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Learning Through Adversity: How We Made Tough Decisions & Thrived

The opinions expressed below by Todd Burnham are just that:  his opinions, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Burnham Law…but they probably do!  They’re my opinions.

I look at negative online reviews of Comeback, from people I know and who used to work at Burnham Law, trashing the book.  They are trashing a book that aims to help people overcome, and actually fuel-up on, adversity.  Nearly a year ago, the firm began undergoing changes.  Many changes were unpopular.  If you review “Burnham Law Glassdoor” you will see those negative opinions.  I can’t help but wonder how their opinions impacted our overall environment, and how every challenge is an opportunity to take the next step.

In 2023 Burnham Law underwent a contraction, a decision to focus on our strengths:  family law and the civil, criminal and probate matters that naturally follow.  We ended personal injury representation.  We examined our overall hierarchical structure, our overall culture and our leadership model.  We collectively figured out what did and didn’t work.  The whole, typical, law firm hierarchical, grind hard for 8 years, and buy-into more work- structure…doesn’t work anymore. The Glassdoor reviews are the byproduct of a mission-pivot.  Or are they?  Can we get better even if we initially believe they are just disgruntled former employees?  Of course.  You just have to be mentally tough. That comes from being tested…by being called names.  I look at that and that sentence screams white privilege.  I’ll keep it in just to show that I’m in the process of learning along with everyone else.

The pivot by Burnham Law was business vision followed by quality paced action.  That extends to how our lawyers are trained.  We make unpopular decisions that need to be made.  I relied heavily on the lessons in Comeback to help effectuate change, starting with the way I approached the day to day opinions of others compared to the options we have to cement Burnham Law as the best at what we do:  impact lives.  I used it.  I got my mind right and I moved.  I got into hot yoga because I needed the outlet.  It has transformed my life.  It, whatever that adversity is, will transform your life…if you let it:)

The past year has been a highly stressful time, and I also felt purposeful and focused.  I was more comfortable because I have grown accustomed to being uncomfortable.  Embracing that mindset years ago has made all the difference.  Burnham Law underwent real changes that resulted in promotions from within, firm-wide individual raises and a projected savings of 1.5 million in overhead.  We are invested in wellness as more commonplace than initiatives.  Change is not easy.  We also need it to keep having adversity, which leads to athlete’s mindset (adversity gets us better), which triggers emotional intelligence reps/mental toughness reps which makes us truly impactful through presence and reach.

This blog may just be me processing business, change and life.