A Good Lawyer: Secrets Good Lawyers [And Their Best Clients] Already Know

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Legal secrets

The sky is the limit. Ignore the limitations you may see pop up when you do this exercise. You can listen to that episode here. As an officer of the court, you have an obligation to review facts before you state them on the record. If you feel pressured for time, ask the court for a moment to review your notes or the file. People will look to you more often for the law and the facts if you show up with the right ones consistently. The substitute Judge for the department was in such a hurry, he just set the hearing in another courtroom and moved on to the next case on calendar before the prosecutor could look it up.

My co-worker came back to the office to look up the citation, and it turned out that it was a probable cause hearing on a misdemeanor, which is something that is handled administratively by the Court prior to the DA even bringing charges. When I was a brand new lawyer, I felt pressured to get trials out. I believed that was the measure of how good you were as an attorney — show no fear.

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You may even look like a jerk. I know, I know. That lawyer who made a spurious motion in court? I get along with that person just fine even when we disagree. Part of this, I believe, is because I am more objective about him. Treat everyone with respect. I give people the benefit of the doubt more now than I did even a few years ago.


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I have Brene Brown to thank for that. You also never know when your kindness will boomerang back at you. Judges love that. Creating boundaries is another time saver. There are two of my favorite strategies.

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Watch out for buffering. You can learn about it in this podcast. I feel fortunate to have become a criminal prosecutor. I loved Criminal Procedure and Constitutional Law in law school, and becoming a prosecutor helped me fulfill my ideals pf public service and fairness. There are a lot of lawyers with anxiety. If you fall into this category, you are completely normal. Unfortunately, those same teaching lead a lot of lawyers to burn out and substance abuse issues in their careers. It means scheduling yoga and meditating.

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For you it could look like a nightly bubble bath to relax. Find your thing and make it happen. You need to make yourself as important as your client. In criminal law, the law is constantly changing.

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That also means that we have to stay up to date and understand how we can protect the interests of those we serve. We do this by constantly improving our minds. And so is this tip…. The best lawyers are students of life. They seem to network with ease because they approach people with curiosity. They develop listening skills and have a natural charm because they cultivate it. These are learned skills. If you're in a competitive environment, it's often difficult to find someone you trust.

You need someone who you can ask questions. Is the Lawyer Too Experienced? Most people think a lawyer can never be too experienced. Remember, a law firm is a business. Like other businesses, positive referrals are critical to building a business. The best lawyers enjoy what they do and have a genuine passion in their heart for the subject matter rather than merely a desire to earn money. A lawyer who has been personally and actively involved in the general subject matter involved in your case is a good indicator the lawyer is truly interested in your case.

Lawyers who often speak publicly or write extensively on the relevant issues are generally more interested in the subject matter and have more passion for the issues involved. Hiring the best lawyer on the planet is meaningless if that lawyer simply hands your case off to an inexperienced associate.

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No lawyer can personally handle every task required during representation. However, meaningful involvement in critical decisions is indispensable to effective representation. Does the Lawyer Stay Current on the Law? The law is ever changing. Good lawyers never rest on their current knowledge base. Your lawyer ought to exceed the required minimum level of continuing legal education hours, and thereby be familiar with the current state of the law. Does the Lawyer Have a Good Reputation? Lawyers quickly develop reputations with their peers, their adversaries, the state bar, and the judges.

A good reputation can greatly assist a lawyer in getting things done or resolving a case. A reputation for honesty, aggressive representation, and professionalism is indispensable to expediting a favorable resolution of a case.


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Lawyers with the best reputations are often called upon by other lawyers for advice and by the press to serve as legal commentators on high profile matters. Lawyers with bad reputations can find it more difficult to get things accomplished for a variety of reasons. Good reputations are earned over the long term by consistently displaying certain positive traits.


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