Advice to Lawyers Fresh Out of Law School

You don’t need a law degree for the following reasons: you should have been taught by someone at least four years in law, and you have the experience that will make you an outstanding lawyer. That is not something many people give much credence to. You will probably work with lots of experts on your side, and the vast majority of them will be experienced professionals. In my opinion, there is more than one advantage to practicing as a lawyer. It’s only one disadvantage.

The advantages are too numerous to give credit where it’s due — and no one would want this advice to be the norm, but we can all agree to learn from this. If you wish great legal advice on every one of your questions, I’d recommend reading the rest of the piece. All of us should. We are here to live a fair and just life. No matter how skilled a lawyer you are, it pays to consult with others. Even if you aren’t sure what to do next, try to think about other people’s decisions and determine whether they were based on good or bad advice.

Most importantly, could you do your best to follow their examples? There is nothing wrong with being an advocate for people who are going through difficult situations; they might need lawyers. However, many clients will tell you that it’s very typical to lean on a lawyer even when things are difficult.

All that said, the disadvantages still outweigh the merits. Practicing lawyers can get very busy. They are not easy people to deal with, especially when they try to advise you on every little thing and help you solve business problems.

You must have time for yourself to think things over and to ask for clarification if you have anything unclear. The average person only has two hours per day and two per week. The workload can take a toll on some people’s health, so a lawyer’s advice to you could be very different from mine. Some legal cases might require legal judgment or a recommendation to do things you don’t think would benefit anyone else. The demands on the profession make it very hard to enjoy it; you are often working long hours and dealing with complex matters. This is one reason why most attorneys quit at the end of their careers. But it doesn’t happen all the time. Sometimes you have an office assistant, a paralegal, or another legal representative who takes care of the details and ensures that you know everything that needs to be known to understand the case before making any recommendations. Many lawyers think like this. And you, yes, you will keep on practicing as well.

This is not an exhaustive list as there are so many other valuable things lawyers do that deserve praise. For example, I can’t comment on the benefits of teaching first aid or CPR, and I can’t clearly distinguish between learning that you have to practice and learning about how to deal with conflict. But it can be done. These skills will be helpful later on because you won’t be doing your research in law school. Your colleagues might also be able to use this knowledge.

You have heard everyone talking about “first aid and CPR courses,” but I can assure you that these lessons do not exist. As far as I can tell, nobody ever practices CPR without doing it. A bit like an actor, if he practiced it often enough, he would become better at doing it. Just like an artist, if he studied it long enough, it would come naturally to him. Also, some lawyers get very concerned about protecting themselves from lawyers who are not professionally qualified. If they study something like first aid and other things, they’ll have to defend themselves and not let anybody else do it. You can imagine why. They aren’t going to sue for causing harm to somebody else, even if they are doing it on behalf of the client. They will do it anyway.

Similarly, in the UK, we can only practice our profession by becoming a solicitor. The bar cannot accept solicitors’ clerks. So we have to learn how to do that from a young age. What lawyers do, you cannot expect everyone to do it. Lawyers are a part-time job, but you can expect to put in plenty of effort and energy.

I would encourage anyone wanting to become a barrister to start by studying first aid, which would let you know if you are capable of handling medical advice, so you can decide whether you are ready to start practicing. Once you know you can control the basics, go to university and study for a master’s degree in law. When you graduate, it’s the perfect time to focus on your area. Having worked with lawyers for many years, I can tell you that it does not take much effort to gain respect and authority in legal proceedings. You will have lots of free time with other people, knowing how many cases you have. It makes the office and home office run more effectively and efficiently. You probably will be asked by colleagues for opinions on various matters. You may also have other professional associations, both locally and nationally. Being a lawyer comes with its challenges, but this gives you access to the world of legal assistance and other services.

I hope this article helps as much as it has helped.