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Can Today's Lawyers Practice Without a Cell Phone?

Via a post on the ABA Journal's Web site I came across a Bloomberg article about certain high-profile professionals who are saying goodbye to their cell phones in favor of, well, nothing. Among the unreachable individuals noted in the article are Warren Buffett, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, national radio show host Tavis Smiley and law professor Afsheen John Radsan.

Why dispense with a device that most of us find vital? Bloomberg suggests that not having a cell phone "is a way of getting the world to run on your time," and Radsan says he believes it is important not to respond to everything. Even though Radsan's wife gets annoyed that she cannot reach him to plan things on the fly, he says he remains of the mindset "that we can avoid that just by planning. I say, 'Katy, I'll be home at 7 or 7:30,' and she says, 'Let's talk about it later.'"

Jonathan Reed, a no-phone dean at the University of La Verne, says getting rid of the cell phone makes him more efficient -- not less. "I'm more focused. It forces me to be proactive," he says.

Could a successful practicing lawyer get away with having no cell phone in 2010? I think it would be very tough to pull off as clients and colleagues demand availability and responsiveness. The article discusses just a small sample of people who have gone this route, and none of them fall in the practicing lawyer category. I suspect billionaires Buffet and Prokhorov are in positions in life where they can deal with the world however they damn well please. As the philosopher Kanye West said, "Wait 'til I get my money right; Then you can't tell me nothing, right?" (see below).

As for the professors and deans, they already walk to the beat of their own drummer, and I doubt they have too many pressing deadlines and calls day-to-day in the ivory tower.

What do you think? Are there any practicing lawyers or professionals out there who have ditched the cell phone and lived to tell about it?

Posted by Bruce Carton on August 26, 2010 at 02:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)


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