July 6, 2012
One of the hardest problems attorneys have is learning to do what is required to successfully complete a matter for the client. Law school does a good job of teaching how to research an issue – they teach that finding the law while representing a client is nothing more than an Easter egg hunt that is successful when the eggs have been found. They do not do an even half way decent job of teaching you what to do once you’ve found the law. Those decisions are the ones that make actually you an effective lawyer.
My good friend and co-author, Jim Underwood, describes this as doing the necessary. He posits that to do the necessary you must be able to handle cases from start to finish, practice unimpeded by fear, learn the tools of the trade, think both strategically and tactically, and know the role of ethics. These are great places to start.
So what is “the necessary?” It is the synergy created when your common sense, practical knowledge, and legal acumen combine to create a representation that is greater than the sum of its parts. This blog is designed to help you bring these concepts together in a way that gets results for your clients. If you apply the suggestions found here to your own real world practice situations you will find yourself able to “do the necessary” in most, if not all, situations.
Litigation is a scary place where the client relies upon you to guide them. You need the right tools to do that job. Now for the good news, you probably have a broader knowledge base as a new attorney having recently passed the bar than at any other time in your legal career. You have not yet descended into the depths of specialization. To you the Rule Against Perpetuities not only creates a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, but the possibility of actually understanding it. This applies across the board; you are replete in your understanding of the law. You will probably never again have such a degree of current understanding. Unfortunately you don’t have what you most need – practical knowledge of how to move a case through the civil adjudicative process based upon experience actually handling civil lawsuits from start to finish. It is a bit of a catch .22. Until one has done it, it is impossible to fully appreciate this unique process. That is what we are going to do together – let’s get started.