Young Lawyers Division, 0222 UTBJ, Vol. 35, No. 1. 65

PositionVol. 35 1 Pg. 65

Young Lawyers Division

No. Vol. 35 No. 1 Pg. 65

Utah Bar Journal

February, 2022



Find Your Own Way

Some people know exactly what they want to do in law school and have a fulfilling career doing that thing. The rest of us take a little time to find the area of law, the firm, and the pace that is best for us. Many of my friends made changes and are much happier. The story is the same when I talk to attorneys who have ten years of practice or more. I realized there are certain areas of law that I am not well suited for and switched my focus. I have learned about myself and my practice style. Now I can create a practice that is well suited for me.

Don’t Take That Case

Early in my practice, I was eager to help everyone that I could. I felt an obligation to anyone who called me in need of legal help. I did not know how to spot potential bad clients or cases. The few times that I felt unsure about accepting a case, I did not know how to say “no” to a potential client. I have learned the hard way to trust my gut and to decline representation. I do not need to give a full explanation and can direct them to other resources. If a client seems problematic, if their story doesn’t make sense, if she is rude, then do not take the case. If you don’t have the time or the resources, then do not take the case.

Client Relationships Are Very Important

I always knew that treating your clients with respect was important. I observed this fact while working as a paralegal in Texas. The attorney was brilliant and very competent, but he was impatient and rude to clients. His clients did not like him, did not want to talk to him, and were generally unhappy with the representation. I have learned that taking extra time to talk to clients is important. Oftentimes, they need to tell you more details than necessary. Share their stress and worries. Clients want an attorney who will listen and empathize. Clients also want to learn and understand their case. I have learned that even when you make mistakes, clients will value you because of the relationship and trust you have built.

You Will Make Mistakes

The pressure to be perfect can be strong in the legal profession. After I got my bar number, I was so worried about making a mistake and facing a malpractice suit, disciplinary action, or both. Reading through the rules of ethics helped me remember the rules. Making me less likely to...

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