Attorneys fresh out of law school are often very eager to get an immediate start on their careers. While making the start is important, new attorneys often make mistakes during this period of their lives that can cost them well into the future. This article will outline five common mistakes that new attorneys make that can be easily avoided by taking the right precautions.
Having Too Much Confidence
While having excellent confidence is an important attribute for attorneys today, having too much confidence can come off as offensive to those who have a lifetime of experience in the field. This can strain relationships with one’s boss or make it more difficult to win at trial. Attorneys should be humble for the first couple years as they try to learn how to master their field. While confidence is important, new attorneys should always look to learn from others.
Pretending to Know it All
Just after getting out of law school, the new attorneys don’t know more than their more experienced peers. As a result, new attorneys should view others as an opportunity to learn how to master their profession. Attorneys should also be honest when they don’t know something, even when with the client or with colleagues. This can prove an attorney’s integrity and help to improve relationships with others.
Not Pursuing a Masters of Law Degree
Advanced degrees like a Masters in Law, or LL.M., are a great way to accelerate one’s success in a career. Attorneys should seek to continue to expand their education by studying for one of these degrees in the evenings or even considering enrolling in one of these programs full-time like the Masters in Law online at USC. These degrees can increase an attorney’s lifetime compensation and to lead to an overall return on investment.
Starting Out Alone
While working as a self-employed attorney may be advantageous for those of experience, starting out alone can actually hurt one more than it can help. Independent attorneys should consider starting out by working with an experienced law firm in order to build the resume.
Not Following Procedures
Most new attorneys are surprised to see how precise the rules can be in a real-world court. While in school attorneys are taught the laws, they often are not well-educated in strategies they need in order to make judges happy and lead to client satisfaction. This is something that is gained through experience, and new attorneys shouldn’t worry about this functioning as a barrier to success.
Getting a law degree doesn’t automatically mean that you will jump right in and start making the big bucks. Being new to the field doesn’t mean that you have to make rookie mistakes as there are many that are easily avoidable. By taking steps to avoid some of these problems, new attorneys will find themselves better-transitioning into a professional career.
This article is from Meghan Belnap, blogger, researcher, and freelance writer.