Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Advice from more experienced attorneys

I thought I'd share some great advice I've heard and/or received lately:

From the solomarketing listserve, one attorney, Ed Poll (of advised,

"Moving forward one step at a time is the way most journeys get completed. Or, as Alan Weiss, a well-known consultant (author of Million Dollar Consultant), says: 1% each day makes for 100% progress in about 70 days. Do a little each day and you will be doing more than most attorneys."

This has basically become my mantra - I try to do a little each day to become more familar with family law - either reading statutes, treatises, cases - or information on starting a law practice. Sometimes its frustrating, because either there is so much I don't know, or I see other people, such as Brandon Wilson of the Fifth Estate, who seem to be going somewhere with their solo venture. (Don't get me wrong - I'm pleased to see him and others doing well and they are a great inspiration - keep posting, please!). I know its a bad idea to compare myself to others, and, logically, I know I'm not in a hurry to get started. But still.....

Well, I'll turn off the insecurity, and share the next great advice I've received:

From a more experienced Washington family law attorney from the West Side of the state (which, as those of you who know Washington, is about as different from the East side as night and day), who kindly provided the following excellent advice (and more), and asks not to be identified (which, I'm sure has nothing to do with the quality of my blog!):

"The best way to learn family law is to do it! Never take a client just for the money. If you don't like the client or don't believe their position is reasonable or responsible, send them away. Hang out on the motions calendar and watch and listen. Buy the [Family Law] Deskbook … and buy FamilySoft. Those two things and a good computer are all you need to start.. …. Read the statutes over and over. Find an attorney in town who has a good reputation and bug them to death. Be patient and don't be shy.

No matter how small the client (time/money wise) treat them like it was the biggest case you will ever have. Engage in handholding where necessary. Take time to hear them and let them be heard. They will like YOU as a result, which is as important to repeat business as being competent as an attorney."

Both excellent advice! Thank You!


At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 9:22 PM, Blogger Wannabee said...

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At 9:23 PM, Blogger Wannabee said...

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At 8:05 AM, Blogger Brandon Wilson said...

Things seem to move very slowly at first. Although I have been plugging away since October I still don't feel like I've hit my stride. Like you, I am thankful for all the advice I have received and want to remember this naive and inexperienced feeling so that when I am older and wiser I will feel an obligation to help newbies like myself. Keep plugging away and hopefully we'll be trading practice management secrets for decades to come.

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