I recently read an article in Forbes about resiliency and its importance within a rapidly changing legal environment. Since we often talk about the evolving nature of law office management on this blog, I thought the article might offer some valuable words of wisdom… and I was right. In the piece, contributor Paula Davis-Laack writes about the common practices and characteristics of resilient lawyers.
What is Resilience?
Webster Dictionary defines resilience as the “ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” You’ve heard the mantras before:
“When one door closes, another door opens.”
“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
Resilience is the ability to persevere in the face of difficulty – and things can get difficult in the world of legal practice. From the sting of losing a case to declining profits, your legal practice will undoubtedly go through some hard times.
The resilient attorney adapts to these changes and grows in the face of adversity, instead of caving under it. The Forbes article asserts that lawyers do not generally perform well in this category. Instead of embracing change, they tend to resist it. The legal profession is built on adversarial relationships and the pursuit of victory. Are competitive attorneys really going to accept criticism and willingly change their routines? According to Davis-Laack, there is no other option for lawyers who want to remain relevant in today’s legal environment.
What Makes a Resilient Attorney?
The article lists numerous actions that set resilient lawyers apart from the rest of the pack. Let’s look at a few of them:
- They are confident in their ability to endure adversity. Resilient lawyers understand that every conflict they overcome better prepares them to deal with the next obstacle to come along.
- They focus on the aspects of a problem that they can control and let go of what they cannot. This type of thinking allows the resilient lawyer to focus his or her energy in a more productive and effective way.
- They seek to obtain excellence, but they avoid the trap of perfectionism. You’re a lawyer and you should have high standards for yourself. I’m sure your clients expect you to strive for excellent outcomes in their cases. But the search for perfectionism often leads to anxiety and burnout among already stressed attorneys.
A lasting law practice requires resilience in the face of adversity and vast changes within the industry. So, when conflict arises, hold tight and be confident in your ability to stay the course.
About Erika Winston:
Erika Winston is a freelance writer with a passion for law. Through her business, The Legal Writing Studio, she helps legal professionals deliver effective written messages. Erika is a regular contributor to TimeSolv and a variety of other publications.