New lawyer survival guide (07-12-10)

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Ten rules of success for new lawyers.

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New lawyer survival guide (07-12-10)

  1. 1. FOR NEW LAWYERS Copyright © 2010 Jenner, Mester & Cord
  2. 2. I graduated from law school in 2003. When I started, I was mentored by two fantastic lawyers, Rob Jenner & Christian Mester. This is what they told me on Day One.
  3. 3. Get to work early. Compensate by staying late.
  4. 4. If you want a 9 to 5 job, you’re in the wrong business. Lawyering is fast-paced, intense, and demands a lot of work, especially when you’re learning the ropes.
  5. 5. You’re already behind. Don’t screw around.
  6. 6. Day One of your new job: you’re caught up. Day Two: you’re behind. Work really hard during the day, and earn your rest.
  7. 7. Boss won’t let you drown.
  8. 8. Keep your boss up to date on your assignment list. He won’t give you more than you can handle.
  9. 9. Priority, not prioritizing, is your responsibility.
  10. 10. When you have multiple projects, make sure your boss prioritizes them for you. You should give priority to the top item on the list.
  11. 12. <ul><li>When you get an assignment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand the question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand the factual background </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand the desired answer </li></ul></ul>
  12. 13. Don’t reinvent the wheel.
  13. 14. <ul><li>Ask your boss for other sources: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lawyers who have done this before </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Listserves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Similar situations the firm has handled </li></ul></ul>
  14. 15. Know your deadline, and the final deadline.
  15. 16. Give your completed assignments to your supervising attorney in plenty of time to make revisions before the deadline.
  16. 17. Organize a game plan.
  17. 18. When you get a new project, plan out how and when you will work on it. Talk to your supervising attorney about your plan.
  18. 19. Refocus and refine with updates to your boss.
  19. 20. Check in with your supervising attorney from time to time to make sure you are on the right track.
  20. 21. Pretend that your boss is the court—final product.
  21. 22. Proofread! Make sure everything looks final—case caption, signature block, etc…
  22. 23. Join MAJ and AAJ.
  23. 24. Join an association of like-minded professionals. This is your chance to meet mentors, brainstorm case problems, and do good for the community.
  24. 25. The end. Back to work.

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