All lawyers have stories to tell. They have experiences they want to forget. There are great lessons learned and success stories that are shared at every opportunity. If you are new to the legal world, sitting down with a seasoned attorney can be beneficial since you can learn about the tools of trade. However, if you cannot find a lawyer to mentor you, you can look at this post to get all the information you need.
You might not know all the mistakes and successes in the field, but you can read on to learn from the experience of other attorneys.
Avoid Problem Clients
As a new attorney, you are tempted to accept every client that comes along. As much as law is a business, you are not expected to accept any client that comes for your assistance. There are clients who are not worth the trouble. When it comes to accepting clients, always follow your gut. If your instincts tell you that it is a bad idea, then you are better off referring the client to another lawyer.
Manage the expectations of the client
Do not set yourself up to fail by overselling yourself. Stay professional and keep the client expectations in check. Let them know what you are capable of and let them know it can go either way. When giving advice, be objective and leave your emotions out of it. If you find yourself getting emotionally involved in a case, refer the client to another lawyer.
One of the difficult tasks for any lawyer is to bill clients. When you are a new lawyer, you are afraid to charge high fees since you want to attract clients. However, this should not be the case. A helpful tip when it comes to discussing fees is to always start at the high end and remember to explain each category.
It is also better to call the client and inform them that you are about to send the bill and the amount on the bill. It is polite and you have a higher chance of getting paid. Avoid surprising the client with a bill in the mail. When you call the client, you can know their response and discuss any issues that arise.
Be composed when dealing with clients
You need to keep your cool in court. You also need to learn to address the court. When preparing to go to court, ensure you have all the correct files to avoid embarrassing yourself. Go to court and observe so you can learn how other attorneys conduct themselves. A common mistake made is going straight to the arguments without explaining the context. You are bound to make mistakes in court. However, you will get better with time.
When dealing with clients, you need to be cool and composed. Do not discredit another attorney in front of the client as it makes you look bad. Also, do not let your emotions get ahead of you when dealing with a client as it makes you look unprofessional.
Find ways to relieve stress
Being a lawyer is stressful and you need to find ways to handle your stress or you will blow a fuse. Take care of your physical and mental health. Be willing to step aside and take some days off when it gets too hectic. Find things you enjoy doing outside law. You can golf, go swimming, exercise or do anything that provides relief. Being able to get away from it all will help you maintain your sanity and help you to be a better attorney.
In law, it is important to build connections as they will help you at some point. As much as you will be working hard, you need to spend time with clients, investors, the media and other people. Learning how to work well with others will help you build and maintain connections that will help you progress, especially if you are a lawyer who may want to go into politics someday like Steve Rothman, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 16 years. You can also network by going for scheduled retreats and corporate events.
Clients will always be there. You need to maintain your integrity since your reputation is everything. Having a good reputation will make clients refer you. It will also make you earn the respect of colleagues and investors and before you know it, you will be giving young attorneys advice on what to do to be a successful lawyer.