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What Every Lawyer Should Know About Practicing Law

— February 5, 2020

Think you know it all? Think again. In reality, no lawyer will have access to all the knowledge they need at any point in their career.

As you will have learned by now, there are good lawyers and there are those that fall into the mediocre pile. Now, considering how much effort it takes to become an attorney, you certainly want to be placed in the former category. In order for this to happen, you first have to be privy to the essential details of practicing law. 

Now, these aren’t necessarily secrets that you have to uncover. In fact, much of the following information can be considered rather straightforward. Nevertheless, if you want to succeed in your career, it is best to adhere to this advice: 

Choose Your Niche with Care 

This is something that quite a few lawyers wish they knew when they were younger. Prior to doing anything else, make sure that you figure out your niche early on. Focus on areas that excite you or interest you. Keep in mind, this is what you will be doing for most of your life. As such, it is important to like what you do. 

Now, you probably already have a few areas outlined at the moment. However, it is a good idea to speak with lawyers who have been in the field for several years. They will be able to give you the ins and outs of the area. In turn, you can come to your own conclusion about whether or not that is the right choice for you. 

Put In the Work – It Will Take You Far 

Life prior to becoming a lawyer can seem like a great deal of work. You have to complete law school, pass one of the most difficult legal exams, and then land yourself a decent law firm. At this point, you may feel that you deserve some downtime. Well, now’s not the time to take that break. In fact, you should be putting even more work than ever before.

Library shelves with busts of famous people; image by Giammarco Boscaro, via
Library shelves with busts of famous people; image by Giammarco Boscaro, via

When you first begin practicing law, you have limited experience and certainly no reputation to fall back on. If you would like to change this, then you need to make an effort. Make sure that you dedicate yourself to your work and put in the necessary hours. As a result, you will gain the knowledge that you need to further yourself in your field. Furthermore, others will take notice of your determination which may just lead to opportunities. 

Learn to Communicate with Your Clients 

On the surface, it can just seem that most clients want a lawyer who can win a case for them. While this is certainly important to them, this isn’t the only thing that these individuals expect from you. Keep in mind, there is typically some emotional component to any case that you are working on. This is true even if your client is only concerned about losing the case. 

This is why it is quite important to connect with your clients. You need to know exactly what they want from any legal proceedings. Not to mention, proper communication can cut down on mistakes and can help the process to move along more smoothly. 

So, you shouldn’t just focus on the technical elements of your case. Take the time to sit down with each individual and understand how they tick. This is a skill that will come in useful for your entire career. 

Never Stop Learning

Think you know it all? Think again. In reality, no lawyer will have access to all the knowledge they need at any point in their career. Not only is the legal system constantly changing, but the trends within various industries are evolving as well. This is why you need to stay informed of the latest updates. Otherwise, you will simply feel like you are playing catchup. 

There are many different ways to keep learning at every stage of your career. A simple method is to subscribe to major legal journals and news outlets. You can also join various training programs, particularly those dealing with new approaches. Finally, make sure that you keep your ear to the ground at all times. You will be surprised at what you can learn from colleagues, other practicing lawyers, and anyone else in the industry. 

This is what every lawyer should know about practicing law. Keep this advice in mind and you will discover that you can go quite far in the world. 

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