Don’t expect to know it all right from the start

Top tips for new lawyers

Law is an area of work that is as demanding as it is rewarding. Newly admitted solicitors have a lot to prove and will be eager to start earning the valuable experience they will carry with them throughout their legal career.

While a legal degree is designed to prepare you for the workforce, there is no better way to learn than on the job itself. The following will discuss some of the top tips a lawyer should remember when they start practising.

Don’t expect to know it all right from the start

The best lawyers usually have decades of experience under their belts. When you do any job for a long time, most of it will become second nature to you.

When you start out as a lawyer, you won’t be able to recall every detail of a legal issue straight away. Even if you studied an issue to death during your education, it’s impossible to retain so much information without having needed to apply it to real cases.

This is where asking more experienced solicitors for help is crucial. Draw on the knowledge and experience of those around you and accept that while the learning curve is steep, it will ultimately be the only way you can gain confidence.

Don’t be arrogant or unprofessional

The only thing worse than not knowing something is pretending to know it or behaving arrogantly. You may have been a star pupil in school, but success in a practising firm will require patience and diligent work.

Switching firms may be easy; cleaning up a bad reputation is not. It only takes one incident of unprofessionalism to stain your record in the eyes of other legal professionals.

The legal system is a serious area of society and a failure to behave ethically or take it seriously will quickly lead people not to work with you. Always be sure to conduct yourself in the best manner possible whilst practising.

Stand up for yourself

Short of behaving arrogantly or stepping on people’s toes, don’t ever accept something that is untrue or unfair because a senior lawyer was responsible for it. Long-time practitioners can make mistakes like anyone else and it won’t help you to accept things you know aren’t correct.

This is especially true if facing an opposing lawyer in court who implies that your inexperience means they are correct. If you know you are right, never yield to intimidation or legal posturing.

Build relationships

The legal profession is an extensive society of practitioners who call on each other for assistance and advice. Building a network of fellow lawyers will help you in the long run in terms of building your reputation and presence in the legal world.

Miranda Burton Author

Miranda has a special interest in all law related areas and enjoys breaking down complicated legal matters into easy-to-understand writing.