Getting a law degree and passing the bar exam gives you a great boost of confidence, but it’s still challenging for a new and inexperienced lawyer. You have a lot to learn and must show your superiors that you have the skills and determination to succeed. Use these tips to improve your performance as an aspiring new attorney.
Do’s and Don’ts –
(1) Do : Ask questions of more experienced attorneys
Even though you have a law degree, you still have a lot to learn about the everyday practice of law. When you face a problem, ask questions of the more experienced lawyers at your firm. They are likely to have dealt with a similar situation. Pretending that you know everything you need to know about the law leads to avoidable mistakes.
(2) DO: Proofread all of your writing
A large part of a typical new lawyer’s job involves drafting documents. The accuracy and readability of any document you write give your superiors a chance to judge your work positively. Create a positive impression by proofreading your work carefully before turning in any written product. Correct any grammatical or factual errors that you find.
(3) DON’T: Promise something and not deliver
As a new attorney, your superiors and your clients need to rely on your dependability. If you promise to have something done by a certain date, you must not disappoint them. Before you take on a project, make absolutely certain that you have all of the resources you need to complete it within the given time frame. If you need more time to complete a project, tell the superior or client at the initial meeting.
(4) DON’T: Complain about your work load
All new lawyers tend to have a significant work load. Complaining about your work load, however, does not garner sympathy from your superiors. If you have several assignments occurring at the same time, ask your supervisor to help you prioritize. This states your problem in a positive way and does not make you seem like a complainer.
Working as a new lawyer seems like a daunting prospect, but every attorney goes through a learning process before becoming an experienced professional. Focusing on getting your work done competently and on time helps you impress your superiors and burnishes your professional reputation. Using your common sense and being conscientious about your job is the best advice available to all new lawyers.