Every lawyer is different, but here are some of the realities you may wish you had understood before you started practicing!
- The importance of teamwork and delegation
For any law firm expecting to grow, effective teamwork and delegation of work is an important factor. It’s easy to want to do things alone, with the expectation that you can guarantee that it’s done properly, but effective teamwork results in better and quicker outcomes compared to a solo’s limited resources. Delegating will mean you can focus more on contributing to higher level tasks in the firm, and offload work to junior lawyers who will, in turn, have the opportunity to hone in their practical skills and feel a sense of trust from their superiors. Ultimately, delegation directly impacts the profitability of your law firm by utilizing low-cost resources while the more experienced lawyers can focus on factors influencing the firm’s competitive position in the market.
- Making connections is invaluable
It is often considered disingenuous to accumulate contacts, but in fact, this form of networking works in favor of both parties. You are required to broaden your connections with the right people who will help you during times of complex legal issues through their more experienced advice, and in turn, you will become a person that your contact can confide in at any point in the future. This networking has no limitations to the number of benefits it will bring you in your professional life. This will develop your skills and help you establish a good position in your law practice, and ultimately, you no longer want to have to introduce yourself – you will want to become a sought-after attorney that people want to connect with themselves.
- How to manage time
The ability to manage time effectively is essential for a successful lawyer. Time management means you are more organized, productive, and have the ability to utilize your skills effectively and efficiently. Not only that, it is your duty to your client to exercise good time management skills when handling a matter, and essentially your clients hard earned cash. Diligence and punctuality are of the essence in building those valuable client-attorney trusted relationships. You will also save yourself from the unwanted stress of dissatisfaction and feeling overwhelmed in your business. There are many time tracking and project management tools out there to help manage the multiple clients and matters you deal with and even prioritize your tasks and deadlines.
- How to write well
You should constantly be striving to improve your writing, and practice makes perfect! Clear and persuasive writing will reflect your skills in the legal trade. Each and every word should fulfill the purpose of being a legal document specifically designed to inform and discuss the core theory to help the readers understand what they are supposed to be agreeing with. Remember, you are trying to represent your client’s side of the story, and that requires some great and effective storytelling, with basic considerations of legal persuasion writing and perfectly placed words.
- Read fast effectively
A large chunk of a lawyers time spent on a case is taken up with reading through a lot of drivel before forming an effective argument. Speed reading helps you recognize and absorb all the important words on the page at a rapid pace, getting a general comprehension of what the content is conveying in a shorter period of time. In the current day and age, we have websites, social media, books, paperwork, magazines, emails etc. to read through, which is a lot of information that we need to process before making informed decisions. Honing in your speed reading skills means you save a lot of time, freeing up time to work on other areas of the matter. To help you get into the habit of moving faster on the page, set up time limits for practice, and go back re-read the page in detail and determine how much of the information you absorbed accurately in your speed read. Practicing this skill will make you a more effective reader and a more productive lawyer!