Today I had the opportunity to offer advice to two people. One person called and asked for my advice, and the other person didn’t ask for my advice (but, in the grand tradition of being human, I offered it anyway). The person who asked for the advice needed merely to be told that I didn’t have any special knowledge, which was a welcome message. The person that didn’t ask for my advice didn’t seem to receive it well.
I try to refrain from offering advice because people rarely appreciate it, and it seems to be a waste of time. Which raises an important question: why agree to speak at Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars?
Well, first, the people attending CLEs are there because they have to get a certain number of hourly credits, and so if they have to get advice from someone there’s no great harm in being the one who offers it up. They get official credit for ignoring my advice, which is productive for them. And, for every hour of CLE advice doled out I get three hours of CLE credit, which is really productive for me.
So, I guess if you’re forced to deal with advice, then it’s definitely better to give than to receive. That’s all I’m saying.