Jerry’s wall is lined with letters from Lawyers he has helped. Portions of several of those letters appear below, in chronological order:
“I first met Jerry Bame about twelve years ago. We shared experiences as attorneys in a networking group. Since then, we have shared office space, secretaries, and mutual experiences in our respective law practices.
For the past few years my practice has been somewhat stagnant, and I couldn’t seem to find the solution to getting back on track. I shared my frustrations with Jerry. He explained his new venture of helping others as a coach. After a few discussions I was hooked. What a difference a coach makes!
Jerry helped me to identify my long-term goals, and to establish a plan to achieve them. I was mired in the day-to-day stuff and couldn’t focus on the overall picture. Jerry’s techniques have been incredible in helping me to focus on my path to success.
Jerry has an extensive background in both the business and legal worlds, and he has drawn on these experiences to help me develop my plan to succeed. As a result of his personal attention to detail, and a genuine caring attitude, I find myself beginning to focus on the road I need to travel. I would not be on this road if it were not for Jerry.”
Wills, Trusts & Estate Lawyer
“I want to thank you for serving as my personal coach since September 2000. Your coaching has helped me to realize the many dimensions of life that I must pay attention to and cultivate. You have emphasized the important concept of goal setting, and you have pointed out the necessary incremental steps I must take to achieve those goals. More important, you have helped me find ways to really dig in and do it, instead of merely thinking about it. You have helped me “see the forest through the trees” and avoid the number of pitfalls in business and my personal life, and I am very appreciative of that. All the while, you have coached me in a very intelligent, practical, compassionate, and insightful way.
You have the rare ability to really listen to a person, and your pragmatism is both welcome and refreshing. You always tailor your coaching style to my aims and needs, rather than superimposing any preconceived paradigms or formula upon my life situation, a strategy that probably would not work for me.”
Intellectual Property Lawyer
“I am writing this letter because “thanks” will never be enough to tell you how much I appreciate your wise counsel and incredibly patient and perceptive insights into helping me transform my work situation from “burnout” to renewed vigor and enthusiasm here in my ….office.
In a very kind, yet persistent manner, you encouraged me to discuss precisely what it was about my current work situation that was distressing me enough to want to leave it altogether. This was not an easy process for me. You were patient when I needed more time to mull over my feelings; you urged me not to give up but to continue to think positively about what I really wanted, rather than negatively about what I didn’t presently have. This process took about six months, much longer than I imagined it would, but in retrospect, a relatively short time considering that my career of….years was on the line.
To say “thank you” each day for the rest of my life would never be enough. I only hope that other attorneys will take that first step and contact you. There is nothing more meaningful than being reconnected with that professional passion that spurred me into the practice of law in the first place. That is what you have helped me regain.”
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
“I want to thank you for all of your efforts over these past eight months you have been coaching me.
As you know, I have been practicing for…. years, and for the past 25 have emphasized….trial work. I have had various highs and lows over this period. In more recent years, the lows seemed to predominate. There was little to compensate for the stress, long hours, client ingratitude, and boredom of the practice.
You have helped me to reconnect with my passions and interests, including a number of the things that let me to pursue a career in the law in the first place. Equally as important, you’ve help me get back in control of my work and personal life, and develop effective strategies to cope with the stress.”
“I cannot thank you enough for the changes that you have brought to my office. Before you, I had reached a plateau in my practice. I couldn’t take on any other work without either (a) going crazy, or (b) implementing the appropriate systems to handle the increased load. It took a keen eye and a different approach to get me to see things that were wrong about my practice and make them better.
Because of you my paralegal and I have a better relationship that fosters work to be done faster and better, freeing me to engage new clients and cases.
Because of you my office is organized (almost) and I can get more work accomplished.
Because of you I am setting boundaries with clients that are realistic and give me sanity.
Because of you I am working on my practice and not in my practice.
Because of you I am a happier attorney.”
“I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your outstanding service. You not only teach from the heart, but you also have enormous experience and credibility because you practiced law for 40 years. You have the unique ability to understand a lawyer’s “low ground” and help him move to ‘higher ground.’
Over the past few months that we have been working together, you have helped me to clarify goals, develop best practices to achieve them, and help track their implementation. For a busy lawyer, this process simply cannot be done solo.
You have this amazing ability to help lawyers navigate through this swamp and help them find ‘true north.’ With your help, a lawyer can decide do novo what his most important goals are as an attorney and as a human being, how he wants to spend his precious and limited time at the office and outside the office, what type of clients he is willing to accept and on what terms, and most importantly, what limits and compromises he will accept to achieve those goals.
For these reasons, I highly recommend your services to any lawyer seeking to grow their practice and regain their personal life back.”
“I want to take a few moments to reflect back on the past six months you have been working with our firm…
As you know, we are a firm of litigation lawyers, practicing in the field of Medical Malpractice.
At your direction, talk…turned to the somewhat uncomfortable subject of how…(we)…. ran our firm. Well, the firm sort of runs itself, I explained embarrassingly…. It was at that point that you asked if I had an interest in having you apply your skillset to assess our firm as an entity.
I have to tell you that the thought was a bit unsettling. I honestly had not spent a large amount of time and effort developing systems and protocols for speaking with our staff of … to see how they might work more happily and productively, and more efficiently. These things were important, but I preferred to simply practice law and not concern myself with things like that. Not so smart, I knew, but expedient and less burdensome…
[details and processes intentionally omitted here]
Since September, staff morale has improved remarkable, and interpersonal issues no long hinder firm efficiency. Systems and protocols are now in place which I am confident will improve case intake and workup. In short, our firm has become a happier, more productive and more efficient enterprise. But it’s very much a work in progress – – work with which we appreciate your ongoing assistance.
Please accept my sincerest thanks for your thoroughness, your insight, and your ability recognize and solve issues, both large and small.”
Managing Partner of Medical Malpractice Firm
“Having a happy legal career is a long distance race. A marathon with lots of twists and turns and ups and downs. Many legal careers get cut short by drugs, alcohol, overeating, or other kinds of suicide…..
I have found an alternative. A way of dealing with the stress – – and the causes of that stress – – in a way that not only removes the stress, but also guides me to find happiness. Work-Life Balance. Peace. No need for crutches or diversions.
Having practiced IP litigation and transactional work in a variety of firms, large, medium, and small since…, I am thrilled to have found you, Jerry Bame, a Coach/Mentor/Advisor for Lawyers, to whom I write this Testimonial and Thank You Letter, for you to hang on your wall and, if appropriate, share with other lost souls who have not yet received your Coaching expertise.
Jerry’s clients are either those who have lost their way or have forgotten why they are doing what they are doing. They have lost the joy of practicing law, and as a result, they are prone to making mistakes, getting bad results, and upsetting their own Clients, whom they have not satisfied, and by whom they are not being satisfied.
Jerry Bame saved me back in 2007 from the most unhappy I had ever been. After 18 months of work, I was back, better than before, and had a string of my 6 ‘Best Year Ever’ in a row. There is no doubt that was because of what Jerry had taught me, and because of the systems that Jerry had helped me put in place.
Where I failed was in not going far enough. In allowing the market to shift without being prepared to adapt. I had allowed some old bad habits to creep in…
Now, in 2014, Jerry and I are working together again. Somehow, this time, it is easier to accept the changes that Jerry suggests, because I know that he is correct…..Under Jerry’s tutelage, I have broken many of these old, bad habits, and I have picked up some new good tips and tricks for making the practice of law easier, less distasteful, more satisfying.
I have been coming home earlier in the evening; working fewer weekend days; and feeling a whole lot less guilty about both. I have been organizing things that have gone unorganized for far too long. I have put in place long term safeguards I should never have gone without. I have been planning for things that, in the past, just got taken care of when they happened to happen. Not now.
Jerry Bame is not for everyone. Not everyone will see his charm. Not everyone will be as willing to make amends and get better. But, whomever does will be a whole lot better off for having allowed Jerry to work his magic.
I am sure glad to have Jerry back as my Coach, and to have been able to figure out how to keep him as a friend. My life – – and certainly my Practice – – is far better off because of Jerry’s involvement, guidance, stewardship and mentoring.”
Intellectual Property/Patent Lawyer
“How can mere words describe how appreciative I am with the way you helped me with a comprehensive plan to organize my case load so that I could catch up. After 35 years I could not believe how far behind I became with my estate planning clients. Some were over 5 months behind. I am ashamed I let it get to that point.
But thanks to you, and the program you created for my office, staff of two included, we are almost caught up! What a wonderful feeling to be excited about my practice again. We start each day looking at the day’s program of cases to be done, or worked on, and all three of us set out to accomplish our goal. And Jerry, it really works. We celebrate our successes at the end of each day….
It works, and we have you to thank. And your persistence at following up, and your follow through, is terrific. We love you, Jerry.”
Estate and Probate Lawyer
“This letter is to thank you for the impact you have had on my career and my life.
Recently, you took the time to focus your valuable attention on me and my career. The homework you gave me prior to our meeting caused me to think deeply about my issue, and tell the truth to myself. When we met, you listened kindly, but the responses you gave me were laser focused and reflected your many years of practice and accumulated wisdom. Even when your coaching brought up emotions for me (I did not want to hear what you were suggesting) you were a safe space to continue the conversation.
After our meetings, I took steps to follow your suggestions, and, as I did, I realized how valuable your suggestions had been. I felt relief and enthusiasm, and true gratitude for the contribution you made to my life.
Thank you again. I will take any opportunity I have to sing your praises.”
Criminal Defense Lawyer
“Thank you for helping me become a more successful lawyer. Before I came to see you; despite an impressive resume, I had doubts I could be both successful and happy practicing as an attorney. You encouraged me to only take those cases I really enjoyed and those clients I really liked. You helped me recognize problem clients and problem cases and to steer clear of both. You helped me attract better clients by learning to fully investigate their cases before I agreed to represent them.
I now take more interesting and challenging cases. More importantly, I am not overwhelmed. I am truly happy every day I come into the office. I love practicing law and you have helped me realize that if I focus on what I love and what I am good at, practicing law is much less stressful and more enjoyable. You are such an incredible asset to our legal community..”
To Whom it May Concern:
They call it “work” for a reason. No one thinks it is all fun and games. On the other hand, your work need not make you unhappy. Yet, many people are unhappy in their work, and perhaps the most unhappy workers are Lawyers.
Not me! I am a Happy Lawyer because I have met each month for many years, on and off, with Jerry Bame, the Happy Lawyer Coach.
Jerry Bame has been a member of the California State Bar for more than 55 years and has been a Lawyer Coach for more than the past 16 years. Jerry has coached many, many Lawyers – – most of whom would prefer not to admit it because admitting that they have been coached by Jerry is an admission that they once were unhappy.
I am not ashamed. I am not unhappy. Although, once I was… What led me to hire Jerry the first time was that everything in my practice was broken. Jerry guided me to fix it all, which I did, and I had six “Best Years Ever” in a row! Then the recession hit, and things got fluky again. So I hired Jerry again, and once again, by drilling deep Jerry Bame rooted out some old bad habits and taught me how to avoid falling into those traps.
Now, I am productively spending fewer hours working, working fewer late nights and weekends, and ultimately sleeping longer, sounder, and better, so I feel more refreshed and healthier. And I am making more money because I am wasting less time and money on fruitless ventures.
And, once again – – thanks to Jerry Bame – – I am a Happy Lawyer. Thank you very much, Jerry! I am incredibly glad that I know you because you are truly an outstanding effective Happy Lawyer Coach.
Patent, Copyright and Trademark Lawyer
I have known Jerry Bame for over twelve (12) years. Over those years, I have relied on Mr. Bame’s expertise as a trusted advisor to help me become a better attorney, better manager and a better business owner and becoming a well-known and respected attorney in the probate and trust field.
Two years ago, my firm began growing by leaps and bounds. This growth came with challenges that law school did not prepare me for. One of my biggest issues was managing my time between practicing law and running my practice.
In the beginning of 2017 I reached out to Mr. Bame to formally engage his services as our coach. I needed help putting in place systems and ideas to help allow me to work smarter and not harder. Before I started meeting with Mr. Bame, I was having trouble managing the staff, managing the work flow, and managing the business. I was having trouble letting go of certain tasks, because I was so used to doing all tasks within the firm.
Mr. Bame has helped me to incorporate so many great ideas and processes that have allowed me and my staff to work at our best and highest use. We have set up clear and defined roles and expectations for me and my staff, set up guidelines for me to set time aside to get work done, let go of tasks that are not my best and highest use, and came up with systems that my entire office can follow to facilitate consistency in the office. Mr. Bame has truly taught me not only how to be a better lawyer to my clients, but also to be a better business owner.
The reason why this is working is because Jerry has tested the waters and has given deep thought about the different aspects of running a law practice. Mr. Bame has a depth of knowledge of what it takes to be a great attorney and what it takes to make a successful law firm. He has done it all; he knows what works and what does not work. Mr. Bame is also very good at inspiring you to get your homework done. I look forward to each meeting and the opportunity to help better myself and my staff.
I am very satisfied with the services that Mr. Bame has provided me and my firm. He has made me a happier and more successful lawyer/business owner, I would highly recommend Mr. Bame’s services to any attorney or law firm. He has the knowledge to help any firm with any issues they may have.
Trust Planning-Administration-Litigation Lawyer