Ask the Mentors
You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. About the business of the practice of law. The guidance you need to have the practice you want.
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There is no substitute for experience. Even if you feel absolutely unqualified to draft a plan, there is no other way but to struggle through it. In the Estate Planning Bootcamp, we help you map out a plan to do just that. One of the biggest hurdles in jumping into the estate planning arena is the sheer volume of documents you have to learn to create for your potential clients. We’d like to suggest that, really, this is more of a mental hurdle than an actual barrier to entry. The bigger task, and one you must begin to master early … Continue reading
Ah, a very common challenge for new attorneys just starting out these days. The first thing you want to do is choose a practice area you are going to focus on and a specific client market you are going to focus your energy on. I mentioned focus twice in the last sentence because when you are starting your law practice with very little money, focus is your best resource. Far too many lawyers open their doors and think they’ll succeed by taking any prospect who walks in the door, happily. It’s counter-intuitive, but that will actually impede your progress. You … Continue reading
Most lawyers will need two or three mentors – mentors who can help you with ethical issues, mentors who can help you learn to market, mentors who can help you systematize and build a business, mentors who can teach you the technical/legal intricacies of your chosen practice area. Finding the right mentors for yourself is step one in building a fulfilling law practice. You simply can’t do it alone, not without a lot of pain and suffering. So don’t do it! Seek out the people who have done what you are doing, and done it well. They’ve made the mistakes … Continue reading
Clumsily. But you will do it! We promise. Everyone’s first meeting is weird. In fact, the first dozen meetings feel stilted and strange, and that’s because you care. If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t be nervous. You’re rehearsing to get your verbal system down tight. Remember, no brain surgeon was really ready for their first surgery. But ready they became. And you’re not even doing brain surgery. You’re becoming a trusted advisor to your clients. Here are a few practical tips for getting through it: Develop a very simple agendaof how you’d like the meeting to proceed so if you … Continue reading
Well, you might. That’s a risk for even experienced attorneys, but yes, new attorneys are more prone to it so make sure you have good legal malpractice insurance before you serve your first client. One thing that can help you get over your fear of committing malpractice is by reviewing other attorneys’ work and seeing how many holes you can find in what they are doing. We don’t mean to say you should pick at other people’s work or that you should crusade against every attorney who’s done a less than adequate job, but instead that you will find comfort … Continue reading
It sounds like a basic question, but it’s not that simple. Knowing how to dress for your audience is a skill. Many attorneys still abide by the standard suit and tie, thinking that it’s better to overdress. But a suit and tie may actually put a giant chasm of class distinction between you and your client. Rule of Thumb: Dress one “level” higher than you believe your client or prospect will dress. No more. At speaking engagements for moms’ groups, I don’t wear a skirt, blouse, and heels. Instead, I usually wear nice slacks or even nice jeans, a blouse … Continue reading