Mistakes Commonly Made by Young Attorneys

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The initial years of practicing, as experienced by any fresh law graduate, are nothing less than a roller coaster ride, each day passing in the blink of an eye, all owing to inhumane working hours, stacks of piled-up work with approaching deadlines, and a few idle hours in the name of weekends. Such initial years of almost all fresh law aspirants are somewhat monotonous. Still, these are the times that contribute the most to their eventual personality and how the individual has been professionally brought-up. Moreover, these are the very years that allow young lawyers to afford themselves their peculiar orientation to law and find a purpose in their legal practice as enlightened individuals of society. For the same reasons, their conduct during this phase should be subject to the strictest surveillance and rectification.

To their utter dismay, most fresh lawyers do not have mentoring minds to supervise their performance adequately and provide them with invaluable feedback to bring transformations within the self. As such, most of these individuals are all on their own and should ideally remodel their preferences and habits in the following aspects to strike their best towards success.

Welcoming Tasks Without Assessing the Room Available

Whether out of excitement, enthusiasm, or due to their mere inability to negotiate, young lawyers, are often presented with tasks, one after the other, which, when accommodated, lie way out of the maximum 24-hour span of the day available to all of us rational human beings. Without a thorough assessment of the nature of the assigned work and in the sheer absence of a planned timeline integrating all their current tasks, lawyers can’t seem to appraise what they’re signing up for and end up captured into a web of unfulfilled tasks meeting their deadlines.

Expecting Too High A Stature After Graduating

Inspired with the recent wave of TV shows pertaining to the lavish lawyer lives, many fresh law entrants into the professional field often see their graduation as the final finish line. They sometimes expect remunerations, perks, and job roles unbefitting to their credentials and practical experiences. This must change since lawyers are generally subject to extended struggling periods under extremely challenging circumstances typical to not many other fields.

The Realisation of Duties & Responsibilities

During their professional studies, students are only required to act with reasonable responsibility only to themselves, to achieve the results that they desire and duly deserve. Whereas in contrast, when these students enter into professional practice, they are faced with dynamics completely upside-down. Here, they are supposed to act rather than work and submit tirelessly in the best interests of their client and the firm, both being in the very limelight of a young lawyer’s life for all the years to come. A demotivating factor lies herein that the struggles undertaken by these lawyers often go unnoticed and unrewarded, whereas what they have been accustomed to were instant reward systems and recognition for well-carried-out performances in law school.

Acceptance of Mistakes & Willingness to Admit Criticism

For almost all of the glitches forming part of a major blunder in a client’s case, at the end of a communication chain, at least one of the lawyers can be held completely responsible. What fresh graduates and new entrants fail to appreciate is that relying on themselves, fulfilling tasks completely upon their motion, and working out with their mechanisms is how the job is supposed to be done. Excessive reliance on the firm staff, including clerks, paralegals, etc may surely assist them in diverting much of their tasks but can never be a defense or a subject to play blame games in the face of blunders.

Confining Social Interactions Within Decent Limits

Regardless of the social setting, young lawyers must always remember that they are being observed all the time. Owing to the inherent nature of the legal practice, dictated by accumulated reputation, networking, and personal relations of practitioners with each other as well as within the fraternity, lawyers should try to restrain themselves from indulging in compromised situations through substance abuse or otherwise.

Apart from the norms of decent conduct, lawyers should portray prima facie professionalism in their behavior, and it is advised for them not to get into overly comfortable relations with colleagues and subordinates to maintain hierarchical protocols between them. In the present age, their online presence matters to the utmost and must carefully be managed so as not to cause futile activities or give rise to controversies detrimental to their reputation in the fraternity.

Ignore the Gossip Culture

The last thing which a lawyer who stands in the inceptive stages of his career should do in professional settings or even with his colleagues is to involve into gossip about the firm, their senior lawyers, or even clients at random. The world is a small place, and the fraternity being even smaller, often surprises you by bringing people before you in entirely different statures than you had encountered them in previously. Gossips only tend to lower your esteem in the eyes of others and expose you to violating the client-attorney privilege when you indulge in gossip concerning your clients.

Invoke the Habit of Reading Law Extensively

Something which young lawyers often seem to underestimate for its benefits, the habit of reading the law many a time acts as a pivotal factor in giving accomplished lawyers a reason for their success. After all the years of studying law, it should now be an accepted position that the law surprisingly yields different meanings every time it is read with a different mindset. Despite being repeated, young lawyers should follow the practices of senior practitioners of reading complete statutes when faced with cases pertaining to matters governed under the same. This adds up to an accumulation of legal adroitness and susceptibility to judicial creativity.

Advocates should also get rid of their 21st-century habits of deriving rapid results by whatever means. Legal provisions are best defined by the statutes themselves and the courts of law, which should be the only resorted sources to obtain legal guidance. Reliance on unknown blogs and online commentaries on laws can yield results quickly but are unproven sources of advice and hence should be discouraged.

The initial years, if well-spent, serve as sound foundations for the build-up which has to stand for the rest of your lives as successful practitioners. Such molding experienced in these years is crucial and must take place in the optimum circumstances yielding the best results.

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