Sunday, November 6, 2011

4L: What to do when . . .

Law School,  It's prestigious. It's honorable.  It's professional.  It's tough, it's exhausting, and it makes you think like a lawyer.  It also gives you just enough tools to go out and get yourself into trouble.

 If you have recently passed the bar, you are now equipped to take your clients to court.  You are equipped to receive payment for the services you render.  You are now equipped to practice law.

The problem with practice, in any endeavor, is if you practice incorrectly, you begin to develop habits that keep your growth to a minimum.  And the problem with law practice is that you DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO START!

One thing law school does not do is help you successfully engage in the practice of law.  With the amount of law graduates that begin a solo practice right out of law school, or join up with other recent grads to make a small firm, there should be something out there that tells these armed-and-dangerous attorneys where to aim their weaponry and how to discharge it appropriately.

I'm not a genius, or a law practice guru.  But I am a young attorney that has learned some fundamental practice tips over the last year of practicing by myself.  I've learned with the help of experienced mentors and the school of hard knocks.  Thus, I will begin to periodically publish a series of practice lessons for the recent law-school-graduate-solo-attorney -- or more aptly called: the 4L.

Some of them will be:
- What to do When . . .You Don't Have Clients Part 1 . . . Relationships
- What to do When . . . You Don't Have Clients Part 2 . . . Learning the Law

- What to do when you meet your first client
- What to do when you get your first responsive pleading
- What to do when you write your first complaint
- What to do when you argue your first motion
- What to do when go to court for the first time
- What to do when when you need to file your first federal pleading using the ECF electronic filing system
- What to do when meet other attorneys to develop a referral base
- What to do when you rent your first office space
 - What to do when you get removed to federal court for the first time

I will also be answering specific questions that 4Ls (and anyone else) need answerin'.  If you have a situation that needs practice tips, please email me and I will make your question the next blog in the series.  And I don't mean questions that require you to do a little research!  Do your own independent research (and DO use Google) to get a foundational answer.  You will be better off when you actually ask.  Just remember, it is not like grade school, there are dumb questions . . . :-)

Here's to a safe and happy malpractice-free practice!


  1. Jonathan! What a service you are providing. I hope plenty of people get on board with this.

    Hope you and Saundra are well. We miss you guys here at the beach!

    - Jerry Harris

  2. Great post, Jonathan.