories about systems are changing. In this weekend, we will explore the story of the legal system, our personal stories, the cultural ones, and the new stories that are arising. I'm joined in this program by Laura Hope-Gill, a former client of mine, poet laureate of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Director of the Thomas Wolfe Center for Narrative at Lenoir Rhyne University, our hosts for the event. Peter Arcese and Babak Zarin are also presenters. We've applied for CLE Credit in NC and designed it for credit in other jurisdictions. Click on the link to learn more and come join us in Asheville. (Autumn in the North Carolina mountains, hanging with other transformational lawyers, having delicious conversations...what could be better?)
I'm excited about this Narrative Law project which has taken up some of my summer planning time.
Are you ready for a change? I have three openings in my coaching practice, starting immediately. As a coach, I will partner with you on achieving your goals. Don't know where to start? Great! We will work on that, too.
Attracting the right clients, redesigning your practice, productivity and time management, intake and office procedures, quality of life, building sustainable relationships with staff and colleagues, figuring out your next steps...all are possible topics and most clients explore them all over the course of a six-month relationship.
Check out my Coaching page for more information.
I admit it. I really loved practicing law, using my coaching skills and knowledge to help clients stay true to themselves, build new futures, and create new relationships as co-parents. I've missed it, so I've been informally coaching some friends and friends of friends. Sometimes they come to me at the beginning of the process, looking to connect with a lawyer who can understand their needs. Others come looking for ways to work with lawyers who aren't so integrative. I've found that I resonate best with women, for obvious reasons. In the coming year, I will start soliciting clients who are looking for this level of guidance, just a few of them, so I can utilize my skills. I'm also considering leading some RJ circles, maybe doing a little mediation. My brother is twisting my arm about taking the Florida Bar (which I first passed in 1989.) Hmmm...
While my eye is on settling down, it isn't about not traveling at all. Later this year, I will go around the world again. I'm already cooking up trips to Kansas City, San Francisco, Portland, and Brazil in 2016. I'm talking to two law schools about intercession courses in January.
For the rest of 2015, I have confirmed engagements in New Mexico [21st Century Lawyering], North Carolina [Change the Story of Law], the Netherlands [Conscious Contracts], South Africa [UNISA Institute for Dispute Resolution in Africa conference on Lawyers as Peacemakers and Changemakers], Australia [Australian Corporate Lawyers Association annual conference, Conscious Contracts], and a TEDx in New York City in November. I am still hoping to create some sponsored events in India and possibly Pakistan. I have several young integrative lawyers who are looking to connect. (If you're there or have contacts there, please be in touch!)
Links and more information are on my Upcoming Events page.
Thank you for the love and support for my grandnephew, Christian. He did have two brain surgeries in July. We raised the $5,000 goal (to the penny) and Christian's parents were able to take off the time to be with him during the long hospital stay. He's back at home, loving on his fur-friends, including Molly the Cow who comes running when she hears Christian's voice.
The picture to your left was taken during his first few days at home. He's still recuperating, and he has been able to go outside to greet Molly and Justin-the-Donkey, along with the other animals on the farm. He is able to read, watch television (80's movies are getting his attention), and play his video games. He is still his shy self, more comfortable with animals than people. This week, they'll do a post-op doctor's appointment and they'll see what sort of therapy he will need going forward.
I'll probably be back in touch in a couple of weeks, before I go to New Mexico. I wish you all a productive, relaxing August.