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What are some tips for being successful as an attorney?

My sister wants to go into law. #law #lawyer #attorney


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Richard’s Answer

To become successful in any field requires specializing in one area. Like medicine, there are so many areas of law that it is best to focus on one. Take all the Continuing Legal Education you can in that field, find a mentor in the area, join associations in that field so you receive literature devoted to that area, and keep abreast of current developments.
To have this much commitment to an area to become successful requires actually enjoying what you do! I recommend becoming an intern or volunteer at various places in your community where you can learn about a field to learn what you might enjoy doing.
Success isn't just being an attorney, doctor, etc. Success is being competent and doing the best you can for your clients.

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Alexandra’s Answer

I think that being successful as an attorney requires many important skills but the most important thing is to gather experience: do an an internship, find a mentor, look for volunteer opportunities, shadow an attorney in court, look into working for a government institution. Law school does not prepare us for the practical aspects of working as a lawyer, but working with others does. Other skills include time management and great communication skills and also, critical thinking.

Alexandra recommends the following next steps:

Try to find an opportunity to gain experience: it can be as a volunteer or paralegal (before going to law school).
Find a mentor or someone whose work you can observe.

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Nick’s Answer

Being successful as an attorney requires organization. In law school, being able to organize your notes in an outline throughout the semester will help put you in good shape for finals. Learning how to outline by separating content into related topic areas will reap dividends come finals. In practice, keeping organized files and prioritizing deadlines will create client satisfaction, advocate for their interests in a well-managed way, and mitigate malpractice risk.

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Fiona’s Answer

There are many many different areas of law and they are vastly different. When you begin your degree, try to seize every opportunity to try out different areas of law - for example, you can apply to different internships with law firms (international firms will normally specialise in corporate / finance matters, whilst smaller firms may specialise in commercial / family / property matters), try out mini-pupillages with barrister chambers (I am not sure if the system applies where you are, but common law system will distinguish between solicitors and barristers). Try out the different areas and choose something you are good at and are interested in.
Be prepared to work hard. For the first six years of my career I was hardly ever home before mid night. It is tough because the learning curve in many areas is often very steep. But it does get much better after that and it is simply a stage that most lawyers have to go through.

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