1. It’s not about the law – it’s about the people. Most of the day is spent dealing with people; clients, colleagues, the other side, experts and judges. Of course you have to know the law, but it’s how you handle the people that makes the difference between a good outcome and a not so good outcome and between being an ok lawyer and a great lawyer.
2. Selling yourself is a good thing. Work is interesting if you have good clients. To have good clients you need good referrers. To have good referrers you need to have people who like you.
3. Not many lawyers look like this:
4. There’s rarely a clear win or a clear loss. It’s much better to have a win/win. Professionally it’s more satisfying – it uses all of your skills to create something like that and you feel much better about it. Also – going to Court is nothing like on TV.
5. Silence is golden. You learn a lot by not talking. When you’re trying to create a win/win you can learn how to do that by listening to others. When you’re litigating you’ll learn all kinds of things about the other’s case and given the opportunity the other side will often dig their own grave (metaphorically of course) if you shut up for long enough to let them.
6. There are two sides to every story. The trick to good lawyering is to figure out what the stories are, understand the other side’s story and tell your client’s story in the most engaging way. The thing that was missing in those exam questions and case studies was how the other side had perfectly sensible points to make too.
7. At the end of a hard day http://lookmumimalawyer.tumblr.com/ is the best kind of therapy.