Three Tips for New Law School Graduates


Three Tips for New Law School Graduates

Graduation from law school brings with it an odd combination of exhilaration and panic. The day-to-day grind of reading cases, preparing presentation briefs and mind-numbing examinations is finally over, and you have your degree. Before you can enjoy the moment for too long, you are hit with the reality of planning and starting a new career. If you are among those venturing into your own practice, here are three things you should not forget.

It’s a business

One of the biggest mistakes new attorneys make is giving away services. Lawyers make money by charging clients for their time and their legal expertise. Giving away advice or representing a friend for free might make you popular, but it won’t pay the rent on your office, cover your secretary’s salary or allow you to meet your other financial obligations.

Prepare a list of the services you provide and set prices for each of them. If you are unsure about what to charge, there are plenty of seasoned attorneys in your community willing to provide advice and guidance to a new lawyer.

Build your client base

Advertising and referrals are two methods for attracting new clients. Unfortunately, advertising costs money. Referrals, on the other hand, are free, but they require a bit of networking. Becoming active in community and business organizations and your local bar association provides opportunities for people get to know you and refer clients. It is also a good idea to take plenty of business cards with you when you attend meetings.

You don’t have to go it alone

Opening your own practice can be a lonely and overwhelming experience. The burden of making it a success is squarely on your shoulders, but there is help available for you. Speak to other attorneys about covering for each other when scheduling conflicts arise.

A common element in each of these tips has been taking the initiative to seek the help of  others when you need it. Your fellow attorneys were new and inexperienced at one stage in their careers, so they are  usually more than willing to become a resource of knowledge and guidance for a new lawyer.

-Dennis Masino

 

[Read More …]

Thank you for reading our blog here at Smith Kendall Law Firm

Three Tips for New Law School Graduates

Graduation from law school brings with it an odd combination of exhilaration and panic. The day-to-day grind of reading cases, preparing presentation briefs and mind-numbing examinations is finally over, and you have your degree. Before you can enjoy the moment for too long, you are hit with the reality of planning and starting a new career. If you are among those venturing into your own practice, here are three things you should not forget.

It’s a business

One of the biggest mistakes new attorneys make is giving away services. Lawyers make money by charging clients for their time and their legal expertise. Giving away advice or representing a friend for free might make you popular, but it won’t pay the rent on your office, cover your secretary’s salary or allow you to meet your other financial obligations.

Prepare a list of the services you provide and set prices for each of them. If you are unsure about what to charge, there are plenty of seasoned attorneys in your community willing to provide advice and guidance to a new lawyer.

Build your client base

Advertising and referrals are two methods for attracting new clients. Unfortunately, advertising costs money. Referrals, on the other hand, are free, but they require a bit of networking. Becoming active in community and business organizations and your local bar association provides opportunities for people get to know you and refer clients. It is also a good idea to take plenty of business cards with you when you attend meetings.

You don’t have to go it alone

Opening your own practice can be a lonely and overwhelming experience. The burden of making it a success is squarely on your shoulders, but there is help available for you. Speak to other attorneys about covering for each other when scheduling conflicts arise.

A common element in each of these tips has been taking the initiative to seek the help of  others when you need it. Your fellow attorneys were new and inexperienced at one stage in their careers, so they are  usually more than willing to become a resource of knowledge and guidance for a new lawyer.

-Dennis Masino

 

[Read More …]

Thank you for reading our blog here at Smith Kendall Law Firm

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