Note:  This is taken from a discussion over at  Suggest you check it out if what you read below sparks your interest.

The connection between our Patron Saint and our IOLTA account is that Moore was known to be so committed to his aspirations that he would occasionally self-flagellant. That is, in an effort to demonstrate his commitment he would physically harm himself.

Next time you go to a Bar Mixer & you’re standing around with a group of lawyers try this experiment. You just find an opportunity in the conversation to sigh & mention that you spent fifty hours in the office last week. Then see if some other lawyer doesn’t try & out-do you by announcing he or she spent MORE time in the office than you did. 9 out of 10 times this experiment will work.

So why do you suppose lawyers are going around taking pride in how many hours they’re spending in the office instead of how efficiently their offices run so they can invest more hours with their family & friends? Isn’t spending time at the office the modern lawyers’ way of demonstrating his or her commitment, albeit to a different deity?

Don’t lawyers find all kinds of ways to make things MORE difficult for themselves than things have to be? And then take pride in how hard they work, instead of how efficiently we run our practices?

A ritual is any prescribed code of behavior regulating social conduct. For self-flagellants it’s the ritual of beating themselves upon the back with a leather whip until they tear the flesh to demonstrate solidarity with Jesus. For lawyers its the ritual of “working hard” for our clients instead of working smart for them and for ourselves. There are partners of law firms who half-way-brag about the number of divorces they’re on because of their commitment to the law firm!

Of course we don’t use a leather whip to demonstrate our commitment to helping our clients but we allow ourselves to be surrounded by other instruments of pain. Like our IOLTA client property trust accounts.

Think about how ludicrous this is: We graduate from law school and we’re told over & over & over again about the heavy weight of responsibility we have for managing & accounting for our clients’ money and property. That if we don’t we’re going to lose our bar licenses (akin to going to hell). But then those very same people who tell us about how bad things are going to go for us if we screw-up our IOLTA’s…they don’t bother to ever actually teach us a simple system for how to set-up, manage & reconcile a law firm client property trust account?!?!?

And hundreds-of-thousands of lawyers simply accept this arrangement without question, no they actually take pride in how many hours they have to spend in the office???

Our patron saint certainly gave us plenty to aspire to. But going out of our way to make things harder on ourselves than they have to be shouldn’t be one of them.