Increasing potential for success in legal practice  – some empirically-derived insights from new lawyers Tony Foley (with ...
Three influencing factors  <ul><li>gaining  competency  and acquiring  autonomy  and the effect of ‘dramatic learning’ eve...
Autonomy – eg Cecilia  <ul><li>I: If you’re more autonomous, [does this mean your supervisor] doesn’t check your work as o...
Brian  <ul><li>Getting up [in court] for the first time just for a mention was good.  My first appearance in the Supreme C...
Belinda <ul><li>it’s such a tremendous thing to be able to work independently….So, it’s been really good for me to have ar...
Uncertainty – comment from Supervisor  <ul><li>The thing they’ll struggle with is [that] they think that most things are d...
Alison  <ul><li>[I] didn’t even know how to talk to a registrar.  … What do I call you even, how much am I supposed to say...
Alison  <ul><li>I wish I’d know how to properly phrase the expression ‘I don’t know but I can find out’.  Because, it’s no...
Supervisor  <ul><li>They don’t get sent down to the court, without preparation. Before she went to court, we would practic...
Value accommodation – eg Dianne  <ul><li>I quite enjoy it as a firm, and I quite buy into the culture that they’re trying ...
Dianne <ul><li>Yeah, very much so. So, sometimes, you come up against an opponent who’s dragging their feet or delaying, o...
Cecilia  <ul><li>I noticed that the approach [of another legal practice], for various reasons which they can’t control, wa...
Alison <ul><li>I am trying to figure out whether you can be ruthless and ethical or whether they are two separate things. ...
Alison  <ul><li>I struggle with it [the way the firm operates], this is the area that I find problematic. I think it’s mea...
Alison  <ul><li>To me it speaks to the culture of the firm, the direction that they’re taking, the direction that they’re ...
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Increasing potential for success in legal practice - some empirically-derived insights from new lawyers

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Slides for the presentation given by Tony Foley at the Learning in Law Annual Conference 2011.

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Increasing potential for success in legal practice - some empirically-derived insights from new lawyers

  1. 1. Increasing potential for success in legal practice – some empirically-derived insights from new lawyers Tony Foley (with Stephen Tang, Vivien Holmes, Margie Rowe)
  2. 2. Three influencing factors <ul><li>gaining competency and acquiring autonomy and the effect of ‘dramatic learning’ events </li></ul><ul><li>realising that legal practice involves pervasive uncertainty </li></ul><ul><li>finding a comfortable value accommodation between their own values and those modelled in their practice </li></ul>
  3. 3. Autonomy – eg Cecilia <ul><li>I: If you’re more autonomous, [does this mean your supervisor] doesn’t check your work as often? </li></ul><ul><li>P: No, No, she still checks everything. But I suppose there’s a lot less comments back and that’s not necessarily because I am doing it exactly the way she would have done it. [But now] she’ll say [about ‘my’ way] ‘that’s different but it’s alright; go and do it that way. At the start [it was more] this is the way you should do it until you get your feet a bit more’. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Brian <ul><li>Getting up [in court] for the first time just for a mention was good. My first appearance in the Supreme Court was probably a bit of an accelerant ‘cause I actually started to feel a little bit confident after that. … That was a terrific day; I got a real buzz out of that. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Belinda <ul><li>it’s such a tremendous thing to be able to work independently….So, it’s been really good for me to have areas in which I can do my own work and I know that I I’ll be busy and I know that I can figure something out, or if I can’t that I can deal with it later with [supervisor’s] help. I think that makes me more useful to the firm, and also a better lawyer I guess. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Uncertainty – comment from Supervisor <ul><li>The thing they’ll struggle with is [that] they think that most things are definitive, that there is a solution…and that that solution is to be found either by going through a text or going through a case, and it’s not so. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Alison <ul><li>[I] didn’t even know how to talk to a registrar. … What do I call you even, how much am I supposed to say to you, am I allowed to say [the other unrepresented party is] a jerk? how formal do I be? What’s prejudicial, and I am not allowed to say it? I just didn’t know what I was doing, I had to guess. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Alison <ul><li>I wish I’d know how to properly phrase the expression ‘I don’t know but I can find out’. Because, it’s not reasonable to think I’m going to know everything. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Supervisor <ul><li>They don’t get sent down to the court, without preparation. Before she went to court, we would practice…. I would throw things at her which I thought the magistrate was going to ask her, to make sure that she had the answers. … She might say ‘I’ve got to do [a particular type of matter] in court today’, and I would say ‘okay, let’s sit down and do it [before you go down]’. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Value accommodation – eg Dianne <ul><li>I quite enjoy it as a firm, and I quite buy into the culture that they’re trying to create. …They’re very thoughtful about how they want the firm to be. And it’s not about image, entirely, it’s more about making it a nice place to work so that emanates out, you know? So people want to have this firm as their lawyers because the culture is good, and I believe that that’s sound. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Dianne <ul><li>Yeah, very much so. So, sometimes, you come up against an opponent who’s dragging their feet or delaying, or playing things in a way that is a bit sharp or a bit tricky or something, and I’ve always been taught by the people I work with to play it straight down the line, do things according to the rules, according to how you would like to be treated,… yes it’s something that its explicitly important to them. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Cecilia <ul><li>I noticed that the approach [of another legal practice], for various reasons which they can’t control, was ‘you make the client do what you think is best for the client and the case’ and the lawyer runs it. Whereas, we are much more, ‘we’re your lawyer, we’ll tell you that your application is crap but then we’ll run it for you if that’s really what you want to do’. So, that’s a different take on the kind of ethical obligations of a lawyer, but I think it’s much more true to what the role is and should actually be. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Alison <ul><li>I am trying to figure out whether you can be ruthless and ethical or whether they are two separate things. Yes, they encourage you to be ethical by the letter of the law, [but] I have experienced instances where I was treated in a way which I felt was unethical, … or I was asked to treat somebody else that way and refused and felt the ire of the [managing partner] because I refused to do it. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Alison <ul><li>I struggle with it [the way the firm operates], this is the area that I find problematic. I think it’s meant to sound clever but [the way the firm operates] comes across as cunning. It feels manipulative and dishonest, even though, I am sure that’s not the intention. It’s probably what my goal [should be, that is being] more strategic about how I handle a case, it just doesn’t sound it, that’s all. And it doesn’t feel it. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Alison <ul><li>To me it speaks to the culture of the firm, the direction that they’re taking, the direction that they’re willing to take, the actions that they’re willing to take to get ahead, and I don’t want to have a part of that. </li></ul>

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