What Lawyers can Learn from The Matrix

Note: There will be some spoilers in this article. But then again, this movie came out 20+ years ago. So, watch it this weekend maybe.

The world often sees lawyers as Agent Smith, a stiff suited up machine in the system. Some lawyers believe this as well.

But actually, you’re Neo.

If you’ve ever seen The Matrix (protip: skip the sequel from last year), you’ll know who he is. I believe lawyers have a lot to learn from both the movie and its main character.

By day, he’s Thomas Anderson, a coder at a large multinational corporation. By night, he’s Neo, hacker extraordinaire, someone who questions the way the system works.

The line between being Thomas Anderson and Neo comes down to a single choice: choosing between the red pill or the blue pill.

Thomas Anderson has felt that something was “off” in his world. He’s felt it for a long time.

Keep your head down, do the work, wait your turn. One day, when “they” believe you’re worthy, you’ll ascend. You’ll then become partner. You’ll then get that client if you wait long enough for your turn. You’ll be noticed at your firm. Just grind it out. That’s the blue pill.

The red pill is about choosing to look at the world truthfully. To go deep into the rabbit hole and see how the machine actually works, and choosing yourself.

Neo of course chooses the red pill. It turns his world upside down, but he’s better off for it. But even after seeing the truth for what it is, he cannot accept the fact that he’s “The One.” The person who is meant to help others become free. But when he finally realizes it by the end of the movie, the machine no longer phases him. He is no longer competing. He’s playing his own game.

But most people oscillate between the blue and the red pills.

You might have been mucking around in the terrain of your career for years, feeling tired and out of control. That’s when you know it’s time to take the red pill.

Taking the red pill can free you. It gives you control over your life, work, and career. It helps you eventually be your own category, devoid of competition. You become “The One.” Whether you’re at a large firm or a small firm, the red pill gives you power.

Today, I hope you choose the red pill. I hope you learn to see yourself as Neo. I also hope you choose to question the myths of the profession, and find an easier way to get control.

That’s what Aaron and I have been doing. Perhaps we’re like Morpheus. We’re here to show you the door, but then you have to walk through it.

That’s the promise of our new course. It’s the red pill choice to start taking control over your career.

It’s a 2 week course, with 8+ hours of live instruction, in an intensely hands-on workshop format, and constant support in between the two weeks. It comes with frameworks, scripts, and tools you need to unearth your own unique brand and act upon it.

We call it, Breakthrough Lawyer Branding.

Now, this isn’t about figuring out some silly catchy slogan. In a sea of sameness, it’s about finding out how to stand apart and be uniquely you. Discovering and using your unique brand is how you stand out in front of clients, get noticed at your firm, fuel your online content ideas, and boosts your confidence.

It takes place between April 8th to the 22nd. And it’s under $500, with a satisfaction guarantee. So if you’re looking to take action, move quick, and are ready to act, now is the time to join.

We hope to see you inside.

Just follow the white rabbit ;)


Learn More and Enroll in the Course

Your career quest 🧭 awaits

Every great story is actually the same story. Your story is no different.

As humans, we need this story to find meaning in our lives. To wake up with energy, thirst for more, and go to sleep with a sense of contentment.

How does this story play out?

The hero of our story is unassuming, living out their life.

Then, they are called to a quest or an adventure. A friend, guide, or mentor comes along and invites them to an adventure.

The hero is not always ready, and they might even refuse it. But through whatever circumstances, they begin their quest.

Soon, they come across their mentors, allies, and enemies (internal or external). The go through an ordeal, get their reward, and are changed in the process for the better.

This story has played out for centuries. Katniss, Harry Potter, Frodo, Luke Skywalker, Neo, Gilgamesh, and more have lived this story.

So are you.

The legal profession is filled with more opportunities than ever before - no matter the type of work you do or where you are in your career.

You’ve been called to this adventure.

Greater control, greater freedom, and financial rewards await - you truly can have it all.

But to get there, you need a plan. And unfortunately - whether in law school or in most firms - you are never given that roadmap for success.

And so we end up on a scattered journey.

Of course, it’s not your fault. You’ve been set-up to fail. What worked decades ago doesn’t work anymore. Or the sacrifices don’t seem worth it.

However, finding a road through these dense jungles has been our work.

It’s really simple. Master 6 critical things (all of which are very teachable), and you become the master of your domain.

Greater control, greater freedom, and financial rewards - you truly can have it all.

Or you can continue on your scattered path, hoping that things will work themselves out by chance.

The choice is yours.

We’re running free workshops next week about this very topic. We hope you’ll make the choice to embark on this adventure together.

I) March 8 from 12-1pm EST

We’ll help you understand the roadmap for your business development success. You won’t want to miss this one!

II) March 10 from 9-10am EST

We’ll help you undue the damage of BD myths that you’ve been taught and that have been holding you back from the control, freedom, and financial success that you’re seeking. This one is going to be good!

The Power Law in your Career

You’ve undoubtedly heard of the Pareto Principle. The 80/20 rule is all around us.

  • 20% of roads are used for 80% of the traffic.
  • 20% of the colleges get 80% of student applications.
  • 80% of people take vacations at 20% of the calendar year (a bonanza for those who can go off season).

What most people miss is that this applies equally to your life.

This principle tells us that your 20% of your strengths, skills, and relationships account for 80% of the income, satisfaction and opportunities in your life.

The ratios are of course not exactly 80/20. They can be 60:40, 70:30, and increasingly 90:10 and even 99:1.

Most people spend too much time compensating for their weaknesses. Wasting their time on the non-essentials.

You’d be much better off investing in your strengths. The place where you have a disproportionate edge.

If you can build on your strengths and interests, you will get outsized gains.

There’s a reason why business development is one of the most sure fire ways to have greater control over your career.

It is the micro skill that disproportionately gives you freedom, control, and mobility in your career.

Everything is not equal.

Stop investing in the wrong things. Go all in on your strengths, skills and relationships.

Stand Up to Your Boss

My boss pushed to file a lawsuit before it was ready.

I was a first-year associate right out of law school.

I knew the lawsuit wasn’t ready.

I went to my boss for help, and they pushed me away, not even making eye contact. “Figure it out, and it must be filed tomorrow.” They didn’t explain why it had to be filed “tomorrow.” There was no statute of limitations issue, so I believe it was client pressure.

I was also working at the office over a holiday weekend - again. Another colleague instructed me that at this firm, the lawyers “didn’t get holidays.”

I was in over my head.

I went to a senior associate and begged them to look at the Complaint. “I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve never filed a lawsuit before.” They looked at it and made some edits for me but were terrified too.

We both went to my boss’s office saying the Complaint wasn’t ready, and that we needed their feedback to make sure it was correct for the client.

My boss snapped at us and said, “Figure it out. And figure it out by tomorrow.”

We didn’t stand up to the boss. We were terrified. This was the point where I knew I had to leave this firm. I kept being put in situations where I was in over my experience level, being told to figure it out, and not having any sort of lifeline.

Unfortunately, I didn’t stand up to my boss. I wish I had, but I was worried about my job. The Complaint was not ready, but it still got filed. I did not put my name on it, because I didn’t believe it was properly prepared.

I left the firm for another one as soon as I could.

When you know something is not right – don’t give in. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

Stand up, and don’t back down.

Katie Lipp is the Founder of Law Practice Queen, where she coaches female lawyers on business development, to achieve more power, flexibility, and control in their lives. Katie also runs her law firm, Lipp Law, in the Washington DC metro area. You can learn more about Katie at Law Practice Queen.

Success Lists, not To-Do Lists

It’s time we get past the to-do lists.

Let’s face it. Days go by and even when you finish all the tasks on your to-do list, it doesn’t feel like you got anything real done.

Lean into instead a success list.

The 2-3 things (and no more than that) that you must do everyday. A success list is simple. It’s a reminder that if you do just those few things, your day will have mattered.

That you’re creating something in the direction of your vision, goals, and dreams.

Otherwise the currents of hollow to-do lists get you stuck in a pit of busyness and not real substantial change that matters.

Doing 5-10 minutes of business development can be one of the most helpful things you can do for your career.

Easy to do? Yes.

Unless of course you are ruled by to-do lists where you have to put out fires everyday.

What’s on your success list?

We’re curious to know one thing from you:

When it comes to business development and building your ideal practice, what’s the single biggest challenge, frustration or problem you’ve been struggling with?

Could you please tell us by clicking here?