Top 10 Mistakes Lawyers Make in the First Few Years of Practice
Law is a very interesting profession which matures after some time. If you are from any profession, you can claim to be perfect in the very beginning. However, unless a lawyer hasn’t spent a lot of years in practice and worked on many cases, nobody will call him/her a veteran professional in the field. Usually when young people start practicing, they make a lot of mistakes in the beginning. In this article we will guide you through 10 common mistakes which lawyers make in the first few years of practice. Though modern courses warn naïve students about the obstacles, yet everyone makes faults in the beginning. Some of the common ones are:
1. Not knowing when to ask for help
Usually when young people start practicing law, they either start working as lawyers or as a paralegal under a well-reputed attorney. The first mistake which most people do is they don’t know when to ask for help. Keep in mind, professionals are a bit aggressive and mindful about their behavior but always ready to roll in helping. However, young people refrain from asking for help and as a result miss deadlines and make a lot of mistakes. This, in turn, can lead to a poor reputation and one being charged with a careless attitude. If you’re working as a young and new person in the field, always ask your senior for help. Instead of brushing the issue under the carpet, it is better to solve it readily.
2. Over dependency on the firm kills
Instead of relying on the tickler system, it is better to solve the cases yourself. The court has its own rules which one must comply with, but there’s no harm in solving an issue before time instead of waiting for the date to come. Those people are successful who solve everything beforehand and are hands-on with regards to their work. Keep in mind the support staff will only help you in practice but will not do the practice for you. Young lawyers often make a common mistake of blaming clerks and paralegals which is not correct. If you try to do it, you will carve a bad reputation for yourself in the eyes of the firm. If you have any issues with the legal documents always consult the firm and explain things.
One of the worst kind of epidemics which brings politics at the workplace and outdistances colleagues is unnecessary gossip. As a committed professional, a lawyer should always engage in healthy conversations instead of gossiping about one another. Gossip is very toxic and can burn bridges fast. The law world is a very small one, and you never know when you’ll have to interact with somebody you always despised talking to. Therefore it is better to refrain from unnecessary talks and to gossip. Furthermore, gossip also wastes a lot of time, and nothing comes out of it. Keep in mind, a lawyer is trusted by his/her clients about their personal stories, so to articulate them unnecessarily is not just unethical but a violation of the law.
4. Ignoring business development
Business development is very important, but it shouldn’t be done in a way that affects other colleagues and work environment. Yes it is true, partners bring in a lot of business files and networking, but that comes with the investment of the skills they have. You necessarily won’t become a skilled person the day you become a partner. Most young lawyers start acknowledging themselves as business development officers immediately after claiming any position in office. Law is a professional which takes time to mature, and one cannot simply get good reputation without having a diverse portfolio.
5. Inaccurate docketing
This is the first step to becoming a good lawyer and a responsible one in a short time. Refrain from being inaccurate in the docketing process. Whether you render an account every month or yearly, docketing your time is the best method to evaluate your efficiency and success. Keep everything accurate and jot down all the dates in advance. A docket is a tracking system in the law society in which lawyers get a list of the work they have to do according to the set dates. You can always rely on the dockets if you are well versed with the readings and hearing processes.
6. Being afraid of admit a mistake
Law is a sensitive field which is why one must have the courage to admit their mistakes. Failing to do so and not confronting oneself will always result in the learning process, not getting enhanced. To become a good lawyer you must have the courage to shrug off the denial factor and learn from your mistakes shamelessly. Most mistakes are naïve and can be fixed easily; however if you prolong to admit the mistake with the fear of being in the red zone, bigger issues could stem out. Even if you have caused massive trouble, the right thing is, to be honest, and admit your mistake in front of the employee.
7. Inappropriate behavior outside of work
We all hear about urban legends and a lot of lawyers showing inappropriate behavior outside of work. Even the best behaved of all can be very notorious after getting drunk. As a lawyer it is important to wear discipline all the time because all the people around are prospective customers. Every one of us does have to knock the doors of court for once in life because of any issue. Therefore it is crucial to be upright. Lawyers must be well presentable and well-groomed for the clients and to present themselves in front of courts. Many people often tarnish their reputation after getting involved in a lot of controversies. Even lawyers can be convicted of harassment or sexual assault. Therefore it is crucial to be mindful during parties.
8. Unwillingness to accept criticism
The best quality of any professional is his/her polite request for criticism. Veteran professionals are applauded for their services because they are ones who have learned from it. Most young lawyers commonly make a big mistake of showing no interest when somebody is putting a critique on their work. In some cases they even engage in verbal spats with their seniors which can further deteriorate the situation. If you are working as a young lawyer you must frequently ask your senior to tell you about your mistakes. The better you get with hearing about your criticism, the faster your approach will get in terms of learning from these mistakes.
9. Not reading the law
It is crucial for young lawyers to keep updated with the law and frequently take inspiration from their seniors. Apart from working on a case with an attorney or a paralegal, it is crucial to read all case files and stay up to date with the colleagues. It is also wise enough to read legislation all the time and keep learning new things every single day. Apart from that it is also crucial to learn tough law terminologies every day to be able to navigate healthy conversations. Many young people keep away from reading about law which is why they are confused all the time. Even if you have to read the same section every day, do it for it is important to have a sketch of somethings in mind as a mandatory thing.
Delaying homework during school might work out, but delaying clients work, and missing deadlines is very toxic in the world of law. One has to be hands-on concerning work and schedules. The longer you leave something, the tougher it gets with time passing by. Lawyers who continue to delay their clients work always suffer at the end of the day. It is crucial to be hands-on in this field and make sure everything is finished before time. Some start depending on the docketing time, which is not mandatory. The key to longevity in this field is to do everything on time. It is important to communicate with the collages and embrace your work.
If you are reading as a concerned client or somebody who needs help in this regard, you can always look for a suitable lawyer in your city according to the problem you have. For instance if you google Orange County Workers Comp Attorney, you will be taken to the website of the requested attorney.
As mentioned above it is crucial to stay in touch with the senior attorney and learn from everyone within this field. People who restrain themselves in the field of law are never successful. Law is a professional which blooms with time passing by. Therefore it is important for you as a young lawyer to refrain from making the mistakes which have been explained above. Though, as a professional novice in this field you will make blunders, but try to learn to eradicate them. Today, successful lawyers in the market are ones who invested time, energy and a lot of hard work in serving people.
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