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Baker & McKenzie Tokyo employs new-age hypnotist
09 September 2011
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Baker & McKenzie has taken on a "professional development" manager to provide life coaching - including hypnotherapy - to lawyers in its Tokyo office.

In an effort to embrace a more touchy-feely ethos, Baker & McKenzie Tokyo has signed up John Yoon to act as a motivational coach for its junior lawyers. Yoon, a former Paul Weiss associate, has always been a keen fan of self-help and motivational regimes, according to an American Lawyer report. And his burning desire to help lawyers find their inner calm appears to have been all the qualification he needed to snare the Baker's job.

As a professional development manager, Yoon will be helping young lawyers cope with realities of life at the MacDonalds of law firms through a series of workshops to improve their English and train them in communications and presentations. But, far more excitingly, for associates in need of more of a boost Yoon also offers "neuro-linguistic programming", or hypnosis to re-programme the mind.

    "Look into my eyes, look into my eyes not around my eyes. Now head down and stay at at your desk."

Quite what re-programming Yoon's paymasters have mandated him to perform is unclear. Perhaps a little bit of post-hypnotic suggestion to have lawyers back at their desks and combing due diligence documents before they so much as stick their head out of their offices for a coffee break. Or maybe a snap of the fingers to put them to sleep during salary negotiations.

Whatever the nature of mind manipulation, Bakers' Tokyo Managing partner Yoshiaki Muto seems pretty pleased with the programme, trilling excitedly about his neuro-linguistically programmed lawyers: "their English communication and international work skill levels are obviously much higher than before."


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